It was great to hear and in some instances see what the other teams have been up to. The final meeting of Parallel Practices made me even sadder that I was unable to get to the other meetings as I feel that I have missed out on the sharing element of the process to some extent.
Anyway – it was in another great new space in London that I had no idea existed – the Life Science Museum within the Hodgkin Building. To get to it we walked through a labyrinth of endless shelves with thousands of bottles of unfamiliar body parts , then past the oddest folk art I have EVER seen (see above) into a room where we sat a large table surrounded by glorious examples of skeletal structures. I and Naomi were first up and we talked about new tools, thinking space, open-endedness, mapping the process, creating taxonomy, although Richard named the activity. http://www.naomimcintosh.com/
Celia was great and the idea of carving out space for reflection and thus her revelation that at the core of her work was the idea of care was beautiful. She spoke very movingly about respect and responsibility around the bodies she had worked around. http://celiapym.com/
Karina was very focused like her project and she spoke eloquently about the role of the machine with and verses the hand, the value of what she was doing as a maker and how stitch and textiles or at least non-robotic materials could become a part of robotics ‘teaching’. I love the precision of how she uses language, supporting the finding of the right word after my questioning of Celia’s comment about the ‘ordinariness’ of her practice, rather than its extraordinariness in the world of the throwaway. http://www.karinathompson.co.uk/
Tamsin had her workbench nearby and was able to show us all sorts of wonderfulness; exploding ceramics infested with calcium, crystal growth on ‘bones’ and a see-though blue mouse. Listening to her and Richard talk about providing access to the space was empowering. http://www.vanessendesign.com/
There were so many areas where we overlapped – although it was more of a constellation of possibilities - I could have listened all day. Some notes I made which I have to think about – it opened a door to what I don’t know, technology adding a new dimension, anatomy as an act, the supervised machine, sometimes I can sometimes I can’t, the idea - no the feeling of ownership, enabling others to rethink what it is that they do, I’m never going to know what I mean, negotiating a re framing of practice.