Sometimes I can feel there is a thought growing but I can’t put it in words. The thought is not complete and I don’t quite understand it myself because it is new or different from the ways of thinking and working I am used to. Maybe I don’t have the right words to cover what I would like to say or maybe the thought first has to be explored and experienced in a practical way before fully understood.
It is like a puzzle. In the beginning I only see a vague pile of puzzle bits without a clear color, shape or form. I have to feel them, look at them from different angles, organise them in different ways, trow some out and collect missing bits. In this part of the process I don't have a clear opinion. They are just vague interestes and ideas that somehow feel important or interesting. It helps me to talk about these unfinished thoughts in an exploring and incoherent way. Just trowing out thoughts, trying to find their place in the puzzle while talking. This can be very confusing for others if they think I am talking about a finished puzzle. They try to find out what my opinion is while I am asking them to explore the puzzle bits with me. This miscommunication can make them feel frustrated and often stops me from talking and leaves me with light insecurity.
After a while the puzzle bits become more clear. Some might fit together and start forming a visible image. This is an exciting part of the process and often goes very fast as if someone turned on the light and you can finally see what has been in front of you all this time. It might take a long time of doing, exploring and observing before arriving at this point. Sometimes it then creates a finished puzzle but at other moments it turns out that the finished puzzle is actually a new part of a bigger puzzle!
It is a confusing process which needs a lot of patience, doing, trying, observing, thinking and talking. When finally seeing the picture, I can talk about it very clear and convincing as I have explored it for so long and in so many different ways.
I sometimes feel pressured to be clear and precise about my thoughts, what I do and what I want. I don't always feel space for unfinished ideas or the words "I don't know". I would like to feel more time, trust, and courage to let these eggs develop and grow. Time and space for unfinished thoughts, trusting the not knowing, finding the missing bits and having the courage to do and say things that are not formulated in a perfectly understandable package.
My writing often feels unfinished but as I am writing it down, it gives me the confidence and trust that the thoughts will shape over time. The writing is like the thoughts, unfinished and unclear, waiting for time to clarify and find the essence of what it is I am trying to say.
What is building between people and within their individual artistic practice when there is interaction and exchange?
An artist's practice refers to both the conceptual and making processes of an artist and their work. It examines how the artist develops ideas, concepts and themes through the influence of their global and personal world and other artists and their movements. What defines your artistic practice are your constantly developing experience, skills and knowledge shaped by your perception.
I like to see collaboration as a meeting place to build and exchange. When working with more people than yourself there is a need to formulate your thoughts and ideas out loud, explain them to someone else and respond to possible feedback. All people involved have their own background and will bring their own skills, knowledge, experience, personality and working methods. Together you will have an enormous amount of resources, knowledge and experience. When there is an open, safe and challenging working space in which you can explore and experiment together, this can create fruitful exchange in which all involved will grow.
All which has been shared and explored will develop the personal practice of the individuals and feed into their future projects and activities. At the same time there is something building between the collaborators. A foundation of shared experience, common language, understanding and trust will grow by sharing and exchanging experience, skills and knowledge. This process does not only include the exchange that happens when creating work together, it includes every shared experience as artists, friends and human beings depending on how we choose to frame and reflect on it. When choosing to share a process, outcome or product with an outside audience this can be seen as part of the exchanging process and has grown out of the always building foundation.
Often collaboration is there to create a final outcome. You work and create together to develop something which will be shared with an audience later. I like the idea of taking away this final sharing moment and just focusing on the exchange and growing foundation between people. I somehow feel this might allow the group to develop an unique way of working and making with more space for creative individuals, as supposed to artists only defined by their disciplines. Although it is not the goal, this way of practising can of course be a fruitful beginning or foundation for performance material.
“Creating or making springs from a need within all of us to communicate and to share with others. Without expression our sense of ourselves shrinks and contracts. The presence of a partner who goes with us in our journeys of imagination making alongside of us, watching, looking at and sharing in what we create, enables us to get to know the life and significance of our images more deeply. What we make, or do, or say, grows and comes more alive for us as it is heard, received by others. To enter another’s imagery is to get to know the feel of their world to sense them much more fully than we can in everyday life. And we discover a world that is shared, no longer simpy inside ourselves, but coming alive and growing between ourselves and another.”
A Widening Field by Miranda Tufnell and Chris Crickmay
What are your ideals and holistic views and how do you make sure your actions, investments and decisions resonate with them?
The only moment we can live in is the present. Moments filled with experience, reflection, thought and action in no particular order. Every moment there is an experience to be lived and decisions to be made. It is a journey of cause and effect in which each present will create the next one. Not only your own past, present and future are connected, they are connected to everyone and everything around you. You could ask yourself: How much choice do we actually have? I think we have a core deep inside which tells us what to do. You could say this is your gut feeling, unconscious, intuition or what ever name you wish. Around this core there are layers covering and blurring its clarity and strength. Social expectations, parent expectations, fixed idea of perfection, success and direction, fear, need for recognition, external and internal judgment etc. I think everybody knows what I mean when talking about this core but to hear it, listen to it and trust it is very difficult. At first you have to see and acknowledge all the layers around it by listening, observing and reflecting. What do they say, how do they feel and where do they come from? It is a process of learning to recognise them and face them in a kind but determined way. When you see and recognise the layers you can see through them for a moment and truly listen to your core. The communication with your core might not be clear or explainable as it is a non verbal one.
Listening to your core is a great first step but how do you communicate that what you feel in an honest, sincere and truthful way with yourself and the world around you? It could be that the listening in itself is already enough. You might experience an eye opening moment or clarity which shifts something in the way you see, perceive or do things. It could also be that trust is the next step. Trusting your core, the experience and the choices of the present together with the not knowing. As people we tend to believe our thoughts and see them as the truth. Different people have different truths and a shift in your perception can change everything. What is the truth? Not knowing is scary so sometimes we decide to know. We create ‘fake’ control for ourselves which gives a strong and safe feeling but is this useful? It might help to take a step back and observe without judging by letting go of your control thoughts and trusting the not knowing. Through doing so, you will find out that the present takes care of its own future in which you will be present. Sometimes it is important to share our deep listening with others. Maybe you need a conversation, a listening ear, understanding, help, challenge, change, support or it could be that simply sharing what you feel is already enough. You might need something from someone and have to find the courage to ask for it. It is as if you are asking them to come over and think with, support, change or do whatever it is you feel is needed. You might not receive but how do people know what you need if you don't ask? Asking someone over is not the same as expecting something and you might get something you did not ask for. This can be very useful but can also be frustrating or disappointing. If what you get back is not fulfilling you can ask again, change yourself or accept.
We listen, feel, reflect and act but sometimes the only option we have is patience, kindness and taking time. Maybe the core needs time. If this is difficult it might help you to decide not to decide or to decide not to know. In the end we are not always in a position where we can change or ask.Once in a while you will get into a situation that goes against your core. This is hard and can be very tiring. Being aware and kind to yourself might be the best solution in situations like this. Following your core does not mean knowing what is going to happen next. You might know what to do but that should not be confused with knowing what will happen. It simply means making a decision and trusting that because of the intense listening in that moment, it will guide you to the next step on your journey.
“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it. I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you're going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.”