From Monday 20th, all being well, I’ll be starting to work from the Concrete Basement in Lower Marsh (home of Anthony Epes and some new friends) – I know I’ve been down in the basement there before sometime, perhaps one of you can own up to also being there, to help me with my failing memory…
Lower Marsh is a great little street that’s feels like it’s been on the edge of gentrification for as long as I’ve been hanging out in London. That feeling might be accelerating a bit at the moment (key indicator: new, funky coffee shops) but isn’t that everywhere? And it’s been remarkably resilient given that it’s slap bang next to Waterloo Station. The other plus for me is that there are three major theatres and the Southbank Centre all in walking distance.
Anyway, that’s where I’m going to be hanging out for the time being. I shall kick off with some self-appointed Social Artist in Residence stuff, for the space and for the street, but I shall also be focusing on getting Tuttle consulting going again and hoping to use local venues for Open Spaces looking at the human experience of work, technology, economy ‘n’that. Other ideas for collaborative projects always welcome.
Please come and see me, bring exotic teas, stories of “one time, I was in Lower Marsh and…” and perhaps something small but inspiring to put on the wall or sit on my desk.
I don’t like it. I don’t like writing about blogging, but sometimes it needs to be done to be cleared out of the way. If I write on paper about writing on paper that seems OK because it’s only here on my table and it might just go in the bin or in that file of many ideas not quite finished enough.
I’m angry about it. I’m angry about the way we, me too, I have let it slip away, have let others take the form and make it more like what they wanted to do in the first place. And then decided that I needed to fit in with that. We’ve made our newspapers into gigantic blog-like content machines, but none of them have much of the spirit of the people who write them, they’re just self-serving self-obsessed web-borgs.
A real person is in here, behind this screen, behind these words you’re reading. With all the ups and downs and back and forth and painfully, oh jesus, p-a-i-n-f-u-l-l-y slow learning about life and how to do it and who I might be and how not to be who I’m not.
But even I’ve forgotten that and started to believe that what I write here needs to be a certain way, needs to deliver “my message” to “my audience”, get more hits, trigger more likes, avoid feelings, avoid criticism. It doesn’t. And it seems I need reminding of that every now and then. Maybe you do too.
All right, thanks for listening, go back to what you were doing.
This is by no means a canonical list, but I remembered on Saturday that I had it with me and so I shared it with people. It occurred to me that it might be useful to share here too. I could add to it, so could you, but it’s just what came out one day when I sat down to write “Things I need to do to take care and resource myself.”
- Go for a walk – 20 mins to 1 hr (longer on rest days)
- Have a rest day
- Go on holiday
- Walk in the woods
- Talk to someone, anyone
- Have a nap
- Tidy up and process stuff
- Time my work periods (25 minutes working, 5 minute doing something different)
- Do the washing up or some laundry
- Read for fun
- Play a game
- Go to unplugged/tuttle/some other coffee morning type thing
- Forgive myself for not being perfect all the time
- Do someone a favour
- Stop working for free
- Listen to a podcast
- Listen to music
- Play music, sing and dance around the living room
I’m remembering after the relative structure of commuting to Sittingbourne for #workshop34 that just wandering is an important part of my practice – it’s a way of processing what’s been going on and that I have places to go locally that are great for reflection and self-restoration. I’m also cheered to remember that I carry some high-quality multi-media content production equipment everywhere I go.
So I denied myself a walk in the woods over the weekend but by Monday it was irresistible and when I got there, these words fell out of my mouth. Here’s video and audio for those who still subscribe to the podcatching form of distribution.
This morning I had a skype conversation with my friend and oftentimes collaborator, Dan Thompson. We talked about what we’ve been doing and stuff and then got into the subject of social art, what it is, how you pay for it, who can do it, etc. It’s not a conversation that’s finished, we’ll be doing more of these, I’m sure.
Download the podcast (29.4MB)
Come and experience making social art together at the Centre for Creative Collaboration next Wednesday evening (15th December).
Please book on Eventbrite – it says “Free” but that means “pay on the day”🙂
My definition of social art is “The process or product of skilfully bringing people together in such a way as to create a sense of beauty in those that see or participate in it”
I’m going to run a workshop from 5.30pm to 7.30pm on what I’ve learned so far about making social art in a collaborative environment.
The kinds of work I’m talking about usually has a significant online component but works to complement offline activity. Examples of my social art include Tuttle itself, Tuttle2Texas and Most Interesting
You will come away afterwards with:
- a new idea to work on or progress on an existing idea
- an understanding of the key elements of such a project – especially how to get started
- an appreciation of the work and roles involved
- a set of social tools ready for you to get started
- an action plan for starting your own collaborative social art project
As this is a brand new workshop I’m offering it on a “pay what you think it’s worth” basis – bring your cheque-book🙂
It wasn’t supposed to be like this… an invoice was “supposed” to be paid on Friday and ease some pressure, but that won’t happen till next Friday now – and this week is the turn of the month when a few things fall due.
I had a great week of adventure last week – donations made, micropatronage, albums sold, meals bought for me, all accompanied by great conversation, love and support, thank you all very much.
I mostly enjoy this style of living, but occasionally I still get a cold sweat when it looks like it’s not going to work out the way I want it to and I’m going to have to face some embarrassing loss of face about not being able to keep a commitment. I was having one of those a minute ago, that’s why I’m writing now.
More suggestions welcome. Still open to bits of work as detailed last week (nothing came of this – interesting, don’t know if it’s that people can’t pay that immediately, or they just don’t have stuff for me to do).
Donations & micropatronage do work best for me when direct to my bank – avoiding the paypal clearing cycle.
However, purchasing stuff still helps too.
And just feeding me earns you a well-bent ear.