Update #15: In Depth: Slow Process and Sustainability: A Year In Thinking.
Hello again, I'm back with the 15th update for you to read. It's a real joy to write these in a way. I find it a really good way to journal my progress, regardless of how slow or fast that may be. I would also like to give a huge thank you to the people who gave support to the wonderful Young Creatives Podcast I took part in as a guest. It was a real joy to take part in and really interesting to see the ease of access it is for people to digest as opposed to text forms such as this. This is something I have thought about for a while of creating a audio version of these updates, this would pose difficult due to the nature of my home, but nothing sitting in the car can't fix, potentially. I will give this a try just to test the acoustics and check the quality in which the audio comes across and weather it is a place that can be used for recording.
Speaking of, I've made a new Instagram. Hopefully through this I can separate my personal life with my creative life as I do in my posts, @samcollingemedia. Through this I can hopefully branch away from relationship between art and the artist. Also to help reduce wading through posts to find personal ones, as I don't often post to my personal Instagram.
With the world slowly waking up I have to admit a lot of the time I have spent connecting with people for a lot of the past few weeks, this and travelling and enjoying the sun making its first proper appearance this year. I managed to spend some time in the place in which I studied for university, and traveled to Malham cove to do some photography of landscapes. This from the images, I found difficult to capture its sheer size and majestic presence that only from the naked eye could capture. I will be looking into it further on to see how I can position and use techniques to exaggerate the presence of the focus object in my photos.
Got a picture of a beetle though. Great.
As a few people know, I know took part in a podcast with the wonderful Alex Haymes at @youngcreativespod to chat and talk about projects, our life through lockdowns as creatives and other bits of general natters. It was a beautiful experience to share in terms of it being the first time I took part in a podcast, and really enjoyed the free form nature to podcasting, and without saying a good time to catch up with a friend who I haven't really spoken to properly in a while.
(The link to the podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/3HDXao7bXOzhqEjD5lhIMc?si=0dc046c40ba64940)
In terms of plants, I have had a session of creating cuttings and seedlings from a lot of my succulents. I have donated a few and have many many many more growing currently, I'll be looking into a way of donating or giving away them as the volume in which are successfully rooting and growing was way more exponential than anticipated.
My bell peppers are now out of the little greenhouse boxes in which keep the moisture and heat in and can grow independently, they grew to the point they lifted the top off themselves.
I've taken some time into looking into the origin of why I started growing plants for the collaborative work I am doing with kneed. It is an interesting process to see develop from the 2nd year of studying. For the most part my understanding of it is through a slow introduction into the more maternal expects of being a human. This is something maternally speaking I never really had much of until recently, and weather that was through insecurity or never allowing myself a chance to explore this area. Either way this could of been a process in which I mature and learn to further find that crucial aspect in which is in low supply currently.
This further discovery and focusing on personally reflecting on the tasks at hand and the process in which we have developed and transitioned through isolation and how it has affected us in terms of relation to other people and attitudes towards certain issues and topics.
Through this time period, I took some time to reflect on the hardships I found myself in within the beginning of the lockdowns before the pandemic, and the issues I faced in them times and how it's changed me now, for better worse. The interesting aspects of these moments are just the insecurity I found I kept internalized was then drawn out into bitterness and untrusting nature. Looking at the process of unpacking and learning from this is still a process in which I feel will linger for a while longer, but nevertheless get easier with time. Which brings me to the next section of this post (Is that a fucking transitional sentence? you're damn right.)
In Depth: Sustainability and Slow Process
So I was lucky enough to take part in with Kneeds collaborative group, through the introduction period, I bottled it to fully explain my thoughts on slow process and sustainability. We filled in the application over a year ago and my thoughts was to compare the answers I gave then to the answers I gave now, so with my platform I will give myself the time to explain all. So let's get started.
What does sustainability mean to you?
"As a young person, it is clear to me that sustainability is one of the key factors to combat global warming and excess wastage. As the human life expectancy increases, the worlds decreases, this is something that needs to be combatted and a lot harder that corporations are trying. Sustainability to me means rejecting profits as a measure of success and embracing neutral carbon footprints as a respectable status. On a personal frame, I mostly buy pre-worn clothes, such as vintage or charity shop bought. I also reuse more than buy, for example beer cans as plant pots, glass jars as storage, cardboard as artistic material. I have used a lot of these practices in my work, for example fashioning a frame on a stand out of a scrapped pallet and charity shop bought frame, and using resources I already own or gathering in a minimal amount."
And what I put a year later.
"Currently, sustainability is becoming more and more important as resources are being used and more wastage is building up on the planet, to find a way to rescue this we have to take action, both in terms of reducing and reusing as much as possible whilst also taking action to large businesses who loophole their way out of it.
That and to find beauty in that in which seems to have outlives its usefulness. Take for example Hayat Nazers' sculpture made from the rubble of the Beirut factory explosion."
The reoccurring theme is from what I can see is the the idea of making sure we use everything in a way in which reduces wastage by reusing them. Through the year we can see that their is a stronger emotional presence when addressing large corporations for their carbon footprint, and plastic wastage.
This study into seeing how the media like to demonize the public when it comes to putting a plastic bottle in the wrong colour bin, but when the guise slips it's revealed that "Twenty firms produce 55% of world’s plastic waste, report reveals'' (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/may/18/twenty-firms-produce-55-of-worlds-plastic-waste-report-reveals)
This is the issues we face currently in which I feel quite strongly for, the inequality between corporations and the elite compared to the public, as it becomes more and more difficult to regulate these as the money they have can corrupt and control us. We can also see how global health and pollution control is costly, therefore unimportant to them. It's quite terrifying to see how the planet we all live on is less important to profit.
(As a side note too, plastic pollution could possible be making us infertile as well but this is still early days of research https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/24/toxic-america-sperm-counts-plastics-research)
It's pretty disgusting's to see how out of control it is, to capture the scale in which we are seeing this plastic pollution:
"The Mariana Trench—The deepest point in the ocean—extends nearly 10,975 meters (36,000 feet) down in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean. But if you thought the trench could escape the global onslaught of plastics pollution, you would be wrong."
"A recent study revealed that a plastic bag, like the kind given away at grocery stores, is now the deepest known piece of plastic trash, found at a depth of 10,975 meters (36,000 feet) inside the Mariana Trench. Scientists found it by looking through the Deep-Sea Debris Database, a collection of photos and videos taken from 5,010 dives over the past 30 years that was recently made public."
The idea of sustainability has been in my live art work as most of the resources I use are with items in which I already own, such as the Lego in Spero, or the frame created using salvaged or reused rubbish, such as a discarded pallet, with charity shop reused frame in Bus Stop Piece.
"What role does slow ‘process’ play in your life/work?”
"Processes play a large role in my personal and work life, as a naturally curious and explorative person, I see that process as exploration. Processes play in everyone's life. In a grand, pretentious-sounding sense, life is a processes which is more important than the end product. This is which I incorporate in my past pieces, taking the audience through a piece rather than displaying the piece as it is. Participation I believe is a method I use in my works, whether that is creating a manifestation of 'hope' out of Lego, or to retrieve, open and read a letter in a jar off a beaten track in Chester, or to watch and piece together their own narrative on the piece. This idea of providing the audience with an idea to conclude their own views, think critically of the piece, and have a opinion on style vs. substance, provides them with a enriching process to my work."
I would say this still holds true through to my opinions of now, however it can be seen though the past year of more the unneeded deaths from the pandemic due to poor public control and 'economy over blood' mentality that was brought up with infection control in the UK, my perspective became more cold and pessimistic:
"In a sense, the cliché is to say life is full of slow processes, such as learning to walk, learning to share your life with another, learning to accept to see that life is nothing more than a slow process of dying. One miniscule speck of a much bigger, much slower process of the universe that in which we inhabit. I like to take this into consideration that in my life I will be no more than a line in the sand in high tide, but what you make with that, that is what is important to me.
In terms of my work, the same applies, with the finite nature of live/performance art I like to create, we can document it and recollect it, but the work itself coincides then and there, that and the processes towards it. That is something I like to keep with my work, alongside the idea of the personal enriching experience and documentation being the only thing that remains from the work."
Some works I have done in which slow process have consisted are 'Spero', Case Study Forests, Long Exposure Drawing, Bus Stop Piece, and Walk with a Friend, (and to an extent, animation) All of these can be found in my Current and Past Projects tab on my website. samcollingemedia.com
One work I am hopefully creating soon is the work 'Big Brother is Watching' over the summer, which uses the process of walking to highlight the hyper-surveillance in the UK and the further decent into a Orwellian future. Taking inspiration from Tehchin Hsien's 'One Year Piece'
In comparison, we can see that the perspective came into a more existential tone when it comes to approaching life and work. It is humbling to realize that although in the grand scheme of things we are completely insignificant, and we'll be nothing more than what we are and the memories we leave behind to others. But for us, and our lifespan, that is everything for us, and to travel this process I see as living, making sure that we can make sure that we use the ability we have to improve other peoples processes of living as well as our own. No one can say what the end will be, will look like, or feel like. So might as well try and do something a little to make it easier, more enjoyable, or smoother for one another. The similarities is the focus of significance in our insignificance of our existence in the grand scheme of the universe and how we in our life we can have a impact in our little thread of time we exist to those we are with. Hopefully, mine being creating pieces of performance I like and can use as self expression, and it to hopefully have a impact on anyone who looks at is, widening critical thinking and alternate perspectives to topics other than their own is what I want to do with my slow process of life.
Cliché as fuck really.
To conclude, I think between the two responses, with over a year apart, my opinion has remained true, but the morale and optimism has dropped a lot more, I'd like to work on this to regain that feeling of possibility of change and a brighter future laying ahead of us, but the more we look at the world the more a little of that light dwindles and we have very little power to do so to change it. Let's hope and keep doing what we can and hopefully a catalyst for change comes before it is too late.
So Recently I traveled back to Chester and discovered a new tag from MORB. This reminded me of the project I haven't worked on in a while. WHO IS MORB? was a documentary article looking into the various tags and graffiti around Chester city center focusing on a core study of the Tags from MORB, this is something I wanted to look into and discover more into, and recently travelling and seeing a new tag gives me the idea that they are still active, and would be really interesting to find those that create them and grab an interview to explore this world behind tags to gain insight into a elusive sub-culture.
SOTW- Moonshine Got Me - Daniel Norgren
This is a smoky guitar and a real laid back tune, I found this prefect for a Sunday morning of smooth cruising through typing a blog (The one you're reading, coincidentally)
For the playlist of the SOTW's, added to each update can be found HERE
The coloring and anatomy of the creatures we see on this sketch I feel are a catalyst of imagination and bringing life to these entities, my favorite part of this work is the focus on a key part of the body and base the rest of the creature around it such as the drawing labelled 'VIII' In which I feel the focus on the face and eyes is key to it's design.
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - 8.5/10
I have had the luxury of being able to watch this at the cinema (Like the Two Towers), and the CGI hold up relatively well for a 2001 film.
This is part one of the epic trilogy of Tolkien's set in Middle Earth. Following the quest of two Hobbits by the name of Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee embarking on a quest to destroy the one ring of power, traveling out from the quaint calm town to the fires of Mt. Doom, the only place in which a ring of such power and evil can be destroyed. Following through this film again defiantly has a nostalgia aspect for me, enjoying this film when I was younger being a huge fan of the Elven Archer Legolas, however now I see the interactions between characters, really intriguing through the subliminal politics of the world peer through playing with the age old saying that 'power corrupts'.
It goes without saying that the soundtrack for Lord of The Rings is phenomenal, winning multiple awards for it's score and for music in general. Using the full capability of an orchestra and choir in such a way that each track and score fits perfectly with the scene it is accompanying, this in it's self is a post to talk about but I will condense it. From the faint, calm major key sound of the shire emanating warmth, safety and a slight bit of mischievous playfulness in the score for the shire, consisting of wind and string instruments compared to the blasting low-end of the pitch brass instruments of Saramons lair creating dread, intimidation and industrious malice.
Minus Points because I feel there are moments in which were cut due to time, which in the extended edition shine a light on to remove continuity, such as the mark of the fellowship being gifted. 8.5/10
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - 9/10
"If it ain't broke don't fix it"
This has a lot in common with the first film in terms of critique, the music, pacing and visuals are all truly incredible, however what I feel gave this one an edge is two main reasons.
1. The introduction of Gollum properly and the absolutely stunning vocal performance by Andy Serkis
With the first full feature of the ex-ring bearer Gollum, a hobbit warped into a husk of a creature Gollum, which is a slave to the rings power. The film throws this character through a lot of hoops, fighting its own evil instincts to any of those that deny him to the ring, and fighting internally the cracked mind and personality of his psyche to do good. This can fly about in the film almost wildly seeing the changes and causes and effect of his feelings. This created a complex character of a deranged creature you feel dislike, but sympathy for. Perfectly executed.
2. The Finale
This goes without saying, although we are coming up to its 20th year anniversary next year, I refuse to spoil it for anyone who hasn't watched it.
The action, sequences, choreography and tension throughout this epic battle is something that is stunning, taking place in different locations with twists and turns at every corner, it is something which could be argued as one of the greatest battles in cinema. Seeing good battling evil, and nature reclaiming vengeance, its cliché, but worth it.
Those points alongside the numerous interwoven plots of Sam and Frodo, Gimli, Legolas and Aragon, and Merry and Pippin, and some which I won't mention. It get's 9/10 from me. 9/10
That will do for todays post, a little wordy, but hopefully soon I will be releasing a audio version soon.
Cheers gang, goes without saying it means a lot of those who read these.