LAB451 at Camden Image Gallery, performance, and collaboration


I don't get to see much performance art very often usually, but my band recently performed at a performance art focused event in Camden. Performance is effectively a component in every artwork through the process of creating it and the process of showing it. These actions can be termed performance and can be viewed through the lens of performance. Performance art is not something I directly and purposefully interact with in my art practice, however I perform in a musical context, and in a wider sense my art practise concerns itself with the methods via which I make art and the emotive transmissions and transferences therein.

I made a video journal depicting the night at LAB451 which is viewable below.

During our performance, my band/duo (Rescue A Family) played projected videos with each song. My bandmate, Ed, usually controls visual filters and effects as we play. Different effects are assigned to a series of knobs which increase or decrease effects as they are turned one way or the other. We wanted to invite audience participation after our initial performance by running our videos and allowing people to play with our effects as Ed does as we perform.


In tandem with my MCP essay (currently titled "Why Do People Reject Themselves As Artists?") I have been increasingly interested in collaborative art. My art practice has always been very solitary, and following criticisms of it's insular nature and accessibility concerns it seems it might be an idea to work with other people as a way of pushing myself towards work that is more comprehensible and purposeful. I particularly would like to collaborate on projects with people who are reluctant or shy about art.

I'm interested in bringing "non artists" (or as I like to refer to them, the "artistically dormant") into my art practise and into art making generally, as an exercise that would serve to create bonds between both us as people, and between my collaborate and art. Functionally, I sort of want to drag someone into art against their will.

I have elicited several drawings from my boyfriend - a person who doesn't really draw. I thought a nice way of making "unwilling" collaborative art would be to collect requested drawings and then myself organise them into a college, which I can then embellish. Thus the collaboration is completed without directly collaborative participation from my collaborator. Sneaky.

I have attempted to have us both draw alongside each other in a booklet, but (as is evidently the natural fearful response of someone who is not really used to drawing) he tends to locate his drawings far away from mine and usually with quite a lot of blank space around them. This doesn't really work for collaborative purposes as he instinctively distances his drawings from mine (as well as from each other). This is the reason I came up with the idea of my doctoring of his images as a means to construct collaborative artworks, as that way he can contribute in a passive way to a collaborative project - the only way it would be possible (unless he shed his artistic instincts and barriers).

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