Hi again to my lecturers, past!me and my eight-odd followers – and the four random people who liked my previous post for some reason. You’re more than welcome to read this, obviously, but this must sound really bizarre out of context; just to clarify this isn’t fiction, this is my actual placement blog.
It’s only been four days since my previous post but I want to get in the habit of posting regularly, so Friday sounds like a good shout. This week has been confusing, I feel that I have come out of it with more questions and doubt than anything else. Bear with me, this will seem like a tangent, but I have a point I want to say.
For those who aren’t in the know, I am in the third year of my degree. I’m part of a class that is heavily kinesthetic and movement-based whereas I’m really ‘cerebral’, to borrow a phrase from many lecturers; while I can improvise I like having time to mull. Hell, sometimes I need it if things are really abstract or if I’m having a bad day for focus – with my ADD comes auditory processing failures, meaning sometimes I literally don’t understand what people are saying. (I need to work on a formal diagnosis for that; it’s been confirmed by an educational psychiatrist, so I do have it, but as far as I know no access measures are in place until I get it formalised. I’m getting sidetracked, hang on…)
My issue for the past while has been what seems to be the idea that the brain and body are totally separate. Stick with me, it sounds a bit muddy. What I mean is that for the past couple years I’ve repeatedly heard lecturers and visiting artists talk about people being too ‘in their own heads’ and not listening to their bodies. I’ve been asked to work through things purely with movement and doing; so instead of considering the thing and then doing an informed action, which is my instinct, I have been told to just do stuff, which for me is massively uncomfortable and doesn’t make sense. It’s like being told not to think, which feels really weird when I’m meant to be learning. I don’t always understand what I’m doing in class, and therefore I don’t always attach, so the work is not good – and because there’s nothing to inform the thing I’m doing I can’t analyse it, therefore I never really understand it. However, when I’ve been given time to do something my own way, I feel much more comfortable and from what I understand the work is more well received. Now, I understand that both ways of working are good; there are times where I have been receptive to just doing, and the result has been fairly effective, and of course there have been times where I have thought a thing through a fair bit and it has been awful. It is all context dependent; but because the ‘just do’ method is so pervasive in CPP I’ve never felt like I’ve been in a context where my way of working – even my way of thinking – is valued.
I realise I’ve felt isolated to an extent in my degree – while I feel like it’s good for me to be here and I have absolutely no intention to leave, I am aware that there are ways in which I don’t fit. My influences are very much in modern media and the internet, and I actually know very little about art in general – and I’ll be honest, I don’t get much from a lot of it. I don’t think I am going to be a performance artist after this, or at least I wouldn’t make the kind of art I am pushed towards on this degree.
I think this is why I’m having such a hard time with placement; I’ve only seen one contemporary show I’ve properly attached to, but it would not be possible to have a placement with the artist at this time. I’ve been through several processes which have taught me more about what I don’t want to explore rather than what I do, and I know I would not be compatible with a lot of the artists that are associated with the degree for various reasons – none of which are personal, to clarify, but much of the work I’ve seen has either not engaged me or actively discomforted me, and not in a way which I think would be valuable or even healthy for me to explore.
I was advised this week to research possible placement spaces; I’m aware that film is effectively no longer an option, and I understand that; I contacted everyone I was aware of and heard nothing, which is fairly damning. I do have a module about music videos next trimester, so I still have the chance to explore that another time. Yet scoring out what felt like my biggest option has just made me more anxious; now there is no focus to my search and it all feels much too big again.
Time is really wearing on, but how do I start looking if I have no idea where to go?