audience beyond open calls (week 9: testing my boundaries)

leaving open calls behind: having tested the boundaries of where my print and video work might belong or reach and audience through open calls, i reluctantly pause this type of testing to instead create (rather than react to) opportunities beyond the open call process. i say reluctantly because i have learned a lot through this process and found an audience far and near way beyond what i thought was out there, especially for my video work. i also say reluctantly because, although time-consuming, i have developed a good routine of looking through open call art platforms and now have a fear of missing out if i stop looking. but i think i really say reluctantly because i am now faced with creating ways to reach an audience without the safety net of open calls’ structures, publicity, galleries, audience etc and have to go into really new and unknown territories. this will be more uncomfortable, as it will probably involve either asking for favours or taking chances and not asking at all. it would be easier to keep going with the open call processes which are challenges in themselves, but i feel i really need to get into this more uncomfortable zone to know the extent of my boundaries.

a plan for the beyond: first things first, i have made a list of some possible opportunities i could create in terms of making work and audience. knowing that this time would come i have been sourcing and gathering ideas and materials, all related to extending the work i am making in terms of landscape, body, gender and lens based processes. my self-designated time-frame for this part of my task is the month of february, which gives me roughly 4 weeks to make and engage an audience. i intend to work quickly and make small-scale works and interventions as part of a testing rather than a statement. as i have said before, i think this will also help me get over any reluctance i have about getting my work out there in this manner. so, a short plan of works and audience to be created in any order – some or all, depending on work flow, time, opportunities and where i am led.

task 1: screen print edition of incomplete landscape – a set of 2 part postcards to be posted to colleges who have never seen my work which they can display how and where they like in their homes or beyond, a request for some kind of feedback either verbal or written (email) and an image to document the work in a new setting/audience/context. pros: it ties in with and develops my ‘incomplete landscape’ exploration – time based, space and movement. it opens up a new audience and their available feedback, printing this edition could be very doable for making day cons: possibly the reason that this audience has not seen any of my work yet is because they are not interested (or don’t like) art or me! after this task, i will have to continue to work with them. as colleges, i will have to evaluate the validity of their feedback (i.e. if they are just being nice and saying what they think i want to hear). i will also have to evaluate if this is the audience for my work. i will also have to do some thinking into the nature of a postcard format and see how it could relate to what i want to say with my landscape work.  actually these last 2 points will be really helpful to understanding my audience and so belong to the pros.

task 2: screen print a pair of t-shirts again along the lines of an incomplete landscape, possibly incorporating a slogan message which might be fitting for t-shirt format. pros: this could allow me to wear the t-shirts in places way beyond my usual settings and so reach a different audience. it could involve another person in the wearing of the t-shirts with me (which will have to be considered and negotiated with), it could develop new ideas related to landscape and the body. the t-shirts could be hung, folded in new and unusual places – again creating a new context for my work and audience. cons: it will ask me to consider if the work can be read as art or whether it needs to be read as art. i might have to involve someone else in this work and this will raise questions about their relevance. i will have to consider the relevance of the t-shirt format and how this relates to my landscape work, i will have to consider where and when to wear/show the work in this way, i will have to figure out how best to document this work also. again cons can be seen as pros

task 3: screen print fliers of incomplete landscapes to be shown in 2-part locations as interventions in possibly urban spaces. pros: this format would allow me to experiment with movement, space and time in relation to landscape. it would allow me to reach a new audience. it would allow me to play around the potential of a flier format as a social, political (or other) format. cons: it would be difficult to evaluate how the audience encounter my work. it would also be difficult to document this. it would involve putting my work up without permission (which i could be fined for) – i might have to consider using temporary and environmentally friendly materials. all questions and considerations are helpful in understanding my work and my boundaries so they’re all pros really.

other ideas may form as i begin to work but for the moment i think i’ll just start.

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