Talking Things

Bastien Gachet

Often as artists we feel confident within a particular formal approach. Whether this comes from habit, material restrictions, comfort, taste, fear of change: we tend to identify with the way we make things as well as the way they look.

The aim of this Labzone will be to let us abstract our confidence and identification to our own practices: to locate them deeper; in our curiosity, our ability to doubtfully investigate, our specific sensibilities and thinking systems; rather than a singular form, style or term.

This Labzone will focus on two main principles: reading forms as a collective body and practically iterating through the endless shapes a work can take. On the one hand we will explore the potential of prototyping: to test in order to see possibilities in form, construction, expression, etc. Acknowledging that we can’t anticipate what something does before it does it, we will experiment with finding systems to let the work talk back, generating arrays of technical solutions, frameworks and support systems to produce forms from ideas, even if those seem at first absurd, impossible, or out-of-character. On the other hand, we will train in work-reading through collective feedback sessions where the work to generate thought and discourse will be on the viewers, rather than on the presenter.

We will meet monthly as a group. Students will present new work in progress. We will extract meaning from the forms together as a group, experimenting with different feedback methods. We will train to read objects and intentions from their physical and metaphysical features. We will then speculate and suggest radically different forms for the same work. Students will then pick one of these suggested forms, a few or yet an unforeseen new one and realize it for their next group presentation. Everyone will be expected to present twice per semester. We will aim to go outlandish and experimental, surprising ourselves and each other.

In parallel, we will also discuss the practicalities of realizing these new forms and processes, and help each other in finding frameworks, techniques and support systems to tackle the technical and conceptual issues with which we are confronted. We will go to workshops, meet specialists, share our personal niche knowledges, give a hand to each other – appreciating the urgency for a sharing, supporting and exchanging community in order to maintain any sustainable artistic practice