After the workshop on Saturday, we had a little closing party for the project at Top Shelf Gallery. I invited anyone and everyone, and we had an exhibition of all the messaged created during the workshops, a little artist’s talk, and some tea and biscuits (and wine) on offer.
I was delighted to see so many of the participants again, including Karolina, Liam, Gabrielle, Michelle, and Nicky, and of course Travis and Ari from that morning’s workshop. Also present were my lovely friends Demelza and Jeremy who volunteered their time for the prototype workshop in October last year.
It was great to see all of the video works on display together, across two TVs and a projector. Seeing all of the messages together made me think once again how all the works are of such a consistently high calibre, which was something of a surprise to me given the diversity of backgrounds and the time limitation involved. I think I honestly didn’t know what to expect from strangers in one hour, but also I was focussed on the experience of the workshops, rather than any products or outcomes. I’ve been really impressed by what is achievable in a short amount of time, with such a variety of participants. It was also made clear in seeing the exhibition both the correspondence, and the range between the messages that were discussed in the workshops. I documented the exhibition, so you can take a look at the images, below.
During the talk I gave a little bit of a background to the project, and discussed how it had evolved from its conception, through the prototype and various applications, during the Skype Variation for Light and Wire, then at Top Shelf across the course of the residency. I also talked a bit about my motivation for creating this kind of work, and my experience of participatory works, like Stuart Ringholt’s Anger Workshop at dOCUMENTA . The talk merged into an open discussion, and it was beautiful to get feedback from so many people who had been involved, and listen to their various experiences and opinions.
I really enjoyed the atmosphere in the afternoon, as people helped themselves to tea and coffee, sat down to eat lunch (myself included), chatted about the project and got to know each other a little.
I wish to thank everyone who came in and took part in a workshop during the month, for their time, their honesty and for their efforts to communicate with me. I really love all the works that were made at Top Shelf, and it was a great pleasure to meet such a collection of wonderful people.
My special thanks go to Ariele and Oliver for granting me the space at Top Shelf to use for the project, and for their ongoing support. Last but not least, it hasn’t been easy doing these workshops, working part time and also working on other ongoing art projects. I really want to thank Andrew, my partner, for the input, critique and practical assistance he has so selflessly provided, and for his understanding of things for which there is no apparent financial or critical reward.
The Communication Project is not over! I will continue to develop the project, and it is scheduled to appear in Melbourne next January in the Melbourne Music and Video festival. Anyone who is interested in offering a space or group of people to take part, please contact me through email.