And We’re Off!

A full day at uni and I’ve come back buzzing – ideas swirling round so I know I’ll find writing my blog an excellent way of sorting them out – at the moment I feel my head is like  a bundle of fleece from a newly shorn sheep. I now have to unwrap the wool, pick out the rubbish, clean it up, tease it out, card it, rove it, spin it, dye it then I will reach the stage when I can start to think ‘What am I going to make?’

We were introduced to The Thought Experiment which will  be worked on until Christmas – the next 8 weeks.

My hastily written notes:

Don’t use the art world as a directory
We are constantly looking at more of the same, that’s why we get bored in galleries
Go beyound the unrecognisable
ENCOUNTER – use the whole of the brain – aim to form an encounter – encounter another world
Get away from Karaoke

I understood what was being said but thought it a bit ironic as I was sitting in an institution which demands me to jump through hoops in order for me to gain my MA.

A motivation video was then shown ‘How Schools Kill Creativity’ by Sir Ken Robinson. Amusing, good points put across but huge holes in his argument. However it made me think what I would have been like if I’d had more opportunity to be creative when I was at school.

Prepare to be wrong when being creative
People are educated not to make mistakes therefore creativity is being stifled

So the message was coming across strongly – get out of your box Dorcas, get out of your comfort zone and go exploring. This is just want I came for!

We watched ‘Howl’ a film based on the trial of Allan Ginsberg – the question was, was his poem of the same name obscene or art?  This reading wasn’t shown but the text of it was used throughout the film. I don’t wish to review it here – I took the significance and went for lunch.


Pages from Roy A Sorenson’s book Thought Experiments had been photocopied and placed in sealed envelopes. We were invited to take two, read the contents of both then reject one.  The envelops contained tasks and the two I had were 1) become attached to something and 2) Go to the hairdresser. Initially I rejected the latter but on reading the first swapped back.

Go to the Hairdresser

Duration           about 1 hour
Props                a hairdresser’s shop
Effect                 dishevelling

It appears straightforward. You go in, you’re given a shampoo and then someone cuts your hair – a little, a lot, or none at all. The experiment consists first of all in feeling the extent to which this apparently banal situation is actually much more complicated than it first appears. You might imagine that your hair is not in fact an entirely indifferent part of your body. It’s rather hard to gauge its exact relation to your body. Is it dead, or alive? Without feeling, or traversed by a different kind of nerve system? Is it outside your body, or inside it? Between the two?
What happens when it is cut? It may be that your hair is linked directly to your ideas, and you may never have the same ideas again after you leave the hairdresser’s. Your soul will have a new haircut, it will be unrecognisable and unstable – you’ll no longer be at home in yourself. You’ll be something completely other, disorganised from within.
Or else your hair appointment changes your whole appearance. You’ll leave with a different head, with everything different, the shape of your nose and the colour of your eyes, the roundness of your cheeks. Your whole body will be altered, you’ll be taller, or smaller, stunted or swollen.
Or perhaps the hairdressers are archangels, messengers of God, neighbourly redeemers. You’ll leave the salon transfigured, in a glorified body, borne aloft on the music of the spheres and in the joy of salvation.
Lost or saved, you are about to live through a decisive moment. You have a rendezvous with your own destiny. An unparalleled transformation is about to take place. Through some dreadful operation, some unspeakable alchemy, your hair appointment will leave you breathless, and broken, the victim of internal cataclysms. This is what you have come to believe.
The second part of the experiment consists in washing away these fantasies with medicinal shampoo. You know full well that nothing is going to happen. You are going for a haircut, that’s all. It’ll be a good one, or it won’t, it’ll conform more or less exactly to what you had in mind, to your ‘aesthetic’ notion of what suits you. But these minor variations are without consequence. They are without the slightest of importance.
Your dreams will have been for nothing. But you will at least have experienced the distance that separates your phantasmagoria from reality. Reality is nearly always flat, banal, straightforward, without contour.
Reassuring in a way.

However before I could digest my task the poetry workshop began. I need to write up that tomorrow.


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