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hi middlesex! i'm doing an MA!

wednesday 7th september 2022

this blog marks the start of my ~journey~ on the MA Professional Practice, Artist Practitioner course at middlesex university. i'm not making a separate blog, because i already have a practice of writing reflexively about my practice, thoughts, and research on this blog. i think it makes absolute sense to integrate this course of study with my already existing professional, web-based practice. the best way to subscribe to this blog is using an rss reader - my rss feed can be found here. if you'd like to comment, please send me an email 📧, noting if you'd like the comment to appear publicly or if you just wanna chat. i hand-code both this entire blog and my main website ⧉, and host them on a raspberry pi that sits in the corner of my bedroom.

the first 'task' as part of the MA is to post my CV and an introduction to myself. i was considering a kind of mic-drop here, because i already host a comprehensive CV and 'about' on my main website ⧉, but i'm going to talk about it in a meta way instead.

i've maintained an online cv/portfolio since around 2015 on my own website, and before that almost-religiously contributed to a presence on various social media sites. this innate reflection on the performed self forms a lot of my motivation for conducting my art-research through an internet lens - how has the internet changed how these pathways form in our minds? how has our reliance on a public, performed self served as a shorthand in discussion with others on morality, politics, emotional health and self-actualisation? i was dealing with these subjects before i even knew i was dealing with these subjects.

a lot of my earlier works came from a very bodily place. i'm not studying the dance pedagogy pathway on this course, but i do have a dance background. i spent my childhood learning how to move under a curriculum of rules and specific expectations. i stopped attending formal dance classes at 15, in concert with my sense of independence, alienation, and queer identity starting to crystallise. my first works while studying my BA in Mixed Media Fine Art were all based around intuitive mark making, inks and incidental drips, slowly morphing into an exploration of language and automatic writing. at the time i neglected to consider the bodily roots of these works, stopping only to consider their relation with the resultant image. i felt a draw towards performance, so constructed various time-based mark making sessions which were themselves the works.

the tension between the perception-based, feeling self and the projections of the performed, signifier-driven self is a key facet of my practice. as a fat queer person, i have spent a considerable amount of time sitting with alienation. i only just started to draw the threads together from my collected past practice, and this has been the focus of a lot of my writing recently. it's also the key to an ensemble i recently formed, microplastic, which works with improvised music centring around the use of a mic-ed up board which i interface with as a tap dancer, and we explore, intuit, and relate with as experimental musicians.

when referring to kolb's cycle of learning ⧉, i think i fall somewhere between active experimentation and reflective observation - however as my confidence as a practitioner develops i can feel myself shifting more towards the active experimentation role. this blog is in itself an example of this - something clicked for me, and i jumped in headfirst. i decided i would, so i did, and through that doing i learned (and am continuing to learn).

there's something interesting in the notion of the body in relation to the internet. this paragraph is a placeholder to remind me to think more about this later, because i think there's a lot in it. on the internet your mind is free to take the steps that your body seems to take in physical space. of course, this is in concert with an embodied perspective - something that feels very relevant to the strands of research i find myself most concerned with, and is also mentioned in the course handbook. always nice to read something and immediately have it spark thoughts of 'oh yeah! of course!'

i'm a little nervous about the notion of keeping a private reflective journal, as the course demands. i think i've come to rely on the accountability of public view to ensure i maintain a practice of reflection. i do my thinking out loud. this basically already is my reflective journal, between this and my gemini capsule ⧉.

i think that's good for an intro. i'm excited to get to know everyone else on my course! i can't wait to read your blogs! like i said, any comments please direct them to my email 📧 - hi[at]hnr[dot]fyi if that link doesn't work. i'll add them here if you'd like me to publish them, or we can keep it private.

i'm not willing to embed a third-party comment system here, and my little raspberry pi couldn't handle making this site no-longer-static, so this is as good as it gets. i think email and rss is the way to go. looking to the past to imagine a better future, anyone?