Monday, 22 November 2010

Helen Carnac; maker and curator; Time, Lines and Processes

Helen Carnac spoke at the Chelsea lecture theatre last week.  She posed a series of questions and statements that, in her thinking about Slow and craft, had occurred to her.  She stressed that she didn't necessarily have answers to them but riffed somewhat on what they meant to her.  These are the notions that I took from it:
-End products as resting points in process or ideas process
                (This particularly appeals to me as part of my Slow thinking)

- Importance of generating ideas through collaboration and conversation
- Objects: why do we have them, collect them?  Who has them now, who had them before?
- [In her own practice] Mark-making and drawing, scratching away surfaces to find what is below
- Using walking as a form of interaction to create conversation in order to find a common ground or language between makers
- [For her] Slow means looking at one, all or some of the following:  Quality, provenance, lasting value, valuing craft skills
- Possible key words, possible sequence:  Reveal, reflect, engage, participate, evolve.
- Using these words and ideas to interrogate oneself, asking what you are doing and why
- Tempo as an important consideration for oneself and ones work
- Networks and webs.  What do we think of unlikely connections in craft, Slow and thinking?

Then her 'questions'

- "We cannot afford cheap things" - What is cheap?  What if we cannot afford expensive things?
- How do we encounter things locally and globally?  Why do we go elsewhere to do it when everything can be perceived as so accessible online now.
- What is authentic?
- Is there really a sustainable luxury?
- Can we understand what it was to live in another time?  How do we understand it today?  False nostalgia? Fake memories? Imitation communities?

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