Praxis-Forum is a year-long programme of monthly peer mentoring forums hosted by The Showroom, London. The first session took place on Monday 11 June 2018 from 6:30 to 9:00pm.
The project is lead by Jackie and the forum members are: Marie; Alison; Dionysia; Adam; Jessie; Chloe; Sarah; Andrew; Joe; Bijan; Caroline.
I am a member of the forum and a full-time stay-at-home-dad to two young daughters, aged two and four. I have lived in London since arriving to study in 2006 and my current practice encompasses drawing, installation, video, sculpture and performance. Performance is the most predominant of these five areas but they are all part of the same work with the same methodological impulse. The source of this impulse is a 2007 work called Wine Games.
Wine Games used an algorithm to generate interaction in the form of discrete activity within the framework of Allan Kaprow’s notion of the Happening. This work applied this framework to new media theory, using Wine Gums as a metaphor for new media objects, with a particular emphasis on video games as a model for the algorithm. A single packet of Wine Gums contains 12 individual sweets. This work used 25 packets and 300 wine gums in total, representing the following algorithm:
Regulation > colour sequence > changing situation > assemblage
The resulting sculpture was dictated by the random arrangement of colours that exist within each packet of Wine Gums.
C H A N C E
Chance, the title of my devised contribution to the inaugural Praxis-Forum session, was a playful game using a biased dice (the Wine Dice) to stimulate discussion. The bias comes from the data that came out of Wine Games over a decade prior. The faces of the dice were as such:
Red – Green – Orange – Red – Yellow – Black
Running clockwise around the table, each artist took turns rolling the Wine Dice twice. Firstly, to determine the x-axis and secondly to determine the y-axis, landing us on the subject under discussion from a grid of predetermined topics. These topics were established in order to provide a framework for interrogating these four questions:
1. Do any of the forum use chance within their practice?
2. What does chance do to the meaning of an artwork?
3. What advantages/good luck have the group had regarding their art career?
4. What disadvantages/bad luck have you had to overcome?
F O R U M
We were sat around the table like this:
Dionysia Alison Marie Jackie
Andrew Joe Bijan Caroline
This activity was a chance, pun intended, for the forum members to share their experiences and knowledge with the group. I couldn’t help but notice that the number of the group was precisely that of a complete packet of 12 Wine Gums! I have subsequently assigned a colour to each forum member based on, well, I’ll leave that open to interpretation. I look at a packet of Wine Gums in the same manner as Marcel Duchamp saw a tube of paint as a readymade. We now have a readymade group of artists with similar potential for development as a generative tool.