5:15pm: I feel a bit awkward because this is the first day I’ve been here all day and used most of the time to do not-residency things. But I’m putting in good hours to the residency work, and part of this residency is about having the space here. And as I think I already said, it’s such an absolute treat (and a new experience) to have a studio space separate from my living space. So I’m making the most of it, and today I wrote an arts job application in the space. It’s also been raining all day so it’s a little hard to go and map the veg with pencil and paper.
I also had a visit from an old friend, Renate, who mainly lives overseas and is in Melbourne just for 2 days. I’m chuffed and flattered she took the time to come down and catch up and see what I’m up to.
I showed her my project and pitched some of the problems to her. She honed in on the practicality of mapping the whole site’s vegetation in the detail I’m idealising doing it in.
First she suggested I use a colour code for musicians to read the map, which I really like but it still doesn’t work with ~70 colours if I’m going with the species classification! So she asked, “what about some classification other than species?”.
Here are some options we brain-stormed:
Structural layer/Growth habit – tree, bush, ground cover, vine, etc.
Botanical family (the 3rd smallest basic cladistic/phylogenetic plant classification division) – species = smallest; genus = 2nd smallest
Region origin – European, Australian, or whatnot.
Human purposefulness – like was it planted on purpose? Is it a weed?
How about Edibility?
Also, I’ve been thinking that this birds-eye-map view also erases the concept of height of the plants, and that could be another approach or classification division, but would need to be mapped differently.
Maybe going with movements like Nat suggested yesterday, or separate pieces even, might be good. There are 2 discrete circular garden beds (photo of one to the left), and they would be quite neat/interesting to play as their own pieces. Also it means the performers and audience could move to each actual garden section and that would be another level of specificity in the site-specific-ness.
Also – revelation – I don’t have to do the same thing for the whole site. It takes me so long to get to this kind of thing … I’m so driven by scientific processes like repeatability and conformity of methodology – it’s such a big no-no to use a range of methods on a single study … so it takes me way longer than artists without a scientific background who are exploring science/art mashups to (re-)realise I DON’T HAVE TO CONFORM TO THOSE PROCESSES HERE AND MY WORK WILL STILL BE VALID!
To be honest, I think the re-realising of this is always going to be a part of my process when arting science or whatever it is I’m doing.
That’s all for today. I won’t be in at all tomorrow, but I’ll be back on Sunday for an afternoon-ish session onsite and here every day next week.