Finding a Process

“Art resides in the quality of doing; process is not magic.” – Charles Eames

In the lead up towards the Shortfuse Residency at Metro Arts for Saltwater, I have decided to invest in my own time – full-time – towards a generative and writing process.

I’ve often wondered – musicians have instruments to practice with, focusing on both technique as well as play; dancers and acrobats have their bodies to maintain and moves to learn and get better at; what about me?

What is my instrument? How do I inculcate this discipline of performance making? What stage of this making am I at? What do I need to create at this point? What needs to be exercised in order to move forward?

Also, I talk about the importance of process a lot. But, what is my process? Now that I am working towards an extended length of work, and have more time. What exactly is this slow burn? How do I go about seeding and developing a concept and idea?

How would a full-time artist work?

I must admit – it’s been less than a week since I’ve started. And I haven’t yet touched on the score of Saltwater at all. But I have started – and it does feel good. My brains are elastic and ready, and open – between the exercises and throughout the chores in the rest of the day, I’m ticking over ideas and thoughts freely. I am at a generative stage, and it’s about the possibilities at the moment.

My current exercises:

20 minutes stream-of-consicousness writing

30 minutes stretching

40 minutes reading (spending 10-20 minutes on a few pages of each book; a mix of fiction and non-fiction, including at the moment, an Australian novel translated in Chinese, and the Bible. But the books have been: J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey, Italo Calvinho’s Difficult Loves, Jorge Luis Borges’ On Writing, Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse, Verena Tay’s Balik Kampung, and Gail Jones’ Sorry, and the Book of Proverbs.)

[at the end of the day] 3 minutes video recording of a stream of consciousness monologue, typically reflecting on my day.

I’m going to keep going until the end of April, then reassessing some of the exercises. Or more like adding on a second chunk – of writing, and structuring.

I’ll keep you posted.


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