Alan

Alan writes: I recently had an exchange of mails with my mentor and friend Zyg Barański, who supervised my PhD. Zyg had been kind enough to notice our project and he wrote that he had ‘perused it with awe, respect, and perplexity’. Indeed, he expressed the wish that ‘something of...

Dear Marie, Funny that, with this task, you should identify a distinction or opposition that has been a theme in my reading and thinking about art since I was a teenager. I always thought I was on the side of ‘two’. I am probably misremembering when I say that the...

Dear Marie, Thanks a bunch of chocolate eggs for this task. Yes, I took Karen Barad’s famous book Meeting the Universe Halfway (2007) on holidays to the Danish island of Fur a couple of summers ago. It did certainly stir my sun-warmed mental molecules, though I had no way, as someone...

Alan writes: Given: I read somewhere about a technique used by the great dramatist Bertolt Brecht to make sense of perplexing contemporary events.  Confronted with the complexity of circumstances and the difficult of orientating himself in relation to them, Brecht decided to make collages of these events and circumstances in order...

1. Poor/Scholar You write: ‘You spent some of your youth poor in London: think about the contrast between the you then and the salaried academic who visits now.’ (I paraphrase.)     2. The Task To spend some days in London investigating the impact of my ‘working-class’ background. Why this...

Alan writes: You’re pregnant! We are comfortable announcing this only because of a specific technology and the expertise of the person who deploys it. We attended the local hospital a few days ago to have the twelve-week ultrasound scan to discern if everything was ‘normal’ with the pregnancy. Ultrasound refers...

Dear Marie, I’m glad you returned in this task to the question of how we each differently think about art. In this task, I was asked to: Consider what is ‘embodiment’ in your work and reflect on what it means to you as an academic to include your physicality/body into...

Alan writes: Continuing with the theme of negotiating our different attitudes to art and process, this week your task is to respond to a piece of work that I’m making separate to the project. I have already used this videoessay in progress as the basis for a previous task, but...

Dear Marie, Thank you for Task 24. Here’s the requested scrapbook of our family skiing holiday in Norway, overdue but still undercooked because I caught the same cold our daughter Lisa got on holiday. Enjoy! Alan   To be white is to be Nordic; to be Nordic is to be...

Alan writes: For this week’s task I hesitated between setting something fun or setting something that would obstruct your poetics. I’ve decided to let you make the choice…or perhaps you can find a way to combine them? (Surely impossible!) Choice 1 –  Making you stumble You dislike focussing on outcomes...