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Task 11 - People/Writing


Alan writes:

This task comes from two things.

Firstly, it struck me in our recent series of tasks and responses to do with time that we have been concerned with ourselves to the exclusion of other people and of the social ecologies in which we are immersed (perhaps a risk of a project such as this one). This was particularly striking to me in your response to Task 9, where the film you make shows a troupe of dancers performing in 2006, while the reenactment you make of the 2006 performance features just you and your choreographic part.

Secondly, we had a conversation recently in which you described how the linear aspect of conventional prose writing didn’t suit your way of thinking and expressing yourself. You described how you tend to interrupt yourself and rethink your point halfway through — something you said that you find frustrating in yourself, but that I don’t think is all that unusual!

With these two things in mind, here is your task:

  • Record yourself speaking about the individuals and groups of people who surround you in your personal, family, social and work life — whether in real or online space, and with reference to the past or present. Allow yourself simply to talk, to follow your thoughts. You decide the length of the discourse/recording.
  • Based on the recording, design a form to transcribe and represent your thoughts. You may wish to transcribe the material verbatim, or you may prefer to edit the recording, or you may prefer to use the recorded words only as a point of departure, but your challenge is better to represent the form and trajectories taken by your thoughts — better, that is, than standard linear prose. And of course, you are also being asked to represent your location and character as a node in a rhizome of relationships…

This task relates to Task 7, ‘Ordinal Thoughts’; but whereas that task was about ‘rethinking’, here I want to encourage you to allow your first thoughts to take the form they desire, without judgement or self-censorship. My assumption and ‘wager’ is that the uncongeniality you experience with linear prose is prose’s fault and problem, not your problem or that of the form of your thoughts…

See Marie's response here.