I have been quiet, if not silent, in disclosing the process I have been going through during the Digital Media Lab experience. Not for any reasons of secrecy but purely because I haven’t found the time. I made a couple of posts when the moment presented itself to me, but much of the time, I found and felt that I’d rather be in conversation with a person, to clarify and unravel some of what might be going on in my thoughts; I often find the moment I discover what it is I’m doing is when I hear myself saying it to someone else without having ever thought it until that moment.
So, have I come to discover, at the end and after the event, what it is I’ve been doing?
Yesterday was our final wrap-it-up day; the afternoon spent in a venue other than our collective adopted studio house, giving presentations to share what happened to each of us during the Lab. The morning, as one might expect, passed all to quickly with a flurry of activity and action sweeping through the house. While our hosts picked up what seemed like every piece of kit standing ready to relocate to the presentation venue, the artists tweaked and polished and Powerpointed (‘Keynote’ doesn’t give the same alliterative satisfaction).
I spent the short morning making jam.
I referred to the process as making jam, but in actuality I was making jelly and fruit cheese, two products that can be arrived at by splitting the jam-making material into liquids and solids before boiling with sugar to achieve a set.
Although interesting on a practical level, and pleasant on a something-to-eat level, the small jars of deep pink jelly and buttery coloured ‘paste’ that constituted my presentation may have left some amongst us wondering.
I had made brief reference, during our initial introductory presentations, to an ongoing interest and investigation into food production and global market forces. So those present may have made the connection and been able to follow the thread backwards. But I myself wasn’t able to articulate, at that point and within the short window of our sharing, how making ‘jam’ at Digital Media Lab 2015 marked an important personal development in my artistic practice.