Notes on “Revisiting WORKSITE”

Following my rereading and analysis of the first three WORKSITE Q&A texts, a number of potential research outcomes have occurred to me, which I will attempt to explore further below.

One of the main themes I have noticed in my rereading of the Q&A responses is that of the influence of constraints on the relationship between work and site. An appropriate research outcome might be to produce some kind of guide or workbook on the theme of leveraging the constraints of work/site, effectively reframing them as “enabling constraints” which could actually help to facilitate (the reader’s) art practice. The content of such a workbook could be in the form of rules or guidelines, or a questionnaire / “self-diagnosis” worksheet, which the reader could use to identify the constraints of their practice and (instead of trying to “overcome” them) reframe them as “enabling” or even “essential” to their practice. This outcome could be published either online or in physical form, or even some combination of the two.

Another thing that occurred to me as I was making notes on the Q&A’s was that by revisiting and responding to these texts I was in effect entering into a “dialogue” with the writer. It seems that this dialogue – which has included questions posed, contributor responses, and now my analysis – could be extended and elaborated upon further, ideally with the cooperation / collaboration of the original contributors. One way of realizing this dialogue as an “outcome” – one that appropriately extends the parameters of the original WORKSITE project – would be to share my written analyses of each Q&A with the contributor in question, and asking for their own response to that analysis. This is a process that could be continued indefinitely, and which could generate a number of further outcomes or projects.

To elaborate on this idea of a “dialogue” as outcome, one approach would be to expand my analyses into short, accessible essays which link the content of each Q&A to broader art historical/theory themes and specific art references. Participants could then be invited to respond to, edit or otherwise adapt the text, which could then be shared to the WORKSITE blog. I might then add my own further questions or responses, and so on. In this way the dialogue is blurred into a more collaborative working method, toward outcomes which will be specific to each individual contributor. There is also scope for “mixing” contributors – having contributor A respond to contributor B’s work, for example – with myself acting only as a facilitator / curator of any content produced.

There is perhaps also some scope for combining these two main ideas in some way to produce a workbook/questionnaire that explores the notion of “enabling constraints” in collaboration with the artists already featured on the WORKSITE blog. I am also still interested in the idea of executing “studio visits” in person (where possible) to document and examine the work sites already featured on the blog – and this too could somehow be used as part of a collaborative approach.

My next steps will be to continue revisiting and making notes on the original WORKSITE Q&A’s, while continuing my reading (particularly on the topic of “enabling constraints”), and developing my ideas for further outcomes – in response to these influences.

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