Revisiting WORKSITE: Joel Davidson

As part of my research into the parameters of work and site, I have been reviewing the Q&A’s I conducted with several practicing artists as part of last semester’s WORKSITE project. In some ways this seems like it would have been an obvious starting point for my current project, however I wanted to wait and revisit these interviews after I had done some initial research, in the hope that I could gain some fresh insights and/or interpretations of each text.

My notes on the first Q&A appear below.

Joel Davidson

  • Joel defines a “site” as “a place to build” – and lists examples of sites as “Living room. Kitchen. Bathroom. Phone”. The “site” of work is thus any place in which work might be produced – not specific to any conventional definition of “the studio” or “workshop”.
  • Joel provides a list of tools and resources he uses in his work. Along with the expected tools one might expect to find in an art studio – such as clay, paint and “a small desk”, Joel also identifies “coffee”, “YouTube” and “music” as necessary for his process. Just as the definition of “site” has been complicated above, here the parameters of “tools” for art making have been extended to include research materials, entertainment and even basic sustenance.
  • Joel alludes to the potential complications of working within a domestic space when he mentions having to take his sculptures outside to be varnished, as he shares the space with both his partner and their pets. Could these kinds of negotiations between artist and non-artist (even non-human) be reinterpreted as a necessary or even desirable aspect of the artist’s work? To what extent can these obstacles be approached as “enabling constraints”?
  • Could there be value in highlighting the specific “enabling constraints” generated by specific working conditions – and somehow incorporating these constraints as a more visible and/or implicit part of the work itself? Could the work function as a document of its own making – as well as a blueprint for further work?

One thought on “Revisiting WORKSITE: Joel Davidson”

  1. This might benefit from being diagramed? You could create diagrams for each artist you interiewed, then create a map of your argument. Use all of the diagrams in the folio and in your reflective analysis (writing).

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