Revisiting WORKSITE: Noah Travis Phillips

Continuing my rereading of the original WORKSITE content with a review of Noah Travis Phillips‘ contribution. Noah answered the WORKSITE Q&A using images, though did also share a new text work / essay, which is what I will focus on here.

  • Noah’s text Commute Commentary describes the the route that connects his “two sites of work” which are his “home (basement studio” and “lab and classroom (campus)”. Noah both teaches and runs “a digital fabrication studio at an art school”.
  • Noah separates his “home” work and his “campus” work yet presumably there is quite a lot of overlap between the two – both being concerned with “digital fabrication” and “art” or art themes in general. The former work is done for himself while the latter is done for an employer, and this would affect the kind of outcomes that might arise from the work.
  • Noah describes his commute between the two worksites as using multiple modes of transport as well as being “very physical” and likens it to “[drawing a] line (between the islands of [his] existence)”. Comparing his two worksites as “islands” in this way suggests that there is in fact a gulf separating these two sites – perhaps one that is bridged by the commute itself or the work requited to “draw [a] line” between them.
  • Noah writes that he loves to “watch the drama of the weather – and the seasons – unfold over the landscape” and that he likes to be “in (rhythm with) the weather and the world”. He adds that he likes “being a passenger” as “you can just look (and/or read) and observe”, and concludes that he “[experiences] being a passenger much like a collage” or “montage”, and that his experience of being a passenger “has strongly shaped and influenced [his] personal aesthetics”.
  • Noah’s concluding statement above is particularly interesting as his work manifests most often as digital collage. Could it be that the commute between his two separate worksites is in fact a site of informal work in itself? Perhaps the work done here is one of (informal, even unconscious) research – a collaboration with the environment through which he travels, or a silent exchange of information from one to the other.

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