Draft Questions for “Enabling Constraints” Publication

For the last few days I have been working on the content for the “Enabling Constraints” publication / workbook which will be my main research outcome for this project. I began by writing a series of statements not unlike those found in Sol LeWitt’s Sentences on Conceptual Art or Lawrence Weiner’s Statements, however I have since changed my approach slightly to focus on a series of structured questions which encourage the reader to change their mindset about the potential benefits of enabling constraints. This is partly in response to recent feedback, though I also think this approach works well as it seems to be a natural progression from the Q&A questions I used for the WORKSITE blog. For the WORKSITE Q&A I focused on finding out details on participants’ everyday working habits and the environments in which they worked; while in the case of the WORKBOOK, I have tried to prompt the reader to think specifically about the constraints that they face, and how they might actually be a significant – even necessary – part of their practice.

The following list of question is still a work in progress, and I am likely to add, remove or edit the questions as I start working on the layout of the book itself, which I will be doing today.

Structured Questions

  1. How would you describe your artistic practice?
  2. Within your artistic practice, what is it that you mostly do?
  3. What factors limit or constrain what it is that is possible for you to do?
  4. Which of these constraints are subject to change?
  5. Which of these constraints are permanent?
  6. Which of these constraints are imposed by you?
  7. Which of these constraints are imposed upon you?
  8. Which of these constraints prevent you from achieving what it is that you want to achieve?
  9. In what ways do these constraints determine what it is that is possible for you to do?
  10. In what ways might constraints become beneficial or desirable?
  11. What further constraints could be applied to your practice?
  12. Which constraints could be removed from your practice?
  13. What is the difference between freedom and constraint?
  14. What difficulties might arise within an environment of total freedom?
  15. What opportunities might arise within an environment of total constraint?
  16. Is there any situation or environment that is completely free from constraint?
  17. Is there any situation or environment that is completely free from choice?
  18. In what ways do constraints determine the outcomes of your artistic practice?
  19. In what ways do constraints define your artistic practice?
  20. Is it possible that the constraints imposed upon your practice, and your practice itself, are one and the same?
  21. Can you reframe your practice as an embodiment of – rather than an adaptation or reaction to – a particular set of constraints?
  22. Can you then adapt your practice by means of adapting (rather than adapting to) a particular set of constraints?

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