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