Field – City groupwork – Day 1

Our field project is based on the theme of “The City”, which I am using to primarily look at Cardiff. We have an individual project and a collaborative project where we are put with other students studying different courses in the school of art and design.

Within the theme of “The City”, we had 3 sub themes which were “Migration”, “Power and Technology” and “Hidden City”, and I chose “Power and Technology” and was put into a group of around 40 other people who also chose it. We all got into pairs with a person who we hadn’t met before in the group, and talk about our ideas so far as well as our “passion in life, that isn’t art”. I think everybody struggled with that (me included) as I think art is a subject that can be recreational and enjoyable in itself. Interestingly the most common thing people said was related to music, which is a form of expression too and links into my constellation option where I’m looking at “Sonic Arts”. We then reformed as a group, and had to introduce the person we were speaking with and the tutors asked us for a little more information about our ideas where needed.

From the ideas that everyone gave, the tutors picked out some sub categories of several themes that seemed to keep coming up, and we had to choose 2 of these sub categories and would be put into the one that had the best balance of people. I ended up in a group who had chosen the sub category “Human interaction”, with Ethan Dodd – Fine art, Rhys Scorey – Fine Art, Sam Wall – Illustration and Ruby Helyer – Graphic Communications (click on their names to look at their blogs).

We began by listing what skills we bring to the table, and as a Maker I had the largest list of technical skills workshop wise. The other members of the group struggled when it came to their skills, as they felt they were very niche (e.g painting/drawing in a set style) and we aren’t sure how or if we will use everybody’s skills in a final outcome. I do have a slight concern that as a Maker it will fall solely on me to construct our outcome, although I enjoy making things so that isn’t a huge problem, and I’m sure my group will contribute wherever possible. We struggled at first to find some common ground between our ideas, especially because some of the people in my group had quite definite ideas of what they wanted to do, and others were very unsure about where they were going with the project so far. I don’t have any definite ideas as of yet, but have a lot of general concepts that I want to look at and I think this was a good starting point for our group and everyone seemed to respond well to my ideas on interactions between humans and object to create an emotional response. A theme that kept coming up in our discussion was a sense of isolation within the city, which I personally think is a bit of a reductive attitude to have about the city as it can also be home to a wealth of human experience, but I set aside my concerns seeing as it was one of the few things the group agreed on and it was still an interesting topic to explore. I think it was a good decision not to try and force my ideas from my personal project onto the group, as it’s currently almost an antithesis to my ideas on bringing people together with positive experiences. I suppose this is the nature of a collaborative project, forcing you to loosen your control over ideas which then lets them develop in ways you wouldn’t expect or thought to have investigated.

“Religion” was also suggested by a member of the group as an area of exploration, which made me realise my project ideas were probably routed from a very spiritual base. I use the word spiritual rather than religious as I am an atheist, but I think the intimacy and connection that can be shared between people, animals, and the world itself is a very powerful thing and that “spiritual” is an apt word for this even without the element of a god.

We left the day feeling a little bit baffled, and that we all needed to do more research into what interests us and how we can use that to contribute to the group.

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