Monday, 5 January 2009

Moves Towards Utopia

Back into work and full of new plans. The big project this semester is the Chiswick House show, which will hopefully involve many of Hounslow's schools and culminate in a big spectacle event in May. At this early point everything seems possible, which is both exciting and slightly unsettling.

Molly has posted a really inspiring youtube lecture by the author Dave Eggers in which he gives a hugely enthusiastic account of creative learning centres in the States.

It'd be wonderful to be able to create an imaginative centre which allowed all kinds community centred activity and was linked to the University. I wonder whether we need something architecturally specific? Maybe a possible development for the department to begin to see itself as a venue for all kinds of activity, with students celebrating their role as facilitators and administrators as much as performers and directors. Already I've been convinced that the most exciting and meaningful learning experiences happen when we get off campus and relate our work to a non partisan audience or situation, the inverse where we host and support the work of the community on campus might also be fruitful and celebratory. Grassroots up rather than guru led.

I think the art of facilitating others ideas feeds back into your own aesthetic practice be it as a writer, designer or performer (directors and technicians are already essentially facilitators.) It's essentially empathic and it gives artists both a measure to creative ideas and helps them to find a clarity to your storytelling techniques.

The Chiswick house project could be a starting point for exploring a kind of facility to encourage children (and adults) to pursue their creativity and design into tangible results, be it a script that professional actors perform, a story or poem honoured through publication, a composition played by an orchestra, a wall painting taken to fruition, a menu cooked by a chef or garden made real by a horticulturalist. In the recent past we've tended to encourage children into expressive roles - asking them to 'perform' work prepared and directed by adults, but perhaps a future for creativity might be found in reversing this process from time to time.

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