‘This Is Not A White Cube‘ set out to go against the conventions of an exhibition and explore the ways in which we could ‘exhibit’ our work. Our concept of a viral approach enabled each of us to explore various ways in which we could disseminate each of our works – some exploring new territories. Another key element for us was to get the public/audience involved with our work, instead of just being a bystander to our work. This could be in means of leaving comments on our work or sending us photographs with them interacting with the work.
The process of deciding our exhibition theme seemed some what of an impulse decision. However, from discussing the concept collectively the majority of us agreed that taking the unconventional approach would be far more interesting and fun to organise and achieve.
Having our weekly meetings, assigning a ‘chair’ and someone to ‘minute’ worked really well. It allowed a chance for everyone to get involved in the whole process and resulted in our group working well together to make decisions and take the project forward. The meetings also allowed us to decide on using ‘peripatetic’ as a theme. I think we needed this theme to help bring our work together at the end as a collective because each of us were working individually on our own dissemination tactics.
Taking the formal approach to organising the exhibition in my opinion helped us concentrate harder on the final goal of the exhibition and gear us up for our exhibition in the third year of the course. All experience is good experience.
The decision to have a ‘hub’ for our exhibition worked really well in my eyes. We were able to show each other our developments and get advice if needed. The Facebook site generated the informal communication ‘hub’ between ourselves that we all needed, whilst the WordPress enabled a more formal and professional appearance to those people who decided to look at what we were up to.
My own personal contributions to the process were met by me producing a book, which would then be shown to the public both in a physical and digital form. I had made a previous book before for another project and really enjoyed the process of creating the book itself and witnessing the finished article. I really like it as a form to present work and show people what you have done. I decided to use ‘Blurb’ again as the platform to make my book because the software is easy to use, the finished book looks good and the website also allows people to view the book and leave comments if they wish to, which was an element to the project that we all wanted. I did get a comment back on my book, however, it wasn’t for the book I made for this particular project. On the other hand though, it does prove that my online presents is there and people do leave comments.
For our first ever group project I believe that we all worked well together, however, there were a few things that could have gone smoother. Our decision to embark on an unconventional exhibition did cause us a few problems at times. For example:
- Because our ‘exhibition’ was the dissemination of our images/work, the need for an opening night and traditional exhibition time wasn’t needed. However, we did need some kind of ‘event’ for us to ‘review’ our work – even if it was just to each other. The battle was knowing what ‘event’ we wanted/needed. We came up with the ‘peripatetic’ walk and was only agreed about 2 weeks before the ‘event’ had to take place. This in my opinion caused unnecessary stress for us all.
As a whole I think the process went really well. We worked well together and created a unique approach to ‘exhibit’ our work. If I were to make any improvements I would maybe like to do the following:
- As well as disseminating our own material, maybe we should help each other with their’s too. Generating fresh eyes to each others process/work and possibly getting a greater dissemination area for people to see it. We all each know different people etc so the work could get projected further.
By doing this it may help the psychological block that some people may have had in terms of getting their material ‘out there’. Because people had paid to get business cards etc made, that purchase to say ‘it’s yours’ may have led to not wanting to give them out, resulting in limited participation and acknowledgement from the audience/ public.
- We had a slight disjoint in our meeting timetable due to half term, Easter and bank holidays. I know this couldn’t be helped, however, it contributed to our loss in motivation for the project, in my opinion. Not seeing each other for about 4 weeks lead us to not be able to move forward with the exhibition preparations and lose momentum a little. Although we had the Facebook and WordPress to speak through, it isn’t the same as a face-to-face meeting.
The ‘peripatetic’ walk.
Although the walk was only really organised towards the last few weeks of the project, I think it went quite well. We mapped out a route that suited the needs of all the group and got us out and about away from the conventions of a typical exhibition event. The concept matched well with our ‘peripatetic’ theme and helped tie all of our work together at the end.
However, because we knew that we each had to ‘present’ our work along the journey the pace of the walk may not have been as natural as doing the same walk without the pressure of the ‘event’. I enjoyed the walk but a part of me couldn’t help but think it reminded me a a school trip, walking in pairs making sure we didn’t get lost.
A part of me thinks that maybe we should have made more of an effort to make it an ‘event’ where the public were aware of what we were doing. However, I’m not one to draw attention to myself, so on that level I wouldn’t have liked it. But in terms of our concept, maybe getting the public more involved is what we should have done.
All in all though, I think it went really well and the group should feel a sense of achievement.