"Following Amie: the artist at work" is part of a larger creative arts project investigating artist-run initiatives in Australia with a particular focus on understanding the experience of artists involved with ARIs. The work is a collaboration between ARI artist Amie Anderson and Maria Miranda, making a video following Amie at work. It plays at the precarious edge between work as practice and work as economic survival – following the work the artist/s do to make the work, and the work the artists do making the work.
In 1980 Sophie Calle followed a man she did not know around the streets of Venice. She had met him briefly at an art opening one evening in Paris, where he told her he was planning a trip to Venice the next day. She immediately decided to follow him. The work titled Suite Vénitienne has since been published as a small artist’s book where Calle tells the story of her “adventures” following Henri B. around Venice, in the style of a diary or a detective’s report.
In an update of sorts "Following Amie" shares the curiosity and desire to understand through “following,” yet shares none of the subterfuge or secrecy of Suite Vénitienne. On the contrary, the work was conceived one day over coffee as artists Amie and Maria discussed Amie’s experience of working in an artist-run initiative. “Following” is a highly collaborative project conceived between the ‘follower’ and the ‘followed’. ‘Following’ in this project is closer to Tim Ingold’s notion of wayfaring, where knowledge is understood as embodied experience and a movement in the world, a “trail-following”.
Following Amie tests the idea of embodied knowledge where Maria literally follows Amie with an iPhone 6 on a Selfie Stick over the course of several days, as Amie goes about her life working as an artist, co-director of The Food Court ARI, and two different part-time jobs. Following the nitty-gritty of one artist’s life makes tangible the precarity that shapes the artist’s work today. In the process of literally “following Amie” new questions opened up about artists and work, different questions from those posed by Sophie Calle in a previous era. Today—when the very nature of the artist’s work is a contested zone as social and relational modes of working jostle against more traditional modes usually associated with studio practice—it is work that looms large.
For further info about the research see Maria’s research blog: the-ari-experience.com
Image: Maria Miranda and Amie Anderson, Video still, 'Following Amie: The Artist at Work', Single Channel Video shot on an iPhone 6, using a Selfie Stick, 47 mins, 27 secs, 2015.
This project was funded, partially, by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council.
The project received funding assistance from The University of Melbourne, VCA.