"A networked collaborative drawing performance installation for the multidisciplinary drawing exhibition Marks Make Meaning at the University of Brighton, Grand Parade Gallery, 12th to 29th March 2018.
The aim of this project is to explore the symbiotic relation between artist and viewer, exposing the myth that creativity and meaning is a one-way process. In (tele)consequences the creation of meaning is experienced by sender and receiver through an open framework as a process of cause and effect, or as Roland Barthes puts it as the birth of the reader ransomed by the death of the Author. Reflecting on the surrealist explorations of consequence and chance the project echoes the words of Andre Breton who spoke of these collaborative practices as “the most fabulous source of unfindable images…” and asks how would their games unfold in our present technological networked society.
(tele)consequences was a collaborative global drawing performance that could be joined from any location in the world by simply using a networked computer or smartphone and Skype app. This telematic drawing performance for the Marks Make Meaning exhibition involved a large wall mounted scroll of paper, two metres wide by one and a half metres high, upon which we projected the live incoming Skype video call of a real-time drawing. The gallery guests, students and staff in Brighton then drew on the paper screen, adding their marks and contributions upon the projected drawing, using a range of materials from pencils, charcoal and paints to collage, objects and human figures. The camera in the exhibition sent a live combined image of the drawing on the projected drawing back to the remote participant via Skype. Each performance lasted up to 20 minutes and was initiated by a unique theme or title. After each collaborative drawing we rolled out a new paper screen and invited another global partner for our next performance. A video recording of the most recent performances was then projected on the paper screen in the gallery between the scheduled events.
(tele)consequences involved a range of international participants from India, Hong Kong, Ireland and the UK for the four different performance events. These were all unique visual conversations, which were acted on and reflected on according to the participants taking part. But as the visual encounter develops, empathy and etiquette emerge. The visual dialogue relies on open-ended reflections, pauses and interruptions, just as in any conversation whose outcomes become reliant on questions and answers, observations and interpretations through pictographic provocations to abstract utterances."
Text by Paul Sermon
Concept by Paul Sermon, produced in collaboration with Jeremy Radvan.