"ARTISTIC GESTURE, COMPLETE WITH ITS CONFUSIONS, IS A CONCRETISATION OF MIND."
As a is a concretisation of Mind
artistic gesture, offers fixed points for embodied meditation, and shared co-ordinates by which
we can collectively navigated the shifting topology of near reality.
It is a fluid and collaborative form, authorship therefor is question of accountability not possession.
Fi James’ work, marries theoretical investigation with experimental body-based strategies. Committed to raising consciousness around trauma and its impact on social configuration, she is a fully qualified practitioner in Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE), Internal Family Systems, Brainspotting and Quantum Energy Coaching. These modalities use the capacities of flesh to reconfigure our energetic relations to trauma and as therapeutic hacks, bring neuroplasticity to the forefront of political agency, suggesting how it can be considered through a lens of social choreography. As well as running workshops with various publics and working with individuals, her research looks to increase accessibility to these practices and to apply their principals to forms of self-organisation.
As an artist she has presented at; CCA & Flat Time House, London; FACT, Liverpool; Residency Unlimited, New York; JVE, Maastricht; Kunstraum, London; Anxiety Arts Festival, London; ICA, London; Berlin, Temporary-Kunsthalle. Alongside this she is co-founder of Bidston Observatory Artistic Research Centre, a interdisciplinary forum where those interested in positive social change can come together to share idea’s, experiment and mutually support each other while dictating their own methods of work. www.bidstonobservatory.org
2011 - ongoing
a ten year commitment
Through their long-term collaboration, Fiona James and Jess Wiesner consider collective anxiety a mobiliser of alternative realities with outcomes inc.: ‘You are the technicality’ Flat Time House, London, ‘Vagueness' Sparta Dusseldorf
‘Gesture is a Spectrum’ Weils, Brussels,
‘The Distractible Reading Room’ Kunstraum, London; ‘Co-roboration’, South London Gallery, London; ‘The Incident’, Whitstable Biennale; and, ‘Kino’, Queen Mary University.
They also collectively teach workshops and research LAB’s with in educational settings inc.: Goldsmiths Phd, Royal College, MA, Dusseldorf MA, Jan Van Eyke, Maastricht, PZI MA, Rotterdam and Bidston Observatory where they are co-founding directors.
Jess Wiesner is an artist and researcher whose collaborative projects and solo work have been exhibited at Hessel Museum of Art, New York; Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge; Tate Modern, London; KW, Berlin; Montague Space, London; CIC, Cairo; Chisenhale Gallery, London. With a practice that looks to alternative forms of agency, she is currently undertaking research into ill-fitting actions through an AHRC funded PhD (Northumbria/Sunderland Universities).
Bellow are a few examples of our projects together
THE DISTRACTABLE READING ROOM - a co-study workgroup for baby’s and new mothers.
with Jess Wiesner, as part of Fi’s research residency Kunstraum, London 2017.
Pleasure is a big deal to and us we find pleasure in the plasticity of our understanding.
INITIAL INVITE TO A GROUP OF RECENT MOTHERS:
"So, as I’m sure you’re well aware, in the past its been suggested by some (mentioning no names), that the presence of little people with less time based experience, in spaces of study might make things…. slower or somewhat stuttered, and that as a general condition their inclusion there wasn’t useful. Too distracting apparently. As though there was something un-constructive in moments of double occupation, and as if reproductive labour was the rare instance in which reworking ‘struggle’ had no implication on wider thought. We’re sure however, brains are better, and craft their capabilities from contradiction. We intend to prove it through practice, while questioning the presentation of time as resource that seems so fixed in terms of flow. After all slowerness is not a problem if it lets you sit with your experience and while interruption can’t be denied we’d suggests it can be channelled. I mean if this ‘problem' really is the case why not make it our case study?"
Many findings came out of this study group. Looking back the most significant seemed to be how projections of anxiety in the brain of the new mothers in attendance shifted attentional focus from time to space. As time is a concept we are experience differently we wonder what new commons might be built if this this opening of plasiticity was incorporated more directly in the conceptualisation of thought.
This is this is Necessary Work speaking
I am a proposition, a commitment and a future framework;
Lets think together through situation
Lets trust our attentions to find their focus
Lets point this focus further,
or Lets collect, cohabit and cohere.
I have a space, a time and agenda;
Kunstraum: 21 Roscoe Street, London, EC1Y 8PT 1-5pm, 8-9th August 2016.
Two afternoons of thinking, featuring texts, tasks and training, that looks to mingle the different approaches to building knowledge adopted by those with interests in ‘the cultural’ and those lacking language, who owing to being new to life, are still figuring out the use of theirs.
This will be done through the co-occupation of a work space by both parties and by considering the material properties of attention as it plays out in time together.
Concepts and text excerpts will be draw from a range of sources including, fiction, feminist theory, neuroscience, philosophy and therapy discourse. As well as carrying out some experimental tasks we would like to produce items that could be considered ‘art works’ and think about how knowledge from private space can be directed towards social gestures and disturbing common notions surrounding reproductive labour.
Wiesner and James
‘My body critiques me daily – sluggish from drinking or tense from slack stress management, I try its complaints on for size and walk around in how they sculpt me. Perhaps, the question is how do these outfits hack the hold of habit?’
This day long workshop is concerned with conveyance. Following the hysteric and their wisdom that even the self is a blind-spot, these flows of understanding, communication and coherence exist not in binaries of say voluntary and involuntary actions but across a spectrum of corporeal operations. After all we are creatures of gesture, motioning out into environment consciously and otherwise. This work-day will be a space to collectively embrace and exploit this abundance, not to work towards correction but to suggest coherence is a shifting state from which adaption sculpts and becomes sculpt-able.
YOU ARE THAT TECHNICALITY
Flat Time House
Part of PS/Y Hysteria
Curated by Mette Kjærgaard Præst
GESTURE IS A SPECTRUM
Part of Female Genius Night Club
& We not I - curated by Melissa Gordon
‘Fascia is the material anatomist cut through while aiming for organs that they thought were more worth while. It is also the largest organ in the body with a pivotal role in steering our neural networks plasticity, sensing and sending more information to the brain than any other and directly translating its will, conscious and other wise, in to movement and posture, action and gesture. It holds the memory of your history and your ability to adapt, be, and write from it. A series of tensile bands and our connective networks tissue, it harnesses our liquidity adapting and responding to electromagnet charge. Fascia’s elasticity is the reason our skin moves back into place after stretching, our bones aren’t just limp objects and our muscles can slide along them’.
If fascia is the responsive being inherent in our fiber what else has been over looked and wrongly miss-narrated?'
The structure is not a metaphor
CIRCLUDING AND OTHER FLUID EXCHANGES
A three month critical intervention into Jan Van Eyck’s post graduate study programme involving course participants.
Wall text from exhibition accompanying the programme:
The Van Eyck will be host to a series of events and body-based evening workshops that squeeze the perverse in the institution. We are looking at perversity from a feminist perspective: as a counter-normative relation and as a way of willing contrarily. To do this, three speculative propositions will be on offer to participants of the Van Eyck as well as a general audience: leakiness, loitering and endebtedness. Each of these connect a workshop to a specific therapeutic/embodied stimulation. The aim is to activate the body as a tool for addressing it’s agency collectively, hoping to access a shared physical experience that shifts the path of thought. The cafe/gallery will be used not as an exhibition space, but as a communal thinking space and research archive, displaying a collection of resources that come from the workshops and discussions following them. Strumming the body to pick the brain.
Ward and James
We pay gratitude to Bini Adamczak for coining such a productive term that stimulated the activities of this project: http://www.maskmagazine.com/the-mommy-issue/sex/circlusion
Leakiness: Butoh workshop -
Laura Oriol 18. Oct,
Butoh is a visceral Japanese from of dance theatre which looks at how the body exists in response to external and internal forces acting beyond cognition. Resisting easy definition, the practice often puts the body through extreme forms of sensation to find expression (temporal slowness, or muscular strain) with the intention of dissolving the notion of the individuated subject as the centre of creative gesture.
Asked to propose a performance to the Jan Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, we instead subverted the allocated resources, inserting a de-professionalised space for collective critique, to perverted the expectancy of institutional learning. This took the form of a series of events and workshops, that acted as prompts for discussion while centring the concerns and need of its current participants by being developed in open dialogue. As the Van Eyck offers a one year residency, participants move in & out at a set date this turnover causes something of a break in institutional memory, which, coupled with a professional atmosphere, increases a sense of competition, stinting a feeling of community.
Proposing different models of interaction, we sought to break down the normal divisions between gallery/cafe (high/low culture) & exhibition/research (evidence/activity) present in the Van Eyck’s particular set up. As it didn’t make sense to us to perform to the hierarchy of “expert teacher”, firstly we went against the structure of studio visits, where researchers write names on a list for visiting curators and artists, creating a sense of demand. Rather than asking artists, designers or writers to perform showing us their work in their studio, we instead directed informal yet concise conversation around three speculative concepts to discover what the area of overlap between participants’ focus and our was. We designed and built a set of display stands based on the intestinal tract and gathered a small library of feminist, psychoanalysis & therapy-related texts. That over the period moved around the cafe/gallery space and into & out of studio & lunchtime conversations. In order for the body based workshops to provide the kind of sensitive atmosphere that can produce real change (individually and infra-structurally), no evidential documentation was taken during them. Instead the resource space (galley) was handed over and adaptable so it could resonate with the concepts of the workshops, and the visual or conceptual feedback of the participants as and when they thought it appropriate.
At the time, our names were not on the wall text.
Kym Ward’s practice lies across the disciplines of performance, labour and education. Often working undercover, she tries to set up situations of exchange and mutual benefit by manipulating the social structures already in place. Her visual aesthetic in video or performance deals with languages of transparency versus invisibility of action, and she is primarily interested in how we can creatively, cheekily re-appropriate discourse or resources for more social use. Rather than documenting events directly, she feeds them through comedy, slapstick and the absurd to fictionalise events for an art audience, whilst protecting spaces for activism and change. She calls this an affilliative ethics of perversity. Most recently her work has turned towards the politics of intra-action in new materialist feminisms, and trying implicate feminist discourse in histories of technology.
an exploratory journey into the magic that is, fascia and its role in our access to collective mind and memory