We have been inviting you all to ask the artists and team here questions (absolutely anything!) relating to our practice, and have been sharing these in our monthly mailouts.
Realising how hard it is to get our answers into a couple of sentences, we have decided to publish the full unadulterated versions here in our blog posts.
Artist Ju Row Farr responds to Katy’s question:
“How do you choose what you are going to work on next; is there a particular thing that grabs you or that you look for?”
In some ways this is very simple to answer; people that we have wanted to work with for a long time – or who we have worked with in the past – pop up at the right time and we try to grab the opportunity. It might be presenters, curators or communities. This is just as true with certain contexts, locations, media and ideas that we have unfinished business with, that we want to return to. It might be the need to go smaller next time, for a change of pace or scale, or it might be an ambition that allows us to reach farther and harder.
But it is like a perfect storm really and because there are three artists, we have to take an initial take on the project before going to the wider team and checking other commitments along with our overall focus for the next few years.
There seems to have to be some inherent tensions or contradictions or moral dilemmas in an idea or context that we are all drawn towards, and it often feels like posing and solving problems is central to the way we work.
An idea could be routed in the historic or futuristic, documentary or fiction, but it always needs to point towards or be relevant to the challenges of contemporary life – it needs to matter to us now and hopefully other people living now.
As much as interesting places/spaces/topographies, we are looking for opportunities to be able to lead us and our audiences into new imaginary head spaces. We want to grow; we want to go to places real and invisible that we have not been to before. And sometimes this is returning.
We like to try shapes and forms we’ve not made before, or combinations, we don’t have a hierarchy around cultural formats or disciplines and even though this is difficult in many many ways, it’s one of the things at excites us most. This time it’s a parade, last time is was a live streamed interactive feature film.
And, I think, that sums it up really, we gravitate towards ideas, forms, people, situations that stretch our brains, almost to the point of it feeling impossible sometimes and sometimes it is and sometimes we fail. But we keep on grabbing, hungry to do something with each other, with others we know and others we do not. And of course, when you grab at some point you need to let go, yes is always easier for us than no.