There is a forgetfulness between self and context…The foot twitches; the mind thinks. The mind thinks; the foot twitches. The mind twitches; the foot thinks. The foot thinks; the mind twitches. Perhaps.

An unfootnoted musing for a toe dipping short term project

Option A—the easy way: Analysis of interdisciplinary product (outcome)—Robert Morris and Carolee Schneeman

Option B—the less easy*: Analysis of Intermodal process (income)—Contemporary intermodal artistic practice of writing and ___ The unnoticed role of writing as a collaborator in non-literary artistic production

It is my hypothesis that successful artists (prolific, persistent [life long practice], and known) have an intermodal (interdisciplinary) practice that involves their known mode of production and the mode of writing (often unnoticed).

Not with emphasis on individual or even team, but in terms of broader population patterns, I would like to consider the artistic mode of writing in terms of what functions it may play in sustaining and/or substantiating an artist’s primary practice. Specifically for this project I would like to consider how psychological findings on rates of healing, mental and physical health, and vocational success might inform or support an intermodal practice of writing and ___ for the artist. Secondarily, I would like to begin looking at theories of situated (embodied) cognition that might equally shed light on the function of writing. I believe these are some how linked in why an intermodal (interdisciplinary?) artistic practice incorporating writing and another primary artistic mode may assist the artist in being prolific, persistent, and known. What are the relevant implications for the artist?

If I need to wrap it around specific artists, how about ? Agnes Denes, Yvonne Rainer, and Twyla Tharp—all have available writing samples worth review in light of the psychological research on writing.

Background thinking inside my head

The foot twitches; the mind thinks. The mind thinks; the foot twitches.
The mind twitches; the foot thinks. The foot thinks; the mind twitches.

Martin Heidegger suggests, “There is a forgetfulness between self and context.”

If the non-literary artist’s practice is situated, grounded and worked out primarily in the encounter and engagement of material and social context, if art making/art product is dependent on the primacy of embodied experience, does the act of writing somehow bridge the gap between the social and material encounter with the portion of consciousness that is language bound [commonly called the self]? Current radical trends in neuro-cognition suggest language based conception is like a residual aftermath of situated (embodied) conception, cognition. Does effective artistic production require an intermodal practice, a more substantial play between encounter/body and mind? Does the sustainment, development and success in an explicit artistic mode require sub or parallel mode in writing?

I am not suggesting that this intermodal practice is in evidence or needed for all artists, perhaps it is personality or personal process dependent. I just know there is an overwhelming amount of “famous” visual artists in the last 100 years that write.

*less easy simply means there is no well trodden trail for me to follow.


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