Amanda’s Journal: May 14, 2005 Saturday

Saturday, May 14, 2005

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We are headed into our last Scratch evening at the BAC. Last evening Matt’s father said something that was perhaps hard to hear but at the same time very poignant and timely. He said that it is the job of an artist to clarify not to mystify. That is a hard job! To unravel the mystery is to be clear. Hmmm.

This process of Scratch is, I think, a really good one and one that many people say would be good but most people never do. It is really actually hard to do. The whole idea is to present work in an unfinished form. Easy, right? Wrong! It is really hard to go in front of an audience and present work that is disjointed and unfinished. One’s natural reaction is to create something that flows from one thing into the next. But in reality that pieces do not flow just yet and therefore you are really doing yourself a disservice by presenting them in this way. It is hard for an audience to watch something as a work in progress if it is presented in a somewhat finished way. Inevitably the audience watches the piece as a finished piece and all its flaws are glaring.

SharpWire decided to present its Scratch performance as just that, a Scratch. There were a few pieces of work that are unconnected and unfinished. Instead of moving from one idea into the next the show stops and talks about an idea and then maybe presents the same idea in an alternate way. The process of the Scratch, and the openness of the performance has allowed for some really good audience feedback and has allowed Sharp Wire to really look at what its aim were in presenting these ideas. I think that this process has helped to bring a central theme and focus to the surface. Sometimes there was a hard truth in something that the company really liked not actually working in the context of the whole, and sometimes there was an idea that really worked on all levels that will clearly be expanded in the future. There was even an instance where something that was a small added on idea has become something that people really wanted more of and that people really wanted to become, perhaps, a main focus in the bigger work.

I am thinking that I would like to implement this Scratch idea into my own work. Tobin and I have been discussing ways of opening up our creative process at various stages to audiences. I hope we really go through with this, as there is a lot that can be gained from it. However, we will have to remember to keep things “scratchy”.