Simon and I found a creative co-mentoring method by making work on a mentorship.
We found out what happens when you put yourself in motion in the pursuit of answering a question. Rather than sitting down to talk or think or write we composed an action or a task to commit and in the commission of this task or action we had an experience which was available to interpretation and was available to sensation and was available to becoming an answer to a question we didn’t even know how to ask.
There were two mentorship intensives and a handful of meetings to prepare in person as well as online via visual communicaton or email. The second and final residency took place in a studio at the Performance Centre on the Tremough campus of Falmouth University. We composed a plan of great ambition and even though we didn’t manage to cover it all, the points we did work through were given the time they demanded and we made great strides toward a clarity of purpose and ways of thinking through particular questions that I think will strengthen his sense of agency and self-determination through the next steps of his worklife.
Work took the form of a repetition of three forms of addressing each of six areas of interest we identified. For each point of interest we engaged in 1) discussion and 2) activation through creative staging followed by 3) 15-min sessions of creative written reflection. These three modes of working propelled us through two intensely focussed days of exploration and elucidation.
The working method mirrored a practical approach to independent studio practice. By including a set of practical investigations we demonstrated what happens when you put yourself in motion in the pursuit of answering a question. We found a form of deflection that affords perspective on details too close for comfort or too far to see clearly. The process shakes out unconscious realisations and fosters spontaneous changes of direction in conversation. It reveals hidden avenues and connections. In addition to sitting down to talk or think or write, we composed actions or tasks to commit and in the commission of these tasks or actions we had experiences which are available to interpretation and available to sensation and available to becoming answers to questions we didn’t even know how to ask.
Through an active mode of looking we learned something about our field, about blankness, about openings and about finding what to look for by looking.
Image, from Thick Time Radio Station. Photo: Katie Etheridge.