Diaries: dance & sunflowers
It’s now been a year of almost monthly blog posts; a year of writing down thoughts in a more eligible form and making that accessible to others.
At the point when the dance world became reliant on digital platforms, I did not know how to contribute. It didn’t seem to reflect my processes, practice or experiences; I didn’t have the expertise or interest, particularly in social media. Additionally, considering whether others would find it interesting and questioning how or why you might market research, was partly responsible for why I was reluctant. And yet I wanted to find a way of documenting and sharing processes, because I enjoy that aspect of others works; processes don’t have to be private.
After speaking with a few different people, attempting a blog seemed like the most suitable solution (I think this was initially Dan Martin’s idea – so thank you Dan!). This solution has been a helpful activity in multiple ways.
I still have difficulties with dance that is accessed digitally, particularly in relation to time. Part of what I love about dance is how it requires your time; you commit time to watching it – even if it’s uninspiring, awkward or challenging. Constructed social pressures mean we rarely walk out of live work, even if we are hating it.
I don’t have the discipline to do this online. I sometimes switch it off or swipe past it and assume others do too. I then carry an awareness that it has to be more eye-catching and instantly stimulating, and I don’t know how helpful it is to always consider this, particularly when making or sharing.
On reflection, the writing involved has been useful.
If thoughts are written down, they don’t have to be held in your head, which gives some space. I do still have fears of solidifying ideas though – that was another reason I initially wanted to steer clear of sharing anything online – it becomes permanent. There is evidence that you once thought that.
If you put it out there, you can be decontextualized – and I severely value context and (probably overly) value change.
There is something great too, about the constant evaluation and articulation it encourages; editing to the extent that enables others to understand. Personally, this helps condense, filter, order or layer my thoughts. The connections between sources, ideas & influences become clearer and I get more distance or objectivity.
And then words aren’t always the best medium. And that’s where sometimes images, drawings & videos are best. (Even though I have noticed people click on the posts with drawings more… that’s maybe because relooking at an image is quicker, do people reread anything often?)
I’m not dancing or having conversations about dancing less.
It is a realisation that different mediums have different strengths. I knew this, but am still surprised by the benefits of collecting and then having a portfolio and diary of this kind.
Sunflower diaries For Maikki
I largely use these blog posts to reflect on dances and the like, but other things have been happening in July. And I am interested in impermanence and materials or concepts that develop or deteriorate over time, so it is unsurprising that I enjoy growing plants.
I’ve been growing sunflowers.
I have always loved them – I’m aware it’s not a particularly edgy or original flower to like and I truly believe their popularity is well deserved.
I’m particularly drawn to how they appear to be happy and sad at the same time (I am also aware plants don’t necessarily emote in the way humans do). It’s similar to how orangutans look young and old simultaneously. They both encompass that impossibility and yet possibility, even likelihood, to be multiple things at once.
These ones got very eaten by mites, but they still flowered – perhaps there is a cheesy Instagram post or lesson to learn there…
For some reason I kept one inside. This one didn’t get rained on or eaten by mites.
After searching through photos on my phone, I found that I had been documenting this process comprehensively. All of the images were taken to send to friends and family members at various moments; now we have a gallery: