On Friday Matthew outlined two different ways to conceptualise the structure of a work using the terms serial and parallel. He described serial as a series of unbroken or uninterrupted sequences following each other in a singular linear fashion and, by contrast, parallel is two (or more) sequences that are folded in on each other, they are multi linear and exist simultaneously.
Out of the examples Matthew gave to demonstrate serial, I found Bernd and Hilla Becher’s serial photographs of gable ended houses particularly useful.
And Idris Khan’s playful layering of the Becher images from 2004 does a good job of demonstrating the concept of parallel:
It could be said that the kind of layering that occurs in Khan’s work is a key characteristic of contemporary performance dramaturgies. Matthew argued that due to the popularity of the parallel in contemporary practices, serial structures have been abandoned. Therefore our task for project 2 of this summer school is to engage with this abandoned practice and create an installation with the serial in mind.
To provide us with a serial set of stimuli to create our installations, Matthew, Lin and Mark led us each to a specific site and asked us to make 12 observations about that site over the course of an hour (or approximately one every 5 minutes). The hope being that the serial nature of the task informs the serial nature of the installation work. I was placed on a bridge overlooking Monroe Avenue and documented most of my observations with the following photographs:
We have until Tuesday afternoon to install our works in a small space 12 foot long and only 1 foot wide. This task feels far out of my comfort zone. With a background in theatre and performance my default response is to think of my installation as a miniature stage set of Monroe. However, I am trying to challenge myself to think more conceptually about these images, to recognise their patterns, colours, lines, shapes and to transpose this into space in a more abstracted way.
I will post images of the installation as it progresses.