Boredom, what a lovely excuse to just sit around and browse the internet. I thought boredom is something you don’t experience anymore? I thought so too, but apparently it is still possible. The school is silent, there’s another strike. I don’t have access to any facilities, I can’t even get a hold on a card reader to get my recording of yesterdays talk transferred on to my laptop. Oh yes, you had the talk, how did it go? Sorry I missed it. You didn’t miss it, I saw you there. Well any which way, it went well I guess. People seem to appreciate my honesty and openness. I try to keep it as simple as possible, without being to apparent. And without underestimating your audience? Exactly. We had some technical difficulties, so I wasn’t able to operate the slideshow myself, I had to give hand signs to a person in the projector room and at one point she mistook my flailing as a mark and I noticed the slides started to change before planned. Oh my, did you loose focus? Not really, I just thought that luckily the series consists of 49 images, so I have time to catch up.
How about the audience, did they ask any questions? Yes they did, but quite straight forward kind of questions. A good thing about talking about new work and specially a work in progress, is that you can answer difficult questions with “I haven’t figured that out yet”. I recall using that phrase several times yesterday. In what occasions for example? Well one guy, or actually I know him because he works as a technician at my school, asked how I relate to the fact that naming the images by the battlefield in question, can awake strong connotations in specially Scottish people, since some of the sites are fairly well known and self-evident. For example Bannockburn doesn’t need to be explained. Because I was talking about how I want my images to suggest, not to state, and he mentioned that naming the image Bannockburn doesn’t only suggest, it is quite obvious. So what do you think about that? Do you think it makes a difference, since your future audience will not only consist of Scottish people, actually mostly other nationalities? I mean, other nationalities doesn’t have a clue what Bannockburn stands for. I know, that’s why I have to find some kind of balance. I don’t mind that Bannockburn in itself is a strong stand, maybe it is even a benefit. Since obviously all the sites aren’t as well known and since the independence angle is really underlying, it might be good to have something that brings the issue to the surface.
Another thing a member of the audience was curious about, was how does this new project relate to The Singing Neighbour in terms of the aspect of time. I had difficulties understanding the question at first, or there wasn’t really a question just a notion, but when I got my head around it, it was a quite good remark. He thought that The Singing Neighbour was to a larger part about the past, even nostalgic, when this new project is more current and about present affairs, even though it is talking about events that happened 700 years ago, even further back in history than the singing revolution. There is a switch in tense, going from past to present and even the future, but on a intangible level. This work is going forward, where as the previous stood still. And that has something to do with the whole change of medium and way of seeing I went on about in our last discussion.
In other words, your audience is actually seeing what you are showing them, isn’t that quite remarkable? It is, it feels like this new series has really got some potential.
It also came up, that Finland was under Swedish rule for about 500 years during the medieval times, and due to that, there’s still a swedish speaking minority in Finland, that I happen to be a part of. I started thinking about this, and the Swedish rule actually started around the same time as the First War of Independence in Scotland. I also realised that I have tangled the aspect of independence before; The Singing Neighbour was partly, or actually to a quite high level, about the notion of independence. How much do my interest on independence have to do with my own cultural heritage?
Revelations again? Yes, I think what is happening here is, that my work is strongly connected to independence, but not the Scottish independence.