From the Trenches

Miriam Calleja Shaw, Lydia Cecil, Seb Tanti Burlo, Margarita Pule

Boots in the ground, running the trenches of the everyday creative is about resilience. Locally the size of the marketplace brings to bear the realities of having to wear too many hats at once. For the creative that delves into the sector on a full time basis this brings with it the ever present threat of burnout. From a simultaneous pursuit of the everyday bread and butter to furthering one’s artistic practice this session brings a sobering but hopeful contribution to the series.

401 – Fragmentation

A perennial issue that keeps rearing its head is the issue of fragmentation. It is no coincidence that even from its inception this project played with the same idea – the expression “like herding cats”. A clear need for spaces and instances where a community can coalesce and talk seems to be a small ask and somehow remains elusive. What can one infer from this phenomenon that seems so present and persistent in our sector? Is it an indivisible feature of the creative temperament or is there a more structural problem at the base of this?

405 – An old-fashioned noticeboard

A centralised place where anyone can post their events. This needs to feel detached completely from the sanitised calendars we are used to working with. We hit the sense that even though online provides an unparalleled platform to reach it also engenders passivity. The user experience of such a noticeboard needs to be something that replicates the analogue sensation of rummaging through a real board to find things that might be of personal interest. This technical problem of engagement might be workshopped and potential solutions identified.

406 – Claustrophobic Connection

The primary feature of the local creative sector is, once again, proximity to each other. This feature seems to block most of us from expressing too harsh a critique to our peers out of fear of retaliation. This coupled with the deep fragmentation that seems to be born of our ‘island mentality creates an ecosystem that requires some rethinking. Communal points of reference, by this we mean places where creatives interface in a non-formal capacity but within a shared context, seem to become more of a vital balm for the sector.

407 / 408 – Anonymity

The subtext of this part of the conversation is about the necessary need for critique within our sector. Anonymity might be a useful tool for delivering the very same without fear of knee-jerk retaliation. This, of course, brings into play the issue of legitimacy and credibility. Anonymity seems to create a barrier that negates the need for which it was implemented in the first place.

407 / 408 – Anonymity

What is the primary function of critique? Is it to educate, or entertain? Is it intended for the public, the artists? Does one exclude the other?

409 – Credibility & Temperance

Whilst playing with the idea of an online noticeboard, we encountered the notion of having anonymous reviews tagged onto these events. The vein of this continued to build on our previous observations of credibility. Keeping it simple, a simple entry detailing the event and an anonymous review once it takes place might be the key to growing the credibility of such an initiative. This of course leads us back to one of the initial points made, who has the time and the resources to make this happen?