Something that I have noticed about having a camera in my hand, is that I am no longer just a casual observer in life, I become involved in the process and also a documentarian of the process.
Last week I joined the local Artist association and at my first meeting was witness and participant to an extraordinary event of the creative process.
Matt Wardell, an artist from Los Angeles had come to give a presentation/demonstration of his art process. Well, his art process very much requires group participation. He set up a pair of walls with a few found objects, posters, lights, etc. and asked the audience to complete the piece.
There were lot’s of found objects, hats, plastic fruit, flowers, the flotsam and jetsam of life, along with drills, hammers, staplers and other tools with which to apply these things.
The final pieces of the project were several people who were pushing things and pouring things through the walls. The project became animated!
It was fun, crazy, unorganized teamwork that happened right there in the meeting room at the city recreation center.
I had brought my camera as I am learning to shoot events and thought this might be a good time to practice. I was not expecting what happened, but as the evening progressed I found myself sometimes a participant and sometime the documentarian of this event. The levels of participation of the other members of the audience was also very interesting to me. One person left completely. Many people made suggestions from the audience or sat and watched, enjoying the chaos and process that ensued and there were several who got involved stapling, drilling holes, finding ways to attach things to the walls. The final project was chaotic and colorful and imaginative and of course, temporary because it all had to be taken down immediately by the end of the evening.
So what was the point of this exercise? Well, for me, it was the process, the cooperation of people who barely knew each other getting involved in the fun and creation. It was silly, imaginative and completely unnecessary in the scheme of life and that was the joy of it. There was no requirement for framing, showing, selling- it was creativity at it’s best and most basic level.
So not only did I get an interesting event to photograph, but I was also given a reminder of what creativity is all about. Sometimes we artists get so caught up in the idea of making art as a profession, we forget the reason we started creating in the first place- it’s FUN.