You can’t do everything all of the time. And you shouldn’t do just one thing all of the time, either.
Tuesday, June 22. 6.30 am: The morning light:
7.30 am: A communion. 8.00 am: Medical matters were first on the boards: appointments to be arranged; discussions to be had. 8.15 am: On, then, to face those fearfully recalcitrant admin matters that require someone on the other end of an email to act before you yourself can. 8.45 am: Postgraduate applications to review and PhD Research Monitoring to chivvy on. 9.30 am: My first MA fine art tutorial of the day. 10.00 am: ‘And the next one, please!’ Each of the students is charged with deepening an interrogation within a narrower frame of reference than they’d established for their first exhibition. There’re times when the conversation between the student and tutor ought to be about anything other than the work at hand. This widest context of the student’s interests is the amorphous gas cloud in which the bright stars of their artworks form. Culture (high and low), politics, religion, arts of all mediums, and autobiography occupy that cloud. Student and tutor ought to ‘play’ in that nursery more often.
10.45 am: Off to School for a site-specific tutorial. There’s nothing quite like encountering the sensuality and physicality of the material object. A work that has been digitized and posted online always seems, to me, to be ‘finished’ — not in the sense of resolved but, rather, sealed-in on itself, and impenetrable to further modification. By contrast, works seen in the ‘flesh’ appear to be in-process (even if they’re ‘finished’) — becoming; mutable (as the light cast upon it in the studio changes, subtly and constantly); and open to possibilities and further discussion. And seeing that which is being made in the company of its maker changes my perception of both.
12.30 pm: My final, and online, tutorial of the morning. 1.45 pm: After lunch, I opened up the conference paper files and addressed my introductory paragraph. Writing this paper would be an exercise in concision. Word-by-word, line-by-line, idea-upon-idea, the sentences grew and gathered into paragraphs, and afterwards were compressed. 4.15 pm: I stretched my mind:
7.30 pm: Back to the paper.
Wednesday, June 23. 7.00 am: Its only the early-morning runners, senior couples (arm-in-arm), and dog walkers, whom I encounter on my trips around the harbour. Some are locals while others, the first of the holidaymakers. Few talk, and then in hushed tones; for they’re there to look, listen, and receive. I heard only the thrust and draw of the waves upon the shale, the intermittent jangle of rigging brushed by the breeze again aluminium masts, and the call of gulls high above. ‘Tide and time’.
8.45 am: A view of the inbox, with responses following. 9.30 am: On, then, with the conference paper. In tandem with writing, I continued to improve the process and technology of its delivery. I’m keen to maintain an on-screen reading of the text (as either a Word document or tele-prompt file) and, also, develop two independent methods of controlling a pair of screens on the same computer, simultaneously. At the same time, I want (desperately) to avoid the failed tele-prompt debacle that almost scuttled my last online Open Day presentation. That software was simply not reliable. (There’re times when the workman must blame his tools.)
2.00 pm: I was making good progress with both the writing and the PowerPoint construction. As is my practice when conceiving conference papers, they proceeded in parallel. 7.30 pm: An evening of preparations for the release of marks and feedback for modules that I co-ordinate, tomorrow.