I’m in the middle of developing a new project. The idea has been with me for years. Percolating away, sometimes urgent—spurred on by a new piece of writing, experience or thought, and sometimes hanging back—quiet.
I’m now at the stage where I’m starting to implement its structure in order to move along its conceptual development and physical realisation. I’m having conversations with people about it: artists, writers, dancers, makers. I’m debating it with unforgiving friends who are my best critics and supporters.
I’m presenting the same idea over and over again but in different ways, re-ordering it, changing its emphasis, editing out parts that no longer hold, introducing nuances which are only revealing themselves as I go. I enjoy this stage. This is where the kernel starts to go pop! And where the energy starts to connect from myself to another and another. This is where the project’s nucleus takes shape and then continues to evolve. Takes form.
It’s also the revealing part, the part where I feel myself really risking something. The search for money and venues and support can be tough but when the idea is strongly embedded compulsion motivates in a way no job can. Sharing an idea with others—something so personal and generated from within one’s own purview of the world—leaves me excited yet anxious. It’s the most vulnerable position I know of.
I often consider this practice and how in the artworld those of us who are making and creating each undertake this risk with punishing regularity. Artists, writers, curators—we each put ourselves, our very minds and vision, out there, over and over again. Our currency is so personal and so close that often I find myself wondering about other disciplines and industries: How much of themselves do they put into their work? What makes it worth it for them? Are they as addicted and compelled as we are?