On Calendar Variations

Kathleen Coessens, Anne Douglas

Onderzoeksoutput: BookResearch


This book offers a visual and verbal reflection on the process of artistic practice and the ephemeral traces left by these. It considers the artistic practice from within and from an anthropological and philosophical point of view. It is part of the Exhibition 'Calendar Variations' held at Woodend Barn Arts Centre, Banchory, Scotland in April 2011.
By Focusing in depth on a particular artistic project that is both social and aesthetic in nature, it is an attempt to articulate an artistic process as experience. We have worked within the aesthetic form of Kaprow's Calendar score 1971, respecting its intention and viewing each response as a new iteration of creative potential yielding new meaning. A book is an object structured within certain conventions. This book is an improvisation working within certain constraints : the original score, the different responses but also a working beyond, seeking new freedom and interpretation.
With artistic contributions of Georgina Barney, Anne Douglas, Chris Fremantle, Reiko Goto, Janet McEwan and Chu Chu Yuan.
The book is in four parts. Considering Calendar Variations as an experience that evolves, we are first drawn into the world through a vague, undefined wondering. As we question our experience, new thoughts, ideas, possibilities enter in, enriching that experience through seemingly inexhaustible paths and trajectories. We act on these possibilities improvising, exploring variability and potential. We leave traces. These traces constitute the world and also mirror its systems and ways of operating. They provide material for a new iteration, a new improvisation.
Questioning the world (1) explores the complex variety of artists' responses as they enter the world with the score. This point of entry is a wide-eyed wondering. The possible connections and interpretations are at first vague, tentative and intuitive.
Questioning Experience (2) articulates the process of engagement through activity. There is a shift from simply wondering to an active, generative process of seeking and finding connections, of sense making by drawing, writing and of a struggle to embrace other, possibly alien responses to the shared score. With time we discover the score in the world in different contexts, revealing new meanings.
Questioning Improvisation (3) is a point of catharsis, of reaching some new sense of the score by agreeing an action that captures new relations between the 'instruction' for an activity and the activity itself, in this case working together towards a common goal. What new perspective emerges by interpreting the score through an individual's concern for ecology and the natural environment, or for the function of art in social and political activity, or simply as a means to explore and understand how one 'sees'.
Leaving traces (4) results from these questions, from working them out in activity. Traces exist in the world as testament to the stages of experience that have gone before. They can be ephemeral, an idea or memory or they can be permanent. The world itself can be viewed at any moment in time as a trace of what was, previously. Traces provide us with the means of moving on from where we have been by being able to see the path or trajectory that we followed. A trace can be a new beginning, a new experience. Traces remind us of qualities of experience, They are a manifestation of 'thinking the world within us'.
Originele taal-2English
UitgeverijWoodend Barn, Banchory, Schotland
Aantal pagina's68
ISBN van geprinte versie978-0-9551397-5-8
StatusPublished - 15 apr 2011

Publicatie series

NaamOn Calendar Variations


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