I have recently been thinking about this series of drawings I did for a paper at Massey University dubiously titled Drawing as Expanded Practise. The tutor seemed to be against the paper on principle- often stopping in the middle of sentences when reading out the paper coordinators instructions for the lesson, and mumbling to herself, “No, we aren’t going to do that.” She had a reluctance to give instruction, and would wear a pained expression as she spoke, as if each word would only cause us harm. The less said, the better, it seemed, and we would stand baffled in front of a whiteboard that might say something like, “Draw a score for the piece of music currently playing. Swap with a partner and use this score as instruction for a new drawing.” We soon learnt that ‘drawing’ meant any action or indeed, inaction.
That paper taught me what Fluxus meant, although I didn’t hear the word itself until about a year later. In the three hour classes we had once a week, you were constantly in a situation where you had to just do SOMETHING, anything. I did this series of drawings after reading Tristan Tzara’s Manifesto of Dada, the night before my assessment, sitting in the small study that came off my then boyfriends bedroom. Out the window of the study you could see all of Wellington city, harbour, and beyond to Te Aro.
Using a random word generator online, I created six lists of ten words. Using one list per drawing, I google imaged each word, and used whatever took my fancy. I used these images to create collages, often leaving words out that didn’t quickly give me satisfying results. I chose images with white backgrounds so they would be easier to edit together. I put each image together quickly and with little thought other then what the easiest layout option was going to be. I just wanted to go to bed. I vaguely chewed over the idea of love vs. career as I churned out the last of the six, put them on a usb, and decided that I would display them digitally so I didn’t have to worry about printing, and could stay in bed half an hour longer.