There was a question that Rachel mentioned near the beginning of the studio about whether we had been noticing more to do with place and space and whether the concepts had seeped into our daily lives. I would say yes. I have learned to ‘notice’ and ‘see’ more and more the concepts of memorialization, place, space, memory etc. Even making the occasional joke of whether something is a place or space.
Throughout the course the concept that I was drawn to was the connection between memory and place and even memorialization. The Paul Gough lecture was fascinating as it talked about memorialization and even the negative sides of it which it not something I have explored a lot or though about. The lecture connected to one of my favorite readings this semester that was Shelley Hornstein’s Losing Site (2011). It explored if a memory could still be recovered if the place had disappeared. She wrote that when you thinking of a museum as well you don’t think of the painting inside but you get snapshot of the monument itself. Tying into that was the power of photography and our integral it is in recalling memory. These concepts of memory, photography and memorialization helped shaped my final project. I tried to almost pay tribute to Jennie Baine’s life through my work of curating past photos, objects, archives that relate to her combined with the presence of the place. Also to connect place and memory in the sense that the people’s first thought of the court place wouldn’t just consist of Ned Kelly and Squizzy Taylor but also of another story.
It was summarized in the final Tim Cresswell (2015) Reading, Place: An Introduction. “The very materiality of a place means that memory is not abandoned to the vagaries of mental processes and is instead inscribed in the landscape – as public memory”. It was interesting how Ned Kelly and various other stories had become part of the public memory and others had been forgotten or faded away. My project was a revival of what had faded away but also even a reminder that there are many stories within one building just waiting to be found.
While rereading it I reconnected with a previous concept of the “creative touristic intervention of curating place”. I am about to head off on a long trip overseas and itt was at first a bizarre concept that tourists, foreigners’ or people not native to the place could influence the cultural identity. I had this concept that identity belonged as an internal view but forgot to consider the external forces at play as well. We as tourists also curate through the sightseeing as we chose which places have cultural significance or hold importance to that place or personal significance to us to go visit them.
One of the challenges was learning to guide my own project without having as many weekly deadlines. Taking more ownership for my own learning. Before this class, I already thought I was a pretty independent learner and took initiative to get things done however it was different having to set my own standards for what I wanted to complete each week and having a very broad area of interest to explore was hard to narrow down as well. Compared to my other classes there are more regular set reading and tasks to complete however in the studio way I think there is a guideline but also a lot of room to go the path you want. However, this is also how it will be more in the industry (or so I assume), needing to meet individual deadlines and then greater shared deadlines when collaborating.
The studio was a new learning structure to me. I think that my creative practice needs more of an emphasis on pre-production. Also I recently went to an ad shoot through RMIT and they emphasized this as well. Having a shot list and exactly what you need to do written down. For them working with a bigger budget time is money. I love the spontaneity of filmmaking as well however I think it is aspect that I would like to build up as you don’t always have that freedom in time, especially with restrictions to building access like this time round.
I think a telling moment about my creative practice was in my editing stage where I hit a few roadblocks creatively. The repetitious and consuming nature of editing can leave you mentally blocked sometimes. Being able to have other people to offer a different perspective throughout the creative practice was a huge part of helping me complete the project. This media course emphasizes the need for feedback and critique amongst peers and then reworking based on that. I will continue to use that in my future creative practices.
I found that this studio “Ghosts of RMIT” informed me a lot about my own creative practice and parts that I want to improve. While it also delving into a new area of learning about place and space. This was definitely the most investigative class I’ve had in terms of focus on theories. I’m excited to see what other studios are next to further my learning.
Cresswell, Tim 2015, Place: An Introduction, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons, USA.
Hornstein, Shelley 2011, Losing Site Architecture, Memory and Place, Ashgate Publishing Limited, England, UK.