Our aim here is to both provide a response to the Conference ‘Please Specify!’ and to find an alternate way of ensuring that the intrinsic generative nature of research and art is kept active, akin to the mobius strip-like path of both conclusions, and openings.
“Midpointness” is a generative project. It is dismantled and reconstructed through the gradual accretion of surrounding connections, associations and influences of the curators, artists, students and other audiences who contribute to it. These are in the form of artworks, public events, texts, artefacts, performances or other interventions. 'An Obstract for Midpointness' (Obstract)is a piece of artistic research constructed before, during and after, "PLEASE SPECIFY!", The SAR Annual Conference 2017.
'Obstract' is as an element of the ongoing project “Midpointness” that seeks to invite us to consider the ‘work’ of art as art’s labour or task. We seek to explore the dynamics of inner/outer dialogues of the process of artistic work, opening up other potentials that an artist researcher might hope for when he/she explores the generative potential of the work of artistic research directly within and in response to a conference about artistic research.
At the centre is spoken text that is a play on the tradition of the conference ‘abstract.’ The abstract is the site of an outline of intention, yet here we couple it with an ‘obstruction’ as a means of aggravating and diverting the attempt at a conclusion towards which an abstract, and indeed a formal presentation, might be aimed. “Obstract” suggests, by a process of intervention that the ‘centre’ (the work and/or the text) and its surrounding universe are completely indivisible. As such the principle of ‘footnotes’ filter through to the whole spoken text; the footnotes being analogous to the surrounding constellations within which the ‘centre’ of the work sits, swapping footnotes for centre and vice versa. The footnotes refer to points both real and imagined in the past, present and future.