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the unknown residency

Some say you should start a story at the beginning, but that would rely on your knowing where it all began. Others point at starting in the middle, like Homer and his Odyssey in 'media res’, but where is my middle? it keeps moving, every day, probably all those biscuits.


There must be other ways to tell you this story, this story that has brought me here today, talking to you, now. There are many paths we could track back and forwards.


Onwards ever onwards, it is a phrase I use frequently, I sign my emails with it, like we are on a quest together, a journey of discovery, finding the treasure, making friends like the ‘littlest hobo’ “there is a place that keeps on calling me… “


I always used to be embarrassed to say that I had a calling, I kept it quiet… but my calling kept calling me. 


Sorry, we’ve drifted… that happens.


So if not the very beginning, or the middle - can you start at the end? well, that would mean that is has ended… but I don’t think it has yet.  I always used to think that films had lovely neat endings, which quite often were actually the beginning. I would day dream about the lives of the characters in those films, like Flash Gordon and Lois Lane, what would they do next? mostly they lived well. I was a happy, day dreaming child.


I am a verbal thinking, I make sense of the world by talking to people and telling stories, but I don’t think I’ve ever told a story straight through, you know, a beginning, a middle and the end, the standard narrative, I drift into other worlds, it is fun and exciting and annoying.


I think we are fooled into thinking that time goes in one direction, I have seen time move in different directions, it was one of my first lessons when I went to the South of Morocco.   Time moves differentlythere, it slows, stops and sometimes does not exist at all. This is the first hurdle for the artist, the first removal of structure, of what they know.


Back to the story, we will get there I promise.  


The web is built on hypertext.  Hyper, meaning extensive, (not excited), it covers a large area. Text meaning, well, text.  


The nature and power of hypertext and the web is that it allows you to link between text, creating a web that allows for you, the reader to embark on non linear journeys, discoveries, getting lost, not finding what you started out looking for, but always finding something.


I have worked on the web for 20 years, I saw it emerge from nowhere.  I jump from one place to another, it starts to shape how we think, it starts to change the way we write.  White space, bullet points, calls to action. (Berners-Lee, Krug, McGovern)


The web is an assemblage (Deleuze & Guattari) connections leading to connections, never ending and always growing - the way in is not signposted, the map, the web will change, different depending on your choices.


This might be it, this may be the approach… hyper-vignettes, my own minor literature, (Deleuze & Guatarri, Gale) evocative moments gently held by a web of gossamer strings… or an old map, tea stained for effect with dark forests, deserts and ‘there be dragons’ warnings…


Yes, why not - after all that is how I have already written it…


This approach disrupts us.

“the attempts to interpret a work which does not offer itself to anything but experimentation”  a minor literature.


Angela Coates, UAL Central Saint Martins, MA Arts and Cultural Enterprise October 2019

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