part 3 of the The Creation Cycle
1974, 12 minutes
Struggling symbolically refers to the difficulty of surviving, finding funding and producing innovative work as a young artist. I was working in an expensive medium outside the protection of a College environment in a cultural situation where a new medium provided no supporting structures.
The title also refers to the particular technical difficulties of making this piece. Struggling used an electromagnetic coil wrapped around the cathode ray tube of the TV monitor being used for feedback, a technique independently used by American video artist Nam June Paik. The strength of the magnetic effect was controlled by a modulated version of the audio track being produced during the performance, so the effect is hidden within the visual complexity and meaning of the work.
Working closely with Simon Desorgher, we took as our theme the opening words of Genesis – surely that must have been a struggle too! As a structure we took this biblical creation myth as a metaphor for the individual act of creation. These early works were still developing our collaborative relationship performing as two equal participants, and in performing an improvisation together we developed a methodology around a shared pre-agreed structure for each work based around a common shared theme that defined the intellectual/emotional “mood” or “psychic space”. We therefore chose external “themes” or “processes” as a trigger for focussing our collective sensibilities.
Struggling was funded by the first Arts Council award to a video artist in the UK.