Am I sitting in a tin can,
Far above the world,
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do.
This term has been intense. The BBC brief took on a life of its own – it was a live brief after all – becoming all consuming of time, energy and light. It became a blackhole. The question is, did I make it out of that black hole? Did I emerge blinking like a miner who had just done a double shift down the pit, or have I come out enlightened and reinvigorated. Well let me take you through this rabbit hole and see where it takes us.
Like a white rabbit in a field, I was eager to get going this term. Eager to learn new and interesting ideas; curious hypothesis’ and see how weird things could get. Out of the blocks, I stumbled. I immediately felt swamped with work, struggling to hit deadlines or manage my time efficiently. Eventually, I gathered some pace, got into my stride, I had come up with an idea that was different from the rest, it wasn’t just a table, it was something that was a bit more fun. The issue was – with the benefit of hindsight – did I come up with this whilst I was trying to design a table, or was it that I wanted to make something unique? I know now what I wanted to make – something fun, inventive, not a table – but at the time? No so sure. I hope it was subconsciously there and I was working it out through doing, but I truly wish I could get to that point with more obvious clarity. I think this was my fundamental flaw as a designer. I believe within me, I have some very interesting answers to briefs and wish to explore some very unusual ideas, but I have difficulty in tracking them down. You see, I think I have broken synapses in my brain. The ideas are there, (I hope…no…..I believe……I know they are), but the pathway to the ideas are missing. The wires are crossed, short circuiting sometimes, misfiring. It takes a long time for me to figure out how to get to that faint light, deep within my dusty grey matter. I need a torch to see where I’m going; to get to the idea. That torch is Constellation.
Constellation this term has been that illuminating firefly, buzzing around the darkest recess of my mind; awakening ideas and responses I never knew existed. It has proposed thoughts and questioned I had never even considered, causing responses from me that I would have never dreamed of in a past life. Heck, I invented a Listening Machine that has nothing to do with sound. Go figure. I have never classed myself as artistic, academic or someone who constantly challenges convention, but now, post the dropping of the Dust BombTM, I aim to be. I may never be an academic – the light for that particular synapse is so far in the distance of my brain – like the burning light of a distant galaxy in the night sky, It’s there, but just too far away, no matter how brightly it may shine. Artistic, well this comes down to your definition of what being artistic means. Could I perform an interpretive dance to the theme tune of Star Trek? Probably not. Could I create something unique that I think represents Star Trek, in my eyes? Yes. I believe now, I can. Someone who challenges convention? After this terms Constellation and my exploration into weird and wonderful designs for the BBC project, again, I believe I can be. I think I just need to approach the idea from a different perspective. I need to jump onto the back of that firefly and see where it takes me. I’m up for the journey. I have torn up the map and burned the signposts. If I get lost, then at least it will be a hell of a ride.
So to answer the original question: did I make it out of the black hole? Yes and no. I have entered into the darkness that is my dusty mind, but at least this time, I have the firefly to illuminate the journey.