Robert Good - thoughts
BEYOND Open Door residency
An excellent weekend of both star- and navel-gazing. Viewings of the moon and stars were interspersed with discussions, walks and talks plus an unscheduled spot of dowsing for water, minerals, meteorites and anything else we could find.
I was struck by the range of responses from my fellow residency artists to the BEYOND project. A recurring theme for me throughout the weekend was the idea of peripheral vision. This was discussed specifically during one presentation but also made several other appearances in its wider sense: ie the possibility of acquiring information and knowledge through indirect means, subconsciously or through broadening our spectrum of sensory inputs (going BEYOND?).
For my own work I would like to find fresh astrononomical texts to excavate for their use of language. For some reason I would particularly like to investigate some peer-reviewed technical papers. I am also interested in the idea that the stars can (on one level) be reduced to a catalogue of code names and co-ordinates.
I am beginning to realise that the 'Wow' factor that Edward Irving describes in his book 'How to Know the Starry Heavens' (and which has been the catalyst for my investigations into the astronomical sublime) is not after all intrinsic to the stars themselves or to the act of star-gazing, but is a personal response that is not universally shared. In a similar way, some people do not respond with awe to the natural world, but may respond with hostility, indifference, scientific curiosity or cold utility. At some point I would like to investigate some of these other responses too.
Thanks to Alan and Helen and to my fellow residency artists for such good company. Thanks also to Gary Lintern for an excellent demonstration and talk. I'm very much looking forward to seeing how this project progresses!