The project Moi_Espace Public was born out of a conviction that artistic creation can be a fruitful space for exchange on everyday issues, whether emotional or social. My desire was to meet and exchange with people, and facilitate their artistic expression on two vast and complex subjects: public space and the experience of women in our current society. As a musician interested in interdisciplinary, the project is based on the creation of audiovisual works in the broadest sense of the term.
Before the development of the project
1. Based on prior research, I thought about the themes I would like to address.
2. I chose the angle of both themes to be addressed, in my case the personal experience of women in public spaces chosen by each participant. I wanted to learn about the experiences of different women in these spaces and how they perceive themselves in those spaces.
3. I elaborated a score-text-guide to incite the creation of the audiovisual pieces without narrowing the conceptual and aesthetic angle of the project. I intended to work with women from different backgrounds (cultural, generational, etc.), professions and artistic visions. This score is composed of an 8 steps creative process. (See the score below)
Practical part of the project
1. Discussions (Steps 1 to 4 in the score):
I chose some phrases and questions that would motivate conversations about the common themes of the project. The order of these items in the guide were chosen to move from a general to a subjective scope in conversations with participants:
a. In 1, I chose sentences from a literary work important to me whose author, the French philosopher Henri Lefebvre, speaks about the production of public spaces. These sentences allow me to introduce the central question of the project and to begin to stimulate personal reflection on this theme.
b. In 2, 3 and 4 I have created questions to invite people to place themselves in the center of the theme and approach it in a personal and objective way according to a daily or punctual experience. Usually, people are immediately interested in a personal theme. If this is not the case, I invite them to tell me more about a particular personal experience, their work environment, the paths they make every day or the spaces they often visit, in order to choose an angle to explore in the project.
It is at these stages that I take the opportunity to get to know each person better: where they come from? Who do they live with, what is their work? What do they do outside of work? I let them share as much as they want, and I explain that they can also hide from me as much as they want. I use this time to share personal experiences and thoughts of mine as well. On the practical side, these conversations also serve as a tool to help me in the creative part of the piece: once I know more about people’s feelings and preferences, I can suggest some strategies in case they feel lost later in the process.
2. Turn these thoughts into art material (Step 5–7 in the score):
a. As I enter the more practical part of the project, I ask people to find visual and audio materials that represent the ideas from the previous steps. I take advantage of this time to find out what their relationship to art is, what kind of art, music, movies they like, etc. From these conversations I get tools that help me stimulate their creativity, in case they feel stuck at some point and need help for the work to come to fruition. I let each person come up with their own ideas by accepting everything : references to famous works, personal photos, images from the internet, memories, sound effects, etc. To help them unlock their imagination, I can give some examples based on what I know about that person or even give personal examples of my own that might relate to what they are trying to express. If the person feels blocked, I don’t hesitate to offer one or two ideas as a start and then let them develop that idea. For example, if the person likes to draw, I can suggest that they start working on a drawing they have made that relates to the theme of the work. If they like poetry, I can suggest that they write sentences and choose keywords as references for the images and sounds to record.
b. Once we have the materials, I ask them to create a skeleton, a structure for the piece such as an order of sections, a main theme to explore, materials that can overlap each other, or a beginning, middle and end of an idea.
c. I then ask people to reproduce or find and record these sounds and images. In some creations, the material was reproduced or collected by the person themselves with whatever means were available to them (their own instrument, images from the internet, recordings and filming with their phones or personal cameras and recorders). In other cases, I used my own equipment (recorder, microphones and camera).
Smartphones can be a good tool for taking sound and images. Some cameras (such as Go-Pros) and recorders (such the Zoom brand) have a relatively accessible price and interface. Finally, there are different websites where images and sounds can be downloaded for free (it is important to note the type of license granted by each website):
Images and videos: Pexels
Sound, images and video: Videvo
3. Completion of the work (Step 8 in the score)
To complete the work, I ask people to experiment with putting the material produced in step 7 into the previously thought-out structure. If the context allows it, ideally, each person can make their own work independently. I advise them to be prepared to adapt the structure or material and refine it to their liking. If the context does not allow for each person to finish their own work alone, I can support them technically or creatively.
About the tools for this step, there are also some free editing softwares that are adapted to all operating systems like Open Shot. In addition, the Davinci Resolve software offers a free version with many possibilities for sound and visual editing.
See the website or YouTube for tutorial videos to introduce these programs.
4. The distribution of the works
In order to diffuse these works to the public, I have created a web page dedicated to the project. In addition to being able to watch the videos created within the project, everyone has access to the score-guide available in French, English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Below you can see the score of the project as well as the main ideas and results of the work done by Chantal Garcia and Marianela Rey.Read More +