Video performance “Come Closer …” is my third work in the field of interdisciplinary relations. I believe that interdisciplinary works can set us free from customary stereotype methods of tradition in the realm of visual experiences. Therefore this text concentrates more on the reasons of those works making attempt to form on the basis of interdisciplinary relations rather than a description about the video performance “Come Closer …”. Ultimately and before executing the works, when each one’s scenario was taking form, I was confronting new questions in the realm of performance. For instance, what are the functions and extents of performance experiences in a work of art forming on the basis of video? Or how should those performances being done in the extension of visual arts separate themselves from theatrical methods? What points and terms are required to be observed in order to exhibit video arts in a gallery? Video performance “Come Closer …” formed on one hand, by my inner request and desire, and on the other in a practical answer to such kinds of questions.
Perhaps the abundance of such questions and answers, and the thirst I had for finding the practical solutions in this field is useful for those who want to make head or tail of the necessity of interdisciplinary works and realize how this video performance formed.
“Interdisciplinary” is not the approval of mental wanderings among other fields. It does not notify the importance of watching films, paging through books or participating in seminars and conversations. It is not considered an attempt to find the visible and hidden connection among different fields either. For we have accepted there could be found no medium or field with no middle limit. We can’t defend the genuineness of any work while it is possible to talk about its borders or define its limits and functions.
What happens among fields? This may be regarded as the most precise question being capable of reminding us the significance of understanding interdisciplinary relations; or as a stimulus for what are usually forgotten in this case. There are not few ones who have forgotten the events happening around their fields due to devotion to their own major.
First Relation (Referential Relation of Fields)
The first relationship among fields is the referential one. Today the discourses regarding this intercourse could be followed under the title “intertextuality” which is also considered a central term in the contemporary critical thought. Any work is referred to other context and texts like a continuous text.
In this extension, text is generalized to all the narrated experiences in any form: classical text and painting text etc. What is the use of understanding the intermingling of texts? Any artist being sensitive to stabilize his way of expression, willingly or unwillingly, is engaged in his work’s intertextual relations questions. Whenever we study the work as a text in its connective network with other texts, this would be a key point in this regard: thinking to the work and the world is a kind of meditating in others’ thought. It is in intertextual relations where we realize to what texts and contexts our works refer. In this case we examine the other ones’ role in our works. In other words the level of the relationships and borrowers in practical work from others are determined in this method. Intertexuality is the manifestation of mental preoccupation levels in the creation process and also the hidden and manifest relation of work’s signs with others.
How have I been able to keep my distance in my performance from those who are coexistent with me? In what level has my way of expression been engaged with others’ works in the play of intertexual signs? While some works in an exhibition remind us of another one’s individual works it means that the painter or sculptor has been involved in a lower level of signs’ quality and not been able to make his works’ references internal. The question how we can appropriate intertextual elements or how to communicate with other ones’ works in more internal layers of signs depends on the realization of the intertexual relations. It is exactly in this entrance that the art history and the purposeful visual past are being studied practically. Who accompanies me in the way I have chosen or reached? How can I keep my personal distance with them in this course? To what extent have I borrowed from whom I desire and to what level have I been under influence? All is capable of being studied under the intertexual knowledge complex of the work _ knowledge not only puts an end to the confusion and disorder of the studies and mental dispersion, but teaches us the way to creative reading of visual history with the intention of developing practical works.
Second Relation (Functional Relation of Fields)
The second relationship among fields is the functional one; the fields combine with each other and there exists a way from any one to the other. Works being created under the title Multimedia are a form of functional combination of different fields. This combination can be noticed inside the fields too; for example where the work utilizes the capacity of other similar inclinations and then takes form (today we call this kind of materials’ combination in an artistic context Mix Media). Generally the significance of understanding functional relations necessitates defining the media.
In simple words, the duty of definition is the realization and perception of the executive abilities and their limits. Different fields are defined so as to know to what limits we can go forward with whom or where we participate in the borders among the fields. It is exactly on this basis that we realize how to use and to what extent other fields in our performance so that not to ruin its main structure. One of the upshots of interdisciplinary knowledge is to be informed of such an incident happening in between. In other words, this subject allocates itself to questions of intermingling and the intersection of media. When a field decides to combine with another one or be seen in that form, it is necessary to know how that medium is applied and how its elements and components are combined. An exhibition which has applied the capacities of the environment in its works’ placement refers to other fields (“installation”). Or any person who has definitely decided to present his work in public has used the capacity of execution (“performance”) in his work. However environmental and performing arts are not just restricted to these impressions.
Anyway, these inclinations are present in both installation and executive functions of works. If we have a good understanding of the concept of the work’s performance or environmentalism we can do well in their application into our work. In this direction, in the video performance Come Closer … the main structure of the work was defined for video pictures so that the other fields had to develop or be done for the accomplishment of video subject. The cellist (Atena Eshtiaghi) who played the cello or the actress (Pegah Ahangarani) who answered the viewers, face to face in video pictures, were the performers who had the responsibility to do the performance inside the video work. Here it was a part of the work and not all of that. I did my best so that the performing nature does not hurt the video. By the way, the video was exhibited in a gallery; thinking to the environment is going through the contemplation of the environmental art (installation). I decided to present the video with regard to watching the condition of the work in a gallery; viewers experiencing the work while walking and moving _ a feature which distinguished it from watching a video work on a screen or its demonstration on a wall; associating to film and cinema. It was exactly from this point on where I had to think to pictures being experienced while walking: hence I used motionless portraits whose intervals were filled with sound. I tried to show the effect of the sounds on faces along the way; visual transitions were applied in the portraits for this purpose: wounds that changed the nature of countenances according to remoteness and proximity of sounds.
In this way the viewer did not lose the mental series of pictures from one monitor to another, and also could engage himself with the ups and downs of the theme supposed to be expressed along the way. In addition, in the section I thought to enviromentalizing the video work, I was trying to disturb the common perspective of the works’ experiences: the viewers’ constant shifting, their continuous rotation and the parallax from top view (high angle) were all fulfilled in this direction.
Achieving abnormal and unusual ways in expressing ideas reminds us of the necessity to realize interdisciplinary relations _ methods have not yet become tamed (managed) in the play of business (buying and selling) or in the restriction of cultural policies: a complicated communication constantly instructing and managing the artwork in the lexicon of commodity. What you read under the title power link and fields’ potency is a gateway to this opening.
Third Relation (The Relation of Fields’ Potency)
The third relation goes back to the potency of the fields. Fields are made from inside the other ones according to human’s requirements. It sometimes happens that a medium, even out of scientific contexts, transforms into another one or to a field in art realm according to inner request of the age or in congruence with our subsistent fields. Therefore fields are born or woven out of other ones and that’s why we can find their layers and components in their classical basis. This notifies us it is possible that a selected medium dissolves into another one or its potency gets transmuted into a new field without our realization. And more important than this, perhaps a new-born field appropriates all the previous fields’ potency, and empty that of energy; an avant-garde abstraction movement that knew its mission beyond the representation of things and resolved on achieving the essence of objects. It attacked the former traditional methods and gave its power and ability to a great number of decorative forms and maybe we can say it became empty of critical energy. As rising from the depth of each other, fields become filled with or empty of dynamism and power too. It sometimes occurs that a field has given its potency, in the course of time, to other cases and left nothing of it but an outer surface in current conditions. Realizing this point is based upon the perception and understanding of interdisciplinary relations. If we take a cursory look at the history of the potency of artistic expressive methods instead of the visual history, we’ll notice that these methods have constantly penetrated from one core to another and their history has continued in another field.
Furthermore, today world is the world of intermingling. This action, from one hand goes back to the intermingled structures of cultures, and on the other, to the transmission and intersection of the fields in classical and lingual levels. The necessity to the synthesis of fields basically derives from this collective way of subsistence and it prepares evasive ways for dynamic and avant-garde art movements exactly through this mechanism: the creative ways of synthesis. By combining these fields, avant-garde art attacks the fading nature of customary values of them. It assaults and criticizes their function or reveals the challenges of power shifting in the fields. We should not forget that mafia and political system always penetrate the fields in order to tame and manage their unyielding power. And before knowing how to have contact (and not just work) culturally with our medium to its critical meaning and not let its expressive functions merely decline to visual elements, we have to ask the fields and examine their potency and abilities. These days you may have accepted a friend’s appointment or participated the inauguration of the exhibitions frequently held. A great number of works are just considered an excuse to have friendly conversations and chatting in galleries. Shouldn’t we ask one what has happened to the potency of these hanging works on the wall? This associative and introductory function the work has provided for the freshening of visions has to be regarded as trivial. Why has it become the basis of the exhibition? Gatherings which can be found even without works of art, for example in coffee shops and restaurants or night parties; as it does happen! The power of the work is in recounting and the functions of these seemingly simple questions in life which are understood and realized.
Generally, Interdisciplinary is the realization of remembering one’s field, and any remembrance is a kind of awareness. The topic Interdisciplinary should not be merely reduced to sensory subjects among the fields, but its precise meaning is the act of staying aware of the accidents secretly happen to them. What has happened to the field with which I express my mentality? The answer should be explored in the relation among them. Therefore interdisciplinary thought is a critical one. The position where we ask the fields and criticize them shows our anxiety.Although this anxiety is exactly the acceptance of fear and fear is a kind of one’s collapse, we should not forget that critical thought is the act of awareness through this instability.