Cog Collective :: Diana Ford

Presenting my work at Cog Collective in London has been a huge door opener for me.  I presented the collection of my work that started out as experimental and transitioned to new media works on the 1st October 2006 in the Candid Arts Trust, 3 Torrens St, London, ECIV INQ. As stated in my application to ANAT, I could foresee the event as the next logical step in my career – the opportunity to present a body of work I have worked on for 5 years at Cog-collective along side a renounced British filmmaker Malcolm Le Grice was an honor. Since then, I had the opportunity to present my work in New York City at the international Video Film festival and I was awarded the best international directorial award and complete two arts residencies in France. I strongly believe these achievements are a direct result of ANAT’s investment in me.

After showcasing our work, we held a Q & A session with Malcolm and I; this was a really interesting dialogue interchange between us for the first time. The Audience, whom comprised of other artists and curators, had interesting observations about the similarities and differences in both of our work. Where I benefited is that my work screened alongside Malcolm Le Grice’s work who is considered to be the most successful British New Media/ Filmmaker from the 70s, and this in turn highlighted the strengths of my works because we were seen by the audience to occupy diametrically opposite positions in our careers and also in the world, and as was pointed out on numerous occasions, our work shares a formal materialist aesthetic ground, a ‘personal and particular’ exploratory approach.

Malcolm was also taken aback by the similarities the themes of our work and the similarities in the way we developed the work in order to tackle some of the personal themes pertinent to both of us including such as people, space and place. I was asked by one audience member whether I had seen any of Malcolm’s work before I had created any of my pieces, which I hadn’t. The audience then became interested in how could an emerging artist really have achieved so much with the body of work presented if there wasn’t a mirroring and inspiration stemming directly from artists work that one respects. This was a tough question to answer. I attribute it to being brought up from an early age with new media. New Media or old media looked at in a new light makes one critical of the world around but also in my case of my own work, this sense of reflection is a stamp that gives my new media work now structure and form under which I can tackle many thematic issues of concern. This combined with spending a year in New York City to develop my earlier works is the contributing factor I said for my work having an edge about it amongst the experimental artists today.

This was essentially the first public critical eye on my works and it gave me both the confidence and exposure i needed to take the next step in my artistic career and that is to apply to two arts residency’s in France and complete two more works successfully since my screening in October 2006. It was the already established artists backing of my work and their references along with my folio that I submitted with my application that contributed to being accepted at the two residencies: Cat’Art and Camac in France. Once residency was for five weeks and the latter for only two weeks.

The next step for me is to complete yet another arts residency that explores virtual communities in simulated online games such as second life in hope I don’t abandon my works like so many artists do but continue to transform them and finding ways to resurrect them and to add onto them. The highlight of my journey has been to discover that my works are all linked and intertwined and are a continuation of a process I started 7 years ago by making a commitment to exploring the now and the future through tangible forms of art. They say that the new generation changes profession every 7 years and through my work I am determined to show continuity in the discontinuity, where there is change and growth but not abandonment of any sense of an idea.

This personal development journey alongside the networking opportunity that the trip provided has been invaluable. I am at the moment completing a two-hour machinima works that have been invited to submit back for reviewing. Thank you ANAT!

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