I think the type of ‘agency’ a crisis like this produces is based around adaptation, fast innovation and knowing when to take opportunities. The examples we’ve seen of people and companies that have thrived during this time are those that waste no time thinking about what they could or would have done if the crisis had not happened and instantly start looking for ways they can use this new environment to their advantage. Overall it’s about understanding that when the circumstances of the world change, the way you operate in your work and every aspect of your life needs to change with that. I think one thing that this ‘global reset’ caused and allowed to happen, especially following the 1st lockdown, was giving people the chance to reflect on themselves but also the overall state of the world, with this most notably revealing itself in June during the civil unrest in the US surrounding the George Floyd protests. I remember at the time talking to black friends who felt that this was only happening now because over the Covid lockdown people had less to be distracted by, and less things to draw their attention away from the racism that has always existed. I think this is true and is an example of how when we face crisis’, there is room for human consciousness to develop and change how we approach the ethics of our lives and creative practises, which in many ways I think defines what a ‘global reset’ means. What happened in June, which was undeniably a result of the pandemic, helped push the ongoing fight for dismantling oppressive systems in the world and within the creative industries.
I think generally as well, what we can learn from people, during this time, who’s professional practice has been born in the face of adversity is the ability to yes be resilient, but more importantly embracing of change. For a lot of people, myself included, I think it’s quite easy to make a plan for your work and if that plan doesn’t work out how you thought, to want to give up. But to me it seems, the most effective and useful agency to have in a crisis is to be able to try different things, make mistakes and grow by learning from them.
So far, the same way it seems most people have felt about 2020 as a whole, my DPS year has not gone exactly as I had wanted before starting. However, blaming this on the pandemic to me feels like an easy cop out and I think the last thing I want to do is use it as an excuse for not growing and achieving the things I had hoped for. I have found that if anything, in this time it has been my own will power and ability to stay motivated/focused (or lack of) that has held me back. The second lockdown has also highlighted to me that I feel in some ways, almost at a crossroads with my creative practises. Around 2 years ago I started producing music and since then I have watched myself slowly progress into creating tracks this year that I really like and am proud enough of to release, as well as working with various vocalists. Since the first lockdown, although I have also spent time working on multiple music videos for different collaborators, I would say producing became my main focus as it has felt the most freeing and the way of working, creatively, I have been most drawn to in this time.
After being unsuccessful at getting an internship placement before the start of DPS this October I set myself a SIP to create a zine, but after spending some time trying to come up with a concept for it, and also juggling it with a music video I’ve been editing, I have started to question whether a zine is the most relevant format for me to create work in right now. I chose to do create a zine because ever since releasing my first one, over a year ago, I always had in mind that I would want to make another. Although, when I sat down to try and conceptualise and begin work on this project I started to think that maybe a printed publication is no longer the most effective format to express my ideas. For a while I have had some other ideas for creative projects that maybe feel more relevant or exciting to me right now such as a play that could accompany my music. As much as I’m still intrigued by work within fashion, over my time this summer working a lot on music, I felt myself developing a much stronger love for conceptual art projects I was seeing, giving me inspiration for new visual work I had in mind. I think what I need to do now (the next couple days) is look at the research I’ve done so far for my project and decide if a zine is the best option for my first SIP outcome, and if not, maybe start channeling my ideas into a different project, like the play I previously mention. During this weeks group session I when doing the exercise where we spoke about things being ‘dead’ or ‘alive’ in our lives I mentioned that the idea of ‘thinking about things too much but not getting round to fully doing them’ was something that obviously felt dead. In reflection I think this is my main goal to get over before this term ends. To stop procrastinating or thinking too much about my ideas behind something, and just getting on with and creating work. This was something I felt stronger at with my visual work last year, so for the remainder of this term my goal is to regain that sense of productivity that is useful to help push creative projects through to their finish.