Today, a strange thing happened one of us has been sent a letter by the German authorities that he must leave Germany as his request for asylum has been rejected. The letter is formal and cold for something so personal where I live, what my future might be… We ask ourselves very practically what happens next, and how can we help our colleague.
Then we turn with purpose to our work together, papers are laid out in front of us of our individual work different colours, shapes, formats. We discuss with each other our next step, how do we ‘put meaning back’, we started by creating for ourselves an open space just a simple way to take away our assumed meanings for a moment knowing ultimately they are still there. As we want to give ourselves a space in which we can play more freely. We look at the images on the papers in front of us some things look like rabbits, what does the symbol rabbit mean in Germany, in Afghanistan …. ? We talk about how we need to be aware of and work with the diversity of perspectives.
We move to the room next door and lay all the work out on tables, we start to talk about how we work alone and with each other in addition how will we organise ourselves. It occurs to us we are always in the moment of ‘we are much further, but still only at the beginning’.
One way to organise ourselves could be create pairs based on the differences between us? Another way which feels tangible to us, is to look at the work on tables and start to mix them up. What happens if I put my work with your work, and so we go on moving the sketches, prints, objects around the room and talking with each other about how they compliment, contrast etc its the shapes that draw us in and the conversation around what we can make alone and together.
Now we stop, step back and decide to take a short break.
We all gather in the room again, and ask ourselves what could we make? Also, how will we work together to make it? We know we need to be in dialogue with each other, and to make decisions to progress. We look again at the items on the tables, some have the sense of object, some of patterns – and one of us thinks out loud what if we made a room that shows what the refugee project is about … ? We all feel this is good …
We discuss very practically how will we work together from this point on, we want to be able to work across things and be flexible moving between working alone and working together. As we are discussing this we ask ourselves do we need to have an overall concept? Through dialogue we realise no as then we would have a homogenous concept, and we wish to show the eclectic, the diversity , the non-uniformity and how things can relate to each other in aesthetic and meaningful ways. We wonder is this how art and design start to come together.
We meet again next week, with the diversity of things we shall in the between time create so we can re-combine again ….