Expecting the Unexpected

During Schmiede 10 VIA (Values, Identity, Art) a project that is part of Thinc, came together with Depart a performance art group to work with Sculpture students from HTL (High Tech Learning) in Hallein to make a short video. The students not only developed sculptures out of string and plastic tubes left from Depart`s performance based on John Cages Four minutes, thirty-three seconds. They also shot and edited these videos with Andreas Förster facilitating editing and myself facilitating shooting.

        The Big Leap (Der Grosse Sprung) in this workshop; and in performance art in general, involves risk and sometimes uncomfortable feelings as well as unexpected outcomes. These factors dynamically interplay between the students/artists/creators, the audience and within the creations themselves. This interplay that the students experienced has further empowered them to edit this montage, aptly named The Big Leap that further illustrates these aspects.  So sometimes practice first, theory last  has given the students an understanding about these components, in a similar way, the video Helicopter meets Thinker, also fully created by the students. Furthermore through practice they have explored Eisenstein's view that "Montage is an idea that arises from the collision of independent shots", without even knowing it previously.  This illustrates one of the variety of ways we need to approach contemporary education.  Thinc differently!

Klasse Bildhauerei HTL – Hallein
Martha Stützle
Astrid Neuner
Tobias Baumgartner
Florian Bogner
Christian Schmöller
Editing workshop facilitator: Andreas Förster
Video Workshop facilitator: Jessica White
Performance Art Facilitators: Gregor Ladenhauf, Leonhard Lass, Daniela Schindler

As we explored these themes in the workshop and the sculptures began to evolve we were reminded of a sculpture grounded in Storm King by Kenneth Snelson, Free Ride Home, 1974.  He explores dynamics of push and pull, which similarly the HTL students had been exploring.  Snelson called this "tensegrity," and I couldn`t help thinking about the evident parallels evident in the students videos.  Particularly in the video Helicopter meets Thinker and The Big Leap.  These pairs had heightened these tension and release aspect through image and sound montage.  It is worth noting that these pairs were also in the workshop itself, whereas the Summary video, whilst excellently executed, this group was working with the footage for the first time, having not been present on the workshop day.  So it seems going through this holistic process: the actual experiencing, shooting and editing these performative sculptures has given the students an understanding of the themes explored in contemporary sculpture cannon (without actual realising they were at the time) but also they have gained a certain mastery, by extending themes and adding their own dimensions.  Kenneth Snelson explored the intrinsic stability and necessity of all the components to create a unified whole, then the students expanded on this idea, making it their own by adding the performative dimension, that the sculptures must be tensed and released to create and re-create form.