Posted by on 18 October 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Late notice, I know, but I have a reading next week:

Bespoken

Your monthly queer spoken word and works in progress night. All genres, all career stages.

Thursday 25 October, 7:30pm

Features:

  • Tom Cho reading from The Meaning of Life and Other Fictions, his novel-in-progress on the philosophy of religion
  • Kelly Gardiner reading from Tragedie, a novel-in-progress based on the life of Julie d’Aubigny (1673 – 1707), also known as Mademoiselle de Maupin: duellist, opera star, vagabond, goddess
  • Daniel G. Taylor reading from his work-in-progress – eight connected personal essays woven together to form a memoir about our place in the world

Hares and Hyenas
63 Johnston Street, Fitzroy

Tel: 9495 6589  e: wordisout@hares-hyenas.com.au w: hares-hyenas.com.au

$10/$8. Bookings through this link at trybookings.com

This might actually be my last reading in Melbourne or even Australia for some time. You see, in around a month or so, I’m going to be heading overseas for an indefinite period. I’ll mostly be in the USA but I have some other travel ambitions too. I’ll be writing and researching (and hopefully doing some “residency-surfing”) and in general having new adventures.

This move has been in the works for years, but writing a book and doing a PhD kind of, you know, got in the way. Now it’s time to try some new things… and, as a starter, why not try a residency in Vermont?

Yep, this is now slightly old news but I have a residency at Vermont Studio Center from 25 November to 21 December. I’ll be using that residency to work on my second book project.

This year has been rather muted on the “composition” front. However, I’ve done some important research this year – especially while I was on my residency at Curtin University – and I have a new batch of ideas stored up. I have had my struggles with the philosophy of religion this year too, but I’ve also found some new authors (John Caputo and Nick Trakakis, among others) who have revived my interest in the field.

In short, it’s time to return to creating new work.

***

More recently in my freelancing life, I’ve had to read about risk in a public health context – risk factors, risk conditions, and such. From these readings, I have not encountered any implication other than the imperative: you should lower your risk, your exposure to danger.

In contrast, in the arts, risk is lauded – so much so, that it’s become formulaic to refer to one’s artistic practice as involving risk-taking.

A few brief thoughts on the rhetoric of risk in the arts. In the arts, it would seem that for one’s practice to qualify as ‘risky’, it must involve the volition to face risk. We might ask: how risky, after all, is the risk that is merely imposed upon an artist? Enter the obligatory pronouncement from the artist that they are “actively taking risks”. Risk doesn’t necessarily beget more risk, but such pronouncements of risk tend to beget further pronouncements of risk. One finds oneself declaring, again and again, that one will take further risks still; one becomes bound to the idea of having a turnover of risks. And yet, how risky is risk when the artist so industriously seeks to take risks? Is that risk a little too pre-meditated, a little too preferred, to seem sufficiently risky?

I noted earlier that it’s become formulaic to refer to one’s artistic practice as involving risk-taking. I’m no exception to this. More recently, my partner (who works outside the arts) shrewdly remarked on my own investment in what she calls my “outlaw status”.

In the next month or so, I’ll be embarking on an open-ended plan to travel and make art. This plan is probably a little too preferred and a little too well-managed for me to self-satisfyingly describe it as “risky”.

Perhaps “danger” is not quite my middle name after all.

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