Here’s a picture of a stack of books. Sometimes I think that people imagine that the work of an ‘artist’ is working in a studio making stuff. To be honest, for me, the majority of work is out of the studio, and consists of a variety of modes of ‘reading’.
So these are some of the books, they consist of some philosophy, critical thought, natural history, and poetry. A lot of them overlap as you can see, with titles linking to nature, ecology, and trees. So my subject matter and form should be apparent from the titles alone.
But it’s also important to note that I’m going across disciplines; I want to know how philosophers, poets, theatre makers, artists, scientists think similarly and differently about the same issues. This all helps me build my own framework, core ideas, links between different approaches, and critically to begin forming my own language for the piece.
What is useful to note is that I approach the texts in a similar way, I consider each of them as giving me ideas for Performance. I read them and ideas are suggested, questions posed, and areas I need more information on are set out. Some books will become really important, others irrelevant.
Its also worth noting I do the same with Music (There is a playlist), Art, TV, film, etc etc. It’s just a way of filtering the world into my head and seeing what sticks, or inspires.
Usually I have my notepad with me while I read, and I make notes, this is what they can look like.
Finally, the process of reading, reminds you of stuff you’ve read a long time ago, and so I now know I have to go back to some Ballard, Tolkien, and Catling… this list goes on.