About Me

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If you like short, fiery, red haired East Londoners who now reside in Norwich that have a penchant for video games, board games and filmmaking then you've come to the right place, my friend. I write a fortnightly column about video games for Forces of Geek and I write, direct, edit and film with Cheesemint Productions, my production company. You can search for us on YouTube, you know how the Internet works, right? This blog, Excuse Me While I Geek Out is a place to collect my column pieces for Forces Of Geek and anything I've written for other websites and publications as well as being a place to write about all things geek. My other blog, For All Or None is a cathartic activity dedicated to my mental health and I write openly and honestly about deeply personal psychological issues that effect me. It's an mental outlet so doesn't necessarily require readers especially as it will no doubt be full of grammatical errors, nonsense and spelling mistakes.

She appears composed, so she is, I suppose

Hi there,

Welcome to this unorganised collection of my writings, thoughts, creative notes and ramblings. It may not be coherent and at times may be a little hard to follow. Such is the nature of language and I'm not writing for anyone else, just myself, in an attempt to organise my thoughts and to aid me with my creative work but please feel free to peruse and comment if you wish to do so.

XO,

Emma-Jane

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

And So It Continues...

My art therapy project has been put on hold for a while due it's highly personal nature. The things that rose to the surface were too unpleasant to deal with just yet. This doesn't mean I'm giving up for good- I'm far too interested in art therapy to do that! Due to personal reasons among other things I've switched my course to part-time, meaning i now have 2 years instead of 1 to muse over my work and develop my ideas more naturally.This pleases me as I do not feel quite so pressured, it's actually led to more creativity! (Thus proving that art does have strong links to emotional wellbeing and reinforcing the fact that art can be therapeutic!- see I can't possibly ignore it!)
I'm concentrating or focusing rather, on altered books and book art. So far I've done some watercolour paintings of some of my favourite novels, a selection of paintings, also watercolour, directly onto pages of books. I've also used a craft knife to cut shapes into pages and cut out words/sentences etc. This particular creative practitioners site has been particularly handy:

http://www.susiejefferson.com/alteredbook-howtos.htm

As well as this I have been using corrector fluid or tip-ex to erase text within some of the books to create a new narrative or just confuse the meaning of the text. I will try and get a digital camera so that I can upload some pictures soon!
I'm going to explore the juxtaposition of words and meaning by altering a non-fiction title as a comment upon assumed truths within written language. I feel my previous philosophy degree will help with this aspect and I may even write a seperate blog entry about the philosophical implications- although, don't old me to that! My thoughts flutter around in my mind like a million butterflies!
Alongside this, I'd quite like to explore the tactile element of books as touch and feel of a book is extremely important. To do this I am going to look at textile elements of design. Preliminary, I intend to create soft furnishings based upon pages of books such as curtains, a tablecloth and perhaps some pillowcases- although i guess i'll see what i can manage within the timescale (note to self: be realistic emma!).A few more trips to some charity shops are definitely in order, I need to find some more books to play with!
Ahhh...so my creativity has returned like a long lost family pet (you always knew it'd remain loyal despite the times when you'd given up all hope, torn down the "lost" posters you so pain-stakingly put up and even thought of acquiring a new pet!- how could you?!!). Upon it's return I've relaxed, I'm comforted by it's presence, I now feel less stressed and able to handle the MA! Good times!

The Absurdity of Language and Art Therapy

And so it begins...

Currently working on a number of projects for my MA course.Thinking about the absurdity of language and words.Wondering whether I'm hungry or thirsty, or both.Embarking on a highly psychological test of strength.Contemplating the contents of my proposal.
One of my projects is exploring the relationship between the self (individual ego) and society (collective ego) through art therapy- in short, I've decided to document a series of art therapy exercises. This is going well in so far as I'm being more productive- I have something concrete to do- a task, or series of, (I guess I dislike the freedom of my actions sometimes). While I enjoy being productive and I feel as if I'm not just wasting my time I'm also feeling a tad anxious at what my "self-therapy" will dredge up from the depths of my subconscious. Already (that's a week and a half of exercises) I'm starting to realise that there are a number of issues I haven't dealt with, emotional issues. The kind that you push to the back of your mind because you've got shit to do, people to see, places to go and an appointment on tuesday. Little did I know that I have issues with myself sexually, issues with my own femininity and repressed feelings relating to my position within my family unit. Woo! 10 points for emotional fuck-uppery
Let me explain, I'm only documenting this "blog" (I fucking hate that word by the way) because I want to be able to look back at it in some future time and reflect on my therapeutic process and/or/most likely think, "what a fool I was" and smile because I know things now that I didn't then and that makes me feel extremely smug. Future me has kicked past me (or should that be present me?) in the shin. Future will know that it was all necessary of course...she's not a complete arrogant fuck you know.Anyhow, every inch of myself wants to ditch this art therapy idea because it's too personal but what got me interested in this was a musing on autobiography, we had a few sessions about it at uni and some of the readings I had got me thinking about the truth in biography/autobiography. Or more accurately the intense battle between the two for validity and truth.
Biographies have this air of being inaccurate or false in some way, people do not trust ghost writers or unofficial biographies. It's easy to see why, maybe too easy, they haven't been written by the person in question, who knows the fuller, truer account. Yet, often, autobiographies are flawed. Every act, when made external, whether it's writing or conversing is aware of it's own existence in the exterior world; it has a place like everything else and it knows it does. What I mean is we can't escape the influence of our external world, the pressures of society are constantly upon us. Everything we do depends on where we are, who we are around and who might be watching. whether it's some God-like being, an authority figure such as a police officer or the guy down the road who you happen to find extremely attractive and you hope will notice you as you play with your hair and pout seductively as you're bringing the milk in on a sunday morning.
We're too quick to judge and attack biographies for being second hand knowledge despite the fact they are more factual than autobiographies which tend to be fictitious in narrative and style. The author knows and is aware that his or her work/documentation will be read so will often without realising it will edit, elaborate and exaggerate the truth in order to entertain their reader. The 3rd person view is better placed to state the facts whereas the 1st person is too interwined and tangled up in their own life to be able to document it objectively. Although maybe this is where the problem lies? We seek knowledge and truth and assume it will be objective. Perhaps we should see the truth in the subjective 1st person accounts. Quite the Nietzschean perspective I guess; everything is a metaphor for something else, knowledge is relative and all that...interesting to see where this project will take me.
My other project on the other hand is about the absurdity of words and language and also comes from my musings on autobiography. Not sure how I'm going to go about it yet but I want to explore the strengths and weaknesses of visual language versus written or spoken word. This project has to be about the self so I'm thinking about perhaps looking at my favourite works of fiction as reading is a big part of my life and finding ways to explore their meaning visually. My job as a bookseller will hopefully aid me in some way...at least that's the plan batman.

See my next blog entry for an update: