Introductory notes

The sessions in May and June have allowed Cai and the artists from Debajo del Sombrero to continue developing the artistic dialogue they first began in March.

The space that emerges between them and the objects they work with generates new languages and questions that don’t necessarily demand answers. A good example of this is the experimental process that Luisma is carrying out with water: find out more about his journey by reading this chronicle.


Reflections on the sessions (by Cai Tomos)

I don’t know who you are, or who you might be,

Who you can be, who you have been, what you do, or can’t do,

I only know you now

Now and now and now and now

Can we know each other in a series of Now’s?


John Cage stated that task in the creative process was “trying to be unfamiliar with what’s happening”.

The more time progresses and ideas begin to form, the more helpful it can be to try to remain on the side of unknowing. Continuously unknowing. There is a contraction and expansion between freedom and structure in any artistic process. The thinking mind, like the wings of a bird, needs to work and generate energy first, then it is gifted with the possible surrender, the soaring that comes as a result of that energy, like the body of the bird carried as if by some miracle, it is suspended.

Sometimes we experience something of this suspension within a creative process, it shows up in a feeling of wholeness that can occupy and penetrate all. This wholeness also defies reason at the moment it appears, it appears sporadically in moments of significance, within the creative process. Then as all things must do, it vanishes. 

Art can allow us to experience multiple realities, they exist at the same time, and the job perhaps of art is to hold them tenderly orbiting together at times, and at others, to propel them towards each other crashing, so we can shake ourselves up, and wake up from whatever perceptions of reality that have become stagnated or in need of outgrowing. Art demands that our perception be mobile, never still. 

I am trying to clean my own habits of perception when I’m alongside the artist. I have habits that prioritize certain ways of seeing, I am trying to differentiate between different states of seeing, focused seeing, broad seeing and witnessing. Each has their own presence. Looking at or looking with.

The practice of observation or surveying can be as problematic as the variety of ways in which we interpret, deconstruct, or are seduced by our need to decipher art and creative processes.

Itseems that the eyes that look too intently for the appearance of form, can in some way become blind to what’s unfolding in that space between a person and the art object. It seems that this project is also about trusting and giving value to the invisible.

The beauty for me is the embodiment of the relationship between art object and the body. How movement and rhythm manifest through energetic exchanges that invite us to see how the artist’s world reveals itself.

There is a tension that resides in a discourse around an emergent meaning, perhaps an embodied meaning that arises through action in the present and then perhaps the meaning we gather retrospectively. Both belong to this process.

Today everything was impossible, and I see this as a positive sign, a block on progress is always a hidden blessing. Creativity is inherently restless, to try and tame and order it is inviting it to disappear. We are always in the hands of time, space and rhythm. Each one a family that belong to each other and are inseparable.

With Luisma we are working with water. Luisma’s creative process seems to be the axis or light, which illuminates the intentions of this project as a whole. The way in which the water bridges the relationship with the body. It’s both form and non-form as we are; he pours it, drinks it, spills it, shifts it in containers, blows air through it and what becomes visible is the relationship, the action, the effort, its appearance and disappearance.

When we are born, and for the first 3 weeks of life, we humans are 99% water. Luisma’s connection to the water is inviting me to see how the water and him, as fluid as each other somehow speak or converse. 

Perhaps the water calls out to Luisma? Certainly pleasure seems palpable as he shapes it within his hands, and in some way he is shaped by it. The water as an ancient choreographer.