Writing for reaching out

[This is an excerpt transcribed from the interview to Elisa Sbaragli and Sara Sguotti: you can find the video interview here]

Giovanni: One last question regarding the topic of digital writing and specifically in terms of communication tools: what do you decide to communicate to the outside world? Why? Which tools do you use?

Sara: I use Google Drive a lot. It’s a tool I’ve discovered over the past few years. I really like it, both as a form of archive and as a tool that allows me to organise things, because I am very messy. I always have my document on my computer’s desktop, but I also have it on Drive, so I know it’s somewhere anyway and I know that other people who work with me have access to that Drive as well. People who have access to it are for instance Serena [the producer], Elena [the dramaturg] and all the people who are part of the project at a specific time. I am not really selective with respect to who needs to have access to my materials. If I need to exhibit something then I have to do it with the people who are involved in this artistic process. All of them. I don’t actually share much information with the light designer, because I know what kind of information, they want to have from me and at what point of the process they want to get this information. However, I basically share it with all the people who follow my artistic process and I share them, both as a Drive, therefore a little more organised in form, and as voice notes and in other more improvised ways. I am pursuing a constant dialogue with them and at the same time trying to reach a more structured and formal way of writing. I’m lucky enough to have people working with me who are also able to read between the lines, and to be able to break totally down my creative offering. Someone like Elena is a really honest person, so if she doesn’t understand something she tells me, “It’s crap, I don’t understand it.” She is very direct in terms of her communication style. Actually, with her, I allow myself to put together words, drawings, images which are totally messy and unformed. In this side of my writing practice, the visual aspect is very prominent. As Elisa has said, the digital mode also allows you to overcome many barriers and therefore to communicate at any time of day and night with people whom you more or less trust. One thing I have liked to do lately is to set up Instagram as a way of showing off my practice, even the most experimental variety of this, transforming it into an image. 

Giovanni: What you show and post on Instagram, what is it in terms of the work that you do? Is it a summary of your work? Is it pure imagery? Is it something you’re interested in ‘showing yourself off’? Something that you are interested in having feedback on? At what stage of the journey do you decide to post something of your creative process on Instagram?

Sara: I’m interested in setting out a discourse on the topic of ‘vision’. In the case of the practice that I am working on now, which is linked to the theme of change and transition, I need to understand how my work is perceived. In fact, what I am reflecting on at the moment is also how to change my image, but not for the image’s sake, but to understand how to change the idea that the outside world has of a person. I’m trying to be a bit provocative. I was also thinking about the practice of changing one’s own name, the practice of the transition-interpretation, and that the social media in this case allows you to launch an insight or a vision; therefore, my practice in this space is more connected to trying to stimulate feelings and less to a search for consensus or a willingness to share very intimate things. It is more than anything else a reflection on how I decide to show myself, a reflection linked to the practice I am doing, which is the one linked to the interpretation of images.

Giovanni: Could you say you’re using Instagram in order to try to showcase a new image of yourself?

Sara: Yes, but for example thinking about the work ‘Some other place’ this was different. I can tell the same for video, for example, because the video in ‘Some Other Place’ was a crucial point for me. This was because the work was focused on the concept of ‘other dimension’. The video was this other dimension I was looking for and therefore there was a lot of work on documentation, interpretation and a lot of video. But not in a sense of writing. It was more in the performative sense.

Elisa: I have been using a lot of Drive lately, especially in my last work. It is an incentive to create dialogue within the group. There are so many people involved and therefore the information hangs around and is passed around. I also let everyone in, that is, all the people who pass through the process. And I also find it a very direct, simple and an easy tool to use. Above all, it is an archive of information, images and texts. On the other hand, unlike Sara, I’m not very brave when it comes to using social networks. Owing to my personality type, I find it much more difficult to play around with social media tools. On my profiles, the information that I put out is very much routine, I post news related to my works but nothing more. I use it merely as a dissemination tool. And I must admit that I also have a lot of trouble understanding how a social network like Instagram works, in terms of how its affordances and how it is put together.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *