Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Glasgow School: The artists reply ii: Harry Giles

Harry Giles replied to my last facebook post with a great question. He's an artist based in Edinburgh and frequently asks about politics in a way that warms my little anarchist soul. By getting involved in my survey, he has demonstrated  - for me at least - that my idea of making this process 'open source' was pretty smart, even if it risks annoying people by slamming my words onto their timeline. 

Harry said:

I'm not based in Glasgow, and didn't train there! But it is an influence on me. Do you want me to speak as a Scottish artist who's influenced by and often works in Glasgow?

This is an easy one to answer. Totally: that would be great. Since I usually bump into you at the Forest Cafe or cycling along the Royal Mile (or more excitingly, outside a booth labelled Peep Show  during Fringe 2013), I ought to have known this. But I want you in on this - you'll get labelled as an outside eye, I guess, which makes you like a dramaturg on my work. 

I think one question I'd have is whether there's a specifically Glasgow school, or whether it's more broadly a Scottish school. 

And this is a good point. The reason I am sticking to Glasgow is because it is almost manageable as a unit for discussion. I follow the school of thought that 'the text' is 'what the analyst is observing' and the only real job I have is to draw up some parameters. 

But you are asking whether any conclusions I might draw might express a Scottish identity as much as a specific west coast one. It might well do - and I hope this might provide a foundation for that sort of research.

Also, drawing connections and comparisons between Buzzcut in the west and Anatomy in the east could be pretty exciting, especially as we started at almost the same time.

It really is. I promise I shall get around to this, once this job is out of the way. Actually, Harry: that is a more interesting question than mine, because it is more clearly delineated and can cross several disciplines (economics, context, audience response, marketing (which we both love as protestin' types)) and lead to a more focussed survey. 

You ought to be doing a post-graduate dissertation, not me. 

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