how to guide
This page details the model that feedback etc… recommends for conducting sessions.
It is an adaptation and continuation of the CLUBSfeedback model.
An artist seeking feedback is not required to adopt this structure. They are able to modify any part of this model, or nominate another method that would better suit their practice.
Feedback sessions occur whenever there are expressions of interest. Date, location and format of feedback session are decided between the Administrator and Applicant.
The location varies but will always be in the presence of the work discussed.
Exhibition or studios, etc…
We recommend 6-10 people be involved in each session. This number is ideal for generating focused discussion because it is large enough to have multiple perspectives, while still small enough to allow for depth.
We recommend allowing 1.5-2 hours for the feedback session. Starting with more formal proceedings and then towards the end opening up to informal discussion.
Feedback sessions are always facilitated by a peer, chosen either by the artist or the administrator. The Facilitator’s role is essentially to introduce all the participants and keep the discussion on track.
CLUBS details the role of the facilitator as such:
This person usually works with the practitioner to set up the session contacting all those participating. On the day it is his or her role to introduce everyone, outline the process and most importantly to manage the conversation.
Besides nominating someone to provide the Observational description the Facilitators role is to ask questions of clarification following the Observational description and during the Responsive stage of the discussion. Often tentative remarks are made in relation to the artwork that when probed further open up interesting lines of conversation. The facilitator can also suggest connections or conflicts between the comments of various participants in order to push the conversation to further clarification.
It is the Facilitator’s role to bring the conversation to a conclusion: initially in order to frame the questions put to the practitioner that bring them into the conversation, and finally to wrap up the discussion when the conversation or the participants starts to run out of energy.
THE FEEDBACK PROCESS
CLUBS developed an extensive process for feedback sessions which feedback etc… adopts. Although this process needs to be modified for work-in-progress showings.
Sessions commence with one person being asked to give an OBSERVATIONAL description of the artwork. The OBSERVATIONAL description of the artwork is as full an account as possible of what is materially present or activated by the artwork, including the situation of the work in its location, the nature of the location and other objects that may generally be considered external or incidental to the work (such as plinths or frames or wall labels). The OBSERVATIONAL description attempts to describe the work without recourse to language which assumes prior knowledge (such as describing an object as a sculpture or a painting, or referring to a space as a gallery) or that will influence subsequent responses to the work. The aim of this description is to focus attention on all aspects of the work particularly details that might be overlooked by a more cursory engagement. All other participants listen to this description and at its conclusion are asked if they think something has been overlooked or needs to be qualified.
Once it is agreed that the OBSERVATIONAL description of the work is complete participants are asked to provide a RESPONSE to the work from a more subjective perspective. It is often the case that the transition from the OBSERVATIONAL to the RESPONSIVE stage of the feedback session happens in the course of the conversation and the facilitator simply acknowledges that this has occurred. Initially it can be useful if the subjective comments respond to, or seek clarification of, the observational description. However at this stage, in general, participants freely offer their observations and comments.
After considerable discussion it usually becomes apparent that most aspects of the artwork have been covered in the conversation, often leaving points of disagreement between participants or unresolved questions raised by the artwork. At this stage the facilitator asks for 3 or so questions to be framed individually or collectively, which are then put to the artist.
The practitioner is invited to responds to these question and any other aspects of the discussion. A dialogue may or may not develop at this point between the participants and the practitioner.
ORGANISING A SESSION
For detailed information about organising a feedback session please refer to the express interest page of this website.
A more detailed explanation of the CLUBSfeedback model can be found here.