Deep practice, experimental practice

This is the set of provocations I proposed to the curators of Independent Convergence, which became the session I led in the afternoon. I’ve since kept returning to them, and hope to keep developing them – with your contributions. Scroll down to comment.


How do you make the space and time for deep practice? How do you create the conditions for experimentation? Is there a tension in your practice between depth and breadth? Between focused rigour and free play? Between structure and provocation?

Situation for a large group: open space

  • Stand, stretch, choose a depth or breadth focus, move across the space
  • Break these two groups down further by specialised interest
  • Return to the main group with one new commitment to practice each

Situation for a small group: facilitated discussion

  • What prevents, what enables either mode of practice?
  • Is the tension an irreconcilable one or a productive one?
  • What makes for success in depth or breadth?
  • Does one or the other define independent practice for you?
  • Are you in the right place(s) for developing the rigour you seek in your practice?
  • How can independent artists support one another’s creative development? What situations do you design to make this happen?

What might emerge from the session:

  • Sharing techniques for preparing for deep practice, or approaching experimentation
  • Sharing experiences on what works, what disappoints in maintaining an independent practice of depth and rigour
  • Successes and failures in reaching outwards to grasp new limits and set productive new constraints
  • Owning depth and developing creatively in that space rather than chasing the new
  • New commitments to extending beyond a comfort zone in developing a reflective practice or reaching out to new collaborators.


Responses are welcome:

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