In this blog, audiovisual artist and former Signals volunteer Anastasia Alekseeva offers an intimate insight into her artistic practice and creative struggles.
In our Signals Alumni series we hear from those who have been involved with Signals during its 30 year history. We’ve interspersed this blog with images and videos taken from Anastasia’s portfolio which includes sound and video art, as well as photography.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my time at Signals, especially since my work has taken a digital turn. I was volunteering at Signals during my foundation year, contributing illustrations and animations for the incredible project Essex Girls. The opportunity to have so much creative freedom and learn so many new skills and software was just precious, especially during a time when I was still deciding on what to do with my existence. Although animation is not the route I took in the end, I am in awe of those that peruse it – the amount of patience and commitment required to see a drawing come to life is crazy.
Right now I’m living in London and studying Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. My work is still embryonic; recently I started devising performances using contact mics and a laptop, exploring our evolving relationship with personal technology. A performer would be confined to a space, browsing the web with contact mics attached to their body. Their movements would be translated into sound, recorded and then manipulated to create ambient sound pieces.
This grew from an ongoing collaborative project titled ‘Rules for Utopia’ – an audio-visual rule book for the ideal mode of existence that sheds light onto daily routines that everyone is meant to do but no one ever does, like drinking eight glasses of water or walking ten thousand steps. London is an incredible city saturated with ideas, and it is easy to get lost within their vastness. Right now I am taking a year out from uni to develop my currently directionless work, learn to produce viscerally without every idea going through a brutal grinder of the cerebrum. There is a vulnerable beauty in visceral creation before it is rationalised, which I feel I have shed and boxed in within academic contexts – it has actually become hard to make without the brain turning in on itself.
So this year I am planning to spend some time just making, reflecting, and looking out for sound artists and film makers to work with, along with some film production work…we’ll see where it takes me!