The Braid diagram shown here is a ‘prepared’ instrument (in the sense of a prepared piano), annotated to aid artists and other cultural producers in discussing and comparing how they work within the fields of force they inhabit.
The diagram contains verbal prompts that emerged from individual conversations with artists, who integrate epistemic, critical and administrative needs and capacities to shape their idiosyncratic practices. The prompts are associated with a path wound around a continuum, suggesting a non-linear conversation. The path is represented by a trefoil, the continuum by a torus. These mathematical shapes evoke topology as a metaphor through which to inclusively model the practices of cultural practitioners.
The key prompts are marked by an alliteration:
(1) Making includes forms of attention, conceptual and material work processes, in the studio or equivalent.
(2) Mediating contains forms of reflection on all aspect of cultural practice, and verbal articulation of narratives among stakeholders.
(3) Managing broadly frames, restrictions and opportunities, inclusions and exclusions, which are generative and normative institutional exposures.
These areas may expand or contract at different times of practice. There is no specified point of entry.
The Braid is best used as a starting point for a conversation between two users. It may also be prepared with different prompt sets.