A couple of weekends ago I conducted (is that right word? it certainly sonically inclined, definitely musical) a 'sound art' workshop which I called Playing Out: Making Sound Work. An amazing bunch of 10 artists (plus the glorious presence of Tristan L-R on the second day which nearly brought audible tears to me eyes) who came to the workshop with some or no prior experience of working with sound. So for me it was an incredible opportunity to explore without too much construct, without that level of imposed practice (which doesn't always make (for) perfect (workshops)). In fact, what I love about conducting (watch me keep using this word) such a thing (cos it was one, a thing) was the very nature of "play" and open space: space to be tasked and to get one with it.
The task based exercises ranged from taking objects/books/cds/vinyl/little toys from a long table and being given a relatively short space of time to 'compose' a piece, often being instructed to use no more than 1 or 2 instruments devices. Another task was to confront the instrument you fear the most and make it friendly with one you feel more comfortable with. Just a way to make do and make sound. For there was an objective not to too complex about it; to remain simple in idea and realisation; to pursue a thought in a way that doesn't need an over-abundance of 'stuff'.
In essence, the 10 hours we all had to develop ideas (a lot of duos, which I enjoyed, and plenty of solo space too) were a starting point and the crucial element of documentation was there. A CD of 75 minutes duration was made at the end of the second day, comprising recordings (made on a wav recorder) of all the performed pieces. It's a great listen and one I hope the participants really love having in their collections. Like many of these kind of events (or workshops), conducting them/shaping them/guiding a process becomes a curatorial action in progress - a building of ideas that eventuate in an accidental concert of passing bodies.