Sunday, 16 March 2008

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

food court musical

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Debate at the Royal Festival Hall

…surveillance, fragility, language as a weapon against unknown zones, norms of social belonging, camera as falsehood – filter – machine, mystification of images, focus on totalities and stereotypes, lack of a real picture, vulnerability, superiority, suspicion, paranoia, society without awareness, self-awareness, the other, lovability, survivability, ego, quantum theory…

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Tuesday, 26 February 2008


Yesterday we were at Tate Modern 4th Floor: Lara, Marianne, Claudia and me.
We have come out with these results of the attempts of drawing the negative space.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Debate at Fatos' flat

Despite the multiple distractions, such as the setting for this debate, which happened to be a very lovely house with many interesting elements, delicious food on the table, and short digressions on various topics, this meeting was very productive. The topics included surveillance, the Internet, globalization, academia and social behaviour.

What I found very enjoyable was the seriousness of this gathering. There was an actual debate taking place! Criticality, exchange of ideas and opinions, and questioning were utilized to establish a new sense of identity for the group that happened to form at this particular time. We were no longer classmates/lab group b members/friends but also opponents and allies immersed in the challenge of the dialogue.

This meeting left me with further questions regarding the self-organization of our group, the roles of “settings”, and of course the structure of a network. In this case the kitchen table happened to be enough. Also, I found myself heard and able to listen carefully when operating within the number of four participants that day.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Valentine’s Day 3-legged Race

Sometimes You Learn More When Things Go Wrong.

When we appraised the turnout for our grand Valentine’s Day Three-Legged Race in Covent Garden and realised that the total head count came to a somewhat underwhelming three (Amy, Charlotte and myself), we had a sense that we were in for a challenge. We called an emergency meeting. We hid away and drank tea and deliberated as to the correct course of action. We had anticipated a bigger group, and had hoped they would help us persuade members of the public to join in. The sole condition of the race was that each competitor had to be tied to someone they had never met. Clearly, with three people, this was going to be tricky.

We considered going home. We considered doing shots. Then eventually we decided that we had to just get out there and give it a go. Surely someone, someone, would happen to think that hopping around in the freezing cold tied to a complete stranger for the chance to win a fun-size Mars bar sounded like a good time?

We stood around for what seemed like ages; sizing people up, always finding excuses as to why it would be a bad idea to ask that particular person if they wanted to join. Too old, too young, too boring, too ugly, too weird. Who exactly was the perfect candidate for an impromptu three-legged race?

I eventually settled on a mother with three kids in tow, thinking maybe we could rope in the whole family and have done with it.

Excuse me, hi. Would you like to do a three-legged race with us?

She looked at me incredulously, then with a softer expression. Clearly I had taken total leave of all my senses and deserved a little sympathy.

No, thanks.

Oh. Are you sure?” I put on the most winning smile I could muster.

Yes, quite sure.”

The softness disappeared and she shot me a stare, tugging her children away from the crazy lady.

We stood around for a while longer. There was a lot of nervous laughter. I think I stated approximately seventeen times that I was “Way Out of My Comfort Zone”. We nearly persuaded a charity fundraiser with a clipboard to join, but he wanted money for sick children first, and we decided that was against the spirit of the whole endeavour. And we almost managed to strap a young French boy to Amy, but then he realised what was going on and bolted. Finally, after several failed attempts and with no remaining credibility, we tied our own legs together and hobbled around the Piazza, laughing our heads off as Charlotte’s boyfriend took our picture. It was time to go to the pub.


Sometimes You Learn More When Things Go Wrong.

So what exactly did we learn?

Clearly, we had misjudged a great number of things. We decided that if ever we were to attempt such a thing again (heaven forbid) that we would definitely be more organised. We had to publicise it better. We would need a stand, flyers, costumes to wear (hide behind), race numbers, a better prize. But then, of course, it wouldn’t be quite the same.

What we did agree on was that we would need to give people a reason to want to do it. Why would anyone want to do it? Why did we want to do it? In the beginning, it had all seemed so clear. We had wanted to create a private space in a public one, employing mechanisms of game play to raise questions regarding the nature of received modes of behaviour in public space. We had wanted to have fun, and make Not-Art. We had wanted to create fleeting interactions between strangers, spawning invisible networks that would stretch far beyond the here and now through recounts, exaggerated tales and the weaving of a new urban lore by word-of-mouth. We were all about extrospection. All of which was well and good until we were faced with standing around asking people if they wouldn’t like to have their leg tied to someone else for a bit, at which point it all felt distinctly silly. Our intentions may seem lofty to some, and inconsequential to others. But I think they still stand. We are feeling them out in a number of different ways, and some are more successful than others. And, of course, sometimes you learn more when things go wrong.


From Liz's blog, a link to a website that lets you spy on what other people are searching for on internet search engines.

Updates every 15 seconds.

The Big Freeze

On Saturday 16th Feb “frozen in time” missions happened in both London and Toronto. They were inspired by the Frozen Grand Central mission and organized via Improv Everywhere Global.

The London event took place in Trafalgar Square at 3.30pm and had an estimated 1,000 participants.

We turned up at Trafalgar Square at about 3.25pm, quite aware of the tense expecation that chattered around the crowd. A bugle sounded - the sign for the freeze to start, and a quiteness fell over the Square, wrapping the participants in silence. 5 minutes was not long to be standing in a pose, and as we did, others walked around taking photographs, filming and looking at the giant tableaux. My favourite comments were "What is going on?!". "Why is everyone standing still?", "Ooooh - it's like that New York thingy!". Although requested to continue moving at 3.35pm when the signal was given to break, a large cheer went up from the crowd and it was hard not to join in. There was a definite feeling of elation - a post performance buzz. It had felt quite spiritual, and I was hit by a keen and rare sense of having taken part in a large group action, where our individuality was irrelevant, and the power was in the numbers.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Giorgio Agamben. On Security and Terror.

Have a look at this link; it's a text by Agamben about security / terror / society.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Exquisite Corpse

by Yves Tanguy, Man Ray, Max Morise and Joan MirĂ³, 1926.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

More about play...

There is a talk at the ICA on 29th February about play and games within the gallery context. I can't make it but it could be useful to the group. See link below for details.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Art in times of post-production

The technological advances and globalised economy have made digital technology readily available for large parts of the world population, regardless of geographic location. Meanwhile visual art is heavily dependent on digital equipment such as digital cameras, editing programs and means of projection. Yet in countries devastated by war (such as Iraq, Afganistan, Palestine) these means are extremely limited. So how does that influence the prodution of art in these countries? And the western perception of non-western art? I am going to work with the screening of a video work, by an afgan artist, that has been post-produced here in the UK, because the curator did not feel It was good enough for the museum it was intended to be shown in. Is there a western filter on contemporary art, that focuses on technical quality? Are economic limitations an impediment for producing art that deals with the division between first and third world? What disourses regulate the field of socially commited art? I would like to recieve some opinions on the matter, and possibly tips on how to approach the subject. The idea is basically to show the video piece simultaneausly in its "before" and "after" state, with an ensuing discussion.

"The Trap: what happened to our dreams of freedom" by Adam Curtis

This link with the first episode of the series "The trap: What happened to our dreams of freedom" by Adam Curtis could be interesting for the debate in surveillance and the expectations one may have of a future society. What is the political concept of freedom nowadays? I hope this helps!

Monday, 4 February 2008

Subjective projections on the imagined-to-be societ

image: Dan Perjovschi
As tomorrow we are gathering to share our thoughts and ideas on the status quo of today and reflect upon our expectations of what to take place, I want to mention some lines of thought where we could base our debate on. These lines of thought can also be taken as triggering effects.
To be a proper member of a social group or community, one is asked to fullfill demands that have been traditionally or ritually accepted or expected. The forming of consent will be a far back discussion of how we got to form societies but maybe an interesting one to base our thinking. Despite the consent is an actualisation of (re)defining the freedom of act and speech as well as primordially defined status of social grounds.
Today, in London everything is mostly purchased in transparent bags and mobile phones can function as a transmitter in (defined) necessary conditions. Throughout all these and more to be added aspects, would be interesting to discuss the fragile circumstances or semi-virtual hints on subjectivities. Where does a correspondance or interaction take place? Where does the (re) / (over) locating of segragation stand? What is at stake with suspense and the suspect? Where is the thin line between a member and an enemy.
What kind of society to live in? Which are your demands and wishes to come true? Do you imagine such a society. Where do you wanna live, why do you think there would be better place to do so? How open do you want to be and how open can you be?
I subjectively do not believe in the duality of subject and society. Both shapes each other and influences each other and everything is dependant on experience. What kind of experiences do you foresee for everyone?

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Flash mobbing in silence......

Might be a very cool way of linking groups together.....


Could be useful for the debate

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Lost and Found Tracing

Moving along the with the idea of tracing, following, collecting, obsessing... I am proposing a treasure hunt of my own-one that we could all participate in.

Our mission would be to collect the lost (personal) items, which we find on our everyday journeys to work, school and/or to our daily activities (library, bookstore, cinema, theatre, etc..). Forms of transport can include: boat, walking, tram, train, tube, bus, taxi, bicycle, rickshaws, tour buses, car ferries....

These found personal items can include a number of things: ie, odd glove, letter, note, used/named envelopes, buttons, to do lists, pictures, train tickets, newspaper cutting, etc.

We can make our own ‘lost and found’ journey through London– by collecting items and then creating our own stories and narratives.

The overall aim would be to make a revised, malleable, interactive and very truthful Transport for London map – This visual map (much in the vein of my original serial killer map, but used in a much more inviting way :>) will be comprised of all of the lost items that we find on our numerous journeys through London!

At the same time we would also be entering into someone’s private space (unknowingly) within a public setting, and then creating a new private space...

another possibility?

I have been thinking about changes we could make to the underground theatre idea and also to the ideas of following people in public spaces. Perhaps we could set up a situation that we dont necesarily participate in by putting a post on the flash mobbing (or similar if anyone knows any) website and then observing and documenting the results whilst not actually being directly involved. we could be participants but only from a distance. a kind of mediated, indirect interaction with others. it could be creating a private space for others to interact in within a public space. perhaps this is just creating relations/interactions for the sake of it, but it could be fun to see what happens. it could be an experiment to start off other things.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Monday, 28 January 2008

to discuss...

It's great to see so many projects evolving on our blog! I'm sorry I missed last week, as it sounded very productive, and I liked some of the ideas that I heard about from Margit, Maria and Fatos. Its interesting how both reports of the meetings and the blog represent a variety of different perspectives and concepts, and we should keep on with this multiplicity. I really enjoyed making the tent experiment with Margit on Friday, and think its essential that everyone tries out their ideas over the coming weeks, however large or small. It sure feels good being creative!

This week it would be great to thrash out some of the ideas that are coming up - think about our methods, originality, appropriateness, criticality etc.

Looking forward to it.

Follow Your Desire...

In contrast to 'Regent's Canal Memories', 'Follow Your Desire' can be carried out anywhere at any time. This project can be replayed countless times and in a huge variety of locations. 'Follow Your Desire' has been constructed around notions of obsession and surveillance - both of which we have discussed at some length.

It is through the writing and documentation submitted to the blog by each participant, that we can begin to explore these experiences, perhaps putting together commonalities, similarities... experiencing the situations in completely different, subjective ways. Our explorations located in a physical public space will be carried out within the personal space of our own consciousness.

The choice of 'desire' is open to personal interpretation. We may desire to be like someone (their expression, looks, language they speak); we may desire what someone has (a child, a bag, a coat),etc etc. This intended openness allows us to 'choose', yet confines us to our own definition of desire/obsession. The nature of the 'following' can be as short or as long as we want - maybe just sitting on a bus behind someone, or walking with our friends in the same direction without telling them.

At the end of the lab project, we will collect all the documentational evidence and assemble it in some kind of order - Karen suggested a large map with photos, drawings, notes and Claudia has discussed some kind of interactive mapping. Suggestions welcome as to how this could be extended. This project is intended to be non-intrusive.

Location: Anywhere


1. Choose a person that you 'desire'
2. Follow them for as long as your paths are the same
3. Try not let them know you are following them
4. Record the route (this can be any format eg. a line drawing, a tracing, sat nav, drawing on an AtoZ)
5. Document the event in whatever means you desire- photography, sound, film, drawings, writing etc
6. Add an entry to this blog titled with 'location/date/time' for each person you follow - add text and accompanying documentation
7. Keep all hard copies of evidence and file them carefully as they will be requested by admin artists at a later date.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Regent’s Canal Memories

As part of our ongoing investigations into public and private places; play; negotiation and interaction, we have constructed an event to explore these notions. The event can exist at multiple times and is an ongoing event in which everyone can participate and which could (and hopefully will) extend beyond the limits of the Lab. There is no set number of times it can be followed, yet – as with every experiment – the more it is carried out and the more evidence we collate, the more interactions, disruptions and challenges will be experienced.

The instructions are given as strict guidelines and are to be followed to the best of our ability. Within these guidelines, there is room for negotiation, interruption and play (there is a certain expectation of subjective twists to both application and outcome). The rules are as follows:

Location: Regent's Canal, London (from London Central Mosque to St Marks Square)


1. Approach a member of the public
2. Introduce yourself and the project
3. Ask participant for a 'memory' of Regent's Canal
4. Record the meeting by any means agreed to by both yourself and the participant (eg. photography, collect objects, sound, prints, drawings...)
5. Give participant this blog address written on the specially designed card as an invite for them to add their comments and links in response to your documentation of the event
6. Record each experience separately on the blog with photos etc of each meeting if available

Regent’s Canal was chosen as a location due to it’s references to transport and to it’s span across the city. We needed to find a public place within the city where people could be approached and would be likely to respond to the request. A busy road or train station are not likely to give the participant the confidence or time. The request is one of privacy – a personal memory of the canal. How the participant responds to this will depend on a number of factors.

The recording of the event should be agreed by both ourselves and the participant. There should be some kind of negotiation. Although not specified on the instructions, we will collect ALL documentation and use this to construct a large scale map with objects/ photos/ drawings/ rubbings/ prints and sound pieces. Please keep everything from each meeting. The map is a way for us to recreate some of the meetings/incidents/performances in a physical, interactive manner rather than purely through a blog. Cards with the blog address will be issued to all SKOLP members. The blog is intended to be a place for us to document each event, but also a place where participants are invited to respond, correct, add links etc, as a potentially ongoing dialogue, open to change…

Nedko Solakov

At the BUREAU OF UNIVERSAL MERRIMENT (part of the Hayward’s 'Laughing in a Foreign Language' exhibition), Nedko Solakov gave a talk about his work. His stories - or interventions - are so minute, you really do have to get on your knees, stand on tiptoe and put some effort in to search out what's next. This gentle manipulation of the viewer, a humorous coercion perhaps, engages the viewer. Nedko's use of small toys, cartoons and writing to narrate his (absurd) stories of fictional characters is similar to that of a child when outplaying their intimate relations and desires.

The artists obvious enjoyment of 'Rivals' (2004), a competition played out on the gallery walls between himself and his curator to see which idea was to be shown (Ferran's favourite or Nedko's) was apparent in his explanation. The one who got the highest score would choose which project was to be done in the gallery (eventually). This idea of playing in the gallery, of game playing as art and for the competition itself to be the exhibition, appealed directly to me, especially within the context of our SKOLP approach to the Lab. There is a place for laughter!

The use of 'Play' as restored behaviour in Tino Seghal's This Success/This Failure

I have posted some writing on 'Play' on my blog if anyone is interested....

Negotiating in Silence

Starting from negotiations, commonly defined as ‘discussion aimed at reaching an agreement’, Marianne and I questioned communication in silence. Her initial text emphasizes the negotiation of ‘spaces, trains, people, machines and time’. We explored the feasibility of silent negotiations during the building of a shelter. We questioned the location, how to fix the fabrics, who is taking the photographs. Between flourishing camellias and green bushes, silently working, we re-enacted Marianne’s Moroccan childhood memory, the shelter, on a cold and windy Friday morning.

This installation and de-installation can be approached from different angles; as intervention in public space, even though the act of building the temporary shelter in a hidden corner of Victoria Park was not thought in terms of attracting public attention. It provided a windless, hidden space, which allowed for an unseen intimacy for drinking coffee and tea to warm our frozen bodies. Looking through the fluttering sheets, we sat silently next to each other and after a while Marianne’s expression was telling me, that she was thinking of de-installation and leaving.

Lines could also be drawn between Maria’s sound piece, contrasting last week’s conversation and the silence in the library, a knowledge production without any spoken word and small gestures are sufficient to understand. Yet the shelter could not have been built silently without careful preparation, spotting the place, providing a list of what was needed, sketching a draft, and setting a timeframe. Indeed, these prearrangements made all the single steps realisable: how to fix the fabrics, where to bind the shelter’s top etc.

Through the conversion of this experiment, the installation of the temporary shelter, we collectively addressed modes of inhabitation of various spaces and interrogated the borders of negotiation and production by operating in silence.

86 Elizabeth Road - Vikki's

8 Manningtree street - Veronika's II

Friday, 25 January 2008

Silent Shelters, Victoria Park

It was strange at first, keeping quiet. What happens when you meet someone and don’t ask how they are? We waited for Claudia, awkwardly, motioning that we were cold or hungry, and eventually that maybe it was time to start. Picking up sticks through the park we walked to the spot I had found yesterday and put down our bags.
At first we laid the orange cloth down and looked at each-other. Then Margit decided on a different space between three small trees, and we began to tie the corners of the orange cloth to them with string. 
Pegging and tying the other pieces of material to the roof of our tent, we battled with the wind and cheap clothes pegs that invariably popped open and sent the fabric flapping about. We cut lengths of string for each-other and took turns taking photographs. We became completely absorbed in our task, and so silent that I only spoke when a park warden came over and asked if we were taking it down: “yes” I nodded.
Sheltering in the tent we poured coffee and shared some food, and just relaxed looking at other people jogging by, the wind blowing all the dry leaves about. It was cold, but peaceful. More photos, coffee and cake. I took films of the floating walls, catching the moment when the blue blanket burst open like a sail.
When it was over, and our fingers were cold enough, we began to dismantle the tent, cutting the string and collecting the broken pegs, shaking out the cloths. I tried to catch the perfect picture of Margit as she folded them up, and failed each time. We walked to the park gates in silence, and gradually the thought of talking began to enter my head. The gates were our limit: “Shall we go to the pub?” I asked.