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