Organizational art

Week 43: A Constructed World

Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with Geoff Lowe, Jacqueline Riva and a half dozen or so other members of A Constructed World.

A Constructed World make whatever they make — events, installations, videos, drawings and publications — using the media of not-knowing, idle banter, pamphleteering, live eels, dancing, absences and errors, sleight-of-hand and mistakes. In addition to talking about their projects over the years, which has focused largely on raising the question “what is a group?” collectively, and approaching working with other people as constituting what psychoanalysts call a shared space of “not-knowing”, the group will discuss their recent “Fragments in A Constructed World” project, premised on the hypothesis that there may be a lot of unknown overlaps, or potential points of shared interest between people who aren’t aware of that yet. The project has entailed setting up spaces for dialogue, using fragments of Morse code, Chinese pictograms, telepathy… In fact, this week’s discussion will be an open-ended instantiation of the project, even as the group discusses specific tangible methods and infrastructures which they have set up.

This is of course all very much in the spirit and undefined ambit of Plausible Artworlds, which by design is committed to the idea that all (art)worlds are constructed worlds — yet in both popular and learned parlance to describe a world as “constructed” is not trivially tautological. Why is it that worlds appear invariably natural to those operating in them? Or do we “not-know” they are constructed as a form of knowing? Perhaps this is the key to the experimental epistemology of not-knowing. Who knows? And by extension, who brings what to group making? What form of not-knowing do artists — or other categories of not-knowers — bring to world-construction sites?



Week 43: A Constructed World


Male speaker: Hey Scott.

Scott:  Hello there.

Male speaker: How is it going men?

Male speaker: Hey how are you?

Male speaker: All good.

Jackie:  Hi Scott?

Scott:  Hello everyone?

Male speaker: You hear me? Hey Jackie.

Jackie:  My God [0:00:16] [inaudible] how are you?

Male speaker: I’m good.

Jackie:  Good to [0:00:20] [inaudible] you.

Male speaker: Sorry?

Jackie:  Good to hear you.

Male speaker: Me too good to hear you.

Jackie:  Yeah.

Male speaker: Is Jeff there?

Jeff:  Yes I’m right here, I’m right here.

Male speaker: Hey.

Jackie: You know how I was making some telepathy with my—my art students today and I showed them the word fang.

Male speaker: Oh cool.

Jackie: Yes and they knew a lot of the meanings of the word.

Male speaker: Oh really?

Jackie: Yes it was very...

Male speaker: Maybe because they are Chinese.

Jackie: Yeah.

Male speaker: Sure.

Male speaker:  Part of the reason.

Male speaker: Well it’s appropriate that tonight’s chat is going to talk not only about a constructive world but about fragments because it sort of started out that way.

Male Speaker: Are you there Mathew?

Mathew: Yes I just had my thing on mute, hello everyone?

Jackie: Hi Mathew.

Male speaker: Hello Mathew.

Male speaker: [0:01:27] [inaudible] sorry Scott.

Male speaker: Oh not at all Welcome everyone to our humble weekly chat. The context is of this year—

Jackie: [0:01:41] [inaudible] there?

Male speaker: Sorry?

Jackie: Is Mathew and Antoine there?

Male speaker: Oh right I think Antoine is at basekamp.

Jackie: Right.

Male speaker: There we go, he is texting in. Then I believe they are waiting on Mathew and a few other people to show up to the basekamp space.

Jackie: Right.

Male speaker: Yeah I guess there is some kung fu going on pretty loud but yes you can always unmute and say hello any time Antoine. But yes so I’m really glad that you were able to join us tonight especially some of you it’s incredibly late where you are and you know we are always happy that people are able to actually either get out of bed in the middle of the night or stay up really late or wake up really early to join this. Or like in the middle of the afternoon which could be equally unpleasant sometimes, Jeff thanks. And so yes, so welcome to another week in the series of chats about different examples of kinds of plausible art worlds or what we are calling plausible art worlds, this year.

We are talking with Jacqueline Riva and Jeff Lowe about I guess a number of other people involved with the constructed world, about A Constructed World and your practices over, you know over the last 15 or quite—actually I should have come with a good way to introduce that but over quite a long period of time that you have been investigating this [0:03:30] [inaudible]. What is the group and you have been addressing this in lots of different ways. For the people that are—I think and a lot of us do know you and already work with you but for the people here that aren’t aware yet  of what  you do would you mind giving us a brief intro to why and how A Constructed World got started?

Male speaker: Well I’m thinking when you invited this for to just start with what we’d proposed that’s it’s almost like we’ve already started what I was going propose tonight.

Male speaker: Okay.

Male speaker: Like there is the way this conversation started was an example but I mean maybe the fastest was to explain that the first things that Jackie and I did together was we made a Art magazine that ran for ten issues and we invited people who said they didn’t know about art or contemporary art to write about contemporary art. So it’s just been like an ongoing that that we’ve looked at this in all sorts of different ways of thinking what not knowing is or what saying you don’t know is or how you can move between ignorance and knowing or resistance to knowing or even innocence of knowing and knowledge like in the case of Adam and Eve and things like that.


So that’s sort of been what we are interested in. but we recently did a performance which quite a few of the people at Rome [0:05:04] [inaudible], we at the [0:05:08] [inaudible] in Paris. And we did a project where we had all different forms of communication coming in to the space at the same time which we have planned to do tonight. So we had, Hal sent us some Chinese characters which we couldn’t , which nobody could understand and then we showed them all to the audience and then later we read out the mulit-often really multiple meanings of them. We had Sean and Veronica who are in Melbourne know and doing this and they sent us in Paris a telepathy message.

Male speaker: Are they sending telepathy at the moment?

Male speaker: Yes they are sending, I have it on good [0:06:03] [inaudible] they send me some now.

Male speaker: Okay.

Male speaker: And we can find out later what that was. And then well we have had a number of—I had Morse code which if anyone’s interested I can play it again for you tonight.

Male speaker: Great.

Male speaker: That we had a conversation that commands someone else that we were working with, and that Marie who read out a text and Mathew has a text, Mathew Raner who is with us. That it would be great if he could either read out of it or talked to us about it. So what we would I guess try to just think about is that, I mean it’s pretty obvious in a way that if everything’s so full and you don’t really know what you are doing which is a kind of pretty common way of operating now, that there is far too much information and that you usually don’t understand most of what’s going on.

And so what we are kind of interested to think about is to think about that can that be a shared space. So if we mutually don’t know what we are doing together could that exist in the space we could be occupying in any kind of collective or perhaps collaborative way. And so I guess just a very—I have never really been on such a large chat of course if any have there been too big before but I kind of just by the chaos of how we started I guess it has this kind of a feeling already so.

Male speaker: Its coming through very clearly though.

Male speaker: What’s that?

Male speaker: The audio is coming through very clearly.

Male speaker: Okay good.

Stephen: Jeff can I ask you a question its Stephen here, so that this collective space of understanding actually functions, it’s important that nobody understands the Chinese characters, that nobody really knows anything about telepathy and that the Morse code can’t be deciphered right? Because of course if it--.

Jeff: Yeah.

Stephen: Yeah.

Jeff: So in the sense that…

Jackie;Well I don’t think that, I mean that’s not necessarily the case because of course we all come to the group or come to an event with different experiences. And so there maybe people in the group who have been making telepathic passes or experiments, there maybe people in the group who do understand Chinese. So the thing is that we, you know what we are really working with is the experience of the people in the group and what that inevitably does is bring together quite a bit of knowledge. So we start from the point of not knowing but you don’t really end up in a situation of not knowing once you have engaged in an activity or some kind of experience together.

Male speaker: Yes well I guess that’s right I mean I was just about to agree with you Stephen so that’s interesting right? It’s really interesting because what we kind of supposed about art is that it’s kind of impossible to not know about art in the end and that often people once they would say oh I don’t know anything and then offer an opinion, they’d kind of say something that was often more compelling that what the art could exhibit and on the same page. So yeah like I suppose we are just trying to think how to further this that if you don’t understand things where are you?

Jackie: Yes well I think that after or by the time we got to 10 issues of the magazine what we considered that we had done was to make a research. And going back you know occasionally I go back and read one of the magazines and what I realized was that in fact the people who said that they didn’t know about art certainly did know something when they were writing about it. And…


Male speaker: So does that mean I know Chinese?

Jackie: Well I think, you know that’s a different, I mean no I don’t think you know Chinese I haven’t seen any evidence of that yet but you know certainly you know the way that people wrote about—I mean I think the thing is that we live in a very sophisticated manner because we grew up with television and we understand how to read images and with internet and changing the channel and we have a very sophisticated mode of reading things, reading signs. And you know signifies and all  this kind of thing and so when you finally get to the point of looking at an art work for someone who hasn’t been trained you know, who thinks that they don’t know anything about it, they still have a very sophisticated language of how to read signs and symbols. So you know there is something that’s there from the way that we all engage in society and in the community that we live and in the kind of world that we live in.

Male speaker: Yes anybody out there?

Male speaker: Yes definitely.

Male speaker: Well I mean the example that we used to use a lot like that was that if a person has a remote control watching the television and even someone who has almost no education that they make incredibly informed visual decisions in you know really a portion of a second and they can flick the channel and decide what period, what genre, what type of show it is. And you know like numerous categories and just sum it up really in a part of a second. And so that is a lot of, you know, visual acumen to be able to do that. And yeah so like how is that perhaps joined to how people might interface with what we have come to call contemporary art?

Male speaker: So you guys see, you make very little distinction between creativity from people or so called creativity or whatever term you want to use, imaginative, oh I don’t know, perception or whatever, by people who are trained in art and people who are not.

Male speaker: Well I think the thing that we thought a lot about lightly was that what we would try to do was that we would try to write a bigger repertoire for the audience to work with, because at the moment we’ve got a kind of situation where the artist has this you know possibility to be in movement and to be changing media and changing ways of working to be moving and to be nomadic and things like that. Whereas the audience is still expected to be constituted and know what they think and to have an opinion and that’s why people are thinking the audience feels really intense pressure as though that they should know something like that.

Whereas it’s been acceptable for a long time like from the modern artist and like John Coltrane or Roscoe or people or you know, to not know what they were doing and to put that forward as a methodology. Whereas somehow the way that the audience seems to face doesn’t allow that, it’s not allowed. So yeah this was what we were trying to think about is that you know what can you say when you don’t know you know? Or could we be together when we don’t know in this kind of way?

Stephen: I’ve got about, hi Stephen again sorry to jump in again but I’ve got about six billion questions already okay.

Male speaker: Okay.

Stephen: Can I just ask like maybe one of those questions? Is this kind of based on the experience like this morning I was in the Metro in Paris and I had two weird experiences of people not knowing things and maybe three actually. Okay and they are three very different kinds, one was this guy, an African guy who was illiterate and who was trying to—he needed to  buy something but the guy who was selling it to him would refer him systematically to the, like the sign of what was for sale. And the guy wasn’t interested in what the sign said because he couldn’t read it, he wanted an explanation of what actually the guy was selling and he wasn’t very forthcoming about that.


So obviously a person who is illiterate and we have all seen it and he can negotiate a world of signs and semiotic in an incredibly sophisticated way without actually using those signs in the way that the rest of the user ship can. Are you talking about that? or the second scenario was this blind guy who was not, obviously hadn’t been blind  for long because he was making his way very inadequately through the Metro system, waving his white cane like far too widely, hitting people with  it and stuff. It was kind of funny in an uncomfortable sort of way. But it reminded everybody I guess that, like this is not about illiteracy this is about something which has happened to him which has deprived him of what in our civilization is the primary sense, the sense of vision and he was not accustomed to using his other senses.

And then in a more banal way the guy who was sitting next to me in the metro turned to me at a certain moment, this is like at 7:00 in the morning I’m trying to think about how to write up the blurb for this conversation tonight. And the guy says can you tell me in French is the word K like where you stand to get on the train, is that masculine or feminine? So that was kind of non-knowing which is like the guy was completely familiar with our visual semiotic, he was obviously literate because the reason he wanted to know that answer because he was using his Blackberry he was typing an SMS to somebody and wanted to tell them about something, all he needed to do was not pass for somebody who didn’t really know how to speak French very well.

So there is three kinds in a few moments of totally different unknowing, how do you deal that, you know that the equivalence of intelligence that we all share that makes it impossible to share a world, to construct a world. Which type of non-knowing are you interested in or how do you differentiate?

Male speaker: Well I think this is what Jackie was perhaps talking about he said it’s still very much a risk we are just working on case studies really. And so those are all perfectly you know, good and implicit case studies. And the other one I mean obviously there is many others but then there is also like the passion for ignorance where people deliberately pretend to not know things because it gives them advantages. And yes there is a lot of that in politics in that at the moment where people pretend to be a lot more ignorant of information than what they actually are so it’s kind of like a strategic not-knowing as well.

And so it’s a kind of question of that what we are looking is could this be a space rather than an absence in this kind of sense. That could be a space where it kind of could be occupied. I mean one of the things that we hadn’t start [0:18:34] [inaudible] that was talked about quite a lot is that Nicha says this thing that he didn’t read books and that he criticized other intellectuals for reading because they were getting the wrong kind of way of entering things. And you know so we thought this was really interesting, did that mean that other people who didn’t read books could be considered to be in the same space and Nicha sort of thing.

Male speaker: And guys there is a continual emphasis, sorry I’m just traveling at the ongoing text chat here. There is a continual emphasis on approaching knowing as a group in some way. As if like you said it’s not as if we are pretending to or sort of feigning ignorance or somehow [0:19:41] [indiscernible] things that we have learned or experienced. But that this kind of maybe removal of an idea of knowing might help us reproach a space together and have a different kind of knowing.


Male speaker: Yeah well like I mean it’s to do as [0:20:00] [indiscernible] in that kind of sense and maybe it’s to do with the kind of the unconscious of the audience you know? That the audience could not know in that kind of sense just like Van Gogh had an unconscious or you know famous artists have an unconscious that the audience could be working with their unconscious [0:20:24] [inaudible] as well. And so is this someway that we can try and make a picture of where this place instead of outside our immediate grasp but obviously there where they are if that makes any sense you know. Like in terms of psychoanalysis or something where these places are reliably there and have a kind of presence in all sorts of different ways but necessarily, you know slipped, you know, [0:20:57] [indiscernible] and away from us.

But then there is also at the moment like I was saying, well I’ll stop talking after this, but about this idea of you know the kind of disingenuous subject where I was reading, there is this would – be senator in America and she is like part of this [0:21:17] [inaudible] and she said that she doesn’t believe that in masturbation as a sort of blanket statement sort of thing. And it just seemed like such an  incredible thing to say and it’s almost like sort of willfully saying something that can’t be possible that will bring a lot of other people aboard sort of thing.

So that we can sort of say things that we in a way know aren’t true or my last example would be in Australia we had what they call the dog whistle politics. Where the politician would say something that was in fact racist or something that wasn’t on the page [0:22:01] [inaudible] that all of the people would come to know that it was you know? So yes, so there is all this place outside of what we are saying that kind of could be vacant in different ways. So just say that Mathew, what is it that you said? Are you there Mathew?

Male speaker: Yes Mathew do you want to say that over audio or would you like someone else to read it out?

Mathew: Are you talking to me Mathew or the other Mathew who is in Philadelphia?

Male speaker: We are talking to you.

Mathew: Okay.

Jackie: Mathew Raner.

Mathew: Hi.

Jackie: Hi.

Mathew: Yes I was trying to, you know fragment the conversation a little bit with this magic text.

Male speaker: Yes.

Mathew: So that was just what I was doing.

Male speaker: And so do you want to just tell us something though in audio rather than in the written?

Mathew: Sure, I mean you know I guess just I mean listening to you, this you know one thing I was thinking I have been trying to follow both the audio and the text. But you know the kind of strategic not knowing or something like that I was thinking also about kind of how we are trained to read things like as a text in this way and this sort of space of not knowing I think like this Nicha I guess not reading books I guess sort of a—it’s not like a willful ignorance but it’s trying to sort or maybe escape some of the kind of binary, the binaries of like signifier and signified and things like this. So it’s, yes it’s a big question, I’m sorry it’s a little late here in Sweden.

Male speaker: No, not at all.

Male speaker: Mathew we fully expect you to know exactly what to say.

Mathew: Exactly so in any case I feel like I’m a little bit more prepared on the text end of things than the audio.

Feale speaker: So will you read your text Mathew?

Mathew: Sure if you prefer it read.

Male speaker: We would like that because I have got an audio from comontse [phonetic] [0:24:49] that I was going to play. So we would like it if you’d read some of it out or all of it whichever you prefer.

Mathew: So I suppose that you know I could try to contextualize this a little bit, it came out of the event in Belleville in Paris when we were meeting with the speech and what archive which is kind of another aspect I guess of your practicing. I know you haven’t really discussed but it’s just thinking about how speech can kind of maybe be documented or kind of have a longer life than just in the present does that sound about right?


Male speaker: Yes cool.

Jackie: Yes.

Mathew: So this was kind of some of my thoughts I was having you know in that even and they were about magic and they kind of revolved actually around Paleolithic cave painting strangely enough. So I’ll go ahead now, this is what I wrote its called notes towards a sympathetic image.

So from the first of these principles namely the love of similarity, the magician infers that she can produce any effect she desires merely by imitating it. From the second she infers that whatever she does to a material object will affect equally the person with whom the object was once in contact whether it formed part of her body or not. What of the image, of its completeness on the one hand and its lack of result on the other? What of the cartographic inversion, the math that becomes the territory? What of this extensively debates type of reality? Of this crude and spectacular relations, the product of a world mediated by false images. What of an epistemic order built upon the close binary of the ideal and its representation? What of this reality and what of the world shot through with truth? What of movement, of time, incompleteness, of non-knowledge and unresolved?

Fragments then for movement, for contradiction, for an incomplete and sympathetic image, fragments then for the two principles of magic, homeopathy and cotangent where like produces like and the properties of one are transferred to the other by way of intimate contact. This illogic’s or “mistakes” of an erroneous system are internal event and fundamentally contaminated, nothing more than a primitive misapplication of concepts, of similarity and continuity. Fragments then or both principles of magic they  assume that things act on each other at a distance through a secret sympathy, the impulse being transmitted from  one to the other by means of what we may conceive as a kind of invisible ether.

The object in the image both shot through with their distance, a special temporal sympathy across the territory and across the map. To get a hold  of something at a great distance, to stand in the radiance of an erratic presence, that flash of history in a moment of danger, the force propelling you backward yet somehow forward, parallax within a dialectical movement. And this magic objects are simultaneously viewed with exhibition value and co-value, a sign value and symbolic value. But when shattered the fragments open up and become available.

The anthropological theorization if prehistoric paintings suggest that these images operated at the level of consecration, performative images they brought forth into the world the action they depicted. That is to say they were of the thing itself, a register, a valiance of the thing distributed across distance and time [0:29:01] [indiscernible] varying speeds and varying in forms, produced by and producing reality. The great rift between representation and our deal, the distance between the not knowing of this illogical and irrational operations and the knowing or logical and rational is broken down.

The logic of the performative image is that it is part and parcel of the thing, that it is invoked and extended toward us in time through its image. Partial views, fleeting moments, embodied perspectives, parallax, self evidence, erratic, messianic or magical power, affectivity, textures, temporalities, economies of circulation, modes of reception are here brought forth into the world.

Doing away with antilogies and the concept of original only arises after the original is multiplied. The thing is resident and multivalent, not the imperfect and profane manifestation of the ideal but a side of presence, of none knowledge against the appearance of every surface and every curvature of line at the edge of every frame of vast and empty field and ones terrifying and it’s a [0:30:24] [indiscernible] of uncertainty and yet accelerating as we fall. For just as we know that the product of knowledge truth and power are intimately linked, we must also acknowledge the productive of none knowledge to create that rapture within linear or historical time. That blasting from the continuum of history and power and great account of mystification the specific fragility of the present and its secrets sympathies.

Jackie:  Nice yeah.
Male speaker: That’s very good thank you, thank you so much.

Male speaker: Sure I guess that’s a some kind of cocaine is in order. But yeah so that’s sort of that’s what I wrote in response to what happened in Paris.

Jackie: Yeah well I’m very it’s you know there is a lot of things I mean you’ve obviously you know may give even more much more thought for and sophisticated reading of the event. But yeah there is a lot of things in it for me that you know I have thought about after making that event. and a way that it unfolded and there was so many people involved and there was so much generosity between everyone to really make it work and yet it was with the a fragmented like the people who were in the event did really know what the other people were doing. So there was a level of there was level of trust, there was a level of waiting to see what the performance before yours to see if you wanted to adapt yours a little bit to what was going on and you’ve really encapsulated a very nice and a big explanation and description of what was happening there.

Male speaker: Thanks so much.

Male Speaker:  I think maybe a lot of it had to do yeah with the fact that I was performing for a lot of it, and so there was this kind of - I was well mostly actually aware of kind of having an embodied experience more than I typically I’m you know. and that’s something I have been thinking about a lot lately is this sort of I don’t know maybe it’s my own like lifestyle because I’m not like going to the gym or anything but this idea of like you know the uncertainty of the body or something as well it’s kind of counter point to kind of analogies of the image [0:33:37] [inaudible] the vision or something like that.

Jackie: Yeah.

Male speaker: Okay well let’s see a couple of [0:33:47] [indiscernible] its, he doesn’t understand anything. So would you like to proceed with something? Just before I say I have just received an email from the people in Melbourne which I haven’t read to say that they’ve sent us a telepathic message and if I hope it will, it all kind of say what it is so maybe at some point you could maybe take a bit of time to see if anyone is able to receive the telepathic message.

Male speaker: Jeff are they sending to anyone particular or just for the generally [0:34:20] [cross talk]

Male speaker: They are sending to this group yeah. Steve was saying that he’s been sending, I have explained the best I could what is screw it was and how they were kind of constituted or whatever and I said that could use the same to them but and so maybe how did you want to send us something or say anything or…?

Male speaker: Not really just.

Male speaker: Because you just said that you didn’t understand a lot of that and so I just thought it could be interesting you know.

Male speaker: Yeah well I think I don’t have to understand  everything just that I’m fine I’m happy to you know to try to figure out what’s going on now and how my task of you know have a lead of it understanding about what’s going on but probably its wrong.


Jackie: Jeffery well  what I was it just occurred to me that  perhaps we could say a little bit more about that event because Mathew’s text has a made a response to the event but I don’t think were really given a description of it.

Male speaker: Yeah I’m sure that you know it was a great sort of event something that like I said and it needs more well scrutiny to kind of understand that takes part that respond to what happened that we don’t have in common but yeah sure tell a bit about the event sure.

Jackie: Well we made an event in Paris a couple of weeks ago for the [0:36:06] [indiscernible] and we called it speak easy medicine show and Jeffery did mention a few things about it  a bit earlier in the conversation but we invited about 25 people to be involved in the event. And that as Jeffery said we had someone who had made this Morse code to the, as a sound work and we had people giving rating making ratings.  We had singing we had speakers we had someone who made an [0:36:45] [indiscernible] for the audience to drink, we had a novelist Denis Fukard [phonetic] [0:36:51] from Paris who adopted one of his novels into a very short play.

And the whole idea of this event was to bring people together to speak and we have been thinking a lot before more before this event that also in our work for some time now we’ve been thinking a lot about speech and perhaps the impossibility of speech what can we talk about now and who do we speak to when we want to speak, is it possible to speak about politics, is it possible to speak about social issues. And you know I think that certainly the way that I feel more and more is that there is not there is either a desire for people not to speak to each other in these particular kinds of ways. So what we look for is a way of bringing people together and speaking. So we don’t in this situation we don’t invite people to speak about anything in particular but we just ask them if they would like to speak and if they have something to say. So this event run over just down to two hours and people spoke saying and you know [0:38:12] [indiscernible] all sorts of things. And so Matthew’s text is really a response to the event on that day it was a response to the speakings in Madison show event. Jeffery is there anything that you could add to that?

Jeffrey: No look I suppose I am just thinking along the lines where we are just trying to show that there is on the one hand that Matthew’s was a very detailed and considered kind of thing and then someone else said I would like to have some cocaine now would you understand immediately. and so we are just kind of got continuing to kind of build a field of all of these different ways of talking together and we are grasping some of it and we are not getting other bits and then in Hal’s case there is problem with the language like we had been friends we haven’t really learned French very well you know there is a lot of things that we just don’t kind of get like that.

So we’ve sort of tried to be open to that and it seems what we are doing with this experiment if you want to call of that tonight to believe some of these things floating without feeling I have to be, I suppose what I’m trying to say is that if they are not closed off and obviously consumed, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. So that if Matthew [0:39:34] [indiscernible] then we didn’t get the whole thing that it doesn’t mean it’s kind of not there it’s still there in some kind of way and we are aware that it’s there even if we haven’t you know consumed or understood it all in that kind of way. I was just wondering if I could invite everyone like if we could just take a couple of minutes and like I’m getting its ten plus four here so its ten plus if you are at? Some is calling.

Male speaker: Hello.

Male Speaker: No I am just adding someone else to the call.

Male speaker: Yeah to take let’s say two minutes to receive this telepathic message for Melbourne and to write onto the Skype chat thing if you’ve got anything at all.

Jackie: Yeah I think it’s probably maybe it’s what we could do is just decide you know just to have two minutes of silence so we can attempt to receive something.

Male speaker: Yeah is that seemed okay is anyone?

Jackie: Someone got Jeffery do have got a timer?

Male speaker: Yeah I have a timer here we can do this.

Male speaker: Maybe you can do it and it would be great the thing is like I think it was Mathew before sort of or someone said that it’s not so much that we believe in telepathy we are just kind of working on this as some kind of material case about the whole thing. Go ahead all right lets receive the message okay Scott lets would you want to go for two minutes and see how we go?

Scott: Sure starting now. That’s the timer.

Male speaker: All right if you’ve got anything to write and need so probably its time I don’t know.

Jackie: Got a cube in a black way.

Male speaker: Is that Alyssa I mean are you asking that question? Yes of course. It’s out there in Melbourne. They are sending it in Melbourne and what we found it doesn’t necessarily come on straight away and then other times you get complete everything send really really unrelated and then sometimes of course you may need subtract your time you know like something that you couldn’t see in relation to twitter the connection develops over time you know kind of I guess strange but predictable way like that.

Male speaker: So will your friends in Melbourne…

Jackie: So what if they yeah what if they?

Male speaker: Well is anyone else going to come in with anymore before I tell you? Has anyone got?

Jackie: Mathieu Raner what did you get?

Male speaker: I got the word dolphin.

Jackie: Is that and [0:45:26] [indiscernible] see Mathieu that Mathieu saw the word bullet, why are you…?

Male speaker: Well dolphin. Anyone else got anything there?

Jackie: Did anyone else think that they received a message?

Male speaker: Because I will open it and open have a look because I mean ones we’ve looked it’s kind of done you know.

Male speaker: I just got a little heart burn and anxiety that’s it.

Male speaker: Yeah well.

Jackie: And Pat got something red yeah?

Male speaker: Well I have got these nonsense words which I have never heard before you know.

Jackie: Oh okay someone got a beach yeah.

Male speaker: We will open it up then.

Jackie: Its Marie, we’ve got [0:46:21] [indiscernible] got here?

Male speaker: No I don’t think so I don’t think so.

Male speaker: I think she and Kiera both went offline.

Jackie: Right.

Male speaker: Steven did you get anything? Oh he is gone is he?

Stephen: No I’m here I’m afraid I didn’t I don’t know I don’t really know.

Male speaker: That’s cool like.

Male speaker: I don’t know what I got right?

Male speaker: Very good okay I’m going to open it.

Jackie: Okay let’s hear what it was.

Male speaker: Attached is the image that Sean and I are trying to send telepathy to Melbourne to basekamp. We send it from 6:00 to 6:30 Philadelphia time other things that might have got send along with include the kitchen Veronica was in, she was in she send at the school assembling Sean was in while he send so [0:47:23] [inaudible]

Jackie: Okay so they are in two different places when they send the message?

Male speaker: Yeah. Just opening in Photoshop here. And so can I attach this image and send it to everyone without saying what it is? How do I do that Scott?

Male speaker: Is it a jpeg?

Male speaker: Yes it is a jpeg.

Male speaker: I think you can just drag it yeah.

Jackie: You just do a same file and attach it.

Male speaker: I will just put it on the desktop just to see.

Jackie: And then I guess everyone has to accept it.

Male speaker: Sort of just taking a second if you want to go on and do something else you should probably go I allow you.

Jackie: Anymore questions from anyone that might kind of take us in a direction?

Male speaker: So when do I get to share?

Jackie: No you go in same file so [0:48:26] [indiscernible] can you see the same file button?

Male speaker: Sorry I’m stupid.

Jackie: Just on top of the window it’s got add, topic, hang you know and it should have same file.

Male speaker: So you know I don’t see that I get a there is a more button on mine that drops down and you can choose same file from there.

Male speaker: More okay send file okay I’m on it here it comes.

Male speaker: Receiving. This is a kind of telepathy.

Male speaker: Yeah, exactly eccentric yes to me that makes sense. Because it’s sort of like a knowledge that what we don’t know it’s not anymore and masturbation would be common knowledge. What is that picture, I still haven’t seen it?

Jackie: Well it’s a painting of a woman who looks like some 17th century man. But it’s sort of funny it’s got a little bit of the Van Gogh about it. You should be able to save in the email Jeffery email. Yeah well I didn’t see anyone I didn’t see anyone wearing a purple shirt.


Male speaker: Okay alright I got it. So could we get anything anything whatsoever?

Jackie: Well no dolphins or swans.

Male speaker: Telepathy is like a language, Patrick I don’t know who you are but yeah well that’s a really or does it become language ones we I don’t know use it or talk about it in some case. This is just what we found was really interesting it’s kind of doing it with no expectations and it being open to its failures it leads you to all these kind of ulterior places and stuff that especially how you can time might become quite interesting. Because you weren’t looking to see anything more implied than anything than what we actually got. But of course when you look at this now well nothing familiar comes what we got if it’s a swan or a beach or whatever comes.

Male speaker: So if the images that came into people’s mind weren’t what we are sending in the telepathic message is does it is it a mistake?

Male speaker: Well what we’ve originally started thinking of was like kind of lost mail office you know. that suddenly went useless in that you know and the images definitely say something about us individually and its [0:51:59] [indiscernible] what we attributed and but I don’t know I don’t really know how to articulate it but then we have found this through time things do attach in a way that they seem completely fragmented and unattached to what’s going on but that’s how it seems to me now you know. It sort of seems like failure.

The other thing that really got involved in which is the idea if we did or think it will kind of be horrifying and maybe a bit [0:52:33] [indiscernible] you know. like if we all saw a beach and then we got a beach like it will sort of be horrifying likely but in a way we are quite open to it invoke in something like I don’t know more I don’t know is it more in the possibly because I’m not quite sure about it [0:52:53] [indiscernible] with my ability to articulate yeah what’s interesting.

Jackie: I may have to say that our telepathic experiments have not been terrible successful.

Male speaker: [0:53:06] [indiscernible]

Jackie: Yeah so but we you know but we are in a sense we are in the middle of a research about telepathy so we continue to make things telepathic classes or receptions.

Male speaker: I was just thinking about your error deceit mistakes publication and that you know it wasn’t really that long ago we were talking with the errorists and about ideas of success and error, mistakes and all that and that’s definitely not foreign territory for you guys. I was curious you know that I think you embrace experiments not knowing well and like you said because yeah I think not just as a kind of foil disguise like  fear of things not going well or possible but because that’s something that you genuinely - another area that’s been a big part of your work and not just part of your work but part of the frame works that you’ve helped setup which is really I think what we are mostly interested in. so I mean even in a class like this it’s  a kind of frame work you know methodologies even or approaches are for me I think I wonder you know sometimes I wonder what the value of talking about things that people are doing or the experiments people are getting out there and maybe describing [0:54:53] [indiscernible] what the  value of that is you know and.-

Male speaker: Describing the most what?

Male speaker: As art worlds or even micro art worlds especially for creative practices or things that people do that often get distorted by placing back into a kind of framework that you know that either displays or supports or even understands those works or these processes as a kind of protocol art.


Male speaker: Well presumably sorry.

Male speaker: No no I guess what I meant was just that I think much of what you guys have done at least in my impression knowing you over like over a long period of time is that you are really interested in certain question but just not sort of not only illustrating them with your work as artists where you make art objects that then get sorted into a certain kind of framework which of course they do. Because you do have a foot in world that would be considered you know I mean that are would be mainstream our world so do many of us. But that you at the same time uncompromisingly you setup these kinds of situations where they just can’t easily be understood or reconciled with those world and that not you, you are not just trying to disintegrate then you are actively developing your own and I’m really excited about interested in that.

Male speaker: Well I think too though it’s very concurrent is what you know this idea of plausible art will do something because I’m guessing here but presumably [0:56:30] [indiscernible] in which they had nothing in there whereas now ones [0:56:35] [indiscernible] got talked about it, it has incredible urgency and you know it might even stupid balance sort of thing. so you know this idea of making speak and discussion around something or to identify that something plausible is kind of you know well it’s not an interesting it’s kind of seems that’s really necessary sort of thing  to [0:57:03] [inaudible]

Jackie: Well maybe in a sense what we are seeking is to know more and I think with the errors and then sits mistakes project that what I think is that we only know ourselves through mistakes and deceits. And so thinking about it in that way it was a research to bring together some way of understanding something. and so when we invited people to be involved people to be involved in that project you know what we would ask them was not to do a lot of work because we don’t really like giving people a lot of work to do and making them come up with new ideas. So we would write to people and say we are working on this project it’s about errors, deceits and mistakes. If you have something in your computer or something that you’ve been thinking about recently, maybe you would like to send it to us to include in the publication.

And then in the sense the project becomes performaty. so in a way it’s not  a publication anymore its becomes a kind of confirmative act that we are the first audience for and I think we anticipate that other people then will be the audience for these acts that then play themselves out on the paper. And it seems to me you know the way we’ve been speaking tonight this whole idea of not knowing is really to bring people together so that we know more.

Male speaker: Well exactly it’s not a sort of fetishzing of a lack of understanding or something like that.

Jackie: No not at all. Because in fact when you bring you know we’ve talked about this when you bring a group of people together they really know a lot they know different things.

Male speaker: Yeah and not knowing can be used like you know in the case of global warming and things like that  you know it’s the things that aren’t in doubt have been thrown into doubt in a really ugly way using as part of post modern strategies of not knowing in a really kind of disingenuous way. and so you know I don’t think that we could you know just sort of stay not knowing this you know an ethic place with what you don’t know good things will necessary follow but it was more to you know to realize that what we are working with is not such a big part of the picture.

Male Speaker: Are you saying then that so that knowing actually remains your horizon, not knowing is simply the way that dominant expert culture has characterized people who are not legitimized as knowledgeable and so you bring people together who are not like indexed within the knowledge economy, you bring them together and you find out that they have more knowledge than the expert culture was prepared to acknowledge, is that right?

Male Speaker: Yeah and that, I mean what you are touching on there is potentially political in a way that I really like the idea of the two but you know not in the [1:00:57] [indiscernible] not in a predestined way but maybe in a use way, the people are using more stuff together but it’s just not picturing sort of thing. So people could actually be together more than what they are aware rather than this kind of fantasy of having the notion and individualism. Like it’s hard to know how real [1:01:20] [indiscernible] or something.

Male Speaker: And just, Mathew hi.

Male Speaker: Hi Mathew.

Male Speaker: But I think that hits on you know the song that you performed, the – I don’t know of the title…

Male Speaker: The one that ends up the show, yeah.

Male Speaker: But I mean I think that the lyrics are really or when you sort of demand and you are sort of narrating the story about reading your email over and then you say like you know, let me show you what my use value is kind of thing. I mean I think that that kind of hits on it in a good way. I don’t know if you have those lyrics that you can share.

Male Speaker: I don’t know if I can find that, let me just see. It was actually, it’s what I got from a book by [1:02:13] [indiscernible] wrote here as Francis Ferguson that was arguing that pornography was kind of useful [1:02:24] [inaudible] someone just joined us.

Male Speaker: Yes, someone we threw out the [1:02:33] [inaudible] probably adding people like I dropped or maybe out of the field.

Male Speaker: Okay I’ve got a rough version where I can put this on? You are starting to cover a lot of ground and so I am sorry if it’s too much.

Male Speaker: This is the song?

Male Speaker: Yeah. So it was really a way of trying like I read a book so you know like to put this in a more series seems like we are in a more kind of readable way than what we’ve been talking so far. I remember reading a book, ‘The Summer before Last’ and being you know just totally you know having compelling feelings about this book that had all these relevance to me. but if you hadn’t asked me to explain the book to you, it was – you know I had no [1:03:24] [indiscernible] at all just sort of say, well it’s about using, it’s about that and to tell you what it was, you know to bring it into any coherent shape. And then after about a year and a half, I kind of got this idea about what she was talking about, his use value that you know you [1:03:42] [indiscernible] sense that if it wasn’t so much that we were kind of in a kind of bad use value but the way that it was possible for someone to reveal [1:03:56] [indiscernible] family and I can’t really explain better than that.

And there was something about what she was saying that’s very explicit and pornographic themes are playing the role of that in our society that rather than us being you know desecrated by our use value or used up by [1:04:22] [indiscernible] but it was prompt in an opportunity to kind of show something new and revelatory about a physical and kind of mental selves or something. And so far one of the reviews of this book by Francis Ferguson went on to kind of say that she thought that what pornography could teach religion because if you think about [1:04:44] [indiscernible] needs ecstasy of the virgin and that religion has a lot of kind of pornographic revelatory you know beyond knowledge kind of moments like that that now Christianity has moved into a very kind of damn sort of knowing where all its about its about us keeping things as they are.


Whereas religion used to have a kind of very sexual revelatory kind of orgasmic kind of quality about it and so this was what this book was talking about here, the ideal.

Male Speaker: But Jeff aren’t you really just talking about two forms of expert culture, disagreeing about what the relevant point of debates are? I mean someone who is an expert on pornography and someone who is an expert on theology will not agree, but there are two experts that are disagreeing and we know that kind of situation. I think, I mean I think that I misunderstood what you guys were on about. I think I didn’t understand your point. I thought that you were talking about not knowing per se. In other words not knowing as a form of knowledge. And that’s much more radical because that is a form which is excluded from the epistemology per se, you see what I mean?

Male Speaker: Yeah I mean I actually had a talk the other night and someone said I don’t exactly get what you are saying and forgive me but I don’t either. You know that’s its more to do as most speaking of the straits of things and sure there are things that become more clear over time. But what the distinction you are making between not knowledge and experts going over particular issues, is that what you meant? Making a distinction between those two things or…?

Male Speaker: Well I think that generally speaking you know debates between, almost all legitimate debates have been two different kinds of expert culture. In other words if you can talk the talk and you have the legitimacy of your community, you can go and challenge another expert. But there is a kind of knowledge that all experts will exclude as non knowledge. I don’t know whether it’s just I mean sometimes we think of that as – you were talking about user ship, I mean users are people who are considered so stupid that they [1:07:25] [inaudible] thing that the expert come up with before them. But that’s not the same thing as pornography, I mean there are specialists on pornography, I mean obviously people who produce pornography and are involved in pornography know a lot about pornography.

Of course it could be dismissed as being stupid by people who are experts on theology. But that doesn’t change the fact that there are people that are speaking with legitimacy of the accumulated knowledge of their fields. What’s interesting though is what psychoanalyst call space of non knowledge or non-knowing or not knowing is where, is speaking from a position which is validated by nothing and by no one. And that’s where the hidden, and I mean it’s not even hidden because it’s not even unmainable kind of space from which knowledge or anything with, while may ever emerge.

Male Speaker: Sure.

Male Speaker: I mean in terms of psychoanalysis that’s where you don’t usually understand yourself like and it gets bigger the more you try and do it and you know generally the role of, one of the role of psychoanalysis is just to find a way, to find acceptable rhymes through where you are in the midst of all this non knowledge or communical of minds.

Male Speaker: Exactly and I totally agree with that. Can I extend that maybe in a banal direction? Because one of the questions that I wanted to ask you right from the beginning is why you chose the name ‘A Constructed World?’

Male Speaker: This isn’t [1:09:25] [cross talk]

Male Speaker: But its – hang on my question maybe is not every interesting either but it wants to be interesting because if we are working with things that are, if we are working with a space of not knowing, it’s very difficult to construct anything. And at the same time, there is a kind of a parallel with the fact that everybody who lives in the world and operates in one, kind of goes along with the idea that that world is not a construct. Because if you start thinking of the world is constructed, it becomes like fake and you can’t really accept it anymore. So we kind of I don’t know rule out that possibility. It’s not just by now to say the world is a constructed world; it’s true by definition but somehow always radical. How do you like square that circle?

Male Speaker: Well my version of it and because its changed a lot like once yourself something, it takes, and its seven down years, so you know it’s taken on a lot of – the way that I was thinking about it and I suppose to something, that it’s something that is put together rather than procedural and maybe put together as we are doing something like that. Or you know like it was just a way to find way of talking about something that didn’t have an origin and something that wasn’t you know implicitly there that you can find that sort of thing, well that – and that it is something that could be put together or made up or continued to be put together or made up as you kind of interacted with something like that.

Jackie: In a way it’s a little bit of a mistake that we’ve ended up with this name I think.

Male Speaker: What do you mean Jackie?

Jackie: Well I mean it was a name that we used in a few projects very early on and then we had a constructible publishing which was found in a magazine. And so we just kept using the name and the different times we did think you know perhaps we should change our name, you know change our artistic way and the thing was that we’ve done so many projects using that name but we had you know we just thought that it was more of a continuum to keep using it. At one point we did change our name to costructed world and that was kind of a mistake as well that it could be.

Male Speaker: So when we mistakenly wrote that in a catalogue and it was printed goes back well, and so for about six months we tried to change prospected like in abstract and the costructed and so we tried to change our name and [1:12:35] [indiscernible] was so [1:12:36] [indiscernible] we are just sort of, it was yeah there it is.

Jackie: People kept running to us and say do you realize that you’ve misspelled your name…

Male Speaker: And they wore us down. So we made it work about it, we did make it work about that prospect. But I suppose you know that’s the sort of – and then apparently in the like 2000s Constructed World had some various specific meaning in terms of video games and how video games are put together. If you look up in wiki and things like that, that it was there and that came kind of after in our knowledge at least, in our Wiki that came after kind of using, and then it’s used economically as well. So I guess it is something that – we didn’t have a manifesto, let’s put it that way, like we didn’t have an origin including that, it’s not as you can know.

Male Speaker: You know this did come up earlier and I wouldn’t want to kind of derail but I think it’s kind of important right? That you’ve – we’ve been talking a bit about psychoanalysis but also probably an equal measure Constructed World, I mean your backgrounds draws, well I don’t know if its equal measure but draw from Rock and Roll in my understanding almost doesn’t, not as much as from psychoanalysis.

Male Speaker: You mean that kind of origins and…

Male Speaker: Yeah origins and competencies and also things from other, ideas from other fields that you draw from in your work.

Male Speaker: Well I think we just wanted to be where more people were and you know the art world can be as we all know, I think everyone on this, discussion it can be pretty [1:14:41] [indiscernible] specific so you know we were just interested in having defined ways which involve big pool, getting into a conversation with some more people. And you know like I suppose in psychoanalysis and rock roll and things like that this could potentially lead other people there that their urges and new pulses might overlap and that they might see themselves participators you know where the gap between the sending or receiving or production and reception starts to become a bit more interesting rather than being [1:15:26] [indiscernible] out someone knowing and someone else not knowing.


Male Speaker: Right yeah, I mean you’ve been in so many group situation now. I mean I am aware of a couple of handfuls of them and I am sure there is a lot more that you’ve got that I don’t know about. You know and what I am really interested in, I mean one of the many things but one in particular is how these experiments where people enter a space not knowing together, I mean that’s one of your primary strategies for a long time. The kind of knowledge that’s costructive there, how does that sort of spin back out into other sort of rebuild other world structures? Because when you group together in a group, you create a kind of world, a micro world, you know, a temporary one off and some of them have been ongoing projects like the Dump Collector and other group situations that have kind of like an organism people have come in and out of, it’s taken on this life that has kept going. But another case is that they are not quite sure but I think in all cases you are, there is an experiment, part of what you get from an experiment is you, you are not necessarily only focused on results but I think you really want to learn something about groups and I guess I am curious, what if those things, not necessarily just that it filter through your understanding but maybe that too but at least in your awareness have kind of filtered their way out into the world and kind of…

Male Speaker: I think the primary level but we’ve been very happy if people wanted to do stuff together and that’s been really important to us. But we have had groups that have started working, we stayed together 10 years and even more and that has happened quite a few times. So if people wanted to somehow it seems important especially after we Mind of Vegan left the place of working like that. But I think what is touching on for me now is what we are talking about in this group now is a real interest to me but Jackie and I are aware that it generated so much information and in a way we’ve not drawn that much I don’t know you couldn’t really call it understanding but we haven’t really drawn that much already information from what was started and that we really want to begin to concentrate on that more to kind of even if it’s very complicated to work with more people to go over.

Like if you think of what we’ve just done tonight, you know like if you look at one of this telepathy experiments, it’s in fact very complex in itself and we’ve kind of being going on and on and on generating all of these things and I guess it’s about time in having worked together for so long and even our age to think about now how could we perhaps make more analysis and of what we’ve kind of done each time and to take that more serious rather than just trying to create the next thing to perhaps give it some sort of place and a kind of field of knowledge maybe or something.

Jackie: But the moment we are working with a group of people on a project that’s called [1:18:59] [indiscernible] archive and Mathew Raner is involved in that group. There are about 10 people involved in it and it’s a group of professional and emerging artists, art, historian, curators and we meet and really starting with this idea of speech and what can you say what is it possible to say, we are making research. And so this group is just involved in being together and getting to know each other and so we are at the point where I hope we are just about to take off to make some work together. And the thing for me that’s very interesting is that even thought I have had a lot of experience working in groups, with groups of people, it’s still difficult to work with other people.


And so there is something very interesting in understanding myself in the group and being with other people and negotiating how I can be an individual in the group and how I can be a participant and how I can put something in and get something out at the same time. So that group is emotion at the moment.

Male Speaker: Just in terms of the sidekicks that are going on while we’ve been talking on just sort of glancing over it, I am not comprehending it in any way at all. But one of the things that’s changed for us that we still – we used to find the relation with other people in the sense that they would say that if someone else said I don’t know about art, we would decide that that was [1:20:48] [indiscernible] not that we said that they did not or that the institution said that they didn’t not but the persons themselves would decide that they did not know about art, that this was in a sense a useful subcategory or category for us to work with. And we kind of worked with that for a long time.

But now with the kind of changing technology and stuff that we are getting a different kind of scene now that everything has been deregulated so much that I remember going to the fiack [1:21:18] [phonetic], the art fair and seeing a really kind of imminent curator there looking at a show and I said to him what do you think about all these? And she said, “I am meant to be an expert but I don’t even know any of the artist.” So that you are getting another kind of deregulation from within when no one could keep up with all of the information that is going on and given that we are all or many of us now are so educated like I was talking about the remote control TV visually in other words, but you can’t really be outside of knowledge in the world. You know this is impossible.

So I don’t know, it’s sort of interesting like to keep the how we could on make on map these changing thing that the experts don’t know and there is no one in one way you can’t really have a place that knows nothing about – now I don’t know if you’ve all noticed but there are all these examples in that were dominant [1:22:20] [indiscernible] talking about performance side and they are like Lady Gaga and Walkin Phoenix and there have been all these examples now where they go, got performance art whereas for a long time, performance art was seeing as something that was very marginal crooked and now as this kind of rigid steady place in the mass main stream sort of thing. And so I think that these changes are really interesting too.

Male Speaker: Absolutely and you know and Jeff I know we’ve had a few chats briefly with them and I have I guess a wide spread clear understandings of collective creating, creativity have been changing, I think relates to a lot of what you are talking about because you are talking about technology but it’s also generational. Number two, impact one another. There is some of the generation predictors as Lee here often talks to us about. Looks at group activities in the changing phase of not just what people do together but what they understand themselves within groups seems to be changing. I mean that’s something I think that will be really worth talking together about more over time.

Male Speaker: Yeah well it’s just mate like a lot of – there are so many dubious things obviously with technology and fantasism and fakes and you know especially about socialiabilty and you know I think people are very part of, aware of this and there are so many things that we already did before the technology that haven’t really changed in other ways too. But so…

Male Speaker: Yeah absolutely, some description of this, not that technology is changing so much but that technology is just amplifying the kind of social networks that we already have. You know this idea of somehow a free and open web or the social web would give us new freedoms and new possibilities but at some studies, referring to studies generically is a really good way to try to [1:24:56] [indiscernible] someone says so, sorry about that saying that but I thinking of something in particular but I can’t recall it now well but I looked at Facebook as a sort of mirror of the type of [1:25:14] [indiscernible] exist, it already existed in our culture.

And not just that application but others where it’s not so much that these are opening up new possibilities, of course they are in a way but in another way they are really just emphasizing and amplifying the kinds of inequalities that we already have, the kind of cliques that we have already formed, you know the lines of thinking that we already follow, excluding and other that we already do in order to form a group and things like that.


I am definitely not being fatalist by mentioning that, I am just saying that I think we need to do more of what you guys are doing and a sense of going in a group situation you are not just going into it, you are also helping them to set up but you also go into the ones that other people set up and you are trying to like get a sense of what they are what they could be, your green knowledge that you have but you are also interested in other claims of knowledge that other people have and not just a certain idea of what knowledge is. That’s not an expert idea but with the assumption the kind of interesting assumption that you take that everybody has knowledge, different forms of knowledge and that we can collectively come up with something else and I am really interested in that because a lot of what you are – you know Steven is still here. Great!

A  lot of what you are doing or a lot of what I am seeing come out of it, there is something to it and that you kind of have to, we can’t really cover it all up in two hours of course. We’ve got to look at each project or each experience one at a time and rally get a sense of what can come out of it. But I would love it if there are other more opportunities for you to share that stuff, you know or for us to distill some of that so that we can learn from what you’ve learnt too.

Male Speaker: Well I am going to have to go because I am actually going to teach a class here at the school where I am…

Male Speaker: No that’s all right.

Male Speaker: But you know I’ve got really a lot out of it tonight and I think it is interesting so if we could do it sooner than the last time. I don’t know like it’s really fantastic every wake just seeing that you continue to this discussion and I think it’s kind of amazing.

Male Speaker: Yeah and you’ve even expanded the space at basekamp for the next several months with Atoine Mathew which was great.

Jackie: Well I mean that would be great if they were open to do something at basekamp and you know work with a lot of people or do something with you that reflects something like this.

Male Speaker: Well we are talking about it, we’ve got into some discussions and it would be great to continue to connect with you guys on that.

Jackie: Yeah, yeah.

Male Speaker: You should.

Male Speaker: Cool well guys thank you so much for coming and thanks everyone for…

Male Speaker: Well thanks everyone else for coming too. Of course there is a whole of stuff that you [1:28:23] [indiscernible]

Jackie: I am sorry I couldn’t, I just couldn’t really follow the text because I was trying to listen to what like we were saying, like what was happening within the audio.

Male Speaker: It’s a strange space to sort of juggle this too at the same time.

Jackie: Well it’s really very interesting because in fact you know there is this kind of subgroup thing going on within this group. People are having conversation with each other and other people coming into those written conversation. So it’s quite interesting, there is quite a lot happening in a parallel space and I don't know in some ways you know some of, we’ve missed some of this really interesting things that have come up in the text.

Male Speaker: Its very interesting and it’s not lots there is a model too, you know that it’s kind of all still there, I mean that’s all written down and what Sean and Veronica can give you, they are perfectly willing to go over it again and go back and that’s presented they did not understood trying to [1:29:32] [indiscernible]. So I am thinking that that, you know this is what we’ve got [1:29:36] [indiscernible] and I hope as a magazine the expert, it’s really just been a time of doing something of wanting to perhaps I don’t know analyze and grasp things a bit more rather than just keep making something new and something.


Jackie: Look I think really the think for us, the reason why we work in this way is that we want to be in contact with more people and it’s not really to make a research about groups and we certainly aren’t making research about not knowing. I mean not knowing is a very – I mean I think in a way we’ve over talked about it because I mean of course the thing we know is that knowledge is small and what we do know that what we could not know. So we have an interest but if we don’t know because what we know is so minuet, what is that we have together and what is it the knowledge that we can have between us we can share.

So you know it’s a kind of contradictory field in the way that we use it. But the thing we are really interested in is making conversation and attempting to make contact through conversation and to get something out of it. You know to make us feel good, to make other people feel good and to feel like we are in contact and we are not alone.

Male Speaker: Well we are actually end of the [1:31:10] [cross talk]

Male Speaker: Thanks very much guys and…

Male Speaker: Thank you.

Jackie:  And hope to talk to you all again soon. Bye.

Male Speaker: Bye.

Male Speaker: Bye.

Male Speaker: Bye everyone, have a great evening and morning and afternoon. Closing music anyone? Can you sing us a song? Okay.

Child Speaking: [1:31:47] [inaudible] get in the spaceship dad. I have a fun dad like [1:32:07] [inaudible] [singing]

[1:34:07] End of Audio

Week 32: E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology)

Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with Julie Martin, one of the founders — with artist Robert Rauschenberg and Billy Klüver, then a research scientist at Bell Laboratories — of Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), a groundbreaking initiative in the late 1960s that brought artists, engineers and scientists together in an attempt to rethink and to overcome the split between the worlds of art, science and technology that had come to characterize and warp modernity.

A series of performances organized in 1966 incorporating video projection, wireless sound transmission, and Doppler sonar — now commonplace but at the time emergent technologies, still untried in art production — laid the way for the group’s founding in 1967. Until the early 1980s (and the beginning of the Reagan era), E.A.T. promoted interdisciplinary collaborations through a program pairing artists and engineers. It also encouraged research into new means of expression at the crossroads of art and such emerging technologies as computer-generated images and sounds, satellite transmission, synthetic materials and robotics.

The whole experiment, with all its utopian energy, is somehow reminiscent of a Thomas Pynchon novel: born of a union between the anything-is-plausible outlook typical of art and science at the time and the blossoming technology industries indirectly funded by the Vietnam war, E.A.T. is undoubtedly one of the most inspiring and emblematic attempts ever undertaken to bridge the gap between the worlds of art and technique. As instructive in its measurable success as in its ultimate inability to correct for the ideological bias inherent to an industrial laboratory, E.A.T. continues to point to a horizon shared by many collectives today — as for instance in its 1969 call for PROJECTS OUTSIDE ART, dealing with such issues as “education, health, housing, concern for the natural environment, climate control, transportation, energy production and distribution, communication, food production and distribution, women’s environment, cooking entertainment, sports…”



Week 32: E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology)


Male speaker: Well hey everybody.

Scott: Hi guys. Oh one thing I forgot to mention everybody if you do want to speak I mean feel free but just so that we record this just for this publication that we are putting up next year so if you don’t mind we will just pass the mic around and we will just deal with that formality just so we can have something about that. But hey everybody that’s there if anybody if you see anybody getting drop can you just let me know because I’m going to be kind of going back and forth between here and talking. So Steven can you hear me?

Steven: I can here you great Scott hi Julie.

Julie: Hi.

Scott: Well let me just give a super quick intro. So hi for everybody tats out there we just kind of you know we took our time getting started because we didn’t want to be too early you know we didn’t want to set the bar too high for next week. So for anyone out there who doesn’t come to this normally just pay attention just check out the Skype chart and if you know you feel free to speak up if you want to there is a little message up at the top about that and if you would rather just take you’re your time to type out what you want to say or ask go ahead and do that we will queue up questions or whenever they seem appropriate or whenever you want to jump in.

So yeah so this week we are following in our series this year of looking at another example of A Plausible Art Worlds each and we are pleased to have Julie martin with us who’s representing experiments in art and technology the 40 some year projecting that were looking at a kind of a prototype in its realm I guess you can say or that’s spear headed a lot of other projects who have sense in her curly following some of the strategies and were really interested in seeing this as a kind of a world or a prototype world or a plausible one an example of plausible one and we want to ask Julie to maybe give people a run through of what EAT is. Many of us know but a lot of people here might not and so Julie has prepared a presentation and she is happy to jump into it really whenever so.

Julie: Do I adjust the slides?

Scott: Oh absolutely yeah so. One thing that I maybe you don’t mind one thing that I want to say is that we actually the slides did not upload properly so I’m going to have to upload them again I just realized. but don’t let that alarm you we are going to upload a PDF to the website and I will post the link as soon as its up that Julie can go ahead and get started talking anytime and you can jump in whenever you get them.

Julie: So do people here see them?

Scott: People here can see them and people online can be able to see them in a moment if so.

Julie: Okay so I can so you want to start with the first one?

Scott: Yeah.

Julie: I think one of the most persistent ideas in 20th century art is that of incorporating new technology into art. You of course had the futuristic blind devotion to technology Russian constructivists who attempted to merge art and life the very strict attempt design approaches of the bell house and they were continued by Kepish at MIT with Molinage, Garb [0:04:33] [phonetic] etc and then of course Marcel Du Chance attempt to make art from every day objects. But in the ‘60s there was an upsurge in the interest in technology among the society and among the artists but they were shut out. It seems like such a strange idea now but they were really shut out from technology, computers were mainframes you had to take your little cards that you’ve coded and take them and then wait two days for anything to come back. and the idea of using materials that were not traditional artist materials had just not it was impossible for the artists to get some plastic they could get one sample or a car load of plastic but  to get enough to work with was impossible.


And so into this desire beginning desire came Billy Clover who was a Swedish engineer he had gotten his degree in electrical engineering from in Stockholm but loved the movies and the minute he could no longer have to do the draft in this country he came to America in 1954. But because of McCarthyism and the fact that lab were being kind of walked into and told what to do he went to Berkley and got his PHD in electrical engineering and then came back to Bell Labs. Bell Labs at that time was the premier laboratory for physics for engineering the transistor was invented there, the laser was invented there and they did that by giving their employees free reign to explore whatever they wanted and free time to do whenever they wanted and they could come and go.

And one of the places that Billy came in and went was to New York. He had been interested in film as I said in Stockholm he had been the head of the film society and so began to meet some of the film makers and in New York. And also one of his good friend was Punters Sultan who was a director of [0:06:38] [indiscernible] art in Stockholm. And then in January of 1960 Punters wrote and said John Tingly is coming to New York he as an idea and can you help him? So Billy met John at an opening and said what do you want? John had the idea to make a machine that would destroy itself. First his idea was to do it on stage and have chicken wire to protect the audience from flying objects but then Dory Ashton and Peter Seltz let him have the garden at the museum of modern art, there was a [0:07:11] [indiscernible] down there so they built the machine in the [0:07:15] [indiscernible]

This is a drawing Billy always said that John was his natural natural engineer so this was his drawing of the machine next slide. What Billy did with his colleagues at Bell Labs was to make a timing device he had a, every three minutes of 27 minutes of electrical switch was tripped and some event would happen. A radio would start playing, a fire would start a little wagon would run out from the machine etc. so this is the timing of the different events next. This is the machine and we see Billy talking to a fireman they were very nervous at the Museum of Modern Art it was six months after they had that famous fire where Rockefeller was carrying the [0:08:14] [indiscernible] out of the building so they were very nervous but they decided this was a contained fire. So here is the machine for 27 minutes went through its destructive.

Scott: Did you say that this was inside the…?

Julie: No it’s the garden they built it inside the [0:08:30] [indiscernible] dome and then brought it out into the garden for the performance next. There you see the little card down below you see smoke ammonia and carbon tetrachloride combined to make whiter smoke that was one of the events, so variety of events it went through until it finally collapsed next. [0:09:00] [indiscernible] this was also a metamatic machine I don’t know if you know his work but John made machines that did drawings with pins and this one it was supposed to that huge roll was supposed to unroll into the audience. But John put the pillion backwards and when Billy wanted to change it after it started he realized and John said no no don’t touch anything just let it happen. So you see the metamatic drawing that never got made.

Next. There is the machine afterwards that John’s with his collapsed machine. The title of the machine was homage to New York next. Bob Rushingburg came by to see what was going on you see here to the right Billy and John went to the left and next, he contributed a mascot to the machine, a money thrower those coils were fussed into the bottom of the box, there was gun powder in the bottom of the box and in a certain moment the resistor heated up the gun powder this spring’s through a part and flew 12 silver dollars into the audience which were never recovered.


After that Bob really liked the idea of collaboration and collaborating with engineers and Billy felt that he could begin to provide a new pallet for the artists he could provide new means for the artists to make art. Bob first asked could I have an environment which as I walk in I change the environment the sun, the light, the and that was too far ahead of his time the technology at that time just couldn’t do it of course now its fairly simple and done a lot but couldn’t be done. So Bob fastened on the idea of a sculpture in which five radios would receive signals and broadcast their signals to four other pieces you see here the different pieces of the sculpture called oracle and this wouldn’t have been hard except Bob wanted no wires between the pieces.

So in those days there was no wireless when they first started out they were trying to transmit over Am which of course the interference was impossible during the time from ’62 to ’65 all of a sudden FM wireless of a home kit was developed and then they built the Am radio would come into the one of the you can go into the next one, to the stereo case here that’s where the controls were we had the 5AM radios. Bob wanted AM because FM was only cultural stations he wanted you know the real thing come into the radio and then be broadcast to each of the five pieces and this was oracle next. Here it is shown in 1965 at the Casteli gallery.

Scott:  Well after you go back and forth [0:12:12] [inaudible] here.

Julie: So the next project Billy began to work with other artists Andy Wohol asked him could I make a floating light bulb? And Billy again went to his colleagues at Bell Labs and they did the calculations really a bulb would have as big as a house because the battery technology in those days was not as advanced. So but Billy had found this material called scotch pack which the army used to pack sandwiches it was re-sealable and impermeable and so he brought it to Andy he said this is the material let’s make clouds. So again they went back to lab and tried to figure out how to heat seal curves because it’s also was not had never been done in those days. Meanwhile Andy just folded it over and said these are my silver clouds.

Male speaker: Can I interrupt you?

Julie: Sure.

Male speaker: You had said before that day the research at Bell Labs had [0:13:08] [inaudible] some kind of economic liability [0:13:17] [inaudible] thanks well I’m just curious because I mean presumably these engineers are were they on salary or something?

Julie: [0:13:28] [inaudible]

Male speaker: Well then I guess I’m trying to understand  more concretely more specifically how it was that someone like Andy Wohol could kind of just call them up and be like I want to built a floating light bulb can you help me?

Julie: [0:14:04] [inaudible]

Male speaker: So it was outside of his capacity as a Bell Labs researcher? He wasn’t being paid for he wasn’t like doing that under on the clock of Bell Labs if you are okay.

Julie: [0:14:14] [inaudible]

Male speaker: Yeah okay I just wanted to be sure I kind of had this image that they were kind of doing this in Bell Labs for Bell Labs with like yeah okay thank you thank you.

Julie: [0:14:25] [inaudible] next project. so here you see the pillows Andy, Josphat Johns wanted a neon is that forward or backward wanted a neon light that had no had been plugged into the wall again a wireless neon and Billy and his colleagues figured out how to do this was a changing DC into AC and then rectifying it up to 1200 volts and running the neon off of the batteries. Yvonne Rainer wanted the sound of her some sound of her body to be broadcast while she was dancing and they had a  small mic at her throat with a small FM transmitter again that they built that was in broadcast to receiver and the speaker so as a sound of her dancing next.


[0:15:24] [inaudible] and John Cage did a piece called variations five in which the movement of the dancers affected the music. So you see those tall polls there those were like theraments and as dancers approached it triggered something as they went away it triggered something else. At the base were photoelectric cells aimed at lights off stage so as they broke the beam that again triggered some of the electronics that John Cage and David tutor were doing. The input was tape recorders but there was electronics input.

Male speaker: John Cage [0:16:01] [inaudible] I mean I have a direct question about John Cage and his music concrete movement I know he would take pianos and jam things in between the wires and each was like the first kind of like rementary synthesizer so did Bell Labs help develop things for him to create music or was this more of just kind of part of this like electronics and art movement like what’s like I’m sort of the correlation thanks.

Julie: Well I think no Bell Labs did Bell Labs did have some music some interest in computer music and some artists did work at Bell Labs in computer music Max Mathews who worked there. But the composers in general were ahead of the visual artist they had some understanding and interest in electronics because of course speakers and that kind of thing. So john was using his input tape recorders records but David Tutor and Gordon [0:17:20] [inaudible] had built circuit his work to circuits filters other kind of basic circuits so they were beginning to incorporate into their work. So things that would move sound from speaker to speaker or cut sound off and turn it on this kind of thing.

So it was just the beginning of using electronics in composition but again it had nothing to do with Bell Labs just with some people from Bell Labs who worked with them.

Female speaker: Do they do anything like that nowadays?

Julie: Well Bell Labs doesn’t exist anymore. There are lucent but there is no lab really it’s a focus is on what’s the next gadget you can make so there is   not just kind of free ranging interest next.

Male speaker: Google labs.

Female speaker: Yeah I have a question.

Julie: Yeah.

Female speaker: I have a question about the clouds it looks like it’s made of they look like they are myler [0:18:29] [Phonetic] that they look like they are myler does it a relationship?

Julie: It is a, it’s kind of a myler it’s called scorch pack and so it was a myler that could be heat sealed. So this is another picture of variations five you can see the kind of electronic equipment with the dancers in the background and [0:18:54] [inaudible] did a video and film during the dance as well. In 1966 the possibility came to do a larger project nine evening theaters and engineering, it started out as a project to go to Sweden festival of art and technology Billy and Bob Rushingburg asked some of their friends as composers, dancers, artists and Billy recruited about 30 engineers from Bell Labs to work together for more than about ten months to develop performances that incorporate the new technology and when the idea of going to Sweden fell through they said in typical American fashion lets it on the lets put it on the show and found the armory in New York the armory where the famous 1913 art shows which introduced European art to America was held.

Next at the first meeting Billy asked the artists to say anything they wanted ideas that they wanted to do most people wanted to fly or be lifted or float but then they began to get down to work and different engineers were assigned different artists and they worked on separate projects. Next so this is the 69th [0:20:20] [indiscernible] which was a huge space, we turned it into a theater with lights with sound, here are the bleachers and there was an extraordinary excitement so many people in the art world not just the artists who were doing the pieces but their friends were helping them working, so there was a huge excitement about these performances.


That’s the first opening night the army was still drilling there so there was trucks that they sit outside while we were in there for two weeks. Steve Parkston just quickly do the different pieces, Steve Parkston built a huge air structure which took up the whole floor of the armory and had people walk through it and see the performances going on inside the air structure so the audience walked through the performance. As they walked out there was a fish net above them with wire loops attached to tape recorders they were so the magnetic resonance could be picked up by little handsets that we made from radios from transistor radios and as people walked they heard different sounds under the different loops I mean this is the technology now its in our museums for a costar guide but it was sort of built by hand for this.

Debra Heyhed had remote control cards. We, one of the things said that the engineers did is  they built the horse FM system a wireless FM system for control for transmission of sound for other things and one of the things that Debra did was to have a card. You see there the FM antennas and the people are holding little boxes FM transmitters and the card is moving around the floor next. Again the dancers interacted with these moving cards next. David Tutor’s piece was beldonian factorial he put eight contact mics I think you can see them at the bottom of the beldony there contact mics on the beldonian going to different sound modification systems of one system turned lights on and off in the armory another one went to a video system that [0:22:48] [indiscernible] had done making images with video and others went to moving sculptures that became loudspeakers when sound was fed into them.

Fred Walder you see on the left invented a control system that would move sound from speaker to speaker proportional control with the light pen he could move sound from speaker to speaker around the armory. This is going pretty fast and its long information but this just gives you a background. I don’t know if you can see the video image or not but Low Cross was the first sound artist to use to do laser patterns run by sound and this is we worked in a [0:23:39] [indiscernible] that he had changed. The laser pattern at the Pepsi Pavilion right. So Alex [0:23:51] [indiscernible]  laid down and it was some sort of interminable piece he laid down these colored clothes and you heard the sound of his sounds from his body, his was wired his lungs, his muscles, his brain waves. So as he was doing this very pedestrian task the audience heard sounds from his body the engineer also built a system to raise the volume of the sound the body is quite quiet actually so that he could be heard.

Then he sat down and thought presumably he thought waves were also heard in the armory as Bob Rushingburg and Steve Parkston picked up the claws. [0:24:28] [indiscernible]  did a very political complicated theatrical political piece one part of which was a match down sixth avenue with placards with Bob, Hope and Mel. So it was a Bob, Hope, Mel match. I don’t know if you know his work but he most political of this kind of artist in the ‘60s and this piece had this wonderful different things going on. Next was a  guided missile that followed the man around the armory and again we use the idea of the myler missile was a little radio control motor at the back and it followed someone around the armory.


Male speaker: It just floats.

Julie: It floated yeah and the motor pushed it forward. And at the end space girl comes down from the ceiling and there is a match with the head of Johnson and a rat you have to see the whole  thing to get the picture but the idea of these different images that he used in a theatrical way. Bob Whitman had cars that drove out onto the floor of the armory. Each car had a projector or a video projector they parked and then next slide these images were projected onto the back wall sort of a drive in theater. The girl was typing up on the balcony close circuit television. A close circuit television showed here every large and there was a contact mic attached to the typewriter so the sound was quite loud. The armory had a six second echo so you can imagine this kind of reverberating sound in the armory.

Next there is Jackie Levy typing and on the other slide two girls were moving slowly in front of a curved mirror myler mirror and their images too were being broadcast down to people below. At one point he had one camera at the top of Jackie and one camera at the bottom so you get this idea of split person in penguin movie so there was a great mix of different imagery. John Cage next John Cage wanted only sounds that were present at the time to be in his piece so he had ten telephone lines brought into the armory with pick ups on the telephone lines, he had places if he called and left the open telephone…

Male speaker: [0:27:20] [inaudible]

Julie: Hi Sid. And this was part of the input into his piece here you have John getting ready for the piece calling and again you see this kind of primitive pick ups on the telephone but all these were built by the engineers next. Here is John’s piece in which there were blenders and fans and other things with contact mic feeding into this electronic sound system. he also used the electric eyes to break the sounds so as the performers David Tutor, David Bareman walked along the platform they broke the beam and triggered the sound off and on randomly which was one of Chris Johns ideas was to do it complete undetermined piece. Next there is John tuning in a radio one of the pieces next next.

Male speaker: Yeah [0:28:36] [inaudible] alright, thought I had it.

Julie: Another view just with the shadows behind dim lights of course made shadows just keep going Yvonne Rainer sat very high above the floor and instructed people to move for dancers she cold poser dance and she was watching it. There are people listening to the walkie talkie and waiting for their next instructions next. It ended by Steve Parkinson swinging from the balcony all the way across the armory kind of magnificent. Go to the next one Lucinda Charles had a dark ward [0:29:32] [indiscernible] setup so that the buckets that she swung in front of this 70 kilohertz sun mean unheard broke the sound beam and made a  kind of whooshing noise in the whole armory, so she created the sound for her performance by her movement.

Again this idea of translating sound into movement, a movement into sound next. Bob Rushingburg wanted a tennis match. so he only made special rackets there is a small FM transmitter in the handle., the contact mic is at the base of the head of the racket and the antennae was wound around the racket, next and every time the people playing tennis hit the ball you heard a huge bang in the armory and a light went out, the light turned out through a very a light to go out. So the people Frank Stiller and his tennis pro played tennis until it was dark, once it was dark a crowd of 300 people came onto the stage in the dark but led by infrared light there are infrared sensitive cameras and you could see them only on screens hang above the audience and Bob had very simple you know hug somebody, wave a hunk, take off your coat but the audience could feel the presence of theses people but they couldn’t see them they could always see the…

Scott: [0:31:07] [inaudible]

Julie: In a sense yeah next and for the last the last third part he decided to soften up the piece and he put Simon Forty who is a wonderful dancer but also a great singer in a sack and she was singing a task of love song and he carried her from place to place around the armory and put her down in this voice which is reverberating through the armory. So there is the group the [0:31:41] [indiscernible] was an official photo of artists and engineers and in those days you couldn’t really tell the difference between the artists and the engineers next.

So there was so much excitement about these performances that the artists and engineers involved decided they should start a foundation to continue the possibilities. We held a meeting at the Broadway central hotel and asked any artist who was interested to come 300 people showed up and we had about 80 requests right way for technical help. So the first job of the EAT was the interest engineers in working with artists. So we did a number of things next put again a newsletter EAT news next we took a booth at the IEEE the professional engineers society in which we talked to engineers and tried to get them interested in working with the EAT that’s John Tucker  talking to an engineer with Tom Gromely talking to an engineer next.

Billy gave talks here is in Toronto giving a talk to a one of the things that happened is  local groups sprang up, people all over the country decided they wanted to form art and technology groups and we said sure go ahead and in fact in Philadelphia there was someone named Carl [0:33:20] [indiscernible]

Male speaker: Yeah [0:33:21] [indiscernible] Tyler.

Julie: Tyler was started the, an EAT group here and A K Newman who must have been an engineer worked with him. So we would go and talk to them and people could do what they wanted.

Scott: Julie, Steven, sorry just for anyone following Steven has asked me about what time we are talking about this is ’67 is that right?

Julie: ’67.

Scott: Okay.

Julie: ’66, 67, 68 by 1968 we had about 2000 engineers members and 2000 artist members and had started a matching system in which an artist could make a request and we would try to match him or her with an engineer that they could work with.

Scott: Thanks for coming guys.

Julie: Next my friend next. So we had a series of talks on technology in the EAT love for artists talking about holograms.

Scott: So were these I mean if all these happened in 1967 so by how long did all these take place I mean every month every?

Julie: Well the lectures we did 67, 68 I think it was maybe every two weeks we lined it up this is Sarah [0:34:42] [indiscernible] talking about do you think how big lasers were in those days that was a typical laser and then the diffraction grading to make a hologram, people were very interested in holograms. In 1968 the possibility came to work on a Pavilion for export 70 the idea was beginning to develop other artists working in non-art situations. and EAT we were very interested in this and the possibility came up to do a  Pavilion for Pepsi Pavilion for export 70 we were given the dome. And I will just talk about the different there are four main artists who did a basic plan and then more than 63 artists’ engineers industries were involved in the different aspects of it.


Next, so we were given this dome sort of origami folded dome and the four artists, Frosty Miles, David Tutor, Bob Brio and Bob Whitman really didn’t like it so they said how can we make it disappear. So the idea came for fog we will cover it with fog. So we began to do research on fog in the US and of course dry ice would have been a disaster I mean mosquito and [0:35:57] [indiscernible] would have flocked to the Pepsi Pavilion also there was a physicist who was working with urea and that could make a fog but we didn’t think that Pepsi wanted a Pavilion covered with urine or urea so that was that.

When we first went to Japan for the first meeting to look at the site we met a young artist Fujiko Nakaya his father had been a great snow scientist he. In fact he grown the first artificial snow flag on [0:36:24] [indiscernible] rabbit’s hair. And Fujiko was interested in working with fog he had been doing some desktop pieces so Billy said you want to make the fog for the Pavilion? And she said yes and she found a go back just go back she found an engineer a physicist in Pasadena who was working on pure water through small opening pipe pressure water through small nozzles which could make fog and we’ve strands of fog on the Pavilion the white domes were sculptures that moved very slowly one foot per minute around the plaza. when they bumped into something they would change direction and Bob Brio also had a tape recorders in there so you could here people talking about the view or [0:37:13] [indiscernible]  or different environmental sounds. Those two black polls were Frosty two polls made a light frame around the Pavilion two unseen lights were aimed at each other making  frame through the fog there is a picture of it later next.

Male speaker: Did Bob Brio he was doing art edge paintings like ten years before that in Canadian films and so the experiments in art technology allow him to make those fiber glass things that bumped and backed up?

Julie: Actually he had been working with those sculptures he had been working with smaller versions of them, not that big small ones that move very slowly. So as making films they went very very fast and sculptures they went very very slowly next.

Male speaker: Sort of I mean just this is pre DT2 here just timeline here.

Julie: Next and so here you have two little kids playing with the - next here is a photo of the fog as it in all its glory so it could on a good day with a little wind it could cover the whole Pavilion. When we first turned it one all of a sudden these fire engines the expo fire engines arrived and they were very relived to see it was only water smoke.

Male Speaker: Amazing.

Julie: Next so there you see on the right to pumps we had about 12 pumps on the left the installation of these strands of pipes was with the nozzles. Again another picture of the fog and here is a picture at night of the Pavilion with Frosty’s light frame you entered through this tunnel into a room next I think there is we called it the clamorer it was sort of clam shape. And there was this moving patter laser light showering down on people as they walked through. The inside the dome was a spherical mirror 90 foot diameters spherical mirror here is a test we did at the dirigible hang in there in Santa Anna.

Male speaker: That’s [0:39:45] [inaudible]

Julie: It was 90 foot diameter and as people walked in next the property was just, just to let you know how it was done we built inside the dome we built a air type bird cage and then pulled the vacuum so the mirror was held up by negative pressure so you didn’t have to have air locks where a lot of air structures is. so here we seeing it being installed with the helium balloon to hold it up until that it could be - this is one of the first pictures we took inside the dome you can see she is standing in the middle and her whole image is mirrored upside down its like its three dimensional other people would see different versions of her image.


This is next there you see her, this is just this ray tracing of how that works but next, next I’m sorry so here inside the dome you see this balloon covered with cloth its at a certain point in the dome makes it bloom so you see the whole mirror becomes pink. There are these quite amazing optical effects not really like funhouse but very real and quite amazing. Here is a picture inside the dome you see the whole floor is mirrored upside down and people could see themselves. also we use the same idea that Steve Parkston had used in his piece of each of the floors was made of a different material, glass, stone, brick and under that was sound loops with different sounds and people could walk around and compose their own sound experience in the dome.

The main thing that the artist wanted or didn’t want they didn’t wanted a Disney kind of get in a boat and ride through and be pointed put what they should see, the idea was to make an environment that was very very rich and people could explore it and on their own. Also the idea was that the this space will be a performance space and we wanted to invite different Japanese and American artists to make pieces in the space and we did about two or three but then Pepsi decided that they really didn’t want that kind of performance. Here it’s showing it upside down so you see how three dimensional the real image is.

Next this was a control council the sound modification, sound and light control council that artists were able to use to control the light and sound in the Pavilion the speakers were put behind the mirror in a [0:42:45] [inaudible] grid so that you could move sound across the dome around the dome focus it at one place and David Tutor made several recordings in the dome. Again this is again how it was put it up there you see the speakers this is the different things that the floor was made out of next. This was the you can see the technology of the day again that was a handset for picking up the sounds from the sound moves under the floor.

Female speaker: Excuse me [0:43:25] [inaudible] just to create different sounds.

Julie: And on different experience as you walked on [0:43:32] [indiscernible] you could hear birds as you walked on slate you could hear maybe horses hoofs, if you walked on icefall you might hear cars so there is again the group picture on the day of the opening next. so more and more just to sort of bring this to a close a little bit we became interested in what we call projects outside art and the idea was that the art was a valuable not just the art work but the artist himself had qualities that could be a valuable member of a team of a multi professional different professionals and the artist could be a part of this team and they could focus on projects outside art.

Male speaker: I mean obviously these are cross dimensional teams you’ve got artists, engineers, composers you know the urban cards sort of the mathematical and scientific how did they organize? I mean like was it were they self organized, were there like leaders like how did they- this seems that I mean obviously these large structures that are caving in so obviously the engineers had the influence on that yet there is some of a very kind of whimsical like that big dome this is very unlike any you have ever seen before. Almost as if they are challenging the shapes which have pushed the limits of design because they are just trying things that are just so different. So I guess my question is that who are the ones that coordinated that kind of that led or at least not led director I mean I may even use the wrong terminology like how did all these stuff come together from all these ideas and everything else?


Julie: I will talk just specifically about the Pepsi Pavilion because some of the later projects were smaller and demonstration project. But the Pavilion of course we had an architect John Pierce one of the first people brought onto the team was John Pierce and we worked with a Japanese construction company in Tokonaka. So the inner phase with them was interesting we would say where you had a four soaky meeting or a five baler soaky meeting depending on - but not the artist came up with some of the basic ideas I mean some of them of course are sculptors Brio wanted to do hi moving sculpture Frosty had the ideas about the light frame.

But the interior Bob Whitman was very interested in optics and the optics of mirrors but over some time from first to bend around there would be a mirror and maybe a rock band playing the ideas the four artists kind of developed their this coherent idea about the Pavilion. And then Bob Brio was saying it never would have worked if we each hadn’t taken responsibility for other things were interested in and I think Billy let them. So Brio we set him up with an engineer who worked with them and then over saw that he could get the thing built. so there was of course a structure and EAT was running it but one of the elements I think was the person most interested most concerned was in charge of that piece of it. Bob Brio had I don’t know if you noticed the tube coming out, he had huge not well fights with the Japanese architects because they wanted to do something sort of you know very very elegant and he said no no it has a to be a tube coming out. So you know he was left to fight with them about that.

So I think the point was each one there was a structure but each person within that structure. so we started doing - I just want to say the project sets out – we had asked for proposals and that’s the rainfalls the image of the rainfalls is very much something that we thought the rainfalls is something that is sustained by activity it doesn’t put down strong roots or deep roots it’s the activity that I going on. So this idea of the artist engineer artist active in society was the rainfall was just kind of a metaphor for that. And one of the first projects we did we were invited by the head of the atomic energy commission in India to develop software for educational programming. the ATSF satellite was going to be pushed over India for a year and this was in 1970 69, 70 and they were going to be able to bring down to certain villages and give instructions to the villagers and so how do you begin to make the software? We chose as a demonstration of a dairy that they the [0:49:00] [indiscernible] and this is one of our best images of the cow being led for artificial insemination.

Then more than 1500 villagers twice a day they took this small amount of milk from the buffalos it was weighed, it was tested and then sent to the diary. They already had this incredible communication system and we tried you we made a proposal in which you used half inch tape which was just beginning to be known to let the villagers make visual research notes about how they saw what they were doing, how they worked with images and then take I back to the studio and develop a programming from - rather than having someone from the BBC sitting in Delhi thinking how you educate people. And this version of this society project actually was put into effect in the ‘70s. We weren’t involved but some ideas like this. Another project we did its kind of a proto internet project and actually we did it the first of the year the first communication about internet happened in 1971 called touring communication there were two sides linked by telephone lines with telex telephone some called it electro writer and fax. And kids from different schools went to the different areas and communicated with each other using this equipment the idea would be that the school could communicate with another school the kids wouldn’t have to leave their environment.

And so they immediately learnt how to use the equipment play games they were totally at ease with this equipment, these are just some photos of it.

Male speaker: So this is the [0:51:00] [inaudible]

Julie: Its I mean it was a direction we were going definitely but of course using telephone lines at that point this is the whole concept of the internet wasn’t there.

Female speaker: It strikes me that this possibly has something that could do like practically everything.

Julie: Yeah I mean one proposal that we made again using the technology that was available at the day was called the USA presents it was for the bicentennial the idea would be to work with super eight and have people distribute super eight cameras to groups in allover the country and have people make three minute movies, bring the movies to centers again around the country and have it broadcast on UHF and VHF stations 24 hours a day you would have a channel or program by the American people. Well I need to say that didn’t get taken up either. But these ideas of were working with some of the artists we worked with you had these ideas of using the technology to communicate next.

Male speaker: [0:52:33] [inaudible] elaborate on what the photo is.

Julie: Oh okay.

Male speaker: Just [0:52:35] [inaudible] for people because they are asking for it and I can’t send it.

Female speaker: [0:52:40] [inaudible]

Julie: He doesn’t look happy.

Male speaker: Okay so where were we? Fax machines.

Julie: So you see the kids I think and an artist made the environment this kind of cave like environment but this I think that’s really there was some more collaborations with artists with engineers but I think I just want maybe in the end we could talk now this whole idea really of the value of the artist the value of the artist getting access to the technology so he and she could be in the society doing projects in the society not you know confined to painting in the gallery modern of the art. And I think there is yeah you see the picture of USA presents if you want to put it up for the people here just showing.

Male speaker: I send it to them oh here we go yeah.

Julie: Quite primitive but the idea that using satellite technology in the day you could program three minute programs 24 hours a day for the year.

Male speaker: [0:54:02] [inaudible]

Julie: I’m all out I’m not sure its completely I mean, so I just think we can you know we can all you know talk I mean what’s interesting is now with so much access to technology what’s changed I mean is the artist more involved in the society, is have some of these ideas percolated down certainly the idea of working with technology. You know in 1966 it was you know like a dancing bear it was just like just amazing you could do it. Now it wasn’t well you danced its you know it was just you could do it but now its taken for granted and has but has the side of the artist been more involved in the society more active, taken hold.

Male speaker: Can I ask you a question can I ask you just a question about this last image just because I think it sort of leads into other questions about worlds.


Julie: Oh okay this is this is a picture of an island [0:55:11] [indiscernible] island in the capelin going Sweden David Tutor had the idea to do a concert on an island called island eye island year in which he would take antennas facing each other if you have two three foot antennas facing each other feed sound into them then it makes the sound beam that you can walk into and walk out of. So his idea was to record sounds from the island during the year and then compose a concert on the island using these different sound beams. The audience would walk through and again compose their own concert. Another thing was to face antenna toward a cliff and the sound would hit the cliff and then just be dispersed all over and we went to this island we map the island we decided also to have fog. So Fujiko Nakaya was going to make different fog sculptures on the island to really show the wind to make certain things about the island visible, the wind patterns, the humidity this kind of thing. And so the blue things are so David what do you call it antennas.

Male speaker: The aerials.

Julie: The aerials sure of the antennas between that the green is where the fog would fall down we also had kites Jackie Matis is an artist who works with kites and tails of kites as he would be flying kites and there was a dancer Margret Olsberg would also do performances. So it was the idea of working on the island and somehow revealing the island through different artists work would reveal the island and the person could experience again the way they wanted to compose it. It’s the greatest concert never done.

Scott: So this is moving back outside of artist outside of art basically this is okay. Great a few people have a couple of questions if you don’t mind hi Judith a few people have a couple if you don’t mind we can just bring them up.

Julie: Sure.

Scott: Maybe yeah come on in and take a sit and grab so food, maybe I will just ask this real quick Steven hey Steven if you can hear me did you want to ask your question from earlier about well there are a few of them but in particular about Julie statement about artist working and non-art situations and asking where that came from did you want to get into that because I feel like a couple of these questions are strained together that and the yeah.

Steven: Yes sure yeah I kind of raised I mean three points in your extremely fascinating presentation Julie unfortunately I could only follow by what you were saying by not without the pictures. You made reference to the importance for EAT of artists working in non-art situations and of course that’s really of key interests to us t A Plausible Art Worlds because it kind of is the essence of our work plausible or otherly plausible art work too. but I was kind of wondering first of all in your experience I mean that I was something which emerged by  and large at the time but EAT was obviously one of the vehicles for its emergence. in your experience where do that idea of artists even wanting to work in none-art situations come from not I’m not looking for an artistically answer but really more experiential answer from you.

And the second sort of following from that maybe its the same question in the circumstance is you said that there was it was clear that there is a value that the artist had working outside of the studio and gallery right that leads us to suppose that they the artists bring with oral body or a incarnate some kind of competence or skill that they can move around outside the customary environment. How actually did you define that value what is it? You know I mean if artists leave their customary environment of working outside of an art situation why aren’t they just like everybody else working outside that situation, how do you see that whole thing where do you see it coming from?


Julie: Well first the idea of projects outside art I think getting involved in the Pepsi Pavilion we very soon realized that this you know a world’s fare is not your normal art world situation. Although the artists the Japanese artists were very important in the fare and Pepsi had to do a non commercial Pavilion so they did look to artists. But the more we worked on it we realized you were doing something outside the normal art world. Ultimately we decided that the Pavilion was a very large huge work of art but it was in a non-art situation so those ideas began to percolate I think. And I think one of the early ideas that Billy had was that the there was not just making technology available to the artists but this the collaboration between the artist and the engineer and that the engineer would get something from the artists that something would change in the ay the engineer did his work and that the engineering would change it would less insolated, less isolated, less you know what’s the next thing.

So early from the very beginning the EAT had this idea that it was a two way street that it wasn’t just making it possible for the artist to work with new technology but also that this collaboration would feedback into engineering. And how utopian that was I think is more somewhat more utopian but certain engineers did - I mean the main example Fred Woldo who was one of the founders of the EAT went onto develop the first digital hearing aid resound through his interest in music and hearing and his work with David Tutor and sensitivity to this he used his expertise to develop the first digital hearing aid.

There are not a lot of stories like that but that was the idea so as we worked with the Pavilion it became this idea became more and more interesting I think Bob Whitman got more and more involved with EAT at the time and I think he was this was something that was very close this heart as an artist was the idea of being of working in other areas. And you are asking what does the artist bring to the collaboration? I’m trying to - we had three or four things I think one is his sense of scale the artist has a sense of scale of things a sense of doing things with a least amount of material the uses of material, uses of himself I think you can say that a good piece of art has nothing supofolous to it that’s something else. And very very important is his sense of responsibility the artist takes responsibility for what he or she does. He cant say well my boss told me that the deadline you know when you do a work of art and you show it it’s like that’s you.

So this whole sense of responsibility for something which we felt was very important in these kinds of projects. So there was this kind of non-art but I think things that distinguish the making of art that we felt were very valuable in a collaboration with other professionals.

Steven: Julie did you ever put those I mean you just listed off three really interesting points did you ever at that time put these ideas to paper about what artists were bringing with them to extra artistic collaborate endeavors?

Julie: I think we wrote it a little bit yeah I mean if you are interested I could try to find it what we wrote.

Steven: Well I will be super interested that’s for sure because as far as I know nobody else was formalizing those kinds of issues at that time and I think that it was really the essence of that kind of collaboration because you know its clear what engineers were bringing down, they were bringing the capacity to do all these absolutely futuristic kinds of things. But it isn’t so clear specifically what artists were bringing you know accept that sort of goofy creativeness that aura that surrounds art but its not very solid that kind of thing. So I will be super interested to read and to know where those things were published and who might have set eyes on them and so on.

Julie: Well yeah I mean I think Billy talked about it in talks I will find it I mean I know these thee things that we talked about were very important I don’t think there was a lot of analytical work here it was really a belief in the artist. I think at the basis of the EAT it was really a belief in the artist that they she should have access to the technology and that the whole society would benefit from this. And I think you find out more and more artists more and more artists projects are projects in the society I mean you know I don’t know I’m just thinking about new art are they quantifying this and looking at this and its not coming out of art as much as its coming out of the society the art itself maybe I’m wrong.


Scott: Sure if you want to speak to her okay.

Female speaker: She was saying just kind of like I guess adding onto that point I feel like its not and correct me if I’m wrong - I feel like its not necessarily like maybe a physical representation that the artist is bringing or like an object or a certain exact thing but more just like that outward thinking like just you know the idea that to broaden her eyesight and think in a different way that most engineers and technologically people right brain refrain you know just don’t quite think of  unless its kind of brought to their attention.

Scott: I’m okay [1:06:49] [inaudible]

Male speaker: But don’t you think like experiments in art and technology is just like one of many steps that happened in the 20th century and the fact that they are real engineers kind of boosted it up but it also goes back to like [1:07:04] [indiscernible] calling up and having enamel paining and [1:07:08] [indiscernible] making knee in an environment of 48 and a constructivist and using plastics and cage and its just a part of a soup but it all kind of like went together with fabrication techniques that were going on in the ‘60s and openness to all kinds of things were happening so its great that Billy was involved and all the guys in Bell Labs but it kind of went from slowly going up to like a jump and so its just a part of the continuity.

Julie: Yeah I think that’s true I do think that one of the things that EAT or added was just this idea of collaboration that I think that Billy increasingly felt was important from as I said he first thought that engineering could provide a new pallet for the artist you know new toys to play with but after working with Bob Rushingburg and seeing how Bob worked this whole idea of collaborating and that two people could work together the artist would have the first idea but maybe the through working something would come out that neither of tem thought of at the beginning. So as a human it’s a human interaction that I think in bringing that into the art making situation.

Male speaker: [1:08:36] [inaudible]

Female speaker: Oh I’m sorry.

Male speaker: [1:08:44] [inaudible]

Male speaker: Its Rushingburg, its Cage, its Cunningham first collaboration and black mounting college back in the late ‘40s and this is more industrial or more engineering techniques. but its very visionary and to no end except aesthetics in the funny its not like oh I’m going to make a better sound you know like the artists are coming up with the ideas and the engineers are allowing them giving them the with  their [1:09:20] [indiscernible] they are allowing them the engineers gave this technology and idea and knowledge to enable the artist to do the things they couldn’t do without the engineers so its a real collaborative thing that never happened before, before it was like artists kind of having these ideas and kind of forcing other people to do it and like the enamor guys in Chicago with Mollinage they didn’t know that could be art whereas this Billy knew it was going t be art.

So it was kind of whatever the word is so it’s kind of that’s why its kind of there is this jump. But it’s also the ‘60s where it’s kind of open to a lot of things too especially collaborative things you know and things that happened. So anyway I’m just rumbling.

[:10:20.1] [background voice]

Steven: I’m confused Scott no I mean we are talking about collaboration but I think on the hand that was [1:10:30] [indiscernible] what would happen when there is discord where maybe an artist was like no you are ruining my vision or an engineer is saying you are completely out of your mind with this shape that isn’t viable. I mean were there ever arguments that just like maybe it was something that maybe it was one that came to mind that you could share with us that kind of illustrate maybe how they start off with the really rough point and maybe how they found way to smooth things over and come to a conclusion on how to work together maybe if they didn’t see eye to eye or maybe they never did.

Julie: I have to one of the things that EAT never did we had a matching program where artists would write in and we would match them and we never followed up. So a lot of experience about collaborations we is that we had no idea what happened so I can’t I didn’t have large experience. but I can say the sometimes the problems would be if the engineer wanted to be the artist, the artist never well yeah sometimes they wanted to be the engineer but mainly the engineer would still want to be the artist or the accountant wanted to be the artist.

But actually with the Pavilion it was interesting what you’re saying we had a young man from Bell Labs who came on board to help to build the control council and David Tutor had an idea he wanted certain number of inputs I think he wanted 12 inputs and there were going to be 37 outputs and Gordon Momoore was going to build the sound modification system and the engineer the young man he said just why do you need so many inputs? And he ultimately didn’t give David as many inputs as he would have liked you don’t need that many.

And Billy always felt bad that he wasn’t monitoring the situation he didn’t understand because for David he could use everything he could get his hands on and he knew what he was doing but he was an engineer who didn’t ruin the control council but it limited what David could have done. And so there was an engineer making an aesthetic some kind of aesthetic decision or. But I also have to say that Billy said that in general those things that the artists asked for were fairly trivial for the engineer. I mean trivial in this kind of mathematical sense the sense that they knew how to do it or it was a different use for saying they knew how to do but it was the advantage was operating in an environment they had never operated in they you know on the stage instead of a clean laboratory that you come to nine to five all of sudden on the stage trying to get this FM transmitter to work. I mean things were built for [1:13:22] [indiscernible]  that were a little bit ahead of his time but not the  artist never really sparked oh my God the transistor or something but it was the idea of using their expertise and building in another environment that was valuable.

Scott: Yeah so a couple of questions were queued up from earlier mainly from okay actually one other thing I wanted to write down.

Julie: [1:13:54] [inaudible]

Scott: Yeah exactly so I guess I just wanted to quickly sum up a few things that came up in conversation so far just so that they don’t get buried and not to derail the conversation but some people on Skype may not have been able to jump in or wanted to really interrupt yet but. So there is two things in it if you don’t mind Anthony asking what you were going to ask first I think it has to do mainly with number two in this little list here and I know this is really generalizing because some of the questions are a little bit more specific than this but I think they kind of fall in here and then if you don’t mind Steven following up with one and three. Anthony was asking about - can you try your mic Anthony if not we can try to read out your question.

Anthony: Right how do I sound am I coming through right [1:14:56] [inaudible]

Scott: Turn up the volume a little bit.

Anthony: Hello.

Scott: Yeah we can the volume is a little low.

Anthony: Can you hear me?

Scott: But yeah there yoyo go.

Anthony: Because it’s really loud is it.

Steven: I can hear you great Anthony.

Julie: Now we can hear you.

Anthony: That’s good as I was saying its excellent. okay well okay the question I have been bursting to ask is well the impression I got to what of cause there was a great sense of excitement and optimism with these collaborations and a lot of performances and illustrations of the work of course took the form of the trade show I mean you even mentioned that and there was like  a dancing bear which of course makes me wonder about how the essence of the day what have we inherited from this and whether how the collaborations and whether they would trust the same type of collaborations in the context we have now. For example adept with the technologies and the researches of the early 20th century would it be game to do a collaboration with [1:15:59] [indiscernible] who is Zurich.

And I was very interested to wonder in the light of artists like Mark Polin and even your artist working with second hand and digital technologies today whether they will be game to do collaborations with them or out of fear that what they produced might actually make those companies and those researches look really bad these things seem to be very companies and researchers seem to be very afraid of what others are going to do now and how they are going to make their work look. So that’s my question are such collaborations possible today or are others too cynical to be out to work with these researchers?

Julie: I don’t think artists are cynical I’m sorry but that’s not the point. I think the way EAT operated it was really on a one to one basis the artist had an idea and Peter Pool or Billy or Fred Woldo or someone would look into the list of engineers and say well say and so is aeronautics engineer he might be able to help you make this thing float or fly or balance and then we would put them together and the idea was that the engineer and not working mainly with engineer not scientists necessary it was a problem solver and the artist was he was presenting them with the problem that if it interested them they would work on. Maybe the nature of the…

Anthony: It was a part of research it was a part of research continuing to some degree.

Julie: Yes they could use their skills to solve this problem. Now Mark Polin had to had the engineers working with them but there were people who disaffected from their company so that doesn’t count. But he did have engineers working. its such its individual thing really and it’s the project if it appeals to the engineer or the scientist they are going to do it.

Anthony: Thanks for that I was wondering if [1:18:37] [indiscernible] question along those lines is whether it’s also any different from how people worked together in the ‘60s to kind of work together in the ‘70s in light with the technology and progress with artists it really depends on like artists and researchers whether there [1:18:58] [inaudible] technology at that particular period or whether they just [1:19:02] [inaudible] why is it that’s why [1:19:09] [inaudible]

Julie: Well you know yeah there were people who didn’t want to work with technology there were people who when we did the Pepsi Pavilion said oh you’re working for the industrial military complex. There are to know  there are always there is a  political aspect but I think artists the artists at least that wanted to work with technology just wanted to do their work don’t you think?

Male speaker: I think there was a thank you you mentioned a few times that Pepsi you funded the expo70 that was what it was the Pavilion?

Julie: The Pavilion.


Male speaker: Yeah so where did the I guess I just kept wondering for all these projects like and I have wondered this for projects I thought of and scrapped before even they got out of my head like where does the money come from and how do you prevent the money for a project from just overwhelming the project itself you know I mean that’s a cynical question but how did you pay for it all?

Julie: With difficulty. No the Pepsi Pavilion was unique in the sense that we were commissioned to do a Pavilion and there was a budget.

Male speaker: What about smaller projects?

Julie: Smaller projects we would get grants the nine evenings just kept growing the budget developed day by day and there was a huge deficit at the end of it. So but we worked with grants and I think part of the problem I mean EAT was less after the mid ‘70s it was less active partly I think because artists were, knew how to approach to companies and work with technology it was an established thing that you could get access to certain materials and techniques but also we really did fall between two stools this idea of projects outside art and we did a project in education and we did a project in telecommunications and nobody quite knew what to do with the EAT so we would make proposals but it didn’t fit anywhere so there was less and less funding for these ideas.

Female speaker: Did that ever limit you?

Julie: Not for the ideas we wanted to do but to take the project bigger or move forward possibly yes.

Male speaker: The irony of all this talk today is that we are using incredible technology then in the 1960s and 70s would have been unfathomable or it would have been something like [1:22:17] [indiscernible] wouldn’t been thinking about and it’s my kid who is eight is using computers and downloading digital camera images and things like and going on the internet. so that what was I think it hasn’t technology hasn’t been co-opted but it’s been absorbed and everybody and lasers which were thousands of dollars and four feet long probably when those images were are now pointers in art history lab you know for $30. So technology as technology becomes more and more democratized there is probably less need for engineers and projects like this or not? That’s the question.

Julie: I think with the idea that you do in you know disciplinary projects to attack social problems that hasn’t gone away.

Male speaker: No I’m not saying that. Do we in the ‘60s and ‘70s we needed the engineers to do this things now artists or whatever artists ‘can now do this themselves because technology is more visible and available.

Julie: So it is interesting what the next step what the next art is going to be like I mean for your generation of kids it completely at ease with certain technologies then what are you going to do with it I mean that really is the question you know. I mean Bob I’m working with artist Bob Whitman still and the projects which he has done we have used engineers and ITP people that know the technology better who know the communication technology better but so the possibility of collaboration is still there. And I think a lot of projects that you all do that the younger people do you collaborate with people so this idea is definitely it’s still in the air and it’s still something.

Scott: Sorry I mean this is one of the reasons that we were really interested to bring you in particular into this series of chats. Not that collaboration wasn’t already in the air in the ‘60s on some level you know interdisciplinary ways as well but specifically within the art field [1:24:57] [indiscernible] that way [1:24:59] [indiscernible] I mean. but EAT was a way of seem to me a way of trying to interrogate that collaboration without suffocating it you know or putting it rather. there was a high level of inter disciplinary by definition you know it was I mean that was that it was at the core and I think that there was it seems to me that there was some implicit bias toward merging of efforts or some kind of or like what [1:25:35] [indiscernible] called an integrate of approach as opposed to focusing on differentiation.


It seem like a lot of people who you worked with were maybe not always working that way but very interested in that. And so it’s really it’s a really interesting case study for us because it’s a sort of parallel world you know it’s a microcosm because it gained a spotlight and obviously there were some prominent people involved in. And so even within the art realm there is a historic bookmark EAT at the very least you know in most you know like 20th century art history courses. But it doesn’t always go in depth and to me it seems like a kind of you know whenever you have a certain bias, you tend to add certain ingredients to the perdition of others. And so what? the EAT seems to me is an ongoing you know culture in a way or a growing organism of sorts that we are trying to figure out and get a sense of what it is because it includes some things and not others but because of that it has its own qualities. and I think that other things that relate to that, other initiatives, other artist and other people whether aware of that or not are kind of sort of building on that case study and that’s really interesting to us. Yeah we are very interested on focusing in collaboration and particularly that’s our bias for this project of course that’s a big part of it so it’s a good thing though.

Julie: I think collaboration but also respect for the professionalism of each of the collaborators I think that is really important that to understand what each person brings to the collaboration and letting that have full flowers as in you everybody isn’t the artist or sense kind of but everybody isn’t the engineer either but that idea of the respect for the - what’s interesting to me is how that has gotten blurred a little bit with computer technology I mean with programmers. so is a programmer an engineer or an artist and I think sometimes it’s just blurred and maybe not for the best that I mean what is programming and how does that fit in or how does the programmer fit in as opposed to the you know artist who is working with it?

Male speaker: Julie Billy was a unique person and because he was both an engineer but he was friends with artists and he was friends with museum directors, so he was able to kind of work in this inner space that was you know as sometimes as curator and sometimes a facilitator and sometimes almost an artist himself are there any engineers or more engineering like thinkers that at that same level I know that the art world was smaller than it was probably easier to maneuver or make the connections between them but are there any at that level that you know of today?

Julie: I don’t but I think that’s my lack rather than there must I mean there are people thinking and doing this out there I just don’t know them a lot of you know media critics and technology critics and you have to tell me who they are.

Scott: Oh definitely well come back next week but seriously yeah I mean it’s definitely a good conversational topic focusing on people that do work in that environment I mean it’s sort of become [1:29:36] [indiscernible] by talking about collaboration ads a fad but definitely there has been a ground swell and there is a lot of examples to point to. People that and particularly people that collaborate on between discipline for instance and that type of technology on some level.

Steven: Can I jump in here a little bit because.

Scott: Yes Steven.


Steven: What Greg just said Greg just mentioned that it’s good that we don’t know you know one or two big names but in fact maybe that’s one of the signal differences between arts in the ‘60s with respect to technology? the technology is  much more diffuse I mean we have an extra 40 years of people learning programming of learning how to write code of learning becoming really literate I guess in technology and I think that what Julie has been describing the type of collaborations that you were doing in ’67, ’68 , ’69 period was with bringing the  cutting edge of the technology industries and in Bell Labs was Bell Labs you know this were like went to you know the dudes who could people on the mood if they actually did that.  

But then today you know that kind of technology even very high [1:30:50] [indiscernible] technologies in the hands of many you know. So maybe there is its more resomic kind of an arrangement that we’ve had but that leads me to a kind of a question because. if that’s true then that’s one of the big differences between now and then I think that in the conversation which we had with [1:31:20] [indiscernible] Stavini and Julie you were there for that conversation in Apex Art one of the critics that was made of not of the EAT that vening but of the artist placement group was that they had a kind of a 1960 style utopian belief that you could collaborate with big business and somehow not be subjected to its agenda and that was actually a little naïve and in fact to extend that maybe to - well let me put it this way is that obviously bell labs were extremely open minded to working with artists even when artists were saying [1:32:06] [indiscernible] do things that ordinarily they weren’t really being paid or trying to make money in doing.

But that wasn’t only true with respect to art I read today for example that at the beginning of the Nixon years in United States the police department of the United States couldn’t believe the amount of money that as being thrown at them to do anything, they just all of a sudden had their budgets increase exponentially and they didn’t quite know how to handle this.

So you know the most kind of a lot of money floating around all over the place and a lot of desire and belief that you could sort of do anything and that would kind of circumscribe actually the lifespan of EAT I mean I don’t know if this is actually true but it’s kind of look there seems to be a great deal of belief that it was possible for artists to work on even in a flat plain fields with business that obviously had a capital agenda totally incommensurate with the artists sort of desires right. And if that all came to an end surprisingly enough with the advent of the Regan when all that utopian stuff was sort of just cut back. That would be a very different conjuncture than the one today and a very different horizon of expectations what do you think about that?

Julie: Now today you have the world comics and the Jeff Coons and the today you have this weird what mega artists and this really conjunction of fashion and art and business and art and you have luxury businesses advertising in art magazines. I mean that never happened I said whatever I mean the society is different I mean somehow the art world is more integrated into the society not necessary for not unless the way the EAT say in vision did of the individual having more access to the technology for his or her own pleasure of variety I mean I was looking at the EAT had these aims which seemed very they are hard to read written by Billy and Bob.

If you don’t its maintaining a constructive climate for the recognition of the new technology in the arts by a civilized collaboration between groups unrealistically developing in isolation, eliminate the separation of the individual from the technological change and expand and enrich technology to give the individual of variety and pleasure and adventure through its exploration and involvement in contemporary life. And the third one encourage industrial initiative in generating original forethought instead of a compromising and aftermath and precipitate a mutual agreement in order to avoid the waste of a cultural revolution. So I mean there were somewhat utopian grandiose.


Scott: What is this from maybe if you don’t mind?

Julie: These were the EATNs that were written up you can I think Billy and Bob wrote them together so just some of the impenetrable languages Bob Rushingburg or both of them actually. But I think the idea of the separation the individual from technology which was true in the ‘60s that maybe at least toady they had separated from they are not separated from certain aspects of technology but there may be others that are just as far into the individual.

Male speaker: I think how can I put this I think and from where getting from where you are telling us engineers with artists and the derivative of that was something different today we all talk about Google many of us have smart phones we work in frameworks the idea that there are tools prebuilt for us I mean the legos are you know you can build whatever toy you want but you’re limited to only so there is a lot of possibilities but you’re limited by those to a certain point like what would you recommend for people that want to break those norms. Let’s say there are people that on the bleeding edge both of art and both of technology what recommendations would you give them to basically breakaway from the Google’s because Google is becoming a paradigm. and I think that this idea that engineers with because I always see artists as visionaries and I see engineers as being you know people that can make something that can something practical or lend you kind of applied technology to kind of make your life different and easier and give you a new perception. So I guess that’s my question is that for those that are you know the teenagers that are in their garages now that like I don’t like any of these that’s up there I don’t like Skype I don’t like all these you know even beyond the open source, the idea that because we are still working with tools that with rules so how do you break the rules and try to do something different and without alienating people that you never really need to help make it plausible?

Scott: Would you mind if we had a piggyback question as well I don’t know if Jenna you have access to your mic or if you want me to just mention what you said earlier or…? Or maybe she stepped away first okay. Yeah well I will mention it well I mean Jenna was just sort of argument that question you can address about the stereotypes of artists and engineers as well that I kind of want to pull this up but I don’t know how quickly I will be able to find it, I think the gist of it was and Jenna correct me if I’m wrong is that yeah they both are I mean they both have quarter “creativity” or imaginative practice often they just have different there is a sort of there is a different playing field within the field and you know the artists can be just as the [1:38:49] [indiscernible] predictable I mean not to step on any one as engineers can be imaginative and mind expanding but at least I think is what you were saying Jenna so correct me if I’m wrong but I want to pass it over to Julie.

Julie: This word always comes up creativity right when you’re talking about artists and engineers and obviously yeah I mean a good engineer will come up with a good solution and it’s probably a creative solution I’m not you know saying engineers can. But I think your question it’s the individual artist I don’t know you can. The individual  artist is going to have the idea and then I think now it’s easier to seek out perhaps somebody who can work with him or her on that idea but it has to come from it comes from the individual. I mean you know I just saw a Christian [1:39:50] [indiscernible] show as a Whitney and I didn’t know his work in the early days but it’s amazing you know cutting up records and playing them you know taking very simple this breaking out off of the technology and then breaking into something else it’s the individual artist, it’s up to you all.


Scott: Do anyone have any burning statements that they wanted to follow that up with because we end right on the dot at 8:00 but we don’t want to squash any something that someone else wanted to mention that we could sort of bookmark for later.

June: [1:40:38] [inaudible]

Scott: Oh Julie were you saying something it almost sounded like someone was on I can’t tell who.

June: Yeah that’s me this is June can you hear me?

Scott: Oh hi Julie yeah let me turn up the volume up a little bit. Oh my bad June.

June: Actually I was weren’t you [1:40:57] [inaudible]experience there are often times where I have seen artists working with fake engineers or scientist where surprisingly the more creative solutions or even deeper conceptual insights might come from the sort of scientific [1:41:14] [inaudible]I’m wondering if you have examples that capture that in those projects.

Scott: Sorry I think the audio really sort of…

Julie: Alright I just [1:41:35] [inaudible] I mean you know.

Scott: Oh you were able to hear okay yeah.

June: Did you get that shall I turn it up?

Julie: No I got it I just can’t think specifically I mean I’m not putting down engineers or you know or artists. I just can’t specifically so many we did know about a lot of the projects and a lot of things in the Pepsi Pavilion and even nine evenings it was a consensus going on a lot of different inputs maybe. But do know people who’ve you know artists now who work with some scientists and worked with people about crystals and other things it’s you know it works the kind of human the human interaction works.

Scott: Yeah we definitely I mean our main interests is in elaborating on that kind of criticizing problems of that but also following up on the possibilities of that so. But anyway we have to end at 8:00 just because we promised that were always going to do and we are slightly few minutes over but it’s really just fascinating we could keeping but Julie it’s been great having you.

Julie: Thank you very much. It does seem like a land far away does it?

[1:43:11] End

Week 30: The Think Tank that has yet to be named

Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with Jeremy Beaudry from the anomalously named “Think Tank that has yet to be named”, a sort of roving creative public policy institute that initiates site-specific conversations, performative actions, and educational projects questioning contemporary urban issues wherever they happen to crop up. Specifically, the group is concerned with how artists and their creative practices so often end up embroiled in urban (re)development strategies, gentrification and the general homogenization of urban space.

Since its inception in 2006, the Think Tank’s permanently open-ended denomination draws particular attention each time it is enunciated to the perils and pitfalls of name giving — above all naming’s inherent tendency to a assign a fixed identity, something any would-be plausible artworld must be wary of. Naming is a powerful political act when it makes a previously unauthorized body appear; yet perhaps only “as-yet-to-be-naming” can perpetuate this political potential over time. As Jeremy Beaudry, Director of the Dept for the Investigation of Meaning, explains,

the Think Tank is comprised of several Departments, each led by a single Director. There can be no Department without a Director, and there can be no Director without a Department. Directors are both autonomous agents and cooperative collaborators. In this respect, the Think Tank has no members, only directors. The declaration of a directorship in a Department amounts to a statement of that individual’s bias and agenda. Nothing is more offensive to the Think Tank than the pretense of neutrality.

The list of names of the Think Tank’s Departments (past and present) wryly makes the point:

  • Dept. for the Investigation of Authenticity (DIA)
  • Dept. for the Investigation of Cross-Pollination (DICP)
  • Dept. for the Investigation of Documentary Subjectivity (DIDS)
  • Dept. for the Investigation of Ecological Subjectivity (DIES)
  • Dept. for the Investigation of Failure (DIF)
  • Dept. for the Investigation of InterSubjectivity (DIIS)
  • Dept. for the Investigation of Meaning (DIM)
  • Dept. for the Investigation of Metaphorical Agency (DIMetA)
  • Dept. for the Investigation of Neutrality & Palatability (DINP)
  • Dept. for the Investigation of Radical Pedagogy (DIRP)
  • Dept. for the Investigation of ReHumanization (DIRH)
  • Dept. for the Investigation of the Structure of Expectations (DISE)
  • Dept. for the Investigation of Tactical Education (DITE)
  • Dept. for the Investigation of Tactical and Strategic Alignment (DITSA)
  • Dept. for the Investigation of the Unmentionable and the authentic
  • Dept. for the Investigation of the Unthinkable (DIUT)



Week 30: The Think Tank that has yet to be named


Male Speaker: Hey everybody.

Male Speaker: Hey Scott.

Male Speaker: Hello.

Male Speaker: Hey Christian.

Male Speaker: Hey.

Male Speaker: Cool so it looks like we got pretty much everybody if you get dropped and didn’t see my message earlier just go ahead and ping us on through the text chat and we will just add you. Thanks sailor yeah that’s what I need to. So welcome everyone to another another week of our series on plausible art worlds where we are looking at one, different another example of an art world each week that’s structured differently than one’s currently on offer in our estimation anyway. And this week we are talking with the think tank, we are talking with Jeremy Beaudry about the think tank that has yet to be named.  I guess I would say I don’t want to say ironically named but maybe paradoxically named. Think tank that has no affiliation with any large organization or municipality and anyway Jeremy thanks for coming. Would you mind, normally we jump right in to asking you to describe what it is for those people who don’t know, would you mind going ahead? I could give you a more flowery intro but we should try to avoid that.

Male Speaker: So I'm talking in a microphone to you out there and also to you guys in here.  I'm going to have to wrap my brain around that somewhat. Thanks Scott for having me out to talk about the think tank. I'm hoping you’ll help me and all of you here help me make sense of why we were invited to participate in this plausible art worlds extravaganza. So what ill do is kind of talk through somewhat historically about how the think tank came to be, why it is what it is, maybe I can talk about some of the projects and perhaps even can talk about how it might be changing. And of course when you guys have questions please just interrupt and let me know. For those of you who are in front of your laptops as many of you are, if you want to pull up the think tank website its It’s linked from the base camp site. That can, you can just tune me out and look through out if you want to see an extensive archive of a lot of our well a lot of our projects really. And also for the Skype folks if your having trouble hearing me anyway as I hold this microphone let me know, I want to make sure everyone can hear me clearly.

Male Speaker: [0:03:56] [inaudible]

Male Speaker: I'm worried about sound and hearing so I think I'm okay.

Male Speaker: [0:04:06] [inaudible]

Male Speaker: Okay. Alright so the think tank that is yet to be named, it began in 2006 and it was started by four of us here in Philadelphia, specifically four of us who were living in a neighborhood called Fishtown and sometimes also Kensington which is not in the center of the city it’s a neighborhood that’s kind of well, now anyway its on the very edge of gentrification that pushes up from center city and consumes a lot of neighborhoods that are now so called desirable. But before I get into the think tank it’s important for me to talk about my experience, our experience in the neighborhood again with the four of us and that helps me communicate why the think tank was formed.


So what’s really important is that the four of us were very much involved in some intense community organizing community activism around the proposal of two casinos for Philadelphia. At the time we didn’t know where they were going but we knew they were going to be five of them, and it turns out that three of the proposed casino sites were actually in our neighborhood in Fishtown in Kensington. You can read about that history somewhere else, I won’t go into it in too much detail. The point is that it was myself, Meredith Warner, Liana Helen, who were artists and another individual named Jethro Hico who is a long term community organizer. And we were very much kind of knee deep in really an intense day to day engagement with activism and community organizing around this particular neighborhood issue. And it was important, it wasn’t really about kind of not in my back yard attitude, it was more about things like transparent processes by which neighborhood development happens, good governance and really just giving the citizens of Philadelphia a voice into what happens to the city and how it happens.

So this time it was really intense for us.  I mean it was it was multiple community meetings a week in the evenings a lot of us were poaching time from our jobs to do the work; I mean it was a crash course and what it means to be a community activist.  We were doing media outreach we were doing public outreach we were lobbying here in Philadelphia and in the state capital, we were organizing our neighbors, we were building coalitions across the city networking other kinds of groups, civic organizations etcetera. And it was really exciting and it was really frustrating, it just about killed us. I can say that now because I have taken a step back from that particular issue I have made out alive. So that was just a really intense thing that was happening, it was a way to very intense way to experience the city of Philadelphia because I had just come back to Philadelphia in 2005, I had been away for five years and this was kind of like I was just thrown in the deep end so to speak. Okay so why is this important? Well as I said at the time considered myself an artist two others of us who started the think tank consider ourselves artists and we are really starting to wonder well one, as artists doing this work, this activist work this community organizing what were the connections the possible connections that were there. What did it mean for us as artists to be doing this kind of work and also was there any way to somehow you know perhaps bring those two worlds, art and activism next to each other in some way.

And so this was the question and I haven’t quite answered this question. But I kind of make sense of it as I go. The important thing here is to as I said this was a very intense period of doing this work I think we were also just wondering is there a place for so called art, is there a way to kind of do work like this and have it live in the world, not as kind of directly identifiable activist work but perhaps as something slightly different from that that might consider art depending on how it looks or not. So that’s kind of the the kind of context around which the think tank came about.  I mean we were curious about doing work as artists that dealt with the same kinds of content and issues that our work as activists did, but was slightly eschewed from that, purely instrumentalised activist organizing work.

So I think like if I can just interject one of the things we learnt on the way is that or  we decided is that we didn’t want a kind of total blurring of a line between art and activism. We actually wanted them to kind of maintain some integrity and live adjacent to each other. So our work as artists couldn’t inform how we thought about things and how we did our work as activists and vice versa, our work as activists could influence and inform the work that we did for whatever reason we labeled as art. And I don’t want to get in to the art, not art, art versus activism kind of discussion right now but this were just some things that were kind of in our minds.


Also important for us at this time was really kind of wondering critically about what our roles as artists in the project of gentrification meant because we were living in a neighborhood that was on the fringe of a gentrification wave and we were benefiting by that. We had, you know we had cheap rent some of us we bought houses for cheap relatively speaking but and we also knew that our presence there as artists was changing the neighborhood. I mean if you go into Fishtown this neighborhood there is this Frankfurt art, Frank wood art corridor and this is an economic development tool that the local CDC uses one to do things that I think are generally good and sincere and about improving the community but two may have unintended consequences, such as you know raising rent raising housing prices and ultimately perhaps displacing people.  So this was kind of a built in point of criticality in terms of how we were thinking about our relationship to the place we were living. So I'm I seeing questions, should I start answering questions.

Male Speaker: [00:11:43] [inaudible]

Male Speaker: Okay.

Male Speaker: Thanks, my question about whether there was a place for so called, well activist practices within the realm of art, he says well, the answers definitely yes.  I guess that was more of a statement than a question that at least that’s something to connect with. I was, I was curious to know how sort of maybe even connected with Steven’s comment that you saying that your, your statement about not wanting to blur art and activist as professionally [0:12:37] [indiscernible]. Yet then again you kind of, you didn’t want to you didn’t want to blur them. You might be, you might disambiguating them but you at least see that they could have a relationship to one another and I was curious about how the practices were eschewed in order to achieve that and I'm sure you are going to get to that I just want to mention it and Chris was asking why keep them separate.  I think besides the last clarification point that’s really…

Male Speaker: I think those questions are related or those comments are related and if I, I think I’ll transition to talking about the think tank itself like its structure because it is a bit of an absurd entity in many ways and I think it gets to the heart of those questions. Okay so and I'm kind of going to this narrative I hope it’s not too tedious. So okay I’ve set that context we were artists, we were heavily involved in this community organizing and activism and someway we were looking for an outlet to deal with some of those similar issues but in a practice that was perhaps more located within a kind of art practice itself. We, I have to go back to some more information about the kinds of things we were doing or the kinds of experiences we were having as we were doing this community organizing work. As I said we were going to all these various community meetings, sometimes they were civic organizations sometimes they were with local politicians, state politicians and we kept running across these very curious things and these very curious positions. And all of these situations we would always find out politicians or community leaders who wanted to somehow be neutral or agnostic about a particular issue or a particular agenda. And so they would kind of play this ‘I’m a servant of the people’ idea as if they were mediators or didn’t have an agenda.


        What became really clear is actually no one in this situations is without bias or without agendas or without a particular perspective. And so this was just a really annoying thing. So we wanted within the structure of think tank to find a way that if somebody participated if somebody was involved they would by default have to sneak a declaration of what their particular bias or agenda potentially would be. And so this starts to get into this idea of the directorship. So the think tank that is yet to be named was considered as a kind of loosely networked group of individuals, there were no members, there would only be directors and each director would be the director of a department that had a member of one, them as directors. And so we developed this kind of formal almost full bureaucracy that could somehow in a way absurdly mimic some of the bureaucracies we were finding ourselves involved with and working within.  But at the same time we would have a mechanism built in whereby you just understand where people are coming from. So early on I became the director of the department for the investigation of meaning and you can look to the website for a number of other of these examples. There was, there is the director of the department for the investigation of metaphorical agency, there is the director of the department for the investigation of failure and so on and so on.

And this was again the mechanism whereby people who were involved in the project would be very kind of clear and transparent about, well this is what I care about, this is my position and in this situation this is kind of the perspective that I hold in this, in whatever the project was. Now I think let me move to answer a few of the questions early on about the ways in which maybe that line between art and activism was maintained and why we thought it was important. The, I think a very influential text for us at least for me and it was shared and discussed often in these early days was Hakim Bey’s  The Temporal Autonomous Zone. And I think the way the think tank thought about itself in setting  its work and itself actually into the space, the public space, the space of the city was very much dependent upon some of, some of the ideas from the TAZ whereby you would through our work and through the strange kind of structure that we had created and the kind of persona that we took on with these directorships, we were really kind of eking out a somewhat autonomous space within the public spaces that we were doing the projects and kind of within the space of activism and organizing in general.

So if only for a moment, if only for the life of a particular conversation or a particular meeting or project we were through this absurd structure and through just the shifting of the space and opening up something that again was as I say slightly eschewed from the everyday practices of activists and organizers within the city. I'm going to take a breath and just see if anyone has any questions right now about anything or needs clarification.

Male Speaker: [0:19:29] [inaudible]

Male Speaker: I'm still here.

Male Speaker: Looks like everybody is bugging out here. This is Allen Amber.

Male Speaker: Hi.

Male Speaker: Hallo.

Male Speaker: Yeah yeah, sorry I missed the very beginning you were involved in community activism organizing enrollment issues?


Male Speaker: Yes. I was for about two and a half three years very heavily involved in a citywide effort to stop the development of casinos, two casinos in the neighborhoods of Philadelphia and this also kind of led into just kind of general organizing around transparency, for public processes and land use and urban development. So that was kind of the context from which we started to think about what the work of the think tank might do. Somebody just fell to the floor; there is kungfu above us which you guys probably already know.

Male Speaker: Yeah the Dojo. Did think tank continue basically with this kind of an engagement with the community organizing or urban development issues?

Male Speaker: Not so, not so focused generally, I'm hoping everyone heard the question. The question was did the work of the think tank kind of continue to deal with these issues of urban developments and perhaps the casino issue itself.  And the answer is, well there were some crossover, I think we were much more, well actually, you know now that I think about it let me say at times the think tank addressed very specific and pertinent questions that had to do with the work we were doing as activists. So for example one of the publicly held private meetings that we did was on the site of the proposed Sugar House casino and this is a very, this is a very significant site not only for the casino project but just in terms of the history of Philadelphia its on the river front. It has a lot of layers of history that go back to pre-colonial times and this was a site that we held one of these meetings at in order to kind of investigate the ways in which metaphor are used by just about anybody who is kind of competing for the life of the city, or the right to the city if I could use that phrase.

        And because developers, politicians they use metaphors for their own means and also we as activists and artists we use metaphors sometimes appositionally for our own means, residents use metaphor. Metaphor is a very powerful tool that helps bring things, helps explain things helps frame things, helps position a number of things. So in that case yes we were kind of addressing the, some of the issues we were focused on in the community organizing and activist work. But what's important is again there was an adjacency, it wasn’t that things were overlapped but we found that using the think tank as a kind of critical lens we were able to kind of shed new light about how we had thought of the issue, how we had thought of the struggle, how we had thought of even its history. So in that case it was a good example of this kind of, this one informing the other where the, the work of the think tank could directly and indirectly inform the work that we were involved with as community organizers.

Male Speaker: And you maintained a separation between artistic practice or artistic inputting and the organizing work yeah?

Male Speaker: What was the question?

Male Speaker: [0:24:05] [inaudible]

Male Speaker: I think we can go on, go on to some other questions.

Male Speaker: [0:24:14] [inaudible]

Male Speaker: Okay. A question?

Male Speaker: [0:24:24] [inaudible]

Male Speaker: We are here.

Male Speaker: Oh yes you maintained a separation between your organizing work in the community and your artistic practice yes?

Male Speaker: Yeah that was, I mean that was an important kind of point we started from because we needed, we felt like it was more productive to keep them somewhat separate so they could inform each other and actually be useful from one practice to the next. There’s a question here.


Male Speaker: Yeah, can I interject here because I really don’t understand how that’s possible to do that. I mean either art is a kind of a formal and slightly, I don’t know, almost whimsical endeavor that has no impact on the community or else it, without even, without being instrumentalised it can also be a factor in social transformation. So I don’t understand how it is that artists would want to get involved as activists while keeping their art part of their lives so separate from their activists’ part.

Male Speaker: [0:25:42] [inaudible]

Male Speaker: It seems like as community organizing the particular perspective that would inform any kind of aesthetic practice that others don’t have.

Male Speaker: Well, what I would say is of course as an artist, I actually don’t like this, I don’t want to really get into this conversation and I, not because I don’t think it’s valid because in some ways it’s not productive. So if I frame things in a kind of binary I apologize because of course art has impact. It has significant impact. And what I would say though is in my experience, in our experience as activists and community organizers doing that work, the intensity level and the kind of rush to put out a fire on a daily basis did not leave ample time  for critical reflection, for even, a lot of times we didn’t have opportunities to develop long-term strategy.

And so what the think tank provided for us was a way to build in a space in which we could address some the issues we were dealing with as activists and organizers, but kind of put them in a different context again using base language create a kind of temporary autonomous space in which to kind of think through what these issues were, what some of the underlying problems are.

I mean ultimately you might think of it, the think tank as a research group in many ways and a lot of our recent projects have been focused on research and even the question of can research be a practice, an artistic practice or even an activist practice.

So it’s not my point to exclude one from the other, our point in the early days of the work was to find a space in which we could have these different kinds of conversations about the issues we were facing as organizers without having to necessarily, instrumentalize them down to the day-to-day operational activities, operational necessities, or that kind of organizing activist work. I mean I don’t know where everybody is coming from; I was totally green when I got into these issues and this work as an organizer and it subsumed my life like completely. And so the think tank was a way that kind of again eke out this space where I could start to make sense of things but in a way make sense of it through a language that I understood, which was coming from  you know an art and even architectural background. So I hope that clarifies the point a bit. Does it clarify?

Male Speaker: Yeah I have great respect for community organizing missions of US City, the present visiting in the amber and yesterday I had a discussion with the [0:29:11] [inaudible] it’s the group behind [0:29:14] [inaudible] the of development of a park really in the tip of the city and commercial interest and who are capitalists center of the Hansiatic League [0:29:28] [phonetic words] they curved out this park. First they were going to cancel [0:29:31] [inaudible] of the strength of Open Bus planning movement [0:29:38] [inaudible] and it was the 15 year long commitment really invent kind of an urban planning, for example, for example with the community and would sort of revive and [0:29:54] [inaudible] several years ago.


So kind of became kind of para dramatic type of urban development from below as it were. And I just want to [0:30:11] [inaudible] impossible in the states in urban situations Philadelphia you described like putting out a fires. To what extent does one fall into through like kind of habitués community organizing [0:30:32] [inaudible].  I'm just going to do what everybody is doing then you step back and analyze it, is there any way that you can bring aesthetic strategies to bare on kind of permanent problems that confront community organizers or are they kind of too over whelming in terms of shrinkage of any kind of caretakers they just too too too overwhelming to see any space for development, community development from below, sorry to blubber on.

Male Speaker: [0:31:23] [inaudible]

Male Speaker: Going on some other way?

Male Speaker: Yeah for sure that is definitely a super interesting line up questioning. I hate to derail it, we could definitely, we could definitely get back to it I just want to answer some of the, maybe not answer but bring up some of the questions that people had mentioned.  And Allan I'm not sure if you actually got them in the text chat because think you’re the only person right now that’s in the chat that has like three different chats running. I'm not sure what to make of it, it’s like a Skype blip but I'm so sorry about that but three, basically three other questions or sort of comments that people brought up in texts I said we would at least try to address. Christian and Jessica’s are very similar. Just trying to get to the nuts and bolts of what's actually happening with the think tank I think. Christian is asking if these are mainly a bunch of conversations or what else does the think tank really do, Jessica is asking if we if they still produce artifacts or if it’s you know primarily social behavior negotiation or role playing etcetera.  And I’ll just mention them all because the chats kind of gone on beyond this. And so I had mentioned that the light to the city life, the life of the city could be spoken in the plausible art worlds context too that’s a powerful idea. There’s been some more conversation below so we can get to that after the first two, which I think are kind of similar.

Male Speaker: Yeah so what does the think tank do and I will, I will try and communicate that. We started off very much again focused on this kind of temporal performative actions that would take place in the space of the city where they could be seen, where they could be happened upon by people in the city and again I’ll point to this influence from the TAZ, Temporal Autonomous Zone, where we could eke out these spaces in the life of the city to all hold these kinds of conversation. So many of the events we have done are called publicly held private meetings. These are generally called by a single director who poses a particular topic or question or set of questions that they would like to discuss in a site that is directly related to the content of the meeting itself.

So I mentioned this example of having one of these at the site of the proposed casino, there have been others held on subway trains held in the courtyard of City Hall and so on and so forth. I mean it was which, it was very much intended as a project, a series of meetings that would address issues where we find them in public space. Now this, the along the way of course many other forms and formats and even artifacts have evolved. One of our more long term projects has to do with the creation of so called readers and we have produced six readers today. The readers are anthologies, collections of texts around a particular topic, particular issue. The first one that we compiled was on I believe art and gentrification, artist and gentrification and you can look to the website for all the other readers.


        This was well we were doing a lot of reading as we were thinking about our relationship to the issues that were coming up for us in the city of Philadelphia and we wanted to make these accessible, we wanted to curate them and then have them available for others to use. So the reader was a really kind of proactive way to share our research with so much wider audience.

Male Speaker: [0:35:34] [inaudible]

Male Speaker: Yeah, yeah, all the readers are available online as a PDF download. Sometimes we print the readers out and make them available in exhibitions and other kind of public venues but I think primarily they are most valuable as you know electronic documents, PDFs that people can access. A related kind of smaller scale project to the readers is what we have called a prototype for pedagogical furniture. This was something that we designed and built for an exhibition at Hyde Park Art Center in 2007 which was called Pedagogical Factory. It was organized Jim Digdan, at The Stockyard Institute in Chicago. And this was again I think one way to make substantial or make even more accessible in public space the readers themselves so we decided to construct this piece of furniture.

Most recently that piece of furniture was taken to a gallery exhibition in Geneva and was kind of touted around the city and used as mobile furniture for the readers. I would say a lot of the work is temporal, is performative. It’s about initiating conversations, it’s about bringing, identifying the right people that we’d like to have, difficult perhaps conversations. Another recent project I would point to is one we did in Boston a couple of years ago where we organized the kind of a walk in conversation in Summerfield Massachusetts around the kind of controversial proposal to extend one of the train lines into a long standing kind of working class neighborhood.  

In this case we go together a number of stake holders who had some vested interested in that issue and we just explored where the train line was being proposed and along the way, all the issues that come up came up and we had conversations around them and actually I think in some ways brought people together to understand various points of view around that issue. So that’s, I mean I think historically those are the kinds of things that we’ve done. I would say the think tank is a transition right now. One thing that’s important is we started very much as a group of people rooted in Philadelphia. It’s since become much more distributed than that and so the kinds of sites specific things that we’ve done in the past perhaps don’t make as much sense to us right now. And the work has tended to become more focused around the reader, around research and I think that’s kind of an open question for us as to what the future of the work is.

I mean also to the somewhat absurd structure that we have invented for ourselves, well I particularly like the idea of the directorships that perhaps changes as well. And it may not make sense moving forward because new people come in, they have different relationships or expectations about what the work is. And so it is important for us to evolve and if something doesn’t make sense, I mean we’re not going to be slaves to the original structure that we developed. We want this work to be kind of full of life and full of relevance so it changes as new people become involved with it.


Male Speaker: I’m actually not sure how to best negotiate the, all of this text discussion with what’s been talked about because I mean a lot of it is being addressed but since they’re not all sort of two second answers and there’s a lot more, sort of contributions and texts that’s come up. I wonder if a few of the people either that are listening to this recorded later who don’t see the text immediately or who just can’t relate easily multitask that way, visually might be getting lost about between the two a little bit. And it’s interesting enough that I wanted to try and bring it in quickly if possible if that’s okay with you guys.  I just wanted to kind of go through a few of this even though a lot of it has been addressed since then.

        Let’s see. I think with one of the questions that was brought up before, one of the statements before, between politics and art is you Adam asked if, sort of addressing Steven’s question about maintaining a distinction between art and community organizing and what he asked about that in the audio track.  Adam had said this is curious position so if I volunteer for a campaign or I take on a role to help organize people for a local issue I have to volunteer my art practice question mark? And he said you know there is no more need for an artist to become a political artist when engaging in politics than there is for an accountant to become a political accountant.  Ellis in the same breath says, think tanks are often political tools. Is it possible or has the work of one been utilized by activist groups, of this one sorry been utilized by activist groups.

Jessica thumbs up research; I’m just going read this through real quick. Steven response to Adam saying right it sounded a bit like I was supposed to remain autonomous from politics organizing “life” why not? Why not actually? But do we, but how do we culminate that double consciousness is also is sort of responding to Selim’s not really question but point earlier about the right to the city of the kind of plausible art world. Yeah Sam is also interested in the nuts and bolts which I think, I’m sorry Jeremy is getting into and Selim if he really hasn’t addressed it enough maybe you let us know the actual nuts and bolts of how it works specifically because I think that was like the meat of the last kind of run right. And we were just sort of going back and forth a little bit about whether the right to the city of the built environment or the sort of negotiated environment can be a kind of plausible art world.

I don’t mean to get into every micro detail but just sort of bring up the bits of points that we probably want to address is just sort of this phrase of accommodating the double consciousness again between an interest, I’m sorry an interest in art competencies and being politically active. And I don’t this is a topic worth discussing maybe Jeremy you can talk about how it’s addressed in the ongoing think tank work even. I think you did a little bit Adam maybe let us know if you’d like clarified a little bit more,  you know whether there is art without politics and politics without art occurring or is it all these Nicks now. Well I mean there is definitely more discussion but I think sort of more of these addresses that question. Christian is also asking about how people get involved in a discussion, even you know how do local people get involved and let’s what else wasn’t brought up. I think a lot of that is just responses to that.

I think the only other thing is we’d like to at some point talk about the directorships, a little bit more. Both in terms of naming and in terms of forming different kinds of maybe non managerial or non hierarchical relationships, it seems like that’s part of why you set that up or maybe there were some other reasons too. And that would interesting to talk about.  Clarissa asked also if you could a little bit about the ask me about gentrification project and the Davis Square Tiles project, what was the expected outcome, what assumptions or plans did the think tank have for the results and how was the work funded. I can help to like keep track of those few things. So a lot of those were grouped in similar but at least now for the people listening to you and reading the chat there is some connection between the two.


Male Speaker: Okay where should I start? This is somewhat anarchic, that’s good.

Male Speaker: [0:45:24] [inaudible]

Male Speaker:  So by the way I want to say hi John O’Shay, I think you remember meeting me in Belfast last year, I hope you will. I’m going to answer your question. The think tank…

Male Speaker:  Am I on right now?  Can you hear me now?

Male Speaker: Yeah. Yeah.

Male Speaker: Hi Jeremy it’s great to meet you in Belfast.

Male Speaker: Yeah it’s good to have you. Well in terms of funding we, I’ve actually not received any funding really. Occasionally because I am a university professor I can get support from my university for like travel. We’ve not applied for any grants. I mean as you can see the work is pretty immaterial so a lot of the work just costs as time and maybe travel. When we can get donations for things like printing costs for the readers and so on we are happy to accept it. But we are a fairly lightweight group in terms of the resources we need. I would think that we would have to have serious conversation about what happens if we started to get funding or seeking funding because one we’re a group that is somewhat is unsolidified in terms of our membership, people come in and out, it’s not clear who has authority a lot of the time. These are issues that perhaps need to be resolved but certainly if we were going to be receiving funding we would have to resolve them in a hurry.

So I think for us to go for funding raises a huge question for us and one that we have not wanted or had to answer yet.

Male Speaker: Okay okay that’s cool. I suppose the reason brought it up is I find in my own practice that we work with housing associations and councils and even contractors but also lots and lots of other groups.  And it’s funny how you’ve kind of built this structure of the director who declares the agenda because what we found is because of working with money as well what tend to do at the beginning of a meeting is have each of the partners declare their agenda which seems like exactly the same thing in a way.

Male Speaker:   Yeah that’s really…

Male Speaker: Just to say you know what actually that it is that you are saying that you want from this, you know I think is a really important thing whenever you’re getting money from somebody. Is that involved in any scenario actually?

Male Speaker: I think it’s a really important point and it speaks directly to again this experience we’re having and these ranges of meetings we’re going to whether they were with City Council people or developers or non profits in the city. It just was never quite clear exactly where people were coming from, like what their position was and that…

Male Speaker: It’s interesting when you get into these sorts of money related scenarios it’s just to give one quick example; we’ve been developing a project for some time which involves temporary installation of cinemas in empty spaces in small towns actually. And in one small town this, town had a cinema for 25 years. And so the project was to install the cinema for one day. And the city council were totally behind it but once we started to knock on some doors and speak to people in shops and other types of buildings, it actually turned out that pretty much this town didn’t own that town anymore.


        You know there weren’t any spaces that were open for any kind of civic activity and that was actually quite disturbing even for on the ground council workers. They were quite shocked at actually the total lack of power they had in their own town.

Male Speaker: Yeah I mean just to kind of quickly comment on that I think in the beginning the public nature of the work that we wanted to do these conversations, the other kinds of projects was also about finding exactly where public space is or could be and could actually happen there. Now I wouldn’t say that was an overt or an even emphasized part of the project but for me like coming from in my other work kind of thinking about public space and the way public space is used and what public space means to different people I think that was embedded into the way we thought about doing the work in the space of the city in public.

Male Speaker: Sure yeah.

Male Speaker:  So am I back tracking now to another question?

Male Speaker:  Thank you, yeah.

Male Speaker: Thanks John.

Male Speaker: How do people get involved in the projects, well I think this is where our work is very problematic? And it’s speaks to perhaps the larger problem of participation within the art world but within politics and I would say like we always felt, well I think in the beginning we had very ambitious ideas about participation. Who participates, what participation means, whether or not participation is a kind of marker of success of a project, which I don’t think it is especially in terms of numbers. We wanted again to intervene into the life of the city, we wanted to hold these kind of curious conversations, meetings and we wanted people who just happened to be sharing that space with us to be curious to ask what we were doing, to start talking with us and even declare directorships themselves.

Now what I will say is that this happened. People were interested, people of a certain temperament thought it was curious, somehow they understood it and often times we had at least one or two people with a given kind of publicly held private meeting joining in the meeting on the site, declaring a directorship and having interesting conversations.  Now if you want to talk about numbers it was a small small percentage. I mean these were not incredibly well participated in events.  I think what’s more effective and what we started to do later on was actually to identify different kinds of people, different individuals that we wanted to discuss certain things with in the specific places.  So we’d reach out to individuals who we thought had something to offer, we reached out to people who were potential stakeholders around an issue we were looking at. For example if it was in a particular neighborhood and that was how we started to think more about the ways in which we could get people to participate.

All these we’re still being open to anyone to be curious enough to happen by and join in.  But that was, I mean it is a much more useful, if you want people to participate you should probably think about inviting them, it’s the way to put it. Now I don’t know if that’s so important anymore and what it means moving forward but that’s how we began. There’s a question in the room.

Female Speaker: I read you piece in the I can’t remember which reader it is, the one about gentrification I guess. And you talked about going to all these meetings and how there was all this participation in the meetings and sort of rah rah filled off is great you know. And that participation I thought you were characterizing as some sort of anesthetic and I guess I was curious about how to differentiate participations between the anesthetic and the wakening the beaver you know.


Male Speaker:  I mean for me this question of participation is really hugely significant and important and there are a lot of people who are really questioning this notion of participation. The writing that you just referenced I think that way that we started to think about delineating or differentiating different modes of participation was and this is provisional and it’s of course it can be elaborated, but we started to think about it in terms of thick versus thin participation. Thin participation was the kind of participation that we were seeing in a lot of these community meetings whereby you get people to show up, they put their email address on a list, you give them pizza, you sit them down in small groups and you talk about some stuff and you show your funders or you show your politicians you know look ho w many people we had out, is this great? And actually it turns out the decision was already premade and the participation was pretty much meaningless. So this is thin participation.  This is the kind of aesthetic participation as she phrased it, it’s very superficial.

Thick participation of course is much harder, it’s much messier. It actually takes longer than a night for people to participate and contribute meaningfully to something. It takes months, it takes an investment of time and energy and resources. This kind of participation is very rare because it is so, I mean it’s inefficient, I mean this is like real kind of in the trenches democracy you might say when people are engaging on a kind of equal footing and actually listening to each other and really producing something that interactional exchange that has substance and has meaning. So just to take this kind of back to the think tank we were okay with doing a meeting a public space and having one person come by and kind of understanding what we were doing and having a conversation and hearing them and then hearing us and making a connection. I mean those are very small things but they become really meaningful. I mean they let you know that you’re not alone that you can be understood. They also change your perspective because you hear other perspectives and this is the kind of participation I think that is really important and significant and if you scale it up becomes the foundation of a really healthy society, a civic society.

So I mean I think that’s what I’ll say about participation right now but I think it’s so important to thinking about. The last point I’ll make is I’ve been kind of working with, collaborating with to some degree an architect named Markus Miessen who’s just finishing a third book in a series of books about participation, the latest volume is called  The Nightmare of Participation. And I think it’s just, he looks critically at participation and I think that’s something that we need to be doing especially after coming out of the, I don’t know the hangover of relational aesthetics. Participation is, it needs to be reformulated in some way.

Male Speaker: Yeah Jeremy I totally agree it needs to be reformulated. How would you like to reformulate it?

Male Speaker: Can I just ask you how you would like to reformulate it? No. I mean I…

Male Speaker: Yeah you certainly can, you certainly can because I mean it’s kind of a value laden question when I ask that. I’m very critical of participation but even more critical of passive spectatorship. And what I’ve proposed as a solution to that is or what I think is more inclusive and more intensive category of political subjectivity which I call usership.


Male Speaker: I haven’t thought of that in that way but it sounds like an interesting approach. Do you think that comes from a kind of recent focus especially within interactive design I would say where the user becomes such, you know the primary focus of experiences with technology or experiences with services? Do you feel like or would you locate that usership perspective in that area or in that terrain?

Male Speaker: For sure. But I would also locate it within the terrain of drug usership, of users all sorts of services and goods which are all very easily dismissed by expert culture as being near consumer self interest and so on which I find in a particularly cheap and underhanded way of dismissing citizenship actually within a consumer society. But yeah this is something which I’ve talked about not enough I mean you know one of my little obsessions. But what interests me is that users have a particular relationship to the goods or the services which they use. Which is not that at all of expert culture, nor is it that of spectator culture and it cannot, whereas I think participation can be relatively easily assimilated into or am I’m afraid it can be assimilated into the regime of creative capitalism. I think usership actually poses a different kind of a problem although I acknowledge that it also is a double edged sword and can perhaps which is also what makes it interesting.

Male Speaker: Scott were there other questions that we might jump to? He’s mid type.

Male Speaker: Yeah there were here. Let’s see. I think we’re on to the second one out of five.

Male Speaker: We just answered that. Participation.

Male Speaker:  We just sort of [1:03:06] [inaudible] sorry just in case no one else can hear me but people in the room. I think maybe we can save like that three for just for a little bit you know you can kind of look at those specific projects in detail. But because we already started talking about it I mean I feel like it kind of flows right into the rise to cities, don’t you think? And the question of usership kind of flows very nicely into the question of, I mean usership and participation anyway flow very nicely I think into ideas about collaboration and community and sort of co working as other phrases that are often abused you know. At least from my point of view and I think from some of the other people that are here, those terms are used really loosely sometimes you know in order to imply some kind of liberatory strategy or some kind of democratization or something. When in reality, that’s not, most of the time that’s not really happening when those terms are used it just means that multiple people are given some kind of agency to play along by the rules of that someone else set up for them within a certain context.

And it seems like what you guys are doing often is questioning that really directly at least from what I know that of what you had done a couple of years ago and also from looking over these readings and stuff that I haven’t been able to read yet or be involved with you guys on yet. But it seems like that’s something that you’d really question. I was curious about that because I feel like those tie together probably. Can you be more concise? Yeah I think if you had any thoughts on how this discussion about participation, the idea that somehow participation itself leads toward a more equitable world or even it’s just a democratizing principle that you’ve definitely have a problem with you’ll also feel the same way about ideas of more intensive participation that are often referred to as collaboration or co working and co design like Christian mentioned that’s a more sort of maybe more current term in the design world.


Male Speaker: I guess with anything you have to ask why or for what reason or to what end. Because then you always end up in this kind of participation for the sake participation or anything for the sake of anything. So for me it’s, or what’s it’s hard to even like abstract or generalizing, I mean what are we talking about? What’s going on? Where are you living? What do you have a problem with? What do your neighbors have a problem with? What’s going on with this country that we don’t like? I mean how do you start to change something?

Well there are many ways about it. A lot of them probably mean you have to participate in something or work with other people or at least understand where other people are coming from. So it’s really hard to kind of answer it in a general way I mean.

Male Speaker: Yeah I mean so just to make sure I understand you, your suspicion of the language around that leads you instead, I mean primarily to say okay well this is just too abstract to really tackle purely with language, let’s actually talk about the specifics of a thing and kind of work our way out from there. Yeah I definitely understand that. I mean maybe that would lead to one of those other questions that I asked you to identify another project and talk about that in depth because maybe that would lead a conversation that might start feeling a little bit abstract and might ground that a little bit again.

Male Speaker: Well the challenge is what are the motivations for the work that the think tank does. So okay we make a reader, why we make a reader? And we make a reader because we’ve been investigating something, a particular issue, a particular topic and that investigation for us often means collecting a number of texts that help us understand the particular topic or issue. And it’s important for us to share that knowledge, share that research in some way. So that others could use it, it’s a quick way to kind of access material. Often times it takes texts that have been locked in books in obscure libraries or they’ve been locked behind copyright protections and we make them freely available. Thank you.

is that I mean, that’s not really, I wouldn’t frame that as any kind of participation, I would just say there is a reason why we did something, there is something we wanted to accomplish by doing it and it’s fairly simple on that case.

Female Speaker: [1:09:00] [inaudible] by giving those texts to the public you enable a participation of those texts don’t you?

Male Speaker:  Yeah I think that’s a good point as well to point to something, to distribute it, to share it so others can participate in that knowledge, participate in that research of course on their own terms and for whatever reasons they do. Yeah. So where should we go? Does anyone want to pose another question? Is there something I missed, something that doesn’t seem clear? Can I tell you more about the think tank specifically? Is that important? Tell me.


Male Speaker: Well Ellis was asking more specifics about how you distribute the readers.

Male Speaker: Well the readers are sometimes distributed at specific events like an exhibition or a conference. Just recently two of our directors attended the Open Engagement conference in Portland and they contributed the texts, the readers to the library that was created there. I mean there are always available online to be downloaded and generally there is a kind of informal distribution network that just kind of happens through linking on the web. I wouldn’t say we have a very rigorous distribution project. In fact we don’t even have a mailing list. But it’s just things get out and find their way to people who seem to be looking for them.

Male Speaker: I’m sort of biting my tongue because I think some people have, there is a lot of interest going on in the conversation and I don’t want to just kind of push the questions that I have. Steven was just asking maybe if he could describe some of the departments. If all you do, maybe you could possibly keep in mind this question I have. I was really interested the aspect of naming and so I think so is Steven in I guess in how you’ve, well I guess in how you came up with the particular department titles. I have a sense of at least what you said, your, I don’t know where I’m standing here but I have a sense of what you said your motive, you guys motives were for starting that. I mean there’s a lot of things to discuss about why you departmentalize that way and only had directors and no one below you and so on. But what was the naming about in particular; maybe if you don’t mind getting into that while you explain a few of the departments.

Male Speaker: Well I can explain any department other than my own because the departments they’re created by the individual directors. So I can tell you that I have had two directorships. One is the director of the department for the investigation of meaning and the other is the director for the department for the investigation of radical pedagogy. And I can tell you where those come from if you’re interested. As far as the other departments, again the individuals determine the nature of their investigations, the nature of their perspectives and they self declare their directorships. And this is not, this was never and isn’t an academic exercise. And we quickly learnt that as we started to take the project outside of, well it never really lived squarely on the art context. But as we moved, as we did things out in the city at various events and we ran into people who were not artists, not even academics, they knew exactly what we were talking about somehow and they declared their directorships.

And they were always really interesting and really they did what they were supposed to do. They told you something about that person, what that person cared about at that particular moment in that particular space. And that’s why I still feel that they are useful in that case because they position people. And it allows people to position themselves like people we’re always interested that, people are really excited about that opportunity to say, hey this is who I am at this particular moment, this is my department. I’m a director of this. So it was always a very effective mechanism I thought.

Male Speaker: Can anyone make a department [1:14:53] [inaudible]

Male Speaker: Well this is something that unresolved because we started; well we started with the assumption that basically there were an infinite number of directors and departments in the world and beyond. And they were directors that we didn’t know of, there were directors to be that didn’t know they were directors to be.


            And so it was this very kind of naïve idealistic like, oh everybody is a director and the think tank that is yet to be named has billions of members. That’s very funny and charming at a certain level of thought but when you get down to it, these issues of authorship and authority start to come up. So I’ll just speak historically what has happened. Often times people who come into the think tank to do projects have been invited by existing directors to work on a specific thing and perhaps that leads to a relationship and that newly invited director kind of comes in to the culture and sticks around and then initiates his or her own project. Personally with what’s been invested in the think tank as a project, a sustained project I’m not so much interested anymore in the kind of anarchic distributory rhysomatic model of everybody is a think tank or potentially could be a think tank. And I’m kind of just saying that now I haven’t thought too much about it.

But I think as is the case, when you invest time in something and develop something you do start to feel ownership and authority and a desire for control. So if I was to say, how does the think tank structure work now? It’s very exclusive in terms of like member directors who, it’s between four and six people. It’s certainly open but as you can see this is a huge question that if we go forward needs to be resolved I think. And it’s actually a question that we’ve started discussing if only very recently. We’ve said we wanted to discuss. Yeah, it always creeps in. Since I can see people in the room, do you any of you have a comment or a question?

Female Speaker: Is a desire for, is a desire to expand is that necessarily a bad thing?

Male Speaker: I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. To expand. But I think for me it would be something that is deliberate and strategic and well considered. So whereas initially we had this kind of funny ideas the think tank is as big as how many people are on the planet, theoretically speaking when it comes down to practice, I don’t know what the structure of the think tank looks like beyond what it is now with 46 people who know each other doing projects more or less together. I don’t know how that becomes distributable. I certainly think it could and it might. But for those of us who are doing the think tank work now we haven’t had that conversation and we don’t know what it would mean.

Male Speaker: Jeremy can I?

Male Speaker:  Yeah go ahead John. Go ahead.

Male Speaker:  I wanted to ask a question about the naming issue which has got referred to previously but which is just the first thing that really struck me when I heard about the name of your, I mean the paradoxical anomalous name of your think tank, The Think Tank that doesn’t,  that has yet to be named. Because it made me think about the whole politics of naming and the whole politics of naming with reference to the production of knowledge because of course naming can be a real powerful political act. You know when you name something which was not supposed to be there, when you name a body which was not, when you use a word which was supposed to be a reference without reference to anything and infact you name a body which was there but was unauthorized it’s very powerful.


But of course what happens is then you fix that body in an identity and so it can turn out to be counterproductive. And it seems like by finding a ploy that you will be very elusively named but not named but named with a name that reminds that naming is a problem. You kind of wanted permanently to address that with your permanently provisional name. Can you say something about that?

Male Speaker: Yeah that’s a really good, your point question. What I’ll say is that at the beginning we were very concerned about the problem of identity I guess or more crassly, branding, meaning that we wanted to avoid it. And also there was a degree of anonymity built into the project from the beginning I mean we’re all, we were these directors of these departments. We didn’t necessarily broadcast our real names, certainly not on the website. And as just, I guess we didn’t want the question about identity or naming to get in the way of work that we just wanted to get down and do.

So that The Think Tank that has yet to be named was a kind of dumb solution. I mean we had kind of decided on the think tank as a kind of structure which we could loosely form around with this kind of absurd bureaucracy and you know we didn’t want to think of a name. We didn’t want to lock something in a particular way. It’s kind of like the problem of you start a band and you have to think of a name and that’s probably the hardest part of starting a band maybe. So I mean we just didn’t want to deal with this question and in fact I mean we were very skeptical about even building a website for the project, for the think tank because of this same issue like you lock things in to a specific representation and it starts to lose the kind of energy or verve or flexibility. Ultimately we built the website because we wanted to document the work and we wanted to communicate the work to a much larger audience.

So I actually appreciate how you have interpreted and commented on the name itself I think that was really really well said. And I think it’s still a concern although I don’t think it’s as important as it was when we first began.  Yeah. What is the community, that’s a question that we took up in the fourth reader and that reader was developed. And that reader was developed around the other project that we did in Boston in Summerville.

I mean that was another thing that I think we learned from the community organizing activist work and even from like you know, whatever, participatory art practices, social practices, is this word community, it just gets thrown around like as if it was the most natural thing in the world and everybody knows what you are talking about when you say, I am work with a community or we built a community. It’s a question that I don’t have an answer to like what constitutes community. But somehow we always seem to know what we are talking about when we use that word, when I think it warrants investigating much further.

And that reader on community was an attempt that needs to be resumed and that is you know problematizing what community or communities are and how we talk about them especially. Because I think that is another idea like participation that gets used by lots of different kinds of people for a lot of different reasons. So I don’t know the answer yet. Love to hear some of weigh in.


Female speaker: I guess going back to the thought that you said you were skeptical about starting a website, half the question is what were you skeptical about happening? And did that happen or did anything positive happen, did anything negative happen? What, I guess was anything expected and then unexpected later?

Male Speaker: Well the skepticism about even creating a website for the project, well the first thing that you need to do when you say, I want to build a website, is you have to choose a name, right? A domain name and this again got to this point of we don’t want a name, we chose this thing, the think tank that is yet to be named is kind of a dumb solution to the problem. And the website and all it represents is really about fixing an identity or fixing a brand if it is in the commercial realm perhaps. And we were just really nervous about that because, so some of the things we considered like okay, could we have a website could it built in such a way where there is a new domain name every day, maybe the website changes every second so it’s not fixed? But that just gets kind of a little bit annoying.

So I think for us the importance of documenting the work overtook any concern about the problem of a website or a website name or identity. It was more important for us to be able to archive the work and hopefully make it available for other people to use and look at and all that. I mean I am pleased that we have a website. Because I think it allows us to share the work with a lot of people that we wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

Male Speaker: I am really just mentioning Christopher’s question about whether these readings, oh dear, I was just reading Allen’s comment about, yeah; whether they are available online I know you mentioned that earlier but...

Male speaker: Yeah all of the readers are available online. Go to readers link and that’s the link, they are all there. So Scott’s going to post a link. That’s it that should be it. I think so, no it’s not. Okay, so correction, it is possible that the most recent reader doesn’t have a link but I can make that available. But all the others I believe should be there. Well I know the first four are there, so the second, the last two I will have to make available. If anybody is desperate for one, feel free to email me.

Male speaker: Hi Jeremy, I have a quick question if I could chip in?

Male Speaker: Sure.

Male Speaker: I just, I am kind of interested in the decision because you have spoken about all of, and the fine decision name to do with the name, to do with the website, to do with the roles that people play. But I suppose just kind of stepping a level from that I just curious, I am really interested in your decision to get involved in instituting this kind of formalized structure for this kind of art or activist activity as opposed to just having discussions or just making work or why and to the point where you have almost, I hate this term, where you have almost fetishized sort of corporate structures, if that’s fair?

Male Speaker: Yeah that’s a really good question and I thought of the word before you said it so no worries. It is a really, really valid point and it is something that we are starting to actually discuss amongst ourselves especially with a couple of people that came in much later to the Think Tank Project.


For me I go back to what I think I gleaned from my reading of the Temporary Autonomous Zone. It is one thing to get interesting smart people together and have a conversation. And it’s productive and it’s meaningful and it does something. I think for us, we wanted to do that but we wanted to do it with a more distinct or heavy frame around it. So the kind of absurd bureaucracy of the think tank the kind of, the slightly off, I don’t know off but weird you know titles of the directors and the departments, for us this was a way to draw a frame around what we were doing such that it wouldn’t necessarily bleed into all the other great wonderful productive conversations that people were having amongst themselves and even in ways that are similar to how we do it.

Now as far as fetishizing corporate structures or bureaucratic structure, I think this is a line that we are kind of playing with. I think in the beginning we actually were much more kind of adherent to a formal rigid bureaucracy. Even if you look at some of our email communications from those first few months, it’s like; wow do they have a soul? I mean we were really like buying into this full bureaucracy that we had set up. I think we’ve eased off on that quite a bit so that really what remains for me is just like the essential stuff to still maintain that frame around the work that we do to make it distinct.

So I think, I guess my opinion is it doesn’t fetishize corporate bureaucratic structure.  The potential is there I feel for me what it does is that again it draws a frame around what we do to make it decipherable or legible in a different way.

Male Speaker: Yeah that’s cool I remember as well I see what can be a very interesting texts which sort of brought up some of the pitfalls of less formalized organizations and the tyranny of structure.

Male Speaker: Yeah, yeah that’s a good one.

Male Speaker: Cool thank you,

Male Speaker:  Thanks for the question.

Male Speaker: Have you guys, have you thought about integrating it all with Org, just because I mean you know a number of the texts probably all of them are there if they are not you can probably upload them?

Male Speaker: I am going to give a quick shout out to Heath who is in the Skype audience because this question concerns him as well. Heath is another director in the think tank and of course they are a number of ways in which really interesting important texts are distributed online, org being one of them as well known and one of the most useful. At one point Heath and I were having discussions about whether or not we might want to initiate a similar kind of project to make all these great texts we are finding  and somehow consolidate them into a single place and perhaps make them more available or filtered in a different way like the way I would phrase it. And this was an idea that was initiated by Heath actually. So we didn’t end up following through on that project I don’t know if it is necessary or not.  Perhaps it is I mean I think a lot of the texts we were finding weren’t necessarily online they were being pulled from books, actual books that we had in our libraries or school libraries. So yeah that was something we considered at one point but haven’t moved on it.


Male Speaker: So we are reaching kind of far and wide with Skype and well I was wondering if all your directors are local and if you are interested in pushing beyond geography and stretching out?

Male Speaker: Yeah. We started very much like super local I mean we were in the same neighborhood and we came together in a very specific context around a very specific situation. But of course as with all of you, we know a lot of really amazing smart people and they don’t all live in Philadelphia believe it or not. I must say, and so we reached out to people who were not located in Philadelphia, currently one of our directors is in Iowa City the other is in, actually two of them are in Iowa City and then another is in Chicago and some of them more or less occasional directors are also not in Philadelphia. So it certainly is a possibility and again the problem I have here is we don’t know how we expand or if we want to expand we don’t understand how to deal with things like authority, things like perhaps funding if it comes to that in the future. So I think I am a little bit skittish about you know saying, open the flood gates, let’s get in as many people as we can because I don’t know how to handle it or address it yet, yep?

Male Speaker: Oh yes, I am from Jamaica. I have a plantation loft next to the Bob Marley [1:37:19] [indiscernible] and there is a lot of movies shot there. The Weather Burns are my first cousins and they are professors at Spanish Town University, the caste system over in Jamaica. I have many credits over in the caste system, liberal and professional sciences but Film, Photography and Directing is something that I try to achieve more. Because I am so close to the Marley’s over there it’s like we can do a lot of like celestial, transcendental type things right? Most of it is movie shots like trailer shots but we can’t really get into more than beyond the music video or documentary. So I am at Costa the cousin of the Weather Burns and yeah I am from the caste. I can call up the Weather Burns anytime to get like grands and directors come down from Jamaica because they are like head of the University in Spanish Town. I am from Oltoris, Jamaica.

Male Speaker: Yeah nice to meet you, welcome, cool. Does anyone have any other, we have got you know like under ten minutes to go.

Male Speaker: I think the discussion that we have got is pretty interesting I would say, a few different projects were mentioned that kind of that refer to academia. I think Allen described as for academia, I was maybe wrongly but I think possibly rightly just saying that we were describing something very similar as autonomous information production with kind of less of a focus on whether or to what degree academic institutions are being mirrored. You know there usually there is some degree of that but really sometimes there are high levels, sometimes low level. And there was a discussion about the United Nation’s plauser project and the college arts association and panel that Allen was on and I guess one thing that has got to be worth mentioning because now we are talking about the realm of education on some level we can either avoid the subject or bring it up. I think it might be interesting to bring up.


Here is a question. Do you feel that it is a challenge at this point that ideas about alternative education have entered the, I guess realm of art practices with such a force and that you are probably doing that kind of work you have to at the very least deal with the fact that that’s becoming a kind of, well in one hand a groundswell on the other hand a fad.  And how do you sort of negotiate that the opportunities and the dangers there. And by dangers I don’t mean professionally but dangers in terms of maybe the effectiveness of what you are doing?

Male Speaker: Yeah I mean that’s relevant question because and I see Heath agreeing, yeah. We became really interested in education as a part of our practice in the think tank that is yet to be named. And I think it was one because many of us were involved in academia for example I myself I am a university professor and of course all of us went through the university education. Others were also faculty members at other universities and colleges. And so I think an interest in what other models are, what other kinds of alternative education forms might exist and this is partly out of frustration with academia and higher education.

We are of course interested in that question as a lot of artists are. I mean you are right; everybody makes an exhibition as a school now right? And I think I would like to defer this question to Heath but he is doesn’t have a microphone. He is a director for the department for the investigation for tactical education. He is of us all been perhaps most invested in trying to understand the relationship between art activism and education and he has typed if he’d like to join in in some way.

I think you can’t help but come to education through the door of community organizing and activism and if you are making an art work that also kind of lives adjacent to those practices you are going to arrive at education as well because if you want to change the world or if you want to envision a world perhaps different from the one that you live in the way to get there is through kind of building that world through the sharing of knowledge, the sharing of experience.

        And certainly a lot of us in the think tank have read people like Paulo Ferreira and other names that I am blanking on right now alternative education thinkers and writers the last 40 or 50 years. Yeah, so it is something that we are interested in and that we care about. I won’t say  I have any kind of strategically formulated ideas about it to share right now but if you’re going to build a world instead of in addition to the one that you feel you’re in, education is a way profligate that world.  And Heath is starting to comment a bit.

Male Speaker: I promised to read out loud what he had said. What kind of accent does Heath have? Chicago? Can anyone do a Chicago accent? 1:44:49[inaudible] still on? Chicago. Well Jessica you’re working on it? Can you give it a shot? Well I’ll just quickly say.


Well I’m always interested in these art projects like United Nations or whatever as opposed to perhaps military research or popular education many of which 1:45:11[inaudible] above. Yeah I mean we can definitely have an ongoing conversation about this and yes Friar we had long discussion that stem from Paul Averick’s book, Francisca Friar in the modern school movement which outlines Friar Anarchist schools in New York by Emma Goldman and others. Yeah I think if Heath if you’d like to join any of these future chats and I only parenthetically say that because  we  have like kind of two minutes till closing, we’ll try to keep it fairly structures for the next event and the people who are, it’s 2:00 am for them now.

Then I personally would love to continue this discussion because not only does it comprise one sixth of this year long series, a focus on education, on some level or at least on autonomous information production as we call it. But also it’s just an ongoing interest for sure by me and I’m sure a lot of other people here. So I think probably one of the questions that I have is you know kind of why, what can we really, what art competencies can we really bring to that or what benefit can we have in merging this with a so called creative cultural context in any way or connecting them in any way whether it’s merging or parasiting or making use of or camouflaging or whatever. And that would be, I think those are some of the conversations we’ve had in the past. But in any case I don’t know if you had any other burning things to say Jeremy? Shaking your head.

Male Speaker: To those of you in the room and to the many of you out in Skype land I really appreciate the time you spent with us and hearing me and asking questions. Always love to continue these conversations. So my email is an open email for any of you to use, yeah Yeah there it is. So again I appreciate the time that you spent with us.

Male Speaker: Awesome, and yeah it’s been great. Anybody with closing music? Anybody want to beat box?

Male Speaker: I was going to do a poem tonight and I was going to do a song from Axel Rose, Sweet Child of Mine. But, should I do it here? [1:48:23] [indiscernible]

[1:49:26]        End of Audio

Week 29: Centro de Investigaciones Artisticas

Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with the founders of the CIA or El Centro de Investigaciones Artísticas — more casually referred to by those in its immediate periphery as “El Centro”, in Buenos Aires. A literal translation would be the “Center for Artistic Research” but the founders of the southerly Centro — artists Graciela Hasper, Roberto Jacoby, and Judi Werthein — tend to nudge the acronym toward a “center for intelligence in art”.

El Centro is an artist-run space of interaction and debate for artists and thinkers from around the world, with an emphasis on rethinking norms imposed by northern “centers”. The CIA began operations in 2009, but emerged from intensive discussions in 2006 on the need for renewing art education, devising more plausible teaching models and education environments going beyond disciplinary and geographical frontiers were. The CIA’s activities are extradisciplinary, with a strong pedagogical focus on historic research and art theory conducted virtually and physically. The CIA seeks to hone the critical tools needed to challenge the frontiers of genres and disciplines, expanding the borders of practice, genre and media; promoting those that propose new ways of production, of exhibition and exchange; those that explore broader social contexts than the institutional or market-based mainstream.

Though El Centro operates an international residency program, its lectures, seminars, courses and workshops are also very much neighborhood based: neighbors are encouraged to participate, implicitly challenging the artists’ exclusive expert position on art-related questions, thereby ironically decentering the axis of the artworld — socially as well as geo-politically.



Week 29: Centro de Investigaciones Artisticas


Female Speaker: Hello

Male Speaker: Hi there.

Female Speaker: Hello?

Male Speaker: Hello guys.

Female Speaker: Hello. Yes.

Male Speaker: Judy you invite somebody to participate by, Iím just responding about your chat, by if theyíre in Skype already just drag them into this window and let them know to request contact information from Base Camp or we can do that from them you drag them in.

Female Speaker: I just drag them like from the Skype into the chat.

Male Speaker: Yeah drop them into the window you see all of the broken hearts.

Female Speaker: So what do I do? I just drag the name from Skype?

Male Speaker: Drag and drop them. It should work yeah, it should just add them and theyíll magically appear on the list and then for them to get on to the call Iíll look into that. Okay let me go ahead and Iím going to techie for a second hold on.  Alright so I just requested contact details from this person and they have to say yes and then as soon as they do. Okay great. Well go ahead and do the same with MIR.

Female Speaker: Okay, MIR, Martinez. Martinez is in Spain. Okay. So who am I talking to, is that Scott?

Male Speaker: Super cool. Yeah so you know weíve kind of started off a little bit slow today as it can happen sometime on like a hot and lazy day. But yeah Judy thanks for coming again and representing CIA which I canít really pronounce well.

Female Speaker:          Thank you for inviting me, thank you Steven.

Male Speaker: So if you would, I mean I donít want to take the words out of your mouth Scott but Judy can just present what you think is most important about Centro, why itís called that, why you set it up, where did it come from, what function did it fulfill that was not there before, you know all that stuff. And then weíll, we are not satisfied with your answers anymore weíll start asking questions.

Male Speaker: Yeah that would be great Judy. Iím interested in, well first like why itís referred to as El Centro; itís pretty funny, fairly generic.

Female Speaker: Yeah. First Iíd like to give you some context of like Buenos Aires the small tiny art world there. And you have to think about Buenos Aires or mainly I should say like this Southern Cone, not cone, Latin America has not really many art institutions. So there is basically thereís no institutions. And that we donít, we donít have letís say, museums we donít have schools, we donít have a formal art education down there. So actually the CIA started as like basically like a group of friends that we all happened to be artists and most of us have been working in different like arenas and grounds and always kind of like working somehow in community projects or projects that involved the community and a lot in politics too.


And well so we started this thing saying okay letís create just  a point of encounter, as a point of encounter we decided itís  El Centro,  El Centro in Spanish could go for like and also in English as a point. And then from there we started like working on what would that be as in how would we do it. And mainly, so well then we invited a lot of people which basically theyíre all friends that work in different fields. Many of them are art historians many of them are philosophers, many of them are sociologists and artists in every field, music, architecture because we kind of consider it art. And who else, writers, lots of literature writers because thatís like kind of the strongest that we have in Argentina I mean itís mainly in literature. In visual arts thereís not much that hardly happen there ever other than maybe you know Antonio Barnie and this is like way back and then youíd have all these political artists, political conceptual artists from the 60s which were the ones that lead [0:06:37] [indiscernible]and the retailer which actually Roberto was part of world of 1960s.

So with Roberto talking about all these we decided that it was time to have a space for dialogue and culture, whose calling?

Male Speaker: Yeah Judy never mind the ringing, thatís just me continuing to add people to the call.

Female Speaker: Okay. Yeah so basically started like in a very like informal way and it kind of like got more formal because there was no other way to do it basically to get the funding needed to develop what we want. Most of the people that teach at El Centro all faculty and professors in the public University Buenos Aires in the philosophy university, the [0:07:33] [indiscernible] and in the Letters, the way we call it. So there all of these people like the, the public university in Buenos Aires thereís a very very low salary. I mean itís mostly that people teach there just for the sake of teaching you cannot even pay a rent from that.

So since we started recruiting all these people, all these amazing minds that were buried in these public universities, with like you know teaching 500 students at a time, we needed like to have kind of structure in order to get some funding and also we wanted to operate as letís say as a community in which everybody that worked get paid and that knowledge gets paid and acknowledged that way because thatís something that in Argentina doesnít exist up to now. Now there are a couple of private universities that they do pay well to professors but none of the people that teach in El Centro teach in a private school or university and that has to mainly with ideological reasons.

Male Speaker: So El Centro pays the people that put on these classes?

Female Speaker: Yes and we have, weíve developed a system I mean in order to be sustainable and to be like also coherent with our way of like thinking and the way we think things should operate.  Which is mainly as you know we have an open call for artists like its totally open inter disciplinary? And every year itís annually and we select well a jury that we appoint that like participates selects 25 artists from that applications and they have access to the whole program of the year. And then each of the seminars or each of the classes that are given by each professor itís open to other people to participate.


So the way we do it is like we ask to the people from outside to pay a small fee and from that amount we divide it in two and half of it goes to professor and half of it goes for the sustainability of our centre basically, basically to pay the electricity bills and things like that.

Male Speaker: You mean you are actually able to pay the teachers just from the student fees?

Female Speaker: No we donít have, I mean the people that get grants theyíre totally free. Then we have people that want to come certain seminars for example with Ricardo Piglia which is a very very important Latin American writer and he teaches in Princeton. He does teach in Buenos Aires. So when he does his seminar at CIA, hundreds of people you know from literature want to come. So from the people that they want to come thereís a bunch of those that Ricardo knows already, for example that are writers that he wants to have in his class. And then thereís a bunch of people that we ask them to pay basically. And they pay happily.

Male Speaker: Nice. How do you decide who is who?

Female Speaker:          Who decides what?

Male Speaker: How do you decide who pays and who doesnít?

Female Speaker: Itís basically, we have the 25 grant holders which are already itís the open application. If you want to do the whole program you apply for the whole year.

Male Speaker: Oh okay.

Female Speaker:          And if you want to do a specific seminar or your interest there is a small fee thatís the cost of the seminar. But also what happens is that each of the professors that teach have to work with a group of researchers or they have also their own communities. So they asked us that they want their own people in also for free. So each professor comes selects letís say ten people that are not going to pay and thatís the decision of the professor of the teacher not ours.

Male Speaker: Judy I think you are kind of overstating of there not being any public art education in Buenos Aires. I mean there is an academy of fine arts which has existed for a long time and maybe it is very unsatisfactory but exists. And there is an art world in Argentina and there always has been one despite the, well despite it being very bourgeois and despite there being, having been a lot of political obstacles to it. I mean thereís been kind of an unbroken continuity of avant-garde art practice in Argentina. And I think itís really important even politically to insist on that because thatís something which in the Northern centers is not acknowledged. So I heard you denying that in certain sense saying that you were kind of coming out of nowhere, El Centro was like an invention from nowhere but infact is part of an ongoing project is it not?

Female Speaker: No, no I didnít say come out of nowhere. I just gave some context and actually what was I said was like some of the artists of the 60s that were like the ones [0:13:40] [indiscernible] which was the most avant-garde letís say institution that existed in Argentina. And then from there this group of artists later were [0:13:55] [indiscernible] which actually [0:13:59] [indiscernible] his my partner he was part of that, I mean he is part of that older generation. And the thing is that the history of Argentina politically as you said has been a constant like broken history. We havenít had like even any kind of; I mean democracy is something that in the last 100 years in Argentina was just like kind of flashlights within the whole 100 years. It was constantly interrupted by military coups.

So the same happened with letís say with art right, with any movement in art that had some kind of like begin thing or start to be something and then it would get interrupted. And particularly with the thing of Manara on 60s, all those people most of them when the military coup happened in 76 they dropped art because they all got involved in the what was called La Rucha Alamara which was a political side of it.


So yes there is some stuff, there is true there is a school of arts letís say, a public school of art thatís been there forever but most of the, I mean none of the artists that I know came out of there and that I know that I could be interested in looking at their work. Then what you really notice is that many of the artists in Argentina come out from different other schools or other kind of education. I studied architecture [0:15:54] [indiscernible] Roberto studied Sociology and when lots of people come from architecture or sociology or even philosophy or literature too and then they were drawn towards the visual arts. But the school that exists in Buenos Aires and existed for a while is completely, itís useless I mean.  Nobody that wants to be a serious artist goes there basically. Or whoever goes there, itís not really something that, itís they donít have an interesting program, they donít have I donít know they are very outdated. They are completely disconnected from any kind of interesting discussion in the field of visual arts really.

Male Speaker: I mean isnít that a socially conservative institution or?

Female Speaker: No itís just like; there well there is the school of visual Sartis which is the school that is there. Itís just a school that is like, I remember when I finished high school and I considered myself an artist at the time and I went to visit that school. And then when I visited I realized I was not going to study there because it was so far from my interest of art and then I visited public university of architecture and it was way closer to my interest in a way and thatís why I studied architecture.

Male Speaker: But Judy why do you think that is the case? I mean donít want to talk too much about this but just so we understand the context where the El Centro came from, why is the public art education system so catastrophic?

Female Speaker: Well the whole, I mean itís very complicated because this will involve the whole history of the public University of Buenos Aires which is a very long and complicated history. But the public university in Buenos Aires is really public meaning you donít pay and itís really popular. I mean so you study, the way I studied for example in architecture I studied in a building which was unfinished and had no windows and was next to the airport. So I remember we were in each class we were about 300 students and every time there was like somebody giving a lecture to 300 or 400 people and a plane would depart from the airport, we would all have to keep silent for like 20 minutes. I mean to give you an idea of the infrastructure and how it worked. Basically there wasnít no heating, there were no bathrooms and there were like, and thatís how I studied for seven or eight years.

Those are the conditions of the public university and it has to do funding and it has to do with like larger economic issues of the country. Although also the incredible thing is that the academic level of the public university has always been super high because the best intellectuals have always been involved with it.  So itís kind of like complicated, I donít know if Iím explaining myself, maybe not.

Male Speaker: Well, yeah.

Male Speaker: It seems like a strange paradox thatís all because on the one hand of course it seems like something you would want to make better and on the other hand it seems so bad that you need to create something else which is in fact what youíve done.

Female Speaker: Yeah. And also what weíve been doing is something that itís kind of small you know. And with any kind of, we have no really potential of being anything like bigger or even compete with what the public university is at all. Itís a program basically in which, first of all itís not a school. We donít give a degree, nobody is accredited for anything. Itís basically a program that you navigate it on your own. Itís really like driven by the interest of each person that comes close to El Centro.


So even the people that get that rights, I mean thatís another program I mean thereís a lot of things going on at the same time they can choose whatever they want to do or participate or whatever. And then also what happens is naturally is that from the grant holders and I know this is not the right word by I cannot find an equivalent to use. Many of them I mean they started to develop things on their own so now like a group of them started a radio in the Terrace which is private radio that they are running it every week and they have all these like competitions and music and guests and everybody drinks from the same glass of wine to share the germs. So itís kind of like, kind of an open program in which every participant kind of like starts being part of it creating and proposing content.

Male Speaker: Just to talk about a little bit about the founding membership of the CIA, the Centro, I mean I think itís interesting for me for sure that it would include someone like Roberto Jacorbi who couldnít be with us tonight but who was very active in the avant-garde very [0:21:38] [indiscernible] movement of the 60s and 70s and someone like you whoís actually come from an entire, from a different generation and obviously with the different kind of political old look and agenda. How would, that would seem to me to account for the singularity of what youíre doing, how d you look at that?

Female Speaker:          How do I look at that? Well actually weíre not that different, thatís how we see it basically. What happened is like we live in a different time in which you have to also change the ways of operating. Itís not anymore about what was or letís say in Latin America like in the 60s I mean the way the letís say the left was organized [0:22:29] [inaudible] yeah, than the way today things are like, yeah organized and they have to operate in different ways. And thatís basically where all our discussions like started. How do we create a new way of operating and also acknowledging something that we have and we are geographical problem which is Argentina is really far removed from the world. Itís very difficult for the artists, the local artists of Argentina to travel. And so in a way its like how can we like also have some kind or like interaction with the world.

Male Speaker: You can ship them to Philadelphia.

Female Speaker: Who pays?

Male Speaker: Yeah.

Male Speaker:          Yeah but thatís also a paradox isnít it of Argentina. Itís I mean, maybe not Argentina, Buenos Aires because Buenos Aires is really a Latin American city. It doesn't live itself that way, it doesnít think of itself that way itís really a European city situated outside the Mediterranean basin. And actually Iím not entirely sure; itís true that itís difficult for artists from Buenos Aires to travel. It maybe comparatively more difficult for artists from there to travel than those from New York but in fact if you think of almost anywhere else in South America thereís a fairly decent representation of Argentinean artists, wouldnít you say?

Female Speaker: No I donít think so. If you compare to Brazil or Mexico or even Colombia itís not even close. I think Argentina would be like 10% of that.  And what you say, it is true, Argentina does not doesnít have this kind of Latin American identity, does not share that. And there is also the separateness thatís why itís called the South Cone which is the Chile, Argentina and Uruguay which differs radically from the Northern parts of South America I have to say in a way, culturally you know.


And actually itís funny because once Borcas was asked to define himself somebody asked him if he was an Argentine and his answer was that he was a European born in exile. Thatís kind of like the sense of the Argentine meaning. But at the same itís kind of complete illusion of being like living in the Paris of South America that the reality of it is that it completely disconnected from the world I mean culturally speaking, [0:25:39] [crosstalk] literature.

Male Speaker:          For sure but at the same time obviously you take that into account when you set up a thing like the center for intelligence in the arts, the CIA. I mean did you take that into account because youíve created an international residency program, Buenos Aires has a very strong international pull. And at the same time it is different. You wouldnít set this kind of thing up in, I donít know its [0:26:19] [indiscernible] for example in Bogota or Mont Video or somewhere like that. Itís really youíre working with a different self understanding and youíre able to do something which is very different. Itís important for me to hear how you think of that difference.

Female Speaker: Well, itís true that it is. I mean because what is Buenos Aires as metropolis in South America too. And but there is also this thing for example that idea, which like many artists or people or thinkers are on the world [0:26:51] [indiscernible] Buenos Aires, they contact me and I always want to give a talk or do something. At El Centro and itís always this thing, oh no I go on vacations there you know. And then the best thing that Argentina exported in the last I donít know, 30 years is basically soccer players and models, super models. So within like that kind of exchange what comes in and for what, what goes out and for what there is a whole system of a weird dynamic that itís directly linked with the economic situation of not only Argentina, of all Latin America which has to be with the international debt which is bigger also thing [0:27:43] [indiscernible]. I donít know if answer your question Stephen.

Male Speaker: You did in a way. But I think that itís not quite true that we donít know who Roberto Jacorbi is. We do know who he is. We also know who is Graciela Caranavala is, we also know not only artists from his generation but we know art historians whoíve talked about the very important political conceptual art practices. I mean itís not like we donít know anything about what happens in Argentina. We do and actually weíre quite interested. I mean, whoís weÖ

Female Speaker: Yeah, the way is probably is cold, itís radically different that way that the, of course the reality was experienced. And of course itís always like framed within a Eurocentric and American discourse. I mean thereís always the process of translation when,  which is it is complicated because itís like we as South Americans have to engage in a dialogue in which we could be understood right by Europeans or Americans or even a wider world, conceptual world. And at the same time that has to be the exchange the other way around but doesnít really happen in reality. Itís more about I mean always this thing of the political thing in art in Argentina appears in North America or in Europe when they need the content because they donít have it.

So itís kind of like itís taken out of context and like shown and I think that most of you know it from exhibitions that happen maybe here and in Europe. But itís always chunks and pieces; I mean you donít get to know I mean how things develop and why things develop. Itís just a really complex scene you know. So it has to do with this thing of like how you export culture.


But in fact, I donít know it seems to me that El Centro at least what I heard you saying before is not so much about exporting culture as it is about shifting the center and shifting it of course south in geo political terms, but also shifting it away from the elite because thatís another thing. Maybe you can talk more about actually how El Centro works on a day to day basis because itís really pretty fascinating how you have in an international residency program, you have like art theorists and artists talking and doing seminars and conferences and lectures and workshops. But at the same time youíve got people just wandering in from the local neighborhoods.

Female Speaker:          Yeah we have, itís like really difficult to explain I mean because itís really a whole mix of things. And at the same time we have also, we operate outside of our, the Centro itself now for example from the projects that we started there, we started to work with I donít know I think I spoke about this [0:31:16] [indiscernible] maybe you remember with one of the biggest shanty towns thatís in Buenos Aires in the central city. And basically what was going on there was going on a territorial war between the neighborhoods in the shanty towns because there was no regulation since the government would never acknowledge them as owners of the land. They couldnít have their property delimited.

So they would start like these kind of small fights then they develop into these big fights about like a foot, more like a neighborhood move peace a foot further into the other neighborís territory. And then thatís how it would start the whole rise of violence and stuff. And we started working in these Visha Tentra Uno  itís called and 15 of our grant holders from 2009 studied these with Teri Cruise because Teri Cruise was invited, I invited him to the Centro to do a workshop. And Teri wanted to work in the Visha Tentra Uno so they started working there and then Terry left. Of course his workshop was of only ten days and then he left and then all these grant holders continued the project and actually took it to Congress. And now this week itís going to be approved by Congress and the territories are going to be legally delimited and which was a huge thing.

And the students were working with local architects continuing this thing. So now it became something else. And now in August 14th weíre having the presentation of all these cooperative because they created a cooperative called the Coperativa Watimaltika. And there are some You Tube videos where you can see the discussions in Congress where all the students are presenting the plans and trying to organize this whole situation and work is finally is happening. And this entered the realm of politics somehow and not somehow, it did. So now August 14th weíre having the presentation because theyíre giving already the papers to every settler there in the Visha, the government is giving them like the legal papers and everything of their properties. And the grant holders are organizing this big event there August 14th with all the settlers of the Visha that are coming to the CIA, to our Centro, our building and together theyíre going to do this presentation.  I donít know now theyíre working on that and Iím kind of working with them but weíll see what happens with that. And thatís one of the projects.

The other one is that this next year weíre opening two more branches of the CIA in Buenos Aires which are actually weíre working together with the public university of Buenos Aires in this. And weíre going to have the CIA in the two biggest in Buenos Aires, in the womenís prison and in the men prison. And itís going to be part of the program of the University of Buenos Aires and mainly of the philosophy department that is going an art program.

Male Speaker: So Judy how does this come about? I mean it seems like El Centro is, sorryÖ

Female Speaker:          Something else about what it was is the project. So yeah the Centro is like thatís centralized that brings people to our center together. But then from there it multiplies outside in many different ways and in many different kind of like society letís say. And within that we also include the international realm right which is also one of those.


Male Speaker: Hey Judy, I was just teching out for a second.

Male Speaker: Yeah.

Male Speaker: I was just geeking out for second trying to add Allan to this.

Female Speaker: Iím sorry that I speak like so, itís kind of confusing because itís kind of difficult to explain because itís not like a program and we donít have curricula, we donít have anything. Weíre basically work upon on ideas and basically the people that are a part of it. And thatís how it works. So itís constantly changing and weíre constantly like as I told you, now weíre growing into these other two new branches in the prisons and weíve been working in these shanty towns, the Villa Tentra Uno with the regulation of the property there. And also we have another associated project that itís being run by Fernanda Laguna that is a high school in another shanty town which is the other biggest shanty towns but this is more in the outskirts of the city and itís called Fiorito. And this is the shanty town where Maradona comes from Iím not sure if you would know that.

And so there weíre starting a high school and weíve been working for these last two years in getting a high school that is accredited by the Ministry of Education which now we got. So weíre going to have a high school in Villa Fiorito oriented towards the arts and itís going to be the first one in a shanty town. And this program is going to be run by of course weíre doing it now in order to be accredited by the ministry of education. Weíre going to have teachers as a regular like high school program and then weíre going to have our own art program in it which is going to be taught by the grant holders that we already have from 2009 and 2010. Those are going to be the teachers of art there.

Male Speaker: At the same time, I mean looking at your, looking at the program that you have on your website it looks like where on the one hand youíre going into like the most difficult kind of situations like prisons and shanty towns and so on.  At the same time youíre maintaining a really high level of sort of conceptual exigency program which you have with the network of Southern conceptualists which tries to draw attention to the unduly neglected conceptual political practices in South America in the 60s, 70s in the conceptual family. But doing it in a context where it seems very paradoxical to do that kind of a thing because where art is understood in very different terms.

Female Speaker: Yeah well actually itís not so paradoxical because I mean none of the people that are part of CIA are kind of like part of like what is called the art market in Buenos Aires. So it kind of makes sense to us, itís actually very in line with our own practices. Itís not, there is a very clear determined line of like there is a serious, I donítÖ

Male Speaker: What do you mean Judy exactly what do you mean?

Female Speaker: What do I mean?  I mean that we are I mean the people, we do believe in this system I mean we wanted to create this kind of center of thought, center of interaction of all these intellectuals that were like kind of operating by themselves and kind of lost you know in this kind of like masses of like people and they wanted to enter a conversation with each other.  So this was kind of like the first idea of the Centro, I mean to get together all these people and letís start to re think and even what we do basically together is we study, thatís what we do, everybody. The grant holders whoever comes, the faculties, itís kind of like Iíd say, yeah kind of oven where knowledge gets cooked kind of thing.


And then from there, there is no purpose for us to keep it there closed. The only purpose we can do this is we can multiply, if we can disperse this knowledge if we can like open it up. If we can like really like use it for other purposes.

Male Speaker: And so the other purposes are, various things, yeahÖ

Female Speaker: The multiplication factors which is all these things that weíve produced at the Centro then itís kind of like distributed to the wider community and to the wider community meaning a community that has mainly no access to these things which in these case are these places that weíre intervening like shanty towns and prisons and yeah.

Male Speaker: So you guys use art projects or sort an art infrastructure to help bring what you guys are starting or the kinds of issues that are coming up and out of your intensive kind of school into other realms?

Female Speaker: Yeah something like that. But what is important is we donít do art projects. We donít consider the CIA an artist at all. Each of us has their own practice and we continue with our practice and thatís what we live off basically. But the CIA is not an art project we do not produce art projects. Itís a center for thought and for reflection and for whatever happens to happen there, letís say, whatever, the radio or these things that people started doing. Of course we let everything happen and thatís the part in which we lose control and thatís the part we like the most.

Male Speaker: Well I mean not to detract from that because I donít necessarily think anyone should make art, but whatís up with the name of the center? I mean itís you know I think I wouldnít say this necessarily applies to you but there is kind of, thereís almost a stigma that artists who engaged in social practice have against acknowledging that what theyíre doing has anything to with art. When in fact, many of us including I think you guys make like ample use of that. You make of kind of what we get from playing within the realm where we draw on art, you know we draw on artist competencies and you know and I look at your website thereís definitely a lot of that going on.

So  I guess Iím just curious why the revulsion, why I donít know, why it seems I mean I guess Iím not really sure how to put it because I donít want to interpret why youíre saying what youíre saying. Why you shy away from that word I guess or thinking about it that way?

Female Speaker: No, because it is important to make the difference because [0:43:34] [indiscernible] look in the art in which many of them considered [0:43:42] [indiscernible] and many of them are considered exhibitions in themselves. But thatís not what weíre doing with El Centro and thatís not what at all, itís really not that. Itís just like the area of like bring together a conglomerate of people and practices and just connect them and whatever happens happens from there. And itís not that project letís say, itís not that oh weíre doing these things together. We artists [0:44:16] [indiscernible] project, an art project. Itís not an art project. Thatís why we kind of talk [0:44:27] [indiscernible] within like the realm of pedagogy which actually we donít feel very comfortable with it.

Male Speaker: But Judy you know that your project is taking place within a context, a global context of art pedagogy or art education as an artistic project. I mean thatís laws even context in which we first met in Beirut where Beirut as art school was being discussed and then you one of the key speakers in talking about this example that youíre talking about tonight. So it is part of this sort of dissatisfaction I think that artists, many artists have and I presume you has with the way art is going and the need to move, not forward a step but move back a step in order to kind of retool what the words, the ways and to rethink the whole thing basically, it is part of that right?


Female speaker: Yes.

Male speaker:     Its part of a kind of a pedagogical term.

Female speaker: Yes there is definitely but what I mean is like its very different when we talk about Europe and North America again and when you talk about in the particular case of Argentina which I am from now. Because its like, its radically different or even the case of Beirut in the intent of doing this academy because within my conversations with Christine when I met her a while before and she then, she reminded me was this thing, her first question to me was like how do you get the students and I said to her, and my answer to her was the fact we did 400 applications a year. I mean [0:46:19] [inaudible] everybodyís got a difference on likeóand then you see the need for something I mean. And when you have all of these people you know like applying for a program like this which is very like, how can I say? Not institutionalized, not professionalized, not accredited, not you know, then just that drive of the people is the thing that keeps you like moving and trying to grow within this thing you know [0:46:50] [inaudible], which is different than what happens for example in the case of Beirut in which they are trying to do an academy that is accredited and it is funded by foreign funds and they have no students.

Male speaker: I think so, Judy did you say you accept 25 out of 400 right? Or have however many apply? Okay.

Judy: Yes around 400, between 300 and 400 yes. We get 25 because we donít have the structure we need like we are tiny, I mean and we work like crazy and really hard to keep it going.

Male speaker: Well you know I am curious, the kind of work that you are describing and the kinds of things that you know, that I have seen on your site, do you feel that many of the applicants are on board with that program or are rethinking the kinds of structures of the world that you guys are interested in rethinking or do you feel like, you know, they are just a number of hungry artists that are just applying willy nilly kind of to any art center? I am asking you because if there are even like even a quarter of those people, you know you feel are invested or involved in some way in artist social practice that would be kind of staggering to me.

Judy: Yes no, absolutely not itís a mixture of both, of the two things that you are saying. Of course there are a lot of people that just apply but there is a lot of people like actually good artists that are applying. And most of the applicants and the grant holder that are now at the central most of them are, I mean many of them are engaging social practices but many of them not and thatís our idea, create a really eclectic environment you know. We are not trying to like, you know to like create any kind of dogma or not at all actually. We are trying to bring together a multiplicity of voices.

Male speaker: Well I dint mean that, I didnít mean that youíd be imposing your views on other people just that  for instance you  know we help to run our center at Philadelphia and you know there is often people that, I mean people sign up for our mailing list everyday but thatís a very low commitment. Applying for a residency program I mean most of the time I would say, I donít know, here maybe about half of the people that apply are really interested and invested in the kinds of things that we are investigating or doing.

Judy: Yes.

Male speaker: And thatís one of the first things that we ask people you know but we donít get nearly that many applicant anyways. And I was just curious because you know I feel that itís, I mean more and more as this kind of work makes its way out into a kind of mainstream or at least becomes more visible that there is definitely going to be more artists or there seems to be more artists involved in cit or interested in that. But I still, you know I still would say you know if I were to count the number of artists in Philadelphia who are interested in critical practice or social engaged practice it probably wouldnít be even as many, you know, applicants as you guys get in an entire year. So I was just curious and you know I can imagine that different context could help encourage or maybe even like incubate or just set the conditions for different kinds of interest and I was curious if that was  going on down there or what.


Judy: Well I think it is again, itís a very different context and that starts from like the political system that you live here in America and the political system that, I mean happens in Argentina which is radically different.

Male speaker: For sure yes, definitely.

Judy: So thatís basically what it is, thatís one side. And then the other thing is like here the artist is like so professionalized you know. Everybody went to like a university you know and everybody like read all of these psyche I donít know basic theoretical text which in Argentina itís not like that. The artists come from a totally different context does not come from the academic education, the artist in Argentina doesnít know how to write a statement and we donít want them to write a statement either, thatís not the point. But I mean the artists has been so, how can I say it? Authority institutionalize that you know you have to have all these kinds of formats in order  to exist as an artist in America which for me are kind of ridiculous. So I donít think thatís something like the CIA that we did in Buenos Aires can happen here or in Europe really, honestly. Thatís my experience of living abroad and teaching in schools here and Europe, I donít see it possible.

Male speaker: I mean Judy I was just thinking that you donít want people to write a statement but not because they couldnít, sounds like you might not want them necessarily to write an artistís statement because you donít want toómaybe it sounds likeójust let me know if you think I am off base with this but it sounds like E l Centroís position is one of not supporting over professionalization or professionalization at all of creative practice.

Judy: No professionalization yes but not in  the American way that it was set up or in the European way, we donít think that those are systems, those are completely sterile systems that are completely like killing the art production itself. In which you are much more in the format of what you are as an artist to be able to be exist in the world than to think your practice and to be an artists.

Male speaker: For sure yes but itís not that, I mean it sounds  likeóI am probably reading into this but itís not that the artist or the people that are doing this kind of  work or involved with you guys couldnít write any kind of statement but maybe it would be a statement of a different kind so--. I mean you guys you are  involved  with you know these free schools on critical issues, oh Iím sorry free classes, reading groups and really kind of tackling  difficult material and difficult problems, approaching them in creative ways. I mean its sort of easier to write a statement about things like that you know in a way or at least its more, maybe more valuable, meaningful possible than, I wouldnít want to judge anyoneís work but I will say writing a statement about oh I donít know, making art work that really isnít addressing those issues if you know what I mean. Maybe artwork thatís more concerned with material or surface or things like that you know.

Judy: Well I told you we have any kind of variety and we are every variable creature that you can imagine in a fable you know really. It is really like that and as I told you that one of the main purposes is like not only producing knowledge but the dissemination of knowledge. but the dissemination of knowledge not within this kind of like, you know, intellectual bubbles but break that intellectual bubble and see how much can we reach. Thatís why we are like you know trying to like operate in this other kind of parts of the city and social context mainly. But it has to do more with like dissemination of knowledge and yes, I think.


Male speaker: Judy I mean I know that you are talking about the specificity of the context in which you are operating and thatís fair but many of the things that you are saying are actually values which people all over the worlds , I mean sort of disaffected artists are sharing. Thatís quite something we have noticed actually in the context of Plausible Art Worlds you know, maybe you noticed it when we were in Beirut but we have noticed it in many other cases as the people are just not satisfied with the elite culture which is often promoted by the notion of art but are trying to break with that and not only trying to break with it but actually are breaking with it. So donít you think it would be intermeeting to, I mean or would the CIA be prepared to imagine links with similar institutions elsewhere or is it really something which is south American or Argentinean in specific?

Judy: No are actually we have links with institutions elsewhere and actually we have exchanges and all that but what I do really think is that the situation in America I mean letís see how I put it. For example what we [0:56:28] [inaudible] and then we picked 25, one of those 25 was a group of 20 people right? And then which was a collective that was called [0:56:47] [inaudible] or in English would be the Movers. And their work basically was to whoever was moving from a house; from an apartment to another apartment they would move them for free. They had a truck and they would move these people for free and while they would move them they would start like you know arranging the furniture or their things and they would create this kind of like temporary piece which they would photograph or they would like [0:57:16] [inaudible] videos or even like short theater plays, theater plays yes with the people that were being moved you know.

And so then our group of 25 grants all of a sudden it was like 40 people you know, and you have this kind of things that constantly like question us you know or like should we take this whole group you know, because it means for us like you know a lot of more effort and work and everything. But then its like, so itís like we are really working, we improvise a lot too you know, itís like we work a lot on improvisation and we are good at that because our history is constantly, has been constantly improvised for the last 100 years which is different than what it is the European or the American context in which like things are like, you know becomes turn on and everything is like you know becomes a written history very quickly and labeled and boom.  

So that is kind of like certain qualities that happens there that I donít see them happening here or in Europe and I am sorry this is my personal view on this thing of course. I am not saying that it is not possible in America but I think it operates differently really. And  it has to do with this kind of historical context in which like people are used there to like you know, survive basically and survive in the hardest  like political situation and economic situations. And we are not only talking about people I mean of like working class, even like the [0:59:16] [inaudible] I mean itís almost the same because the economic instability or Argentina has been such that classes have been also like kind of like, people have been up and down like you know in a period of like I donít know 20 years like they navigated the whole class structure you know. Other page...


Male speaker: I wonder if you have any connection with the street art. I guess the only things really that I am familiar with Argentinean art classes, sorry I am so ignorant, are the [1:00:08] [inaudible] and the street art, stenciled work and the [1:00:13] [inaudible].

Judy: But the street art is something that is very important and itís something that is not very well known in the world and actually one of the historian had worked at the center which is Anna Longoni and has written an amazing book about it which is called [1:00:28] [inaudible]. And I consider it one of theóunfortunately it has not been translated to English and also Anna which she is an amazing genius, she doesnít want to do lectures in America or Europe or she is very  kind of like picky about it, I donít know, and thatís her personal position.

But itís a very interesting thing that she kind of like started studying which is all of these phenomena that happened during, from 78 to 82 letís say, which was called [1:01:00] [inaudible] which basically what it was, it was like during that period of time there was a lot of people that disappeared and a way of protest became of people, anonymous people doing this painting but it was always the same kind of painting which was the silhouette of a person in human scale painted into the walls you know around the city with a name right, which was not identifiable I mean of course. You couldnít see who the person was butóand she has been studying  this phenomena of this kind of like creating this imagery from real popular, you know  I mean, the play, coming from that side letís say is.

And you canít compare it to the graffiti of personal that but this is like of course more related to politics and to like trying to find a voice to speak and when representation becomes kind of like a key component for something that you claimed for and not just the [1:02:14] [inaudible] of just working in representation or you know.

Male speaker: Yes I notice also Marcelo Esposito [phonetic] [1:02:26] part of your gang, I know [1:02:32] [inaudible] has been working in Spain doing videos and the historical [1:02:37] [inaudible]. I wonder what you know else is there also this historical memory I guess is that a continuous subject of investigation, is there something?

Judy: Iím sorry I canít hear you well.

Male speaker: Oh it was a rambling question but I noticed Marcelo Esposito is part of your team and he has done a video about the situation, the historical in Spain, years of the [1:03:18] [inaudible] dictatorship.

Judy: Yes.

Male speaker: And I wonder to what extend this historical memory in Argentina its part your kind of regular program of investigation [1:03:29] [inaudible].

Judy: Well it is part of it because this is basically lead by Anna Longoni and she is teaching a seminar called arts and politics which actually itís like so many people want to come that they donít really fit in our building, I mean if we let all the people in then we will get, you know closed by the police basically because of regulations. So yes thatís basically the seminar that is led by Anna Longoni of the CIA. I mean itís related to all her research for the last 12 years.

Male speaker: Interesting you were just looking up some of this links online while you guys were talking so donít all know a lot of these stuff.

Judy: Yes now I am trying to convince Anna Longoni to translate her books so maybe if somebody has some publishers I would wish to publish it here, that would great. Well then we have that other thing which is the issue of translation thatís why all the people that we invite, international faculty that are invited to workshops or teaching in the CIA are Spanish people. Because most of the people that we have at the Central do not speak English and when we bring an English speaker what happens is that we have a simultaneous translation and thatís very expensive and it gets very complicated. So basically everything is spoken in Spanish and we are working also in translating some texts thatís have never been translated to Spanish to make them available in Spanish.


Male speaker: Thatís a real divide itís amazing.

Judy: It is, it is radical and thatís, yes that is something that for us itís like itís a very interesting problem.

Male speaker: Iím here in Germany and I was speaking today at a table with people, my German is so terrible, I was speaking germ-nglish and at one point the conversations which they were [1:06:02] [inaudible] in English turned to the question of Esperanto which well has the language develop our anarchists and communists and you know and attempted universal equity, I donít know itís funny.

Judy: Yes but also for example I mean I am just like we deal with all these kinds of problems but at the same time we started to do these kinds of experiments and for example two months ago there was a workshop that was donít by Michel smith which is an American artist and I am sure you know him well.

Male speaker: Yes I saw him earlier [1:06:43] [inaudible] in Austin, he is Austin.

Judy: Yes so  Mike came to the CIA for the work that we having been talking  for a long time and he wanted to come and it was funny because he was very stressed about  the language issue and how he would, you know do it and whatever. And we discussed I mean this whole thing and of course he works with performance and he has all these kind of performance he works it makes it easier. But basically what happened is he went to do the workshop and then I was talking with the grand founders of the CIA asking them like what do they think and they totally loved it. And this whole thing of like struggling with this problem of communicating you know became part of the workshop and I think it was a fantastic one [1:07:35] [inaudible].

Male speaker: Mike Smith hardly speaks in his performances so that must help.

Judy: Exactly.

Male speaker: You know the University ofÖ

Judy: No I think basically this workshop itís been ñlike you know he teaches in University of Texas also and he has been teaching from experience and he has a lot of experience in teaching. So he also showed a lot of work where I can see he did a whole kind of a workshop in which there was kind of a strong part of like showing arts and the performance arts of the American performance arts  since his time on and he was doing it all in English. And I am sure, I mean many of the people that participated in the workshop got half of it whatever but whatever they got it was like kind of an interesting experiment. And also like just like being there like facing such a reality is a problem right there you know. Like how do we communicate with each other?

Male speaker: I know the University of Texas at Austin has a really extensive collection of [1:08:54] [inaudible] art political from political movement in the 60s and 7670s and I wonder to what extend do you make the relations between the western academy perhaps or there is more of, I mean well not only in store but in Mexican [1:09:16] [inaudible].

Judy: Yes but the difference for example that we have with Mexico being in Argentina is that all the Mexican artists speak English and most of the Mexican and most of the Mexican artists studied in North America. So there you have a radical difference because the discourse that they manage and you know itís a North America discourse mainly. And which is the radical difference with Argentina which none of the artists studied in North America or Europe.

Male speaker: Yes I donít know I understand Argentina is more kind of a Latin American country that is sort of more historically related to Europe, thatís just my vague understanding.


Judy: Yes it is but I mean itís like if you think about it the level isolation that Argentina had in the last like, I donít know I would say even since 45, yes 1945 itís been huge.  Except like very small groups of people that were able to travel or take some classes you know at some universities maybe in Paris and all of those people belong to the literary world mostly. And there is where you have like Victoria Ocampo and you know all the group of [1:10:53] [inaudible] and all that which was called the magical realism. Btu itís really a very small group, I for example I studied in Buenos Aires I didnít study abroad and I feel that most of the time I donít manage the language or the specific concepts to be able to articulate them in English you know in order to communicate properly and thatís something that I feel in myself all the time. And itís because I have been educated in this other language and in this other ideology so it is a huge difference.

Male speaker: I justósorry.

Male speaker: No go ahead Allan I have a question that is kind of is more of a departure I guess.

Male speaker: Oh depart, I was just going to say one moment there, I think always political; one moment there Argentina was right up front in the dependence for lands and the political [1:12:05] [inaudible] or during the crises that the generation of popular assemblies and worker control [1:12:15] [inaudible] enterprise as capitalism was daily there. It seemed a very exciting moment and one that seemed to kind of vanished.

Judy: Yes.

Male speaker: So yes I kind of never figured out sort of in a way what happened to Argentina in terms of being inspirational through [1:12:38] [inaudible] in some sort of notion of new different kinds of economic arrangements that might emerge from the collapse of capitalism which it seems to me you know in this moment of global crisis was to be important. Thatís not a, I mean it is a cultural questions; I throw it out [1:12:57] [inaudible].

Judy: Yes well actually what happened is like since 45 onówhich that was the period in which like it started the [1:13:11] [inaudible] government right. That was the moment letís say they were like six, seven year in which Argentina shifted. There were only two moments necessary one was in the 30s with [1:13:21] [inaudible] and the other one was Veron after 45 in which Argentina became industrialized. Any other period other than that mostly it was exporting resources, so once Argentina started  to develop and to get industrialized and I mean it [1:13:43] [inaudible] industry what happened actually I mean itís not a causality , itís not a coincidence I mean. Both governments one was from the [1:13:56] [inaudible] and the other one is the [1:13:58] [inaudible] which I am sure you all know Veron were like interrupted by military coups and mostly that had to do with economic measures that were basically or international  policies that were basically from  North America.

Male speaker: Somebody is reaching the bottom of their drinks.

Judy: Sorry?

Male speaker: Sorry the noise it sounded like someone is reaching the bottom of their drink with a straw.

Judy: No there is a political headstone there is an economic power that kind of controls and rules and determines who does what and what do you serve me with you know and what do I need you for. And it doesnít matter when the own development of the country or whatever, its rules by a larger, a bigger clan [1:15:03] [inaudible]. So thatís why also I am now going back to the central thatís why I am coordinating the CIA itís kind of like okay so letís internalize the enemy you know, as it is called.


Male speaker: The cannibal manifesto.

Male speaker: So do you feel like on some level you areóis it even worth asking I mean would you even tell us that do you  feel on some level the center is sort of manetic In a way producing other types  of  centers at least on the surface while doing something else?

Judy: No not really I meanÖ

Male speaker: Yes.

Judy: I mean if it happens that more, itís not like an intention really I mean thatís a lot of people participating and there is a lot of things that people are doing in there and we really leave it open you know. So if somebody has a particular agenda I donít know it could happen, butÖ

Male speaker: Yes it seems like an organization as a kind of a form of creative practice.

Judy:             It is.                                            

Male speaker: There you are experimenting with the structures themselves as a sort of practice without really raining it in as an art project or really having to define it as such but thatís actually what it sounds like you are doing.

Judy: Yes something like that, and also like itís a very fertile ground Argentina since there is really few structures, I mean there is a lot of room you know, operated that way.

Male speaker: Yes I mean a big interest of ours is when  looking at these various kinds of things that we are calling art worlds or plausible ones anyway, a big part of that or at least a number of the examples are people  who are experimenting with organizations in some way. Some people have called that type of thing organizational art and others are really either not foregrounding a definition of it or defining it differently but the more you talk about the structures that you are setting up the more that seems to be the case. And I am just really interests in that I am wondering; you know I guess one of my big interests is how these kinds of organizations are sort of Petri dishes in a way for experimental cultural forms you know.

And I wonder that in different conditions maybe the intentions might be flexible or they might be adaptive but for whatever reason the kind of structure that you are setting up and playing with seems to me that this could ñwell I donít know. I am interested in the possibility of those whatever knowledge has come out of that or whatever, well I donít know, problems arise that that could be transferable knowledge on some level you know,  that it could be  potentially be an interest to people in other contexts as well. Yes and we do hope itís contagious Stephen for sure.

Judy: Also I mean something that I mean we always get demand with, we started this thing and then of course basically we started it like you know just cooking dinner and inviting as I told you all these intellectual or people that are working in somehow related to the arts and having these discussions basically through food, cooking and having dinner and in a very informal way. And also we donít have any kind of plan of like you know how long we will exist I mean if this whole dies tomorrow its fine with everybody too. We donít really have any kind of expectation of you know, of becoming something else or whatever its just I mean what it is really for the moment because we cannot go on ahead because we have no funding, no support and I am talking about financial support.


So it is really like that, it is something that we cannot just like make big plans into the future. So we set up kind of a time frame we say we are going to this for like five years you know and most of us that we are doing it we work for free basically and yes, and then we will see if we can do it or we cannot [1:20:19] [inaudible]. One of the things I would set up that was very important for everybody is that nobody would do anything that makes him a millimeter uncomfortable in anyway, we all have to be happy.

Male speaker: Would you mind expanding on that just slightly because I want to hear you know, I mean I can tell already that you donít mean that everyone is supposed to just do things that make each other feel comfortable because you are already doing work that would make a number of people feel very uncomfortable and thatís probably a very good thing. On the other it seems like you are talking about a kind of ethic a kind of group ethic and I am curious about that.

Judy: Well basically itís a very simple thing you know, itís like whenever there is like situations that we are like not comfortable with or we areówe just donít do it period. And sometimes when we get t o these discussions and they get really complicated we arrive to the point of like, and itís kind of an internal joke that we have itís like you know what, this is not making me happy.

Male speaker: Okay yes.

Judy: And itís over.

Male speaker: That whatever your shared values are, actually this is sort of a tiny point because you havenít really talked  much about the way your group works and I donít know if it is really time for really getting into that but you know, is it the case that if anyone person in your group has a problem with it the you guys you kind of have an informal sort of intuitive veto  power  and everybody just  kind of respects or is it something that you develop a kind of consensus about like that you have a kind of collective uncomfortably and then you address it and stop it.

Judy: No you have to, first of all itís very important that you have to take into account that Argentina is I think the society that has more psycho analysts than any other one, so most of the people that work like at the CIA or were doing something went through many years of psychoanalysis or psychotherapy maybe. And so it part of kind of an exercise that is still ready , I donít know, itís part of the conversation bit, I mean again itís not regulated, itís not organized as like this is what we do if this happened or that.  No we kind of address issues as they come and yes, and we try to be very kind to each other and to take care of each other. Itís a very basic things itís not you know, exactly.

So I mean for us itís like our meetings, for example, when we have meetings for like of issues of administration and issues of like you know, they always last many hours because we are talking about the structure and we are talking about administration and then one of them starts talking about you know she broke up with her boyfriend and then we all turn to that and then we go back to the administration issue, you know itís kind of like that. Yes Mexico is cheaper, no I mean itís like a culture that would really was raised with psychoanalysis. You take a taxi I mean in the city of Buenos Aires and the taxi driver, you start a conversation with the taxi driver you know about psychoanalysis you know, itís like an enormous thing.

Male speaker: This is amazing [1:24:27] [inaudible] proud.

Judy: No itís not because it also makes the sickest society you could ever imagine, because everyone is a neurotic, everyone is a cautious neurotic which I donít know whatís worse.

Male speaker: Okay like I was reading Julia Brian Wilson in her new book Art worker, as the discussion of the Rosario group which appeared in the text and says that Lucy Lampard was very influenced in her conception of what art stood politically but the work of the Rosario group. But she only saw the first phase of that work, she didnít see the second and third phase where it was brought to the public and discussed and fully cooked as it were. And so she didnít really have a complete sense of the kind of social practice that the Rosario group was developing within the political context. I thought that would really interest you because eventually I think to the great extent the [1:25:45] [inaudible] criticism collapsed into an old socialist realist problem of representing the political where the Rosario group was working within a conceptual paradigm and kind of cooking something different.


And I think itís so important in the US in New York on particular there is really an explosion of scholarships around conceptual art in South America when they will really affect the conversation in the future.

Judy: Yes definitely and also I think it will be like yes, extremely like I donít know, I think I got to play this like an exercise or something like that.

Male speaker: Well we donít get any exhibition in New York I mean thatís another issue.

Judy: I think I have tones of exhibitions in New York; you have tones of galleries and tones of museums.

Male speaker: Well yes in the [1:26:50] [inaudible] had a wonderful exhibition [1:26:56] [inaudible] but you know not that enough people saw it.

Judy: No I think thatís the basic situation that happened in New York really was the one that was a bit squeezed museum, was it global conceptualism I think by [1:27:15] [inaudible] or something.

Male speaker: Yes but that was 10 years ago.

Judy: Yes.

Male speaker: And it was global.

Judy: Well we never had an exhibition like that; we never had an exhibition like that in Buenos Aires, not even in [1:27:33] [inaudible].

Male speaker: Really?

Judy: Yes never, so itís been shown more in New York than in Buenos Aires.

Male speaker: Also El Muzeo [1:27:43] [inaudible] which is a really good exhibition of South American conceptual art and performance.

Judy: Yes that was a good one.

Male speaker: And the catalogue was great.

Judy: Yes but you donít get to see those exhibitions in Latin America.

Male speaker: Oh men thatís weird.

Judy: Yes you get to see Felix Gonzalez [1:28:06] [inaudible]. You know I mean the few museums that are there I mean are very interested in like showing us like kind of like practices and like showing what should be looking at the model that is kind of the, you know the European North American kind of artists production.

Male speaker: There is thus kind of deep question that I was having and never really could understand wasÖ

Judy: [1:28:42] [inaudible] Stephen is saying, sorry [1:28:44] [inaudible] is saying what about Buenos Aires to join the arms struggle I love our land.

Male speaker: okay.

Judy: And thatís the thing, the thing is like how can you struggle within a system that today I mean  the whole , the plan is shifted I mean today there is no point of an arms struggle. I mean thatís kind of a very kind of an old way of ideological struggle and itís not really ñI mean I am not interested in it because I guess violence [1:29:19] [inaudible]. And like how do we reformulate all these together with these old folks from the 60s that were in that and all the ones that have died which also were many, and many of them also left in exile. So thatís why we are like trying to create a sensor for like discussion of how, how to disseminate our ideas, how to operate in such a [1:29:55] [inaudible] historical context than what it was in the 70s. And also we learn a lot from that because all those fight and struggles like took lots of life and it was a lost war you know. So it wasnít a very interesting or smart topic. Your question was [1:30:23] [indiscernible]


Male speaker: Sort of a conversation stopper. I had a ñ I donít know I just returned into my art store [1:30:35] [inaudible] the ways in which the formal screening was  in the extremely formal practice of the bow house of connect it artists transformed itself into a real dynamic of social sculpture or a participation was [1:30:57] [inaudible] how was that termed being political that you know I can understand participation becoming political but how the formal constituent of the bow house graffitiís and the connect it artists transformed itself into a  sort of practice that has always been very obscure to me I donít know if thatís the question.

Judy: Yeah I donít know I mean perhaps we are like just and again we try to work each [1:31:42] [inaudible] a perfect moment and historically speaking in Argentina we developed like we are doing because itís the first time in many many years that we had almost all since 1985 we have democracy letís say which is not a long period really. but we need enough so that we can say okay we can start you know trying to at least together several minds and you know create an environment in which just create the environment in which we can think you know and think about our context and out context in relationship to cost figure and bigger contests.

Male speaker: So Judy what if we wanted to open an El Centro here in Philadelphia or in New York?

Judy: How would that be? Itís almost impossible. Now I donít think we can do that but we can do it if you want the art organize a spiritual seminar but the thing is that all the professionals which are part of the El Centro because we are all part of it and have to agree and I donít think they want to come here really thatís the thing, very simple.

Male speaker: A great [1:33:15] [inaudible]

Judy: I know I mean but they are like excited some they are doing their research, some their work on their very [1:33:23] [inaudible] things and their gaze is not exactly towards North America.

Steven: Judy my gaze is not towards North America either. I mean thatís a fact how do you deal with the fact that I mean I donít represent of course the international art world but a lot of like art historian or art critics like me are really interested in talking to you and not talking to you know what is the northern center. so how are going to deal with that fact I mean how are going to avoid the fact that we are going to actually bring things which are peripheral and which you are complaining about the peripheral status into the center while maintaining their critical edge. Now that was my real question right from the beginning.

Judy: I think itís not possible really not for now at least maybe itís possible in the near future. But up to now - I mean everything is like a little baby you know down there everything. I mean because of just change like you know kind of a little baby. and also I donít know itís like I feel for example I also live in New York [1:34:48] [indiscernible] and I do have and I also travel a lot and I feel kind of like for me for example I learned to speak English watching Hollywood movies and reading the subtitles. You know and it really comes out of like your desire to connect or to communicate itís what makes you communicate more [1:35:10] [inaudible].  I didnít go to school to learn English but itís also out of necessity I think of need.


And so there has to be a need in order for that bridge to like happen [1:35:29] [inaudible] well we get a lot of curators [1:35:41] [inaudible] let me tell you. but no no we work on everybody of course in the centre and its open. And then some of them find things that are super interesting for them and they keep on visiting and visiting and some of them just come and look at this stuff and leave and some of them come and take some of the grand piece [1:36:02] [inaudible] too which is fantastic. Anything that happens we donít have the kind of critical thing of like judging it like oh you know itís bad or its terrible or like no I mean we just let things happen we are  not at the stage where can be critical because we donít have that [1:36:22] [inaudible] institutionality. Well there are yeah there are many yes I think that also something thatÖ

Steven: So Judy since time is pressing how do things look for the future for the CIA? I mean there are things set for 2010, 2011 is everything like moving ahead youíve got some kind of funding or are you managed to function without getting funding or how does it work?

Judy: No actually we have some funding which were some grants but I actually got in the States then abroad and now we donít have any kind of support for the next for 2011 we have no support whatsoever. so we are trying to I donít know we are basically discussing it like how we are going to do it and also there is a lot of people for example like I told you Victor [1:37:32] [inaudible] and his writers which you know they have [1:37:35] [inaudible] everybody is like you know like I know like okay I will put [1:37:40] [inaudible] whatever it comes out in a very kind of natural way and Iím not really like I donít know I donít fear I mean if there is no money coming in there is no money coming in we can still do it I think somehow.

Male speaker: Thatís really interesting time to decide to expand into a couple of different locations new locations.

Judy: Yeah yeah it is actually but yeah the idea is to see I mean now we can get more support from the local community instead of from foundations from abroad actually most of the foundations from abroad that were giving us grants and now they pulled out, like in Latin America [1:38:25] [inaudible] actually maybe they are mostly putting their money in them English. So yeah I donít know. then we also have like - really I have to say something everything English happens out of enthusiasm I mean in a way thatís the real move of the whole thing in. and people here got engaged in doing all these things without making a penny you know this whole negotiation with the ministry of education for the high school in the shanty town was done all volunteer basically.

So in the end things end up kind of happening and people up here you know people that are you know part of the centre. And also something that happened s during our first year of operation gave this 25000 grant and then they had one year right to do the program or anything that was happening there. And then we had another open application and then when he saw the year before that they said they wanted to stay that they didnít want to leave so we decided that many of them and the ones who have collaborated the most would stay.

    So then in order for people to stay we are kind of accumulating people through I donít know how we are going to do this but itís hard to say no. Yeah well thatís definitely the idea thatís I mean we donít want to create the center that the only speaks art intellectually but would be that would have no purpose at all that we would be that will be like to drive a plant as I said for example you know.


Female speaker: The idea of expanding in the art centre which is underfunded doesnít -sounds like itís not necessarily anything thatís going to be funded but it might be something that the people themselves will fund and it will be like just expanding the group.

Judy: Its kind of expanding the group yeah it is and actually what happens is also like kind of a natural [1:40:43] [indiscernible] of people I mean the people that get more involved with everything that we are doing, they keep on with that and there is some people that come or even if they have got a grant and then they leave and they are not [1:40:54] [indiscernible] so it cannot build by itself you know. Yeah so it really happens out of enthuse and if you see that story or how things even when all these groups can even be political groups and [1:41:16] [inaudible] groups it all really happened out of enthusiasm, it never happened out of like funding programs or like artists getting money to do things. I mean itís been part of almost artists are used to work like that in Argentina, itís not that they we are waiting for the grant to do something we are just going to do it you know. There has never been any grant really. And let me put this clear well when I talk about the grants that we give its not that we give them money we give them access to all the [1:41:49] [inaudible] and all the programs that we are developing.

Steven: So Judy what about a class on Plausible Art Worlds, about art worlds which are not mainstream which are sidious versus which challenge the dominant norms and that kind of stuff?

Judy: Yeah that kind of stuff but the other something important to make clear I think that when we talk about the centre or different [1:42:26] [inaudible] itís not again itís not a piece of art it is a program that we are doing and it is being run by artists it happens to be run by artists but itís not our piece and itís not we donít even consider it as collective piece of arts. I know itís complicated but-

Steven: No I didnít mean to suggest that it was a piece of art. What I wanted I mean what I ñ again as we are suggesting [1:42:56] [indiscernible] itís not a piece of art but what it is is a life sustaining environment where art can actually take place and perhaps thrive.

Judy: Yeah but I donít think that are happening in the capitalist system.

Male speaker: You what?

Judy: I donít think that kind of happened in a capitalists system.

Male speaker: Uh okay so we have to first change the system and then that can happen?

Judy: No [1:43:33] [inaudible] culture I mean you grow up in the culture in which you were raised a priority with your individual needs you have no sense of I mean itís a very different kind of education.

Male speaker: I think artists are really [1:43:52] [inaudible] in society where best positioned to step outside of that subjective frame because art is a mixed economy including the elements of gift [1:44:06] [inaudible] and to the antic market capitalism has been overrated.

Judy: Yeah but what happens is like - what I see happening in north America actually and Iím sorry Iím probably like completely saying something that is out of the I donít know. But I donít really see it happening I donít think itís not I mean itís culturally impossible. And also the other thing that I do think is that artists canít change the world, cannot change the system and I really stand for that artists cannot change the political system a piece of art cannot do that. And I feel that thatís the problem of the artists in North America that they have this naÔve idea which is an idea that in what has already thrown to the garbage in the ë60s in Argentina thatís never happened political changeÖ


Male speaker: A group of artists also went to jail for the Puerto Rican art as well.

Judy: No changing the political system yes can become art yeah the other way around probably.

Scott: Hey guys I hate to say it but its 8:02 its Eastern Standard Time time to drop the gate in.

Male speaker: Its 2:00 here Jeff.

Male speaker: Well itís definitely not late the reason we end on time is for your sake actually I definitely would be into doing this for another couple of hours. Because especially this particular question is one that Iím ready to just kind of jump right in and get started but I think we need to wrap it up just for the sake of not burning people out as we do this  every week. But thatís definitely not expression for lack of interest itís an intense interest. The question of whether artists can actually have an effect on the world they live in? I think the jury is still out on that one and its definitely debatable it also seems to beg the question of whether anyone can affect the system of their part of the world they live in regardless of the field that they are a part of. I donít know I think there are things that we should definitely be talking about.

Judy: Yeah I think so I think she should be talking about that but the thing I was saying before about this kind of like kind of an entire kind of naÔve approach has to do with this again this cultural difference.

Scott: Indeed yeah.

Judy: I donít know if Iím being clear

Scott: Oh hey guys I just want to say Judy thanks for coming again I hope even though itís you know itís not something that you are able to  do all the time I hope that you are able to join this more often and that we can you know we can bring some of these discussion you know bring some of these questions or I guess some of these topics of discussion into the other chats because a lot of these same issues come up again and again and it would be great to talk about them in various contexts.

Judy: Definitely yeah any time anytime I will be really happy to participate itís been a lot of fun and thank you so much really for inviting me.

Male speaker: Have a great time guys who has closing music?

Judy: Hey so thank you everybody so much really for listening and being a part of the conversation and helping me in explain something that is very difficult to explain.

Male speaker: Awesome guys till next week good night everybody.

Judy: Bye.

[1:49:27]    End of Audio

Week 21: byproducts

Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with Marisa Jahn, currently in the throes of compiling and editing a collection of essays and conversations entitled “Byproducts: On the Excess of Embedded Art Practices,” to be published this fall by YYZ Books (Toronto).

“Byproducts” examines art-related projects — many of which have been discussed in the context of Plausible Artworlds — whose artfulness lies in building micro-worlds within other non-artworld systems. While parasitically reliant on the socioeconomic structure and symbolic order of other dominant systems, these artworks or “byproducts” — exploit loopholes, surpluses and exceptions in order to affirm individual agency and complexify the mechanisms of their dominant “host.” As pivots or turning points between art and other sectors, these works function as carriers for meaning across disciplines.

Through examples from the late 1960s through to the present (including Au Travail / At Work, Experiments in Art and Technology, The Yes Men, Mr. Peanut, Reverend Billy, Kristin Lucas, Janez Jansa), ‘Byproducts’ explores what vocabularies may be required to describe, and what criteria needed for evaluating these practices. The book draws both on Jahn’s involvement in the arts as an artist/writer, her invitations as a practitioner-from-the-outside into other disciplines, and her work as an outreach/campaign coordinator and community organizer with a variety of grassroots advocacy-based organizations. Plausible artworlds within “Plausible Artworlds”…



Week 21: byproducts

(Group greetings)

[Scott]: So great! Welcome Marisa to our humble weekly chat.

[Marisa]: Thing?

[Scott]: Thing.  Talk.  Here, let me turn that down a little bit.  The audio is a little bit whacky today.  But, we'll try to make due.  Just let us know if it gets so crazy on your end that you can't understand what we're saying and we'll adjust it.

Yeah, so for everyone who doesn't know, we want to welcome Marisa Jahn who has been in the process of editing this publication called "Byproducts".  I'm not going to explain too much about it as an introduction.  Although, Steven could since he wrote the preface.


But, a, I don't know.  Oh wait, is Steven on the call?  Oh dear.  Let's add Steven back.  That's really ridiculous.

(Audio feedback)

Ah, Steven, you're back.

[Steven]: Marisa! Hello!

[Marisa]: Hello? Steven?  

[Scott]: Hey.  Hi.

[Steven]: (inaudible and 0:01:56.4)

[Marisa]: Hi.

[Steven]: How are you?

[Marisa]: Steven, I'm good but I can't hear, hear coming in and out in really kind of fuzzy.

[Steven]: I'm going to mu my audio because I'll be listening to you mostly.

[Marisa]: Okay.  So can everyone confirm that my sound is okay?

[Scott]: Yeah, you're great.  So, yeah, it's awesome to have you. For everyone listening, Marisa has been and involved with the Plausible Artworlds for…  Oh geez.  This is going really crazy.  Oh, I see.  I think, David do mute your audio if you're able to hear this?  Thanks.

So Marisa has been involved with the plausible Artworlds series for this year.  It has really been only going for a few months now but the project has been going on for a few years.  Marisa has been involved for at least the last four years and in a long-term discussion with us.  So it's great to be able to have you in this series to talk about all the stuff that you've been doing.  I know "Byproducts" doesn't cover everything that you were doing this sounds like we might talk about that and some of the artist activist networks that you have been involved in over the past couple of years.  If we have time.

[Marisa]: Yeah, I thought I would kind of play the part by ear.  What I thought I would do is talk about, stuck by talking about how it is that I got interested in this topic and why, which relates to my personal other vocational engagements i.e. like the active is kind of things. Um, and then I thought I would go through and give examples of some of the things that are in the book they have kind of further developed these kind of ideas that I am thinking about.  I bet Steven is coming back.  Steven, are you there?

[Steven]: I'm here now.

[Marisa]: Okay, good.  So I was just saying that I was going to talk a little bit first about how it is I got interested in the topic, which will also kind of introduce me.  Then I will talk about some of the projects in the book and kind of delve into the themes or things that come out through example.

[Scott]: Awesome Marisa.  That would be great.

[Marisa]: So I just want to make sure that everyone has this link or URL to the images that I have online.  You don't need to look at them right now. How do I communicate that Basekamp?

[Scott]: We have that.  Are you going to plan to keep that up forever and ever?  Like should we… (Laughing).

[Marisa]: No I'm going to take it down also because some of the photos have permission rights and things like that.  So as we're done I'm going to delete it.

[Scott]: Gotcha.  So no need to spell it out in audio.  I think that everybody can see that text chat. Yeah.

[Marisa]: Okay, so everyone has the URL link is what you're saying.

[Scott]: Yep, it's right up above.  I'll paste it again for everybody.  Cool.  Yeah, we're looking at that now.

[Marisa]: Well, I first started thinking about byproducts and it was in dialogue with Joseph DelPascoe.  We had both been involved curatorally and myself personally as an art maker in shop dropping.  So shop dropping being the idea of reverse shoplifting.  Instead of taking from the store, you're gifting it back or you're giving it back.  There was a few, I think that structure, and there are a lot of stellar examples of shop dropping.  But I also found, discouragingly, that they were a lot of examples in which the art maker was producing something and was shop dropping it for context and they are photographing it and then they are running away with the photograph, displacing the object itself and that they were putting the photograph and the gallery.  So, like it wasn't really an existing in the context in kind of an authentic way.  I mean, authentic (inaudible 0:06:49.4) that knowledge is a problematic word, but whatever.  It was kind of (inaudible 0:06:52.7) or uprooted from the context in which it was actually intended.  

So there's kind of this disjunction between the intended audience, i.e. the passerby, and the gallery goers.  The white box gallery goers.  So I and Joseph both were starting to look at other examples of what I began referring to you as "embedded art projects".  So artworks that are embedded in a context and they often don't make it back into the art, like the mainstream hegemonic commercial art world.  For example, I don't know, it's not necessarily clean.  But oftentimes the artworks are producing meaning or the kind of signify within a certain context.  And I was looking at the problematic of that.  So for example, sometimes those artworks kind of, because they're so context based and they often involve the people in producing the art work itself, kind of begin to disappear.  Or they are in fact invisible.  There's no documentation other than a kind of rumor or conversational way of communicating what happened.  So that's where this book kind of comes from.

For me, I think this interest in this kind of, there are two other personal strains that for my interest in it.  One of them is, and not to like collapse everything by bio graphically, but for me, I'm half the Ecuadorian and half Chinese, and so I feel like I grew up adapting to different context.  I just felt kind of like maybe an outsider or an interloper into another context but also comfortable in kind of adapting and being interested in this idea of alterity or otherness.  Also for me, this idea of being in another context and perfectly adapting kind of camouflaging and that challenge of doing that is something that's interesting.  And I became aware when I was at MIT, I was aware statistically something like 90% - 95% of the women at MIT as if they are interlopers in that context.  To suggest that they don't feel qualified or they feel like an outsider but yet, of course, the women who were there are perfectly qualified.  So, I don't know.  For me that's a personal thing that is relevant, in some way, and you can tell me, if by virtue.

Also, can I make a request?  Now I am somebody that when I'm speaking I like audience feedback.  So I can't see people's eyes or people nodding.  I guess I see people chatting a little bit.  OK, so if you make little (inaudible 0:10:10.9) things here it helps me.  You are not sleeping, I don't know.  Something.  This is a new medium for me

[Scott]: One thing I did not see was Steven's, uh, Steven got dropped again because we're looking at the website.  We'll don't worry, we're not just looking at the wall cat stuff.


Were listening to what you're saying.  But yet we can definitely give feedback back and forth anytime.  I'm just curious about what you're saying too.  It would be good, since to put up these images, to connect with some of these.  Like, you know what I mean?

[Marisa]: Sounds great.

[Scott]: Like when you were just sort of talking about some of this stuff.  Because I've scrolled through the first three just for, I don't know, because number three has a lot of things to look at and read that are funny.  You know, and interesting.  

[Marisa]: Go.

[Scott]: Yeah.  1, 2, 3...GO!

[Marisa]: 1, 2, 3...So, okay, so looking at the URL of images I want to say that the book is divided into two sections.  This first section is art in (inaudible 0:11:19.2) some artists that are embedding themselves in industry.  And the second part, it's called performing politics and its art, it's less sector specific in a way that we think of industry as a specific sector.  So it is less bounded.

To begin, some of you guys may be familiar with the work of Artist Placement Group.  I think that those of you guys who are familiar with their work may also be familiar with the kind of surprise when one is discovering them given the scope of their ambition.  A Stephen, we are talking about APG and I was beginning to talk about the images on the URL and was saying that I think one of the things when first learning or people who are familiar with APG's work along with that you learn about the relative kind of like, not invisibility.  Especially in the States that they're just not as well historicized as they ought to be. so Artist Placement Group was started in the late sixties by Barbara Steveni and John Latham in London.  They created this kind of agency that would place artists in industries

The first image is here is one that john produced well he was a research institution, a non art research institution, and it's called "Big Breather".  It's an image of, well it's a work, it's not as known as some other images for example.  I think it's absolutely fantastic.  And what it is, if this kind of big bellow and the gravity…  It's a bellow and there is water inside and twice a day the gravitational pull of the Moon makes it so the bellow goes up and down.  And what is going down a kind of leaves this big sigh.  You know, hence the "Big Breather".  You know, I think, right.  There are a lot of projects with an APG's work that is actually less object oriented.  Around the same time, in Canada as a group called Anything Company which was started by... Is anybody here familiar with the work of anything company?   I know like everybody in Canada and their mother knows, but they tend to be less well known in the States.

[Scott]: Yeah, Ian Baxter isn't really as well known here from my point of view.  Just because something seems low on the radar for most of the time I've had my feelers out doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't' a huge following somewhere that I just don't know about.  But, you hear them come up here and them. I'm aware of him mainly through, a couple different outlets, but mostly for Steven's writings and examples. Yeah it would be great if you could describe them and also, like, maybe after that, David Goldenberg was asking about the interest in…  

[Marisa]: Explain APG?

[Scott]: Yeah.  So maybe in whatever...

[Marisa]: Okay, okay.  Thank you for the clarification David.  I appreciate your feedback.

So, the reason that APG was, was because they, and I, sorry.  I totally did not, the kind of being thrown off the loop by not being able to see people in the audience.  You know, having PowerPoint things, you know.  But the interest in APG is because essentially the work that APG did was they involved artists and placed them in different industries.  So governmental positions, British Airways, like the range of different industries.  I am really impressed by the way in which Barbara, who seemed to be the main person negotiating and meeting between the individual and the institution, was able to both frame what were, a lot of times, investigations in conversations as artwork.  And also the scope of their work because they had quite a lot of placements.  When I was editing Barbara's work I had suggested that they were successful placements and she corrected me.  I think that the thing about APG's work and something that is quite so experimental and, in fact, entirely open ended is that the idea of success is a different criteria or value of criteria that you would use to judge something like this, that is really process based, and often evading documentation. (Inaudible 0:16:40.3) for example, normative artworks that exists in kind of a commercial art market.  I'm impressed by her work and her and insidiousness and also just the sheer confidence, it's a really bold move.  And also, on Barbara's behalf, but then also there seems to be by and large a kind of readiness or an openness or willingness to hosting on behalf of these institutions.

Am going to skip down to the next set of images.  The first one is, so these two images are from Anything Company which started in the late sixties by Ian Baxter and Ingrid Baxter.  The first image is of Ian and this is in the DPMA conference, data proc...  Let me look up for a caption here.  But it's a conference for data, people involved in the Data Processing industry.  They set up this trade fair, a booth in a trade fair and in this case they were both recruiting companies to offer their services.  So their services ranged from what they refer to as ascetic sensitivity, which is pretty vague, to things like…  They also found that there was a lot of success on behalf of industries when they offered things like installing a fax machine, which was new at the time, and then offering these different services to go along with it.  Ingrid has this nice, she speaks of that time, and the fax machine is quite interesting.  She said the faxes were fantastic because you can fax them stuff in the middle of the night and then people come back to their corporations and you could kind of penetrate the companies, was the verb that she used, and then they would come back to work and they would have this piece of art through the fax machine.  The fax machine also became an artwork.  So that's me is kind of emblematic of their larger interest and in kind of been involved and offering these kind of viable services.  And also recognizing or seeing aesthetic sensitivity as a kind of service.

The folder, it kind of, one of the documents that they use.  You can see where they are using the language of corporate businesses but it's kind of loopy, right?  So that they want to this trade fair in setup this booth is interesting to me, and I don't have this image up here...I'm thinking about Experiments in Arts and Technology also came up about the same time in New York and was started by engineer Billy Kluver, who was at Bell Labs, along with Robert Rauschenberg and a host of other people too, but those were the main components of the organization.  And there is this equally kind of gripping image also, sorry, I'm distracted.  So experiments in art and technology they also would set up trade fairs and EAT Conf, it's like this industry standard fair for electrical engineers.  Hi Steven.  So and they (inaudible 0:20:58.3) art and technology when they set up this booth in the trade fair, they garnered hundreds and potentially thousands of engineers who are interested in being directly involved with artists.  And so EAT did a lot of innovative, they again like Barbara Steveni from APG; they did the work of kind of suit stringers.  Stitching together and actively kind of matchmaking between artists and industry.

The image that I have here, the first one is, um...  At first they were this kind of transactional relationships so that the engineer what kind of perform the technical things needed to assist the artist and eventually they found more integrated ways of collaborating.  So this is from one of their earlier images, it's from 1966 and it's an image of an engineer's drawings for (inaudible 0:21:53.4) Faulstrom's performance.  So this is the kind of electrical and engineering document and then below is kind of the performance as well.  So you see they're a little bit separated.  But I think through this they eventually found that the engineer successively began to work in a more integrated fashion with the artist.  I think that's kind of a good indicator, not indicator, but that's like the ideal thing that these groups wanted to have happen.

So at this point I should clarify that when I was doing this book, there is a lot of examples of artists that work with industry.  There are two sets of criteria that I used to kind of choose and kind of bound when I was looking at.  One was I was not interested in artists that perform work or create work and services to corporation's primary goal.  That's to say that if an artist goes to work in a rug factory and then produces rugs.  I wasn't interested in that.  I was interested in those examples where there was kind of like a friction.  I think I'm (inaudible 0:23:21.1) that too.  And then the other kind of criteria was there is a lot of examples, there's a fair number of examples, of institutionally initiated collaborations between artists and people in a certain industry sector.  I'm interested and when the artist goes to the industry and initiates or instigates that kind of collaboration because what happens is the artist has to qualify why they are doing what they're doing.

So, moving along to the images.  So on the one hand, the images that we saw above is like artists working with personnel and people involved in industry.  There's this image of two girls hugging and what is suggested as a vat of oil at a Kentucky Fried Chicken and this is by the group named Au Travail, or at work, which I think was on last session.  Did Bob go through these images?  Scott or someone from BaseKamp?

[Scott]: No, not these.  There might be a few.  We can go through all of your images yet. But, this is new to me.  This is pretty incredible.

[Marisa]: Okay.  So these are Au Travail does this project where per their manifesto they insist that artwork should be done from one's place of work because the workplace is often alienating and want them to produce work from that context.  And this image here, and it's sort of unknown art it's something sort of mythical about Au Travail because it's unclear about how many people are involved with their organization or whether it's in fact mostly prompted by a few people or a core of people.  And this image its girls in an oil vat at KFC and it looks like they are taking photos of themselves.  The one below that is an (inaudible 0:25:21.9) and somebody who had submitted images to Au Travail worked in an (inaudible 0:25:27.9) and rather than teach them some kind of traditional lessons in English, she educated them and how to fill out complete forms.  Bureaucratic complaint forms which is, in fact, a mastery of legalese and perhaps more valuable than learning how to get to the beach or how to shop for beating suits or something.  And I think there's something about their work, Au Travail, that's interesting and also kind of problematic in the sense that kind of abandoning this idea of transforming the workplace and too systemic, it's not a systemic approach to making subversive artwork.  It's an approach that is given this sets of constraints and then all do this or this is a way to, like, go around.  So I find it problematic.

So going down to the next set of images you see this little bird sign that says "Harkopod".  Those are a set of two images.  This is by an artist named Thomas Johnson who lives in Canada.  And he was doing this project in Estonia in a small town of 400 people, which felt like 40 people, and he was buying…  He got $100 from the Canadian Council to do this project.  And he took that $100 and he bought goods from a grocery store, kind of like these little General Stores, and he sat at this little table.  They were goods that people buy all the time.  He sat at this little table on the main street, there was only one street in that this town, and he was selling these items for the exact same price that they were being sold for in the stores.  He would take that money that he received or earned and he would restock his store.  So he was never making a profit.  So it is a kind of economic or redundant project that kind of foregrounds a kind of economic exchange as a means of social exchange.  He kind of playfully refers to…  It also, like, whose personal way of integrating himself or finding a meaningful role in this community.  And he playfully refers to himself as this magpie that is in Estonia in this harkopod.  And a magpie is a bird that steals the eggs of another bird nests and sits on them as if they are his own.  So he's kind of appropriately inserting himself in this way, he's kind of camouflaged.

So I think that's what's interesting in these kind of embedded practices is that these artists are camouflaging themselves in ways where they may be entirely imperceptible or alternately their differences are kind of fore grounded in a playful way.  Is there any questions so far?

[Scott]: I'm really into the fact that he sold these for the exact same price, these items.  That's not a question though.

[Marisa}: Steven is asking a question about the use of some terms and is pointing out to me that I am hijacking or retracting them.  So I'm going to read his question.  He says "I'd like to ask you about a couple of them or generally ask you what you think about those whole vocabulary questions where you call yourself an interloper.  What's that?  You explain byproducts right off the bat, but is clearly a case of repossession of that word as an in embedded.  Do you see my point?" Um, Okay.  That's a good series of questions.  I don't know if you heard the first part, Steven, about the interloper.  The interloper, in kind of pointing to these examples that we just talked about like the Thomas Johnson one and his harkopod.  You know, it's kind of like he is cognizant and that he is playfully referring to himself as this magpie.  This bird that contextualizes itself in other contexts and is kind of self consciously attracted by camouflage.  I think that for me bio graphically, what I had explained as one of my interests and the genre of work is that I often feel as if I am an interloper.  To be honest I didn't really see that as (inaudible 0:31:01.5) until I, I still am considering it, but until I went to MIT and I understood that women often have this interloper syndrome.  I don't know, I guess for me, one of the things I see.  To me there's an interest in the challenge and adapting and I see that in a lot of these artists working where there's this kind of playful approach to adaptation and kind of co-opting and repossessing of signifiers of legitimacy and sometimes a quite self conscious way.  Actually, so the idea of embedded, that I think is borrowed from the idea of embedded journalism which is the most common kind of colloquial use of that term.  Journalists are embedding themselves and the context of reporting from within.  There's a kind of danger of upsetting that context.  There's this kind of ethical concern about betrayal and the challenge is kind of too authentically were meaningfully document the work that is produced in that context.

So jumping back to the set of images.  That's a set of driver's license and it's Kristen Sue Lucas on both of them.  So Kristen, she's an artist who lives in Beacon, New York right now.  A few years ago, she felt that in her life she needed a refresh as in she had reached this kind of turning point in her life and she needed some other kind of, she needed it to be publicly acknowledged in a way.  So the solution that she came up with was that she went to the county court and filed for a name change.  She felt that she wanted to change her name from Kristen sue Lucas to Kristen Sue Lucas with the same spelling.  And so when she wanted the judge, the judge asked her why it was that she was doing this.  And she said, this is recorded in the court transcript, and she said " your honor, I really feel as if I'm the same person but different and this is a way I thought that would acknowledge that".  In she had explained that it's kind of like a refresh in the sense that the analogy she used as a technical one.  You know when you're looking at a web page when you hit refresh its recalling data from a central server but the page looks the same?  The data hasn't changed.  So it's the same, but different.  So in the same way, by referring to this she is kind of playfully conceding to the central authority of the court to grant her this name change.  And the judge granted her, after kind of much back and forth and thinking about it.  Well I should say there some rough stuff in between.  The judge didn't immediately grant her the name change.  The judge said "Okay, but you're going to have to come back in a few months.   I'm going to have to think about it".  So when she came back the judge granted her the name change.  So was interesting about this, as Kristen not when she's describing the sense of being in a court and been told that her name was being changed or that she's been granted this request, she felt that the blood had rushed out of her and rushed back in.  So she kind of semantically felt this change.  And then she went about her life in making the name change in her life like the DMV, which is what you see here.  Also she refers to, she acknowledges her name change as her second birthday.

 So in the second set of images are (inaudible 0:35:37.4) baby and that is her first birthday when she was one years old.  And the one below that is her second 1st birthday.  So it's taken a year after her name change.  So she celebrates both birthdays.  One of the outcomes of this project, besides having to explain it to the people in the DMV for example, which gets them involved and talking.  If you can imagine her going into the DMV and kind of explaining it, she's very earnest, and then everyone in the DMV Office is kind of explaining it.  You know, having to explain to each other what is going on.  And some people are more sympathetic and it prompts these kinds of debates.  But the other thing that was interesting that she said was that prior to that time she had felt kind of alienated from her mother.  But her mother was excited about her second birthday because it now made her an Aries, at least for second birthday fell within being an Aries (inaudible0:36:44.1).  So her mother and other people in the family along with friends started having an Aries birthday party.  And that's one of the ways that her life had changed.

 I also think that some of the other works in "Byproducts" that are interesting if this kind of emphasis on what the linguist John Carol refers to as status indicators i.e. these kinds of official documents that legislate change.  And so that's kind of a theme throughout the book as there are a lot of these ones.  I think that the emphasis on it is because oftentimes no one knows about these projects and then the status indicators are ways that people do know about it.  The invitation has been like fixed or legislated.

And then I'll go through the last set of images a little bit quicker.  Similar to Kristen Lucas 'project is um, are you guys familiar, yeah I think you guys are familiar with the Janez Jansa?  The Janez Jansa project which is three...  Yeah?

[Scott]: I was just been afraid to send some information about that.  But yet that would be great if you could tell people about that a bit.  

[Marisa]: so the Janez Jansa project started I think two or three years ago and it was by these three artists.  It was during that time when the right wing prime minister Slovenia by the name of Janez Jansa was running for reelection.  And the three artists change their name to Janez Jansa.  Like Kristen, they went through the links of changing all of their legal documents.  The media started referring to them this way.  It started building their own artistic acts this way.  They had Janez Jansa Facebook pages.  One of them got married and there's an image of one of them getting married.  So in all of these kinds of steps what happens is it immediately subversive and humorous.  If you can imagine "Janez Jansa gets married to new blah blah ".  And it's like this person, you know, she something very pleasant lady or a woman, you know.  And it's like these people are clearly not the Prime Minister.  If you can imagine why, Facebook page just by virtue of the fact of them even listing their hobbies.  Like planting, going to the beach on Sundays with the kids or shopping.  If you can imagine the Facebook update it's just like immediately funny and subversive and kind of (inaudible 0:39:54.3) the Prime Minister Janez Jansa.

And then there is some moments in their work, I mean a really timed their whole thing fantastic.  Just really great about anticipating the kind of political residence of what otherwise were ordinary gestures.  So for example, this is not the most ordinary of examples, they published a biography on Janez Jansa.  They kind of describe the three lives of these three artists and it was timed at the release of this book that was revering the Prime Minister.  What was interesting was that the project was quite controversial in Slovenia and they never explained what their gesture or the meaning of their gesture and so would force the media to explain their gesture for them.  So they came up with a million different examples of why and then people went so far as to suggest that it was the media, in fact, that produced the artwork.  So people were always talking about the media's obsession to live the artwork on this project and one of them was sense of vocational imperative on behalf of journalists to cover.  When you're covering issues as a journalist you have to cover both sides of the spectrum.  So for example you're going to report on a policy change or whenever then you would ask both the president and you also ask the prime minister and then you also ask the artist Janez Jansa.  It was picked up also out of this (inaudible 0:41:41.1) journalistic objectivity.  

So kind of along the same wavelength there's like every step pointing out the kind of artifice and the constructions of these institutions that one otherwise takes.  For example, Mr. Peanut who in the mid seventies and Vancouver ran for mayor.  So Mr. Peanut as you may recall, is this kind of icon from Planters Peanuts.  And two artists, Vincent Trasov and Michael Morris, ran as this peanut character.  So one of them is the tap dancing silent peanut and the other one explains the gesture of the peanut.  So here's an image of Mr. Peanut in front of City Hall.  The one below is where Mr. Peanut is walking.  I think the image is of him walking with one of the other candidates.  And just by virtue of someone silent is standing next to you, the "straight" candidate derails the other candidate.  And what's interesting is that Mr. Peanut garnered 11% of the vote in Vancouver.  Larry Baggett in his book called "Gorilla Electoral Theater" writes about how when this kind of gorilla electoral performance projects happens it's often indicative of a sense of disenfranchisement among the voting constituency.  But it is a way to kind of garner a movement build.  It's often kind of happening at these times where voters are (inaudible 0:43:39.3) stuck, as in they don't have any options and nothing to do, so these kind of moments arise.  And his book is fantastic, I have to say.

[Scott]: I'm sorry, what was the name of the book again?  Because I don't…

[Marisa]: "Gorilla Electoral Theater"

[Scott]: Oh great, thanks.

[Marisa]: And Larry wrote the introduction with me, actually.

So I think most of you guys, it's likely that you guys are familiar with the Reverend Billy recently ran for mayor of New York City.  He was running for mayor when Bloomberg was essentially buying his third term in kind of rewriting the laws of electoral politics.  You know, bought himself his third term essentially.  So it was likely that he was gonna win so in a sense there was nothing to lose.  I think Larry writes about Billy and people involved in that campaign including the director of (inaudible 0:44:54.7).  During that time when they go through this sense of like not knowing whether they should.   For example be as outlandish and just had this wildly utopia proposition or whether they in fact should be pragmatic and eventually they decided to (inaudible 0:45:08.9) utopia because they lost a lot of their own support when they started coming up with a viable solutions for hotter run the city.

The last set of images, one is broken, is Camille Turner.  Are you guys familiar with Camille Turner's work?

[Scott]: I don't think so.  

[Marisa]: Okay.  Camille Turner is of Caribbean descent and she moved to Canada.  When she first moved there she described the sense of being received as a foreigner.  Of course Canada is proud of having a really wildly diverse population.  That's just some biographical background that informs her practice.  Your references this character called Miss Canadiana and the word Canadiana is equivalent in American English to Americana.  So I think that's kind of kitchy, maybe kind of curio in Americana it's like kitchy a little bit.  As Miss Canadiana she shows up at events unannounced, well sometimes she's invited, to kind of officiate in a sense.   Show up and say a few words and bestow grace on, you know, officiate.  But sometimes she shows up unannounced.  Her unannounced appearance is including the training ground for the royal Mounties in Canada.  So that would be like showing up at the, I don't know, West Point.  And they received her very graciously and they were excited to have this beauty queen figure show up and in fact she got invited back.  And so she's able to kind of create this new kind of access through this invented persona.  She was describing this moment where she was in northern Canada and she was getting this lecture performance to a group of people.  She was nervous about the whole thing because they seemed like maybe they could be hostile and she didn't know how the performance was going to go over.  And she remembers at some point the audience started stirring and someone turned on the lights and they said to her a little bit abruptly "so what is this?"  And she goes "what do you mean?" And they said "well what is this?  What is this?" And she explained that she had invented this character.  And so the person in the audience said to her "oh you mean we can do this too?"  And so it was like this fantastic moment of just recognizing that kind of constructiveness of things and that, in fact, in doing so you could have a similar kind of agency.  So to me it's this moment of recognizing that institutions made up of humans.  It's this moment of re-sensitizing one's self to a political agency and recognizing, uh, just taking it all.

Steven Wright is saying "this is all the funnier as the governor general of Canada, our head of state, is herself Haitian born.  So there's an automatic confusion between Miss Canadiana and the queen's representative" That's funny! Yes, "so there is a real Yes Men twist in the terms of race relations".  I think also was funny about Camille is her presence.  She doesn't' fit normal. She's such a graceful and at that data that Jeff Tackett said it smiling person and she doesn't fit normal beauty queen standards.   So what happens is you don't judge her on that, you judge your idea of what beauty queen standards are.  You know what I mean?  So it kind of forces you to re-evaluate those.  

Now, what questions do you have (laughing)?   

[Scott]: We're just looking at these websites Marisa.  There's a lot of material on here to look through.

[Marisa]: Yeah.

[Scott]: I was curious how your role as an artist and an activist has led you in the direction of these other artists' works?

[Marisa]: I know that in the conversations I've had with you and Steven about that, I never quite know how to answer that.  So to explain the background, when I'm introducing myself or some other introductory kind of thing I say that half my life is in the arts as in artist/writer/curator and the other half is in working with different grass roots, like a community organizer with grass roots for activist or advocacy based organizations.  I mean, I really do spend, it really isn't a 50/50 kind of split and sometimes it is or is not kind of overlapped.  For this book I think I'm interested in the ways, for example, and the way that a lot of these practices are self conscious in kind of like investigating new forms of documentation and this kind of interest.  I'm interested in these artists, their interests, and kind of finding these impuracle ways of verifying that a thing existed.  And I guess for me it's kind of this interest in looking at the outcomes or impuracle indicators that this work has taken place and it comes from my work is a community organizer where I'm involved in campaigns and has very specific outcomes.  And were also always trying to measure and evaluate what those successes are.  So for example, one campaign has been very dear to me for quite some years is working in this coalition of people who are opposing the privatization of this pavilion on the north side of Union Square in New York City.  You know the outcome is on the one hand saving up a pavilion and there are all the steps in between really.  And I think for me, on the one hand, activists and community organizers and advocates are really good about naming those impuracle things but can be saved and they can be in the nonprofit industrial complex.  You key used to doing things like finding or indicating or articulating those things in between that are the work of movement building.  And for me, this is also the works of art does.  Like sitting within a space of and knowing and anticipating these ways of which thing signify and for really subtle shifts.  Like in movement building account the numbers of people that you reach out and connect with and build into your organization your constituents.  And in artwork that scope is different sometimes.

I don't know.  I think that's one kind of overlap between are enacted this practices.  And I think the other one is just simply being.  You know sometimes artwork, I don't disenvow things being shown in a gallery, and I think it serves a function.  I think oftentimes when people are really anti gallery and anti museum it's like throwing the bathwater out with the baby.  I would like to remind people that the first public museums came out of the French Revolution and this idea of making it accessible to people.  And to be privatizing these kind of cultural legacies or whatever.  But to be honest, I get really grumpy oftentimes with the way with things are shown in galleries and I have found that I'm just always interested and practices that go beyond that aggressively and rigorously.  I guess that's where this book comes out of as well.  Does not make sense?

[Scott]: Yeah totally.  Someone else has a question here too.

[Kate]: Hi Marissa, this is Kate.  I was just wondering if you at all explore commercial art as byproducts of societal discourse in your book or not?  

[Marisa]: Um, so, I'm sorry.  So just to make sure that I have you correctly.  So whether I explore commercial works as a byproduct of conversations that take place in society.  Um, that's a good question.  I think that's when (0:56:44.5) my scope too is artworks that are produced within a non artworld sector.I should have clarified that in the beginning.  So, because for example, themes a lot of works that are produced within art institutions themselves.  Like for example, the genre of institutional art or kind of seventies through nineties genre work that investigates art institution itself and the politics of (inaudible 0:57.14.9) structures.  I'm not looking at that.  Actually because it's pretty well documented and kind of (inaudible 0:57:19.7).  And so I feel like that's the work of (inaudible 0:57:23.8) and a kind of work has been done...  I am looking at those that tend kind of invading the contextion oftentimes.  Also, I'm looking at work where the artist is embedding themselves in the context and it's the system and the rhythms and the patterns of that context that itself produces the work.  So, in answer to your questions, no.   

But for example, Kristen Lucas' project, that was shown in a gallery.  It has been shown in galleries and museums.  So it's not like totally separated from that world, do you know what I mean?  But I'm looking for context, I'm not really looking at the kind of documentation so much in a (inaudible 0:58:17.9) gallery context, I'm looking at that moment in which it was produced.  I'm kind of focusing on that.  Also Janez Jansa work has been shown extensively in museums and galleries and a lot of their work incorporates this kind of institutional art dialogue.  And am not focusing on that aspect of their project because it is (inaudible 0:58:37.4).  I'm focusing on their work in the moment of its production, in which the context is producing the work itself.

Um, if someone is saying, they did is saying "what about artworks that take the place inside and outside of institutions but do not produce material evidence such as Ian Wilson's?"  Um, I don't know Ian Wilson's work.  I would like to know.  I think that I am looking at stuff where there is not material evidence.  Like APG's work really.  Barbara, in one of her interviews, acknowledges that there's kind of shoddy documentation of her work in fact.  One of her contemporaries and colleagues are in Joseph Boyd's exemplary self documented.  And she remembers that APG as a group, in fact didn't have very many photographs.  They saw their own group being documented in Boyd's work and then they recognized they not only should that should have been documented.  Well, should have been documented.  Self documented.  So I think I'm looking at, I think a lot of these works really exist as... On one hand I am interested in status indicators and these kinds of material documents and I'm also interested in and the way that a lot of these projects really operated by and large verbally, through oral passage.  You know, through language.  Rumor or snippets of conversation.

Sorry.  Sorry I started looking at Ian Wilson's work. Um, okay well um...

[Scott]: Yeah, so Marissa.  I wouldn't want to guide you too much but I am definitely super curious about your, I mean, you've been involved in art and activism for quite awhile.  But not specifically artists who only choose to instrumental themselves and the service of activism and the ways that are most predictable.  I wouldn't say so anyway.  It doesn't seem like it.  I think it would be interesting to hear about that.  You know, maybe some your strategies.  You know, a lot of "art activists" are involved in making directly political zines and posters probably or involved in protests or attempt to use their art competencies in those ways that don't necessarily make conceptual art projects with that material.  It seems like you have been involved in this project called "Pond".  You had been for a long time.  It's sort of labeled as art activism and ideas, right?

[Marisa]: Mm hmmm.

[Scott]: And, I don't know.  Would you be in to talking about some of that because you're networks have become more expensive sense then I think what that kind of work right?  

[Marisa]: Yeah.  I think it started with....  For me my interest in being engaged in a kind of atavistic or atavistically, whatever, politically.  A lot of people just kind of solidified.  When I went to Seattle WTO in 1999, that was one of the most fascinating experience of my life and everybody was like, you know.  Reality.  Everybody just pales since then.  I acknowledge that I, I think for a lot of people who want there, it easier to romanticize.  It was fantastic and all some at the same time.  For the past 14 years I have been involved in K through 12 education and I sometimes consider going into a college level teaching.  K-12 education teaching and literacy and also art to underrepresented youths.  And my interest in that is, I will, you know, I feel privileged to be in this country.  I'm the first person to go to college on my Ecuadorian side so I, you know, I'm cognoscente of that.  I think that I'd like teaching and I think that I have a lot of patience, or so people have told me that.  I think one of my favorite applications of patience is teaching people how to read.  I mean, anyways.  What a curious thing for an animal to be doing. Teaching (inaudible 1:04:40.2) reading books.  So I was always kind of involved in K-12 education and I still am here and there.  Last semester I was teaching a group of teenagers in Brooklyn about the Red Guidelines Board, which is a specific body in New York that makes decisions about red regulating units in New York.  There are a million red units and so they're making this project about that kind of involved investigating what this policy, this body of politicians do.  There are nine people in the RGB and they're all handpicked by the mayor.  Anyway, it's kind of curious, one of those curious bureaucratic monsters in New York.  I guess from that I also got involved in different advocacy based work.  I guess I thought that when I was younger that I would get into education or being involved in the field of education as an advocate.  Instead what I think I started doing is I got involved with this group...

The first advocate based organization I started working with a few years ago was called Eye Witness Video. They document the policing of protests in order to ensure the first amendment right of people to protest which is a kind of civil liberty that is increasingly, especially after 9/11, gets cramped down.  So what that work involved doing was taking videos of police at protests and also documenting their badges or whether they had them or if they were covering them.  Documenting undercover cops, how they (inaudible 1:06:40.4), how they approach the protest itself, what weapons they use and kind of following that through all the steps of a protest.  For example, the lead up to the protest or how they litigate or prosecute activists after it.   So mounting these kinds of long term investigations.  Then in 2004 a witness was able to prove that 1/3 that out of the 1200 tickets they had issued were digitally fabricated which resulted in dismissal of 1200 i.e. thousands and thousands and tens of thousands of dollars that would otherwise be revenue.  When I joined them it was in the lead up to the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Denver.  That involved, you now, documenting all the stages along with all of the kind of historic moments that just sound totally stupid describing them now, but involved (laughing) the harassed all the time, having cell phones tapped, having the house be overrun by FBI agents pointing guns at you, having to be threatened with door being run down with the battering ram and all that kind of psychological paranoia that goes along with that.  I have since been involved, besides that organization.  

Right now I work with a program called Street Vendor Project and we advocate and we have the street vendors.   Well, I should say, the interesting thing for me about advocacy organizations is that they not only involved advocating on behalf but they also really involve often times in encouraging and fostering.  So if you can imagine what for eye witness before people go to protest, people would want to make sure that eye witness was there to make sure that their backs are covered.  OR people would also send their tapes to us to use in mounting this long term forensic investigation.  Right now I'm involved in Street Vendor Project and it's a vendor led organization in New York with 1000 members and we advocate on behalf of organized street vendors.  So it's centrally like our union.

Then another group that I've been working with for quite some years is NYC Park Advocates and they've been really effective in terms of... well, they advocate on behalf of, they advocate for equitable access to parks.  And in New York, public parks are something that is very contested because people need green space and recreational space and people are in their cramped quarters and, you know.  So that's a quite heated and cross classed and cross sectored group.  It's been interesting working with them because I've been really affected actually in being a thorn in the Bloomberg Administration's side and effectively getting parks open.  We're drafting policy and enacting kind of like a change, these changes that are perceptively and probably felt on an everyday level in people's lives.  So last weekend, I was on a park inspection at this park in Queens and it had been shut down despite the fact that it was only $5,000 to maintain normally.  So, there was like some new pieces that were on the local news channels and that drew attention to the fact that our Governor's way of getting legislators to, it's kind of holding the parks ransom in a sense.  So, it's kind of like drawing attention to public policy, you know, the politics of what's happening.  And also for example in park inspections, we talk with people who were in this neighborhood that was surrounded by mosquitoes and tons of weeds and dumping and things like dead dogs were dumped in front of these poor people's front yards.  And we had told them that we had launched this news piece five years ago about this very neighborhood and we had gotten the parks department to say that they would be accountable for their property, which was their front yard, and clean up the space.  In fact, it was kind of precedent for them to come back and there is this negatism for accountability.  You know, that's like affecting someone's daily life.  The fact that in the future could not be bitten all the time by mosquitoes or the smell of dead dogs or see a bunch of weeds.  And it's like "why shouldn't these people have a Central Park in front of their yard?"  It's like, you know.  It's endless.  The Park's Department.  Their kind of failures and it's an endless supply of (inaudible 1:12:35.1) (laughing) things to work on and projects.

[Scott]: Yeah, Steven.  Did you want to sort of ask what you were saying out loud or do you think your connection is too poor for that?

[Steven]: No, my connection is really good now because (inaudible 1:13:07.1)

[Scott]: They've stopped watching porn?


Awesome.  Welcome back.

[Steven]: It's great.  All of a sudden I can hear everything.  It's crystal clear where as before I just wasn't, you know.  Anyways, I think that David has a question which kind of took up a thread of what I asked earlier.  And I think it's a crucial time because we've got some (inaudible 1:13:30.2) and I have this sensation when I was talking to you before too.  You know, you're sort of extremely articulate but slightly have a strange type of vocabulary which sort of pulls us along further.  We understand the words but we don't quite...  But maybe you have to come back to it because I think there is something very key about using that kind of language to read into these practices.

 But actually, my question is a bit different, or maybe it's a bit linked as well.  When I was listening to you talk about your eye witness privilege project.  I can sort of see there was something linked to what art in a certain kind of, I don't know, a forensic art that is kind of procured over its long history.  And now a kind of focused process that has developed like lobbyists do.  Like look very closely at things and document them very accurate, you attempted to (1:14:37.0) you know, escape.  I think that's a great case to be made for art.  Which is making and witness bearing then what will be, in fact.  That's one of the greatest arguments to be made for not giving up art actually because it really does have a strong case.  But then when you got to the end of your presentation, you were talking about people being like arrested and having their rights absolutely (inaudible 1:15:09.6).  This is something which is very unfamiliar.  Even to radical art producers.  So, I was wondering to what extent you think that kind really...

I have another question but I'll give you a few seconds about that.

[Marisa]: So, um, okay.  So is your question, Steve, about for example, radical art producers are not subject saying often times...Well, for the most part, radical art producers are not subject to the same kind of consequences as something like what happens in other forms of avocation or social engagement?  Or in the case of Eye Witness, which is somewhat extreme, of being harassed or physically harmed.  Is that what you mean? Is that your question?

[Steven]: Well, that's for sure two of my (inaudible 1:16:15.1) whole question, that's definitely the case.  Maybe I can put it this way.  If you really beyond that specific example, what are art related practitioners really bring into the mix and why are these advocacy groups and activists bringing into their mix?  Another one, one that's close to art and a little but further back from activism.  The artist might be a little bit further from art but a little closer to activism.  How does that crossover or that (inaudible 1:16:50.8).

[Marisa]: Okay, okay.  So what is each? What is activism bringing to the mix and what is art bringing to the mix.  Well, I think that this idea of kind of like a forensic look or a long-term investigation is to me, I think what art has to offer is this sense of subtlety or resensitizing to otherwise (inaudible 1:17:19.7) processes or otherwise these really subtle ways of looking at new connections.  I mean, Kristen Lucas' is one really good example where, I guess, you know...  I some of these practices what happens is that over time something new happens and then all of a sudden it recontextualizes all of the moments proceeding it and make them somehow resonate in a different way.  And then another thing could happen.  And it's shifting.  Like in the case of Mr. Peanut or Reverend Billy.  It's like because these are...I would actually say less than this, you know, this idea of sudden shifts and were like fractions.  It's less so in Miss Canadiana's case because she's not involving herself in an institutional practice that unfolds narratively.  For example, an electoral campaign unfolds in a familiar way.  In those ones where it's really, really scripted and someone is exerting themselves and taking these on and what happens is it automatically is resonating against the other person who has been unwittingly cast as the other player.  So, it resonates against our responses.  So, for example, if Janez Janša the Prime Minister does a gesture also, he suddenly becomes encompassed in part of the artwork.  Do you know what I mean?  So when like Janez Janša the Prime Minister updates his Facebook page, that becomes part of the artwork.  So it's just kind of this solemn way of looking is what one of what these practices can bring.

On the activist side, the activist practices remind us of these larger stakes and scope of things and the scale.  I mean, it's like when you're involved in organizing protesters or involved in consistence through teaching.  I don't know.  It's like you really count numbers a lot oftentimes.And the fact that like, for example, the art and non profit and industrial complex you certainly count numbers when going through the gallery of (inaudible 1:20:05.8) whatever.  It's different.  It can be quite different.  Yeah.  I think activist practice is also the way that they bring in ideas of consequences or consequentiality and an outcome is something art practices can learn from.  I think the engagement with impuracle information and information from the ground is something that activism and advocacy groups bring to art.  And also really knowing how to work with communities, which is a very, it's a skill and it's something that...  On the one hand it's like a knack, but also like a skill that one can learn how to do.  I think that is something that, especially social engaged practices, more specifically embedded our practices needs to know.  How in fact to meaningfully engage themselves in a way where it's not the art activist taking the photograph of the thing going to the context and then they, you know, they have their documentation and the thing happened and the art piece happened and they went away and can put it in the White Box Gallery in the community.  It's like "where did the artist go?" That, um...

[Steven]: Thank you, thank you.  For sure. That was great.

[Marisa]: Collective autonomy.  So something art is not too good at.  Oh, well, I think the thing about artwork is that often... Okay, look. Yesterday I was at these crypts. A friend of mine, Lauren Connor is teaching and I was visiting her class.  And I was reminded about art.  I sometimes forget, but in fact, but I was re-reminded about how art institutions (inaudible 1:22:24.7) reinforce individuality.  And they don't often teach or emphasize an artist knowing how to work with each other collaboratively or alternately learn with contacts.  And I think that in meaningful ways, or in committed ways.  Um, yeah.  Also, I was reminded about how artists oftentimes need help or training in learning how to deal with evidence or information or things impuracle.  Information about the world.  Worldly engagement.  Which I don't see, for example, in the like education institutions that teach architecture.  To me it seems a lot like the strength of that training is a lot of times I feel like architecture students get that training on working with land information and people.  And artists don't often get that training but I think that we should.

Did I sound too despairaging (laughing)?

[Scott]: No, not at all.  Actually, Chris here has a question for us.

[Chris]: Hi.  I was going to ask about that sometimes I wonder looking at the thing for the Up Against the Wall people, I thought that maybe sometimes they might come across as being way too aggressive.  When their actually not or something.  Yeah.

[Marisa]: So, is your question about like groups being (inaudible 1:24:16.9) or what do you mean? Or like (inaudible 1:24:22.0) or kind of tone?

[Chris]: Well something is saying, yeah.  Having a group called Up Against the Wall (expletive 1:24:27.5) might be considered to be a bit way too threatening to people.

[Marisa]: um hmmm.  Well, I think Steven can maybe talk about these interests in that.  I think it's the way, well okay.  So you're question is about being confrontational or aggressive or being agro?

[Chris]: Yeah, something like that.

[Marisa]: Um, well I think I okay, well.  I'm interested on the one hand.  Okay.  Do you mean activist practices in general or do you mean like that particular example Up Against the Wall (explicate 1:25:12.7)?

[Chris]: I meant activist practices in general.

[Marisa]: Oh, well I think, I mean I think one of the problems of activist work, activist artwork not activist work; activist artwork is that it airs on the side that they feel.  The problem I feel that is with activist work is that it often feels like it has to look like leftist artwork.  Kind of like it has a syndrome of this embarrassment of riches where it feels like that it can't take pleasure in essential.  It has to be this left looking artwork and it drives me nuts.  You know, um, and I think that's the problem with the left also.  Besides art activist practices' problem with the left, it feels like its identitarian based politics.  It's like politics rooted in an identity and all the accoutrements with it instead of being more open minded about what that is.  Um. Yeah. I don't have a problem I guess, I think that's your question right? I personally don't have a problem with.

[Chris]: Yeah. Yeah.

[Marisa]: I don't know.  Did that answer your question?

[Chris]: I also was thinking, like you know, would it backfire, yeah, would it like scare the general public off of it?  And, yeah.

[Marisa]: I think that when the strengths of art is, I mean, I think that one of the strengths of art is when it can get somebody to look anew at something or to look again deeper at something.  I agree if I'm kind of corruptly understanding what you're saying that when something looks like it's going to be (inaudible 1:27:21.8) then the general public is turned off.  And when art uses its strengths and is presenting something in a luxurious way then its illusive then interrogates something then it's successful.  Or makes something more interesting or sophisticated than something that's afraid to not be like...

[Chris]: Yeah.  Yeah.  Okay.

[Michael]: Hi, this is Michael at BaseKamp.  I was interested in what you were saying about kind of going to an art school and their not necessarily being a conversation about how artists interact in the world with their practice.  So what do you think about programs that are attempting to move in that direction with social practice or something like that?  Like Portland or San Francisco.

[Marisa]: I think it's a case by case thing.  I think it's super important to have those kinds of classes.  In my opinion I think those classes are successful or those kind of (inaudible 1:28:43.4 - Lost most of audio feed here) engagements are successful and they involve like a really diverse mix of people who can inform the students in different ways.  I think artists always like, the organizer side of it in me sometimes wants to encourage... It goes with (inaudible 1:29:05.1).  I'm not jaded by art because there are so many examples but I obviously get grumpy about certain things.  And the same thing goes about art.  But I think, I don't even like to emphasize for, well, for artists not to be (inaudible 1:29:24.6) about what they're doing.  You know what I mean?  And then I think also, like sometimes, artists, it doesn't always have to be their own art project.  They could do something and it doesn't have to be an art project.  And I think that in both cases, you have to let yourself go and just go with this.  For example, when you're doing an art project in a way that one wants an artist to really get into what they're doing and find that.  For me, I always think of it in terms of finding a certain kernel of logic and kind of unraveling it and extending it.  I think in the same way, if you're involved with a community that you'd have to be, you'd have to let yourself go.  And that's more of a question of commitment to the issue and that community.  And I think that sometimes they're at odds in the sense that like even in an artworld there's (inaudible1:30:19.5) structures that you have to be, for certain art careers it helps to be really mobile.  Do you know what I mean?  To do the certain art practices involve this kind of looking about like internationally without ever really being involved in the community. And I think that a (inaudible 1:30:37.7).  So I think that when we talk about social practice we have to think about finding something where you're not organizing a community, where you're not just being involved in a topic because it's like a class assignment, but you're really committed to that thing.  And so that's a question also of like understanding one's self and what topics you're super (inaudible 1:31:01.4) in.  And that starts with self knowledge. Did that answer your question?

(Either question from lost audio feed or text)   

Hi. Um, I finished "Byproducts" as a book, I wrote the introduction but it's an embology of essays.  So, I wrote parts of it and other people wrote other parts of it. In December of 2009 I finished a book called "Recipes for an Encounter" and that's a meditation, drawing on examples from art (inaudible 1:32:11.4) and architecture that look and consider the propositional nature of recipes.  So a recipe, as in a magic spell can be a recipe or from an architectural point a diagram can be a recipe.  A list for a certain kind of art project can be a recipe.  So looking at all these kinds of things that are schematized and looking at their propositional nature and then also looking at the difference between a recipe and what's inactive.  So, a recipe invites improvisation and they are open ended by nature.  There is an improvisational aspect to them.  So, that was the first book.  They're not exactly too related.

(Either question from lost audio feed or text)

It's called "Recipes for an Encounter".  And then if you, let's see (inaudible 1:33:19.4).  Yeah, if you Google it, it comes up.

[Steven]: Marisa?  I have kind of an art historical question.  It's really a question because it's something that I also deal with.  A lot of your examples, historical examples come from the 1960s.  Thinking of Ian Baxter, Anything Company, Artist Placement Group, Mr. Peanut and then all of a sudden the examples are all young artists today.  I mean, Reverend Billy isn't exactly a young artist but he's pretty cutting edge.  So my question is what happened in between?  How come all this stuff happened in the sixties and then early seventies and then nothing happened?  And then it's kind of... Is anything cool in those years?

[Marisa]: I don't know.  You know, I'm not saying it's a very good excuse for (inaudible 1:35:13.9) on my behalf.  Perhaps I should have worked at that a bit more.  I don't actually consider myself an artist so I mean... Pardon?

[Steven]: That's to your credit.  I mean, it wasn't like that.  If you noticed that, maybe it's just me (inaudible 1:35:37.4) really exist but...

[Marisa]: No. I certainly noticed it.  First of all (inaudible 1:35:51.0) I'd be interested if you had examples or if somebody else had examples of an in between.  I don't know what that is or what that... That for example, did institutional critique you know, things that happened in the 1990s?  Did that soak up people's anti-institutional reflex or antiauthoritarian reflex?  I don't know.  Is it like in the eighties and the seventies like the punk movement happened and that soaked up people's anti -authoritarian reflexes?  I don't know.

(Inaudible question from group 1:36:30.3)

[Marisa]: Oh yeah?  Miss Solid States?  Miss Altered State.  And was that... Huh?

(Inaudible response from group 1:37:03.00)   

[Marisa]: Interesting.  So it's like a character.  That's interesting.

[Steven]: It's not like nothing was happening in the eighties obviously.  You know, there was the (inaudible 1:37:13.7) revolution.  I mean, there was a lot of political activity going on in Central America. There was the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Like very, very important political events that challenging (inaudible 1:37:28.9) all over the world. But the funny thing is, that often times in our accounts, and I'm wondering if this is at least grounds for some sort of self critique, is often our accounts of these things we draw with examples from these really great examples from the world we are just discovering now.  So it's not like this has been going on for a long time.  This is like anything (inaudible 1:37:51.5).  Nobody was talking about this stuff a year ago.  It's news that has come up on our radar screens.  But the funny thing is that it would be easier to find stuff and remember the things that were happening in the eighties than it would be to dig up stuff that was happening in the sixties.

[Marisa]: mmm hmm.  Um.

[Steven]: (inaudible 1:38:15.7) it was different for sure.

(Inaudible/Audio feed lost 1:38:25 - 1:40:19.3)

[Marisa]: Well, you know there is the art historian Vincent (inaudible 1:40:27.3).  I don't know if you know him Steven Wright, but he's quite interesting and (inaudible 1:40:35.8). He suggests that 1968 is the year when the Sony Portapack was invented and that was also the time of a (inaudible 1:40:55.9).  So Sony Portapack that made video cameras portable spurred this interest in technology art.  In Canada, the Canadian Council had funding initiatives not only for the usage of this technology but for artists to use, I forget the name, it's a look and pilnib.  It's a funding initiative for artists to work in acknowledged art sectors.  A lot of times was what that meant was the artists were going to do media.  And this was an initiative that was taken up by the Baxters in Britain and also spurred some similar but not has prominent engagements with mono sectors.  Any kind of like rejuvenating spur of artistic innovation and technology innovation rolled together.

(Inaudible question from group 1:36:30.3)

Vincent Vonin. First name is Vincent.  He actually just published a book about, called, (inaudible 1:42:18.6) documentary protocols.  It was (inaudible 1:42.23.5) gallery in Toronto, I'm sorry.  Montreal?

[Steven]: It was a great show.  A really great sow

[Marisa]: Yeah.  A really good archivist.  So, on the Canadian side, I think there is an interest in that.  For example, Ingrid's fascination with the telefax and the able to penetrate companies is kind of the most heightened emblem of this initiative. Yeah.

[Steven]: Maybe this is a topic we can pick up at another location because it's kind of late here for me.  It's just a little after 2:00.  And I would love to continue this conversation because actually didn't even think of it before.  I'm really just thinking of your examples and they way we talk about them it seems like we're doing the splits for about a decade and a half.  And it's maybe why that would be and then maybe directed by it or else at least to (inaudible 1:43:46.7).  I also am somebody who became politically and artistically aware in the 1980s so of course I know a lot about the 1980s and I never talk about the stuff that formed in my youth.   Anyway, maybe there are more things to be said but I think I'm going to have to duck out at this point.  I want to thank you very much for your presentation and your thoughts and for joining us.  I hope you'll come back, before the book gets out, for another potluck and before I read the book

[Marisa]: That sounds good.  I look forward to reading the book (laughing)


Why don't we close it there altogether and leave on an inquisitive note (inaudible 1:44:54.0) and more for later.

[Steven]: Okay, goodnight!

[Marisa]: Goodnight! Thank you Scott.  Thank you guys!

Page |


Chat History with basekamp/$ad563cc59b22afa4" title="#basekamp/$ad563cc59b22afa4">byproducts (#basekamp/$ad563cc59b22afa4)

Created on 2010-05-26 09:13:04.


BASEKAMP team: 17:54:38
hi marisa, stephen & nick!
stephen wright: 17:54:52
Hey Scott!
Marisa Jahn: 17:54:52
stephen wright: 17:54:55
Hi Marisa
Nick Hanford: 17:54:56
Marisa Jahn: 17:54:59
just getting some images emplaced
BASEKAMP team: 17:55:06
let's wait a few mins for people to come in before starting
Marisa Jahn: 17:55:09
should i send them to someone or what do i do with them?
BASEKAMP team: 17:55:10
ok great
BASEKAMP team: 17:55:22
well... could they be available online somewhere? like flickr?
Marisa Jahn: 17:56:55
hm. i can upload them to my server?
BASEKAMP team: 17:58:20
Marisa Jahn: 17:58:33
i mean i know i can, q is, does this make sense for people to then click on them?
BASEKAMP team: 17:58:44
i only suggest online so people can be passed links
BASEKAMP team: 17:58:52
whatever's easiest for you honestly
Marisa Jahn: 17:59:02
BASEKAMP team: 17:59:09
even if no images, it would be ok smiley but they're always a bit of a help
BASEKAMP team: 18:00:57
who's up for a quick sound check call?
Nick Hanford: 18:01:16
i can take it
Marisa Jahn: 18:01:50
ok you call me then?
Nick Hanford: 18:03:01
i think they are testing basekamp's connection
BASEKAMP team: 18:09:37
so that was fun
Marisa Jahn: 18:09:45
stephen wright: 18:09:57
having fun are you?
BASEKAMP team: 18:10:03
BASEKAMP team: 18:10:05
sound checkin
BASEKAMP team: 18:10:09
maxin & relaxin
stephen wright: 18:10:11
rock on
BASEKAMP team: 18:10:18
chillin & illin
BASEKAMP team: 18:10:31
smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley
Marisa Jahn: 18:10:31
just uploading these images...
BASEKAMP team: 18:11:22
btw, reading this:
BASEKAMP team: 18:12:38
BASEKAMP team: 18:12:52
How are you all this evening? (afternon . latenight depending on your timezone smiley )
stephen wright: 18:13:21
fit as a fiddle, given the hour
stephen wright: 18:13:43
Hi David
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 18:13:57
hi how are you?
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 18:14:14
sorry to have lost you the other day
BASEKAMP team: 18:14:29
lovely . drinking beer and looking at dessert on the table and hummus and chips
BASEKAMP team: 18:14:40
glad to have you as always David!
stephen wright: 18:14:40
We'll have a chance to catch up. I enjoyed our exchange though!
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 18:14:50
funny to bump into you at the tate
stephen wright: 18:14:57
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 18:15:05
I was exhibiting poster works
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 18:15:11
yes it was
stephen wright: 18:15:33
I should go incognito to places like that!
BASEKAMP team: 18:16:08
so guys, who wants to get started with having an audio chat?
stephen wright: 18:16:25
that's what we're here / hear for
stephen wright: 18:16:34
whenever Marisa's ready
Marisa Jahn: 18:16:42
ok just testing the html page - 1 sec
BASEKAMP team: 18:16:56
the weather is so.. sometihing - beautiful - or - that most people are out walking. or sleeping -- but a few of us are here & happy to chat
BASEKAMP team: 18:17:07
BASEKAMP team: 18:17:26
jsut let us know when you're done marisa & we'll call everyone
Marisa Jahn: 18:17:37
ok i'm ready
Marisa Jahn: 18:17:39
url is here:
Marisa Jahn: 18:17:40
BASEKAMP team: 18:17:41
smiley  smiley  smiley
BASEKAMP team: 18:17:47
stephen wright: 18:18:42
lost me
BASEKAMP team: 18:19:50
Nick Hanford: 18:20:35
stephen wright: 18:21:08
lost me again...
BASEKAMP team: 18:22:26
oh noes
BASEKAMP team: 18:23:35
BASEKAMP team: 18:24:25
Joseph was on earlier & says HI btw
BASEKAMP team: 18:24:47
he'll try to pop in sometime near the end  smiley
stephen wright: 18:27:52
lost me
stephen wright: 18:27:57
bad connection tonight
stephen wright: 18:28:11
please call me back
BASEKAMP team: 18:29:50
dang sry stephen - trying u again
BASEKAMP team: 18:30:34
will keep trying
stephen wright: 18:30:40
stephen wright: 18:30:46
maybe we can do some text
stephen wright: 18:30:59
It's really interesting, but technology is not happening
BASEKAMP team: 18:31:13
BASEKAMP team: 18:31:15
BASEKAMP team: 18:31:42
marisa is talking about Artist Placement Group, ... image #1 on taht link above
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 18:31:55
can you explain why the big interest in the group
BASEKAMP team: 18:31:59
this one is by Jonathan Latham, called Big Breather
stephen wright: 18:32:11
can you call me again
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 18:32:43
both groups were very famous in the 70's
stephen wright: 18:33:14
BASEKAMP team: 18:33:15
in the UK yes
BASEKAMP team: 18:33:38
neither were so famous in the US...
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 18:33:44
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 18:34:04
we produced material for the same magazine
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 18:34:15
BASEKAMP team: 18:35:59
Stephen it might be good to calrify P@W's interest in Organizational Art in this context... at some point...
BASEKAMP team: 18:36:19
tho wouldn't want to derail Marisa's chat
stephen wright: 18:37:09
dropped again...
BASEKAMP team: 18:40:58
eating btw
stephen wright: 18:42:20
scott... sorry, lost again
BASEKAMP team: 18:42:56
BASEKAMP team: 18:43:10
we lost stephen
BASEKAMP team: 18:43:45
re-adding u stephen
BASEKAMP team: 18:43:50
talking about Au Travail
BASEKAMP team: 18:44:12
next image down... two girls hugging in a vat of oil at Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food cahin
stephen wright: 18:47:16
When the connection is cooperating, I have no problem following you Marisa. And yet what is interesting is that you use some off-beat terms, not idiosyncratically, but pointedly, kind of hijacking them or retracking them. I'd like to ask you about a couple of them, and more generally to ask you about what you think about that whole vocabulary question. You called yourself something of an "interloper"... What's that? You explained "byproducts" right off the bat, but it is clearly a case of repossession of a word. As is "embedded". See my point? All this beyond the examples per se.
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 18:47:29
stephen wright: 18:51:29
stephen wright: 18:51:38
I like that project too!
stephen wright: 18:52:37
It seems as if all the bandwidth in my hotel is being consumed by my neighbours downloading huge amounts of porn.
BASEKAMP team: 18:52:38
calling you bakkkk
stephen wright: 18:52:41
Please call me again
BASEKAMP team: 18:53:04
tell them to get a room
Nick Hanford: 18:53:25
i think the problem may be that they have a room
stephen wright: 18:53:47
They should all be given a common room
BASEKAMP team: 18:54:16
smiley smiley  smiley
BASEKAMP team: 18:55:48
BASEKAMP team: 18:58:01
BASEKAMP team: 18:58:13
BASEKAMP team: 18:58:14
BASEKAMP team: 18:59:04
smiley smiley smiley
stephen wright: 19:02:15
Guerrilla Electoral Theater
BASEKAMP team: 19:03:14
BASEKAMP team: 19:04:02
Reverend Billy & the Church of life after Shopping
BASEKAMP team: 19:05:51
stephen wright: 19:07:49
This is all the funnier as the Governor General of Canada (our Head of State) is herself Haitian born. So there is an automatic confusion between Miss Canadiana and the Queen's Representative. So there is a real Yes Men twist in terms of race relations
BASEKAMP team: 19:08:52
smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley smiley ]smiley
stephen wright: 19:14:12
You chose to do it as a book -- not as an exhibition
stephen wright: 19:16:05
it's the rythms and patterns of the context that produce the work
BASEKAMP team: 19:16:31
the work focused on  is critical, but not involved in "institutional critique" exactly
stephen wright: 19:16:53
I really like the Lucas project -- it's one of the strongest in the book in my opinion -- but it could easily be part of any good mainstream exhibition -- it has the appeal for sure
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:17:01
what about art works that take place inside and outside art institutions but do not produce material evidence, such as Ian Wilsons?
stephen wright: 19:17:37
he does produce material evidence though
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:17:44
they take the form of discussions
stephen wright: 19:18:02
I mean, people bear witness, there are recordings...
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:18:10
stephen wright: 19:18:16
great work to be sure
BASEKAMP team: 19:18:23
we're looknig for evidence of ian wilson's work
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:18:25
but their experiential
BASEKAMP team: 19:18:38
think we found some
stephen wright: 19:18:44
yes it's a good example
stephen wright: 19:19:05
He's this south african artist who just does talks in museums
BASEKAMP team: 19:19:05
it's not a rick roll don't worry -
BASEKAMP team: 19:19:08
but close
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:25:12
I find the issue of the everyday and the real , and the differentiation between something that appears real or subverts the real very interesting but difficult to get my head around, so the terms and language you use to read practices looking at these issues fascinating.
stephen wright: 19:27:42
This Eye-Witness project is interesting and important, but have you considered in what ways its conditions of possibility lie in art-related activity? I mean it sounds like the "up against the wall motherfuckers" take on radical conceptual art
stephen wright: 19:31:04
This fact may not interest anyone but me, but now that the skype connection is working perfectly (it's 1:30 am) seems to suggest that my hypothesis about the porn downloaders was accurate -- and now they've all nodded off!
stephen wright: 19:39:19
for sure!
stephen wright: 19:39:32
accountability and working with communities
stephen wright: 19:39:50
you might call that "collective autonomy" -- something art is not too good at
stephen wright: 19:41:53
artists need help in dealing with empirical data, with worldly knowledge!
stephen wright: 19:42:44
They were WAY aggressive!
stephen wright: 19:42:57
oops, lost my connection (those motherfuckers are back)
BASEKAMP team: 19:43:17
adding u bak
stephen wright: 19:43:27
BASEKAMP team: 19:45:45
smiley ing u
stephen wright: 19:45:46
BASEKAMP team: 19:50:41
kung fu!  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley   smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley   smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley   smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley   smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley   smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley   smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley   smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley   smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley   smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley   smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley   smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley   smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley   smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley   smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley
BASEKAMP team: 19:51:41
BASEKAMP team: 19:51:42
Marisa Jahn: 19:51:51
this link is better:
Marisa Jahn: 19:51:51
Marisa Jahn: 19:51:55
oops not that one
Marisa Jahn: 19:52:01
Marisa Jahn: 19:52:02
this one
BASEKAMP team: 19:53:09
you mean the 80s?
BASEKAMP team: 19:53:25
BASEKAMP team: 19:56:07
i was definitely kidding above -- there was a ton of activist art in the 80s.. but it was different
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:58:12
Latham disappeared or became invisible in the 80's along with Metzger
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:58:47
coincided with the failure of the official avant garde
stephen wright: 19:58:50
Sorry what was his name?
stephen wright: 19:59:25
the art historian?
BASEKAMP team: 19:59:52
stephen wright: 20:00:20
Bonin, Vincent
stephen wright: 20:00:41
Documentary Protocols
BASEKAMP team: 20:01:17
link to exhibition
BASEKAMP team: 20:02:11
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 20:02:21
yep I need to sleep
BASEKAMP team: 20:02:43
everyone from europe - and elsewhere - thanks for staying up sleepless with us!
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 20:02:49
yes thank you very much
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 20:03:07
BASEKAMP team: 20:03:11
stephen wright: 20:03:19
until next time!
Marisa Jahn: 20:03:24
thank you scottage and basekampers!

Week 19: Democratic Innovation

Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with Kent Hansen from the Copenhagen-based initiative, Democratic Innovation.

Several times in previous weeks’ discussions, the question of democracy has come up — as an aspiration, a modus operandi, an exigency, but most often as stemming from a desire for a more inclusive aesthetics of decision making. There isn’t much substantive democracy on offer in the mainstream artworld — nor in the broader lifeworld — but is it really plausible for artworlds to promote and practice democracy? What, if anything, do artworlds have to do with democratic will formation?

Democratic Innovation was founded in 1998 by Kent Hansen as a way of fostering greater interplay between art, free association and working life. Though not a collective/group per se, the initiative’s focus is definitely on collective work — and the collective workplace is the site of its interventions. Responding to the challenges facing democracy in today’s neoliberal economy, Democratic Innovation instigates collaborations within institutions, organizations and corporations. Typically, Hansen and his collaborators work with people in factories and businesses, seeking to integrate other artists and groups using art as an organizing platform, to consider how democracy — as it is currently understood, but also as it could be reconfigured — might be used to improve people’s working lives.

Experiences and knowledge creation in the workplace play an extensive role in cultural and societal developments — and are carefully scrutinized by neo-management as a way of increasing profits. But what if they were to be taken seriously on their own terms? Would that not be something of a “democratic innovation”? Thus, the initial ‘platform’ for democratic innovation is the notion that the ‘collective workplace’ is a time-space where different norms and conceptions about ‘production’, ‘procedures’ and ‘life’ are struggling for legitimacy — and where collective aesthetic strategies can challenge the ‘ordinary’ practice of organizing and decision-making regarding ‘production’ – be it cultural, societal or industrial.

Democratic Innovation is thus seeking alternative models to ‘managerial practices’. Can art practices contribute to the development of a critique of current neo-management practices and organizing regimes? Do participatory collaborative art practices merely mimic soft-management tactics or do they have the potential to point the way to democratic innovation?



Week 19: Democratic Innovation

[Scott]: So Kent, welcome!  Thanks for coming to our weekly chat again.  

[Kent]: Yes I've been a bi disconnected maybe.  So yeah.  Its 12:00 in Denmark, sometimes it's hard to stay up.

[Scott]: Are you feeling awake?

[Ken]: (Laughing) I am feeling awake so there's no problem.

[Scott]: Great.

[Kent]: Depending how long this will take us (laughing).

[Scott]: We are going to drag this out for as long as possible.

[Ken]: Okay.

[Scott]: We will keep it just under 2 hours at the maximum.  And if you need to go sooner because you are tired just let us know.  Cool.  And so I'm not sure who else is out there.  Jessica and Adam, school has already ended correct?  Or do you guys have some like diehard students that are hanging on?  School is out.  Yeah (laughing) great.

Um, in any case we know pretty much everyone here.  Welcome everybody again two in other example in the series of Plausible Artworlds where we take a look at different examples of emergent or fledgling Artworlds, for lack of a better term.  Many of you know Democratic Innovation but some of you might not.  And so Kent, I was hoping that you could help everyone who was out there or listening to the recording later on get a sense of what democratic innovation is.  Ah hah!  I'm just reading some of the comments (laughing).  Maybe through how it got started.  I know democratic innovation is a project that grew out of Copenhagen 12 years ago and since then it's my understanding that that it has often worked with people in factories and in other kinds of situations.  Other corporate settings or other settings where people are working but not necessarily just as a ploy by the top level in the company but somehow you've convinced these various companies are factories to allow you and your collaborators to come in and work with the people that are working.  I think we're just really fascinated by this process and it would be nice to talk about some of these projects that you have been doing.

[Kent]: Yeah, what should I say?  Yes the project for the initiative started up as a trial to star of various conversations.  The startup, now it feels like way back, this was like at the end of the nineties and it was actually the first trial to get people across the south between Sweden and Denmark working together in a project that was addressing the (inaudible 0:03:43.8) development in Holbæk area. That is a Danish city just across from another city, a Swedish city.  And I created a project that kind of address the infrastructure in these (inaudible 0:04:04.6) city.  And it connected to a larger cultural program that looked at the same business development of the Holbæk development.  And the idea was that job situations and how to work in the area was changing to kind of a home based work so we felt that we should address this topic of the issue you somehow have to direct to the organizations and to the working life of these organizations.  The idea was somehow to get a dialogue of these conversations in the area.  I engaged several people more or less, some symbolic.  It was actually meant to work in kind of directive organizations that it became more or less symbolic and should to be very difficult in engaging the Swedish organizations.  It became kind of more symbolic on the notion of this kind of crossover project, the crossover between art and organizations.  So was kind of a test project and it happened and luckily that I came across some working life consultants in the Copenhagen area that we're interested in this idea of creativity and workplace and so forth.

So the next project they came, is this mentioned?  No.  Okay.  It was a project that was eventually called industry ambition.  And this project started up with a context that was kind of a test project (inaudible 0:06:29.7) actually.  So this (inaudible 0:06:34.6) became more realistic to enter organizations because I was keen on pursuing these ideas.  With the contacts of these working life consultants we eventually succeeded in the entering into different manufacturing companies and reaching the (inaudible 0:07:12.9) were the companies were situated kind of attached of this project is well.  Yeah.  So was kind of by the help of these consultants that succeeded the project (inaudible 0:07:32.4).  Often we had spent time to fundraise the project and to get all the preparations up.  I involved kind of colleagues and friends that I knew.  So it was kind of super flex, the group super flex and the video artist (inaudible 0:08:05.2) who took part in the project.  But the financing part was in the end of mainly, from money point of view like cash money, was supported by the Danish trade unions actually.  So was first of all not supported by a kind of art funding or by any other kind of cultural funding and on these premises we carried out and it kind of lost its idea, this project.  Kind of the whole project compared to corporations.  Yeah.  I probably shouldn't talk.  I will probably just regret (laughing).  Maybe I could answer some questions.  Maybe I could ask myself what probably could create interests in democratic innovation practices (laughing).

[Scott]:  Well I can definitely continue to ask questions and was anyone else had anything they wanted to say immediately or ask you to clarify

[Kent]: Yeah, certainly.

[Scott]: Okay, yeah well.  I think, I don't know, how you guys feel?  I think that one thing that could help is to focus on one of the projects.  Not necessarily in a hyper details but just kind of a little bit of detail and maybe tell us a little bit about what the experience of working with is the actual experience in the factory was like.  What they seem to get out of it and what the results were from your point of view.  It might help us to, almost like a story, it might help us to kind of put ourselves in your place.  Maybe help get the conversation about other questions related to it going.  

[Kent]: Okay.  Yeah.

[Scott]: I know there have been a number of projects.  You've done some…

[Kent]: Yeah, that I can say that this project that I've mentioned that was kind of carried out throughout one year at different corporations.  At this time in Denmark and there was an initiative from the administrator of trade and administer of culture and they came out with these reports on the potential for Denmark and the corporations that are working with the cultural sector.  And this project was prepared some years before with the kind of test project so was kind of by accident that this project (inaudible 0:11:36.7) was up when this report came out.  And we were kind of taken for how good or how bad it could be (laughing) when if someone carried out some of what the report was describing though they were not describing actually art projects as such it was more of kind of cultural projects and the cultural sector in industry and so forth.  Only a few projects were as an example for artists working in corporations.  This project in distribution for one example.  And I and the project and other business partners were kind of dragged into the discussion in the art field and, how can I say, the more cultural fields.  And from then on I have done projects not quite similar because I have found out it's very hard to establish these kind of the projects at factories with the workers.  So it's been kind of smaller projects that I have is well engaged myself in (inaudible 0:12:51.3) around these things.  Organizing (inaudible 0:12:56.5) workshops, hearings and worked with researchers on these issues.  That kind of stirs it all up.

[Scott]: Sorry, hey Kent?  A real quick question.  Just for all of us out here, do you have, are there any images from your website that you think would be good to go to kind of help a company?  I put some up on our page here, but I don't know if they're like appropriate at all to what you're talking about.  Or if they're just kind of generic.  Well, not generic.  Or if you think that these are in any way helpful to give people a sense of some of what was going on.

[Kent]: Yeah, two of these images are from these industry projects.  The top and the one that is second from the bottom.

[Scott]: Okay, yeah. We're looking at it now.

[Kent]: So yeah.  Kind of describing the more tangible results (inaudible 0:14:16.9) or the house that is in the factory space (inaudible 0:14:24.1).  And the more kind of process based part of the project.  These two images are from the same factory. The largest factory that we entered.  What we did was first of all to have some meetings with a group of factory workers that had signed up for the project.  Together with kind of a group coach, you could say, and a project manager.  So we kind of started off by actually kind of making a void for something to happen.  It was more or less by making the factory workers have input of what ideas they had or feelings they had about making these kinds of projects.  At the kind of second meeting we had a more extensive project where we tried out various tools or methods.  Kind of walking around the factory space and taking images and video of other employees and so forth.  And in the middle of this session, there was suddenly a lot of fuss going on because those that took part in the project had heard, by accident, that some of the employees should be laid off in the near future.  It was not actually the being laid off itself. Because I think that was not unusual, but people cannot be employed and then laid off frequently, but they were not informed of this.  And this started off this discussion on why we should actually talk together and they internally talked together.  SO the project became less circling around the internal communication and the kind of culture at the factory.  We started working with what kind of tools we could use and what tools should be alternative to the current tools at the time.  What kind of communicative methods should be used in the factory? And in the end, you could say that this is a kind of (inaudible 0:17:37.7) of this various process throughout almost a year, we came up with this radio station at the factory.  So they established this internal radio station and that should eventually somehow mix the more formal communication with informal communication.  So we can say that this gave, this was meant to give the factory workers more hands on for the communication itself, internal communication in the factory itself.  In the space, the factory organization.  Yeah.

[Scott]: Kent, how did that come about?  Just curious I was just kind of curious that information.  How did that information during come out during the project that you guys were working on there?

[Kent]: How it came out?  The information about the sacking?  

[Scott]: yeah.  Sacking the employees.

[Kent]: I actually don't know.  I think it was by rumors.  The thing was that we had the possibility to confront the project manager on the factory itself, not at the corporation but at the factory itself.  Kind of the human resource manager.  So we had the chance to confront this person and a factory worker (inaudible   0:19:27.5).  At that time we had kind of, more or less, informal communication in the group.  So it was more the case that the rumor was out there and it was able to confront someone responsible instantly.  I think it was more that we (inaudible 0:19:59.7) and not the source of information because it showed to be true.  So, yeah.

The thing is that the interests for the managerial party were about communication is well but it was more to somehow enhance the communication between these various (inaudible 0:20:46.2) production workers.  It was more like addressing more, how can I say, practical or more production related communications.  So this was kind of our, how can I say, ticket for entering conversations.  But we made it clear from the startup one week kind of negotiated this possibility of entering the organization that we are not obliged to do something specific even if they wanted it or not.  The negotiation of our, I'm looking for the word, kind of (inaudible 0:21:46.6) about was that if we were not free hands there was no reason for us to be there as artists.  In this sense we had the mandates to do whatever emerges from the project itself through the process.  So, yeah.  And of course this was possible because we had these working like consultants on our side that they trusted.  It was the artist group that was kind of gathered at that time that had the authority for the project.  Though we had some, I was, for the project and the factories kind of the art director even though I don't like the word.  So I had to confront sometimes the consultants when they tried by a habit to take on responsibility for management of the project itself.  I had to kind of make them to step back.  It was kind of funny in a sense.  And unusual for me of course.  To ask someone who by tradition some power and assistance to kind of step back because if they did not there was no reason for us to be there.

[Scott]: So that was a kind of negotiating position for you?  You guys were kind of like "well, you paid us to come and we came all this way and we're working with the company and if you fire these employees then we're going to leave".  Did that work at all?  I mean, I'm sure it was more nuance than that but...

[Kent]: yeah, in principle it worked.  The argument that we stated was that if we couldn't do what we set out to do when we initiated the project in those places there was no reason for us to be there.  So why stay?  And we were not paid by the factories.  We were paid by the trade union.  So in a sense we were not distracted by the paying of the corporations.

[Scott]: interesting.  So you guys sort of represented them in a sense.  Well, I have a question.

[Kent]: Yeah, yeah.

[Scott]: Go ahead first.

[Kent]: we didn't represent anything or anyone other than ourselves.  There was no kind of anything attached (inaudible0:25:13.5) responsibility and obligation to carry on the project and this was exactly the argument.  If we carry on the project as an experiment or whenever then it should be us that were, you know in comparison with the consultants or management, that should be in charge of the project.  So that we could make something happen.  So was negotiated in a decision that enabled us to do something that we couldn't do otherwise.

[Scott]: all right you guys.  Don't let me take over this conversation (laughing).  But I just keep having questions.  You know, actually, someone did have a question earlier maybe we should just bookmark it until after this factory part because I know what this was from.  Greg was asking about the strategy blows (inaudible 0:26:06.1).  I just wanted to mention that as something that maybe we can talk about next after we talked about this particular factory project.

[Kent]: Yeah, yeah.

[Scott]: but while we are on this, I guess I just wanted to ask you... You are an artist who didn't just come into conceptual art from a managerial background or anything.  You are somebody who has made, I know years and years ago you had made conceptual paintings and sort of monochrome paintings in the sort of distant past and sculptural objects and things like this.  And you find yourself, and I guess in over the last like decade or more, you've been doing these large negotiation projects.  How does that work for you as an artist?  Is that a relevant thing to ask?

[Kent]: Yeah.

[Scott]: (Laughing) because this is your, its not only your project, you working with other people.  But it's also part of what you do now.  You know, you work with , you know I guess you  work with (laughing)...Working with ideas of democracy and ideas of how we work and live and part of what you do is that you work with people now and you do still.   I was looking at these photographs and you guys are still making things in a sense but you're making it through a kind of process that has a new and different kind of meaning that what you were doing before when you were working as an artist.

[Kent]: yeah but I would not say that I was originally a painter.  I worked with the various media since art school.  And in art school I would paint that it was part of projects.  One example that was back when, I'm an old man (laughing), so this goes back to the mid eighties.  I was part of this project on a state prison working with the inmates on a project that was related to their situation.  So in this sense of worked with various medias all along.  And my interests and more formal and conceptual stuff partly, to be honest, the handicraft (laughing) and this was kind of (inaudible 0:28:40.3) maybe.  And partly, going towards minimalist things, it's because kind of the notion of minimalism for engaging the audience for something happening outside the frame.  Beyond the frame.  Having this kind of interaction with the audience in a kind of series and all these things.  So in this sense, the connection of the engagement thing is kind of what hosts these various and specific interests and details altogether.  Does this make sense?

[Scott]: Um, yeah.  To me it does.  Definitely.  You know, I sort of constantly curious about when there is someone who is sort of willingly takes on the role of negotiator and of large projects, someone who has been working as an artist.  I think, you know, sometimes I wonder just what... Do you ever feel like "what have I gotten myself into", you know (laughing).

[Kent]: Yeah, yeah.  For me it's rather distance than studio with being in front of your canvas and just being alone, you know (laughing).

[Scott]: Sure.

[Kent]: I like the interaction with other people.  But anyhow, now I find myself in front of the computer screen so it's just maybe trading the canvas for the screen (laughing).

[Scott]: (Laughing) right.

[Kent]: Paradoxical actually because of course there is a lot of, yeah, administration in doing this kind of project.

[Scott]: I know that in this email that went out there were some questions.  There were some pressing questions that were asked in this email that I think are tied really closely with what you do which is why it was an occasion to ask.  But maybe it would be worth bringing some of those up now.  And I guess I could just kind of throw some of those out.  I don't know if anyone else out there is kind of thinking some of these and have some burning questions because this isn't' really meant to be just a dialog between Kent and me.  It's just sort of turning out that way so far.  But, I don't know.  Maybe I'll just bring them up and perhaps we can kind of then about them over the next like half art or something.  And then maybe we could talk about another one of the projects like, for instance, Greg was asking about these balloons.  Maybe it would be a good idea to talk about the organizational arts summit.  But the questions that I'm referring to, by the way, just so you know what I'm talking about, ultimately, I'm really thinking about the ones at the end.  Whether it looks like you Democratic Innovation is seeking alternative models to managerial practices and I guess what this asks is can art practices contribute to the development of a critique of current neomanagement practices and organizing regimes and do participatory collaborative art practices merely mimic soft managerial tactics or do they have the potential to point the way to "democratic innovation"?  There's probably another way to ask that, but it seems pretty seined.  So I guess I just wanted to throw that out there while we were talking about all this stuff.  

[Kent]: Yeah.

[Scott]: I mean it could be a good time to address it now or later.  But, they seem like pretty large questions to me so... But they kind of cut to the heart of what you're doing I think.  

[Kent]: You know, first of all, working with different people in different fields and in talking about management or how to organize projects probably, how can I say, the idea that artists should be better managers (inaudible 0:34:14.1).  It probably is not the case.  You will probably find more back management in the art field then in the managerial field because they are trained for this.  Of course this is about ethics as well.  But, I don't know, for artists it's kind of more ethically then kind of people in general.  I don't know, I don't think so.  But the point for me or for this project rather because it should necessarily revolve around me, is more kind of the collaboration between groups that have various backgrounds and various experiences.  So teaming up with workers or employees or in some case managers and researchers is not so much trying to teach them anything.  It's more trying to work together with them to try to maybe come up with other ways.  I think this is kind of maybe both the idea from the startup to come up with the collaboration part and the learning as the democratic innovation carries on. Yeah.  But I think the critiquing, is of course is more around how you were organized and how one organizes stuff.  I think the aesthetics or the process of working with aesthetics could be forming parts of the critique of neomanagement practices (inaudible 0:36:32.5) kind of neoliberism.  Because of how this kind of affects (inaudible 0:36:46.2) human values and life itself in a more grand, in my words.  I don't know what you would say in English.  So it's more interesting the more other areas and how to generate knowledge.  So I think this is kind of more the issue.  I think that this element has been the case for art for many, many times which address other sides of the human knowledge.  I think this is very discarded in our times, more than before.  It surely still a problem.  We cannot sanction kind that this kind of knowledge is used an experience that is made by aesthetics.  I think this is kind of maybe the issue.  But if it were to be enforced in the industries, it would need some kind of collaboration (laughing) with other kind of like minded people within the industry or in the research area.  So teaming up with these people.

[Scott]: Aaron had a question.  Aaron, do you feel like asking this out loud or would you rather us just kind of read it out and address it?  I don't know if you even have a microphone there.

[Kent]: Aaron, you still have our microphone.


[Kent]: Okay. Its okay (laughing).

[Scott]: Maybe he stepped away for a second.  But yeah, well it seem that Aaron is asking about the tension between I think what he is describing, I mean literally between what he is describing as just kind of...  Oh, oh I see.  Well, we'll just address it Aaron and you know, you can type in.  He is describing the democratic as something that is bottom up and organization as something that is structured and advanced and top down.  I think he just sees a tension there and was...I'm not even sure if it was a question (laughing).

[Kent]: If I understand correctly, it's a very good question actually.  The thing is that organization as such is not necessarily top down.  It depends on how you can be up to date on emerging processes.  So how you are dealing with what is going on now and how you actually tell the story afterwards.  You have this telling the story afterwards and is always the one who was winning the game, you know?  So if you're not necessarily keen on telling the winners story, you could tell the other story as well and not to be one winner.  This is kind of the idea of organizing another way that is not necessarily top down.  I think it's about being able to grasp what is going on in a situation.  It's probably something that I think by training and the specific field of aesthetics a something artists are more tuned into some help.  Not to say that everyone is very skilled and a social setting but I think that in dealing with aesthetics you probably…  This is for me, and I think for others as well.  It's hard to generalize.  Probably, I think that this is some part of working with aesthetics that are able to grasp details of something that is happening that you don't notice any usual frame of mind if you're not tuned into aesthetics maybe.  I don't know.  Does that make sense?

[Scott]: Well, hey Kent? Do the people stored in the factory think about this sort of thing you are sort of going for your process in working with them?  These issues are you guys talk about these issues or... I mean, I know you were saying that sometimes it's hard to know what's happened until after the fact, after a period of processing.   I was just curious about the people that are there.  Are they sort of subjects?  Do you know what I mean?  I know you sort of talk with them and treat them well, but I guess I was curious about the level of awareness of this stuff.

[Kent]: I understand.  Awareness.  Yeah, but we had discussions (inaudible 0:43:16.1) references to art history or all of these things.  But kind of issues that we talked about in our sort of fields were addressed for them and by them as well.  So, in the end there was a kind of (inaudible 0:43:42.6) it was kind of by interview and so forth.  Trying to find out what happened not long after but just after.  Statements were in the direction that some of the interviewed factory workers had kind of experienced this other way of working and kind of a positive side of it as well.  So they kind of found out that probably there was some other ways to do things in both kind of a practical sense but as well as how to go about group work and all these things.  So, these things we addressed specifically. Yeah.  So in a sense, yeah.  There was much talk about how to organize and how to communicate.  And this factory was kind of specifically addressed in how to communicate and which elements were kind of important.  The informal part of the communication to look at elements in the organization or in the organizing that are usually discarded.

If I talk in long sentences and people are logged off, it will probably be quite difficult to...

[Scott]: (Laughing) yeah, exactly Kent.  You have to keep the sentences shorter in case people get booted off of the audio again.  

[Kent]: So just a quick question.  Organizing?

[Scott]: (Laughing) well, did you want to talk about another example of a kind of practice that Democratic Innovations is involved in that doesn't with people like factories?  Like the, I was going to say for example, like the Organizational Arts Summit.  But, maybe it would be good to address what Aaron is asking because I think that has more to do with the factory stuff.  We can continue to go back to that too if anybody has any ideas or thoughts about it.

[Kent]: Yeah, if the organizations kind of continue the process?  Work on another project afterwards?  This of course is on a short time projects.  Short or long time depending on how to look at it.  This example that I mentioned before and that Scott addressed the industry (inaudible 0:47:12.4) was extended over a year.

[Scott]: is that the radio station Kent?  

[Kent]: Yeah, the radio station project.  Yeah.

[Scott]: Okay.

[Kent]: so if this carries on, the radio station was established as in the factory space as a prototype but to my knowledge (inaudible 0:47:47.4) is that they didn't implement it for a long period of time.  But I'm not sure if…  It would of course be interesting to see what would happen to if they enforced more informal communication or enforced more kind of sanctioned informal communication.  But I think that as with all other types of projects, exhibitions and so forth, it's more the impact of the experience.  It's not necessarily important that people will be a continuing of the project but that they will learn as much as we do.  Hopefully, they will carry this onto the next project or in their daily lives.  So I don't think that you should expect more of such projects than other types of projects.  However, I think you should expect more but I think it's more effective in a sense if you have direct contact.  It could be symbolic, but not as symbolic as just leaving posters on the gallery wall.

(Reading text question to himself - inaudible 0:49:41.4)

They are asking if the time element matters in my mind.  And you mean like, in my conscience?  Time matters because time goes by.  It is, in a sense, a project.  I consider this kind of like a time based media.  If projects morphed into one another, ideas too, this I think that projects fit more together.

[Scott]: yeah I can't.  I mean, for instance, you are part of a group in Copenhagen called TVTV.  It's not exactly the same as a radio station but you guys for a sort of a long period of time have been occupying a television station in the middle of Copenhagen right?

[Kent]: Yeah.  You can say that.  The radio station has two reasons I think.

[Scott]: Okay.

[Kent]: Many reasons.  First of all the media is more familiar to people who were or are working in this factory space.  So this is one thing.  Another is more of a mass medium so we can get in contact with the people at once although was covering a very small area.  I think total, this factory had 350 workers.  Of course, this kind of fluctuating between being a mass medium and direct contact…  Yeah.  For me that TV is interesting.  The TV is somehow the same because TV by tradition a collective production.  Art is not necessarily, not by tradition anyhow.  And then it addresses other groups and the already informed audience.  For me, more and more throughout the years.  Not particularly interested and the art topic or the arts audience.  It's not that I (inaudible 0:53:12.7) distribute art into the public.  The TV is not distributing art, you know, or mediating art to a broader audience it's more using TV as art medium.  TV tries to engage people, as well, in various ways both through the screen but also invites people to the production itself.  And a sense, it's kind of a prolonging of these elements that I have worked with before.

I can link.  Those are links to kind of current projects from this address.

Aaron go on.  Aaron was actually in Copenhagen a week ago exactly, Tuesday.  We made a project at TVTV together.  Yeah.  People could buy a mobile phone and e-mail and send and sound clips and in the studio was a live DJ that mixed these clips and found it's together.  And the idea thing was to make a somehow a collective produced jingle for the poor signal in TV at the same time.  We in the live studio made this enforced image as well.

[Scott]: Do you guys have links to that online somewhere?

[Kent]: Yes, there's some description at (inaudible 0:55:41.2) website.  There's a news section in the one website and so as far as I recall.  Following the address for TVTV, there is a link as well to this kind of current project.  And TVTV for me, it's as much of a production as it is the organizing part as well.  (Inaudible 0:56:37.2) been interested in how to organize these types of projects.  Yeah.  So for the question in the case of TVTV, I have been much involved in the organizing.  It's actually an association with a board and a sense of a democratic organization in itself.  But yeah.  If you remember, a board can be voted out and not being in charge anymore.  And this could be, I think, a bit scary for an artist to lose control over a project that he or she had initiated. But this is possible in the case of TVTV.

[Scott]: Yeah, do you think this is a good opportunity to tell us about the Organizational Art Summit at all and other projects like that where you work with a group of other people?  Specifically other people who you are on an equal footing with, like other artists for example.

[Kent]: Yeah.

[Scott]: I'm going to bring up the photograph of that balloon again.

[Kent]: Yeah, yeah.  It should, yeah.  I'm going to put the link up in the chat, yeah.  The balloon is kind of (inaudible 0:58:36.7) some kind of merchandise for the summit.  After the summit, actually.  So this summit was an initiative first of all from this research department at the Danish university of (inaudible 0:59:01.6) and they had this consortium called the creative lines that addressed sort of this series and distribution had addressed.  And because of this activity of democratic innovations I had come in contact with different researchers at this place and other places.  So I was asked to co-organize the summit that invited international artists.  Scott was invited too.  So you can correct me if I'm telling it wrong (laughing).  Artists were invited, curators, other researchers in this field of kind of cross discourse of artists, cultures and organizations.  A few business people as well and some consultants.  So what was the gold or kind of the topic of the summit was to find out what were actually happening with these types of (inaudible 1:00:43.1) or the fad of arts and business and cultural industry and organization and such things.  And artists organizing as well.  The setup of the summit was to get together with this group of various people from various subjects fields and to produce a book on the topic.  It was a four day summit and all of us were transported to this disclosed area in the northern island sea land, where Copenhagen is situated as well.

[Scott]: it was in this...

[Kent]: This old, former...barn I guess?  So we set off, kind of very ambitious, to produce a book in four days.  And I'm, sorry.  I'm not used all these happenings at the same time (laughing).  I'm really sorry.

[Scott]: Yeah, sorry about that.  We keep adding more people to the chat.

[Kent]: Yeah, I'm getting distracted.  Anyhow, sorry.  The thing for me, was actually how to do this collective production of a book.  The funny thing was it actually kind of happened by more or less being random.  Someone kind of took turns in organizing it because it's kind of initial researchers and myself stepped back and try to see what would happen.  So, in a sense, it was very interesting.  We didn't actually succeed in producing or publishing the book itself but the process kind of extended beyond the summit and we made this kind of documentation of the summit.

Sorry, I'm just typing.  This is kind of a documentation of the summit.

[Scott]: okay, we're going to pull that up now.  The saloon.  Sorry to confuse everyone with this.  The Sister Nancy link up there.  Okay.

[Kent]: So this goes back to like 2006, the summit.  There are groups and individuals that created texts.  You kind of have to push the colored figures and it will take you to the different texts and drafts for text.  The thing was, it was then collected on this page of this website and was then meant to be carried on or meant to be carried on Wiki where people are invited for kind of co-writing.

(Mumbling and typing)

And the balloon is like I said not any kind of merchandise.  It's both some of the sign, the sentence and text from the summit that is applicated on the balloon and is then used for informing about the summit itself and the field of work for these artists and the contributions from the artists and researchers and consultants.

[Scott]: Kent, wasn't the balloon part of launch of this book?

[Kent]: Yeah. So it's on several occasions been used for launching the book by me and by others that were part of the summit.  SO it was like everyone was offered a certain amount of balloons that they could use for launching the book or the sites.  And it hopefully continues work on this.

[Scott]: DO you still have any balloons?  I thought we were supposed to launch them here but I don't think we ever did.

[Kent]: No, I don't think so.  We obviously still have balloons left.

[Scott]: (Laughing) can you send a couple hundred balloons to us?

[Kent]: (Laughing) sure, sure.

[Scott]: Okay.

[Kent]: And, yeah. The last time I actually used it was at an event at Copenhagen (inaudible 1:08:41.7).  That's addressed to (inaudible 1:08:49.0).  And Copenhagen School is kind of a university.

[Scott]: So how did the really work out?  The Wiki and the website and everything for writing the book.  How do you feel it worked out?  I mean, in terms of... If you had it to do over again, would you help to organize it way for writing the book?  I mean, it seemed to take kind of a long time, huh?  But...

[Kent]: Yeah, yeah.  The process itself was interesting.  I can imagine doing kind of similar things.  I think that what was needed was actually a budget for producing the work.  It was a very small budget that went into the balloons.

[Scott]: do you think that we should…  You know that we are putting together a publication next year for Plausible Artworlds.  Do you think that it would be a good idea to organize it in a similar fashion?

[Kent]: I have ideas for trying it out once again.  I'd probably learn something the second time, more than the first time.  Yeah.

[Scott]: Oh, I see.  Steven was asking you to clarify what you were missing (laughing).  Do you see this?  Are you following this on the text (laughing)?

[Kent]: The summit itself did not put out a lot of material like text or graphs or signs and so forth.  The challenge was kind of too collect it after words.  And as often as you have a project and gather people from all around, and I do this to, you are experiencing energy.  So people start doing something else.  We manage to make what is at the website and hopefully…  What I had was a (inaudible 1:11:30.9) in a Wiki of the co-writing stuff because of other projects as well (inaudible 1:11:40.9).  But not in the sense of research (inaudible 1:11:47.9) should be continued and I would take it up again.  But the saloon is kind of an interpretation, and this is what is.  (Inaudible 1:12:07.2) on the saloon site.  But these texts will be, some of them are already, changed into other texts and some of them will probably be written out of the sites.  In the sense, in the end making it more coherent contributions to discourse. So money and stamina make it (inaudible 0:12:45.7).

[Scott]: Kent, I know it's getting quite late there.  Did anyone have other thoughts about, oh yeah?  So Steven is asking about the collective writing process and how you feel it worked?  I'm definitely interested in this selfishly because having been involved but also we've gone through this process with this particular project a couple of times and you've been involved.  And so now we're sort of entering a new phase so it's kind good to be self reflective here for a moment.

[Kent]: Yeah.  The process at the summit I think worked quite well.  We probably needed more time because of the more loose organized processes.  I think that if someone had stepped in and taken the lead that it probably would have been possible to a coherent draft for a book for publication.  But I think, then it would be another book.  So in this sense, we could have prolonged the project may be two days if we had the time and resources.  So the writing at the summit I think was functioning very well.  The images that you can find at the saloon summit site is something that is created more or less with the idea of the drafts and images that were come up with at the summit.  So was pretty much wind up for publication afterwards, or doing the publication afterwards.

[Scott]: Kent, this might be worth addressing.  Basically, I'm thinking that Greg's last... (Laughing) nice Theresa, definitely.  It's just getting it done sometimes, definitely.  But Greg asked just about the tools.  I actually don't think it's a dull question.  This probably would be a really interesting point.  Yeah, did you see this one yet?  Did you use paper and a pen?  Email?  Google Docs? Wiki? Etc.  And Steven was just asking about your experience in the work place, as I happen to know that some of the tools we used at the summit were experimental or organizational tools.  Experimental design processes.  Both processes and objects and literally tools that you and other people put together that I know have also been used in the workplace.  But they were kind of used on us or used altogether.  Some of the images on that webpage that we put together show that one projection table that you put together and there were a number of other devices that I could help describe or you might want to describe.  Yeah, would you like to just mention that a little bit?  Because it also leads from your earlier question from your work as a conceptual artist who was even entering into the realm of minimalist painting and using other kinds of media.  You had sort of evolved this interactive table that was once a painting and sort of an interesting projection tool.

[Kent]: I think that the experimental table, the first time I actually set up for the exhibition for (inaudible 1:17:05.2) project.  The exhibition was not kind of the project process but somehow a way of back feeding kind of public debates on this area.  So, any sense, it was established (inaudible 1:17:32.1) and I had used it before and more of this exhibition type situations but I hadn't gotten it to work yet.  The table.  Though this was kind of the basic of the ideas of what happened at the planning sessions.  So it was kind of carried on in this way at the planning sessions, if you recall.

[Scott]: I definitely do.  I mean, do you mind if I described it a little bit for second?  Just real quick.  So I sent this image and basically, just tell me if I'm wrong about this and I will try to be super fast because of the time.  It's kind of a large glossy monochromatic painting with a big white area in the center and you use dry erase markers of different colors.  And each color has this kind of special unit that you stick it in that has a different kind of audio frequency.  There are two pickups connected to the table like a guitar.  An X and a Y access and as you draw with each of these colors with these different frequencies, this software program picks up what you're putting down and throws it up on the wall projection style.  And also records it like a movie so you literally get this movie of this brainstorming session. Anyway, I thought that might help people to know what they're looking at.

[Kent]: Yeah.  Thank you.  Actually, it's a very ordinary kind of white board that you would use in the business field actually (laughing).  This was from years ago and it probably works better now.  Anyway kind of this thing at the museum in connection with the industry project was ambition.  I didn't expect it to work like a collaborative tool at that time, there was more kind of a (inaudible 1:20:02.8) in the sense of someone outside of the museum putting something up on the wall at the museum.  So as we had entered the industry or the factories as artists, everyone could actually access (Audio feed lost 1:20:23.6).

(Silence 1:20:23.6 - 1:21:50.9)

[Chris]: You mean to tell me that... Oh, okay.

(Background noise and chatter)

[Chris]: That machine can tell what color that is?  That they're using?

(Background noise and chatter)

[Scott]: Kent? Are you back now?  Is everybody back?

[Kent]: Yeah.  I just found out I was gone.  Sorry.

[Scott]: Hey Kent, the audio sounds terrible now.  Can you hear us okay? Hmmm.  You're volume sounds super, super low.  We don't want to like get into a tech support thing but if we could at least hear one another.  Can you try saying something again?

[Kent]: (inaudible 1:23:42.5) my mobile.

[Scott]: Oh you're on your mobile.  Okay.  Yeah, the audio was definitely much better before. Should I try?  Oh, let's try calling him back.

[Scott]: Hey everyone.  Greg just offered to host the audio.  It might be the case that sometimes the signal drops in and out around here.  And he's offsite so maybe we should go ahead and let him do that.  I'm going to hang up now so I guess you'll all be getting a call from Greg.  Everyone just go ahead and pick up and I think it'll be a lot clearer.

[Greg]: Hey Scott? Should I log in as BaseKamp?

[Scott]: No, you don't have to do that.  You can just go ahead and click the call button at the top of the screen.

[Greg]: Okay.

[Scott]: If you can.

[Greg]: I'll give it a shot.

[Scott]: Okay, great.  See ya in a second

(Silence 1:25:08.0 - 1:25:29.1)

[Scott]: Better?

[Greg]: I think so.

[Scott]: Oh, its better except for Kent's not there.  Can you add Kent manually or do you have him in your list?

[Greg]: Um, no I don't.

[Scott]: I may be able to help do that.

[Greg]: Okay.  Maybe you can add him.  

[Scott]: Nope.

[Greg]: Okay, I'm adding Kent right now.

[Scott]: Okay.

(Greg talking to himself out loud as he adds Kent to Skype)

[Scott]: So is Kent hosting a different call to himself at the same time?  Hey Kent, maybe you can (laughing).  We're getting cross calling.  It's like Ghostbusters.  Something bad might happen if we keep doing this.

[Greg]: Um, okay.  I have to call everybody back together.  For some reason, I can't add him as a...oh wait.  Let me try this, hold on.

[Scott]: Actually, everyone on Kent's call.  Kent would you mind just hanging up the other call?

[Greg]: I'm trying him now.

[Scott]: Okay.

[Greg]: There we go.

[Kent]: Okay, sorry.

[Scott]: Cool.  Great.

[Kent]: This girl and I talked quite a lot and I sort of forgot (laughing).  But I did really like it.  Where did...

[Scott]: I know that Chris here had a question.  By the way Greg, I'll send you, never mind.

(Greg talking in background regarding adding people to Skype)

Okay, now that we're back on.  That was a good five minute intermission.  Chris had a question for you, Kent.  

[Chris]: The thing with the pickups.  That can tell the color of those things?  Of the markers and stuff?

[Kent]: Yeah, it's like single colored pens has its own (inaudible 1:28:09.2) so it kind of picks up which pen will be used.

[Chris]: Wow.  Cool. Cool.

[Kent]: Yeah, it's kind of (inaudible 1:28:27.1).  But, Scott's description of the guitar like functions is probably very saying.

[Scott]: oh cool.  So at the organizational arts summit there were other devices used as well.

[Kent]: yeah there was a cornucopia of devices (laughing).

[Scott]: processes as well and other…

[Kent]: yes, processes as well.  It was a mixture of tested methods and methods that came out through the summit.  I think one that was kind of interesting in itself was (inaudible 1:29:34.3) came up with this idea too metaphorically conceived it as a factory space (laughing) so that the groups that were working on various topics, as they were divided into topics or theme, was working on sort of small production groups.  And this sort of kicked off a lot of inner energy somehow.  It was kind of the other way around for arts in industry and industry in arts.  There were tubes, like metaphorical tubes, using this process of putting up post it notes and clustering a into various topics that were interrelated and creating groups from these kind of clusters and so forth.

[Scott]: Yeah, there were other things like, well I mean personally, I found that the factory metaphor really helpful because essentially we all kind of snapped into different roles within a factory and really got an incredible amount of work done.  I mean, for a conference where often like, what was it like a four day conference and like half of the days half of the people probably didn't sleep and we were drinking for the other half, we were actually really hyper productive.  Even though the actual results of it took a few years to go through and deal with.  But I think a lot came out of that.  And also, there were other things like Alchemy, he's a magician.  Or at least he describes himself that way.  And was sort of making use of some of his work to help along.  We also had this really large conference table that was...

[Kent]: Yeah! That's right!

[Scott]: And Steven, you know access locale. And for those of you who don't know.  It's a large table that has a set up kind of like a UN meeting where everyone has one of these kinds of things that's in front of me.  A dial with twelve stops on it and everyone has a microphone and everyone has headphones.  And each person can switch the dial and that determines who they're listening too.  But you can't actually determine who you're talking too, which has a very perplexing and jarring effect because at any given moment you could be talking to no one and what you're saying is just kind of going into the ether.  And in a moment everyone might be listening to you.  And you can also continue to switch back and forth.  Yeah, yeah.  Exactly what Steven is saying (laughing).  It's even more random than using Skype.  It's way random.  It's just ridiculously.  You get slices of what people are saying but what comes out of it is a disruptive tool where ideas emerge that no one had coming into it.  It's pretty interesting.  In a way, I feel like such a chump saying this because this is what businesses talk about.  Its like "oh this is what artists are good for.  They come in and they sort of help us think outside the box and keep us on our toes." But what really did happen in this particular case is that we weren't just stepping into a role, we were helping to develop new meanings, like I guess what Steven is saying right now.

[Kent]: It creates understandings.  Not only the kind of caught up methods.

[Steven]: Steven here. It's a little bit like my experience sometimes with Plausible Artworlds potlucks because sometimes the sound is really great sometimes for a few minutes or few seconds and then it cut out and so I am imagining what must have been said while I wasn't able to hear anything.  And so it's a total projection for my part and then when I get back in on the conversation 5 minutes later on, we are on to something else.  I'll never really know what happened but there is that kind of a breach like an opening where meaning somehow wells up.  It's random.  It's quite interesting and that sense.

[Kent]: in the sense of allowing something that is probably not sanctioned otherwise to kind of emerge.  No one knows what happened except that something just pops up.  I lost every one. No?

[Chris]: It's like we had to fill in the gaps.

[Kent]: Exactly.

[Scott]: Kent, well we're really looking forward to having you come back to Philadelphia to work on a project here.

[Kent]: thanks.  I will look forward to this as well.  Sure, yeah.  Let's see what can happen.

[Scott]: Yeah maybe we can work with some other local people to help set up some kind of a project that is not just a "gallery space project" but something that could involve other people locally.

[Kent]: (inaudible 1:35:49.1) sure.  Yeah.

[Scott]: Yay!  Thanks Theresa (laughing).

[Kent]: Thanks (laughing).

[Scott]: yeah, Theresa is also a local organizer.

[Kent]: okay, cool.  

[Scott]: indeed.

[Kent]: (inaudible 1:36:06.9) was in Philly.

[Steven]: Kent, you have a pretty broad definition of what a factory is, right?  Like the factory isn't just a place with smokestacks and you know cogs wheels and stuff.  I mean a factory is like a, I don't know sometimes I'm taking a train to work and I see these incredible, we call the office is now, but in fact their factories.  They've got like thousands of people in thousands of square meters of space and they are all sort of plugged into headphones and computers.  I guess they must be call centers or travel agencies, booking flights and dealing with people whose flights are canceled.  How do you, it's very sort of individualized labor relations in those kinds of places that's why we don't call them factories in anymore.  It's very difficult to establish any kind of solidarity.  That kind of goes back to the beginning of our conversation.  How does it work for you and those kinds of cutting edge factories?

[Kent]: These factories I worked in were actually sort of production factories themselves producing products.  So it was (inaudible 1:37:43.3) in one end and the product in the other.  I had actually not worked in organizations that have the type of work that you are addressing here.  Although, I have worked with the office people if they have been more highly educated in academics in universities.  So in a sense I haven't worked with an organization that has attachments of social life.  This would probably be hard and a challenge.  But you know, yeah.

[Steven]: but in a way it kind of ties in with the other part of the discussion, actually which I missed and it was one of the things I was most interested, about how your Wiki actually worked.  Because I think of a certain way for us and material laborers were isolated in our work spaces, our cubicles, and our isolated spaces just trying desperately to collaborate and defined collective democratic innovations, if you like.  We are kind of trapped in a certain neofactory model which makes using a Wiki really a big challenge.  I don't want you to have to repeat what you already said, but maybe there is something you can add that could fill that little gap in my hearing of the conversation.

[Kent]: Yeah, you know, the Wiki has not worked so well yet.  I think it needs a lot of pushing and pulling for making it work probably because we are placed in various spaces in front of our own screen.  We definitely need to meet once in awhile like a workshop or at a summit or something like this for sure.  And if you do not do this once in awhile it would be pretty hard to do anything that is organized.  Because someone can always sitting on top of the building in the top floor and pulling strings is controlling but not organizing as I understand it.  Some would call a organizing but, no.  It's pulling strings.

[Scott]: I think Aaron is asking about your definition of organizing.

[Kent]: Yeah but it's my own definition so...  In a general sense, kind of in theory you would say, you would call it (inaudible 1:41:22.5) organizing.  But no, I'm just pushing the issue that this is actually more controlling then organizing.  Yeah, organizing for me is a social process and if you're sitting on your own in just carrying on orders that's probably not very social.  One way communication, a very formal communication.  So, this is kind of a question of definitions.  I think if you put it like this could potentially come to discuss something that is of importance.  And it's a skill that actually needed to make people work together.  It's kind of interesting what if or if not artists can contribute to some sort of development in these areas.  Being more attentive to probably emerging processes and something that's by accident or random pops up suddenly is.

[Scott]: But it's kind of nice to just do your work sometimes without having to think about it isn't it?

[Kent]: Sure.


[Scott]: Organizing is hard.

[Kent]: Yeah.


[Kent]: And in terms of talking about work force and lots of people are not interested in doing anything else to get the work done and go back to their homes and family and your computer or your computer game and just collecting the money.  I think many are quite satisfied with this (inaudible 1:43:56.2) enforce that they should work (inaudible 1:44:01.4).  And they are forced to do so if management tells them to do so.  They'd probably not find it very fun to be ordered to do so.  So, of course, working with organizations you should be aware of this and your own symbolic power or authority being an artist.  That you can actually get something done by sheer cultural authority.  All these things are at play.  I am not one of those that say you can make power go away because it's there all the time.  You have to address it as consciously as you are able to.  And your own power as well.

[Scott]: Well thanks Kent.  It's been really great having you here during our little weekly chat.

[Kent]: Yeah, thank you.  I enjoyed it too. Even though the late hours (laughing).

[Scott]: Yeah, I was going to say you're still awake.

[Kent]: Yeah, I'm still awake.


[Scott]: I think Steven's been booted.  I'll add him.  Oh, no I can't. Never mind. Well (laughing).  Have a great evening Kent and yeah, we're definitely really looking forward to having you come back here.  We'll stay in touch about that and hopefully you'll be able to find some way to be able to stay up some more late nights drinking and joining some of the other weekly chats this year too.

[Kent]: That'd be cool.  Sure, yeah. Thanks.

[Scott]: Okay, goodnight everyone and we'll see you next time.

[Kent]: Thank you!  See you next time.  I hope to join your Skype again.


Page |


Chat History with basekamp/$e37f965fff58e5a6" title="#basekamp/$e37f965fff58e5a6">Democratic Innovation (#basekamp/$e37f965fff58e5a6)

Created on 2010-05-11 20:04:25.


BASEKAMP team: 17:59:42
hi everyone - we're still getting set up here.
atrowbri: 18:00:29
BASEKAMP team: 18:00:30
awesomely, Skype "join" links are all b0rken this week, and -- it started raining here not long ago >smiley
atrowbri: 18:00:30
BASEKAMP team: 18:01:28
while we finish setting up audio here & wait for kent -- hows everyone doing?
BASEKAMP team: 18:02:06
 smiley  smiley  smiley
kent hansen: 18:02:39
guess I'm here... smiley
BASEKAMP team: 18:02:51
well hello kent
kent hansen: 18:03:56
BASEKAMP team: 18:04:10
will be on in just a moment everyone -- i know you're sitting on pins & needles
Greg Scranton: 18:04:28
I'm sitting on a duck
Greg Scranton: 18:04:33
a few in fact
atrowbri: 18:06:18
poor ducks smiley
Jessica Westbrook: 18:07:01
smiley  hello nice to meet you all
BASEKAMP team: 18:07:12
ok guys, let's give it a shot
atrowbri: 18:07:48
BASEKAMP team: 18:07:51
so jessica doesn't want audio --- everyone else?
Greg Scranton: 18:08:15
soundz 4 me pls
BASEKAMP team: 18:08:21
jessica- ok for us to just call eeryone and you not pick up? or is that too annoying on your end?
BASEKAMP team: 18:09:37
ok, we'll see...
Aharon: 18:10:14
i can hear fine. mic on mute
atrowbri: 18:10:29
we are on, muted
stephen wright: 18:10:29
are you calling us scott?
BASEKAMP team: 18:10:39
Jessica Westbrook: 18:12:12
school is out
Jessica Westbrook: 18:12:17
last week
Jessica Westbrook: 18:12:58
note: we had 3 weeks of senior shows/lectures that interrupted our class meeting
stephen wright: 18:15:24
sorry, audio got dropped -- can you call back?
BASEKAMP team: 18:15:35
stephen wright: 18:15:44
BASEKAMP team: 18:15:49
BASEKAMP team: 18:24:31
Greg Scranton: 18:28:11
love the "strategy blows" balloons! can you tell us more about what's written on them, hard to tell from photo. Dymaxion map?
BASEKAMP team: 18:29:10
hey greg yea - i know what thost are from smiley we shuld def talk about that soon
BASEKAMP team: 18:29:22
btw, is the audio a little better? just muted ours!
Greg Scranton: 18:29:58
audio sounds great Scott yes
atrowbri: 18:30:11
the audio is fantastic
BASEKAMP team: 18:30:56
 smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley
stephen wright: 18:33:09
just lost audio... can you call me back?
stephen wright: 18:35:05
hey scott.... can you call me please?
BASEKAMP team: 18:35:16
oh yes
BASEKAMP team: 18:35:26
calling bak now
stephen wright: 18:35:37
hey thanks!
BASEKAMP team: 18:35:43
BASEKAMP team: 18:39:17
BASEKAMP team: 18:40:10
calling you now bojana
bojana romic: 18:40:38
got it, switched off the mic
Aharon: 18:48:12
one of the things that seems interesting to me, or rather possibly ironically interesting, in this tention (??) between democratic - which is bottom up process of exploration, and organisation which is a sort of design/top-down kind of a process..
Aharon: 18:48:33
i find it hard to make it a question - but in fact, it is!
Aharon: 18:50:04
am not sure about thre mic
Aharon: 18:50:24
because it usually disturbs others here..
Aharon: 18:50:33
BASEKAMP team: 18:51:34
for example "self-organization"
BASEKAMP team: 18:53:16
hi theresa ---- adding you to the audio now...
stephen wright: 18:55:43
hey scott -- can you add me again too, slipped off again
BASEKAMP team: 18:55:44
BASEKAMP team: 18:55:47
BASEKAMP team: 18:55:57
adding u again sw
stephen wright: 18:56:00
thanks again!
BASEKAMP team: 18:56:26
kent was just saying there was a lot of discussion about the process of organizing and communication itself
BASEKAMP team: 18:56:38
throughout the process of working with the people in the factory
BASEKAMP team: 18:56:40
Greg Scranton: 18:56:57
we're still here smiley
Aharon: 18:57:27
are these organisations operational only for a certain persiod - or continuos..?
BASEKAMP team: 18:59:34
elysa adding you to the audio nowwwww
Aharon: 18:59:39
does the time element matter - in your mind - if yes, how?
Aharon: 19:00:23 do u see projects morph into one another..?
Aharon: 19:01:05
in your view
Greg Scranton: 19:01:47
maybe another way of recontextualizing the ? w/out speaking for each project discrete, one ends and another begins
Greg Scranton: 19:02:04
or is there some overlap
Greg Scranton: 19:03:05
Scott did you say TVTV? As in the SF vid collective? Sorry I missed that
BASEKAMP team: 19:04:06
Greg, in Copenhagen
BASEKAMP team: 19:04:08
Greg Scranton: 19:04:42
ohhhhh ok
Greg Scranton: 19:04:52
is there an awareness of the SF group?
Greg Scranton: 19:05:02
just curious
kent hansen: 19:05:14
BASEKAMP team: 19:06:25
hah nice ----
Greg Scranton: 19:06:50
Aharon was that related to the "hack my cellphone" thing you did a while ago?
Aharon: 19:07:08
kent hansen: 19:07:14
Aharon: 19:07:19
BASEKAMP team: 19:07:25
ok thx
BASEKAMP team: 19:09:39
BASEKAMP team: 19:10:15
i could never pronounce that!
BASEKAMP team: 19:11:09
Aharon: 19:12:18
lost sound
Aharon: 19:12:23
Aharon: 19:13:18
no sound..
atrowbri: 19:13:33
atrowbri: 19:13:36
BASEKAMP team: 19:13:53
calling you bak aharonn
BASEKAMP team: 19:15:07
aharon, are you playing sister nancy in the background?
Jonathan Wagener: 19:15:29
kent hansen: 19:15:36
Aharon: 19:15:38
sorry.. it was playing
BASEKAMP team: 19:15:41 LOL
kent hansen: 19:17:17
kent hansen: 19:17:34
stephen wright: 19:18:27
very cool
stephen wright: 19:20:54
What was that?
stephen wright: 19:20:58
what was missing?
Theresa: 19:21:15
the money i think
stephen wright: 19:21:30
oh, figures
stephen wright: 19:21:33
BASEKAMP team: 19:22:07
Sasha, -- -audio too?
ashadela" title="sashadela">S Dela: 19:22:16
Yes Please!
BASEKAMP team: 19:22:24
stephen wright: 19:24:04
but the collective writing process worked well?
Greg Scranton: 19:24:29
yes I am curious as well!
Theresa: 19:24:39
and how did it work?
stephen wright: 19:24:43
I'm interested too in knowing if your experience in the workplaces impacted in how you went about that
ashadela" title="sashadela">S Dela: 19:24:43
yes- me too
Greg Scranton: 19:25:42
perhaps a painfully dull question but I wonder what "tools" you use? Paper & Pen? Email? Google Docs? Wikis? All of the above?
Theresa: 19:26:11
dull is helpful sometimes!
stephen wright: 19:26:42
pointed question rather!
Greg Scranton: 19:26:50
Jonathan Wagener: 19:27:06
stephen wright: 19:27:58
that strikes me as important too scott
BASEKAMP team: 19:28:21
here's one image of the projection table
stephen wright: 19:30:26
lost me again -- can you call me back
BASEKAMP team: 19:30:50
d'oh! yea
Greg Scranton: 19:30:55
a student of mine and I built a crude version of one of these using processing:
BASEKAMP team: 19:31:15
stephen, i had just described kent's table smiley i know you wanted to hear about that
Greg Scranton: 19:31:15
has similar potential
Greg Scranton: 19:31:27
despite primary use as live audio interface
BASEKAMP team: 19:31:35
greg - looks interesting!
Greg Scranton: 19:31:38
Aharon: 19:31:43
no sound smiley
stephen wright: 19:31:43
no audio
BASEKAMP team: 19:31:48
ruh roh
bojana romic: 19:31:50
my audio is lost too
Theresa: 19:31:50
none here
Greg Scranton: 19:31:52
BASEKAMP team: 19:31:55
kent we lost you... calling you bak
Greg Scranton: 19:32:02
us too
Elysa Lozano: 19:32:07
me too
BASEKAMP team: 19:32:14
ack ok
BASEKAMP team: 19:32:19
let's call eeryone back
stephen wright: 19:32:20
I'm having a hard time following because of sound tonight
BASEKAMP team: 19:32:30
sorry stephen -- will call back now
ashadela" title="sashadela">S Dela: 19:32:34
call me too please!
Greg Scranton: 19:33:17
we back
BASEKAMP team: 19:33:17
is everyone back now?
eanstoops" title="seanstoops">Sean Stoops: 19:33:18
hello again
stephen wright: 19:33:25
Theresa: 19:33:25
BASEKAMP team: 19:33:26
adam not yet
bojana romic: 19:33:43
cool now
Greg Scranton: 19:34:00
I don't hear anyone
BASEKAMP team: 19:34:02
ok... almost there... calling kent back
Greg Scranton: 19:34:10
oh ok sorry
Greg Scranton: 19:34:19
there we go
kent hansen: 19:34:29
BASEKAMP team: 19:35:13
kent we need to call you back
kent hansen: 19:35:23
stephen wright: 19:35:56
Greg Scranton: 19:36:23
yep that seemed to work
Greg Scranton: 19:37:05
Kent I just added you to contact list
Greg Scranton: 19:37:12
pls accept
bojana romic: 19:37:19
Kent is the host of the another call
ashadela" title="sashadela">S Dela: 19:38:01
Greg- can you add me to the audio?
Theresa: 19:39:06
good jobs guys
BASEKAMP team: 19:39:26
Greg, Sasha's skype name is 'sashadela'
Greg Scranton: 19:39:40
thx Scott got it...I think
ashadela" title="sashadela">S Dela: 19:39:40
I'm on- thanks
Greg Scranton: 19:39:43
BASEKAMP team: 19:39:43
Greg Scranton: 19:40:48
of course now I need to step away for some kid duty - brb
BASEKAMP team: 19:41:03
greg - thx smiley
stephen wright: 19:43:32
It's even more random than using skype!
Aharon: 19:44:19
r u talking about chatroulette?
stephen wright: 19:44:19
but what's strange is that it does actually allow some meaning to emerge at the other end
BASEKAMP team: 19:44:47
aharon yes exactly
BASEKAMP team: 19:45:30
 smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley
Greg Scranton: 19:46:00
funny I just got back and now you guys are talking about things said that you missed
Theresa: 19:46:29
Theresa: 19:46:56
i'll help scott
Greg Scranton: 19:47:04
there are plenty of factories in Philly smiley
Greg Scranton: 19:47:38
yes that was my read as well given the photos
Greg Scranton: 19:48:07
cubicles are now called "work spaces" at my wife's "factory"
BASEKAMP team: 19:48:11
we also have co-working spaces here... a more current kind of workspace, where everyone is online
BASEKAMP team: 19:48:33
greg ^^ smiley
Greg Scranton: 19:49:51
it's interesting too to think of factories as spaces where the division of labor is quite obvious despite shared space
Greg Scranton: 19:50:12
physical space that is
BASEKAMP team: 19:51:18
yes, and it feels kind of metaphoric as artists when our own identity becomes the product
Aharon: 19:52:05
y is it not organising?
stephen wright: 19:55:57
oh oh, all's silent
Greg Scranton: 19:56:36
this has been, once again, really excellent! Thanks Kent!
Elysa Lozano: 19:56:46
thank you!
bojana romic: 19:56:51
1:55 central european time
bojana romic: 19:56:56
Theresa: 19:57:05
thank you
bojana romic: 19:57:08
Aharon: 19:57:17
thanks kent! smiley
stephen wright: 19:57:20
here too -- thanks kent. I'll just fill in the gaps. the rest is silence
kent hansen: 19:57:24
thanks to all of you
Aharon: 19:57:28
have a good sleep!
Greg Scranton: 19:57:28
Good morning/day/night all.  See you next time
Aharon: 19:57:39
nighty night!
eanstoops" title="seanstoops">Sean Stoops: 19:57:56
bye all!
kent hansen: 19:58:02
good night, bye
BASEKAMP team: 19:58:06
cyas next weekk
Jonathan Wagener: 19:58:08

Week 12: Au travail / At Work collective

Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with some of the people AT WORK / AU TRAVAIL, which is not so much a collective as an open call to artists and workers around the world to regard their workplace – whatever it may be – as a site of clandestine art production. Members are invited to consider their current employment as a kind of readymade artist’s residency, complete with wages, social connections, resources, and downtime. At Work / Au travail’s members, far from attempting to unite labor in order to leverage its power against capital, have simply stopped believing in work altogether, while continuing to be “At Workers.” Rather than sabotaging the means of production, they use their right to manage their won labor time in order to turn the machines to other experimental purposes — or just turn them off for a bit. In so doing, “At Workers” seek to transform their conditions of exploitation into the conditions of freedom, with no further goal than the continued practice of their own personal freedom. While this strategy might be read as so much playful resignation in our era of generalized precarious labor, it offers the following provocation: the onus is on each of us individually, and all of us collectively, to produce our own freedom, regardless of how hopeless the conditions might appear.

Created in Montreal around 2004, AU TRAVAIL / AT WORK now has members worldwide — indeed, one wonders how many people are NOT potential members! It offers its members a network of relations as well as methods for sharing, and organizing exhibitions that ensure the dissemination of their ideas, actions, and accomplishments. Immersed in highly diverse sectors of the economy, does AT WORK / AU TRAVAIL sketch the contours of a new form of commitment, where the all-too-stifling workaday world is a plausible artworld?



Week 12: Au travail / At Work collective

(Audio set up chatter and group chatter)

[Scott]: Domenic, have you heard from Steven recently?

[Domenic]: He write me through Facebook.

[Scott]: (laughing) okay.  I spoke with him this morning.  He's probably just running behind and I know he is eager to join us.  But since I'm not sure what is going on with him I don't think we should really wait for him.  But okay, great.  So welcome Domenic, it is really great to have you.  I'm just going to give a really super shore introduction for everyone here that doesn't know who Dominick is and what this is about and then get right into hearing from you about Au Travail, the At Work group if that is okay with you.

 I'm not exactly sure how informal or formal this is but Dominick's alter ego is Bob the Builder.  I can never really tell if I should be addressing you as Bob or Domenic.

[Domenic]: (0:03:58.2)

[Scott]: Okay.  So tonight we'll be talking with Bob the Builder from Au Travail, the At Work collective in Montreal.  Or at least the group is based in Montreal.  Ultimately I have been telling people that we are going to be talking people who make art at work.  From my understanding, Au Travail, in a sense is a residency program and in a sense it is the collective and in a sense it's a kind of art world.  But are also not necessarily any of those exactly.  From my understanding Bob, you have seen people's places of labor as readymade artist residencies.  Fully equipped with an organization that pays you money to basically exist there and do whatever it is that you do that back as all of the other features of a residency if you treat it that way  And I think there is a bit more about recuperating labor.  I'd be really curious to hear from you, if you wouldn't mind just giving us all a really brief introduction to the At Work group and how it got started and specifically even just practically how it works if you wouldn't mind.  That is a really big interest of mine.  It would be great to give an intro.

(Domenic]: So you want me to tell you how we all started? First, the collective is not so much about originality because lots of people have been working since they (inaudible 0:05:59.9). And At Work practices are as old as work itself.  So we didn't invent anything the only original thing about this project is that we have decided to be a group of people (inaudible 0:06:25.5 - 0:06:59.5) a social projects would be easily something (inaudible0:07:08.7)

[Scott]: Sorry, Domenic?  Could you just repeat that last part again I think it might have been my fault.  I was moving the speaker and it was really cutting off and on.  Sorry.

[Domenic]: Is that alright?

[Scott]: And we will be muting our audio too because there is Kung Fu.  The people that come here regularly know this, there is Kung Fu above our heads and it can start to get some feedback.  And actually, everyone else who is on the call has already taken the queue to mute their audio which is nice.  So don't think that we have gone away.

[Domenic]: So, should I go?

[Scott]: Please, yes.

[Domenic]: So I would like to explain the project (inaudible 0:07:54.0) as object of collaboration.  Which means that they are helping us to make art in a social project (inaudible 0:08:08.0).  We don't have any needs to them we just go out and use what we need on the job.  Me, I have been doing it for about five years now.  But we have always been doing this somehow because I'd never have jobs that really fulfilled my desire as an artist, as we are free thinkers.  I slacked at all my jobs.  But to call it art and to (inaudible 0:08:56.1) as data in the art world is a nice (inaudible 0:09:04.4).  It gives me a bit more confidence that people that are part of the collective are more confident to go that way and knowing that there are more people around doing it.  The bigger we are the smarter.

[Scott]: And how many people are involved with Au Travail right now?

[Domenic]: It's really hard to judge but I would estimate (inaudible0:09:37.4) of people.

[Scott]: Did you say 300 people?  Sorry, did you say 300 people?  Hey Bob?

(Inaudible 0:10:06.4)

[Scott]: Yeah, it's actually because the mic what was not in all the way.  Sorry.  So you probably answered me twice.  Did you say that it was…?  Oh, 300 to 400 people.  Wow.  I thought it was 130 people but that was last year.

[Domenic]: The last time we talked, yes.  It was probably around there.  We've had a lot of people involved since because we have had extensive (inaudible 0:10:35.6) from colleagues.

[Scott]: Could you tell us a little bit about some of the things that people do at work?

[Domenic]: Can you repeat?  I didn't get that.

[Scott]: Can you tell us a little bit about some of the things that people do at work?

[Domenic]: Do you mean as the in the project?

[Scott]: Yeah.  I mean I know generally what people do when they are working or a lot of jobs but specifically what you are doing is...

[Domenic]: (inaudible 0:11:18.2) the last project was (inaudible 0:11:26.2) was a young man who works for public television (inaudible 0:11:35.0) of digital files (inaudible 0:11:39.6) archives that they had digitalized.  The job was to go through the archives and back to the original tapes (inaudible 0:11:56.5 - 0:12:30.4).  Normal people were just checking on the side of the (inaudible 0:12:33.9) talking about the weather. (inaudible0:12:41.8 0:13:13.4).Are you there?

(Massive sounds of Kung Fu in background)

[Scott]:  Yeah, we're here.  The audio cut out for just a second and I think we kind of recovered it.

[Domenic]: Okay.

[Scott]: Hmm...  I'm causing because I can tell that actually cause or…


 Okay, great. Yeah, Bob, I would really like to hear, or can we look at...  I think the audio just cut out.  Or the signal cut out entirely.  Well guys, we will see how this goes.

(Kung Fu and background noise only 0:14:15.9 - 0:14:46.9)

[Scott]: Yeah, it's interesting using Skype for these.  Sometimes you get varying results.  Right now we are trying our second attempt.  There we go.

(Kung Fu and background noise only 0:14:55.4 - 0:15:38.5)

[Scott]:  This is supposed to be the best connection, 4G.

(Kung Fu and background chatter only 0:15:39.4 - 0:16:47.9)

[Scott]: Yeah, this would be a terrible place to end.  Because I feel like he's sort of just gotten started (inaudible 0:16:52.7).

(Kung Fu and background chatter only 0:16:52.7 - 0:17:32.5)

[Domenic]: ...were working for Santa Claus for the Huffington Post and they were supposed to write back letters to kids who were asking for gifts from Santa Claus.  The kids only had the write to Canada and then the kids would receive a letter back from Santa Claus.  Those guys were hiring for this service and we're starting to write really bad things to kids.  Things like " your mom is it a (expletive 0:18:16.2)" or "you won't get any gift" (inaudible 0:18:21.8) and end that we started to search and had to stop the service for 48 hours which partially paralyzed the letters.  Like a human chain of letters, they stopped it for 48 hours.  And when you think of all that, it's funny to think about it because it's really bad to write letters like that to kids but at the same time how bad it is to teach kids that it was Santa Claus (inaudible 0:19:12.1).  I like that because it brings out, I don't know.  You think twice about after (inaudible 0:19:22.2).

[Scott]: Hey Domenic, could you send us the link to your website again?  I only have an older presentation site on  Is it possible to type it?  Are you still holding a baby in one arm?


[Domenic]: Oh, it's slipping out.  Our web site is hosted by and arts center in (inaudible 0:20:04.8), Holland who had in residency decided to host our site.  It's an old version of the site right now but you still get a lot of things there.  Can you get it?

[Scott]: Yes, absolutely.  Thank you.

[Domenic]: Okay.

[Scott]: I know we have a lot of information from you that we will really be talking about were using.  Talking about or using in tonight's show that we can put up the video stuff throughout the next couple of months.  That's great to see this site.  So really I just wanted it to get a good sense of…  Steven Wright has been talking with us about Au Travail for years now.  And then we had that discussion when we are at the Invisible Networks Conference in the UK, which was really interesting.  I think a lot came out of that and I would like to get into just kind of bring everyone here up to speed up bit.  The other thing is that we are recording these sessions; we're recording these communications, so that we can use that material to help to build tangible archives of examples of different kinds of Artworlds.  So, I think…  I am trying to stand in for the kinds of things that Steven would be asking if he were here but...


 I will talk about ontological landscapes but I want to ask ultimately if you see this project as a kind of, I am not saying I see this, I'm just curious.  If you see this project as a kind of session from other creative culture systems or kinds of art world or art sustaining environments because it is sustainable in itself, a weird way.  It's already a readymade Artworld of sorts.  Or do you see a lot more connection and overlap with other kinds of art sustaining environments?  If you know what I mean?  I was thinking of some of the people that work in like art handling and things like that and have done at work projects.

[Domenic]: There are a lot of individuals we hear about us and then they decide to join and have been practicing this form of (inaudible 0:23:06.6) or something like that, they have been practicing it for years.  The collective works more like a socket for people to greet and know each other's projects.  Ultimately the point of it is a life that is more informed by art (inaudible 0:23:35.8).  Sometimes there is a small hole in Canada and sometimes I am there and I feel like I don't need to work because everything is free.  The food and the water and everything.  I still have to work a lot (inaudible0:24:00.9) and every time I have to work now I try to keep in mind that I have to enjoy myself and have fun. (Inaudible 0:24:11.5) you get into social if you work for an (expletive 0:24:23.8) or you work for a pig then you start to have different ways of (inaudible 0:24:34 smiling when you work is (inaudible 0:24:36.6) and sort of vengeance trip or tried to hijack situations where material or resources and then you can become more of an activist almost.  So it is not about liberation it is about freedom.  It attacks institution but it doesn't want to dismantle it.  We just want to be used to the max and use all are capacities because the collective started because people felt that they were not being totally recognized for what they can do the best in their job.  They're just being asked to do the minimal.  It's like people taking over in starting to do things for themselves is a good way to scratch the economy.

[Scott]: We are looking right now.   I'm not sure who did this, but someone who transports artwork.  Who takes the art work out periodically and just sort of sets them up on the side of the road and takes photographs.  Let me just send this link to the people who are not here in our room.

[Greg]: Yeah, it's called "Truck" by (inaudible 0:26:33.0) is what I read.

[Scott]: that's not really a question I guess.  Would you tell us a little bit about this?  Or is this self explanatory?

[Domenic]: No, no it's one of the nice projects that we have encountered.  The guys have been doing it for a long time before we have started the collective.  He had not stopped doing it but he had shown the pictures (inaudible 0:27:12.7).  It is a bit illegal to do things like that.  But he did basically he stole famous paintings for a few minutes and then he exhibited them (inaudible 0:27:37.0).  So that's what he did.  He took pictures of the situation of the famous paintings in various situations.

[Greg]: yeah.  I posted a PDF from your website.  I don't know if that is the same person, Scott, but you were refer into but at least in the PDF he is referred to as X.

[Scott]: Yeah.  That is what I was referring to.  I am just trying to get a good sense of…  There is so much material here that when I try to browse the web site I was really having a hard time plucking out and (inaudible 0:28:28.9) examples because I am not, we'll like you said, there are 300 to 400 people involved.  There are a lot of projects Dom, er, Bob.  And I'm only familiar with some of them that I have seen in remember and I'm not easily able to locate them.  So we are just kind of browsing a little bit and I kind of stopped on one, probably for too long now, that I remembered (laughing) and found to be very interesting.  Would you mind telling us some other stories?

[Domenic]: Yeah I can tell you many stories.  If Steven right there?

[Scott]: yep, Steven did get online.

[Steven]: Hey Domenic, I'm here. Yeah.

[Domenic]: I'm alright.  You tell the story about the magazine translation.

[Steven]: Sure, yeah.  I guess I can contribute.  I guess I'm sort of an At Worker in my professional time that is.  As some of you know, I work as a translator.  That is kind of my working day job.  In translating for a specialized art magazine the stuff I'm called upon to translate those and always deserve to exist in one language let alone be translated into a second or third language.  So that leads to a certain amount of cynicism and my workplace.  And I was asked by a very famous, or distinguished, French art magazine called Art Press to translate the text by an author whose name I will not mention right now and the collective group of artists whose names I will also not mention.  And I adopted a particular protocol for that translation.  I would systematically invert all of the adjectives into the opposite.  So if the author wrote that if he was very good I would say that he was very bad.  If he said that the sky was blue, I would say that it was cloudy.  If he said that the text was written by Karl Marx and I would say was written by Groucho Marx and so on.


 So, I translated the (inaudible 0:31:25.5) using this protocol.  But I did a good job on it so it read and sounded really professional.  And since you know that in contemporary art you can basically write one thing and mean exactly the opposite, I wanted to test that certain intuity.  So I sent it into the editor and he changed a couple colons and semi colons here and there and gave it his stamp. (Inaudible 0:31:53.1) and article was published and of course the translation is published with the original.  I sent in my bill and they sent me a check for my work while thanking me very much for my translation.  And it appeared that everyone was pretty satisfied.

[Scott]: Steven, did they even notice?

[Steven]:  No.  They never noticed.  The thing is that the only person that would actually compare the two texts is someone like me, a professional translator who is looking for professional references about how you would (inaudible 0:32:34.1).  Most people would either read it in English or in French.  But if you read in English of course it said the opposite of what it said in French but it was equally implied.  It was not more or less implausible that it was written in the original language.  So that is one of the exhibits and the At Work hall of fame.


[Steven]: Did you already talk about the (inaudible 0:33:09.3)?  It's really a pretty interesting document.  It's not available somewhere on YouTube or (inaudible 0:33:12.6) or something?

[Domenic]: No, not for now.  I just finished it last week.  The French and English versions.  I've been working on it all this time and it will be sent to you all if you want if you send me your address.  It is obviously a Copyleft so you can make copies and public presentations and put on the web if you please.

[Scott]: Domenic, is that information on the datasheet that you sent me earlier today?

[Domenic]: Yes it is about that thing.

[Scott]: Okay.

(Loud background noises)

[Steven]: I asked Enrique to join up tonight but I guess he hasn't called in yet.  But his contributions to At Work have been pretty interesting.  Maybe you would like to comment on those as well.  There are a pretty singular kind of practice.

[Domenic]: Yes and I think he is still working on it.  It's been a really long project.

[Steven]: Can you say a few words about what it is?  That project?

[Domenic]: Yes.  What it is as an extra for movies.  Like a Hollywood fashion movie producing in Quebec.  He was hired as an extra and he decided that while they asked him to pretend to talk (inaudible 0:35:09.2) because they take the (inaudible 0:35:13.7) of the main characters only and what the clock run in many film productions and they start to say the same lines every time (inaudible 0:35:28.3).  So every job he had was on different sets.  And then after he would dub his voice over and reconstitute the whole text as he has been hiding in major productions, many millions of dollars of TV productions.  So what he does now is (inaudible 0:36:05.2) small clips that he has been performing the text is about the society and a spectacle of the criticism.   (inaudible 0:36:23.5) for him is a nice poetic presents into our big set designed and being in the background as this continuous line and use it in the final edit of all those parents clips.  I don't know if I told it well but maybe Steven will have more to say about it.

[Steven]: I think that you don't wanna make it too clear about exactly what he does.  Basically it's pretty obvious what he does.  He takes advantage of being on a film set to use those moments of spectacle time as the site of visibility for his practice, which is not what they had in mind. The interesting thing about At Work if the incredible variety of workplaces that can be used as sites for artistic exhibition, a residency and production.

[Scott]: Hey guys, are you still there?

[Domenic]: Yes.

[Scott]: Oh, great.  Let me pass this mic over.  Okay, super cool.  It does have a pretty long cable.

[Ryan]: H, my name is Ryan.  How do you respond…?  Can you hear me?

[Domenic]: Yes.

[Ryan]: Okay.  How do you respond to the common criticism? As you said on some of your things up there such as "slacking at work" or "why wouldn't you do this as an artist after work" or" stop doing this at work and be an artist."  You know, I mean I kind of get it but, goofing off at work in putting a fancy name on it?  I mean, I'm totally into it and I do it myself but then you get fired.  So how do you respond to that common criticism that I'm sure you always get?

[Domenic]: What I will answer is more of like a personal answer because when I decided to start this project is because I was out of money and I found the stupidest job I could find and I got bored really quickly.  Even though I knew I could do better than that there was no other opportunity for me and I needed the money.  So instead of just getting depressed I started to slack on the job.  I realize that my freedom and being a good worker somehow says so much about how doing what is asked of you and doing it so well that you have 80% of your time free to do whatever you want with their computer and their phone line.  All the culture, all the situations and all the resources.  It's more about finding a studio and being like a double worker.  You can use the words slacking at work, I would say that it's more of a (inaudible 0:40:32.2) activity.

(Male group member]: In our current economy, people have started to change ever to flex time.  You know, working for days a week and things like that.  So what they're proposing now, and what you were saying, is work harder and then have more time to do work.  Is that kind of what you were saying too? (Laughing) is there a way to work with and an employer on this?  Like, I'm going to do my work really well and you give me a day off.

[Domenic]: Yeah, you can take it like this.  Me, the situation I was in was that I was under estimated.  I could do so much more and they were asking me to do such stupid things that it wasn't not hard at all to do it.  And so I completed the tasks really fast and then after word I had free time.  It's not about becoming a better worker.  It's about making yourself at home somehow.  And instead of running at 24% of your power than you decide to go at 100% then the bonus is not for the boss, it's for you.  Most people don't like their job and if they work really slow and they are being sloppy then time doesn't go fast so much.  When you were, time goes fast.  If you ask any students (inaudible 0:42:29.0) and security to be an adult (inaudible 0:42:29.9 - 0:43:08.1).

[Ryan]: So it's not like…

[Domenic]: work more or to get more (inaudible0:43:16.6).

[Ryan]: So it's not so much as putting one over on your boss as kind of pushing yourself to do something at work that is for you as well.  Kind of?  

[Domenic]: Uh huh.

[Scott]: Yeah, I was curious about that personally.

[Steven]: I think it is this also.  The bosses (inaudible 0:43:48.2) take second place.  They don't disappear.  And so it's not about sabotaging the workplace.  It's not about deliberately try and undermined the logic of capital accumulation.  It is simply saying that's not the important thing.  So it becomes the secondary kind of logic and the primary logic, of course, is the realization and using the means of production and the space which the boss has so kindly made available.

[Scott]: Steven, how would you describe this in terms of...?  I understand Ryan's question, I think, in terms of immaterial labor and the drive.  Ultimately, the changing face of economic, well…  The changing the way that employees are being encouraged to spend their free time at work.  It has become a viable business strategy.  It's hard not to think of Google plex.  It's hard not to think of, not mandatory, but almost mandatory or strongly encouraged free time.  A lot of "progressive businesses" are and have been for quite awhile now, it and by have been I mean probably for the last five years and the US anyway, and my understanding is this is the case in Europe too.  Something fueled by organizational studies.  Yes.  Exactly. Neomanagement.  It's a viable management strategy, and economically viable that strategy that is encouraged in everything from day care to really wonderful sounding things.  Like the very best meals to be found are to be found on these large almost corporate campuses as they are sometimes called.  Even and not very large businesses, it's just that it's harder for smaller businesses to pull it off.  And the ones that can really try to encourage the workers to sort of live and breathe and be at work.  Be the company in a way.  And I guess I was curious what you thought about this Steven.  And also curious about what you think about that, Bob since you have spent so much time thinking about this and working this way.  I'm sort of piggybacking a little bit on what Ryan was asking.  I guess I'm trying to stimulate the conversation a little bit in that direction.  I know this is a critical practice. But I'm curious.  On one hand, I think there is a real generosity, in a way, a very non judgmental point of view.  Really is saying that people are in the world, there are economic issues, and people are working constantly as part of the way we live.  And so there's something about this project that incorporates art in the everyday.  Not necessarily that everyday trash on the street or some of the other things that sometimes artists do when they talk about the everyday, but literally what people do every day and go to that (expletive 0:47:09.2) job and work.  I think there's something really, I wouldn't say honest, but something very sobering about it.  But I was just kind of curious about conceptually what you thought about those other points.  Does that make sense?  Does my question make sense?  Or the way I sort of flushed out the question was asked before me?

[Steven]: Yeah, it makes sense.  Theoretically art can take place in any workplace.  In any workplace where there is a surplus of produced by viable labor that is being recuperated by capital.  Those are the conditions in which At Work can take place.  But generally speaking, At Work (phone ringing - inaudible 0:48:06.4) based on (inaudible 0:48:08.2) and precarious labor conditions.  In other words, in jobs where you have no particular future.  It doesn't take place in the jobs where you were being totally fulfilled and stimulated and you really loved what you're doing.  It takes place in these (expletive 0:48:30.9) that you have to do in order to get by and to fund our artistic or other immaterial practices that we can't fund on our own.  And so it's not about spending your free time at work, it is taking that time you were at work and not using it for what the boss says to use it for.  In other words, to repurpose your labor time, that time you are (inaudible 0:49:02.3) to waste in the workplace and instead of wasting it you repurpose it towards what we call art practice (inaudible 0:49:09.1).  That doesn't have any specific substance or content, it could be anything provided that it is not devoted to the extracting of surplus value for the employer. Does that kind of (inaudible 0:49:30.0)?

(Background comments)

[Steven]: Well surplus value is the term which is used and Marxist analysis to describe what capitalism is.  Capitalism exists because our workers who are producing more value than what they are being paid.  So where does that extra surplus go?  It goes to the accumulation of capital.  It goes to the employer and not to the employee who actually produced it.  And that surplus value is what makes capitalism function.  So basically At Work coming from that kind of an analysis is there shouldn't be any more surplus value produced.  You should go to work just so you don't get fired up that surplus values should be devoted towards the production of some variation of art.

[Chris]: I was thinking about when I was younger and I use the work and a shelter workshop situation and there were people in there and I was doing things like listening to the radio there and stuff.  And they would have these songs they are.  And these mindless people were doing the same thing over and over no matter how bright you were.  The station played love songs and were the same songs every single day.  And I would do things like have this male character sing the songs in a dress and make lists in my head of the love songs that would never get played on that station.  So I was thinking that maybe that was an example of what you were talking about?

[Steven]: Domenic, I will let you comment on that.


[Domenic]: I don't know.  I don't know if I understood exactly what the story was about.  If you were bored at work and you had ideas that had nothing to do with your work (inaudible 0:52:13.8) you were on the right track.

[Chris]: Yeah, I think something like that.  I was in the situation where there were people of various mental capabilities and because they had these disabilities they were being put in there and the lowest common denominator.  We had everything from college educated people to people that could barely function.  And they were just being put in there and this whole thing being and this, I hate to say the term, work for retarded people.  I hate to say it that way.  So that was the way I kept my sanity.

[Scott]: Are guys enjoying listening to the Kung fu above us?

[Ryan]: it's awesome.

[Scott]: Yeah.  It helps to fill the void.

[Steven]: Domenic and you told me recently that some of the more recent members of At Work are strippers from California.

[Domenic]: Are what?


[Steven]: You said you had been contacted by some people, some sex workers.  Some dancers from California.  What's the story?

[Domenic]: She's working on different projects but its not super clear.  One girl in particular, she  works as a sex worker and like peep shows and stuff like that.  She has inverted mirrors  that are normally to, let’s say, see her.  And she can turn around and see people and  makes revealing images and things like that.  She records conversations all she does  blow jobs in cars and she is doing some kind of diary.  And she is a performance artist as  well, I mean outside of this job.  She is using most of that (inaudible 0:56:10.9) to do a  video based project and a video installation.  She is taking lots of risks doing so she is  under a pseudonym.

[Scott]:  I mean there's a tradition...

[Steven]: (Inaudible 0:56:39.7) or is she working for (inaudible 0:56:39.9)

[Domenic]:  She works for a specific peep show and she also does contracts.

[Michael]:  Hi there, this is Michael at BaseKamp.  I came a little late to the conversation but it's interesting this idea of play or this experimentation that can also take place beyond the workplace, which is in like the domestic sphere.  I wonder if it has served as inspiration for anyone to move beyond work with this sort of play.  If that makes any sense.


[Steven]:  Sir, can you please repeat that question?  I didn't understand the question.

[Scott]:  Oh yeah.  Did you want to try repeating it or do you want me to paraphrase what you were saying?  Okay, well mine is going to be much shorter.  I think Michael was asking if any of the people who are making art at work ever take it beyond work and into play.  Is that accurate?

[Michael]:  I'm curious about other spheres beyond work.  Such as the domestic sphere.  In this case there is definitely a blurring in terms of sex workers.  So, I don't know if that makes sense.

[Scott]:  Yeah.  So the question is if Domenic or anyone has thoughts about that.

[Steven]: (Inaudible 0:59:03.9 - speaking in French).

[Domenic]: (Inaudible 0:59:04.7 - speaking in French)

[Steven]: (Inaudible 0:59:12.5 - speaking in French)

[Domenic]: Um, okay so sorry.  I needed a little translation in order to answer the question.  I remember when we traveled in Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand and there was this thing called (inaudible 0:59:54.5) and it means that you work you cannot be too serious and if you lose your temper then people start to laugh at you.  You should have no reason to stress and smile and take it easy and then you enjoy yourself with your friends and you do work.  It cannot work if there is not (inaudible 1:00:19.4) and to me working is really hard to define sometimes what is work and what is not work.  Like for example, right now what am I doing with you guys?  Am I working?  Shall I use this situation of working if I consider it work (inaudible 1:00:44.0) or the use of clips or excerpts in my next movie and maybe I'm using this context right now to do something that is more constrictive for me in terms of film making because I like to make films.  Here's a really good chance tonight to record ideas and (inaudible1:01:17.1) the data movies so it would be using clips of what was said tonight.  And then when I go to bed tonight I don't feel like we were talking about the same thing again and again and again but that I took something out of the situation that is going to help me in my project.  So, it's not really working but still it's like (inaudible 1:01:46.8 1:02:10.7).

[Scott]: So there is a parallel discussion going on, Domenic, in text.  And I think this was already addressed but I think that this is probably a pretty important point because some of the ranges of examples of alternative or alternate or plausible artworlds that we’ve been looking at this year span a continuum, I don't know if it really is a continuum or if it's just jumping a all over the place to different strategies.  But ultimately, there was at the very least people who are oppositional.  Some examples of artworlds... The reason I asked about successions earlier was because that happens to be one fairly extreme way of being directly oppositional is, or at least to ultimately throw it out completely.  Throw out what you dislike or don't find to be in line with their values or interests.  You know, there more sort of violent oppositions.  And then there are people that are perfectly happy to keep coexisting with other structures that they may not necessarily be so fond of.  This might be beating a dead horse because I feel like you've already answered that. And Steven sort of clarified it a few times that At Work isn't exactly  set up to try to bring down any system but is there to kind of find ways to make it useful for you.  For each person.  If they have to do it anyway.  I think it just might be good to just clarify this stuff a little bit.  Some of the things that are being discussed in some Marxist terms and Neomarxist terms or (inaudible 1:04:26.3) there's definitely a lot of neomarxist language around the worker and surplus.  I know a Marxist strategy is to find the hidden surplus and that can be a way to subvert but it can also be a way to exceed.  I guess I was just kind of curious, I didn't want to make this discussion more boring, but because there was a lot of this being discussed in text I was curious if you guys wanted to just talk a little bit about it out loud.

[Steven]: Since I am kind of responsible for the surplus value (inaudible 1:05:08.4).  The objective is to reappropriate the surplus value (inaudible 1:05:34.2 - 1:05:45.2).  It doesn't have that kind of a Marxism, if fact it sort of cancels (inaudible 1:05:51.9 - 1:06:34.7) to do fun stuff.  In other words to engage in the extension called self realization.  It's kind of saying I wouldn't go to work.  I would collect welfare. I would steal money (inaudible 1:06:54.3 - 1:07:31.6)

[Domenic]:  If I can add just one thing it is that the job system is this fear.  You go by the fear so much to lose that job (inaudible 1:07:49.61:07:54.9).  If you look at all the projects in At Work then you start to feel more easy going about the things in your job because this person did that and didn't get caught and this person did that and didn't get caught (inaudible 1:08:11.0).  In this way it's possible to bring down the system, the fear system.  Like (inaudible 1:08:22.9).  To me it's never to feel that working (inaudible 1:08:39.6 - 115:38).  You want to go to work to free you.  You just want to exercise freedom you don't want to exercise to work.  You take the freedom for yourself.

(Loud background noises)

[Greg]:   This is Greg.  It's interesting that sort of the perspective which Steven and Domenic are bringing in which to me, they seem outside of the United States, for instance.  Because I'm thinking specifically of this whole healthcare reform issue and often times, at least it has been the case in my personal experience, that you get a job so that you can get health insurance.  And I think that idea that perhaps this healthcare reform gets passed and that’s no longer a connection, that is, healthcare through work, I wonder if they will be more opportunities to be at work and being producing.   Being creative and producing at work.  I don't know.  Just a current event that's happening that I thought of.

[Domenic]:  I think about how to, let’s call it a crisis like before getting jobs that they don't really want but they have to take them to be able to (inaudible 1:11:20.7)  And if they don't know what they want from themselves I'm sorry for them.  If you can't appreciate your job or find something you want for yourself then you ought to look for something  else maybe with less pay but then (inaudible 1:11:49.9).

[Female group member]:  What do you think about, in the creative world, projects that are excessively long?  Projects that have a built in time period.  For example, three years for a project that could really be done in one month.  How do you deal with that kind of a pyridine?  Because it is in the creative world.

[Domenic]:  I'm sorry.  I didn't get that last part.

[Female group member]:  Well, I'm saying that the pyridine, that time, the excessive pyridine.  You know, creating all of this work to make art which it doesn't really need.  All of that time to make a good piece of work. I meant in the opera worlds so I'm talking about operatic projects.  So how would you respond to something like that?  In other words, it is a creative project so if somebody in Au Travail were involved with that project, even though it's artistic, they would still do their own productive work as soon as they realize that it was just a waste of time in investing all of that time to make a piece of art that doesn't need that much.  Is that the idea?

[Domenic]:  I don't know.  This is becoming personal to, the collective  becomes really (inaudible 1:13:51.0) and there are many individuals that consider (inaudible 1:13:53.2) and we all have different visions of what art should be or what is meaningful or how much time we should spend on a piece.  It depends so the collective has no position on (inaudible 1:14:15.0).

[Female group member]: Yeah.


[Female group member]:  I was just going to follow up on that.  Just maybe the scale and the lengths of the projects that you are working on At Work would tend to be shorter in my assumption.  I don't know if that's necessarily the case and whether you've observed or discussed any interest in making any changes or just adjusting that component of the lengths of the projects.  Or if that's a discussion that you have at all.  Does that make sense?

[Domenic]: (Inaudible 1:15:23.5).

[Domenic]: um, (inaudible 1:15:24.1).

[Female group member]: Okay, well, I...

[Domenic]: (inaudible 1:15:28.3) I think I don't get what you (inaudible 1:15:31.0).

[Female group member]:  Yeah.  I guess it's a kind of two part question.  The first part is so the format of the projects being at work does that influence the scale of the projects or the work themselves?  Scale in terms of time?

[Domenic]: I don't know how to answer this question.  I am sorry. (Inaudible 1:16:09.0) To me what is interesting is that shortest stories are often the best and the most comprehensive stories are the most (inaudible 1:16:24.8).

[Female group member]: Yeah.

[Domenic]:  I like it when it's really up in your face.

[Female group member]: Uh huh.

[Domenic]:  It's hard to say (inaudible 1:16:33.8 - 1:16:41.7) once he was a truck driver and he decided to create the artist truck for on the streets and the highway.  And he was stopped in traffic in Mexico and the (inaudible 1:16:57.0) and he made his first art piece. It was a real creative way of using his job.  In a sense it was mostly (1:17:25.7) project and he became an artist (inaudible 1:17:25.9).

[Female group member]:  No, thank you.  I think that it's interesting to talk about the stories I guess.

[Domenic]: Yes like short stories (inaudible 1:17:43.0) because people like to recall them, like jokes.

[Scott]: Adam, do you want to ask your question out loud?  I think it's a pretty good one to bring up.  Or would you rather someone just sort of read it out for you?

[Adam]:  Did I un-mute it?

[Scott]: You did! Hi Adam.

[Adam]:  Okay, yeah. The question I was asking was related to how value might get transferred into artworld value.  I know a couple shows have been done relating to this and I was trying to figure out that what if it was (inaudible 1:18:48.8).  I would imagine that doesn't necessarily mean anything, it's just showing art work. But, I wonder how many of these people making that work do translate that value into artworld value of some sort so that it becomes as if excess value is really stolen or taken from the work job and translated into some sort of artworld value whether it be credibility for teaching job instead of this terrible office job, or just credibility just within the artworld as it has its own value system.


(Inaudible background comment)

[Scott]: Is it a...

[Steven]: Domenic, do y you want to answer that?

[Domenic]: Again the collective when it first started was a bit about fighting depression.  And of course in the beginning we were really have attention from the artworld and it was a way to find the (inaudible 1:20:00.6) for our days.  It was nice to be coming out as a worker because we were typically known as artists that were not talking about so much, we pay the bills and we earn our money and I think it's a (inaudible 1:20:26.5).  It was funny to come out as workers and say "yeah, I do like this (expletive 1:20:34.3) job."  And for awhile all kinds of people would come to me and say (inaudible 1:20:38.1) so it was sort of funny things to do coming out.  Some delivery, or more generally those others are now going out on their own because the collective has no platform anymore.  To still do At Work is okay but they follow more into the normal art system.  I don't have much opinion on that.  But the types that I like the most more often are often illegal.  So people have to remain anonymous and protect them from being exposed too much to the art world because it covers up as much as (inaudible 1:21:52.4).  I like this kind of disposition of being productive.  A happy worker and a happy artist at the same time because you don't get all the regular attention that an artist gets

[Adam]:  I think it might already relate to what position you take on artists as workers, just as a big discussion topic.  But if your an artist as a worker and let’s say teaching art and doing this crappy job, and you're either working on your syllabus or working on your art work at work I have this question on if you're actually taking time off from where you actually triple work and you are providing more value.  I think that's what the question means.  I don't think it's answerable, but I do wonder about the position of artists as workers and whether you're doing just a very, what I would consider, a very American thing, which is doubling up on your work hours and how is that different from running a business at the same time that you're working this crappy job?

[Domenic]: People choose as they do.

[Steven]: Yeah, I'm thinking about that question.  I'm thinking about whether it's doubling up.  It strikes me that the examples (inaudible 1:23:33.1) either negates that it's similar to doing crossword puzzles or do doing a small business or your wage labor job.  Because this stuff really is different.  With conceptual art, while being paid to do something else while doing crossword puzzles to pass the time.  Unless, of course, doing crossword puzzles is your art production.  It is kind of a, it's more than a Plausible Artworld.  It's a totally implausible artworld, but it's one that really exists on a surprisingly large scale.

[Domenic]: Also, it would be wrong to take an art production as a...  It's just about being in a good disposition to think about things.  And to take pictures at your workplace would only take one second but you can think about it for weeks and what you are going to do with it.  So, it's not so much about sweat but about just opposing two or three activities and making them work together instead of like thinking triple.  It's more using your brain and (inaudible 1:25:24.1) is not more energy consuming.  It's just about being wise and if you want something, take it.

[Chris]:  I was thinking about this movie I saw where these people were working at a restaurant and they were talking about ways to rob the restaurant and I heard that this movie was from people that would actually sit down when they were working at this restaurant and think ways to rob it.  I thought that would be a good example.  I hope.  I was also thinking about when I was working and had the guy in the dress and doing all these things.  And I was doing peace work and every time I finished all these things, that was him recording a song and I got paid by that.

(Inaudible background comments)

[Female group member]:  Excuse me, could someone or everyone give me their definition of what art is?  What is art? What makes something art?

[Scott]:  I think that is very similar to what Randall was asking.  Don't you think Randall?  Maybe I'm putting words in your mouth.  You were again and again throughout the conversation, once you came into it, kind of teasing at that.  Sort of saying is there an implication that the "artwork" is more valuable than other kinds of work or some sorts of experiences.  Do you think I'm right about that at all?

(Inaudible background comment)

Well, I don't know.  Steven, isn't art whatever a particular group of people, enough people to support the making of the art and the understanding of what makes something art?

[Steven]:  Yes, of course.

[Scott]:  I'm just sort of building on what you said I guess.

[Steven]: Yeah. No, I didn't say that art was the artist says it is.  It's what it understands itself to be. I mean, I'm thinking about (inaudible 1:28:50.6) that means there has to be an aggregate.  It has to be a community basically.  A life sustaining environment that is prepared to go along with that understanding.  The thing to point out about At Work is that it has its value neutral in terms of what it considers art to be.  I mean you can think a painting is really (expletive 1:29:17.8) but someone who uses their McDonalds night watch person job to do abstract painting, they qualify as an At Worker, of course.  So it's not only the most farfetched (inaudible 1:29:33.2).  It's whatever.  It combines a life sustaining environment to what art understands itself to be.

[Scott]:  I was actually... It's my ignorance because after looking at this Wikipedia article about Annabelle Lopez, that seems like we probably would have run across but just have not for some reason or another.  And when you were describing this person that was parking a tractor trailer at 90 degrees on the highway and blocking traffic, it was immediately appealing to me.  I found it really interesting.  It did not, however, seem like a success story that this person "went on to become a famous artist" or well known for this kind of work.  It didn't necessarily detract from that in my mind, but it didn't help it.  I think I was mostly interested in how interested that person was and what kinds of effects that could have.  Beyond just generally being a nuisance.  I also think it's just something you don't see every day.

(Inaudible background chatters)

[Scott]: Oh, okay.  That's one thing I'm a little more familiar with but I still wasn't familiar with the truck and the 90 degree parking.  In any case, I wasn't... Thanks Steph.  I think my point was basically the same.  Alternately that the activity itself seemed really compelling and the fact that it may be legitimized by a larger Artworld is not necessarily a plus for me.  I'm not actually sure where I'm going with this (laughing).  I guess my point is that's not necessarily, we're not necessarily talking about things that understand as art.  Excuse me, I understood as art.

 It just got really loud in the year.  Can you still hear me?  

 And that is sort of some of what we're discussing earlier.  Steven says that art is what it understands itself to be.  And Randle was saying kind of raising an eyebrow to the privileging in of art in that way.  I think what we're really talking about is creative practice.  Some people feel very comfortable just going ahead and not having to over qualify what they mean by art.  They are talking about creative practice generally speaking.  And I think yet others had a much more complicated view on that.  And others avoid the word art all together.  Some very good friends of mine, and I also take issue about sometimes.

[Domenic]: I try not to think only in terms of art production because it is fun to see if the At Work collective has a bit of a reputation for something that could happen bigger.  You think a movie about a robbery and you see they (inaudible 1:33:45.8) and all together we can make the product of a perfect robbery.  And then the actress has this personal project while doing their (expletive 1:34:01.0) jobs but they know that the bigger subject is to crack the bank and (inaudible 1:34:08.9) places and the economy will all be in place.  At one point we go "poof" and they are all in the right positions to organize their crime.  I like to think of the collective in the future as if we would be so many we would only need to have ideas and say " okay we need someone who has access to this kind of computer" and another one gets a paper and the other one gets two trucks and we can make our project for free and it could be producing (inaudible1:34:47.5) more like cultural evidence like as any music show.  You often see that in the cinema industry people will work for (expletive 1:35:03.2) films and (expletive 1:35:05.5) productions and then at night they will use the equipment they are supposed to take care of to shoot their own independent movies.  And to do that as teams and all help each other and share skills.  Their only a team, there's nobody else involved and it is just for the sake of it.  And that is what I could call art today.  It's one of those things that happened outside of the economy system.  And one that involves worker skills

[Steven]: Excellent (inaudible 1:35:48.6).  I totally agree.

[Scott]: Well guys, we're getting close to our 8:00 PM limit.  We're not there yet but I just wanted to ask if anybody had anything that was plaguing the back of their mind and wanted to bring up before we get too close and have to cut off.

(Inaudible background comment)

[Female group member]: I was just thinking about Leonard Bernstein in a comment he made and the Norton lectures that he gave at Harvard and he was saying that in art we have a universal language.  And so it speaks to the emotions through this universal language.  What do you think of that idea?

[Domenic]: Maybe that's why At Workers get along together all over the world because they understand what they're doing.  They understand their actions.  To me, art is just the way of saying that something in my life isn't…  There is no art project I can read (inaudible 1:37:04.7).  That's what I call art is what actions are, activity, not quite except things as they are and invent new ones.  I think there are many definitions and they'll go along together.

[Steven]: Randall, if I understand your objections correctly, you were saying that, how should I put it?  Let me think a minute.  It's really late at night and am having a little bit of a brain freeze.  I want to address the question you raised, just give me one second.

(Typing and background noise)

[Domenic]: Well, Steph, can you (inaudible 1:39:42.0) question?  If upper class artists were really clear about this and I have to say that it's surprising how people (inaudible 1:40:03.0) the collective easily when they are upper class or the class or lower class.  It's frightening to see people who want to commit to the collective.  Certainly working class or upper class.

(Typing and background noise)

[Scott]: Yeah, Randall, I hope I'm not breaking the silence of thought at all.  Yet, in the case of the jackknifed tractor trailer or the 90°tractor trailer, sure.  I think you were right about that.  Actually, are we still on the audio?  Oh, it sounds like we are.

 Hello?  Can anyone hear us?  Yes, I guess so.  I hear typing.  Okay, super.

 So Steven, I was just kind of curious if you are still formulating your question or not.  I am curious about that because, I wasn't sure…

[Steven]: I think Randall has to go, so I will keep my question for future correspondence.

[Scott]: (laughing) Okay.  Cool. Awesome.  Fair enough.  Well actually, we're actually T-30 seconds or something till our normal close out.  It's really great to have you Bob the Builder, and everybody who joined us.  Thank you very much.

(Applause from the group)

[Scott]: Yep, it was really fascinating.

[Steven]: Thanks a lot Domenic.

[Domenic]: You're welcome.

[Steven]: Actually, I think Eric (inaudible 1:43:24.7) this just tried to call if we want to have a final testimony from Eric.  I think now is the moment.

[Scott]: Well, if anybody wants to stick around for a few moments we definitely can.  I don't know, here's a question.  Do you guys want to stick around for another 5 minutes or so? Yeah? Okay.  On our side it's all good.  We just tried and so that no one feels the burnout.  But that sounds perfect although we are in Eastern Standard Time and other people are on different time zones so if anybody needs to get out don't feel shy.  Can someone data Eric to this chat?  Awesome.

 Steven, are you able to add Eric?

[Steven]: Uh, hang on.  Oh he's going to call you.

[Eric]: Hola! Sorry to be late.


[Steven]: Well, two more minutes.

[Scott]: I think its four more minutes for us.  Nice to hear from you Eric.  How are you?

[Eric]: I'm fine.

[Scott]: Excellent.

[Steven]: Listen, were you just at work and that's why you were late?  At work doing art?

[Eric]: Exactly.


[Steven]: So fill us in.

[Eric]: Well actually, I am in a real art center so it's not real work.


[Steven]: Well, we try to talk about what you do as an art worker before but maybe you would like to give us a self description.  I'm sure it would be more accurate.

[Eric]: Basically I work as an extra on movie sets.  They asked me to pretend I'm talking with other people as like the background performer.  And basically the stars are in the front of the camera and I'm in the background which furniture or props.  This is what extras are.  So I have to pretend I'm talking with people like would sign language and say specific things (inaudible1:46:16.4) coded messages of a secret agent and TV transmission.  I used to do that on cable TV shows and cable movies but also in some Hollywood movies because there have been a lot of Hollywood movies that have been made right here.  I always use the same effects in the background that you can read on my lips and I do some gestures which are from sign language (inaudible 1:46:52.5).  And at the end of it I can construct the whole sequence which is basically a (inaudible 1:47:03.1) theater that I just put it there but I just choose to really because of it can another career of many things.  Among the things can be (inaudible 1:47:18.5) and industry of cinema and TV and must be entertained.  So it's (inaudible 1:47:26.3) and it is inspired by a scene of the Old Testament.  So I've been doing it for five years.  Every time I have to go there which is possibly two or three times a week I am doing now all day long.  Always the same thing and always the same text.  And sometimes some of these are visible on TV or on film or on DVDs.  I collect also DVDs.

[Scott]: Eric, what is your favorite Trojan horse excerpt that you've inserted a film or television show?

[Eric]: You mean the best one?

[Scott]: I just asked what your favorite was, yeah to you.  The best one to you.  What you liked the most.

[Eric]: Do you mean a mime the ones where I did that right?

[Scott]: Yeah.  Exactly.

[Eric]: Will there are a lot of them that are probably unknown to you because they're probably Quebec films.

[Scott]: I was curious about how you felt though.  Not so much something that I might be able to see immediately.  But, you know.

[Eric]: I have a special way of (inaudible 1:48:50.8) higher if it is a Hollywood movie right?  So probably, I don't know which one.  I know that I appear but I'm not there in the film about Bob Dylan but you only see my nose and my lips in a really close shot.  And then this other…  I'd really have to check about it because I really don't watch them (laughing).  So I collect all the movies and then I think eventually I will spend a couple of months tracking myself in these movies but for now I don't have time to do that.  Because they are actually movies I would enjoy to watch, I don't watch them (laughing).  The action of (inaudible 1:49:34.0) on a daily basis.

[Scott]: I would definitely watch them.  I really like cheesy, oh I don't know, what am I trying to say here?  Cheesy.  Basically Hollywood cheesy films or formulaic TV shows.  As long as we know what to look for I probably would spend a little bit of time pitching in.

[Eric]: I tried to tell you, I know I am and this (inaudible 1:50:15.7) movie like (inaudible1:50:16.9) but I didn't watch it so maybe I'm invisible because there was a lot of videotape or film.  They really like to spend money.  It's really their biggest fun to spend money for no reason.  A lot of the time I am there it is because they're like to spend money, they don't keep the shots.  Maybe because I'm terrible.


[Scott]: Because you're talking about something.  Or what kinds of things to talk about?  Actually, I'm going over our time limit here.  But just out of complete curiosity real quick, do you recite poetry, do you make up stories or…?

[Eric]: Well, this is what I told you earlier.  It's always the same excerpt from (inaudible 1:51:03.8) a classic in French literature.

[Scott]: Oh, I see.  I totally missed that.

[Eric]: it's based on the Old Testament and ends this scene; I think it's a nightmare, where she sees her mother.  She's from a Jewish family and she sees her mother right before she died and she's then gorgeous and even looks younger than what she is.  So its (inaudible 1:51:42.9) it's not really about hallucination but also about beauty.  I'm just trying to translate the text into my head.  And then she suddenly sees as she is a cadaver and there are dogs eating her bones and suddenly there are beautiful children who appears to her and look so attractive and a tractor and seduces her.  But at the very last minute of the dream, you take a knife and stab her.  And I think this is a perfect story about history of cinema and (inaudible 1:52:24.1) for the last 30 years.


 Expressly the Hollywood cinema in a certain way.  I mean it's certainly gory, you can be reading it in many ways.  The scene is really about something that's actually read about a kind of anger of a sense of cinema and the disappearance of the apparitions were all mixed up together in the same environments.  So this text about (inaudible 1:53:01.2) is just perfect about that.  So it's really kind of connected with (inaudible 1:53:05.6) and is part of the text (inaudible 1:53:13.1).

[Steph]:  Hi.  I just wanted to say that repeating it in the background endlessly is also perfect.


(Inaudible background comments)

[Scott]: Well Eric, thank you very much.  I really feel that as exciting as it could continue to be we really should go.

[Eric]: (inaudible 1:53:45.8)

[Scott]: There are a lot of films.  You could always visit to be an extra here in Philadelphia.

[Eric]: (inaudible 1:53:58.9) to help me find a job.

[Scott]: Yeah well.  We have a job board here now.

[Eric]: Let's keep in touch.

[Scott]: Excellent.

[Eric]: So we have greetings from (inaudible 1:54:09.6) where everybody greets you here.

[Scott]: Awesome!  Will hello from us.  OK, we'll have a great night or early morning everybody and we will see you next Tuesday.

[Eric]: (Inaudible - speaking in French 1:54:39.2)

[Steven]: (Inaudible - speaking in French 1:54:39.1)

[Domenic]: just a reminder for anyone who wants to copy of the film data to send me your address to (inaudible 1:54:57.9).  Just send me an address I will send you a DVD.

[Scott]: Great Domenic.  And if you want, we can help you put that online since you want to open source so that everybody can get much faster, if you want.

[Domenic]: Of course.

[Scott]: Cool, yeah.  We'll talk about it tomorrow.

(Group chatter and goodbyes)


Page |


Chat History with basekamp/$799f7512b1450425" title="#basekamp/$799f7512b1450425">At Work / Au Travail (#basekamp/$799f7512b1450425)

Created on 2010-03-27 10:17:34.


BASEKAMP team: 18:05:23
hi all, we'll be getting started here shortly.  We'll call you and a friendly reminder to mute your microphones until you'd like to chime in.
BASEKAMP team: 18:07:44
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:07:49
Aharon: 18:08:13
hi scottrigby
BASEKAMP team: 18:10:14
teching the audio, we'll begin shortly!  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley
mabel: 18:10:35
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:10:52
Dominic, we finaly have our AV tech finishing the setup >smiley
Dominic Zlatanov: 18:11:07
BASEKAMP team: 18:11:10
ha ha "AV tech"!
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:11:23
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:17:50
ok guys, we're ready to start
Aharon: 18:18:20
atrowbri: 18:18:56
skype crashed, recall pls?
BASEKAMP team: 18:19:05
on it
atrowbri: 18:19:08
Aharon: 18:19:31
we can post links (to images vids etc..)
Aharon: 18:20:11
he mi8 not be awar of your new time!!
BASEKAMP team: 18:20:53
atrowbri who am I calling? you? or UTC?
atrowbri: 18:21:09
atrowbri: 18:21:13
utc crashed
Aharon: 18:21:38
for me bob da bilda is obama.. well.. now a nu one.. smiley
BASEKAMP team: 18:24:47
yes thank you all.
BASEKAMP team: 18:26:43
BASEKAMP team: 18:26:45
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:29:30
cutting in & out slightly
BASEKAMP team: 18:29:51
it's crystal clear in the is the audio for everyone else?
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:29:59
btter now
mabel: 18:30:09
very good here!
BASEKAMP team: 18:32:39
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:33:32
trying 2nd www connection
Aharon: 18:33:42
do u really think your car is not powered by ppl now..? smiley
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:34:20
well, www is funny tonight
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:34:35
we have a weak signal strangely
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:34:38
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:34:45
thnak you Greg
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 18:34:54
is there some sort of archive of these examples?
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:35:02
Aharon: 18:35:20
BASEKAMP team: 18:35:20
Ho Ho Ho Ho!
Aharon: 18:35:52
BASEKAMP team: 18:36:11
Dominic Zlatanov: 18:36:50
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 18:37:28
thank you
BASEKAMP team: 18:37:29
yep looks great!
stephen wright: 18:41:03
Hey, can I hook up?
BASEKAMP team: 18:41:14
on it Stephen
stephen wright: 18:43:08
Hey Dominic!
BASEKAMP team: 18:43:14
BASEKAMP team: 18:43:18
by X
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:43:30
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:43:38
bottom of page
stephen wright: 18:44:18
Shows the works by Chuck Close by the edge of the highway!
BASEKAMP team: 18:44:35
try this link: (assuming this is the same artist you were referring to Scott)
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:44:36
Stephen, hello there!
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:44:48
you are on the call
stephen wright: 18:44:59
Yup -- in a hotel lobby!
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:45:08
which city are you in?
stephen wright: 18:46:06
Hey Dominic, you made a movie about At Work. A really good one. Is any of that uploaded to the web -- on YouTube or something?
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:47:48
by the way, i didn't mention this at the beginning as i normally do -- but -- please feel free to chime in if you have any questions or comments about at work
BASEKAMP team: 18:50:39
yes please! great!
stephen wright: 18:50:48
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:51:09
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:51:54
is there a link for that project btw?
stephen wright: 18:52:24
maybe under the name of Saint Thomas the Imposter
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:52:33
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:53:03
smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley
stephen wright: 18:53:03
we'll have to ask him for sure. He's the guy in the policeman's outfit on the website and the PAW mail-out.
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:53:56
google search turns up a lot of generic stuff stephen & BOB
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:54:04
BASEKAMP team: 18:55:23
stephen wright: 18:56:04
slacking at work -- and putting a fancy name on it!
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 18:56:20
<ss type="laugh">smiley</ss>
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 18:56:30
yeah, that's a rad decription
BASEKAMP team: 18:56:42
I like to call them J.O.B. Grants
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 18:57:03
there's also something slightly exotic in doing crappy jobs don't you think?
BASEKAMP team: 18:58:14
indeed Stef...the go to question for movie stars..."What was the worst job you had while you were a struggling actor?"
Aharon: 19:00:12
so.. is it not that in a sense, doing at-work ativities encouraged by a given corporation - will actually be profitable for the man..?
stephen wright: 19:00:17
There is actually no reason why at-working only has to do with low-paid jobs.
Aharon: 19:00:59
i can c this being really encouraged by the capital..
Aharon: 19:01:26
stephen wright: 19:02:30
Spend your free time at work! That's neomanagement strategy for sure.
Aharon: 19:03:34
from this pov - its a really concervative practice..  that irony is possibly interesting in itself..
stephen wright: 19:04:28
At workers dont spend free time at work -- they free up work time while they have to be at work anyway
Aharon: 19:04:52
s it not actually about making work in this society more palatable..?
atrowbri: 19:05:18
Could it take place at 12hr a day Apple iPod factories in China?
Aharon: 19:06:03
yup it can.. i can imagine that anyway.. adam..
Dominic Zlatanov: 19:06:09
You make a video with the ipod in secret,
Aharon: 19:06:57
u place secret image pieces.. one in each..
BASEKAMP team: 19:07:13
also labor itself can be bought and sold
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:07:23
smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:07:42
hi randall
atrowbri: 19:08:09
hey randall
Randall Szott: 19:08:16
hey scott
Jessica Westbrook: 19:09:49
hellllo. i am late with child.
atrowbri: 19:10:03
Jessica Westbrook: 19:10:12
wait. no
Aharon: 19:10:14
well.. that assumes the surplace value analisys is correct.. i think it is more correct to say that marx himself was question ing the validity of that - and other - theories.. for example, he had another pov based on production dictated by mode of exchange..
Jessica Westbrook: 19:10:16
scratch that
stephen wright: 19:10:35
Surplus value does exist!
stephen wright: 19:10:44
Otherwise how would accumulation take place!
stephen wright: 19:11:04
How would rich people get richer?
Aharon: 19:11:08
it does, ofcourse. question is how it plays in the grand sceme of things
Randall Szott: 19:11:34
well surplus value exists and it doesn't
BASEKAMP team: 19:11:47
Aharon: 19:11:53
ofcourse we do not have money trickling down but up
Randall Szott: 19:11:57
it exists *within* the confines of the economic frame
Randall Szott: 19:12:27
but whether it exists in any ontological sense is dubious
BASEKAMP team: 19:12:31
smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley
stephen wright: 19:13:06
it exists within the economy where at-workers are working -- and it is what they want to repossess rather than seeing it exporipriated by the employer
BASEKAMP team: 19:13:07
Randall Szott: 19:13:35
but they are chasing phantoms
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:14:00
independent contractor
BASEKAMP team: 19:14:05
no pun intended
stephen wright: 19:14:33
Randall, hi! What do you mean about "chasing fantoms"?
atrowbri: 19:14:41
There is a stuent sleeping through this discussion
atrowbri: 19:14:44
She gets an A
stephen wright: 19:14:50
atrowbri: 19:15:44
Another student reports she was working on a class project @ work
atrowbri: 19:15:46
Randall Szott: 19:16:51
stephen - i'm just rehashing his claim that workers are not being exploited by accumulating their surplus value, but by being inculcated in the frame of vlaue itself
stephen wright: 19:17:26
It seems to me that it is in both those realms
Randall Szott: 19:17:26
it is the tryanny of *value* that is the problem not finding the appropriate baance of surplus/exchange value
Randall Szott: 19:17:58
but I'm a Baudrillard zombie, so I'm useless
BASEKAMP team: 19:18:38
Randall aren't we all zombies according to Baudrillard?
stephen wright: 19:18:40
OK. But At-working is not really about stymying the bosses ability to extract surplus value
stephen wright: 19:19:20
It is only secondarily about that -- as a consequence of using the space / time of the work environment as a place of artistic production
Randall Szott: 19:19:24
yeah stephen i joined late so missed the initial qualifier
stephen wright: 19:21:19
You know, when i translated the art critical text using the strange protocol I mentioned (inverting all the values, translating words by their opposites), everyone was happy. THe journal was happy to pay -- because they never noticed the ploy. They just thought my English prose was acceptable.
Aharon: 19:23:57
sing the blues in the cotton fields?
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:24:21
knit turtleneck sweaters in the cotton fields
Aharon: 19:24:49
is that the slave pic u have..?
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:25:10
did you just pull a "don't joke about slavery" move?
stephen wright: 19:25:22
But we don't work in cotton fields. Probably cotton workers need trade unionization.
Aharon: 19:25:29
the other way round smiley
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:25:47
fair enough
stephen wright: 19:25:54
We work as "cognitarians" -- immaterial laborers in post fordism
Randall Szott: 19:26:05
but this is not just a tactic right? i mean slack is built into most office environments
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:26:12
the idea economy
stephen wright: 19:26:29
slack is only built into high end, immaterial labour
Randall Szott: 19:26:33
people write birthday party invites, make appointments, play in their fantasy foot ball leagues
stephen wright: 19:26:47
maybe software design, advertising
Aharon: 19:27:03
well.. in a sense you put it so well Stephen, that we need to produce - so we do work/job
Randall Szott: 19:27:07
working as a temp i saw oodles and oodles of ordinary people making work time their own
stephen wright: 19:27:17
Aharon: 19:27:20
..or did u use re-produce..?
Aharon: 19:28:11
which is exactly where we go back to the cotton field with the blues and all that.. be it a metaphorical - litteraly metaphorical - field..
Randall Szott: 19:28:29
students doing homework, people doing crosswords, surfing the web, looking at restaurant menus, texting, chatting...all on "company time"
Aharon: 19:28:38
hi magda
atrowbri: 19:28:50
the recent SEC guy fired for looking @ porn...
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:28:51
Greg, can you add Magda to the audio chat?
stephen wright: 19:28:59
But those poeple are "killing time"
stephen wright: 19:29:08
At work is not about killing time.
Randall Szott: 19:29:09
atrowbri: 19:29:10
art is not killing time?
Randall Szott: 19:29:23
exactly adam
stephen wright: 19:29:31
well, only if it is self consciously about killing time
magdalenatc: 19:29:35
hello. great thank. i am in.
Randall Szott: 19:29:35
what makes art better than fantasy football?
Aharon: 19:29:40
no.. they keep trying to make sure time does not kill them]
atrowbri: 19:29:44
More than 24 employees and contractors at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have been investigated for porn-surfing at work in the past two years, according to published reports.
atrowbri: 19:29:57
Are they not using work time to "produce desire"
atrowbri: 19:29:58
stephen wright: 19:30:46
That might be stretching the point if they just gazed at some skin-observing
Aharon: 19:30:57
and therefore its subsistance kind of practice.. an expression of subsistance, not subversion of subsistancy.. just a feel of..
stephen wright: 19:31:05
If they made porn, then YES
stephen wright: 19:31:18
I think we should be making more on-worksite porn
stephen wright: 19:32:14
Yes, that's probably true. They tend to be fairly one offish.
Randall Szott: 19:32:31
a mom typing up her Christmas family newsletter at work is just as interesting to me as some post-grad using video software to edit a project
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 19:32:35
I'm wondering if the sleeping student is not upper class, so will never need a dayjob to "au travail"...
Aharon: 19:32:40
i wonder about your position, bob.. are you a kind of a curator? making your curation via films..?
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:33:01
stephen, maybe you can help translate too?
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:34:23
who was that?
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:34:27
atrowbri: 19:34:56
if the post-grad's video shows and becomes part of a gallery exhibition leading to a teaching job, you could argue the value is merely transfered. How many of these slack-art-workers are transfering excess work value into artworld value possibly leading to either credibility or better art-related positions?
stephen wright: 19:34:57
slackers tend to be -- though are not always -- from middle class society.
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 19:35:15
Anibal Lopez, that's the name of the truck driver
atrowbri: 19:35:27
trying to unmute
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:35:58
thanks Stef  smiley
BASEKAMP team: 19:36:19
street cred = use value?
stephen wright: 19:36:22
Excellent question!
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 19:36:32
(couldn't remember it either, had to look it up)
Randall Szott: 19:37:28
can't we side step this question? or maybe reframe it...why talk about value? why not talk about meaning or maybe the conversion of value into meaning.
BASEKAMP team: 19:38:59
do value and meaning have to be mutually exclusive Randall or is this getting too semantic?
Randall Szott: 19:39:25
well economic value has no necessary relation to meaning
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:39:41
this debate came up earlier, and i wasn't sure how 'valuable' it is to be honest... whether or not 'value' can exist outside of capital
stephen wright: 19:40:12
Let's bear in mind that one of the important characteristics of At Work is that it really exists -- it has some 400 self-acknowledged members worldwide.
BASEKAMP team: 19:40:34
despite those who define themselves based on accumulated property or how "valuable" they are not that we should be focusing on this at all
BASEKAMP team: 19:41:27
or knowledge production (re: crosswords)
Randall Szott: 19:41:36
but passing time is how you would charaterize it....
Randall Szott: 19:41:52
because you don't find it meaninful apparently
Randall Szott: 19:42:00
or not meaningful in the same way art is
Randall Szott: 19:42:35
but some people find meaning in less "elevated" arenas
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:42:39
randall yes.. dominic earlier said that this approach would probably not be necessary at a job one finds fulfiling
BASEKAMP team: 19:42:45
Is Au Travail a kind of art therapy?
stephen wright: 19:42:45
I see your point, Randall, but the kind of self-understanding that goes with art doing changes everything for me.
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:42:48
regardless of what it is
Randall Szott: 19:43:14
stephen wright: 19:43:26
as art
Randall Szott: 19:43:27
or navel gazing....sometimes it's hard to tell
BASEKAMP team: 19:43:46
as long as he was giving blow jobs!
BASEKAMP team: 19:43:57
oops did I just write that?
Aharon: 19:44:11
are you looking for meaning, randall?
Aharon: 19:44:18
lol@art q..
Randall Szott: 19:44:30
no i dont care at all what art is
stephen wright: 19:44:39
neither do I
Randall Szott: 19:44:49
i am interesed in human meaning making and creativity in whatever form it takes
stephen wright: 19:44:50
it is whatever it understands itself to be
Aharon: 19:45:00
is art a taboo term/word?
Randall Szott: 19:45:05
art is highly privileged in this regard
stephen wright: 19:45:17
uniquely so
Dominic Zlatanov: 19:45:23
art is what makes life more interesting than art
stephen wright: 19:45:27
BASEKAMP team: 19:45:29
well...not caring about what art is is caring
Dominic Zlatanov: 19:45:29
BASEKAMP team: 19:46:44
not about form then, about concept/process/space of creation?
Aharon: 19:46:51
what doesnt qualify as at-work..?
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 19:47:40
by the way, it could have been santiago sierra and not lopez
Randall Szott: 19:47:53

 not caring is caring - whooo boy
stephen wright: 19:47:54
well, if you work at an art gallery and just do what you're told, that doen't qualify
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 19:48:08
<ss type="giggle">smileychuckle)</ss>
Aharon: 19:48:40
y not? it mi8 be exactly what u've always dreamed of!
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 19:48:54
sorry, i think it was santiago sierra.
stephen wright: 19:49:02
well if it's a dream job, so much the better
Aharon: 19:49:20
it mi8 be a dream activity
Aharon: 19:49:46
point is that from that pov you do indeed place a very large set of values..
BASEKAMP team: 19:50:02
whooo boy?
Randall Szott: 19:50:11
yes exactly - creative practice in *whatever* form
Randall Szott: 19:50:39
from making family newsletters, knitting at work, filling out March Madness brackets, etc.
stephen wright: 19:50:50
I would say that At Work is more interested in "decreative practice" in whatever form
Randall Szott: 19:50:51
not just making videos, novels, etc.
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:51:03
stef - thanks smiley
stephen wright: 19:51:03
certainly not making videos necessarily
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:51:30
someone here is teaching a class on lock-picking
Aharon: 19:51:32
has anyone seen mikmaks..? (maybe wrong spelling.. your movie ref..)
Aharon: 19:53:11
Randall Szott: 19:53:46
art as esperanto!
Randall Szott: 19:53:51
both equally useless
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:54:43
i've heard claims that critical theory was a kind of universal language - but I doubt that really
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 19:55:01
Dominique, do you think "at work" is a prevalent working class artist activity?
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:55:13
buzzwords that help people to think they're talking the same language
Randall Szott: 19:55:38
did i miss a question?
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:55:47
stephen is thinking smiley
stephen wright: 19:55:49
didn't ask it yet -- sorry
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 19:55:49
(my kids are asleep so i can't say it out loud)
BASEKAMP team: 19:55:51
thanks for the music
Dominic Zlatanov: 19:55:58
prevalent working class activity?
Randall Szott: 19:56:07
oh ok im not objecting per se
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:56:15
i'm totally into it actually
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 19:56:27
yes, i mean, upper class artists wouldn't really care about this no?
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:56:43
smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley
Randall Szott: 19:56:53
just wondering why we seem hesitant to grant the activites i mentioned as being relevant
Randall Szott: 19:57:06
relevant is not the right word...
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:57:25
randall, - really? i might have missed the activities - can you repeat?
BASEKAMP team: 19:57:27
Randall Szott: 19:57:35
but we seem intent on making art/activist purposes more important thna less "heroic" ones
BASEKAMP team: 19:57:43
Scott...from making family newsletters, knitting at work, filling out March Madness brackets, etc.
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:57:45
"not just making videos, novels, etc."?
stephen wright: 19:58:00
Not At Work -- the members activities are pretty unheroic
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 19:58:07
ah--- ok, i didn't get the impression anyone was hesitant that 's all -- ok
Randall Szott: 19:58:12
a form of heroism seems to be smuggled in somewhere
Randall Szott: 19:58:29
oh so sorry guys
Randall Szott: 19:58:40
my ride has arrived i have to run
stephen wright: 19:58:49
well, ripping off the man with the clock is slightly heroic
stephen wright: 19:59:02
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 19:59:03
yes, we can all hear you
Randall Szott: 19:59:11
but crosswords rip off the man as much as art
Randall Szott: 19:59:14
to me
Randall Szott: 19:59:28
but i really have to go sorry
stephen wright: 19:59:29
well then it,s heroic
Dominic Zlatanov: 20:00:00
ciao Randall
Aharon: 20:00:28
BASEKAMP team: 20:01:11
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 20:01:12
it's only 1 am here, we're cool.
magdalenatc: 20:01:34
i would like to, as i joined late and still trying to follow ... the silence of thougts (my silent thoughts in particular <ss type="smile">smiley</ss>
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 20:02:10
he was "at travail"!
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 20:03:38
Eric that's fantastic
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 20:03:53
or.. i mean -- i like that you're doing this
stephen wright: 20:09:46
Great allegory!
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 20:10:04
Eric would you rather become a famous artist or a famous actor?
BASEKAMP team: 20:11:21
Thanks everyone!
magdalenatc: 20:11:32
thank you all.
stephen wright: 20:12:14">
magdalenatc: 20:12:15
that's very kind
magdalenatc: 20:12:16
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 20:12:41
Thank you, that was fab.
Aharon: 20:12:42
d900@ where??
Aharon: 20:12:48
tefpasquini" title="stefpasquini"> 20:12:49
Dominic Zlatanov: 20:12:54">
Aharon: 20:12:54
ta stephen
stephen wright: 20:13:06
See / hear you next week!
stephen wright: 20:13:12
night night
cottrigby" title="scottrigby">scottrigby: 20:13:28
nighty night!

Week 9: Orgacom

Hi Again,

This Tuesday is yet another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with Orgacom, a group located between Istanbul & Amsterdam.

Orgacom (a combination of the words ‘ORGAnization’ and ‘COMmunication’) aims to develop and introduce new roles for art within businesses and non-profit-organizations.

Orgacom is primarily concerned with visualizing the culture of companies and groups through contemporary art. Through this visualization, Orgacom encourages companies and organizations to reflect on their group culture in a nontraditional manner. Through creating images that express the specific culture in which participants are involved, Orgacom wants to encourage them to reconsider the various roles art can play in their lives.

Though employees of companies are often highly educated and interested in culture, the images and ideas relevant to their experiences within business life are rarely found in the most visible artworlds. Orgacom has chosen the experiences of people in companies as a subject. This choice may result in the discovery of new themes, new methods of presenting art, a new audience, and may even make the development of a new vocabulary of images possible. Or, given the dramatic disparities in the power relations between art and business, it may lead to art becoming still more vulnerable to co-optation by so-called creative capitalism.

What makes Orgacom’s plausible artworld compelling is that it boldly challenges the assumptions of both activist artists (for whom the group’s practice is tantamount to sleeping with the enemy) and of more market-based practitioners (who basically want no truck with the collective “experiences” and identities of wage laborers, except in their capacity as art lovers).

Week 7: Artist Placement Group

Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

We’ll be talking with Barbara Steveni, co-founder of the legendary APG, or Artist Placement Group (later renamed O + I, for Organization + Imagination), an important precursor for many later “organizational art” practices, who are not always fully aware of the scope of APG’s proposal to rethink artist’s place in our lifeworlds, while at the same time maintaining art’s fundamental autonomy.

The discussion will happen in-person both at Apexart in New York, and Basekamp in Philadelphia. And just like other weeks, people will be joining by Skype from many other locations.

About Artist Placement Group / O + I
The Artist Placement Group (APG) emerged in London in the 1960s. The organisation actively sought to reposition the role of the artist within a wider social context, including government and commerce, while at the same time playing an important part in the history of conceptual art during the 1960s and 1970s. APG as is undoubtedly one of the most radical social experiments of the 1960s, yet it raises many questions as to where artistic agency can be most effective, palpable — and corrosive.

This conversation will take place in the context of the exhibition, “The Incidental Person”, curated by Antony Hudek at Apexart. The term “incidental person” was coined by the late artist John Latham (co-founder, with Steveni and others, of APG) to describe the status of the artist as he saw it: both “incidentally” a farmer, a cook, a thief, a scientist, a house painter or real estate agent and, no less incidentally, an artist. Indeed APG saw no opposition between art and other fields of human endeavor — the latter being support systems for the former. Talk about plausible artworlds!


Week 7: Artist Placement Group


Speaker 1: How does it work for – I mean I’ve worked for every single one of them. I mean I went through the thing exhaustively and they’ve tried to – so how does it work if you’ve only booked for [0:00:16] [Inaudible]? Doesn’t that stoop over to your fax number or – I’m serious more than the usual – okay. We’re going to be probably like 20…

Speaker 2: You know the show is one aspect of this process, [0:00:38] [Inaudible].

Speaker 1: But that’s not have we’re doing it.

Speaker 2: Okay, so we ask people to go about at least 25 or as many as they want. Now if you believe that there is a commonality between all these good proposals and that’s even – like we’re not fully – like your phantom writer could be similar to somebody else into the larger [0:01:11] [Inaudible] then it works because each one gets about 27 votes.

Speaker 1: Okay and it never happens that there’s one that doesn’t get any votes just because we wouldn’t talk to them.

Speaker 2: It can if the script won’t bring anyone or won’t make it to the top to make sure we’re all getting the same number of votes.

Speaker 1: Okay, that’s an interesting algorithm. So it’s like okay, it’s like just random actually. It’s like it’s random but its [0:01:41] [Inaudible].

Speaker 2: I think so yes, if it’s part of the scrip but I think it’s rarely because the ones that are going, “Wait, wait, wait” – that’s perfectly fine. So I love the process because I don’t know if you noticed but they’re turning into creative artists.

Speaker 1: I was surprised for the fact that they were able to use four images instead of – I was like the [0:02:11] [Inaudible] proposal because ideally it was image first.

Speaker 2: [0:02:18] [Inaudible]…

Speaker 1: I don’t think it added – there was one occasion where I thought I’ve added something, very humorous one where the person wanted to point it out that there had been an error in the map maybe of Berlin; a town that didn’t actually exist. Somehow it was out on like – and in fact it was shown that [0:02:37] [Inaudible]…

Speaker 2: I think we still have to let some of the jury [0:03:11] [Inaudible] are invited for the wrong reasons.

Speaker 1: And you we would never know with the jury what they would bring to the table because they would have to exercise it as well because there is a kind of – unless you’re a really obnoxious character – everyone plays the game. You have different points of view but it’s kind of consensus though. But you’re all to yourself, there’s no reason not to be consensual – fuck that.

Speaker 2: If you want the full integrity of the jury, you can’t let them talk.

Speaker 1: Exactly.

Speaker 2: There’s always a dominant personality or somebody who’s going to be – yeah are you going to be around for a little bit – they just sort of turn up at the – hey Greg!

Speaker 3: Hello.

Speaker 2: So we can actually hear that ourselves; I’m thinking our mics might be too sensitive.

Speaker 1: Can you hear me Greg?

Speaker 2: I’m sure he can.

Speaker 1: Yup, no problem.

Speaker 2: Yeah we can, I think we’re just given with a mild echo so if – not from me but from us. I guess we’ll just have to ask you to speak up a little bit when we deal with Greg, I’m not sure what else we can do because if we turn up our mic we hear ourselves. It’s just extraordinarily sensitive, I’m not sure how…

Speaker 3: Is the microphone on, am I on speakers or are we all on speakers or…

Speaker 1: It’s on the table in front of us but…


Speaker 3: Try to turn on the speakers in front of you that you can feel it in front of you and not behind the speakers…

Speaker 2: Yeah it is actually, the speaker is like kind of facing the other direction in the other side of the room. Yeah I’m just going to see if I can get one more – so actually am I in…

Speaker 1: Do I need to contact with Greg?

Speaker 2: No I don’t think – if you want to join the chat on the basekamp website.

Speaker 1: Okay I just go to basekamp – I’ve never been to basekamp before, would they pick me up?

Speaker 2: Oh you can, you can actually just say hi to the basekamp because Greg is on the basekamp channel.

Speaker 1: Okay thank you. But I don’t see that you’ve added me because I think the chat hasn’t started yet that’s why.

Speaker 2: Yeah there is actually like a little drawer if you click – let’s see – there you go.

Speaker 1: Oh okay, thanks a lot.

Speaker 2: If you click on the area you can see all the people in that as well. By the way if you would like, you can set your preferences to us under city Skype on your friend’s list. Under let’s see notifications, you can click – you can type on the – oh wow it’s a little tricky isn’t it?

Speaker 1: So what do you –sorry I was not – what happens if – place sound did you say?

Speaker 2: Yeah just uncheck the place out and then you just close that out and then whenever someone wants to talk to you there would appear a blue opinion mark.

Speaker 1: Okay.

Speaker 2: [0:07:40] [Inaudible]

Speaker 2: You can turn that back on later but if you want that to – that would keep on blinking….

Speaker 1: Yeah we’ll go ahead and I’ll be fine.

Speaker 2: Or maybe not, that kind of was actually working. Yeah as long as we’re solid with the – it seems that we generally are, except for the fact that they have to keep their volume relatively low – you know one thing that you could just actually do if you want to turn off your audio…

Speaker 1: Completely up, yeah maybe that was what was causing the problem.

Speaker 2: Not really a problem it was just – you can just hear from the bleep – I just did that recently in fact almost all these time, it’s like five years of doing Skype here, I’ve always heard the bleeps and I was just recently checking that one. What do you think, does that sound okay Greg? Okay maybe just tell them to hang tight for just a second, are you on the audio tract or no? Okay is Mike there?

Speaker 4: Yeah.

Speaker 2: Oh no, really? Oh I’m sorry to hear that, oh okay. Do you have a Skye account?

Speaker 4: [0:10:33] [Inaudible]…

Speaker 2: Would you mind just going to Skype to kind of validate that, that way all we have to do is set it up real quick?


 And just people know – you know like they can hang out and we’d be just running a few minutes behind here and then we’ll kind of start? Yeah it will say add contact if you just click it, it will pop up in your contact list; and then you will be able to search for a contact. Just click add contact – very cool –so now yes and now do the chat – excellent. Yeah just keep looking – great.

 So great, can you hear me okay still? Yes I just need to listen for you that’s all because if I turn this up too much you’ll hear – it will start to get like crazy feedback. So do you think this is going to work okay Greg? So we’re going to get started in just a moment, I think it would be – we’ve been trying to set up the audio but the thing is our mic is actually very sensitive so we have to keep our speakers on. But the thing is if we keep our speakers on that line, we can’t hear that so I’m just basically just distracting everyone. I think we have to flag them down before they say something and then we can move ahead and get our audio from there and turn the speakers up. I guess we just haven’t used this high-tech microphone before.

Speaker 4: Actually we just haven’t been checking. You know how this goes, you will say what you want.

Speaker 1: [0:14:55] [Inaudible]

Speaker 2: Absolutely, definitely.


Speaker 1: What’s up?

Speaker 5: Yeah, I met you some years ago.

Speaker 1: Oh yes of course, you’re very familiar.

Speaker 5: Yeah we met at the…

Speaker 2: I think that get together in Philly, I think that’s it.

Speaker 5: I think in 2004.

Speaker 1: What you could have done is write your own book.

Speaker 5: Well I’m working on it.

Speaker 1: Well then good.

Speaker 5: It’s still – yes it is, I have to take more of a job.

Speaker 2: And it makes sense to be able to talk about it and you have no idea – it’s great to be able to talk about it.

Speaker 5: I know.

Speaker 1: For some reason I had that book reserved because I saw a very impressive list of authors including people who were…

Speaker 5: You know what it was reviewed in S – do you know people from S?

Speaker 1: Yeah I contributed there.

Speaker 5: Oh you worked there. It came out and they announced what was coming out in spring and there is that kind of in depth [0:16:47] [Inaudible].

Speaker 1: I know her from Montreal.

Speaker 5: Yeah and Manchester so it was…

Speaker 1: I saw Gina Badger; she makes good writing as well. She’s writing that, actually she’s staying in this place…

Speaker 5: Oh great, that [0:17:06] [Inaudible] thing. Yeah that’s why I know about – because I saw that he was in…

Speaker 1: Actually we are inviting [0:17:19] [Inaudible] in three weeks I think. You know these guys, [0:17:30] [Inaudible]…

Speaker 5: Yeah I’m a little bit confused about who plays – who is…

Speaker 1: They are real people; they just have completely unreal names. But the builder is actually named Dominic [0:17:43] [Inaudible]…

Speaker 5: That’s right, yeah – his part of the Gina interview.

Speaker 1: Did she get with her boyfriend on…

Speaker 5: I don’t know about that, there’s a lot of usual suspects…

Speaker 1: I wouldn’t think it was unusual, I mean she’s an interesting – she’s got someone who has incredible potential. Yes she’s still a student but she’s got these really very interesting gardening projects but a very critical take on it as well.

Speaker 5: You know – I’ve met her and – but I don’t see her actually very often.

Speaker 1: She’s living in Boston but I knew her in my film when she was doing – it was an interesting project but it didn’t turn out too well but then at school – you know the summer school.

Speaker 5: That’s right yeah.

Speaker 1: But she’s working with us as well with the school of creative methodologies which is next week. You know Gina will actually join me.

Speaker 5: [0:18:57] [Inaudible]

Speaker 2: Yeah I definitely see you guys do a lot of good – so yeah I’m definitely psyched and yeah I might be a little too excited when I say “Hey, are you even separating these publications because there seem to be a lot of” – I just want to say you know this one’s really cool, I’m not sure if I can even separate the [0:19:42] [Inaudible]…

Speaker 5: [0:19:45] [Inaudible]…

Speaker 2: We definitely do, we definitely do. Okay so we’re going to get back to some of the…

Speaker 5: Okay great, now tell me – I was thinking about – can you tell me something about what it is you’re doing because I want to figure out that’s like related to…

Speaker 2: Tonight?

Speaker 1: We have lots of writings about possible key words.

Speaker 5: But more about the thing – like overall I’m considering that would be involved in – well there are two applications. One is for this book about by-products which is about banned practices…


Speaker 1: And the excess…

Speaker 5: And the excess which is pretty vague and then Robert for example he will tell you things about the [0:20:54] [Inaudible]. So that’s like very specifically but the other thing that I was thinking about was and more generally publishing that for this online magazine that I aptly call, where we are now looking at our politics in New York and so it’s about partly politics in New York. So to those pertaining to…

Speaker 2: I think the one that focuses on New York – I would suggest that New Yorkers visit it often, it might be the kind of [0:21:28] [Inaudible].

Speaker 5: Yeah and we’re staying here for the week.

Speaker 2: Yeah I’m always here, I’m just not here in New York. But you know, I’m always like…

Speaker 5: Because I do have this thing to go to like in the 29th so I would also do a follow-up for something that’s flexible.

Speaker 1: Well I’ll give you my number and you can SMS me, I mean you can phone me as well but it’s a French number so it’s not too bad to call. So it’s +33…

Speaker 5: [0:22:09] [Inaudible]

Speaker 1: Or you can do zero and then the numbers.

Speaker 5: Okay, zero-one-one…

Speaker 1: three-three-six-six-one-four-eight-four-two-nine-nine.

Speaker 2: We are going to be talking about [0:22:44] [Inaudible]…

Speaker 5: So you’re going to like it?

Speaker 2: Yeah actually we’re [0:23:19] [Inaudible]…

Speaker 1: Okay so we should be probably on in two minutes?

Speaker 2: I think it would be probably good, if Barbara sits here and if you want to hang out with us as well like it would be just kind of informal and we’d just sit around and like hang out in the platform and – it’s just audio and it’s all here. Basically we’ll just let everyone know at the moment and there are a number of people like there are about a dozen locations right now and one of them has 30 people on it so there’s actually a lot of involvement online.

Speaker 1: 60 seconds okay?

Speaker 2: Oh absolutely, yeah – yeah. SO just hang out with us so we can probably represent you and the way it’s set its kind of like a…

Speaker 1: It’s very informal Barbara, it’s very informal.

Speaker 6: [0:25:16] [Inaudible]…

Speaker 1: No need to be afraid because it’s the vertical…

Speaker 5: So Barbara we have to leave a little bit early like at eight, I want to make sure that we’re going to have to leave early. Are you here in New York for a few days?


Speaker 6: Yeah until Sunday.

Speaker 5: Okay great because we’ve got this long…

Speaker 6: Can I give you my cellphone number? I mean that should be me talking in the lead, but in that case…

Speaker 1: You are getting a little echo…

Speaker 2: We are getting a little bit of an echo, it’s kind of funny it’s almost – hey everybody how is it going? And I know we’re positioned like a panel with you as the audience because that’s just because of the chairs available. Often when we do this we exhibit on a picnic table but we didn’t seem that was necessary to build one of those so…

Speaker 1: Because these things actually takes place weekly, Scott – the first name was Potluck and they’ve actually been – it’s kind of a basekamp tradition, basekamp being the space in Philadelphia.

Speaker 2: Oh yeah, I’m just going to answer this call…

Speaker 1: I’ve always thought that I was going to – so each Tuesday night for 52 weeks beginning first week of January and going to the last of December 2010. I always thought that I was going to be spending every potluck sort of in the virtual situation because you can join in like no matter where you are…

Speaker 2: No actually if you would mind muting your audio…

Speaker 1: It’s muted.

Speaker 2: Okay great, that would be great. I mean pressing that little button there – excellent.

Speaker 1: Now it’s really mute.

Speaker 2: How about now, guys how’s the audio is it okay?

Speaker 6: Shall I answer? Can you hear me?

Speaker 2: Okay great, everybody can hear you just fine.

Speaker 1: I think we should begin by saying that tonight we’re welcoming and pleased to have Barbara Steveni, the founding member of APG group. With us in no particular occasion which gives us the occasion to thank both Steven Rand, executive founding director of apexart which is hosting both these events in the context of the exhibition organized by Anthony Hudek called, Incidental Person. Incidental Person being one of the key concepts which we are going to tackle I guess. Developed first I think by John Latham but one of the key concepts of the artist [0:28:55] [Inaudible].

Speaker 6: Well Incidental person was a Latham term, Latham was very concerned with language and very suspicious of language as in carrying a love baggage and in fact he said that language of money, the flaw of media – of course the biggest flaw. Language and money which of course shows up in his – in the way he wrote books and the way that he alter words and incidental person was his word and caused a lot of furor both within Artists Placement Group because they felt that it was pulling other artists Lathamesque type of when they were all longing to drop a Latham so to speak. But Artist Placement Group – the idea of Artist Placement and so making the stand here came from an idea that I got when as a result of Robert Filliou with the Fluxus group staying with me in our house in London and joined us in America and they wanted some material for putting on their show in Gallery One.

Speaker 1: Daniel Spoerri?

Speaker 6: Daniel Spoerri and Filliou and other members of Fluxus group, but those two actually stayed in our house in Portland Road in London. And I said well I’ll go get you some material. And so I went to the industrial estate in the artisan road [0:30:34] [Inaudible] in London and it was night time, I think it must have been winter but it was dark.


 And I got lost in this industrial estate, the factories were roaring away and I thought, “Why the hell aren’t we in here” not just to pick up buckets of plastic but there’s a whole area here. So while we’re here – because the fine artist was not represented in industry in any way at all except Oliveti desk [0:31:06] [Phonetic] resource but there was of course a plan out with industrial designers and the plain artists. So I came back with this idea, this eureka idea, John came back from America and I said what about this and he was teaching in St. Martins at that time with Barry Flannigan and Jeffrey Shaw. And John talked about this to the head of sculpture and I said, “By the way if I go winding off of these things, then pull me back for goodness sake”.

Speaker 1: Or push you.

Speaker 6: Or push me and that was what I was this story. Anyway so I went to Frank Martin who was head of sculpture at that time. He was very astute, he realized that although Anthony Caro at that time was head of sculpture, London’s head of painting – they realized that John and Jeffrey was another sort of breed and so he made a sort of department between things to which he invited me to come in a day in a week. And I’ll ask questions if the students and what do they think they were going to do after school and everything. And as a result of that I started the Artist Placement Group by – Frank Martin the head of sculpture said, “Oh Barbara I think this is a terribly good idea, why don’t you go and see these people?” And he was reading The Financial Times and I remembered it in all its pinkness you know at that time. And he has this guy Robert Adeane, he’s chairman of Shell, RTI – chairman of at least four or five companies. And so I went along to Robert Adeane with my idea and he said, “What a good idea, I’ll be on your committee” of course we have no committee. I’ve told the story already today because I’ve watched around you know that what was I was doing before I came here and so I realized I had to get a committee. And so I went to go out to get a committee with all the people that you get to put on a committee like the head of painting, the head of Industrial Design and everything and so we had our committee, Artists Placement Group and that’s where the eureka happened.

 But the Incidental Person was the way John’s vision and Anthony’s – really the person who has been putting a lot of time into that – were John’s vision of time based and time – that’s time based that’s not clock time. He called it time based and determination and events and also his suspicion of language was readapting language came right into using that in the context of the practice of APG that he was already thinking like that. So when there was a context of APG which was practical, John gave it this Incidental Person notion like if we were going to be a new type of artists, what sort of artists would we be and what were they and so that’s how the term came.

Speaker 1: Thinking about a new status…

Speaker 6: It was a new status for the artists which was useful having drawn suspicion of language messing around there because the other offices would say like David would say, “No for goodness sake we must keep it opaque; don’t do a manifesto, don’t do these stuff because otherwise we’d be caught and held out yet again” anyways stop me and then take me on. I didn’t know if that was any…

Speaker 1: Incidental is such a slippery word, I take it to mean at least two things – one is that the incidental person – an artist who was placed outside the context of the established meaning in the world, will create an incident…

Speaker 6: Right.

Speaker 1: But on the other hand he’s only incidentally on it – it’s like incidentally I’m a foreigner but incidentally…


Speaker 6: Exactly and both – and it was sort of keeping this going, this sort of uneasy juxtaposition. I mean when it came to actually negotiating with industries and governments the use of the term incidental – for god’s sake Barbara, you know we’ve had difficulty getting a budget for an artist and now you want me to get a budget for an incidental person. I mean John was really a menace to them and I’m sort of – I was very smooth into looking this is what we need, here’s a contract. But then looking again and it has been really helpful for me to be involved in this Incidental Person project to look again at exactly how John’s meaning, his words didn’t fuse on the long stories so to speak. Although I as a pragmatist didn’t use these terms until they were able to be used because you’ve already made the relationship and then they could sort of listen and they could hear those sorts of terms.

Speaker 1: Previous to this, you were an artist – a practicing artist yourself?

Speaker 6: Yes, yes.

Speaker 1: But do you relatively…

Speaker 6: But I was making – I suppose I was using a assemblage of everything and so this suddenly became – I gradually realized that this was the biggest assemblage of putting people together and it was all a journey and a performance and in my recent work which I’ve called, I Am an Archive and I’ve been doing performances in various places. I’ve returned very much more into performing and to making some siftings as I call it and in my series of works I Am an Archive which was set in [0:37:07] [Inaudible] when we were negotiating our sale of our archive to the Tate because they’ve never bought – I’ve figured this out this morning…

Speaker 1: It is actually really…

Speaker 6: Is this relevant?

Speaker 1: Yes, definitely I mean I think it’s interesting personally. You guys find it interesting but I also think it’s interesting in the context of [0:37:30] [Inaudible] project as well.

Speaker 6: That’s why I say stop me and then journey on to what…

Speaker 1: We need to know I mean, I need to know the facts. Basically of course the way I would see it to put it in like two sentences is that we’re interested life sustaining environments for art which I’m not – which is substantially different than in the mainstream offer with its alienating and rarifying structures and devices and I think this is exactly of course what you’ve pioneered in the 1960’s and mid-60’s whereby taking artists and really arresting them away from a logic of respect and dictatorship and object production and offers and so on and then placing them in a totally different context.

 But if I understand correctly to go back to your story it almost started as a student placement…

Speaker 6: No, although…

Speaker 2: Maybe because you were talking about the university complex or…

Speaker 6: Oh you mean the – because I’m in and being in at Central St. Martins?

Speaker 1: Yeah I’m curious.

Speaker 6: That’s an interesting point that you’ve made though, I haven’t thought of it in terms of students because they were the particular artists that we were working with you know, that we were a part of and yes it was students, I haven’t thought about that. But the point was they did have – each of them had broken the boundaries of their particular form of expression like David [0:38:53] [Inaudible] video, Jeffrey Shaw with “Inflatables” and structures like hues that started the Venice structure which is a search group in Holland; Anthony went on to Carlsworg and magnificent at that. Yes they were the students at Central St. Martins where Anthony Caro was the boss guy but there were these people who would cross the structures, who were breaking the boundaries with other forms of expression and we were doing all sorts of events and happenings even with Yoko Ono and Dhal and things like that in the streets prior to APG. But then when I had Filiou and people there and then went back to St. Martins and started to talk to the students like Robert and George and people like that, the people that I’ve asked, “What would you be doing after college?” you know and things like that.

 SO yes it was, it was the first time I’ve thought of it as students because I’ve also been part of that group as – with the artists that are doing it you know, it’s interesting you’ve pulled me up – we were students.


Speaker 1: What seemed like an interesting ploy or strategy because it would be hard to find money for Incidental Person as artist but you know, what are you going to do with art students, what are you going to do with your degree in art?

Speaker 6: Well that was my questioning…

Speaker 1: The placement scheme is kind of an interesting…

Speaker 6: That was my questions to – at Central St. Martins where Frank Martin, head of sculpture got me to ask questions – of being able to draw from people then – how do you see yourself afterwards school, where do you see it and when you think now of the expectances of students coming out of those schools and things like that? You know, we’ve got our careers, we’ve got our agents, we’ve got our shows something that is very difficult then.

Speaker 1: Who was placed? Were you placed? I know John Latham was.

Speaker 6: John Latham, Jeffrey Shaw, David Hall, Stuart Brisley, Ian Breakwell, Anna Ridley and me in a funny sort of way – me in a funny sort of way. I mean yeah I did a very recent placement. When I say recent you know, like it might have been in 2000 or something because I’m so busy doing it. And there again my sort of identity which in my own work, I Am An Archive; I’m pulling out what was it that I actually did and you know, what were the component parts of my practice so to speak.

Speaker 1: In the video we have here you are obviously playing a very key…

Speaker 6: Well this is – apparently I was very good at this. I didn’t know – oh that’s a big fat minus with union, I fell short in the union – now this was from the 70’s. And the questions if you hear it, the questions of Stuart was just saying, “Well I don’t care if I’m an artist” and something, something you know and all of that’s the same. Then you get Tony Benn who’s our very prominent statesman who is our Minister of Technology in the middle clip which is also on this video where he talks about where two disciplines meet together and how it fuses and does some other things. And so all these were – it’s like right now you know…

Speaker 1: What did you do to placements?

Speaker 6: Placements were – the first industrial placements – the first important placement, industrial placement was with British Steel and I’m very pleased that we took a social one that was quite obviously with the Ministry of Sculptures. [0:42:42] [Inaudible] I’m very pleased to say is going to be tomorrow here with Julie Martin from Experiments in Martin technology and we’re going to talk together about the difference between art and technology and APG which would be roughly about the same time which has much more to do with fabricating and engineers and others much more with social – well he took it to the social level for the first time using the Artist Placement Concept. And I have done a recording with Garth which we can bring tomorrow as well but the interesting thing about the Steel Corporation Fellowship was that I did a bit of a – well it’s not called a search but it’s never called a search then – to find out that the British Steel Corporation had a fellowship for meteorologists and sociologists and I said, “Well why not have an artist”. So they immediately thought that we were going to have all these student sculptures and so okay we’ll have a few student sculptures.

 And actually Garth had been working in a fiber glass which was very prevalent with St. Martin’s school of Art at that time. And so when they took it, they were really, really pleased with what he’s done and then they gave him another two years. He made the ports and he talked to the apprentices and…

Speaker 1: So it’s really about talking, it wasn’t really about making objects.

Speaker 6: He also made objects and other artists also made objects where it was kind of necessary to do so, but they were really…

Speaker 1: Why was it necessary?

Speaker 6: Sometimes because why were they an artist? Didn’t they make things? You know I remember Stuart Brisley say, he was talking to all the…

Speaker 1: To reassure expectations that it actually was art?

Speaker 6: Yes you can put it that way – I can do this as well but I’m actually doing this as well. I mean these occurred lots of times like with George Levantis who was an artist who went to sea and negotiated that he went with ocean fleets and a cargo ship and a liner and what was the other one – cargo ship, liner – there were three types – a passenger ship and I had to negotiate the budget in Liverpool with the ocean fleets.


 And they had sort of artists on board to sort of help well way at that time to do painting at sea or something. George Levantis would be swinging from the side of the cargo ship, chipping off the paint and everything went unto his trollies along with the rest of the – talking about art. And they would be saying, “George, how do you, you know – what are you going to do with your painting and what’s this guy Picasso – you seem to be more ahead of Picasso” and that you know and so it was about talking. But it was also about bringing a different perspective, a discipline to a completely different context, a bi-context – that means all the component parts of the context. That means the people, the orientation of the hosting organization and words are interjected too as well.

Speaker 1: It’s like a double autonomy here in the sense that in one hand an artist was placed, it’s completely autonomized from the world economy because their salary depend on – the reputational economy disappears when you’re on a boat. But at the same time there seems to be an existence…

Speaker 6: But they weren’t paid…

Speaker 1: They all – Latham’s writings, the idea that the artist maintain a certain fundamental autonomy, autonomy of art…

Speaker 6: This was the thing that was negotiated in an association, with any hosting association and that you kept all the way through you know, compromises and what sort of happens or something but that was that there should be no project, work or idea until something developed between the artist and the hosting organization. And the hosting organization would take on this concept and by invitation and through I say the word, “trust” was required and they would be taken on for this period of time in a feasibility period and then after that feasibility period if nothing happened then you could spit it out again and nothing would happen. But if they can make a proposal that would be relevant to go forward, and I use to say and I’ve quoted this before and you’ve heard this all this morning or today or this afternoon – I’d say that that was the biggest achievement was to get the capitalist structure to pay for not knowing. Because they took on the artist on the strength of one does not see things and on what they’ve actually done and what they were capable of. And also they chose these artists out of few people that we’ve put forward and it will be the strength of their personalities and also the artists, all IP’s or whatever would have to respond to the context. They would not have to arrive with a preconceived idea of what they would do, that was absolutely lock on.

Speaker 1: I mean to put it in really contemporary terms; you could say that these artists were using their placements as places of artistic residency…

Speaker 6: How dare you [Laughter].

Speaker 1: Of production and exhibition in a sense that they would arrive with their artistic competence and incompetence, without a preconceived idea and they would take advantage of the I don’t know, the dialogical structure of their colleagues in the place, in the context itself – the context of being at least half the...

Speaker 6: Work.

Speaker 1: The work and not really imagine – the reason I said contemporary because that’s really imaginable in a kind of post-artist environment but in the 1960’s that was the height of Freudism, when in fact…

Speaker 6: Freudism.

Speaker 1: Well I mean it was a very…

Speaker 6: I’m not an academic but I do know these people but I don’t quite – I don’t link the relationship…

Speaker 1: Yeah it was kind of an object-production based economy and not artist economy.

Speaker 6: Yes, absolutely you are completely right. One of the things was the whole notion of bringing something back and then putting on an exhibition was not something – they were so – I could say genuinely all of us was so gripped by the excitement of the new context and the exchanges and where it was working so well that our representatives in the host organization. And for instance in ICI, I would say one of our most successful drop-outs was the marketing manager of ICI Fibres who was so keen on the idea that he dropped out of ICI and started to take a local university course and we’ve known him ever since and he speaks in universities. And strange enough on that particular one ICI the artist was rather traditional where he was holding his artist cloak so to speak.


 And therefore he didn’t engage so much with the employees and the managers and with everything and the ICI marketing director who came with us to join us in some of these pictures and everything and he spoke on behalf of ICI. And he was in a way the person who was infected by the brief and said the plan is not doing it. And you know so sometimes it was the other side that was sort of being the success and winnings so to speak. I don’t know, I might not be answering your questions, so push me back.

Speaker 1: My questions may not be the right questions either but I mean at that time how did you see this? Did you see this as a way of replacing the mainstream art org in fact I had a promising future if only artists could get out into the – I don’t know, the economic and social mechanisms of the society.

Speaker 6: But I supposed art and economics have been put on – if one looks carefully into the catalog and you see the tampering done by John Latham mainly conspicuously – but the other artists you know like Jeffrey Shaw and the other ones in their various ways and very differently – they were saying you know, if you have 50 – I mean John did that sort of thing which was a negative loss of courage. Which virtually said if you have 50 IP’s – well he was calling them IP’s all the time and other people were calling them IP’s and not Incidental Persons – to something and you get this value or this value and was sort of a negative or plus value all the way. So virtually say, yeah have one of these specialists and one of these types bearing the developed sense of making and listening and non-verbal media skills with the exception project and have these people associated with these structures, something else could happen. And I think that that was – and I’m thinking how can we get burned in the art world or even in something like – I really don’t think that we had that much premises. And that was one of the main reasons why the Arts Council was so pissed off with us.

 They were like, we’re thinking of 2005 and you know you’ve only had 10 placements. You know I said in this piece here that the amount that they got and the amount you know, the exchange of everything was ridiculous on what they talked about.

Speaker 7: Barbara would you want to say something about that Art and Economics because…

Speaker 6: Oh yes, yeah so you must pull me on to think because I’d go like this. Well Art and Economics was an exhibition we had at the Hayward Gallery of which this old piece here is from 1970-71 which was the time of the Hayward Gallery and Art and Economics was an exhibition in time – this has been printed out so you can read it after. But it was an exhibition in time which was of two years of talk for us to get those particular placements which was the heavy industry and some of the other ones like Helium, Seckers and people like that to get them to be able to get a result and by result it could have been a report or a process or whatever it was and that was then put into the Hayward Gallery. And I went to talk to Arnold Goodman who was the chairman of the Arts Council and Secretary General [0:54:07] [Inaudible] who was a great little guy too. And I said can we have the Hayward Gallery to demonstrate our placements with these industries…

Speaker 1: So you used gallery spaces as meeting areas?

Speaker 6: What we did was first of all we had to get the placements; we had to get the industries to say that they would be committed to having placements along these lines. We still didn’t quite know when I was doing the negotiations with the Hayward Gallery because it was a major venue of the Arts Council, it was one their biggest buildings in the south bank. So I had to say, “Well look, this is all written in here” I have to say, “Well we’ve got this and this industry and this industry, you think we can get so and so” otherwise they would not listen to us. And he said well do you want the Hayward Gallery and this is Lord Goodman who is the chairman of Arts Council – and I said, “Yes”, and he said, “Ambitious, but I’m sure we can do it with a wheelbarrow overnight” so I use this metaphor in my latest performances of the wheelbarrow overnight in all my diaries in my two years in the talk to actually get that.


 And then – so we put on this exhibition which had Garth Evans with British Steel and he had all these pieces of steel that he had from Port Talbot which he moved around and shifted. We had the side of the steel – HR side of the steel making process and we were hoping to pipe it in but we couldn’t get it across the Thames so we had to record it from Port Talbot. And it was absolutely deafening and everybody was like, oh god you can’t even get it to Hayward Gallery because there was so much noise and we had John Latham’s smashed up car because John Latham had a near fatal crash with all his x-rays and [0:56:02] [Inaudible]. And that was John’s placement with the south wing as intensive care unit hospital…

Speaker 1: And then it worked in turn…

Speaker 6: And it worked yeah, of course John was…

Speaker 1: Yeah I never even realized that.

Speaker 6: Oh no, absolutely and here he was at Hayward Gallery and then he smashed himself…

Speaker 2: I was going to ask you actually about how direct and easily instrumentalized to make these placements – industrial placements where and it seems like there is a lot of play going on in there like yeah, I mean you were commissioned by a hospital to happen there…

Speaker 6: No, no, no that’s a John Latham because the British Steel and Hillie and British Airways with David Hall where he flew over to go under cloud formations and all the industries that Art and Economics. Their representatives came to their show and had these discussions in our sculpture which was the boardroom. So we had British Airways reading up and saying, “Oh do you want me to make a speech or something” and I said, “No ma’am” and I was in the bath at that time and I said, no we just would like you to come and discuss how it was for you and things like that. So all of them with the exception of John Latham which of course when he had this accident – were very much the placements that were directed and negotiated in the time span of two years – anything from three months to two years with the length of the placements that were done in the industry.

Speaker 8: In this industry but on the other hand Latham also did a placement as a relatively high civil servant at the Scottish…

Speaker 6: That was after the Art and Economics, because after Art and Economics we had this huge sort of close down and I said okay, if that’s the case I’m going to go to the government and…

Speaker 8: Okay, this is actually really helpful, I hope this is easily accessible somewhere but I’ve really – we’ve talked like a day in the past like I still don’t know a lot of these stuff. So I was curious where government bodies came into this as well. Because there was an industry and there was – I want to say NGO’s but that wasn’t really the case…

Speaker 6: No, no but there are NGO’s that are very much more prevalent now than they were so there was art and industry. So in that area of decision making process where institutions are controlling you know…

Speaker 1: So you were able to negotiate that actually artists would take their place in decision making?

Speaker 6: Yes and because in Germany for instance where I haven’t done my German work yet, I would have to pick that up – the minister for Education and Science he was just a fantastic guy – Reimut Jochimsen and he was Minister for Education and Science and he actually stipulated that artist’s activity had relevance to government work which we negotiated with our civil servants and he translated it to German and out it on. But after the Hayward Gallery thing I asked Lord Goodman because we were sort of closed down like this – to write a letter to the Civil Service Department to say that we’ve done good work in industry, and how about the government? And so they wrote this letter with my instructions there. And so this letter went off and then nothing happened as usual because artists dropped it into wastepaper baskets and what good government would do that – so Latham said could we try it again and he said, “Where did you send this to, who were the people?” Then I followed up each of the people they’ve sent it to and then talked to them and some of them were the lucky people that you need to meet like you know the link person in the Department of Environment because they do have Scottish Office environment do have something and also Tony Benn, our wonderful socialist statesman…


Speaker 1: Formerly Sir Anthony…

Speaker 6: Sir Anthony who gave up his title to be Tony Benn and I’ve got my thing about Tony Benn being here in the archive and he said, look I think this is really great I mean you saw in my Tony Benn clip. And then he introduced me to Barbara Castle who was head of Health and Social Policy and we had Ian Breakwell and Hugh Davies who was a musician and had people in Stockholm in the Department of Health and they had a long project there which went into age consulting and which went into board or rent in hospitals that they were reviewing at that time. And so three people like Tony Benn through writing this letter and then going after them and finding out who the people were and guided Scottish off themselves and it landed with – was it head of – I can’t remember – I’ve got all these on my Scottish work, you have to watch it though.

Speaker 5: From the way you are describing it now I see very much that you were playing a very active role in initiating kind of doing follow-up phone call for example and where there other people who were equally involved on that level?

Speaker 6: Oh you mean in the follow-up and in the push through and everything…

Speaker 5: Well just in general I mean I see – the picture that I’m getting is that you’re very much – and this is also from what I’ve read about APG – was you were playing this role of initiating and finding and meeting these contacts and then I’d imagine that you were kind of negotiating those institutions and artists and just at some point the artist and the hosting institution. But so were there other people who were equally involved in that same role that you played in mediating and facilitating…

Speaker 6: I think with the whole – No, those initial ones but as soon as there was a sort of – I mean John played a lot of support because you know I’m not an academic I mean he had big over – you know I always consult with him. Sometimes it would be good if he came and sometimes it would be really bad if he came because he could really fire up things. You could go in and there’s one entry and you know which is just doing terribly well and then one entry that doesn’t – he’d be out in the way. But once…

Speaker 1: Would you mean that there’s a fair amount of duplicity involved in negotiating these things?

Speaker 6: What’s duplicity?

Speaker 1: I mean a fair amount of like…

Speaker 5: That’s it, you do have this – because there’s this – because you have those institutions there is this…

Speaker 2: Not entirely forthright is what…

Speaker 5: But then there is a fine line between hospitality and when it becomes hostility. And so I was wondering also about that because we – it’s often times that you’ve had success cases but then you might be labeled as controversial or sensationalists you know explosions. And I’m also wondering about the failures which are also interesting…

Speaker 6: Well the failures where yeah I mean the failures – there were failures along the way. You know when the artists were really sort of doing you know like were well into it and with Ian Breakwell with the Department of Social Security for instance – the teams, the architects that he was working with for Broadmoor and Rampton. They got really ratty about the publicity that could come around Ian as an artist and his sort of his you know, his cloak of being an artist was very different to all of them, why should it be so special and everything. And you know I have to – No, I probably shouldn’t say this – well you might as well just crop this. Is anything scrapable or is it all escapable?

Speaker 1: Everything is scrapable.

Speaker 2: It is although I have to say there’s probably about 60 people listening so if you don’t want people to hear I can definitely clip it from the audio.

Speaker 6: No I’m just sort of thinking about the personality of the people – no I mean there were times where the artist really rub people the wrong way, they’d come back to the APG and they’d say, “Look, why is he having all of these sort of publicity and everything” and you know I have to say that do we have to use the first person – singular on every line Mr. Breakwell.


 But I don’t you know, I’m fairly aware of the amount of [1:05:28] [Inaudible]. Ian was the most – I mean he was a marvelous artist he got really so much to happen and be done and he was – and in the Tate we have his – in the Tate archive when I was doing I Am An Archive and Adrian Glew who is head of the Archives and the Tate opened up at the end of my [1:05:50] [Inaudible] to welcome to APG world but we had all the banners out when we had that and all that stuff. Felicity Breakwell was his partner because Ian has died unfortunately and she read the report that he got out about how the report was deliberately suppressed on his suggestions for the development of Broadmoor and Rampton hospitals but you know he was fantastic. I mean I’m just saying it’s very difficult to being an artist because they had all these sort of hyper thing around them and better to be pointed out. Like the artists that went to see Esso Petroleum who put on two and a half stone I was told.

 The petty officer said, "What we don't really like was he was eating so much and look at that lot of weight he has put on" then I said, well he's eaten for weeks I would say. Well he had had appendix before he went on, I was told to shut up and not move and not leap in defense of the artist. But I think of the ones that did these pioneering placements – these were not failures, they were learning situations and I would consider their use as collateral for youth, for future engagements. Plus the methodology, plus the sublime view – is a big resource and that's what they would want from here.

Speaker 7: A little bit of follow-up on that question, at what point did you – it sound like you went from – you've played multiple roles in this story - one of a partner, one of a mediator, one of a negotiator and I think there's a few more up until possibly an artist now…

Speaker 6: Yes I've returned to being an artist; I suppose it was just before we were selling Archive to the Tate. I was beginning to do performances with my banners of which I did a thing in Berlin called Product & Vision where a banner which was made from the treaty that we negotiated with the government which was really the Civil Service Memorandum which we called, "The Treaty" and I had it translated into Russian. And because I was invited by the Artists Union in St. Petersburg to go and talk to them and open an exhibition called [1:08:46] [Inaudible] which was all about consumers and everything. So I made this banner out of using the pieces from the Civil Service Memorandum then translate them into Russian and getting the artists to – invite an artist to write ingredients and method and everything and in colored Bouche and the dye would come back again in several years time and see whether we've cooked what we have done with our government, could they cook it with some of their thoughts in schools in very different situations and that was sent to an exhibition, the banner and it came back of course in a crate. So I then went to Berlin and did a performance about value which was the concept – not valuable – but when it came back in the crate in a box , it was not edible it was an object and so I did performances around this and I've just been doing it with my wheelbarrow and all the things…

Speaker 7: About a few things that you brought – I mean if it's okay…

Speaker 6: Okay please do.

Speaker 7: I get very quick – how long was your – I simply just want to – about your stats as an artist – consider all of your work from this time to the – what you think would be more easier to describe as tour that's practiced today, or would it be more difficult to describe it that way at that time? Not that it relates to your performance – what you call performance – all of your negotiating, organizing and that sort of thing – would it be more difficult for most of us now to really understand that within an artist's practice?

Speaker 6: Yes.


Speaker 7: But when I say most of us, I don’t want to make any blank assumptions but just I'm guessing because people are coming here to Apex to try to hear you speak that thing, I don't know. Maybe like self-selective enough to be able to understand those kinds of activities within the range of artists about this practice, or this thing may have been more difficult then – I was just kind of curious about that because I think only a certain part of a lot of what you've described did you really identified yourself as an artist…

Speaker 6: I have been long time identified myself, I actually sorry if I have interrupted you – I actually only came out one was Me, which was in 1977 when I was in Germany when I changed you know, I used my name Barbara Steveni as something since I was Barbara Steveni which was my maiden name rather than Barbara Latham. Just also hiding behind APG's sort of letters, not necessarily meaning to hide behind them but just not noticing that I was…

Speaker 7: The kind of like the student in a four year…

Speaker 6: Yeah for my practice and my energy and my – whatever it was. And so in more recent time I'm seeing my journey like my actual journey; as my art journey, as my assemblage so I've come much more into a recognition time often what I was doing I guess.

Speaker 5: Do you – I'm trying to figure out when I say this word it doesn't seem quite so reductionist but the question that comes to my mind is what are the gender difference that you were able to reacted and speak on behalf of like you say in the APG and whether that's easy for example to be active because you were speaking on behalf of others. Whereas that thing traditionally there are roles that is not done by for example not women, then it's something that you know I noticed or I'm interested when women find it easier to speak or to act as an agent behind another – kind of whether you've tied it tight enough how you've factored in the environment or whether they've have chose to adapt to that influence…

Speaker 6: I think I was so busy doing and being very excited by the doing and getting that action to happen that I haven't looked at that time. I may began looking at what it was and what I was doing and seeing it in relation to you know my assemblage work which I was doing in the late 60's and 70's and you know my time at task and everything. So I was busy doing and I only looked later and began to reflect too late, I did not notice any difference that's of – it as an artist, as a journey and I think in doing my – these works and these sculptures that I'm pulling out that aspect of it as well. But that's for – this is us going up on the babies in Scotland.

 This was as much for looking at generation or change of recognition of gender and what was going on at that time. I mean it's just only very, very recently and actually through Anthony being working at Flat Time House which is John's ex studio which is being made into a research center but also I invited Anthony to be on some Westminster works and my Scottish works that this has come into my practices to – they were looking at the whole journey and at what time I noticed myself being an artist or something. Although you know Chelsea I was that artist and I was making things; yes Anthony Caro saw my assemblage and yes he knew and so I've had different points of recognition maybe of myself.


Speaker 1: I think I'd come back to what you actually did and what you thought the effect might be and what the effect actually was. There's an interesting parallel to be drawn I think between the movement of much more politically motivated movement of [1:15:40] [Inaudible] in the late 1960's. Pertaining in the wake of May 1968 in the student union uprisings at that time is that young Marxist would go into the labor force, they would go and deliberately seeking appointment as manual laborers on an assembly line. And it was for two reasons in Marxist discourse is that one, so they would learn the true reality of what it was like to be a worker right, it was like a projection about it and secondly of course it was to teach people whose experience really was really as a worker. Some of the intricacies of Marxist theories were that they would be better equip to emancipate themselves.

Speaker 6: That is interesting.

Speaker 2: And also to steal from – to commit small petty acts of theft.

Speaker 1: And sometimes I mean…

Speaker 6: You mean you actually go into destroying…

Speaker 1: And to sabotage.

Speaker 2: Not necessarily on a large scale but as a part of a process.

Speaker 1: Sabotage was a long part of the labor movement; it didn't require any Marxist student intellectuals to take place. In fact labor emancipation never required this actual talk but it did take place and they can see that there were placements. They called them – they would establish themselves but there was also a certain amount of duplicity involved. In other words they weren't completely upfront about what they were doing. The feeling was that they were not when they actually, effectively use their tools or their skills to achieve social emancipation and so on. So I mean there's a kind of parallel with what you're doing but that was a predictably non-autonomous way of acting, in fact there's almost a slavish commitment to a very specific time and therefore it didn't really go anywhere. So I'm understanding I mean how are you…

Speaker 6: Politically…

Speaker 1: It came out of the same kind of ethos in the 1960's…

Speaker 6: It came – it did came out of the ethos, there was an artist union at that time which you would have started easily talked about in the original you know, 1970's you know own tape. I mean John Latham in particular and I suppose me because I was accused of, "You haven't even read Marx's" desperately like this capital method but it – yeah what were we talking about. I had my line but I was just starting to get lost now – I think that the ethos that was there made another ethos but I do feel that this ethos came very specifically from a motivation of making art and context but that they are being very aware of what the context consist of and that is just the component part of the context, it means it's not a place its time, it's the ends to which the hosting organization is going. Where does it relate to the human race and the planet so to speak.

 There was sort of these concepts of what we looked at in the association and I mean we were accused a lot of both things – one of being there to destroy the system, that was one of the things that was labeled to us which might be along the lines of what you had said. But the other one was that you know we were so politically naïve we don't have doubts you know – taking the political force of the workers part of this admin but one of the points about being inside was to be able to operate at all levels of the organization and okay one can be accused of glowing up in the top level. But what was going in at a level where something could happen and then it had to be joined I mean you couldn't do anything without – when you're inside without getting the trust – I call it trust rather than agreement of the workforce whether it be a manager level or whether it be at the employment level you know you have to get that going otherwise nothing was going to happen. So I don't even know if what are those things.


Speaker 2: Yeah I mean one of the interesting things is really the explosion of what some people have called organizational art or practice that – rather practices that you know, we're artist sort of cultural, we're cultural actors or whatever and institute themselves in these existing renovations. You know on one hand it's not all that radical, it's kind of at this point – what was I trying to say – and I have heard of people who are creating their own worlds in kind of a different way. See I think I sometimes have a hard time seeing the value in this practice which one of the things that I find fascinating about are artists who whether they are sleeping with the enemy or taking the short approach or the backdoor method if you put it or whether they're actually trying to sabotage or if they are just working with an existing structure and taking it as it is. I think its' a different way of creating a sustaining environment for creative practices especially when it becomes critical way of practice like I find that to be really exciting and interesting.


 But I think that there are some who are really having a hard time resolving themselves with one another and one is the directly I think in a really generalized idea – I'm sorry but like I can think a lot of specifics but I can't just bring them enough clearly for a second. I think often people who are working in a directly oppositional way have a hard time coming to terms with people who are working on the insides so to speak, working with existing organizations. There's kind of a flash of you know, world sort of way, this collection that is hard to reconcile sometimes, I guess I was just wondering if you had a hard time dealing with that because of so many of the artists who were involved in this art or in a pretty directly oppositional loss of time…

Speaker 6: Well I mean Stuart for instance, Gustav Metzger but a lot of them…

Speaker 1: This group was in APG?

Speaker 6: They worked in APG but for instance he was very against – when we first did I think Industrial Negative Symposium in '68 and Gustav got up and said I hate all of you sort of something – I want to burn down your factory so British Arts is going to go up in flames, it could be burned down any moment. But then Gustav was one of the people who wanted to come and have a place for later in ICI and so I mean in a way when he heard the way that we were trying to negotiate and because – no it was not ICI, it was IBM sorry – and we were…

Speaker 1: So you got elected to their…

Speaker 6: Well we were proposing it when we were negotiating it with IBM and IBM said produce this paradox – I don't know if I'm getting it right with what – if you're doing what they think you're doing, we wouldn't have you anywhere near us. And if you're not doing that there's no point in having it – a terrific paradox. It was a rather good paradox but I just remembered on that one.

Speaker 7: Do you like – when you enter into an organization I think there's a risk now in it's history but it seems to kind of figure out or stop in a way with your realization of who you were in the late 70's and today where there seems to be this missing history which is the 80's or the 90's. And that was something else, that was a way of life, an organization and eventually …

Speaker 6: Yes I know that's quite true, we broke this out again – this is why the whole idea of that they could be…

Speaker 2: I'm sorry, can you rephrase that question again for a moment, I was going to try to but…

Speaker 6: There's a gap here between the history and…

Speaker 1: Yeah 20 years basically.

Speaker 6: 20 years that's…

Speaker 2: There was this anger in the years between the 80's and the 90's…

Speaker 6: They're fucking awful…

Speaker 2: Soon after the 70's in this vein of APG, there comes something else…


Speaker 6: Yes we had to get this – we had to change the name from Artist Placement to another name because the Arts Administration and Authorities were going to do their placements weren't they and things were not under the same – they were not under the motivation and the brief that we set up with APG so we changed the name to Organization and Imagination which was also from nothing to finding out and from O+I. So we did that and under that when they sort first of approaches to the government again and also when we did some oversees placement and stuff but when the late about government came in I thought oh wow great – and we got socialist work again – and but of course they hit the ground running and they really didn’t need to know about artists in that way because it had all to do with celebrities and things like that.

 So that took a lot of energy and time so in doing that but now it seems that especially using the events like the selling of the archive and the TATE, the school and the archive that took a lot of courage thinking both in government interest and everything again and we also did some educational projects in that meantime. And so it was the end of our labor which was the end of London Education Authority and the education projects and schools which were not artisan schools and had to look at policy of the changed curriculum. And we did those, we just wanted to work something good.

Speaker 2: I think it's important to look at the successes and look at the failures as well because ultimately – it's actually hard to say once it's in that state currently but many of us working – we don't have so much history as we are working today…

Speaker 6: I really wanted to you know have some more time on your working today lessons and all that you know – all that I haven't got that…

Speaker 1: I had the sense that you might feel that we're reinventing the wheel in a certain sense, you know what I mean. Debates that which got really clearly summed up – those are things that you were confronting I don’t know before we were born and in certain sense so it was kind of disappointments to – I kind of wonder how do you – do you think things have moved on or do you think they've just sort of repeated themselves?

Speaker 6: Well we have a different time, we have a different context to do these things and I think that APG's history and also it's method is very appropriate to be used and to be used as collateral and I think it is terribly encouraging to hear like in this show different ways people are working and that it is possible to look again and see whether one can one use the methodology and the experience – all the successes and the failures. I mean I've just been talking to Robert about the ones that worked and everything I mean what didn't work are sort of in the archives of the TATE that we didn't get that far from these other reasons and I use these in my performances where I have to arrive at a [1:28:50] [Inaudible] keep them in the grow backs to grow again spores and I mean that's – but I think that it's not reinventing the wheel, although somebody did say that the worse in the world of Arts, somebody was sitting next to Nixon as he wrote – and so director of the TATE gallery and he said, "What we need is a contemporary APG" I thought it felt when I was told that that there is a contemporary APG but it's how it – what is appropriate to do and that’s why we were looking at often economics too.

 What would the issues be, what would the motivation be, how strong will it be and they wouldn't be just government and industry – they would be the issues, they would be the issues of the day and that is really what we're looking at and seeing whether it's possible you know from people like you.

Speaker 2: Absolutely you were talking about the [1:29:45] [Inaudible] project earlier – I want to find out more about that like just at least the little – but you did talk about that – I get the sense that it was somehow translated what you all have done in one context into another context and other people were kind of testing that out somewhere. And I think time plays a factor too I mean it really hasn't been all that long in the sense like we have now an academic almost discipline like there's different discipline organizational studies and – I wouldn't say the frightening thing but the thing that makes me feel – that's much more difficult for artists to not necessarily escape but just to not as easily be instrumentalized by the…


Speaker 6: That’s the fear isn't it the institutionalization, the bureaucracy eroding the artist…

Speaker 1: I think it's more than that, I think it's the economy. We live in a area of creative capitalism in the sense that we're creatives – not artists necessarily but creative types are hijacked and harnessed and yoked to the wheel of production…

Speaker 2: And willingly as well…

Speaker 1: Absolutely.

Speaker 6: As you say they expect them to – oh I see that’s' the funding stream or whatever you know.

Speaker 2: It's a hard time now because on one hand you need to do a certain – you need to play a certain ball or whatever right to get to actually do the kind of practice where you have something for yourself in some way into existing organization. You know you can't come in there with Molotov cocktail, you have to – right, right exactly…

Speaker 6: What did you say?

Speaker 2: Now that sounds like a porno or something, hello? Anyways just that like – I don't know where that came from but one hand you know, you have to have a certain amount of integration and acceptance of playing a game that you're not necessarily fond of in order to get somewhere with it. Because you're actually – you're not a secessionist, you are – this type of practice is a negotiation but strong negotiations.

Speaker 6: Strong negotiations.

Speaker 2: The hard thing is like how do you actually have not to like have all these laying metaphors but you know the cards in your hand that you can actually play so you can be a strong negotiator now when organizations are – I wouldn't want to pretend that oh this was back before any company knew about advertizing, they weren't all that savvy. I realized they were savvy but this is like really savvy now, especially along these lines. Yeah and like specifically it's like you actually – when you go to business when you're trained basically on how to properly use artists…

Speaker 6: Exactly, exactly…

Speaker 2: So yeah I think we're up against something kind of different now…

Speaker 6: Yes that is what one is up against and in a way we've helped create it you know and but the business of questioning the motivation and finding an echo of people and stuff in it I mean that's almost out of skill in negotiation. All I can say is let's use what we managed to do in whatever way, see whether that could be used as an example like this is what happened other than seeing it would be different in this context and in this time but this is the approach that managed to make…

Speaker 1: But really the knots and bolts I mean, in those negotiations where you learning things, I mean was it really I think trying to – who would pick these guys, these leaders the captains of industry – are they letting artists into their workplaces? Or was it really like also you were learning something from them or was it a cyclical process…

Speaker 6: I do think that we were learning something from them I mean when I say learning was learning their world and also learning about – that was an interesting thing I'd like to – learning about the individuals in organizations who – and they are relative attachment to the job and then to themselves as individuals and you really begin to feel that in the pressures in the stuff so when we did the catalogue with the Times Business Forum – I think one of the things you know the more that my job is worth, the more of sort of you know and where that could in some way – oh god, I'm sounding so ridiculous – it was where you could win out and then the exchange and where the exchange began to fuse.


 And It's short at times but I've always been an optimist and this also been taken cared of and I – is that I feel at this time where you know the economy has shown itself to be more of a tease where the planet and the human race is certainly tough to be what it is. That there is something to be worked on here that is worthwhile of which this could be utilized in some way and I think after Economics II however were developed could be a really interesting worthwhile I think to throw out.

Speaker 1: How do you feel about the term like the embedded artist? This is a term I've heard…

Speaker 6: Embedded in what?

Speaker 1: You know it's very…

Speaker 6: I haven't heard of that term.

Speaker 1: Well it was a term that I first heard from the Swiss artist and I suppose embedded artist Ursula Biemann who considers herself to be an embedded artist. Basically she considers herself to be a secret agent…

Speaker 6: Oh my god, oh no near…

Speaker 1: And you know the embedded journalists are these guys – well not only guys I mean people – who…

Speaker 6: You mean investigating…

Speaker 1: The company troops for example in Afghanistan or in any part wherever they are deployed, and they dress up – they wear the same gear as the soldiers and do the same – they sleep under the same trees and they march on the same…

Speaker 2: Action research or…

Speaker 1: And basically they expose themselves to the same risks because you would report back into the front line so these are called embedded journalists and of course it has been taken out after some extent by the – by an artist. So if I'm going to do that I'm going to be an embedded artist and I'm going to go with a group of archeologists or a group of anthropologists or a group of whatever and – except that I'm going to bring my particular lens – and I don’t mean the camera – I mean focusing device for example. Do you find that a troubling term or do you think that’s' an interesting – like pursuing something if you have….

Speaker 6: I mean that’s another way of – rather around a similar way of pursuing such an action. It's the question of the motivation at that time like where's the motivation going on in that and what is it's effect on asking that question of the effect of the impact of themselves…

Speaker 7: That’s' interesting the effect I mean the way the embedded person is speaking through a consistency outside that is watching or expecting or waiting for someone for resolved. I think that's where we differentiate APG and that you didn’t seem to be going into the frontlines knowing that at the other hand on the flight on your return trip you would be eager to read or listen or see what you will be producing I think – I mean your absence in that return trip seems to be decisive and you weren't speaking for anybody back home. Your home seems to have dissolved…

Speaker 6: That's an interesting thing is that's yes, yes…

Speaker 8: In a way we're sort of more excited, there is definitely the feeling that there is a safety – there is a public out there and that is safe watching this from their homes with museum which can see this in the safety and so they will appreciate that risk taking. But here the risk taking was shared with the duo who would go and have to follow that…

Speaker 1: I totally agree, it's a very different paradigm actually. I think embedded artists almost presupposes that you've taken a conventional exhibition practice and the gathering for that into a unusual production context. But I think the APG did something already, actually that’s why rather glibly but nevertheless – but I wasn't even suspicious, when I said in fact it was conceived as a place of residency, production and exhibition because the entire art – I guess this leads to a question. This leads to a question like the title of Marissa's book – did this lead to exhibiting by products? Did the placements lead to producing art objects in an inverted plate which is dry clean and might – you know we've seen a bit of conceptual art right? Things that just happened to be produced along the way and they ended up being the finality…

Speaker 6: They didn't have to be at all, I think the fact that Hayward Gallery or the fact that like what you said embedded back into the art world and you that's some description of that Incidental Person thing – the fact that we did that and that it was down didn't seem to be and certainly wasn't the motivation. The motivation was making the work whether it was published or put back into a gallery or something somewhere, somewhat.


 And I think in doing the Hayward show for instance it was a demonstration and a questioning of value of what would be possible of new forms of association that would be new forms of art. I don't know if that makes sense…

Speaker 1: We have a question – oh I'm sorry…

Speaker 5: Let's just say that I am taking an opportunity of taking out the by-product and kind of junking back to the earlier part and the early part of this conversation – I mean the word by-product to me was a curious thing that it talks about the way that that's colloquially used that the term by-products is that it's an industry or system and by-product is sometimes kind of chanced upon and it's as thing that kind of comes out of a larger system. And what I noticed in artist practices that are involved or integrated themselves into an industrial or a governmental systems is that they're – and what's interesting to me is that there's this listening like and there's this kind of reciprocally between the artist and the hosting institution. So the by-product I think to me was kind of open-ended term, I think it's really pragmatic at times when there are – there is an emphasis and a kind of pressure for the arts produced in the gallery and that it's in entirely different minds and it's like uprooted from it's context and from the people involved in the creation…

Speaker 6: That's what I mean, uprooted from it's context…

Speaker 5: Yeah and so that's kind of a negotiation or kind of negotiating or code switching on behalf of the artist if they are asked to because they are often times I think talking or asked to talk to two artists in two different audiences but…

Speaker 1: I disagree with you actually; I think it's not so much a market pressure as it is a museulogical…

Speaker 6: The museum.

Speaker 1: Blindness because these artists are some of the most favorite cases of these artists who died young for example for those who died in the 60's and in the 70's who were not represented necessarily by galleries now but its' the museums which are fetishizing and rarifying of the object...

Speaker 5: That need archival…

Speaker 1: Yeah because they have to show something because the whole physical and conceptual architecture of their space is promised upon them.

Speaker 6: Yes exactly and how also…

Speaker 1: First I'm not trying to let the market off the hook but oftentimes I think in this higher end of the value production within the art world museums are really much more – they certainly have a play of very perfidious role…

Speaker 6: Well they have to justify the government spending for – big capital spending for their actual bricks and mortar of the museums. So all these business about them threatening for access and you know educational programs and the conceptual art movement would be another part of that as well.

Speaker 5: Well I think it's even this kind of institutional logic which hasn't even – perhaps has nothing even to do with the archival quality of things but for example I have this friend who works at the MOMA here in New York and she is in the new media section – it's not the film section, it's not the sculpture section and so she has to always qualify herself, produce something or kind of contain something within it. So it's all these kind of like annoying institutional habits that can get in the way of making an archive's distinction.

Speaker 2: And it's part of their role as an institution is that let's figure it two ways – yeah exactly and kind of like to get these organization to eat their sandwiches and thank them for it, to find ways to not necessarily meet their expectations…

Speaker 1: Well we have actually a question here…

Speaker 7: And as the strength of that what you call yourselves now when you say my projects are my practices and I am not – they were saying like something similar but very different with what you're saying that my personal work is not an object, it's not a collection, it's not an institutionalized entity but it is repository, it is labeled as – I mean there is something very strong about being able to answer I Am An Archive to the institution because then we're really resisting opposition but for me that's not true.


Speaker 2: The archive is kind of a colonizing kind of way…

Speaker 6: No I'm keeping the archive beyond the Acid-Free as I've said for my thing like keeping it, by calling myself the Archive although the Archive is there you know I'm keeping it beyond the Acid-Free by action and by performing it.

Speaker 1: Anthony's was quite – I mean I had questions rather than it could be a point as well. One of the most interesting archives of conceptual art in the 60's is the [1:45:49] [Inaudible] archive from Argentina and the person the woman who is the owner of that archive or basically who has that archive is [1:46:02] [Inaudible]. And the most interesting thing about that archive is when she talks about it, well you can see the pictures and you can read the texts and it's been – but it's really when she was there when she points at it and says, oh this was when…

Speaker 6: Yes this is what I find that I was going into the archive and I said, oh did we do that and something, something it was Adrian Glew's up on here recording the archive as I speak so there's a lot of that sort of going on to actually…

Speaker 2: And he could probably just do a lot of that on Facebook, just use Facebook to archive your every move and your…

Speaker 6: I mean this is rather what's happening to my house if I've got cameras up here you know from there so that anything I'm making is you know – I'm making and I'm sifting and you know this is what the stand report about or the population is and this is what we were coming up. I mean its' a nightmare, you've got cameras coming up me all the time.

Speaker 2: So when we get to visit you basically it wouldn't be a part of your archive…

Speaker 6: Yes you won't.

Speaker 1: Okay we have a question here actually I think David I think from Post Autonomy has asked three questions now – should I read them or would David want to come on and read them yourself?

Speaker 2: If he does then I'll have to turn off the – hold on a second David…

Speaker 6: I love that.

Speaker 1: Yeah that's what he is suggesting – okay go ahead and do that okay, well actually one was a bit…

Speaker 3: I think three is the letter to him…

Speaker 2: Okay one was in the context for this was you were talking – well I'm not exactly sure the context – the context was yeah thanks – well let me just ask this question, you'll probably get a better sense than I do. Does this include a nostalgic view of the former Avant Garde scripts such as the 0+1…

Speaker 1: O + I …

Speaker 2: Oh is that what he was referring to – I thought he was talking about something else but then okay then I do get that. Yeah so does that include the nostalgic view of the former Avant Garde groups such as Organization + Imagination? I'm not sure I completely understand…

Speaker 1: You know it was in reference to the Marxist question about things becoming fetishized and becoming derivatives or by-products, standing in for the real thing and to what extent is O + I susceptible to that kind of a pitfall and to what extent is it avoided, I think this is his question. That was his first question, and the second…

Speaker 2: Maybe we should just kind of go one at a time…

Speaker 6: I don’t know what I could quite sort of part of this – perhaps Anthony can be drawn in here. Well one of the things is that we changed the name from APG for the couple of reasons given; the arts institutions were apparently doing something which was not for artist's original intention. Also as Flat Town House with John's works and theories is an active spore you might say and because I Am An Archive is the other active spore in the process of knowing or not until there's something relevant that will come out of this present thing to really – whatever it is consuming you have to keep this organization going for something and so you can consider this a spore, here is a spore so it is something else and organize in a morph stage and this is maybe this is what it's morphing into.

Speaker 2: Yeah I get the sense that…

Speaker 6: I don’t know whether that's a…

Speaker 2: It's not purely an archiving, it's just a keepsake or something.

Speaker 6: Absolutely not, it's an active living thing about practice and the relevance of practice of this type of artist engagement and you know society is not…


Speaker 1: This leads to David's second question which is more sort of deep cutting question is this: Isn't the overall question here whether there is a continued value in the Avant Garde and to extend that question the value of autonomous artists and the privilege role of the artist in shaping reality. It's true that throughout the discussion there has been a presupposition that – both a privilege and of agency. I mean not all artists have this privilege role because they can actually change reality. I think that David is wanting to question both whether artists really do shape reality and just what – is it really anything more than just a privilege to do whatever sort of top full range shenanigans that occurs to them.

Speaker 6: Well I know the word privilege hangs around the word artist and also has done. I do actually believe that art expressions do and can change things and always have done the history and when they contextualize in different places they will take an effect on their context and people that they are encroached with and this is my belief and this is what I've seen and this is what is clear I think the case. Of course by moving into these different context of meeting up against the things that are going to be a completely different sample form of what it is that this context is not going to make of this so called privileged Incidental Person con-artist or whatever.

Speaker 5: And I think the notion of the Incidental Person makes a more interesting answer is because it implies that not to assume that artist is…

Speaker 6: Not assuming that he is an artist…

Speaker 5: The work is so self contained but he needs the context and all the operational contextual place which…

Speaker 6: And also that by using perhaps that term it can apply to any person, specialists who is working using the skills of that particular you know knowledge, life development that they've been set on the course of involved in that sense. I mean it's interesting that Stuart was actually sort of saying a bit there about you know it could be anything, I don't have to be a bloody officer I guess you know it could be anything. So I do think Incidental Person however annoyed people might have been at that time and however cultish it might be on the privileged term artist could be a useful one to deploy for an expert and I will take away the word privilege because it's just kind of different set of skills.

Speaker 1: But the question is strategies did take advantage of the privilege the symbolic…

Speaker 6: Absolutely, absolutely…

Speaker 1: Like why are you able to have a strong negotiating position at times – the Ministers, the Councilors…

Speaker 6: It has been something else, I have been accused of that.

Speaker 1: Certainly on that accusation but I mean it's clear that was part of the strategy and that anyone has the right to look like a Cabinet Minister first of all to get a meeting with a Cabinet Minster and look them into their eyes and listen this is what – this, that and the other thing and be taken seriously.


Speaker 6: Yeah but as you can see as Tony Benn is saying there was no difference –we're all people and okay some managed to get to Tony Benn because he lived up the road you know. So you wouldn't bump into him in the station but you meet whoever they are whether they are cabinet ministers or steel workers or apprentices or something as he says on that thing they are all people and that's somehow this – you're carrying your skill – also I'm messing about John…

Speaker 1: I think you're right you know if we are talking about competency and about the privilege state sans the artist that I figured I'm kind of curious to hear what he was saying…

Speaker 5: I probably thought Avant Garde…

Speaker 1: No I just felt you were sort of back paddling your efforts because you may have been going up force but I kind of found the connection…

Speaker 6: No I mean I do feel very strongly and I know I don't have to say I feel strongly I mean it is recognized throughout history about the artist and the part of being able to change something because of a recognition or fusion in another off of something that they feel is the truth about the human race or something like that. Is all I'm saying is bring another specialist and it's not a privilege and maybe we could use the term Incidental Person, I'm just saying really this other one being and fight back the capitalist structure on which will use artist – you know use oh we’ve got the artist now or something in whatever way.

 But it's a different fight and we have to do but it's a very good fight that we can use as stuff to fight with.

Speaker 7: Maybe in all it's existence we use of the first part of the Incidental which is the incident…

Speaker 6: The Incident.

Speaker 7: And I think that it is also this strategy would affect me – help you with a fighting chance you know there's definitely a sense you were creating a structure or organization or strategy that allows the chance and allows your…

Speaker 6: It has to allow for chance and it has to allow for risks and all – everybody knows that if you – if this is not allowed to take place well nothing can change and also you know I find it partly interesting talking with the civil service and management place – oh you know they all know all about these things about managing risk bar. We'd get the download about managing risks but the whole point about it was that they wouldn’t risk managing risk you know so maybe that's another interaction there.

Speaker 1: To rift a little bit on that question that a subject in question has been asked – one of the points of so called relation aesthetics have been most sort of…

Speaker 6: Is that Claire?

Speaker 1: Directly criticized is for making these sort of floorings out of the art world per se into the life or other life worlds. But not really to do anything of substance there but really to sort of behave in a really colonial fashion. In other words to colonize those life worlds and then to repatriate the objects or the artifacts really that would have been gleamed in this process back into the art world for the greater glorification of the artist and really of not much good at all. So I mean I wouldn't – so the question really was how is the use of space as APG used space and context by APG or Incidental Persons different from this colonization of life worlds which we – which unfortunately we are really, really problematic which used to be called relational aesthetics.

Speaker 6: Well I could be very interested in Claire coming up to our thing because she's done a lot of research for APG and said that it was very different and this is why I wanted to know what are the things that she was finding – what were they different.


 I think I can go along with that idea of going on colonizing and then bringing back again and having it for the artist because I don’t think the worlds like that now. I mean if you look at absolutely every form of anything it's all being a part of everything else and you know the internet and sampling of music and I don't think it's colonized and brought back again and I think it's taking a different direction and making something new. I don’t think it’s called the art world if you see what I mean. I'm probably not doing very well in here, remember I'm not an academic.

Speaker 2: If I can interject for a second, can I speak up here for just a second?

Speaker 6: What do you mean speak out for me…

Speaker 2: I'm just kidding…

Speaker 6: I don't even understand how Skype is skyping I mean I don't…

Speaker 2: I mean I was just telling them that but basically about specifically Artist Placement Group – the Organization + Imagination, I feel like it's a bit different here than in the UK, even the awareness of that work but my understanding is that this is not necessarily even though we're talking about maybe at least 40 years later you know like it's not necessarily highly visible even currently what was going on then. I feel like it's easier to level that critic when artists are much more visible and it's sort of obvious that a lot of the secondary game that we're getting is for the enhancement of careers or you know we are sort of claiming a lot or gaining a lot from that work. Basically the possible facts of what these sort of social practices like have is in those cases its' really easy and often times probably true to say that they are like secondary if that too. Like the benefit that we are getting for ourselves you know but I feel like I'm not sure that that was necessarily case for – I mean it would be harder for…

Speaker 1: It's a sober question to ask though because it's all to easy to suppose that you know art is good and more art is therefore better and that is kind of one of the built in suppositions I think of art in public space, in the broader sense of public space which actually wasn’t a private space, business spaces and so on.

Speaker 6: I would question the word good, I mean I don’t think more out or art is good it is what could be said to be going on to use a John Latham phrase that anything is happening and is being made here like don’t make more follies, don't be you know – just question what it is, the action is. Now that this so called art and Incidental Person is out there and is affecting much more than his you know – I mean he is in contact much more. I want to say affecting it does or doesn't so I don’t think I wouldn’t ever sort of say art is good or art is something that I could say for instance, that art does affect change and therefore where one does it and when one does it and whatever it is that one does needs to be questioned very, very strongly.

Speaker 7: We could request certain questions if you allow us –someone asked about that the other day and maybe I can ask that if you don't mind…

Speaker 6: Sure.

Speaker 7: Elise Lozano was asking that she'd like to know your opinions Barbara on change like really what that means were where you've seen this happened historically, and what you felt were the APG impacts. I think that may have been addressed briefly on that.

Speaker 6: Why don’t you – using those on placements again you know the ones that I have quoted and I haven't quoted I think there was a…

Speaker 1: Barbara I just want to make a connection…

Speaker 2: I think I lost that interaction earlier – well we might as well keep talking until that gets resolved…


Speaker 6: I just think about change that the areas that definitely have sort of changed I mean for instance there was a change in the marketing director ICI who said you know he may have thought of this was great and this would affect future managers of ICI but he was the one that dropped out rather than you know the artist and stuff that lead to this sort of change. I think that what happened on the Esso Tanker was a big amount of change on the people that they came up against. What against – came out who they touch with, I think it 's affected the art institution whether for good or bad I don't know I mean there would be lots of change as a result of the actions. Steel Corporation had lots of change, the artists involved in my works – it was amazing to get in these different venues. There was a Lisa coming from – it wasn't the Lisa from Flat Town House was it?

Speaker 2: No she is on the – I don't think so, she's doing a socialist colony project in the US on the West Coast. I'm sorry I'm forgetting the exact state right now but it's yeah it's in the US.

Speaker 6: There was definitely a lot of changes on both sides I mean it was typical change and that's of just the individuals but then how it actually affected a bigger policy change or something I think the Germans or Scottish – I have to go into each of them with details. It's definitely changed, hastened or brought on a new position for artist engagement in society in a wider way whether that's a good thing or a bad thing – I'm not using good.

Speaker 5: Well good because I was just going to say that [2:07:15] [Inaudible] was one of the – he was one of the founders of Xerox part, he had this term productive friction that we already spoke about and there's this other artist from Canada Darren O'Donnell and he wrote this book, Social Acupuncture and it's about – this idea that working in other organizations and this is like less specific like APG is working in an institution but he had this – he compared this to acupuncture which is really painful and you've got to feel something but it's painful. So I think the definitions that involve the foreground and understanding are actually…

Speaker 6: That's an interesting take.

Speaker 1: We're on my computer here.

Speaker 8: Alright great, thanks Steven.

Speaker 1: I think we are just about done, that was a good question coming – I'm afraid you've missed the answer to it. Next time.

Speaker 8: So I'll be.

Speaker 6: Who is that guy?

Speaker 1: it’s Greg from the Atlanta…

Speaker 6: Alright, right.

Speaker 8: Hi how are you thank you so much for an amazing, amazing talk.

Speaker 1: You've had a busy day Barbara maybe we should wind it…

Speaker 2: Well in fact normally just before eight sometime we generally wind things up it's just been so interesting that I haven't even realized until the internet cut for me but…

Speaker 6: So does it cut off after a certain time, okay.

Speaker 7: If you could just you know people who were talking can have an audio recording and can give you the…

Speaker 2: That would be great yeah – I don’t know if you guys have heard that at all because our mics probably not connected…

Speaker 1: Yeah this is my computer mic there would be a number of events this week at Apexart around this exhibition the Incidental Person and on Saturday there will be a panel discussion with Barbara.

Speaker 6: And Noah Latham who is just flying here…

Speaker 1: Yes and there's also…

Speaker 6: Garth Evans also and Judy Martin is that tomorrow?

Speaker 1: And Anthony Hudek has generously offered to give us a copy of that debate which had to do something with post on the Plausible Worlds what's that – should we wind up to that?

Speaker 2: Absolutely yeah, definitely this is really interesting we will continue right now.

Speaker 6: I wanted to hear much more about Post Art worlds but I don't just have much time to…

Speaker 1: You are more than welcome, thank you so much Barbara. Thank you to Anthony also for making this possible and thank you very much to Steven Ranch and…

Speaker 6: Where is he?

Speaker 1: Somewhere, he's in the wings somewhere. It was a good pleasure.

Speaker 6: Thank you, thank you.

[2:10:24] End of Audio


Chat History with basekamp/$1114586eea1678f1" title="#basekamp/$1114586eea1678f1">Artist Placement Group (@ Basekamp & Apexart) (#basekamp/$1114586eea1678f1)

Created on 2010-02-17 01:46:52.


BASEKAMP team: 17:46:17
Hello Leah & Scott
Leah Anderson: 17:46:26
hello smiley
Julian: 17:46:43
Julian: 17:46:52
did you get the link?
BASEKAMP team: 17:52:05
BASEKAMP team: 17:52:08
utcplausibleartworlds: 17:52:11
niiiiiiice re: link connect
utcplausibleartworlds: 17:52:34
smiley  smiley  smiley
BASEKAMP team: 17:52:59
you know it. (this is greg btw)
BASEKAMP team: 18:02:57
hello stephen
stephen wright: 18:03:09
scottrigby: 18:03:13
hello guys
scottrigby: 18:03:28
so we're at Apexart, and people are chatting in the background -- which i asume is all beign picked up
BASEKAMP team: 18:03:52
Hendrix ghost at Apexart?
scottrigby: 18:04:01
haha yeah
BASEKAMP team: 18:04:24
hey everyone we will most likely get started soon
scottrigby: 18:04:30
stephen wright: 18:04:38
Give us 5
BASEKAMP team: 18:04:48
sure Stephen
scottrigby: 18:05:13
Greg - will you flag us on the text chat if we're not hearing someone?
scottrigby: 18:06:08
the thing is we just need to keep the speakers low so we don't get feedback. We can mute whenever we need to, and raise the speakers up
scottrigby: 18:06:11
if that sounds ok?
BASEKAMP team: 18:08:28
Hey everyone, tonights a bit unique in that we are bridging NYC & Philly so please hang tight everyone
scottrigby: 18:09:49
ok, so our audio at Apexart is a little too high-tech smiley the mic is uber-sensitive, so we have to turn down the speakers -- otherwise we get Hendrix-like effects...
utcplausibleartworlds: 18:10:13
scottrigby: 18:11:51
what that means is that we likely won't be able to hear you, until we know you want to chat -- and then we'll mute our audio and turn up our spekers
scottrigby: 18:12:05
if that makse sounds ok to everyone?
scottrigby: 18:15:32
hey everyone -- we haven't started the audio yet -- we'll let you know as soon as we do
bojana romic: 18:15:47
BASEKAMP team: 18:17:23
As Scott mentioned, we've not begun just yet, waiting for some more people to file in at ApexArt in NYC.
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 18:17:36
scottrigby: 18:18:29
So everyone - let's use the text-chat to organize starting the audio. We're getting close to starting here
scottrigby: 18:18:56
it's shaped up to be highly informal here -- which we'll wrangle very soon. Within minutes....
BASEKAMP team: 18:19:08
Scott I was planning on calling everyone and whomever doesn't want it can decline the call
stephen wright: 18:20:00
scott is coming toward the table...
BASEKAMP team: 18:20:28
ok ApexArt is settling down, audio soon.....?
stephen wright: 18:21:12
60 seconds
BASEKAMP team: 18:21:26
Scott's making the plea...Stephen says 60 secs.....
BASEKAMP team: 18:21:35
count it down everyone
stephen wright: 18:21:37
45 and counting
stephen wright: 18:22:22
trying to get the participants to the table!
BASEKAMP team: 18:22:30
stephen's gonna have to do some fuzzy math pretty soon smiley
scottrigby: 18:22:36
so Greg, if you'd like to start adding people to the chat -- and we'll continue to ask them to mute their audio... we can go ahead and get started whenever
scottrigby: 18:22:41
stephen wright: 18:23:10
utcplausibleartworlds: 18:23:52
we have audio
scottrigby: 18:24:01
Great - hi everyone
BASEKAMP team: 18:24:06
great to hear utc
anthony sawrey: 18:24:18
im so there!!
magdalenatc: 18:24:25
hi there.
anthony sawrey: 18:24:31
feedback occuring
BASEKAMP team: 18:24:33
please mute your mics everyone
BASEKAMP team: 18:24:39
magdalenatc: 18:24:39
anthony sawrey: 18:24:43
magdalenatc: 18:24:45
utcplausibleartworlds: 18:24:50
some feedback
BASEKAMP team: 18:25:36
if you are not currently on audio please let us know if you want to be
scottrigby: 18:25:42
how's the feedback now?
BASEKAMP team: 18:25:48
ok here Scott
scottrigby: 18:25:54
bojana romic: 18:25:57
magdalenatc: 18:25:58
no feedback, great sound
mabel: 18:26:14
very good sound indeed
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 18:26:57
yes the sound is good, but I didnt catch the name of the speak. Is it barbara Stravini?
utcplausibleartworlds: 18:27:02
sound is great
scottrigby: 18:27:15
Davig G :Yes -- Barbara Steveni from APG
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 18:27:35
ok - sorry about the spelling
scottrigby: 18:27:42
fr anyone interested in a short intro:
scottrigby: 18:28:12
oh, it was my misspelling -- it's part of the process
BASEKAMP team: 18:28:25
Salem shall I add you to the audio?
scottrigby: 18:28:38
smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley smiley
alemcj" title="salemcj">salem collo-julin: 18:28:57
hi, thanks, sure!
BASEKAMP team: 18:31:46
by chance...
scottrigby: 18:32:06
^^  smiley
BASEKAMP team: 18:34:56
don't mince words Stephen smiley
scottrigby: 18:35:54
smiley  smiley  smiley
BASEKAMP team: 18:36:49
hi did the audio start/
BASEKAMP team: 18:36:50
scottrigby: 18:37:10
greg, can you add MGB to the chat?
BASEKAMP team: 18:37:32
(sorry if this is confusing, this is phiilly bk)
anthony sawrey: 18:38:49
whoah, wheres the video? i missed that bit
BASEKAMP team: 18:39:01
scott I don't see him?
scottrigby: 18:39:22
yeah - the video isn't online currently -- we're talking with Barbara to help make that happen, but not yet
scottrigby: 18:40:51
the video is here at Apexart -- we'll let you all know (if anyone's interested, please comment on this week's event page on basekamp's website, and we can keep you posted there)
BASEKAMP team: 18:43:53
scottrigby: 18:44:08
oh -- michael -- can you use your personal account?
BASEKAMP team: 18:44:13
BASEKAMP team: 18:44:14
BASEKAMP team: 18:44:17
you need to log in as a diff user
scottrigby: 18:44:25
in order to get on the audio, you need a separate acct - thx ]smiley
mabel: 18:45:14
is video working now?? I didn't understood it
scottrigby: 18:45:24
no video - only audio
mabel: 18:45:36
BASEKAMP team: 18:45:52
hi mgb
scottrigby: 18:45:53
there is a video playing here @ apexart, but it's not available online yet
BASEKAMP team: 18:46:01
can you mute your mic mgb
scottrigby: 18:46:02
hello Basekamp space!
BASEKAMP team: 18:46:23
michael, can you mute your mic please
scottrigby: 18:46:34
michael, in the skype audio window, the mute is a little icon in the lower left
BASEKAMP team: 18:46:38
scottrigby: 18:46:43
second from the left ----- cool smiley
BASEKAMP team: 18:46:55
thx scott
scottrigby: 18:47:15
smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley
michael g bauer: 18:47:28
hello thank you we are connected
scottrigby: 18:47:48
BASEKAMP team: 18:48:15
michael, seems your mic is still on, no?
BASEKAMP team: 18:48:46
there is a small mic icon in the call window, can you mute?
michael g bauer: 18:48:59
will do sorry
BASEKAMP team: 18:49:07
ha ha no worries, thx!
scottrigby: 18:49:21
basekamp space --- also let us know if you want to speak --- we'll have ot pause here & turn up the speakers at that time. --- just let us know here on the text chat, because it'd be easy for us to speak over people
scottrigby: 18:58:00
btw, if anyone has questions, we can start queueing them any time
scottrigby: 18:58:41
this is marisa jahn asking the quesition now -- can you all hear the question ok? assuming yes
michael g bauer: 18:58:57
BASEKAMP team: 18:59:00
yes, please type any comments and/or questions here in the text and Scott can help
BASEKAMP team: 18:59:12
BASEKAMP team: 19:00:14
stephen wright: 19:00:53
not quite deceitful, but involving some tongue biting.
BASEKAMP team: 19:01:22
BASEKAMP team: 19:01:51
audio redaction smiley
BASEKAMP team: 19:03:46
1 stone = 14 pounds
scottrigby: 19:04:30
smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley
stephen wright: 19:04:31
Antony Hudek speaking
BASEKAMP team: 19:05:41
Elysa would you like to be added to the call?
Elysa Lozano: 19:05:52
hello! please!
BASEKAMP team: 19:06:38
welcome Elysa
Elysa Lozano: 19:06:46
thank you!
magdalenatc: 19:09:20
hi greg, i am out of the audio, can you add me again. thanks
magdalenatc: 19:09:45
ok, i see it is not only me
scottrigby: 19:10:02
please don't call -- Basekamp will call you -- thanks smiley
BASEKAMP team: 19:10:21
others who need to be added to audio?
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 19:10:27
scottrigby: 19:10:30
but please do let us know in the text chat if you've been dropped ---- smiley
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 19:10:36
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 19:11:17
need audio
BASEKAMP team: 19:11:22
a reminder to newcomers to please mute your mic
BASEKAMP team: 19:11:58
sr I've tried a couple of times...nothing on your end?
scottrigby: 19:12:39
sr, you'll need to accept a call from Basekamp when it comes
BASEKAMP team: 19:13:31
sr it says you are not online smiley
scottrigby: 19:13:44
ah -- sr, can you chantge your skype status?
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 19:13:46
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 19:13:51
can you read this?
scottrigby: 19:13:59
scottrigby: 19:14:08
sr, are you on a mac or PC?
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 19:14:31
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 19:14:41
scottrigby: 19:14:48
Ok --- so when in skype, under 'Window', click "Skype" (to make sure you're in the right window)...
scottrigby: 19:15:12
then in the upper left there is a little grey Xd out icon next to your name 'sr'
scottrigby: 19:15:32
click that, and select "Online" (green check mark)
scottrigby: 19:15:40
then you can be added to audio
BASEKAMP team: 19:15:46
thx Scott
scottrigby: 19:16:01
^^ skype does this so we can't call people who arent' there  ]smiley
scottrigby: 19:16:05
or something like that
scottrigby: 19:16:16
 smiley  smiley
BASEKAMP team: 19:16:25
welcome sr
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 19:16:40
thank you
scottrigby: 19:16:44
BASEKAMP team: 19:17:07
one last thing, can you mute your mic, small icon in the bottom left of the call window, it helps keep the ambient noises down.  but please join in when you'd like
BASEKAMP team: 19:20:22
scottrigby: 19:20:39
anthony sawrey is not on the call?
BASEKAMP team: 19:21:02
held remotely? not sure what that means scott
scottrigby: 19:21:05
antony hudek speaking now
michael g bauer: 19:21:11
hi can you paraphrase the question via text?
scottrigby: 19:21:11
^^ greg - ok
scottrigby: 19:21:52
was that better?
stephen wright: 19:21:56
APG became O + I at that time
BASEKAMP team: 19:22:01
michael g bauer: 19:22:03
stephen wright: 19:22:04
(Organisation and Imagination)
BASEKAMP team: 19:22:23
off & on
scottrigby: 19:22:43
is the audio ok though?
BASEKAMP team: 19:22:47
michael g bauer: 19:22:52
scottrigby: 19:22:55
bojana romic: 19:24:46
Have to go - it's 1:23 now here. Thanks guys! It's great, as always - hope the whole conversation would be added to the audio archive soon!
BASEKAMP team: 19:24:51
not reinventing but still "dealing with" no?
BASEKAMP team: 19:24:59
bojana thx for joing us!
scottrigby: 19:25:09
bojana romic: 19:25:10
thank you!
BASEKAMP team: 19:25:11
oops joining
scottrigby: 19:25:17
see u next week ]smiley
bojana romic: 19:25:28
<ss type="wink">smiley</ss>
BASEKAMP team: 19:28:18
oh boy!
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 19:28:31
think i'm off
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 19:28:53
michael g bauer: 19:29:01
thanks for joining
scottrigby: 19:32:30
some incredibly quotable comments here chris (by the way)
Matthew Slaats: 19:33:51
was wondering if Basekamp is recording and making these avaiable? Is so, do you have a url?
scottrigby: 19:33:59
matthew yes
BASEKAMP team: 19:34:07
Matthew yes we are recording
scottrigby: 19:34:21
we record them all -- and chris ryan has been cleaning up the audio over time..
BASEKAMP team: 19:34:31
Will be posted here: when it's uploaded
BASEKAMP team: 19:34:43
a link that is
scottrigby: 19:34:57
exactly ...we've been posting to, and adding the links in the comments below each event page on
BASEKAMP team: 19:35:09
scott can you snap a few iphone images at the very least for flickr?
Matthew Slaats: 19:35:28
thanks! I'm wanting to re listen to this talk already and catch up on those that I missed.
scottrigby: 19:35:40
the first 3 weeks audio are up on the site now matthew
scottrigby: 19:36:07
chris is speeding ahead with it, after overcoming a technical hurdle... now they should be up much faster
BASEKAMP team: 19:36:10
rather ironic Stephen, when googling "embedded artist" I cam across this:
scottrigby: 19:36:21
greg -- Apexart has been taking photos smiley
BASEKAMP team: 19:37:01
great. are they willing to share?
scottrigby: 19:37:07
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:37:08
What did Logsdale think about these activties?
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 19:37:23
we share everything
scottrigby: 19:37:34
marisa jahn is speaking now
scottrigby: 19:37:39
sr - is from apex?
BASEKAMP team: 19:37:41
grrrreat! smiley Thanks!
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 19:37:43
scottrigby: 19:37:53
oh - stephen - got it smiley
scottrigby: 19:38:02
thank you
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 19:38:40
with a v
scottrigby: 19:38:47
oh smiley
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 19:38:51
scottrigby: 19:39:15
scottrigby: 19:39:51
smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:40:23
does this include the nostaligic view of former avant-gardist groups such as the 0+1
scottrigby: 19:41:30
david g's question is in queue
scottrigby: 19:42:53
Stephen - reminder to add some info about that archive - I'm not familiar
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:43:48
Isnt the overall question here whether there is a continued value in the avant-garde? And to extend that question the value of autonomous artists & the priviledged role of the artist in shaping reality?
BASEKAMP team: 19:44:16
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:44:17
thats fine read them out
BASEKAMP team: 19:44:41
does this include the nostaligic view of former avant-gardist groups such as the 0+1

[2/16/10 7:41:30 PM] scottrigby: david g's question is in queue
BASEKAMP team: 19:45:05
AND...[2/16/10 7:43:48 PM] post-autonomy: Isnt the overall question here whether there is a continued value in the avant-garde? And to extend that question the value of autonomous artists & the priviledged role of the artist in shaping reality?
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:45:06
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:45:10
stephen wright: 19:50:09
marissa talking there
scottrigby: 19:50:45
barbara is pointing to the video at Apexart again
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:51:03
can I ask a further question - how is the use of space and context by artists differ from the colonising of space?
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:52:28
sorry to ask such basic questions but arent we looking at the rethinking and reinventing of the role of the artist and their role?
stephen wright: 19:54:11
david, I'll ask those questions in a second.
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:54:40
ok - but only if you think they are relevant
scottrigby: 19:55:14
well... personally i'm not assuming we're reinventing the role of the artist -- i think some of the existing roles may be relevant in other contexts
BASEKAMP team: 19:55:36
kopenkina can you mute your mic please
Elysa Lozano: 19:56:00
Would love to know her opinion on 'change': where she has seen this happen historically and what she felt were the APG impacts.  (apologies if she covered this earlier!)
scottrigby: 19:56:18
Elysa - we'll ask that next -- a good question
Elysa Lozano: 19:56:53
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:57:01
good question
lga_kop" title="olga_kop">kopenkina: 19:57:59
sorry, didn't know how to do that! can you put me on again?
BASEKAMP team: 19:58:41
thanks kopenkina sorry was in the midst of something but was going to try and point out how to mute smiley
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:59:36
yes this my point
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 19:59:42
this is
BASEKAMP team: 20:00:15
kopenkina there is a small microphone icon in your call window which will mute your mic
BASEKAMP team: 20:00:38
or you should be able to go up to the call menu at the top of your screen and choose mute
BASEKAMP team: 20:01:19
lost audio?
magdalenatc: 20:01:29
Matthew Slaats: 20:01:31
michael g bauer: 20:01:31
Elysa Lozano: 20:01:34
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 20:01:36
BASEKAMP team: 20:01:39
ok hang tight
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 20:01:45
stephen wright: 20:02:27
please reconnect
scottrigby: 20:02:39
temporarily we're using my iphone. can you hear?
magdalenatc: 20:02:46
i was really intersted in the answer to that question...
stephen wright: 20:02:47
we lost our connection
michael g bauer: 20:03:48
hi thanks for adding us
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 20:04:37
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 20:04:59
BASEKAMP team: 20:05:28
Perhaps this is off topic but perhaps for the queue-after hearing a bit about the APG archive that was recently sold, I'm curious to hear if there is any fear that the "archive" as a secondary form of representation of the work and events themselves is in good hands with the Tate?
BASEKAMP team: 20:05:39
that was my witty question smiley
BASEKAMP team: 20:06:31
sorry for the late tech snags but thank you so much to Barabara, ApexArt, Stephen, Scott, and everyone who joined us online!
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 20:06:31
the audio has gone
magdalenatc: 20:06:46
ok. tx greg.
magdalenatc: 20:06:54
tx all in apexart
Elysa Lozano: 20:06:56
thanks for the great talk!
michael g bauer: 20:06:56
alright thank you.  very interesting discussion.  look for to learning more about the artist placements
BASEKAMP team: 20:06:59
sorry gang the tech issues are in NYC and out of our control, plus it's 8 and time to wrap up
BASEKAMP team: 20:07:06
thanks MGB!
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 20:07:07
so suppose thats it for tonight
BASEKAMP team: 20:07:11
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 20:07:30
thank you so much sorry for my primitive questions
stephen wright: 20:07:31
Thanks for your questions.
stephen wright: 20:07:42
I just thanked you for them!
Matthew Slaats: 20:07:50
Really enjoyed this.  Might try to make it down this weekend for the other talks.
tjaraskype" title="stjaraskype">sr: 20:07:51
thanks folks
BASEKAMP team: 20:07:52
thx stepehn!
BASEKAMP team: 20:08:11
thx everyone
stephen wright: 20:08:13
Next week: A School of Decreative Methodologies
magdalenatc: 20:08:20
thank you everyone
BASEKAMP team: 20:08:23
ah yes good plug stephen smiley
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 20:08:24
anyway look forward to the next talk
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 20:08:50
thank you stephen
ost-autonomy" title="post-autonomy">post-autonomy: 20:08:56
good night
BASEKAMP team: 20:09:00
good night all

Week 5: Reinigungsgesellschaft

Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 focusing on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with Henrik Mayer and Martin Keil from REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT, (whose German implications range from “Cleaning Service” to “Purification Society”), an “artistic venture” as they call it, working “at the point of intersection between art and social reality”. Of course art is itself a social reality, though the mainstream artworld encourages artists to remain aloof from other realities, representing them, exploiting them as material, rather than merging with them. Reingungsgesellschaft, however, operates in open, project-oriented collaboration, taking the form of autonomous organisations. They place unresolved social questions at the heart of their practice, integrating critical content into advertising-style strategies, which differentiate themselves from traditional product or target-group promotional models. Through their work with partners from different fields of human endeavour, inventing platforms for non-disciplinary activities, they use art as an art-specific form of social inquiry (“The Readymade Demonstration”), and a catalyst of social and economic processes. The collective’s work method seeks to connect different spheres of society and, potentially, to find other, more substantive life-sustaining environments for both art-making and art-doing.



Week 5: Reinigungsgesellschaft

Male 1: Because I don’t – [Background Noise]

Male 1: Hello, hello, hello. I can actually see the green light coming out even if the Skype’s muted. And it’s generally, like right now … Okay. Great. Like how long should it be? I’m kind of holding about six inches from my mouth. I’m talking right now. Okay. Well right now it’s …

Male 2: I think this is interesting aspect of demonstrations who in most [0:43:22] [Inaudible]

Male 1: Okay, cool. Thanks a lot [0:43:25] [Inaudible] I appreciate it.

Male 2: There’s a certain [0:43:34] [Inaudible]

Male 1: Awesome. Thanks a lot then, buh-bye.

[Background Talk]

Male 3: Although I’m not sure that’s unique or specific to the [0:46:53] [Inaudible] I wish I could say that [0:46:56] [Inaudible]

Male 2: It must [0:46:58] [Inaudible]

Male 3: Right. I sent these to the [0:47:26] [Inaudible] questions.

Male 2: Actually most of the call from the [0:47:52] [Inaudible] the participants [0:48:01] [Inaudible] most participants were [0:48:06] [Inaudible]. Like there was one guy who took the chance to [0:48:26] [Inaudible]

[1:09:43] [Inaudible]

Male 1: By the way Conrad, our audio is  … It’s possible that we might be able to connect with audio but we haven’t tried because for the [1:15:56] [Inaudible] it’s been disconnected. The three people that normally help us connect the component to this, all have emergencies that came up which is okay. We have actually been able to have a pretty decent one way of discussion. Anyway, we’ve been able to contribute by text.

Male 4: So you’re texting and they’re answering?

Male 1: Pretty much. Well, there are audience coming in and there’s about – I’m not sure how many people are on the call right now because people drop in and off. Okay. So ten people are on the call or ten location are on the call right now. But I’m just giving a heads up. [1:16:30] [Inaudible]

Male 4: That’s been going on for a little while.

Male 1: Oh, yeah. We started at six. I should probably open this for everyone.

Male 2: Is there [1:16:50] [Inaudible]

Male 1: Yeah, yeah. We’re recording this. IN fact, luckily I’m able to record them because we’re not able to contribute to the audio. IN fact we could. One thing is I have all the equipment, some quality headphones and I kind of don’t like turn it on and blast everybody out. I want to make sure everybody is okay.

Male 4: So [1:17:15] [Inaudible]

Male 1: This would be where the headphone comes in. These could go to other devices, other input devices. Actually, that’s an output device, another speaker. Okay.

Male 3: [1:17:33] [Inaudible]

Male 1: Yeah.

Male 4: So they were working [1:17:39] [Inaudible]

Male 1: Like us, yeah. We tried to – oops, I guess that’s not helpful. Oh yeah.

Male 3: [1:17:50] [Inaudible]

Male 1: [Laughter]. Is that what it should be [1:17:57] [Inaudible] to? You know, we – Jeremy right? Jeremy’s least favorite place in New York.

Male 3: They call the art types of people come out of there …

Male 1: Yeah.

Male 4: Is Greg on or is he?

Male 1: Greg is on. Greg is actually under this name right now. And right now we’re under my personal Skype account because we couldn’t both be on audio same time out of the same account because you can’t end yourself [1:18:33] [Inaudible] actually on.

Male 2: [1:18:43] [Inaudible]

Male 1: Do you mind if I [1:19:04] [Inaudible]?

Male 5: No. Go ahead.

[1:19:09] [Inaudible]

[Background Noise]

Male 3: Not sure a few spots even.

Male 2: I just [1:20:07] [Inaudible]

Male 3: Me too.

Male 2: You also?

Male 3: [1:20:16] [Inaudible]

Male 2: Yeah.

Male 3: [1:20:22] [Inaudible] Artworld? I mean the Artworld didn’t [1:20:59] [Inaudible]  Do you think that we’re – do you see yourself participating in [1:21:24] [Inaudible] a different Artworld or do you see this kind of [1:21:31] [Inaudible] plausible other Artworld [1:21:35] [Inaudible].

Male 2: I think [1:21:54] [Inaudible] [Background Noise] So it’ important to use [1:22:52] [Inaudible].

Male 3: [1:23:24] [Inaudible].

Male 2: [1:23:44] [Inaudible]

Male 3: [1:24:04] [Inaudible] let’s not give  up on art. Let’s not give up on the Artworld. Plausible Artworld [1:25:18] [Inaudible] It looks like simple art. Why [1:25:27] [Inaudible]

Male 2: You mean the spectators?

[Background Noise]

Male 3: Or are engaging in art [1:25:45] [Inaudible] . Your sharing a lot of those things you decide to [1:26:05] [Inaudible] and you want to stay in the [Background Noise] People are challenged [1:26:11] [Inaudible]. You actually continue to [1:26:16] [Inaudible] in art [1:26:17] [Inaudible]. This is not the [Background Noise]. [1:26:47] [expand and to cooperate to] [1:26:50] [Inaudible]Also get involved with the non Artworld. [1:27:01] [Inaudible]

Male 2: The best that you mentioned [1:27:25] [Inaudible]. maybe that’s a good [1:27:29] [Inaudible].

Male 5: [1:28:09] [Inaudible] I was wondering about [1:28:22] [Inaudible] when you talk about artistic competence, what are you actually talking about?

Male 2: I think it’s a [1:28:36] [Inaudible] competence.

Male 5: What does that mean? I mean I [1:28:42] [Inaudible] too but I we would like to know what you think of it when you say that.

Male 2: Well, I mean [1:28:54] [Inaudible] We design the [1:29:15] [Inaudible]. We look for strategies and we [1:29:25] [Inaudible]. We do it on our specific [1:29:40] [background].

Male 5: [1:29:43] [Inaudible]how we [1:29:51] [Inaudible]


Male 2: No, I don’t really [1:30:12] [Inaudible] because we don’t really [1:30:16] [Inaudible]. We really try to [1:30:29] [Inaudible] by [1:30:33] [Inaudible]. And I think we are interested in this specific [1:30:44] [Inaudible] that is [1:30:47] [Inaudible]that focus so much on the work as a product.

Male 1: By the way, I think [1:31:16] [Inaudible] have any other – any thoughts or questions about any other, just tell me. Feel free to try to type them up.  Greg has also offered to use, to put our phone on speakerphone on his side near our mike. So, we could even also try this –actually maybe this is a good time. [Typing].

Male 2: I don’t know if you call it Michael’s comment / question about he talks about the plausible article [1:32:19] [Inaudible] network created activity operating outside the [1:32:23] [Inaudible]. I’m not sure if [1:32:26] [Inaudible] on the matter. [1:32:31] [Inaudible].

Male 3: I think that [1:32:37] [Inaudible].

Male 5: [1:32:40] [Inaudible] [Background Noise]

[Audio Gap]

Male 5: [1:33:22] [Inaudible]

Male 3: Just [1:33:22] [Inaudible] for Scott is that he just might, may or may not work. I think – oh, there we go.

Male 2: [1:34:22] [Inaudible]
Male 5: [1:34:26] [Inaudible]


Male 1: See if this works. Guys, can you hear us up? Hello? Oh, let’s try this one more time. Can you hear us at all? Is this any better? Anything?

Male 6: Anything? Hello? Hello?

Male 3: Yeah. [1:35:04] [Inaudible]. Okay.

Male 1: Well. I don’t know if [1:35:19] [Inaudible] a natural closure [1:35:21] [Inaudible] people out there have more questions and yeah, really [1:35:26] [Inaudible]. I know I’ve enjoyed it and I think everybody else there as well. But if there are not anymore questions or any further questions, I just want to thank you [1:35:43] [Inaudible] very much for joining us. Here we go. Michael curious about, yeah, I’m like their collaborating, maybe just a little bit of background.

Male 2: [1:36:02] [Inaudible]. We came together when we were students in 1995. And then we come in 1996 [1:36:17] [Inaudible]. because we are students and we are [1:36:23] [Inaudible]. And so we act like our true  responses and [1:36:39] [Inaudible]. And so also we invited guests . have lectures and are performances of artists. That was quite an [1:36:53] [Inaudible] place for two years. But then we continue – we came to our concept of we are more oriented on the international scale. But I test one thing [1:37:16] [Inaudible] and one thing on my mind, just to follow the  [1:37:23] [Inaudible] of the what is it like to specific, the quality of this kind of activity. I think we have [1:37:41] [Inaudible] that we are [1:37:43] [Inaudible] right now of our project, our product.  It can be our product, but I think [1:37:49] [Inaudible] and at [1:37:54] [Inaudible]. And if maybe we go all the different participants are collaborating with us, that’s at least like this is a specific [1:38:10] [Inaudible]. And to go back to when we came together, this was also [1:38:34] [Inaudible]. We were at the same arts academy in [1:38:41] [Inaudible]. When we make our exam, we [1:38:50] [Inaudible] who make together as a student. So we have to know professor and our project was we [1:39:02] [Inaudible]. Combining our talent, combining items, combining [1:39:11] [Inaudible]. And just like we have two sets of this game and as long as 1:39:19.4 we make workshop with business people. And [1:39:27] [Inaudible]with unemployed people. And we want to figure out about their creativity and imagination of combination [Background Noise]. We presented once in the chap member. This was the [1:39:51] [Inaudible] of the business people. And the unemployed people, we presented in their empowerment of [1:40:00] [Inaudible]. And [1:40:02] [Inaudible]. we did a conference.

Male 2: What is in [1:40:39] [Inaudible].

Male 6: Mr. 1:40:40.7 on Skype texting one another, messaging one another but neither able to communicate verbally. [Cross-talk] asking questions but they’re 1:40:53.9. Maybe I would –

Male 1: 1:41:00.0

Male 6: Well, 1:41:04.5.

Male 1: Yeah, I’m not sure I can – I [1:41:15] [Inaudible].

Male 6: Well, we are going [1:41:27] [Inaudible] so try and keep on six to eight and I  imagine it’s, you said [1:41:33] [Inaudible] Wednesday in Germany. So, we’ve been trying to keep you too late. [1:41:42] [Inaudible]

Male 3: Well, it’s time to go out now.

Male 6: Oh, wonderful.


Male 6: Yeah. And you usually like to do in some which is requirements is sort of to follow up as [1:41:56] [Inaudible] is reminding me just a [Background Noise]. [1:42:02] [Inaudible]in going to the party, right? On behalf of everyone, we just want to thank you for participating in tonight’s chat. It was very informative and gave us a lot to think about and consider.

Male 3: I hope you  [1:42:21] [Inaudible]. That’s a great question. I just want to [1:42:24] [Inaudible]. If you ever go to Germany, just contact us. Be our guest.

Male 2: [1:42:33] [Inaudible]

Male 6: Wonderful. Well, thank you [Cross-talk]. Wonderful yes. At least  check out, yep. Well, thanks again and –

Male 3: [1:43:08] [Inaudible]

Male 6: Yeah. [1:43:11] [Inaudible] it was really great.  [Cross-talk].

Female 1: I think tonight you were talking to somebody in Germany [1:43:30] [Inaudible]. So I think this is great too.

Unidentified Male: Alright. Rock ‘n roll [1:43:53] [Inaudible]. See how –

[1:44:01] End of Audio


Chat History with basekamp/$22b6da17a90a403e" title="#basekamp/$22b6da17a90a403e">Reinigungsgesellschaft (#basekamp/$22b6da17a90a403e)

Created on 2010-02-02 23:26:14.


Henrik: 18:28:27
hi scott!
scottrigby: 18:28:44
hah - finally
michael g bauer: 18:28:56
scottrigby: 18:29:04
hi michael smiley
Henrik: 18:29:09
greetings from tomorrow!
scottrigby: 18:29:19
we're here @ basekamp finally able to listen AND read -  thanks guys
scottrigby: 18:29:42
smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley
BASEKAMP team: 18:30:28
sounds a lot like Basekamp space from time to time smiley
scottrigby: 18:30:58
BASEKAMP team: 18:33:25
kinda reminds me of Adam Smith's "Invisible Hand"
scottrigby: 18:37:30
BTW guys, we are going to watch a video at some point, right? Just want to queue it up here
stephen wright: 18:38:58
I have to confess that I am pretty sceptical that art - as art - can change the world (or make people more tolerant etc) except as a form of symbolic privilege. How do you negotiate the fact that your work is perceived as art?
scottrigby: 18:39:36
hi stephen
stephen wright: 18:43:35
scottrigby: 18:44:32
luckily www connection is not so bad - seeing how we're currently pirating a neighbor's
martin keil: 18:44:42
BASEKAMP team: 18:45:34
also sometimes going directly to YT makes for a quicker DL
BASEKAMP team: 18:46:55
I think someone posted this earlier but here it is again:
BASEKAMP team: 18:50:42
scottrigby: 18:51:40
ok, just letting you know we have the video loaded here - so we're fine whenever you want to take a break to watch the "Orientation System to the New" video.
scottrigby: 18:52:12
no rush - we can queue up the columbus video now too
Henrik: 18:54:25
<a href=";feature=player_embedded">;feature=player_embedded</a>
scottrigby: 18:54:45
ok, we have two videos... the columbus one, and the first one. WHich one are we watching?
michael g bauer: 18:55:23
scottrigby: 18:55:23
yes. for a sec
michael g bauer: 18:56:59
i'd like hear more about the process involved in 'constructing' a rally.  also i'm curious about how something like this staging could be co-opted commercially
BASEKAMP team: 18:58:48
can you talk a little bit about the makeup of the protesting group...looks like students but other town's people as well? curious if the local community felt compelled to get involved or were just wondering what was going on.
michael g bauer: 19:02:32
BASEKAMP team: 19:02:39
scottrigby: 19:02:44
we're watching now
michael g bauer: 19:02:53
anthony sawrey: 19:03:45
Silly question.. i arrived late you see.. where do i watch video?
michael g bauer: 19:04:00
anthony sawrey: 19:04:07
stephen wright: 19:05:57
When I was writing up the short description of your work, I was wondering how to handle your claim that you work at the point of intersection between art and social reality. As you noticed, I decided I had to mention that art IS a social reality, except that in mainstream circles and worlds it is not supposed to really merge with those realities -- merely show them (for the weirdness they are) or prey upon them ("involve" them in art). Since you do not try to "lose" yourselves in social reality, nor to show it in an estranged way (Brecht style), how would you describe your aesthetic. Similar to that of Chto Delat?
stephen wright: 19:06:53
their more recent work where they re-enact social situations...
stephen wright: 19:11:49
stephen wright: 19:12:09
Le partage du sensible, The Emancipated Spectator, amongst others
scottrigby: 19:12:53
BTW, Ranciere is coming to NY soon for some Crative TIme programming, and Nato suggests setting up a Plausible Artworlds chat with him while he's here
BASEKAMP team: 19:13:13
stephen wright: 19:13:21
Fucking Yes!
scottrigby: 19:13:24
Stephen - we can talk about this over the next few days maybe?
stephen wright: 19:13:36
Of course we can
scottrigby: 19:13:39
smiley  smiley  smiley
BASEKAMP team: 19:14:10
Jacques Rancière-
scottrigby: 19:16:35
staaaaaaatic. better now
martin keil: 19:17:10
super I would like to join the discussion with Ranciere
martin keil: 19:17:24
here is the video:
Henrik: 19:18:29
can you see the video?
BASEKAMP team: 19:18:45
cow demo...yes
Henrik: 19:18:46
BASEKAMP team: 19:20:45
utcplausibleartworlds: 19:21:00
class is loving the cow protest
BASEKAMP team: 19:21:20
moooooooo  smiley
BASEKAMP team: 19:22:14
scottrigby: 19:24:33
BTW, Kris here is mentioning that she's interested that the protest projects happen largely in rural areas
scottrigby: 19:24:45
which is unusual, in the united states anyway
scottrigby: 19:25:12
or remote 'city' spaces. Not exactly ultra-urban
stephen wright: 19:28:09
ulrich beck
Henrik: 19:28:31
scottrigby: 19:29:35
Henrik & Martin, are you in any way interested in working with other artists on these kinds of public projects, or only non-artists? I'm asking mainly to see what place there is - from your point of view - in this practice for overlap between people who are also authors of this kind of work
michael g bauer: 19:31:31
i may have been disconnected. . .
scottrigby: 19:31:41
well... not to suggest that it's too "convenient" not to make a distinction... -- and by the way, pardon our ack of audio -- ...but the reason i asked is because you as artists are constructing the overall projects, and injecting them with meaning. I was just wondering if the people you work with are mainly "participants" or also "collaborators"
scottrigby: 19:31:55
this is not a value judgement, just a question
Henrik: 19:32:10
<a href=""></a>
scottrigby: 19:32:20
we're looking here
michael g bauer: 19:32:28
Henrik: 19:33:01
hi Amanda
utcplausibleartworlds: 19:33:38
Street of Crime Rates Shifted to Other Areas
utcplausibleartworlds: 19:33:40
BASEKAMP team: 19:33:47
a reminder to mute microphones unless you are Henrik or Martin
BASEKAMP team: 19:34:20
I love "Ave to spend your youth in style" !!!
scottrigby: 19:35:51
soneone here suggested that Brookly should be renamed to "Jeremy's least favorite place in New York"
stephen wright: 19:35:54
It's definitely a nice project. But does it lay the groundwork for what we are calling a "plausible" artworld? How do you generally feel about our (potentially overblown) claims about there being such things as Plausible artworlds developing to challenge mainstream hegemony?
scottrigby: 19:37:01
maybe i can help a bit with that one too
scottrigby: 19:37:17
Stephen, I suggested that Reinigungsgesellschaft's work was an example of a kind of micro-artworld, that's structured differently than the most dominant artworld --
scottrigby: 19:38:26
Henrik & Martin, with the above, I was mainly thinking of their work within other existing government and business sectors. Not necessarily "parasiting", but working in a critical way that is not strictly oppositional
scottrigby: 19:39:18
... thinking about this work within the wider context of "Organizational Art" practices
anthony sawrey: 19:39:44
howdy Amanda
scottrigby: 19:40:05
Martin - an dHenrik - I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this... I realize it's been *quite* a while since you & I have talked about this in depth
stephen wright: 19:40:07
Scott, it is clear that their work is critical without being oppositional. But what do they think about our hypothesis?
Amanda Hills: 19:40:10
scottrigby: 19:40:42
yes... maybe we need to clarify our hypothesis in this conversation ...
BASEKAMP team: 19:42:48
I think Stephen mentioned Brecht earlier and this discussion reminds me of his famous quote: “Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.”
BASEKAMP team: 19:43:10
is this the debate, art as tool for social change?
scottrigby: 19:43:15
then again stephen... many of us have a foot in both worlds -- and take advantage of the existing art institutional structures... without necessarily "believing" in them
scottrigby: 19:43:26
not to be an apologist --
stephen wright: 19:43:26
I have a foot in both worlds!!!
scottrigby: 19:43:30
stephen wright: 19:43:39
my larger foot in the mainstream
stephen wright: 19:43:43
to be honest
scottrigby: 19:44:06
well, we are just teasing out ideas i realize... not saying anyone is immune -- i realize you are just asking which foot of theirs is in another world...
scottrigby: 19:44:12
sometimes, it is just a little toe
scottrigby: 19:44:41
i realize we are looking for what that looks like, however small
BASEKAMP team: 19:44:54
no no keep 'em coming stephen
scottrigby: 19:45:32
we can also talk about art's 'incompetencies' ]smiley
scottrigby: 19:46:00
...btw Stephen, thanks for asking these Qs out loud -- it's great actually
stephen wright: 19:46:03
and an equivalency between "incompetence" and "competence" à la Robert Filliou
scottrigby: 19:46:09
w o r d
michael g bauer: 19:46:31
i think about the art world  as being centralized/sanctified hubs of creative production -- maybe in part,  a plausible art world is a decentralized network of creative activity operating outside of these spaces? but as people are saying, the two often blur together.
stephen wright: 19:46:36
by "specific background" do you mean art's history?
stephen wright: 19:47:16
stephen wright: 19:47:55
stephen wright: 19:48:05
But you did say "specific background
scottrigby: 19:48:19
hey guys, want to try somethign crazy?
stephen wright: 19:48:23
so that begs the question as to its specificity
stephen wright: 19:48:33
of course
scottrigby: 19:48:43
we have a microphone that *might* work.. but i didn't want to blast you out unnecessarily
scottrigby: 19:49:17
now that there's a small lag however, i thougth we could try the mic now... for a moment... and see if the basekamp space could try to connect by audio now? --- or at the next available moment
BASEKAMP team: 19:49:21
right right
stephen wright: 19:49:22
I agree
stephen wright: 19:49:48
with Henrik that is
scottrigby: 19:50:30
the microphone question
stephen wright: 19:50:40
turn it all on!
scottrigby: 19:50:50
ok! preare yourselves!
scottrigby: 19:51:03
smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley smiley  smiley
Henrik: 19:51:15
stephen wright: 19:51:30
scottrigby: 19:51:37
oh well
scottrigby: 19:51:40
scottrigby: 19:51:45
ok fine
stephen wright: 19:51:55
Listen, this has been really interesting
michael g bauer: 19:52:18
can you talk just for a second about you two came together and began collaborating
stephen wright: 19:52:20
Becuase you postion yourselves really at that problematic threshold
stephen wright: 19:52:27
or interface rather
scottrigby: 19:52:44
oh yeah -- that would be excellent --
BASEKAMP team: 19:52:45
thx mgb
scottrigby: 19:53:32
and Yes Stephen, i agree... it brushes up against some problematic and interesting questions about the aesthetics of protest, and the threshold of a mainstream to accomodate 'dissent'
scottrigby: 19:54:46
BTW.. we do have some time after this which we can use to screen soem of your video documentation. We did watch one (wiht the volume way down).. but if you have any specific suggestions for the videos that would be great
scottrigby: 19:56:09
ALSO, Michael, maybe you would like to ask about the potential for followign up with some "Public School" course proposals from this discussion? I can think of a few... like "Organizing Micropolitiks" and "Protest zones"
scottrigby: 19:56:34
Michael B... not sure if you have access to audio or not?
Henrik: 19:56:46
here is my extra video suggestion: <a href=""></a>
scottrigby: 19:56:51
thx Henrik
michael g bauer: 19:56:54
would love to tho i'm at a public library
scottrigby: 19:56:58
michael g bauer: 19:57:06
maybe you can fill in a bit?
stephen wright: 19:57:19
For me, th emost compelling project is the "readymade demonstration" in terms of "art specific competency
michael g bauer: 19:57:20
oh . . .
scottrigby: 19:57:24
smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley smiley  smiley  smiley  smiley
michael g bauer: 19:57:30
please you can do it!
scottrigby: 19:57:39
oh, ok smiley
scottrigby: 19:58:04
smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley
stephen wright: 19:58:10
12 - 2
scottrigby: 19:58:17
Henrik & Martin, we can follow up with this later for sure
scottrigby: 19:58:31
yeah, don't let us hold you up from going out to party
scottrigby: 19:58:50
btw, one of you are in Berlin right? Henrik? martin, where are you right now?
michael g bauer: 19:58:50
thank you!
martin keil: 19:58:50
yes thats our pleasure!