Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Artworks for the "go-ganesha-go" event in Cyprus

I'm in Cyprus for 2 weeks for 1 -14 May and the following is what I plan as my contribution to the go-ganesha-go project happening in and around the Ledra Street.

“Greetings From Leiden” is an art performance featuring origami elephants bearing local news of my city in the Netherlands, the city of Leiden. The performance involves laying these out along a street and responding to people's questions. In other performances I've found that this can lead to discussions, for example about what is a greeting, about communication in general, or the relevance of communication (or a greeting) in a situation of tension between local communities. As an outsider to the Ledra Street and to the country of Cyprus, it felt it would be most honest not to bring any sort of message but rather to bring a greeting, a potential for dialogue in equality.

See other performances i've done

On the other hand, the short animation: “And these realities of things, though in the utmost diversity, are yet intimately connected one with the other” by Sonja van Kerkhoff + Sen McGlinn is loaded with messages. Yet as a viewer, you have to work out your own message.

The title, a quotation from the Bahai writings, could refer to the changing elements in the animation or it could refer to a narrative that seems to spin off in several directions at once. In the end, elephants surface, fly and seem more human than the people in the animation, in the sense that they are more free from the constraints of the world around them. This freedom is as much a message about free will as about peace, because peace is chosen and created by society. The song, Son Maloso, is by Colombian David Dely + the band, Tumba y Quema, currently based in Budapest, Hungary.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Exhibition in Leiden, the Zen of Japan

On till May 31st at the Expansionist Art Empire Gallery, Nieuw Rijn 94 in Leiden.

Utopian practices : Art, Science & Design REunited

I attended this on March 19th 2009
It was a day of lectures and discussion organized by the Waag Society, the Virtual Knowledge Studio (KNAW) and the Centre for Arts & Genomics Leiden at the De Balie in Amsterdam.

Dutch trains are usually punctual but this time not, so Amalia and I arrived a half hour later than planned and so missed the beginning of Suzanne's talk.

>> Susan Kennard, Executive Director of the new media institute BANFF in Canada, presents Tracklines, a location-based storytelling experience designed to be delivered on wilderness trails in Banff National Park using GPS-enabled mobile phones.

I'd heard about the Art Mobile Lab from Angus who I met in NZ in February and did a residency at Banff in 1998, so wanted to meet the new director.

Next Beatriz da Costa spoke about PigeonBlog which equips urban homing pigeons with GPS enabled electronic air pollution sensing devices capable of sending real-time location based air pollution and image data to an online mapping/blogging environment. I'd heard her talk about this at Mediamatic about a year ago but what was new was her mention of her book Tactical Biopolitics: Art, Activism, and Technoscience.

>> Martin Kemp discussed some of his articles from his 2006 book, Seen and Unseen