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Low Kyle

Marcus Coates, Michael Smythe and I went to see the Jeremy Kyle show in Manchester. We waited in the heavily smoking queue, a little nervous of what was ahead, scanning the crowd didn’t really help, they were a frightening crew, stringy yoofs, half toothed, bloated sportswear wrecks, noses pasted to left and right, girls of indiscernible age dressed as hardcore hookers, burger tops, basically people who looked like they were thinking about going on the show sooner or later.
The audience were groomed from the off, firstly by the girls who turned out to be the Greek chorus, a Geordie Ophelia and an Essex Iseult both with super expressive faces, like the mask from Scream the film. Ophelia informed us that the contestants were real people, that we shouldn’t laugh at them. Then she warmed us up with the grizzly contents that were in store, each further personal horror scenario was greeted with an ever increasing roar of enthusiasm, culminating with the announcement that we would have the results of 2 lie detector tests greeted by a roar like a collapsing iceberg.
From the moment we were seated – inside a hardboard set on the shabbiest of seating, all gaffa tape and stains - the crew started to work the audience, a number of standard jokes all designed to isolate the individual and to ridicule anyone that stood out – someone that didn’t join in with the practice clapping was forced to stand up and explain themselves. A ginger punk was repeatedly ridiculed in a series of standard ginger jokes. Jeremy continued the technique, slick and charmingly cruel. So I clapped furiously when told, although not wanting to, from fear of being picked out to be picked on. On either side of the stage stood the girls with the expressive faces, they led us in clapping, moaning with sympathy, jeering, often at what seemed exactly the wrong moments, their elastic faces pulling ghastly parodies of empathy, hate and pathos, they switched constantly from being apparently utterly absorbed, to chatting and giggling with colleagues. This is our fractured society represented, our internet age culture, connected to everything and nothing, the supremely slick and functional interacting with the dysfunctional disconnected, generating a tidal wave of meaning.

The objects/subjects of the show were ushered on, barked at by Jeremy, the whole thing was so smooth, there were no retakes, it seemed like a totally scripted and complex play in which we were all had a vital role. Actually as a whole it was brilliant as a piece of theatre, the jumping in and out of character, reality and TV, performing for the audience, performing for the cameras and performing with the subjects. The crew played roles throughout. The unnecessarily vast security bouncers - each with a crevice like crease in the back of their shaved heads - stepped up at vital moments to intensify the potential for a violent explosion. As Jeremy broke off for commercial breaks other crew stood in front of the subjects to shield them from the stares of the audience. In reality the subjects said very little, Jeremy held all the cards and with the crew he worked the whole show. This was so much the best live thing I have been to (better than Prince, Il Tempo Del Postino, Egremont Crab Fair – see previous blogs), massively thought provoking, complex and simple, easily assimilated and understood, and darkly underpinned by the reality of the subject’s problems and everyone’s empathy, fascination and revulsion for them.

If Agrifashionista could be half as complex, half as revealing, half as brilliant I would be wholly delighted. If you want to go we have 3 tickets for 5th December.

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Jeremy Kyle of lochalsh

Marcus Coates, Michael Smythe and I went to see the Jeremy Kyle show in Manchester. We waited in the heavily smoking queue, a little nervous of what was ahead, scanning the crowd didn’t really help, they were a frightening crew, stringy yoofs, half toothed, bloated sportswear wrecks, noses pasted to left and right, girls of indiscernible age dressed as hardcore hookers, burger tops, basically people who looked like they were thinking about going on the show sooner or later.
The audience were groomed from the off, firstly by the girls who turned out to be the Greek chorus, a Geordie Ophelia and an Essex Iseult both with super expressive faces, like the mask from Scream the film. Ophelia informed us that the contestants were real people, that we shouldn’t laugh at them. Then she warmed us up with the grizzly contents that were in store, each further personal horror scenario was greeted with an ever increasing roar of enthusiasm, culminating with the announcement that we would have the results of 2 lie detector tests greeted by a roar like a collapsing iceberg.
From the moment we were seated – inside a hardboard set on the shabbiest of seating, all gaffa tape and stains - the crew started to work the audience, a number of standard jokes all designed to isolate the individual and to ridicule anyone that stood out – someone that didn’t join in with the practice clapping was forced to stand up and explain themselves. A ginger punk was repeatedly ridiculed in a series of standard ginger jokes. Jeremy continued the technique, slick and charmingly cruel. So I clapped furiously when told, although not wanting to, from fear of being picked out to be picked on. On either side of the stage stood the girls with the expressive faces, they led us in clapping, moaning with sympathy, jeering, often at what seemed exactly the wrong moments, their elastic faces pulling ghastly parodies of empathy, hate and pathos, they switched constantly from being apparently utterly absorbed, to chatting and giggling with colleagues. This is our fractured society represented, our internet age culture, connected to everything and nothing, the supremely slick and functional interacting with the dysfunctional disconnected, generating a tidal wave of meaning.

The objects/subjects of the show were ushered on, barked at by Jeremy, the whole thing was so smooth, there were no retakes, it seemed like a totally scripted and complex play in which we were all had a vital role. Actually as a whole it was brilliant as a piece of theatre, the jumping in and out of character, reality and TV, performing for the audience, performing for the cameras and performing with the subjects. The crew played roles throughout. The unnecessarily vast security bouncers - each with a crevice like crease in the back of their shaved heads - stepped up at vital moments to intensify the potential for a violent explosion. As Jeremy broke off for commercial breaks other crew stood in front of the subjects to shield them from the stares of the audience. In reality the subjects said very little, Jeremy held all the cards and with the crew he worked the whole show. This was so much the best live thing I have been to (better than Prince, Il Tempo Del Postino, Egremont Crab Fair – see previous blogs), massively thought provoking, complex and simple, easily assimilated and understood, and darkly underpinned by the reality of the subject’s problems and everyone’s empathy, fascination and revulsion for them.

If Agrifashionista could be half as complex, half as revealing, half as brilliant I would be wholly delighted. If you want to go we have 3 tickets for 5th December.

To view Jen Liu's current show at Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery, LA click here

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This is Jen Liu, and I have a gripe! My username and password info doesn't work, I can't get in, stuck on the outside of a club where it's got my name plastered over the door!

But I suppose here is as good as any to leave my first entry: hello agri blog, lonely child awaiting rays of content to warm your cheeks!

And it is like a child, isn't it? I sent out an email in mid-January, telling all to expect great things, blogwise, during my shooting trip in London, expectations of others to rouse me to action. But no, there was nothing, o. twist where is your father now, little orphan annie, you've got the real slapabout. Your mother? Why, she's out yelling at actors in a country club. Well now, here she is finally, contrite, offering you a bit of her stale bread. But what about Daddy Warbucks?

But waitaminute! Why didn't I ever realize that Daddy Warbucks is DADDY WAR-BUCKS? Does everyone know this or is this another case of clueless Jen taking 2 years to realize Rushdie's elowen-deeowen spelled L-O-N-D-O-N? (it's true, very embarrassing). Anyway, could Annie and Daddy's relationship be read as a secret critique of the money-war machine, she does keep on running away, after all. And then, she always comes back.......

Little Orphan Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep;
An' all us other childern, when the supper-things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun
A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,

An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you

Ef you

Don't

Watch

Out!

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Hi Everyone

It's Harold posting some notes up from fridays Ubania meeting at the Rochelle. Firstly, we managed it get 6 out of the 7 Urbanians at this meeting, which was great. The background to the meeting was the good news (for us anyway) that the dates for the Agri- project had been postponed till March.

So on friday night we met up at the space in Club Row that might becuase the site of our residency during the broadcast week. In the previous meeting we'd dicussed the idea of building a modular structure that would act as a base for the collective. Much of the meeting was spent discussing how this might be realized in that space.

Maki made some suggestions about building a structure that took advantage of the height of the room but also linked through the windows and doors the outside space, creating an outside platform or space that engaged with local audience of Arnold circus. Essentially its sounds like something that could be architectually playful, taking advantage of upstairs and outside spaces.

Harun talked about the idea of creating communal behavourial traits, through language and movement, but emblems like badges.

Other points of reference

*Creating elongated narratives/ durational performances.

*Specifying the audience, creating specific streams of communiaction for that audience, ie net geeks

*Thor Heyerdahl, the Norwegian ethnographer and adventurer, who made several expeditions, with various multi national crews. The Kon-Tiki being the most famous.
(check out the link below)

*Islands as a site and context for living and working, can be both paradise and hell. We talked a London's islands and the possibility of visiting some.

*Social housing projects, architecture and social planning. We've agreed to have day out for the group in January, which will included a visit to Thamesmead, the southeast London housing project made famous in A Clockwork Orange.
(see the Link for more info)

* Exploring the idea of time saving or sharing. one suggestion was to pre-record our 7 day residency at double or triple speed and then broadcast over the 7 day period in order to gain time.

* Create decoys and twins to allow more time to do what we really wanted to do.

There was of course more, but i think those were the main points. At a post meeting session at thee The George pub in Dalston. Maki, Patrick and I discussed the idea of setting ourselves some homework for the next meeting.

Our suggestion to the group is to bring in a visual realisation, drawing, map, photo of what we indiviually imagine the Urbania base in Club Row to look like. This will allow us to reach some firm discisions at the next meeting.

We also talked about group manifestos and maybe bringing in examples of those.

Lastly just remind Maki, you also mentioned a woman you know called Leila, who has a shop just off Arnold circus. You thought she might be a good person to meet.

Your comments and feedback are welcome, cheers.
Harold x

Links:
Thor Heyerdahl
Thamesmead

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(BABY-JAMES-BONDADDY de JAMEESL' IS back) = John Silver

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Michael is an Australian pianist based in Munich. He has a collection of art books and catalogues, in particular of Michelangelo and Francis Bacon that he consults while practising. He talks about the visual language of music (Beethoven and Bach), the relationship between music and visual representation and how each in a sense completes the other.

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Adam is the director of Grizedale Arts.
He talks about the Grizedale Collection housed in Lawson Park - mainly comprised of objects and artefacts selected for the farmhouse, useful and in use each item also has a larger significance and is selected according to site-specific criteria (such as  authenticity and local design), the point being also that the collection is also just 'stuff'. Adam then compares collecting with curating and discusses grizedale as a total environment.

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Tom is a writer based in London. we visited him in the great arthur house, a modernist former social housing project near the Barbican, where he lives.
Tom talks about his library, in particular his passion for Tintin, Finnegan's Wake and Moby Dick, of which he made a large-scale drawing, detailing one of the chapters in the novel (the lea shore). He talks us through the drawing, which discusses the structure of the writing as well as connects it to prevalent ideas in postmodernism and his own work, such as repetition and the event.

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Hi It' s Harold

I'm writing up some notes from the last Urbania meeting on wed 14th November. Three of us, Iris, Helen and myself met up at the Poetry Cafe in Covent garden, which is a great cafe, a real find!

Our discussions began with a look at images from the "Exit to Tomorrow" book , which looks at the golden age of world's fairs and Expos, I've already put some images up in previous blogs. In particular we looked at Moshe Safdie's 'Habitat 67' housing project for the Montreal 67 Expo. The project see's an extraordinary arrangement of apartment blocks, that create the impression of a modular concreate landscape.

One thing we all zoned in on was this modular arrangement played out in Safdie's architecture. Various parts linked and connnected to form a unit. We thought of various examples of modular structures, the international space station was one example, there you see NASA and the Russian space programme combined to form new entity.

We've been trying to resolve the problem of how get a group of individuals to come together and collective. What are the rules? How do we communicate? The idea of modular structure might offer us a tangiable answer. One of our central ideas for Agri project has been the notion that we will inhabit a particular area of Rochelle for the 7 days of live broadcast. Recently Michael Smythe (Agri project manager) suggested we use a space ajacent to where the main studios will be in Club Row.

I showed Iris and Helen some photo's of the space(i'll also post some on the blog), they were immediately struck by the possiblity of buliding a physical structure within that space which would take advantage of its height. We started to talk about the possibility of creating some kind of modular structure with separate pods for each of the members of the collective. The pod Units would be part of a larger structure and provide a base for the indiviaulas and the collective.

I think this proposal is very similar to the structure of the space station, with various pods allowing various autonomous activities to happen. But the physical structure would inform a working method that would allow members of the collective during the 7 day residency to explore iindivaually and collectively. Perhaps built into the strcuture would be a forum to showacse and feedback to the collective, invite guests, speakers, do workshops, experiments etc.

To use the space reference again, its a base station within planet Agri, the Urbanians become urban explorers going out examining and collecting, before bring that back to the base to share with the collective and Agri audience. I think Helen made some usefuil references to Ants and Bee hives as models of collective organisation.

Anyway, we felt it was a really enjoyable and productive discussion(which i haven't done justice with my babble)

What we wanted to do was to set out some points to the other Urbanians who couldn't attend. Get some feedback and reach a concensus to move forward.

so to sketcgh out some points;

* How do we feel about the proposal to create a physical modular structure within a space at the Rochelle? It would act as a base for the collective.

* Will we all work collectively all the time or will we have individual projects in addition to the collective's project? Do we have to set these ideas out now or leave it open?

* will we all live and work in the space? If so, how do we negotiate this?

* Do you have any suggestions for how this structure might operate or be organised?

* With regards to final Agri TV presentation, How do you feel about the idea of a series of short Broadcast interventions, like bulletins to punctuate the overall Agri project as opposed to a single broadcast presentation.

These were some of the main points for discussion, i may have missed some out. Iris or Helen please feel free to add and edit this section.

Hopefully at the next meeting we can can reach some conclusions.

Cheers Harold xx

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Guestroom are making a series  of short documentaries about people's libraries, probably 8 films in total. Each film will be about 10-15 minutes long and they will be screened individually at different points during the live week. We have been visiting and filming people in their homes talking about their collections, systems of collecting and associated anecdotes.  We are making the films with people we know and we didn't film anyone with creepy obsessive collections, it is more about how people, artists in particular, work with their collections.


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The search for the 'song' musicians began this week with a small but keen turn out ... we'll be meeting on Monday nights between now and the live week ...

Links:
More details on the project website ...

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In the early 80’s my father appeared in cognito as an extravagant Santa, visiting the Christmas party of our Girl Guide troupe. His true identity was only revealed to me when he used a traditional family phrase ‘You lucky people!’ to rouse the expectant girls. Horrified and thrilled, I had to keep my revelation a secret so as not to spoil it for everyone.

I'll be constructing an out-of-season Santa's grotto in the garden at Rochelle School, open to visitors over a few hours each lunchtime that Agrifash is live. Adult visitors are invited to visit Santa for a one to one no-holds-barred consultation, which will be streamed live onto Agrifashionista.tv. The identity of the visitor or the Santa will not be revealed in the filming.

Today I wrote a longhand letter to someone I want to play Santa. You know who you are. Please say yes.

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Strangely I had a similar experience when I was a child. Not as profound as the time my father opened my bedroom door to say goodnight dressed as a Punk


Moshe Safdie's habitat 67 was a grand social housing project for Montreal Expo 67. Containing a 158 seemingly randomly arranged apartment blocks build on a man- made island in downtown Montreal. Originally deeply unpopular, its now a sought after address.

The sheer crazyness of the structure is strangly appealing, although from a distance looks like a brazilian favela (slum).

Harold

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................


More images from 20th century Expos.

A coloured Op art installation from Lausanne, '64

I love the Afro aliens from the Textile pavilion of Osaka '70

Other worldly creatures explore Expo Lausanne, '64

Harold

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While in Germany a few months ago, i picked up this great book, 'Exit to Tomorrow: World's Fair Architecture, Design, Fashion 1933 to 2005' ed by Andrew Garn it a survey of the hey day of world's fair and expos.

Above are some images a poster advertising the 1933 Chicago World's fair 'A century of Progress'

2 future fashion designs from the 1939/40 New York world's fair

A model of 'The City of tomorrow' from 1964 New York, World's Fair.

This period of world fairs provided an ideological platform for propaganda by nations and various companies, a means of selling and competing on grand scale. Very different from the modern, scaled down, thematics expos of today.

Expo 2008 is in the spanish city of Zaragoza.

Harold

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hi you all, it's iris with greeting from sunny italia. just gotta try this...

talking about urban environments, i am currently experiencing one located on a very pretty beach. the city (pescara) itself is a bombed out affair with plenty of 1950/60 rebuilt.

not sure if it's all that relevant but personally speaking meetings point for cities and nature are fascinating places!

i.

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NB: This was originally sent as an e-mail

Hi Everyone, Its Harold.

I hope you've all had a good weekend. I just wanted to update
everyone following last nights meeting with me, Iris and Patrick(Abake) in
the Hanoi cafe on Kingsland Road. (21/10/07)

Firstly, most people have responded positively to my last e-mail
regarding the budget. But, some people have outstanding concerns
about the amount time the can give to the project in the immediate
and period leading up to the broadcast in January. This is in due in
part to busy schedules we all have. Jessica in particular has
expressed the difficultly she will have in fully engaging with the
project till the end of january and i know other people have other
major commitments between now and january. However, for me
this is one of the challenges of trying to formulate a project like this
which involves various practitioners, with busy and challenging
professional lives. I very keen to make sure the project is an
enjoyable experience and not a drag. Perhaps in light of the very
short time frame we have 2 months!, it might be realistic to restrict
or contain production or to the the broadcast week in January. (?)

Once again this maybe comes to finding effective means of
communication,  perhaps mirroring contemporary urban life, i think
it will be increasingly difficult for us all to meet regularly in the
period leading up to the broadcast week in january, as 8 individuals
i don't think we've manage to it yet! I think i would be interesting to
embrace these problems as part of the project. Something we
talked about last night was using the blog available to us on the
Agrifastionistas website as a central point for communicating and
diseminating information. I know at the previous meeting several
people highlight the shortcomings of blogs, but i think its an
immediate way of sharing ideas and information and may provide a
focus, allowing us to upload video, audio and provide links. In
addition it does offer the possibly of documenting this discussion
process. My aim this week is to facilitate our access to the blogs.
Comments? Feedback?

to save time and open out the many things we discussed last night,
i' ve listed some topics and provided some links ( Iris and Patrick
feel free to add or amend my notes)

To drive things forward it might be useful to ask some questions?
What is Urbania?
What are our visions of the future? etc

We talked about the nature and function of collectives/teams and
organisations. We discussion one collective, 1980s TV series, The A
Team. A group of vigilante, vietnam vets with a mission for social
justice. Each episode was structured in a way where they would
practically plan, build or construct something to aid their overall
mission
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_A-Team

80s nostalgia aside, i think the model of a team with a mission and
social purpose is really useful

Monuments
This come up as a possible focus for the project the construction/
or realization of monument. We trying examine how you me re-
imagine a monument, using symbols of the past, connected to war,
death or victory. trying to imagine a futurist monument. This
connects to a project i' ve asked to develop in peckham. which is
research and consultation excercise using the mothership as
platform to develop a futurist monument for peckham sq.

What or how you could develop as monument was opened out,
references to Swiss artists Thomas Hirschhorn projects. In particular
his Georges Bataille monument (2002, Kassel, Documenta 11) where he
set up monument (involving a library, community TV station, cafe
and large sculture) to writer bataille in the midst of a estate in
Kassel, Germany.

www.documenta12.de/archiv/d11/data/english/index.html
http://www.tate.org.uk/tateshots/episode.jsp?item=9115

There was also the memorial to the Iraq War at the ICA this year,
artists were asked to propose a memorial to the ongoing conflict in
Iraq.

http://www.ica.org.uk/Memorial%20to%20the%20Iraq%20War+1349
9.twl

Other points in brief

Iris mentioned the idea of using TV formats like news Bulletins or
smaller regular slots, perhaps as interventions within the overall
Agrifastionistas project

Extending this by creating a local news gathering network for a
specific communities

Using the structure and form of Algorithms ( as a methodology?)

Looking at the business of predicting the future, Fashion, design
trends. In business and economics forecasting. Technoolgy+
science who why and what set the agenda.
How does the future become the future?

BBC TV show, Tomorrow's world looked at future developments in
Science and technology made for a prime time audience
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomorrow's_World
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWL5sbUplpI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7EprSVVMzo

Positions and differing view points  Creating debate between guest
speakers.
Post human developments (body enhancements) VS natural, eco
bodies

Consultation
Asking the elderly about their ideas of the future. How did they view
the future? What was their future, that is our present?

School Forum
Using the site, history and legacy of the Rochelle school, with
regards to creating workshops

TEDS (Patrick what does that stand for again?)
Corporate presentations where speakers are given a set amount of
time to deliver messages, often using multimedia presentations Ref
Al Gore's  'An Inconvenient Truth'

Urban planning models
Milton Keynes, new york, cities of the future
Arnold circus as an example of urban regeneration.

I also made reference before to futurist cults and organisations one
such is Unarius, see the link for info and video clips
www.unarius.org
http://www.unarius.org/mov/eln-uriel.html

AS you can see there is a lot here, i hope some of it will connect to
other ideas people have. IT might be useful to try an set another
date to meet, Is the week beginning 29th Oct good for anyone? i
know a few people are away but, as last night showed even a small
group can be productive. Now the blog is set up we can post ideas thoughts etc and keep everyone in the loop.

I look forward to the discussions.
Thanks
Harold xx

Links:
Tomorrow's World
Unarius
The A Team

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Hello. Its Harold. Firstly this marks a significant point in my life, my first blog entry! The Urbanian's  have had few meetings, but one of our overriding problems is find an effective way to communicate. Its proved extremely difficult to get us all in the same room at the same time. And in our first meeting we discussed how might find means to communicate effectively. Although some of us have reservations (i'm, aware that i'm speaking for the group without permission) it is an opportunity provided by Agri to link us up and get our ideas out there, to who i don't know.

So let me try and set the context. Ok, here goes. Following my invitation to take part in the Agrifashionista project, i  decided to use the opportunity pick up on some themes i'd explored before.

A previous project called The Mothership Collective, realized at the South London Gallery in August 2006 was my starting point. The opportunity to create a broadcast content for this event was and is very daunting. My aim in picking up the strands of the previous project was to continue to explore the idea of peoples perceptions of the future through conventions like Sci-fi. I have to confess i'm not a huge expert, but i'm interested in how the process of trying to image and realize the future seems to hightlight and project the contemporary.

Anyway the basic premise of Urbania, is to invite a group of practitioners to form a collective and develop and present an imagining of a future world. So i' ve taken it upon myself to invite the following people:

Åbäke
Jessica Antwi Boasiako
Martino Gamper
Iris Garrelfs
Helen Walker & Harun Morrison

My starting point was the proposal below, but i see it only as a starting point. And from our initial discussions the eventual outcome will be quite different to what is set out here.

The Mothership Collective Presents:
Urbania: Future World Visions

The Aim
The aim of the project is create a core collective of artists, designers and
musicians who will over the course of 7 days develop and present sounds,
visions and experiences of a future urban landscape called: Urbania. The
Mothership (at Rochelle School) becomes a production site, an open studio for
the development of Urbania.

The Mothership at Rochelle School
The Mothership will represent the hub or site of the activities that will unfold over
5 days. Ideally to be located on the enclosed rooftop space at Rochelle, the
Mothership will initially be a contained, specifically designed flexible environment
catering for multiple uses including production of work, talks,
presentations/performances and workshops as well as a social hang out space.
As the project develops Urbania will be created around the Mothership in other
areas of the rooftop space.

Core Collective - Think Tank
Members of the core collective will instigate, develop, structure and produce the
final presentation. During the 5-day residency period they will be on site at the
Mothership for programme of discussions, invited guests presentations, talks,
workshops, construction and rehearsals and final showcase.

Proposed Core Collective members are
Åbäke: Design Collective     www.myspace.com/abakespace

Martino Gamper: Artist/Designer   www.gampermartino.com

Jessica Antwi Boasiako: Graphic designer/Filmmaker  
www.bcaheritage.org.uk/oriki/artists.htm   

Iris Garrelfs: Audio artist     www.irisgarrelfs.com

Harun Morrison & Helen Walker:
Theatre/Live Art/Film
www.manandeve.co.uk/exhib_info.php?id=16

Harold Offeh: Artist/Video/ Performance    
www.luxonline.org.uk/artists/harold_offeh/index.html

The Chorus – Focus Groups
The chorus represents another key element of the project. The Chorus will be
made up of one or more schools, community or social groups, who will
participate in research, production and final presentation of the Urbania project.
Working closely with members of the core collective, their role is to be a focus
group reflecting, interpreting and communicating various aspects of the project
through, art, design and performance.

Max of 3 groups engaged with specific aspects of the project.
Suggested groups:     Future - Primary schools group
            Present - Youth group (Whitechapel Project 18 –24)   
            Past – Pensioners, Elderly Club/Society group

Consultants – Plug In sessions
Consultants are guests – artists designers, architects, scientists, spiritual
speakers who will input into the project through one-off events, talks,
performances, workshops etc adding to the research and knowledge bank being
built up by the Core Collective and Chorus.
During the 5 day residency there will be a daily programme of Plug In sessions.
Hopefully this will include many artists taking part in the wider Agrifashionistas
project.

Documentation – Mothership Sojournal
Over the residency period the Mothership will be a hive of activity, with daily plug
in sessions, workshops, construction and rehearsals. Most of this activity will be
documented through video, with additional stills photography and audio. Each
day the Mothership will produce and broadcast a Mothership Sojournal, which
will be an account of the previous days activities leading up to the final Urbania
presentation. At a later stage the entire Mothership Sojournal will be published as
a DVD.

Outcomes – Urbania Live
The conclusion of the Mothership residency will see a live presentation of the
collectives’ vision of Urbania. The programme will showcase the multi-media
installation, with performances and demonstrations that will act as a Guide to this
vision of the future. The Structure, length and content of this final outcome will be
pre determined by the group, but it make take the form of a Holiday guide, TV
Drama or series of TV postcards. Presented live from the Rochelle site.

Materials/Resources/Equipment
Mothership at Rochelle
Basic Construction materials: Large chip/MDF boards, lengths of wood. Tables,
chairs. Comfortable furniture, old scrap sofa, cushions etc. Fridge, Lamps and
additional Lighting. Scrap materials, fabric, paper, and pens.

Production/Presenataion
Video projectors, DVD players, Monitors, audio equipment. Video/ digital
cameras. Lighting, speakers.

Links:
Mothership at SLG

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Ok I went on holiday, weird for me and weirder still we went to Tuscany- where the combined voices of Brian Sewell and Pablo Bronstein seemed to accompany us around the exquiteries in the glowing Tuscan light - they seemed to say at every turn.

"Oh quite superb, just travelling around Tuscany with nothing but a battered old panama and an even more battered Badeker" and withering critics of slightly overly bright frescos.

"Don't even look it's been hideously restored - worse than a Michelin starred restauran" etc etc. Tuscany does have that rather painful association with a certain English and plumy artyness and in between the Americans loudly discussing their prefered varieties of tooth paste those English Grand Tour styled visitors were bumbeling away.

Despite the live experience of seeing these things being stunning, almost shocking - I was also really conscious of the way i had always previously seen of these works, in books they are always divorced from their borders/context, the relationship to other images and artists, cleaned up and presented like canvases in white space but in reality they are much more interesting.

In reality these things would have been massive visual overloads, multiple images in different styles by different artists, surrounded by patterns, faux and real marble, ceramic and plaster, gold and silver and in a church with 3d objects in front of them, half in darknes and of course in the day accompanied by a full on live glitter sensaround performance in a language that the audience and indeed - in the UK - the priest generally didn't understand. Maybe not so different from what Agrifash is trying to do.

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Mobile phones again, they'r like a fracture in the time space continuum (nice the way Sci fi terms are so omnipresent that they actually mean something) a schism, a shaft to another world. How do people inttegrate the technology into thier lives, being in touch constanly with multiple media feeds, well here's one way.

I was reading a tabloid in a waiting area, (waiting rooms are like worm holes – Heat, National Geographic, This England – actually check that last one it’s big weird) and I read this story about a school head of department - a teacher (I am guessing head of sport) getting a blow job from a 16 year old student and taking a call from a colleague while driving the school bus, the student was quoted as saying that she was ‘well impressed by his ability’. This is the mobile phone disembodied experience, every body part busy with different things. Not too sure what he was in trouble for, maybe he was also shaving at the same time, whatever, he seemed quite proud of himself anyway.

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The Agrifashionista newsletter No1 hit the stand/honesty stall today and was removed within 3 hours due to the offensively honest content (honesty stall - get it - clearly not). My ‘let’s be plain speaking here’ kind of autistically honest style was not quite the tone required. Anyway apologies to anyone who would have been offended had they seen it. So issue No2 what to do?

But actually it is a bit tricky, I mean we don’t just want to make a lovely honesty stall with lovely things on it, just as we don’t want to make lovely artist projects. This idea about freedom for artists, that to censor an artist is a bad thing. I find artists on the whole censor themselves (apart from Colin Lowe) or rather make their work so oblique that no one gets the message.

I always get edited, altered and censored, maybe for being silly. I don’t think I ve ever written a text for an artist or gallery where the gallery/publisher hasn’t insisted on changing the content quite radically I still recall bitterly not being allowed to describe Wales as about as spiritual as a cats arse, or having a whole section on genital cupping removed because there is no such thing or not being allowed to use the word defucked, I was trying to make a point - it’s soooo unfair.

I was at the Turner Prize opening the other night in Liverpool. Brian Griffiths, Simparch, Catherine Sullivan and Mustapha Hulusi – easy win for Catherine Sullivan I would think. And there was also this really average show on at the Tate with Mark Wallinger and some other familar names - now there is a good example of artists self censoring.

Mark’s work is overtly political, you almost have to ‘get it’ but it’s still oblique enough for the contentious issues to be overlooked by curator and public alike. It makes you want people to say what they actually mean very clearly – like what Mark wants to say is - I am disillusioned by this socialist government that has corrupted the laws of free speech and manipulated the truth – of course the 'other' Tate piece does unmistakeably say that and you might say there is more that an art work can convey and multiple interpretations - but all that shouldn’t necessitate the core message getting lost – If you can miss the obvious message how likely are you to pick up the other agenda’s - still looks nice don't it.

I was talking to Simon from Yes – this is a sharp individual with a good grasp of visual language, and he’s wondering what the Mark Wallinger in a bear suit gallery surviellence thing is about.
‘So wa's it about then’ little bit sarky and I ‘m a bit Jesus do I need this? Do I have to justify myself for working in contemporary art, prove I’m not just a freeloading pretentious dickhead and is the only way I can do that is by showing that Wallinger is serious and making a real and valuable contribution, that he isn’t a dick, that he is actually a wonderous being - yes. Thing is I wasn’t really concentrating and did nt actually look at the video as I had seen a bit of it before, kinda knew what it was without really think much about it. I think I was vaguely pleased that Mark had done some thing in a bear suit. So I said,

‘Well Mark’s work is quite specifically political, very centred on UK political history and identity, He is ok, really he’s a good guy, his works quite funny’ and I am thinkin, this is shit what the fuck is that bear all about, serveilence, artist being watched, captive in a gallery, under surveillance, diguise, jesus what is this bear thing about, err shaky camera stuff, nothing happening, waiting for something, um Germany?
Simon’s unrelenting.

‘What’s a bear in a gallery got to do with being British’,

‘Well every artist that does work in Berlin has to make work with a bear in it, it’s just a rule’ trying to palm him off with some piss take saing froid, like back the fuck off Simon.

‘No but what is it about, what’s political about a bear wandering around in a gallery, is it meant to be the guard or something’?
“Yeh well err, look I don’t bloody know go and ask him, making he was having a breakdown, does all his work have to be exactly the same, the bear is a German symbol, he’s disguised as a German’

‘Yes but so what, a British artist pretending to be German in a pantomine sort of way’ so what’.

'Yes well maybe this is just a not very good thing, but some of his other stuff is good. Is that the time, jesus we’ve got to get moving’ turned out my watch was an hour ahead, lucky escape huh.

I felt pretty bad that I didn’t know and couldn’t work out - off the cuff what it was all about, what does that say about me or my chosen career. It might not be the area of work I am interested in but surley I should be able to articulate what one of Britains best known artists is on about. I mean I know the guy a bit as well, I ve talked to him at length, I ve heard him talk, I ve seen lots of his work. So anyway I checked up what this bear thing was actually about on the interweb and picked up a couple of choice quotes and confirmation that it was indeed a pointless thing about prentending to be German, being a sleeper/spy, which was the title, so kinda about Englishness i.e. Mark disguised as a bear/german was living in the heart of Berlin from where he could bust forth like Capt Mannering and run around slapping baldys to the Benny Hill theme tune (sadly not). But like Simon said so what.

Here’s a couple of quotes from the Telegraph quoting Tate curator Simon Groom (not from Yes) who seems to think all art is about the artist exploring the curators space – a popular notion indeed it seems.

‘Mr Groom said that Wallinger's fascination with how space could be used was in the tradition of Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or Caravaggio throwing light into great churches’.

And on Nathan Coley’s raised door sil ‘The actual act of having to lift your leg slightly higher than usual announces that you are going into a different space’ - as does a door way although you don’t have to raise your foot unusually high although you could if you wanted to.

Mr Groom further stated, ‘A lot of people won't get it but art isn't there to have its meaning written all over it. It is there to provoke questions.’

Yeh but after the questions what happens, are these just any old questions, are the answers likely to be worth knowing, will we just find the answers just tell us how we can explore a space? Please stop asking questions like a bloody 2 year old, just give us the answers. What is this? has art returned to ask questions about what we already know, re examining the very basics – now you see this list of critisim of the fatuous quality of art has started to sounds like I am questioning everything and that is starting to sound like an endorsement of the purpose of art and artists, you cannot bloody win.

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