Hi! I am part of the Radio of Changes project with Emily & Roy Boswell. We are conducting live hexagram readings on the top floor of Ateneum museum in Helsinki all this week, for a radio broadcast that goes throughout the festival. The hexagram readings will be broadcast as well as some radio dramas we have worked on, interviews, documentation of the festival and some other content. More information (and our hexagrams, which can be consulted online) can be found at www.ofchanges.fi.Read more
I'm delighted to return to Newcastle this month, once again as part of a production by CIRCA Projects + Giles Bailey. This time it's a festival, entitled Festival of the Not and taking place at the newly re-opened Star & Shadow Cinema. I'm thrilled to be part of this, as our work together in the summer of 2017 was an incredible experience, and I've also been following the Star & Shadow's activities remotely (ever since performing there in Lied Music, with Mark Vernon, back in 2010).
I will be participating in a discussion with artist Louwrien Wijers on art and economics, but also leading a workshop/working group throughout the festival built around experimental documentation. If you would like to participate in this project – called Documentation of the Not – you can register for it here. Some more about the workshop, quoted from my proposal:
Cultural experiences are documented and disseminated for multiple purposes: for social media, to please funders, to establish press kits and CVs, etc. Traditionally, the role of documentation falls under the administrative team, sometimes with professional photographers or videographers involved (if budget allows). The dominance of social media has decentralised documentation, at least that which is not the ‘official’ part of the festival. But generally, the format of documentation remains constant: experiential (in personalised, social media contexts using images and video) or quantitative (in reports to funders, with statistics, etc.).
How can we reformat the idea of documentation, celebrating the pluralistic voices that are commonplace with social media, while also extending the language of experience sharing? Could the act of documentation be integrated into the festival itself, as a participatory activity, rather than an administrative burden or afterthought? How can other approaches to fixing the ephemeral combine?
Festival of the Not takes place from 17-20 January 2019 at the Star and Shadow cinema, organised by CIRCA Projects + Giles Bailey. Participants in the experimental documentation working group will gather at the start of the festival (or the night before) to explore alternative techniques to festival documentation. For example, such techniques could be forensic (gathering of evidence and artefacts); poetic; emotional; or performative. Participants will attend the other festival activities and document them through these exploratory techniques. Each night, before the main evening programme begins, the working group will make a 10 minute presentation of that day’s activities.
The experimental documentation working group is built around openness and experimentation; all participants are encouraged to explore different techniques. The subjectivity of this documentation will be made explicit, as opposed to ‘official’ documentation which implies objectivity.
For: people who like to collect things; people who enjoy collaboration; people who are not fussy about things always making sense
The Biathlon system that I have been co-developing since 2016 has been in use at Kuusi Palaa, a cooperatively operated project space in Helsinki. Kuusi Palaa opened on 1 March 2018 and will run at least until the end of June. The idea for Kuusi Palaa was to continue using the Biathlon tools that Temporary used (and operating in the same physical space), but to further decentralise the financing and become a legal cooperative. So now, instead of just the content and day-to-day operations being spread over a large and open mix of people, the paying of the rent and bills is also shared.Read more
Even older posts...
On Monday, 10 July 2017, I was honoured to host The Northern Pen90s: Interrogating the Curr-ency Collective 1992-1999 at the Burnlaw Centre, one of the main sites of Curr-ency’s original artistic activity.
This was the first time I have ever organised anything in the seminar/symposium format, and despite the limited time restraints we managed to produce a phenomenal event, with a rich array of academic participants from the Northeast and even some of the original members of the Curr-ency collective present.
I'm honoured to have been invited to participate in the World is Sudden: Summer Lab project by Giles Bailey & CIRCA Projects next month. The project will take place in Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and the North Pennines, and I'll be one of the artists along with Anne-James Chaton, Rory Pilgrim, Giles, Christian Jendreiko, Christo Wallers and the Glasgow Open Dance School.
Tickets are £100 which include accomodation and food for the days at the Burnlaw Centre in the Pennines; there are also 6 bursaries available. I'll quote the official press release here which contains much more information than I can comfortably paraphrase.
Giles Bailey & CIRCA Projects have invited international artists, performers, musicians, designers and dancers to make artworks in the urban and natural environments of the Northeast region and to propose new ways of discovering the area as a continuum, without divisions between nature and culture, city and countryside, street and path, local and foreigner, human and animal, day and night. Invited artists have created a series of day-long projects which fuse interdisciplinary experiences to each reflect upon a different host venue and their different role as a cultural producer in our region. Participants of the Summer Lab are invited to discover other forms of being, hearing, touching, tasting and seeing the world.
Since September of last year, my day-to-day attention has been focused on Temporary, which we call a 'sandbox for practice-based research into experimental interactive formats’ in Helsinki.
I’m one of the initial organisers of the project, which we started to collect different approaches to culture production, specifically focusing on participatory, trans-disciplinary events. Rather than creating another art space or project space, our goal is to design a framework for cultural experimentation that attempts to decentralise the administration and responsibilities usually needed for such efforts.
A digital currency, called Temps (with the symbol Ŧ), that ‘pays’ people for actually showing up to the events;
Icewhistle.com is the website of John W. Fail since 2007.
Contact via email link on site footer.