Trying to find your way through the myriad ‘performance spaces’ of the web continues to challenge and excite me. It’s interesting, using social media spaces like FaceBook and Twitter and blogging, to develop different aspects of personality or practice. Even in my most trivial moments I’m aware of how the web is used and what the demands and prejudices of it are. Or, more precisely, let me qualify that statement: I’m still learning what those demands and prejudices are.
This is one square mile in South Shanghai, close to Shanghai South Railway Station and Bus Station. There are other artists in other countries working with their own square miles in India, Bangladesh, UK, Teheran and South Africa. This one's mine. There's also a local sound artist involved, Yin Yi, and Shanghai eArts. They're my host organisation. They're based in this square mile and they chose it, before I arrived.
We're all "mapping the biodiversity, cultural diversity, and aesthetic diversity of our local neighbourhoods."
leena saarinen & i have collaborated since 2001 on numerous performances, presentations & projects. yesterday we met for the first time. our collaboration began in 2001 when leena answered a call i put out on various email lists for people who were interested in experimenting with the use of the internet in live theatre.
recently i gave 2 guest lectures at dartington college of arts; in order to be paid, i had to fill out numerous forms (including one to opt out of a pension scheme) and there were many emails back & forth about my alien status & how my payment could be authorised. when i expressed surprise at this - surely visiting international guest lecturers are not such a rarity?
"For hours after the attack on Taksim the whole neighborhood looked like a warzone. Police charging everywhere. Teargas everywhere. The black block anarchists were fighting back. Citizens who didn’t even know what the IMF was got trapped in between. In clouds of teargas. Horrible sightings. Horrible." - Battal: Resistanbul 06 10 09
after a hectic few weeks in denmark with the installation let ME go, i'm now resting in exeter (after giving a couple of lectures at the wonderful dartington college which is sadly to close at the end of this academic year). when i say resting ...
A presumption I have come across every now and then is that, because I am known for making art with technology, on the Internet, defining and redefining alternative territories (collaboratively) via digital networks with on-line communities; that I do not 'actually' create works in other mediums or experience other/different art forms in other environments. Although it is understandable of where such attitudes may come from, such presumptions may say more about or at least highlight, a misunderstanding or non-appreciation of the wider picture.
Given the opportunity I would certainly make this choice every-time.
Things I would do differently
1. Learn at least a few words in the language of every country I was passing through: hello, please, thank you, excuse me, help.
2. Learn a bit about the contemporary and historical relationship between bordering countries and my own where I'm making border crossings.
3. Take a knife a spoon and napkins
4. Take antiseptic cream and sticking plasters (would have been put to good use at least twice on my trip)
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