26th March, 2008 Debriefing

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Location: 7:00 At Owl and Pussycat Pub, Shoreditch
Present: Cinzia, Robin, Corrado, Neil, Mike and Marsha
Notes: Marsha

The first part of these minutes identifies several salient concerns explored in the meeting; the second part attempts to capture the utterances of individual contributors.

Seven General Reflections:

  1. That there was a rough and interesting rub between the Congress and the Market (alternative agendas: CP’s seemed more about “dreaming Europe” through experimenting with interpersonal transactions; the Congress seemed more about projecting Europe by via well-rehearsed and elitist theoretical assertions)
  2. That in future we might more critically consider CP’s contribution to larger events. (In what ways, for example, might we contribute to the administration of the event [think about Isobel, Trevor and Neil’s contributions for FoE]? How do the organizers of the event understand CP’s contribution?)
  3. That there was confusion around what comprised “the artistic presence,” how it contributed to the Congress or failed to do so as it was insufficiently considered. (CPers observed that it was difficult to participate in the Congress; it was not user/attendee friendly. It was also noted that there was no artist on the panel.)
  4. That "the market" was a successful form and could be used for other projects. (But that the duration was too short – it could have been longer. Also, we might further have developed the Market’s aesthetics as a fete/fair.)
  5. That there were various kinds and levels of participation in operation across/around/through the Festival and that thinking about how these different forms interact with one another could make for richer engagement all around.
  6. That there was significant bleed between the Market and Disclosures. How does labour, for example, figure similarly and differently in these two events and what might we learn from this comparison?
  7. That the reflections emerging from this event underscore our need to be more reflective. Mike suggested having a long meeting without an agenda to further explore some of these ideas.

Specific Reflections:

Cinzia offered feedback on her stall partner’s impressions - More emphasis on the aesthetics - Interested in the organization of this space(Cinzia’s comment)

Neil read out Trevor’s contributions (see Trevor’s email)

Marsha provided feedback from Jem - Very engaging, diversity of ideas, could have been more emphasis placed on aesthetics

Mike was interested in how the artist was implicated in the Festival - He noted the Market as a kind of rupture - It was difficult to talk about the Market outside of the Market - It was a successful event though at times felt hurried (he could have spoken to twice as many people) - There was lots of good exchange - A large portion of Mike’s contribution is still to come and this needs to be considered in relation to his reflections on how things unfolded on the day - There was a curious relationship between facilitating the event and participating in it - The Festival organizers and speakers did not seem very engaged with the Market - Question: Where do we take this from here?

Cinzia noted that one of the Congress participants said it was “ironic” to have the Market next door to the Congress - Observed that it was a kind of sideshow - Reactive - Where was the artistic presence? - Did not feel she could participate in the “debate” - Panel members talked to one another

Corrado observed that the market as a structure engenders “pimping” of ideas - Felt inundated with stuff - Were there problems fostering engagement?

Neil notes the shift in energy as people moved from the Congress into the Market - It felt like there was an upsurge

Cinzia perceived people did not want to go back and join the Congress - She also felt energized rather than enervated by the Market and wish very much she could have engaged Nicolo and Lorenzo - The Market was essentially self-sufficient, fertile and productive space

Mike felt we might have been more proactive in organizing the event

Neil observed the importance of thinking about the Market in terms of transaction.

Corrado wonders what FoE had to do with Europe?

Neil felt it had to do with being generous to an other, of dreaming Europe as a place for participation

Cinzia sees Europe as a space of possibility = but perhaps not quite the kind outlined in Lorenzo’s paper and its emphasis on the new Avant-Garde

Neil read out some of Isobel’s reflections (see email) - Some of her concerns are practical; the questions she struggles with are the questions we struggle with more generally. - They relate to labour, to different types of labour.

Neil observed that admin and practice go hand in hand

Cinzia proposed a resolution: that we remunerate Isobel for her work

Marsha and Neil feel this is the stuff the resource camp is made of

Cinzia observed that we often operate from a place of “reaction: ” we respond to situations but perhaps some self-reflection is in order…Let’s stop saying “Because…”

Robin observers that we’ve been involved in a flurry of activity - Initiating more activities is a good idea

Neil was concerned about how the idea of the market was assumed (taken up?)

Manuela has observed that it can be hard to catch up—to, re-enter the discussion after being out of the loop for while

Mike observed that language can sometimes prove difficult

Marsha acknowledged that her use of acronyms might be part of the problem

Mike suggests a long meeting without an agenda in which we will continue to be more self-reflective