Alternativa meeting in Gdansk - December 2010

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Working Group Facilitator: Metod Blejec
Working Group Members: Metod Blejec, Karem Ibrahim, Marsha Bradfield
The Alternative Practices barcamp at Critical Malfunction was facilitated by Marsha Bradfield and Kuba Szreder

Alternative Practices BarCamp - Critical Practice Presentations

Marsha: A few thoughts on Emotional Labour
Kuba:
Metod:
Karem:

Reflections on Alternative Practices BarCamp

Process Notes

Background Info - sourced from Kuba's email -September 21, 2010:

Between 03 - 05th of December 2010, there is Alternativa meeting in Gdansk: I'm organizing "Altering practices" - public meeting about the criticality - in - action, focused on reflective presentation of people's own practices. We'll have to our disposal really cool piece of furnishing, stimulating peer- to - peer exchange, I'll send you pictures soon. It will be a first meeting in the long process, aiming at 2012, when we could organize bigger public event. In summer 2011 I plan to organize closed research camp, planned as week - long intensive group work, aimed at practical testing of variety of formats and stimulating exchange, leading to development of plan for 2012.

Draft description - sourced from Kuba's email - October 13, 2010:

Critical Malfunction - on the crooked roads of art production; 14.00 - 17.00, Saturday, 4th of December 2010, Instytut Sztuki Wyspa, Gdansk: The Saturday afternoon of Alternativa warm up weekend will be focused on discussion about too often denied aspects of cultural production. The malfunction, collapse, crash, breakdown - all these are simply avoided in typical art scene presentations, which are rather focused on developments, achievements, improvements and self promotion. The typical picture drawn during public symposiums is the one of frictionless and smooth mechanisms of cultural production, in which there is no space for failures and no time to make mistakes. All the dirt is put under the carpet, all the systemic malfunctions are pushed away to the dark corners of private sphere, defined as effects of individual breakdowns. It excludes not only real criticality, but also denies the very idea of experiment and adventurous exploration. In this happy world of 24/7 success driven competition there is no space for risk, culture starts to be based on short sighted, spectacular repetition of already tested formats, which proved to be successful in gaining acceptance of art crowd. On the contrary - all critical practitioners, devoted to tweaking mechanisms of art making, have encountered on their paths many systemic failures, made individual mistakes, discovered problems not solvable from their current position. Search of alternatives is not driven by the vision of short term improvement. Radical experiments are based on the acceptance of failure, readiness to take risks and test various solutions before finding promising formula. The systemic failures or personal mistakes are evidence of critical malfunctions of cultural production, the noises made by social machines when they are cracked, hacked, overheated. Our short session will be dedicated for making this focal moments public, to collectively draw maps of the twisted roads of critical production. As one of "Proverbs of hell" says: "Improvement makes straight roads, but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius". "Critical malfunction" session will be publically open. We'll invite Alternativa team and special quests, to prepare short presentation during which they will explore the realm of critical malfunctions as seen from their individual perspective and systemic entanglement, from the position of personal lives and professional practice. We'll adopt barcamp formula, schedule of our meeting will be open for public participation and evolution. Every of speakers is expected to prepare 10 minutes presentation / performance. Sense of humor and self distance mixed with pinch of radical scrutiny are strongly recommended. As the site of our peer 2peer exchange we'll use comforting and hospitable Habeas Lounge of Linda Pollack.



A few points of consideration (Marsha's thoughts on October 24, 2010)

  • Do we really have the time/energy/focus to do this either individually or as a group?
  • Is it really feasible to work via email between Madrid/London/Budapest?
  • Can we work to the deadline? We are asked to submit a 1000 - 1500 "paper of what we're presenting in Warsaw" by the 01st of December, we need at least a week to write the bad boy, which means the deadline for aggregating themes/foci is November 3, 2010. Please don't send these via email - put them on the wiki. (Karem, I'm sure Metod will show you how to use it.)
  • Kuba's remark: Critical Malfunction has a relatively open formula (contrary to Warsaw), but still needs preparation - every participant is expected to actively take part in session, it is also connected with research trip to Gdansk, and brainstorming about 2011 and 2012 action
  • Can we distribute the labour equitably? What should we do if we can't?

Aggregate themes here - Deadline is November 3, 2010


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Return to Free/slow University of Warsaw Summit - December 2010 * Main Page


IMG 1331.jpg Metod presents at the Critical Malfunction barcamp
IMG 1338.jpg Heath Bunting's money game
IMG 1357.jpg Aneta welcomes The Chicago Boys
IMG 1359.jpg The Chicago Boys play
IMG 1363.jpg The Chicago Boys play some more
IMG 1367.jpg

Linda Pollack reads The 21 Demands