Minutes 07 January 2008

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Minutes of Critical Practice meeting at Royal Festival Hall café (we have these notes thanks to Mary Anne Francis taking them in a Word doc - the old wiki had been hacked.

7th January 2008, 7pm
to discuss ‘Festival of Europe’ and ‘Visions in the Nunnery’ inviation

Present, Neil;, Neal, Isobel, Trevor, Robin, Cinzia, Mary Anne (minutes)
Apologies: Corrado; Michaela; Manuela; Marsha

NB these notes probably don’t correlate with Agenda which was unavailable due to site-hack.

Festival of Europe

Isobel gave a précis of the European Festival proposal / approach from two philosophers who have come across our work. The invitation to particpate in this event follows a requeset for us / Chelsea to host a talk by Bernard Stiegler (one of the philosophers who speaks in The Ister film where talks about technology as ‘having a life of its own’).
The 2 day Europe event is called ‘How to Make Europe Dream?: A Cultural Congress’ and is part of a much larger 2 week-long Festival of Europe (3 – 16 March)

Going back to the Steigler event, w decided that:

  • the lecture is ‘doable’ – all we have to find is his fare, hotel, and hospitality. Niccolo (one of the 2 philosophers) has offered to chair the event. Wants ‘interaction’ / participation from the audience.


We have offered / agreed the date of Thursday 5th March; it has been stipuatled that the lecture has to be public and free. Red Room for drinks at 6.30pm. Lecture at 7pm

Regarding the 2-day Europe event: this is programmed for week-end March 7th and 8th.

We tried to work out what was being offered / what we could – or would want – to offer.

• Is it an opportunity to host an event at Chelsea (so we would – just - be facilitating Estates and services); is it an opportunity to get involved in shaping an event; or an opportunity to offer a part of an event?

• Neal knows of an organisation in Europe which has set itself up as a GAT-free zone – will forward details – ACTION: Neal

• Cinzia pointed out that BTFM has looked at some issues to do EU market legislation.

• Can we think about re-purposing work that we’re already doing in CP for this event? Perhaps we already have things that we would want to develop in the context of ‘Europe’ – e.g. Open Content issues / BTFM’s work on European markets and market legislation.

Isobel will get in touch with organisers to ask:

What do you need in terms of spaces and technology?
Have they done any publicity?
Can CP offer a session?

We hypothesized that the congress is probably a provocation to thinking about Britain’s role in Europe… and a nudge at Britain’s ambivalent attitude to Europe ‘We are Europeans / Europe isn’t us…’

Visions in the Nunnery

Cinzia gave an introduction to the project which would take place early June.

Last year’s ‘VinN’ Neil, Robin and Corrado made a substantial contribution to the discussion around:

moving image and game culture – moving image not producing critical culture
Open source approach and alternative approaches to distributing work
Activist agendas for the moving image

The event involves monitor and screen-based work and asks: where does the moving image sit in the wider-picture? Cinzia and co-curators are looking for micro-events for this – CP has been invited to curate one of these.

• Trevor mentioned that he’d been looking into something called ‘Transition Towns’ – a method for having small or big public meetings. If CP was interested in adopting this, for example, it could offer a mode of generating/facilitating discussion. It would be good to have more details.

• Neal floated the idea of setting up a TV studio – changing the gallery from a site of consumption into a site of production.

• Robin’s suggested asking local young people to talk about why they like the videos etc they do. Gallery as space of production of meaning. See Superflex’s ‘Tenant Spin’ and ‘Bifo’ in Bologna. The watching (people’s selection of videos) and talking is the space of production.

We wondered if we could merge the two events i.e. gallery-as-site of production of meaning with gallery as site of material production (of video / moving image)?

• Isobel suggested that in order to avoid the patronising model of working with ‘the locals’ / ‘local “youth”’, we turn the ‘this is what we’ve got for you’ approach on its head to get something like ‘I’m interested in what you’re interested in come and tell us’.

• Remember Open Congress and use of Bluetooth.

We have to work hard on building a structure of people who would want to get involved. The bigger question for this project is ‘building the community’ that isn’t the usual gallery-going ‘public’.

Date of next general CP meeting: Tuesday 22nd January 7pm in the Green Room at Chelsea.

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