Tag Archives | public space

PARTICIPANT INTERVIEW: Daniel Bejar

What are you working on now and how does the piece in Conflux relate?

Right now I’m working on a few projects, but the immediate one is “Rec-elections” which are site-specific performances, which question Conservative Presidential advertising strategies, which weaponize nostalgia as a political tool of manipulation. In Conservative advertising you find a lot of references to the past, always with an eye looking back. I recently returned from the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL where I appropriated their strategy by using historical campaign posters from past elections, such as from Romney’s father campaign when he ran in 1968. I performed in protest marches and rallies by utilizing the historical campaign posters and handing them out to fellow protesters. “Rec-elections” is similar to my project “Get Lost!” which will be part of Conflux in that they both utilize history as tool to question the present, and both open up a space to envision alternate possibilities.

What interests you in working in public space? What are some of the challenges you face making public work?

My interest in public space is that first and foremost it is “public”, something we all share, and have the ability to contribute to. Public space is more, and more becoming a contested site, and as a site of contention I find it something to question and push back against. And finally public space is a place we all have access to regardless of wealth, social status, race, religion, sex, etc. there are no social barriers which exclude an audience, I find this very appealing in making socially conscious work. As for challenges, I think the biggest challenge of working in public space is the variable of not knowing what can happen in public, you really can’t plan every aspect of a project in public space. I’ve come to embrace this variable of chance, and found that amazing things can happen that weren’t even thought of.

Any great adventures you’ve been on recently?

I was recently at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL. It wan an intense week spent in a legalized police state. Protests and marches were allowed, but only during sanctioned times, and places, all of which were blocks away from the actual convention where the actual target audience was. It was a marginalizing experience. Not sure if it was great, but it was definitely an adventure.

Check out more here: www.danielbejar.com @dabejar

 

PARTICIPANT INTERVIEW: Brian House

What are you working on now and how does the piece in Conflux relate? Recently, I’ve been writing a lot of music. Or rather, I’ve been using musical structures to listen to data that I’ve gathered as I move about the city. I’m interested in how we understand data and what its relationship is to actual embodied experience. That’s a theme that’s definitely reflected in the Joyride piece; a mobile phone, an individual, LA, Google, and this list of lat/longs dance around each other leaving traces but never quite coalescing into a definitive story. I’m hoping sound and performance might be another way to play in the middle of all that, especially in regard to how we relate to time and our daily rhythms. I’m also hoping to further develop the OpenPaths platform to facilitate other artists who work with geolocation.

What interests you in working in public space? what are some of the challenges you face making public work? My work involves things that move — spatially, temporally, and through those liminal zones between public and private activity. What kinds of politics do you create with those movements? What role does serendipity play? Can you ‘compose’ and ‘interpret’ your everyday behavior? How is it represented, and how do those representations work recursively to create behavior? Questions like these are experiments that take place with the world and which inevitably comprise the process and challenges of a subject that doesn’t sit still.

Any great adventures you’ve been on recently? I’m spending most of my time now in Providence, after having NYC as a base for 14 years. That is an adventure! It’s a whole new set of rhythms to wake up to.

Check out more here: http://brianhouse.net @h0use

PARTICIPANT INTERVIEW: Christopher Robbins

 

What are you working on now and how does the piece in Conflux relate?

Much of my life of late has been the Ghana ThinkTank. This is a collaborative effort with John Ewing, Carmen Montoya, and dozens of think tank members and comrades around the world, including Ghana, Cuba, El Salvador, Serbia, Iran, Afghanistan, Mexico, and, as I write this, Morocco and the Republic of Georgia. Much like my earlier, personal work in this year’s Conflux, it is a project dedicated to creating unlikely connections through seemingly naive reconfigurations of stuff we tend to take for granted.

 

What interests you in working in public space? what are some of the challenges you face making public work?

Radical Common Sense. When I lived in Benin, if cars were driving too fast through the village, people would break up the road with shovels to slow them down. In some ways, common sense has become a radical idea in the United States. We live off the vapors of assumptions we receive from someone else. I am trying to get back to this sense of radical common sense, connecting to another through an act so obvious we would never think of it, so easy we would never dare.

But common sense is hard to smell! And the only consistent way I can find it is through someone else pointing it out to me with my own damn fingers. So I am interested in setting up the sorts of situations that reflect our lives through another’s perspective—the finger that points at the moon that reflects in the puddle that we step in, and the cold muddy water splashes down our boots and socks.

 

Any great adventures you’ve been on recently?

I just climbed to Mother Georgia in Tbilisi. Next week I will customize a Donkey Cart in Morocco!

Check out more here:  http://www.christopher-robbins.com, Ghana ThinkTank: http://www.GhanaThinkTank.org