Common Things project description

November 20, 2010 Leave a comment

The Project examines the significance of synergies originating from community, cooperation and open systems. [1] In its construction the work models collaborative networks and artistic processes behind the successes of the global creative industry with the help of a local community organized by the artists.

The collaborative model assists the artists in reinterpreting the notions of economic cooperation / national cooperation / the work of art, and contrasting it with the isolating speech patterns and practices of political discourse and social common talk. The members of the team are artists resident in Hungary, basket weavers, engineers and designers belonging to different ethnic groups. The possibility for interpenetration between a technology driven world and the handicrafts industry is a pressing issue for the group, as it is clear that the way we relate to industry and capitalist development is decisive when social cohesion and global economic success are at stake. [2]

The evolution and success of the creative industry proves that economic strength and success are found where the number of synergies capable of bringing about “new products” is high. Compared with classical models of production, these are non-operational collaborations that build products from the knowledge they share.

Products of such collaborations may be environmentally friendly objects, architectural structures or experimental elements that unite the regions of Hungary and their people’s traditions in a natural way, with no pointless differentiation between high-tech, research science or constructivist tradition, an ancient weaving technique inherited by the  Romungro of Szendrőlád, the straw mats of Tápé or bundled cables in a media lab.

Our work, in short, interprets the artistic process from a socioeconomic perspective, with artists becoming “industrial managers.”

The installation combines three elements (weaving, painting, projection – see the illustration attached) which together overlap, and enmesh the structure of the pavilion. A spatial illusion built from the structural model of a beehive painted on the wall and the floor initializes a web of basket-woven nests that weaves through the exhibition space. The traditional materials used to weave baskets mix with conductors, sensors and light conductors (leds, optical cables, etc.) so the structure can be programmed.

The network of woven nests (the larger ones allowing for visitors to lie in them) is also a screen for the projection, which is placed in the darker unit (on the left) of the space.

See details of the installation in the illustrations attached.

The team:

This year the pavilion will explore a model of community collaboration through the language of design.

Attila Nemes, the curator, is especially attuned to spaces defined by the semantics of art and technology, in the project he unites and interprets the various structures brought by the artists and craftsmen into a spirited whole. Éva Köves, one of the most enduring and consistent artists to follow the Hungarian constructivists. In her clear drawings that are both organic and architectonic she creates the structure developed from the crystalline construction of the beehive, which will be definitive of the whole pavilion. Kinga Kovács, alias DJ Sanyi, host of a musical literature program at Tilos Radio, is a creative writer, translator, experimenting with the associations between text and music. Bálint Bethlenfalvy is a composer, who graduated from the US Oberlin Conservatory after studies in London at The Purcell School of Music, with an interest in theatre and storytelling through music, and acoustic elements building form. Educational work on Indian and contemporary music through radio (Fiksz, Fúzió) and childrens’ workshops (Kerekasztal). Andrea Sztojánovits is a vj and media artist, one of the outstanding figures of the VJ field in Hungary, with an interest in audiovisuality and its transcendent extensions. Her audiovisual works presented under the “cybercultural” alias Attaray (Transrepro, Monkey Presso, Cinetrip, vj Centrum teams) always bring about community spaces. On this occasion she will be projecting onto Éva Köves’s structuralist paintings and building led-cable nests. Juli Laczkó graduated from Visual Communication and Vido Department of MOME in 2010, with semesters abroad at the arts academies of Marseille and Zagreb. Mainly involved in video-based installations and performative screenings, many of her works explore the themes of self-body-image; László Kiss graduated in 2009 as a Creative Music Technology major from Ruskin College, Cambridge, in England. A researcher currently affiliated with Kitchen Budapest, he is a technology oriented experimental musician thinking mainly in terms of interactive spatial installations; Márton András Juhász is a molecular biologist, working in the areas of experimental music, neurocybernetics, robotics, chaos; Róza El-Hassan, object artist and political artist turned to design an a year ago, when she began to innovatively use the ancient technology of cane weaving, earlier used to weave baskets and objects to store fragile fruit to cover, pack and protect electronic and technical appliances. Zsóka Nyitrai teaches basket weaving at the equal opportunities school of Dugovics street in the eighth district of Budapest, with 15 years of experience teaching disadvantaged students. Zoltán Kis, teaches basket weaving at the same school, and restores antique woven furniture. Zoltán Rácz and family, is an exceptional master of the craft practiced by the Roma people of the Romungro group of Szendrőlád, who hands on the ancient art of szilács weaving to his sons and daughters-in- law. Mara Bárány, cane mat weaver and author of books. Salam Haddad, film director and artist,  who creates videos for  Róza El-Hassan’s projects. Katalin Bodó, curator, organized the exhibition “Art on the Lake,” and was first to support the cane weavers project. Judit Szőke, sociologist, director of the Polgár Foundation, the Equal Opportunities Foundation, with expertise in issues related to Roma minority rights and equal opportunities, and initiator and director of the Poor People’s Bank Project. Orsolya Árvay, coordinator and contact person for the craftsmen involved in the weavers design project. The curious design-object of large proportions to be realized as the Hungarian Pavilion of the Venice Biennale will be a synergy of the knowledge shared by the above mentioned craftsmen, artists and organizers as well as other participants joining later, and their open system.

[1] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (English translation, 1980). A Thousand Plateaus. Translated by: Brian Massumi. London and New York: Continuum, 2004. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. 2nd Volume, 1972-1980)

“As a model for culture, the rhizome resists the organizational structure of the root-tree system which charts causality along chronological lines and looks for the originary source of ‘things’ and looks towards the pinnacle or conclusion of those ‘things.’ A rhizome, on the other hand, ‘ceaselessly established connections between semiotic chains, organizations of power, and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences, and social struggles.’ Rather than narrativize history and culture, the rhizome presents history and culture as a map or wide array of attractions and influences with no specific origin or genesis, for a ‘rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo.’ The planar movement of the rhizome resists chronology and organization, instead favoring a nomadic system of growth and propagation. In this model, culture spreads like the surface of a body of water, spreading towards available spaces or trickling downwards towards new spaces through fissures and gaps, eroding what is in its way. The surface can be interrupted and moved, but these disturbances leave no trace, as the water is charged with pressure and potential to always seek its equilibrium, and thereby establish smooth space.”

[2]Scott Lash and Celia Lury: Global Culture Industry: The Mediation of Things (2007. Polity Press)

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