┐ Andrea Polli, memories as possessions in virtual space └

25676492© Andrea Polli, Appetite 4, installation detail, Here Space, NY, 1995

3© Andrea Polli, Appetite 4, detail from installation WWW site showing a studio photograph of objects on a plate, 1995

1© Andrea Polli, Fetish, screen shot of detail of installation at the Ctrl show, Name Gallery, Chicago, 1996

“Research into the concept of appetite led me to consider my personal appetite for possessions. It became clear to me that I (like many others) have multiple layers of possessions. We have possessions that exist in physical space, as well as possessions in virtual space: images, sounds and texts stored in analog and digital media. My work, entitled Appetite 4, consisted of 32 porcelain dinner plates suspended on the walls of a small space and containing actual materials symbolic of my personal desires. A cellular phone, for example, symbolized my need for protection-i.e. the idea of being untouchable or unlocatable; keys referred to power and control. I photographed the material on each of the plates in its “ideal” state-lit to resemble a commercial product. Objects of desire in the virtual world exist in a visually heightened state to compensate for the lack of physicality. Remote visitors could access the desires in the virtual world through the World Wide Web (WWW) at <http:// homepage.interaccess.com/-apolli/ appetite.htm>.
(…)
The idea of possessions in virtual space, which I explored in the Appetite exhibition, led me to the conscious realization that virtual possessions are actually an integral part of non-digital life. Every human being has a storage bank of virtual possessions: memories. In fact, the computer storage bank is understood in human terms only through a metaphor of memory.

Fetish, part of Command-Shift-Ctrl exhibition in May 1996 at NAME Gallery, Chicago, explored the issue of memory in virtual and physical space. The installation consisted of 12 objects suspended on glass panels acting as a drop ceiling over the heads of the viewers. A computer in the space provided a virtual replication of the objects. In positioning the objects, I attempted to create a metaphor for the act of remembering. There are physical correlations to many emotional states-for example, joy is experienced as a physical buoyancy, and, in contrast, grief is experienced as physical weight. When trying to remember, humans often will move their eyes up and to the side (Color Plate B No. 1).


I lit each object with a dramatic spotlight, which created exaggerated shadows on the walls of the space. As in Appetite 4, lighting served to give the objects a larger-than-life presence in the space. I wanted to create a physical space that would refer to the mind’s virtual space during the act of remembering events and objects. Certain events have prominence in the mind, and the physical metaphor of size in relation to importance importance is utilized in the space through oversized shadows-foggy reproductions of actual events/objects. I selected the objects as signifiers of personal experiences related to past relationships.”

excerpt from “Polli, Virtual Space and the Construction of Memory”, in Leonardo, Vol.31, 1998

┐ A Prototype for the Futture – la ZAD – 17th November 2012 └

“We have entered La ZAD (Zone A Défendre) – Europe’s largest postcapitalist protest camp – a kind of rural occupy on the eastern edge of Brittany, half and hour’s drive from the city of Nantes.  Like a rebel constellation spread across 4000 acres of forest, farmland and marshes, it takes the form of old squatted farms and fields, DIY strawbale houses, upcycled sheds, theatres and bars cobbled from industrial pallets, hobbit like round houses, cute cabins built with the worlds waste, huts perched frighteningly high in trees and a multitude of other disobedient architectural fantasies. La ZAD has been a laboratory for ways of living despite capitalism since the 2009 French Climate Camp. At the camp activists and locals put together a call for people to come and live on the Zone to protect it.  Now you can find illegal goat herds and organic bakeries, bike workshops and bee hives, working farms and communal kitchens, a micro brewery, a mobile library, and even a pirate radio station: Radio Klaxon. Emitting from a secret location somewhere in the Zone, the station hijacks the airwaves of “Radio Vinci Autoroute” the traffic information channel run byVinci for its private network of French motorways. The world’s largest multinational construction firm, builders of nuclear power stations, African uranium mines, oil pipelines, motorways, car parks and the infrastructure of hyper capitalism everywhere, Vinci also happen to be the company commissioned by the French government to cover this landscape in concrete and open Nantes new airport (it already has one) by 2017.  Well that’s the plan. (…)

On the 16th of October 1200 riot police overran La ZAD. What had been a state free autonomous zone for 3 years was transformed within a few hours into a militarised sector. Road blocks sealed the area, Guard Mobiles (military mobile gendarme units) swarmed everywhere and bulldozers groaned across the fields. Despite resistance from the Zadists within two days the state had destroyed 9 of the 12 of the squatted spaces. On one of the days, 250 rounds of tear gas were fired into the market garden, seemingly to contaminate the vegetables that until that moment had fed over 100 Zadists every week. A principle of war is of course: cut off the supplies.(…)

Ayrault [the airport] has promoted the project as a “green” airport. It is planned to have living roofs covered in plants, the two runways have been designed to minimise taxiing to save on CO2 emissions and an organic community supported box scheme is meant to feed its employees. Next year Nantes will celebrate its latest award: European Green City 2013.  To call this double speak is generous. According to a recent report a hundred million people will die of climate driven deaths over the next eighteen years. 80 percent of the slaughtered will be in countries with lower emissions. The Climate Catastrophe is no just a threat to our ecosystems and the species we share the biosphere with, it’s a violent war on the poor. A war whose weapons are built out of steel and concrete, tarmac and plastic, a war with a ticking methane bomb hiding under the artic. Waged by the logic of growth and disguised as everyday life according to capitalism, climate change is the war that could end all wars and all life with it. Calling an airport green is as cynical as calling a concentration camp humane. Perhaps in the future  if we are lucky t have one, descendents will contemplate the ruins of airports as we do the sites of 18th century slave markets and wonder how a culture could have committed such barbarity so openly.(…)

Since the evictions began the art of building barricades has taken over everyday life here. Everywhere you go there are little teams busy hauling materials across fields to erect another barricade. The idea is to slow the advance of the authorities, who have named their operation “Cesar” (Caesar), perhaps a reference to Obelix and Asterix’s resistant gallic village. The police have taken the weekend off and so barricade building takes place unhindered. Now there are ones rising on the main roads as well as the green lanes. The multiplicity of different barricades reflects the different cultures at La Zad. Those living in tree houses in the Rohanne Forest have asked people not to cut living trees to make them, whilst in another part of the Zone a team of chainsaw wielding activists are tacking down oak trees and tangling steel rope in them. On one crossroads there are at least 20 barricades. There are huge hay rounds with cans of petrol beside them ready to set alight when the police attack, there is a steel wall of sitex – Anti squatting panels normally placed on doors and windows of empty houses –carefully welded together and one made from dozens of bamboo poles sticking out of the tarmace decorated with bicycle wheels.  In the middle of it all there is makeshift kitchen with its mobile pizza oven made from an oil drum.

An affinity group armed with cordless angle grinders and pick axes, have been working day and night to cut out giant trenches in the roads –  in some cases several metres wide and deeper than a standing adult.   Ishmel tells me that yesterday road agency workers came to mend one of the smaller trenches  (not surrounded by barricades). People talked to the workers, trying to persuade them to turn around and not do the dirty work of Vinci. Despite having their boss on the phone coercing them to keep going, they eventually turned around and left the hole in the road. One of the workers later said “ What troubled me most was that I’m from around here and (clearing the barricades to allow the police to circulate) feels a bit like I was helping demolish my neighbours house.”There have also been stories of local police officers that refused to join the operation.

excerpt of Laronce‘s article Rural Rebels and Useless Airports: La ZAD – Europe’s largest Postcapitalist land occupation. continue reading here

More bout La Zad in their site http://zad.nadir.org/ and in the blog of Notre Dame des Landes

┐ when a cause turns into thoughtless hypocrisy* └

© Tinkebell, Brutus with Idiot, photo printed as a poster, made in collaboration with Mirjam Muller, with special thanks to the idiots

© Tinkebell, Her name is Sarah, performance

(the animal is used as a commodity article: as part of an individuals carefully build image and ego, rather then being acknowledged as a being with own needs and characteristics.)

© Tinkebell, Saving a Broiler, installation

(Saving the broiler was part of an installation in which the animal of just a few weeks old got the most perfect habitat the artist could think of.)

© The Idiots, DON’T WORRY WE’LL STRAIGHTEN HIM OUT!,2009 – taxidermy skunk, ironing board, textile, wood, felt. An interview about their work here

© William Hundley, Chihuahua on Cheeseburgers

© Jouko Lehtola, from the series Dogs (left) + © design by The Just Us Collective (right)

*may it be clear that the title of this post refers not to these artists’ provocative work but to their haters. it’s very easy to stay with what’s in front of you, much more difficult to actually stop bitching, stop being an hypocrite and actually think about what you do, what you eat, what you wear. If I were to be wrong about this judgement, all their haters would be morally irreproachable, which would mean our world should be a better place, – with all these animal lovers and environmental activists – when in fact most of them just sit and send hate mail, they wouldn’t get up and go save a pet about to die. Tinkebell already did the test.

┐ Chen Qiulin └

© Chen Qiulin, Ellisis’s Series No. 3, 2002 (photograph)

© Chen Qiulin, Peach Blossom, 2009 (dvd still)

At a time when her understanding of contemporary art was still limited, Chen was unexpectedly invited to partake in Parabola, a satellite show of the First Chengdu Biennale (2001). On this occasion she created Ellisis (. . . . . .), a performance piece that she documented in film and photographs. The work is based on a Chinese expression that roughly translates as “sweet harm” and refers to all the enticing things that modern society throws at young women. In Ellisis, Chen sits in front of a vanity table placed outdoors among the rubble of an undeveloped site with new buildings, a coal power plant, and factories on the horizon. She is wearing a pretty dress and is admiring herself in the mirror, oblivious to a man throwing pieces of a soft, creamy cake at her until her hair, face, and dress are coated. Her absorption in herself and indifference to her surroundings are a metaphor for the situation that many young Chinese women find themselves in. Unlike older women, Chen’s generation has not lived through revolutions or hard times. Rather, they are seduced by the sweetness of a prosperous society while ignoring the potential emotional harm hidden within.
(…)
Sichuan Province experienced the worst earthquake in its history in May 2008. Only three months before the Beijing Olympics were scheduled to open, with China the focus of world attention, hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives, their loved ones, their homes. The severe sense of loss reverberated with Chen, whose most recent body of work reflects on life in Sichuan after the disaster. Peach Blossom (Tao Hua, 2009), on view for the first time in the United States at the Hammer Museum, was created in the same spirit as the earlier Wanxian video works—with an archival instinct and a lens on the personal, social, and environmental changes shaping people’s lives. In Chen’s words: “We cannot avoid natural disasters—life goes on. I made videos and performed in the areas hit by the earthquake as a commemoration and hope that more people will see how people are living in these areas and help them.”

source: excerpt from text by France Pepper. Continue reading

More of Chen’s work can be seen here

┐ Christin Boggs └

© Christin Boggs, Untitled, from the series Cheap Fix

© Christin Boggs, Untitled, from the series Cheap Fix

“With mass acceptance of America’s fast-food mentality, older traditions and rituals of preparing and sharing food are rapidly disappearing. Food and tableware have undergone a chemical makeover, resulting in supermarket shelves stocked with items that imitate flavors and textures grown in nature. In contrast, seventeenth century traditional still life paintings portray natural foods and tableware made from authentic glass, cloth, and silver. Contemporary modes of preparation are exposed when supermarket products are recast into the formal setting and lighting portrayed by the Old Masters.”

Christin’s statement

More of her work here