Art as consumption vs artists engaging in real life collective processes

This is (part of) my speech at the seminar The Role of Culture in a Sustainable Society – Sustainability in Art and Cultural Projects, Helsinki, Finland, 2015-09-23
Artistic workshop about sustainable collectives through sound and movement

( I start by reciting my blogpost What Makes us a Collective? explaining the model above, and then continue … )

” … This model stresses the circular relationship between producing and consuming, and it suggests to regard these two processes as if they are unfolding in a space of their own. It also suggests that this producing-consuming space is embedded in a space of playing, and that there is a circular relationship between these two spaces.

Finally, I would like to add that the model will sharpen the focus on the synchronicity of the elements. It will open our eyes for the everyday life muddy human activities, where people are producing something, consuming something, and playing with the elements around them, creating new connections between things and activities.

Where do artistic processes fit in this model? The way our art world is working in general, right now, I would say that art is something people consume. Maybe the artist him-/herself is engaged in a process where he or she, according to this model, would be entering the “playing space”/ third space. But the people benefitting from this playful process are not part of it.

Still, people do engage in playful activities in their everyday lives, and as I am trying to say with this model, these are very important elements of building and sustaining sound collectives.

This is why I am saying: What happens if an artist opens up a common “playing space” with people in an actually lived, more or less culturally sustainable, collective?

What happens if artists engage real life collectives in activities that are based on the artist’s knowledge and tools? These tools that the artist has developed and used for playing with elements from the immediate surroundings, and that can now be used to play with the everyday life elements of a given collective. Not in the form of artistic products to be consumed by the collective, but in the form of a collective process, including non-artists in the artistic process.

What we are going to try in the other room, is to enter this modality of playing, while drawing on elements from our everyday activities. The same way we would be doing, if we were working with any kind of collective, as artists.”

Read about the workshop here: What are you doing with your hands?

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sQRikebeam bor fow

Ich bin auch ein Fahrrad, -or- Bikescream for QRow

-or- traffic jam session

Recommendation: Watch the video clip while listening to the sound:

The participants made sounds with the bikestruments and formed them with their voices through the Anthropomorfer. When working with the sounds via smartphones, how could we do with only very little space? I hadn’t prepared a silver concept for that part. Somehow someone came up with the idea to follow the passing cars, bikes and people with the sounds. So each participant chose one feature, for instance “everything yellow”, and each time a yellow car, bike og hat passed by, he/she would ‘follow’ the moving object with the sound, panning from left to right or vice versa. In this way, a new aspect was introduced in the the-street-as-an-instrument-concept: SILENCE!! Since there were not yellow things passing by all the time the participant following yellow things had to keep silent in the pauses. But since each participant followed his/her specific feature, – bike helmets, taxis, blondes, etc., a great variety of movements and velocities naturally came to the improvisations, thus creating variation and new mixes/collisions. QRaaaaa QRaaaa!

Related articles:

Bikestruharp, former bike now instrument (www.akutsk.wordpress.com)

Bikestruments, bridgestruments, anti padlock guerilla (www.akutsk.wordpress.com)