Saturday, 5 December 2009

Fluid Text at Bestiario

This page appeals to me in terms of the text to be projected onto the Wall: flexible, fluid but still permanent in some way.

{b.}bestiario [2009]

Günter Schabowski Interview, Shortly After the 9 Nov 1989 Press Conference

Günter Schabowski, the spokesperson for the SED (GDR's ruling party) gave an interview to Tom Brokaw of NBC, after the 9 Nov 1989 press conference which - by mistake or otherwise - lead to the opening of the Wall. In it, Brokaw questions whether GDR citizens can cross the Berlin Wall, in which Schabowski replies in English, that "it is possible for them to go through the border" and confirms that the people are granted "the permission of leaving GDR".

When Schabowski answers the questions about the free election in the GDR and how the SED has been mistrusted by the the people of GDR, he answers "we understand that it is a very very difficult task, but it is a task" (Schabowski, in Shea, 2009).

Shea, D. (2009) Berlin Wall Newscasts 20 Years Later: Watch Brokaw, Jennings & Rather Report The News (VIDEO). [online]

Friday, 4 December 2009

Sketches from the Less Bicknell Lecture

Sketches I made during my Core Unit lecture today. Les Bicknell presented some of his work, collaborating with residents of various communities, and above the door of the office's entrance he had painted the word "entrance" backwards. This was his perception to say that he should be out on the street (and it started up conversations too).

This linked with ideas I have about "the wall in the mind". When people say there is a psychological divide, they're referring to the cultural difference and conflict of values between  former East and West Germans (Ossies and Wessies).
"Today's East and West Germans harbor deep mutual suspicion. The stereotypes are deeply ingrained and readily conjured: "Ossis" are racist, lazy, and self-pitying, while "Wessis" are self-centered, money-obsessed, and arrogant. Statistics show that Germans from opposite sides of the former border rarely marry, and they sometimes seem to make efforts to avoid mingling socially." (Abadi, 2009)
So people are still influenced by the concepts developed under the Codl War. Do Germans compare "the other side of the wall", against their own values? Is that the wall which still searve as a boundary? So I placed some words on a physical boudary.

If the wall of ideals seperated "us" and "them"... would printing the word "entrance" backwards help people see the values on the other side? (it would be "Eingang" in German, but I didn't think of this when I sketched this picture.)

Or is the word entrance too emotionally attached to them coming over and invading their culture or communities? Should the backward text be "Ausgang" (exit)? Maybe there should be different words facing each side of the Wall. Perhaps it should be a question mark.

Abadi, C. (2009) The Berlin Fall. [online]

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Considering Audience 03/12/09

Out There: Relating to my Audience (and, who are they?)

Why do we make things and who are they for? Les Bicknell gave a lecture on considering our audience, and where we place ourselves in relation to the art work we produce and how we relate to our audience. We were given 30 seconds (although it wasn't too strict) to draw a diagram, and to place ourselves as an artist, and this is what I drew. It was harder than I thought... and when I tried to explain the diagram below to my group, I still felt a little lost.

Being aware of who perceives your work, and speaking in their language is crucial, in order to communicate and perhaps to draw them into your work. Les talked about the processes he'd go through, interviews, consultation, workshops... to capture his audience. "The mind of people" was something artists needed to engage with. Blogging was one of way of being visible to his audience, he said.

When I worked as a photojournalist, I wasn't in direct contact with my audience, as I photographed and the newsagency sold my work to their clients. Perhaps my boss was my client (who I did not like, and vice versa).

My photojournalist background meant I have emphasis on observation and documentation, so the Berlin Wall naturally influences my work, so I had to bare in mind the environment close to the diagram.  And I had to define my position as a photographer of the Berlin Wall and as an educatior in photography and 3D design.

Who are my audience? I've realised I had two roles: a photographing the Berlin Wall, and working at a school with photography and 3D design projects. My Berlin Wall project started off as my personal photography project propelled by my Cold War enthusiasm, so I didn't need to think about who saw my photos - I took photos of what excited me, and I'd show the images to my friends over beer or peppermint tea (this project developed into my BA dissertation in 2009, but the audience was still limited, mainly to my lecturers/markers). Are the Berliners I interviewed my audience?

When I think about my work at the school, are the kinds audience, and how do they interract with my work? When I drew this diagram, I didn't think there was much the kids could do to my work...

but they do pick things up and play with them. Sometimes the kids get into the projects I run, and sometime it doesn't pick up at all... so I guess the kids are my audience in a way, and who I'm trying to communicate with. The group of kids I work with are friendly and motivated, and the context is specific to the environment.

On top of that, I consider a different group of audience now that I look into digital arts and media... so the whole wide world (well, at least those who have internet access) will now become my prospective-audience.

What cultural context do I consider now?

Adam Richardson's Invaded Space

Adam Richardson explored the concept of war and photojournalism, and adds humour and irony [Gugazine, 2009]. Photographs were taken by other photojournalists and he does not intend to make a statement or to prove a point [Rchardson, 2009a and 2009b].

Richardson, A. [2009a] Adam Richardson // Invaded Space. [online]
Richardson, A. [2009b] Invaded Space... [online]

I'll Be Gone.

I'll be gone from KORB on Vimeo.

Jobless Rate for People like...

The New York Times has published an interractive chart of unemplyment, where you can click and find out the unemployment rate based on various social backgrounds: racial, gender, age and qualification. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average unemployment rate for all men and women between Oct 2008 and Sep 2009 is 8.6%, and for the same perod, for black men aged 15-24 without a high school degree is 48.5%.
Carter, S., Cox, A., & Quealy, K. (2009) The Jobless rate for People like You. [online]

Hyb Tutorial Notes 3/12/09

Using digital as mode of communication and collaboration. So don't get stuck in the idea of the media, but explore it.

BmB clip: is it long enough to tell a story? The idea originated from making an ad-like clip of 15-20 seconds, which t now seems to have developed into another project. As an "ad clip", it shouldn't disconnect the audience from getting drawn into Berliners' experiences, hearing the "collective identity", which is what the clip does due to its length (or shorth) of the clip.

Dilemma of time

It is a concept of BmB, unlike the brand of Paramount or TED

It can still be a good way-in for BmB, but let it tell a little more, and give the Berliners more time, and the idea of collective co-existance (where lots of photos start to appear) can happen much later. Make the clip double the length to 1 min?

It is in its developent.
Working progress
"Premiss is the people"

10 min.
Background of production (research)
Evaluate the piece (as seen above)
Written evaluation also

Edward Murray Wall Photographs

"Prompted to undertake this documentation by his belief that the absurdity of this medieval concept" (Berlin Wall Art, 2009), the photographer Edward Murray has documented the Wall, mostly between East and West Berlin. Over 800 photos document the art on the Wall on May 1989 (McCormick Freedom Project, 2009).

Berlin Wall Art (2009)
McCormick Freedom Project (2009) Berlin Wall Links. [online]

Two Berlins Kiss

This is an image created by Ina Mar, using prints and Photoshop, for the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall. It was designed from silhouettes of two people kissing and shapes of East and West Berlin, and the writing "Wir hasses Grenzen" - we hate borders, which refers to the Wall.

Ina Mar [2009] Fall of the Berlin Wall – 20th anniversary (1989-2009). online]

Portraits of an Eastern Narrative

Peter Molloy has interviewed many in Eastern Europe for his The Lost World of Communism: An Oral History of Daily Life Behind the Iron Curtain. In the book, there is a collection of portraits of the people he interviewed, showing wide range of people he had met in order to give an in-depth perspective.
Molloy, P. (2009) The Lost World of Communism: An Oral History of Daily Life Behind the Iron Curtain. BBC Books.

Google Mapping Search Results

Brin, S. & Page, L. (2007) Sergey Brin and Larry Page on Google. [online]

Ken Robinson on Leaning Creativity

Ken Robinson delivers a speech at TED on creaqtivity and how schools, and the industrialised culture behind it, kills it (Robinson, 2006). Robinson claims that education system avoids making mistakes which opens possibilities for learning, and that nothing original will be created if all individuals feared being wrong.  

Robinson, K. (2006) Talks: Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity. [online]

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Notes from 2/12/09

Wall Projection

digital projection:

  • project onto gel sheets
  • could this filter certain words?
  • use mobile - Alexander Calder

  • LCD screen
  • text projection gun thing
  • texture... concrete, brick, wood (materials that were used for the Wall?)
  • Bill Viola: water screen, "haunch of venison" .com
  • pinhole cam
Calder Foundation (2009) Calder's Work. [online]

Maps of Berlin and Germanys

The map of Germany had been frequently updated since the end of the WWII, following military occupation and political changes. Various border changes can be seen at GHDI.

Yvi Magazine

"I have designed a new European flag in which stars are no longer arranged in a circle, but according to the geographic positions of the capital cities. This creates an open sky, full of stars and without borders. Europe should present itself as unity in diversity - a varietate concordia instead of a unity of uniformity." (Eynde, in Yvi Magazine, 2007)
The new European flag was created following the 2005 referenda on European constitution, which was rejected in France and the Netherlands, and over concerns that European ideals were starting to adrift. Various institutions in Europe displayed the flag in solidarity (Yvi Magazine, 2007).

Yvi Magazine has published a book-like website, where the viewer can turn the pages by dragging the edges like turning the pages of a book [2009].
Eynde, Maarten Vanden (2007) "Europe2008: In Varietate Concordia" in Yvi Magazine. Den Haag: KSMT, pp.90-93.
Yvi Magazine [2009] Borders. [online]

DAZ Research Exhibition

This research exhibition by the Dutch architect Joyce van den Berg proposes to change the trauma-landscape link of the Berlin Wall sites into a recreational area, to locations of "respecting and visualising the traces of history" and "protecting the great potential of this landscape" [DAZ, 2009].

Peter Frischmuth Photos of the Wall

"I will never forget the view from the window of the PanAm at the landing approach at Tempholf airport. It was already dark as the plane pushed its way through the clouds. Underneath me a bright band of glaring lights that cut the city in two. The wall, the death strip – my first impression of Berlin." [Frischmuth, 2009]

Peter Frischmuth is a freelance photographer with focus on travel and journalism. He has published "Berlin Kreuzberg SO 36" with pairs of photographs of Kreuzberg district - one taken in 1986 when the Wall was up, and the other in 2006 after the Wall opened - alongside one another.
"You can look at the old and new photographs from Kreuzberg SO36, and compare and draw your own conclusions" [Frischmuth, 2009].
Frischmuth, P. [2009] Berlin Kreuzberg SO36 - The Book. [online]
Frischmuth, P. (2009) Berlin Kreuzberg SO36. [online]

Monday, 30 November 2009

Zygmunt Bauman Essays

Bauman, Z. [2009] Europe of Strangers. [online]
Bauman, Z. [2009] Alone Again: Ethics after Certainty. [online]
Bauman, Z. [2009] Culture in a Globalised City. [online]

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Paul Schutzer Photographs the Wall

Detail of The Party's on the West Side by Paul Schutzer

Detail of Room with a Scary View by Paul Schutzer

Detail of Face Off by Paul Schutzer
Schutzer, P. (2005) Berlin Back Then: Life at the Wall. [online]

Bruce Willey by the Wall

From All We are is But a Brick in the Wall (Willey, 2009a)

From East and West: Cycling the Berlin Wall (Willey, 2009b)

Willey, B. (2009a) All We are is But a Brick in the Wall. [online]
Willey, B. (2009b) East and West: Cycling the Berlin Wall. [online]

Squeezing Berlin

West Berlin is "the testicles of the West. Every time I want to make the West scream, I squeeze on Berlin" claimed the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1962. The Soviet leaders viewed Berlin in similar respects, "a dangerously exposed western enclave within the emerging Soviet bloc, as a place they could exert pressure" (Friedman, 2009).

Friedman, M.J. (2009) Introduction. [online]
U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Information Programs (2009) The Berlin Wall: 20 Years Later. [online]