[NetBehaviour] invitation to share
dave.miller.uk at gmail.com
Wed Nov 4 15:39:33 CET 2015
This is really great as it gives me a really useful insight into the
projects at furtherfield gallery, where ideas come from and how they
Good to see the mailing list being connected to what's going on at
furtherfield, I'd like to see more of this, though realise there's work
On 4 November 2015 at 14:12, marc garrett <marc.garrett2 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Paula, Annie & all,
> Firstly, I would like offer a warm thanks to Annie for spontainiously
> taking it on to ask Paula questions about The Museum of Contemporary
> Commodities project; it's residency at the Furtherfield Commons and
> locally, and also its presentation, in 'the Human Face of Cryptoeconomies'
> exhibition at the Furtherfield gallery - http://bit.ly/1OsKG8R
> >It was really great that Kate came to the first outing of the MoCC
> >idea in January 2013 which took the form of Thinkering Day to
> >construct a manifesto for the project. So her work has definitely
> >informed the development of MoCC.
> It's reassuring to know that Kate Rich came along to 'Thinkering Day' for
> the manifesto.
> Could you enlighten us with what the content of manifesto consisted of?
> Also, how much of the manifesto was used for the MOCC project in the end?
> >At the moment I think that MoCC tries to expose and question how
> >commodity culture is constructed by asking people to excavate and
> >interpret the hidden values in things in order to share what kind
> >of heritage they are leaving in the world.
> I'm imagining that there may have been some things that you knew already
> in respect of what responses you were likely to receive when working with
> the public.
> what was it like working in a busy park in the middle of London with such
> a project as this one?
> And, was there anything new that you learned?
> >The project is a collaborative, critical pedagogy which attempts to
> >think through the relations between the trade systems we live in,
> >are subject to, and consciously or un-consciously contribute to shaping
> >(including those constructed through data processes), and how they
> >affect what we value and how we are valued ourselves. It should in the
> >end, be an accessible way for anyone to think through what our stuff
> >is and does and ask together what we want it to do and how.
> I was thinking how abstract commodity actually is other than the objects
> and exchange of it all. Also, how buying and selling things, as in the
> transaction of things is a mutual thing, a kind of collaboration in terms
> of economical trust.
> For me, it feels as though people feel more comfortable in with action of
> buying rather than receiving for nothing. strangely, I think it is very
> different online regarding the mass downlowding of free films and mp3's etc.
> How have you managed to maintain a sense of trust with the people you've
> been interacting with in the project?
> And, are they learning and getting something out of it; getting a deeper
> understanding of the constructions around everyday commodities through the
> data processes?
> Wishing you well.
> On 4 November 2015 at 13:35, Paula Crutchlow <paula at blindditch.org> wrote:
>> Hi Annie and everyone
>> Thanks so much for inviting me to share some thoughts about working 'on
>> the ground' at Furtherfield. I've tried to answer all the questions and
>> give a bit of background to the project before describing what we've been
>> up to in Finsbury Park. So it's a bit of a long response. I hope this is
>> interesting to some of you, and I will respond to any questions as promptly
>> as possible. I've also put links to various things I've mentioned at the
>> bottom of the narrative.
>> The Museum of Contemporary Commodities (MoCC) is a collaboration with
>> human geographer Dr Ian Cook who researches in material culture at
>> University of Exeter, in Devon, UK. His website Followthethings.com
>> collates activist actions, films, events, commentaries and discussions that
>> attempt to shift attitudes around trade justice issues. His focus is on
>> making more visible the hidden lives in things through critical pedagogy. I
>> also live in Exeter and met Ian in 2012, as I was finishing the performance
>> project make-shift with Helen Varley Jamieson, which as you described
>> Annie, tried to unfold and discuss attitudes towards consumption and
>> disposal in late-capitalism through the lens of plastic marine pollution.
>> When Ian and I started working together I was thinking about how
>> perceptual shifts happen to such an extent that peoples' behaviour changes.
>> Helen and I had spent two years staging conversational events in peoples
>> homes in different parts of the world using the UpStage cyberformance
>> platform. The accumulative thought processes and discussion with so many
>> different groups of people around what to do about that stuff that's
>> whirling 'out there' in the pacific gyre, and its relation with our
>> domestic lives and the systems we are subject to, contributed in quite a
>> deep shift in my own attitudes towards consumption. Tracking back from the
>> disposal of the stuff we don't want anymore to the construction of the
>> commodity as fetish and the overwhelming subsumption of everything into a
>> state of capitalist realism as Mark Fisher describes, it seemed like an
>> interesting next step. Digital connectivity, surveillance systems, data
>> production and associated predictive analysis are of course essential to
>> draw on to consider and how we perform with/in/from contemporary commodity
>> I make performance events for formal settings such as theatres and
>> galleries, and also participatory works which are heightened moments of
>> public dramaturgy ie. participants are very much aware they are taking part
>> in the making of something performative together even if it does not occur
>> in a formal performance space.
>> My work has always been group based, collaborative and
>> cross-disciplinary, and increasingly I am working with all kinds of people
>> who wouldn't usually engage in performance making to make dramaturgies that
>> need social participation through a combination of place based physically
>> sited activity and digitally networked engagement to succeed. I also work a
>> lot with social science methods - questionnaires, interviews, focus group
>> type activities and different types of mapping and modelling as research,
>> presentation and performance processes.
>> MoCC is drawing on all of these things to facilitate a public curatorial
>> process that will eventually take place between an online interface and a
>> gallery/sited exhibition space. The work asks people to consider how
>> ordinary things they might buy every day are valued, and produce value in
>> different ways. How do the values held in these things shape the everyday
>> spaces we live in and our actions within them? How do our daily actions
>> contribute to shaping wider global processes, and how can we intervene in
>> global systems in empowered and sustained ways that might contribute to
>> different types of shapings? There is an emphasis in the project on
>> everyone being in the 'same boat', and being experts in their own
>> consumption experience. No moral high ground, no guilt. I hope that the
>> accumulation of materials in the process will form and archive a discussion
>> that anyone can contribute to, or delve into.
>> I think we are about halfway through this process. We began in a
>> residency from April this year funded by ESRC and Islington Council where I
>> did some ethnographic work going on accompanied shopping trips with
>> Finsbury Park locals to find out about how people consume, what their
>> priorities are and what drives their actions. This surfaced a number of
>> themes that are relevant beyond the immediate locale that formed the basis
>> of our prototype value categories for the museum: processes of
>> gentrification, distrust in consumer information, lack of common space
>> where its possible to be without consuming, a feeling of constructing
>> particular types of consumption spaces through just buying stuff we like.
>> In addition to this we ran a series of lab type events with data activist
>> Dr Alison Powell that mashed up the rapid 'flash mob' ethnography method
>> she uses to find out more about the data culture of a particular site, with
>> Ian's interest in political LEGOing. We ran a two day workshop with MA
>> students in Narrative Environments from Central Saint Martins that
>> developed prototype public engagements. These were some great events with a
>> wide range of participants that again contributed themes and strategies to
>> what we are making. We felt we needed an initial testing of a number of
>> objects/activities that will form part of the museum assemblage. In July we
>> ran a three day event called MoCC Free Market at the Furtherfield gallery
>> where we gathered people's responses to how our prototypes were shaping up.
>> This included a paper version of adding things to the museum and the
>> possibility of asking a 'Commodity Consultant' (Ian's former research
>> students in material culture) questions about the provenance or materiality
>> of their commodities. Participants were people who came specifically to the
>> event informed through digital channels, and people passing through the
>> park on the way to somewhere else. We worked with a number of park based
>> organisations to make things happen, and purposefully made the event feel
>> accessible to draw people into the work who might not usually participate
>> in gallery based or digital art. There is a slide show of the Free Market
>> on the Furtherfield flickr site (link below). There will also be a short
>> video soon giving a feel of what happened that's nearly edited :)
>> We are currently waiting on a funding decision to move to the next stage
>> of development of an online interface for MoCC. What we are showing in
>> Furtherfield Gallery as part of The Human Face of Cryptoeconomies is a
>> series of prototype interactions: a responsive doll who acts as a guide to
>> the Museum of Contemporary Commodities. She is the google product My Cayla
>> Doll which technologist Gareth Foote and myself have re-scripted to speak
>> about commodity culture, the museum, socio-material assemblages, the value
>> of labour... and also skateboards, ponies, shopping. There is a buzz feed
>> type quiz that is intended to be a type of thinking 'warm-up' to the
>> process of adding something the museum (www.moccguide.net/take-our-quiz)
>> which also extends into a twitter interaction/conversation. There is a
>> visual documentation of what people added to the museum in the summer in
>> the paper prototyping session and a paper version of the Add to the Museum
>> In relation to working in the physical spaces in Finsbury Park that
>> Furtherfield offers:
>> I make participatory performance and actions in everyday spaces and I
>> think that the increasing ubiquity of networked objects, IoT and
>> phone/tablet based interactions in daily life demands that they be included
>> as an integral part of that dramaturgy. I experience online spaces as
>> channelled, curated and as speedy as our increasingly corporatised public
>> spaces - such as city squares, leisure areas, and parks... To engage a wide
>> range of audiences outside of formal gallery spaces in the kind of work I
>> make I think requires interventions that involve people into different
>> types of relationships with their media - to upset, disrupt, resist or
>> re-channel the flow. The growing assemblage that is MoCC will hopefully do
>> some of that between many different types of space and place and forms of
>> encounter. MoCC is a collaborative project and ideas from all of the people
>> on the www.moccguide.net/about page and participants in the events have
>> been instrumental in growing the interaction. This includes an incredibly
>> supportive working relationship with Furtherfield involving using the
>> commons as a workshop space/base for discussion, access to local networks,
>> critical feedback and curatorial support.
>> In relation to Kate Rich's project I think that Feral Trade tracks the
>> labour and resources involved in the mobility of things, drawing attention
>> to these invisible facets of trade systems and infrastructures by finding
>> ways to bypass or move outside them. It resists these aspects of commodity
>> culture by gifting logistics to people; celebrating and personalising the
>> effort involved in that gifting through documentation and social events. It
>> was really great that Kate came to the first outing of the MoCC idea in
>> January 2013 which took the form of Thinkering Day to construct a manifesto
>> for the project. So her work has definitely informed the development of
>> At the moment I think that MoCC tries to expose and question how
>> commodity culture is constructed by asking people to excavate and interpret
>> the hidden values in things in order to share what kind of heritage they
>> are leaving in the world. The project is a collaborative, critical pedagogy
>> which attempts to think through the relations between the trade systems we
>> live in, are subject to, and consciously or un-consciously contribute to
>> shaping (including those constructed through data processes), and how they
>> affect what we value and how we are valued ourselves. It should in the end,
>> be an accessible way for anyone to think through what our stuff is and does
>> and ask together what we want it to do and how.
>> That's probably enough for now :) Links below.
>> Ian Cook - www.followthethings.com
>> make-shift - www.make-shift.net
>> This City's Centre - a project using networked technologies as
>> performance modes in Exeter City Centre made by the collective I work with,
>> Blind Ditch.
>> Dr Alison Powell -
>> LEGO blogpost - http://www.moccguide.net/category/blog/
>> Free Market Flickr link -
>> Video of MoCC Thinkering Day and collaborators - www.moccguide.net/about
>>> Hi all,
>>> Some time ago we discussed the relation between furtherfield on the
>>> "ground" and this mailinglist. Personnally I wanted to be closer, to
>>> more of what and how things happened in the park, so I could have a
>>> understanding of how ideas developped by a former mostly online community
>>> translate in a venue in a public park.
>>> At that moment I also volunteered to introduce someone new, someone not
>>> familiar with this mailinglist.
>>> I know Paula Crutchlow from Remote Encounters in Cardiff in 2013, where
>>> presented *Makeshift* an online performance project she did with Helen
>>> Varley Jamieson.
>>> Now she is participating in Furtherfield's exhibition *Art Data Money*.
>>> With cultural geographer Ian Cook she presents *The Museum of
>>> Commodities* (MoCC). In this project they treat everyday purchases as if
>>> they were our future heritage, says the website.
>>> When I tried to get my head around the project, it made me think of Kate
>>> Rich's *Feral Trade Cafe* exhibition shown by Furtherfield in 2009. The
>>> projects are asking questions about where, what and when you consume and
>>> in Makeshift also what could be the impact of this consumption on
>>> Here the artists ask the visitor, participant (?) to take the viewpoint
>>> a museum curator. How does this change the process of thinking about
>>> consumption? Does it? What can "art" reveal about consumption?
>>> Paula, can you please tell us a bit more about what you are showing in
>>> exhibition? (are there any photos?) Is there some archive (anything that
>>> would make it more lively to me) of the related events : the Walkshop and
>>> or the Commodity Consultation, you organised ?
>>> I hope you can find some time Paula
>> The Museum of Contemporary Commodities will be opening soon
>> Share the view from your window as part ofwww.thiscityscentre.net Find
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> Marc Garrett
> Co-Founder, Co-Director and main editor ofFurtherfield.
> Furtherfield - A living, breathing, thriving network
> http://www.furtherfield.org - for art, technology and social change since
> Furtherfield Gallery & Commons,
> Finsbury Park, London N4 2NQ
> T +44(0)208 802 1301/+44(0)208 802 2827
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