today was the first real day of proceedings in dortmund and it started off with a bit of a fizz. i was ill, so missed out on the first session. but the second session was a good mix of festival experience: a bit of an experimental electronics workshop, some internet catch-ups and then a few presentations on media in the public space: one establishing engaging criteria for good media/public projects –
interestingly, i’m sure that advertising planners and media buyers would have similar criteria, and a valid question was raised about what differentiates these questions for art, as opposed to, say, a children’s playground, etc.
one of the key ideas in that list was ‘challenge’. i do see that a lot of works that are not quite successful (including my own), don’t necessarily have an element of challenge to them, which is a common element within public audience.
this was furthered during lanfrance aceti’s presentation on isea2011, in istanbul, a city with many challenges in public space. seemingly good public projects challenge both audience AND artist and that perhaps artists’ work can become complacent without them.
after that, i went back to my circuit-bending workshop and finished fucking with a kids music instrument. i’ve never done anything with electronics before, so it was all new to me – but it was great fun and tomorrow i’m going to go back and insert a jack into it, so we can either amplify it, or listen to it with headphones 🙂
before dinner and the official opening/performance of the festival, i went to see the Heavy Matter exhibition at the Westfalen Forum. I’m a bit critical about it because quite a few exhibits were still not working and there wasn’t a lot of knowledge/understanding. It also seemed a bit derivative. But then i realised that it is a student exhibition, so maybe there’s a little more room for error.
I hope the other exhibitions aren’t also like that, though, because so far, my first impressions of the festival are good, but still a lot of unfinishedness/unpreparedness – the U-tower is still all wires and plaster dust, i had to wait a day to get my festival pass, and then a few difficulties with the wifi too – doesn’t reflect so well. but maybe it’s just first day jitters.
After the official stuff, it was over to domicile club for drinks, more performances and some excellent discussion over beer.
the germans do alcohol-free beer, which makes my life much more fun.
we covered the gamut of australian and german politics, feminism, gender studies, gentrification, media festivals and art in general.
not bad for the first day, huh.