7.31.2010

for Drew



For the graceful expansion of capillary waves.
For the shake of embracing that risk.


YOUR DOG DIES

it gets run over by a van.

you find it at the side of the road

and bury it.

you feel bad about it.
you feel bad personally,

but you feel bad for your daughter

because it was her pet,

and she loved it so.

she used to croon to it

and let it sleep in her bed.

you write a poem about it.

you call it a poem for your daughter,

about the dog getting run over by a van

and how you looked after it,

took it out into the woods

and buried it deep, deep,

and that poem turns out so good

you're almost glad the little dog

was run over, or else you'd never

have written that good poem.

then you sit down to write

a poem about writing a poem

about the death of that dog,

but while you're writing you

hear a woman scream

your name, your first name,

both syllables,

and your heart stops.

after a minute, you continue writing.

she screams again.

you wonder how long this can go on.

Raymond Carver

you walk to the kitchen
to grab something to eat.
you find your woman lying on the floor,
next to your dog.
covered in dirt.
you star to bark.

N. Doulos

7.30.2010

muffler is a b**** (or in other words auto porn)



The muffler went off again. This time on our way back from Downtown. We stopped on an abandoned gas station, had a cigarette and waited for it to cool down.

Then all three of us "took turns - getting down and dirty - doing our thing". Joao first (the specialist), then KT ( the experienced) and then me (the virgin). Three wires applied - one for each of us.

Muffler is a b**** but in the end of the day a man's got to do what a man's got to do - wire it up and move on.

7.29.2010

SOUP Sunday 1st August



It's been great collaborating with Kate. Experimenting on the structure and the possibilities of social interaction within the structure, she took the initiative to invite us to "host" the 7th SOUP evening.
We met with Kate yesterday evening to check again the location and elaborate more on the format of the upcoming event.




DETROIT SOUP
Sunday 1st August.
7.00pm - dinner 8.00 pm
Above Mexicantown Bakery Detroit, MI

SOUP on facebook

CURRENT

Following up Nikos Doulos and Joao Evangelista in summer 2010, and Chris Meighan and Jonas Ohlssonin summer 2011, Expodium invited Friso Wiersum to participate in the program from September till December 2011.
Where Nikos and Joao had been focusing on mapping the social structures and expanding Expodium's network, Chris and Jonas had been addressing matters of Artistic practice.
Friso arrived in Detroit to converge upon the political and historical situation of the city and follow the same path as his predecessors, processing all experience and info obtained upon his return to the Netherlands.

FORMAT

Expodium expects artists invited to fully commit to 9-week research program in Detroit.

Artists are specifically instructed to leave behind prefixed ideas and proposals and allow themselves to be taken over by the city, explore dynamics on location and respond to every day’s encounters and challenges.

A digital archive in the form of a blog (www.newstrategiesdmc.blogpspot.com) will be hosting their observations, thoughts and reflections during the process.

In addition artists are requested to work towards a series of interventions/presentations while still in Detroit, and come up with an effective format to translate and communicate their experiences and practice back in the Netherlands.

Part of this program is to tempt artists to rethink on the residency term, its definition, and its restrictions and liberate them from pre-set modes of art practicing and artistic research.

ABOUT

Detroit's situation can be read as a visual manifestation of the new post-industrial city, a hybrid of a paradoxical alignment of the urban and the rural.

Expodium initiates 9-weeks research programs in Detroit, with the collaboration of The Yes Farm and other intiatives active in the Arts, urban Planning , farming and many more fields of necessity.
The goal of this alliance is to enter into a long-term collaboration with Detroit by creating an expanding network. Its purpose is to exchange knowledge about urban models, shrinkage and social, political and artistic developments in urban transition areas.
Detroit based cultural initiatives respond creatively to the city’s current situation and set to play a vital role in the redevelopment of Detroit.
It is this condition that has our special interest.
Information gained through this platform provides vital input for the Expodium program here in the Netherlands.

7.27.2010

Event on the 7th August



555 Gallery and Studios Presents: Lounge Night Featuring a Dine-in Show Talk, Cut-Up Art Show from local Detroit Artists, and Dancing to DJs!

– August 7th, 2010 -

Doors open at 7:00pm

Dine-in Show Talk starts at 7:30pm Sharp



Cut-Up Art Show currated by The Yes Farm’s own Blake Carroll featuring local collage artists.

Submissions are accepted on August 6th from Noon to 5:00pm.

Starting at 7:30pm, Nikos Doulos (Greece) and Joao Evangelista (Portugal) will be hosting a dinner that will evolve around their practices during their last four-week residency in Detroit. Their two-month visit will work as a pilot for a long-term residency program in Detroit.

They are the first two artists of a residency program initiated by Expodium Platform Voor Jonge Kunst (Utrecht, The Netherlands), 555 Gallery and The Yes Farm.

Follow them on www.newstrategiesdmc.blogspot.com

Also that evening:

Live DJ sets will take you into the evening with ‘europaeuropa tarantula rock jacuzzi beats!’ A musical lure by Primitive, josepthundmaria, and Ultrasound.

555 Gallery and Studios

Buoy 3 Activity Center

3041 W. Vernor Highway

Detroit, Michigan

555 hosts this event as its fifth of a series of fundraisers and memberships drives to support its move to Southwest Detroit. Tickets for this event are $15 per person or $5 after 10pm. All proceeds benefit 555 Nonprofit Gallery and Studios in its endeavor to provide programming at its new location in Southwest Detroit. The purchase of each ticket will also entitle patrons to 555 membership.

Expodium Platform For Young Art is an art space situated in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Having faith in the autonomous practice of the artist, Expodium initiates one year trajectories related to current phenomena in and outside the urban setting, and provokes participating artists to intervene within the city, stressing the importance of art practices in relation to a social context.

These fundraisers are just one way in which 555 is inviting community to come and share in expanding arts programming in Southwest Detroit. Some of the exciting programming includes the hosting of local, national, and international residency artists; public arts training for unemployed/underemployed adults; public arts training and engagement for Southwest Detroit youth; green arts and design workshops; and exhibitions featuring artists from around the US and beyond. In partnership with Southwest Housing Solutions, 555 will move into the former 3rd police precinct following renovations in 2010.

Since 2004, the mission of 555 Nonprofit Gallery and Studios has been to enrich and diversify cultural life in the greater Metro-Detroit area. In support of this mission, 555 facilitates the development of emerging artists. We offer exhibition and installation space; host and support local, national, and international Residency Artists; lead and collaborate in the development of programs for the visual and performing arts; and provide workspace for practicing Local artists.

7.25.2010

saturday morning, friday night


last night we ended talking with big z, a made gangster from detroit. before we left to meet him, some of our friends gave us some judgmental faces, when they found out where we were heading. i'm starting to get used to the dynamics of detroit, the bipolarity of it. when oneself is faced to an issue, theres only two choices; or you love it or you hate it. it seems to be very little space inbetween. and this, only splits the few that haven't left the city, into two factions, always.

somehow, i respect this man. in all his dark past, he survived detroit for the last 60 years without breaking. and he did good. and for sure bad as well, but when survival is an issue, ethics become a luxury, as much as the ability to have a choice and make decisions.

in an attempt of asking about how the riots started in detroit, he ended talking about many other things, such as 'when an entity takes power, the first ones to be imprisoned and killed are the politicians, the religious leaders and the artists, and thats why i like you folks, you bring change, you might not believe me, but, i like you guys because of that, you freed my people, from mental slavery, from the shackles that were put into our minds'

i kept trying to steer the conversation into the riots, but we ended again talking about something else, south africa... he praised nelson mandela for his life endurance till regaining power of his country, and i replied that it was a dirty job, that those who colonized south africa for so many years, privatized all the state companies the week before the transfer of power, and left the mandela's government with very little but the country's financial debt.

he replied: 'that doesnt matter! what really matters is that the people regained hope. and with that, you can do anything!'

its saturday morning and i drive back from a failed celebration of the 67's riots, since the rain kept most people by their home porches.
as i drive through, alone in both mine and the city's silence, i cannot stop but wonder. how can hope return to this city and what can one do to build trust into a near future.

during the refreshing wet and hot-humid attempt to celebrate the day, we put up jeff's fab lab, which ended outlasting all the other activities
(by the time the trailer was towed away, the street had been deserted for quite some hours)
, we met:

the owner of caribbean carnival shop around the block
, two cops on the beat, one ex-narcotics, the other beat cop, from the 11th precinct
, joe, teacher and medic, constructor, farmer, mechanic and survivor, and his kid PJ
, two random dudes

i met G, which had just graduated from the univ. of michigan in industrial design. facing the reality of starting off in the professional world, and having to pay off his debt on study loans of the last 4 years of college, he is moving to chicago (IL). maybe after he managed to make a room of one's own, he will come back to detroit. he smiled when we talked about that idea; 'its always good to have a room to go back to, that you can close the door when you need'
while talking we
, laser cut a plate for advertising Joe's free classes on saturdays (a coaching program for graduates/post-graduates in medicine)
, two vinyl stickers of 'punisher' for PJ's dirt bike and
one primitive drum machine out of a subwoofer. the outside case looks like it can become a deluxe bird house.


design: Nicolas Collins, subwoofer version joão negro

jeff's fablab and OmniCorpDetroit will be this coming 31st of july at:
http://makerfaire.com/

7.24.2010

maurice's visit



Maurice Hermans lives in from Heerlen, the least popular Dutch city for six years. As a researcher he is connected to the Zuyd University and focuses on identifying new ways of approaching population decline issues.

He visited Detroit while returning from the GLUE conference in Cleveland and meeting up with the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative.

Luc and Bart met Maurice back in Maastricht during his presentation on shrinkage and the role art should play in redefining the public domain.

We invited him to join us for coffee at Kt's porch and he gave us a short but condensed input on his whereabouts the last weeks. Our talk evolved around the difference in mentality regarding agency and alternative practices between the Detroit state and communities and the Dutch policy and population .

Maurice will be hosting a meeting on shrinkage and alternative practices on the 2nd September back in the Netherlands. We are looking forward to it with the promise of a more elaborate and fruitful exchange.

post-cards from Down Town




Last night was the anniversary of the Detroit Riots back in 1967. We took a drive downtown and walked around the city. Bars and clubs and party people and police towing illegally parked vehicles.

"It is impossible to reread in a new way ghost towns and abandoned industrial regions immediately after they have been deserted. Before it can become potential, a place whose history has been written out in full has to pass through a phase of forgetting"
Diedrich Diederichsen, "MUSIC OF THE WASTELANDS Detroit, Bronx, Manchester"





04 Postcards From Downtown by voulos




i lost all my faith in love
on those stairs that november
i know it meant a lot at the time
now i can barely remember
it’s been a long time
it’s been a long time
you said i’ve been alone so long
that i’ve got big theories of lonely
and that i drag them all over town
just to look occupied
but i’m learning something
i’m doing time
red light, green light, one, two, three
have you come to conquer me?
it’s been a long time
hey i know how to take in all kinds
of heartless offers
and i’ve learned how to hand back a few
and i’ve come as close to love
as to walking on water
so what could i do with you?
what will i do with you?
i’m going out now i’ll send you some
postcards from downtown
i’ll show you all the apartments
where i got my degrees
where i’d fall like small dreams
where i’d fade like bright leaves

the land of doers



"doer - inch man" Jerry.

" ...the idea of opportunity, a chance to start a new, to strike it rich, to have a piece of land of one's own, to worship as one wished, to save souls, to build an empire, to try to get once more to realize the Utopian dreams that have haunted the mind of man from the beginning of recorded time."
Richard McLanathan, "Art in America: A brief history" p. 10

"The style of life produced by the New World environment strengthened their emphasis on the practical over the theoretical, leading them to prefer the doer to the thinker."
Richard McLanathan, "Art in America: A brief history" p. 11

Keeping my promise to go deeper to the initial intentions and goals of LOVELAND i mailed Jerry Paffendorf requesting a face to face talk. I attach the mail for matters of clarity:

Dear Jerry,

My name is Nikos Doulos and I am involved together with Joao Evangelista in a residency program in the city of Detroit, organized by Expodium Platform For Young Artists (NL), The Yes Farm and Galleria 555.
We visited Block Party a couple of days ago and got a bit introduced to your LOVELAND project. To be honest i had come across your website a couple of months ago back in the Netherlands, but i was quite hesitant to participate.
Having spent three weeks in the city of D and trying to grasp the ethics of LOVELAND, I got myself involved in a series of discussions with various people in Detroit. There seems to be a great division between "followers" and "haters" (probably bad choice of words but i guess you get the picture).
Still incapable to built a concrete view on the project, I felt the urge to contact you in person in the hope of engaging you in a discussion that could clarify question-marks i have in regards to LOVELAND.
Me and my residency partner will be staying in Detroit until the 29th August. If you are planning to visit the city I would appreciate a face to face meeting with you, otherwise we could arrange a virtual discussion through skype.
I truly hope it would be something you would consider yourself doing.
Looking forward to hearing from you.

Nikos

Jerry's response was immediate and we managed to meet yesterday at Kass Cafe.

What stroke me most in our discussion was his enthusiasm to introduce us to the "insides" of his project, referring to previous actions and future plans.
Jerry is a doer.
Initiating something that is getting more and more complex, he described his act as a "cool thing to do", a project that evolves and re-shapes based on the problematics and solutions that pop-up on the way. Embracing negative criticism and misinterpretations he is totally in favor of "adaptability". With a background in Second Life design and programming, he is extremely fascinated in merging actuality with the virtual world.

To me LOVELAND is a non over-conceptualized gorilla tactic kinda like project. His obsession to maintain a certain playfulness in the way LOVELAND deals with social matters could be easily misinterpreted but is certainly innovating and of high interest.

To make things clear, I am not propagating in favor of buying 1 inch land in Detroit, but I am certainly asking to give this guy the benefit of a doubt.
Coming from a land where contextualization and analytical thought tends to weaken the agency in terms of an art practice, I cannot help but show respect to the doers, especially if they are open to discussions and criticism. After all we are here to stand in favor "learning by doing", or aren't we?

forty-three years ago



7.23.2010

getting down and dirty



Continuous meetings and discussions kinda prevented as from getting our hands dirty recently.

We decided to limit our "verbal interactions" to one and engage more to physical tasks, helping out KT and 555 on their daily routine.

Week kicked off the day by taking three - weeks of recycling disposals to the recycling place and drove afterwards to the farm to load compost on Kt's truck for her garden.
Returning back to Fransworth we assisted in placing the compost in the right locations for Kt to plant her new seeds, took a nap and headed to 555 to help the guys move stored stuff from the old police station down at Mexican Town.





Collecting compost for KT's garden, loading it on the truck.



Loading off the compost from the truck to the garden.

We ended the day with a beer at the Motor City Brewery, where Marianne was exhibiting her painting.
My whole body is in pain but i tend to laugh about it. How's that for a city boy engaging to a good deed?

"Fashion your life as a garland of beautiful deeds."

Buddha


7.20.2010

“what i thought i heard you say...” : the synthesis of an interview with nikos and juao

popularly conceived of as a wound,
we pick the scab of this portrayed flesh
what will it bleed, this supposed alien child of abandon and exploit?
do we dare loosen the crusted surface;
cast off the portrait of ruin that protects it,
revealing its subcutaneous truths,
making it vulnerable?
the crust builds under our nails as we pick,
begins to crumble and fall away
and the revelations beneath emerge to gather in our sights,
half-formed clouds of suggested thought
and we stand in awe of what we think we see
we float above our bodies, as in a dream
watching ourselves, watching the wound shift shape
(we should photograph this moment
frame by frame, we think,
but our fingers are frozen in air
trapped in the viscous of the ethics we confess)
with our toes, we work to switch on a spotlight
and rely on our mouths to memorize
the living nature of other people’s dreams revealing themselves to us
what we once saw as a wound has changed to become a portal
and we are pulled inside by the tug of our own hopes,
though we try desperately to deny
the expectations and dreams
that we have for the future of this child,
inside of which we now float
we promised ourselves we would not romanticize what we found,
that we would not mediate the spectacle of the pain of others,
so as not to impose the typical gaze
so as not to subjugate the hopes of others to our own ethos
but those promises seem mute
because what we see through this temporary opening is humanity
and where there is humanity, naturally, there is pain
and where pain, death
and where death, a beginning
as well as an ending
and we realize this ending is for our old selves
as the portal closes, we know we can never go back
we can only move through to exit at a point yet unknown
while we each shift our shapes in discomfort
so that we might proceed
to the other side
to the over there
we go forward, not having colonized
but having been colonized
by the seeds of hope
that we now know,
can only germinate in darkness
darkness

7.19.2010

downtown synagoge D.



Dan Land and Gabe Hall's trippy video projections

Saturday night we joined the Block Party taking place in the Downtown Synagoge. The party was an one night event in the synagoge and Cafe D'Mongo's. Dan Land, one of the guys responsible for the projection on the windows of the space guided us through the first floor and gave us a brief description of what the event was all about.
On the ground floor, local artist Marianne Audrey Burrows was painting a giant mural while Lightning Love were performing live.



Friends by LIGHTNING LOVE!

Block Party was a "inch-vestors" event in relation to the LOVELAND Micro-Real Estate, an organization that sells virtual space in an online "micro-hood" for $1 per square-inch as a fundraiser for real places in Detroit.
I remain a bit hesitant about joining the cause, not in the sense of applying hard core criticism to the idea but due to my inability to identify the ethics around me performing that act. So LOVELAND guys and supporters bare with me for a while, and I promise to get back to it as soon as I have a clearer view.

PS. Needless to say that the space is captivating - to say the least.

Urban Farming as a Political Stand




urban farming as a political stand, and what does it really means?

the other day, me and N were talking with F, one of the various players in the ongoing urban (re)development of the future of detroit, which comes under the concept of morphogenesis.

while F is describing what he envisions for the future of detroit, he says something like 'i dont mind people keep farming in detroit, its just not for me'.

in some way, there is a general view that farming is just farming, which is actually a view i shared before i spent some time with the farnsworth community. while living in europe, and reading about what was happening here, it always confused me. why urban farming?

urban farming, as i came to understand, after witnessing how the community of farnsworth operates within the situation of a post-industrial shrinking city center as detroit, takes a political stand in many different levels, maybe too many to describe it in a short blog post as this.

so i will just list the three main points that are obvious to me at the moment, and throw some links to other resources that an investing reader will surely appreciate.

1) urban farming is creating an alternative food economy to the existing monopoly of genetic manipulated food industry, which is spreading through the world (thank god europe is resisting the invasion of GMO companies, but for how long will it endure the economic pressures?)

2) through the teaching of farming to children of the housing projects, which are enduring the daily violence of poverty, exposes them indirectly to the philosophical concepts of mutualism, both biological and economic, what it means to relate to a living being and its ethics, the feminist theory of 'taking care', (after some millennia of man driven warfare, isnt it enough?), and the drawing lessons of plants, giving a sense of geometry and an understanding/connection of life cycles.

3) using farming as a way to clean the soil and air from pollutants derived from the incinerator in detroit center, such as dioxins (a powerful poison used in chemical warfare, and released in small amounts by incinerators that has the ability to accumulate in living organisms)


the implications of such a political stand go beyond these three points and are far more complex in the situation detroit finds itself, and the way the organization of the food industry in the us is managed.

'scary shit, i tell you' someone said.

PS: something i found later on
Critical Art Ensemble, work entitle
d Free Range Grain
The world according Monsanto and the story around it

7.17.2010

fab plan Jeff




My name is Jeff Sturges and I am a "maker" and an educator.

Jeff looks nothing like a nerdy guy but when he opens his mouth you find your self trying to cope with a mind that runs with the speed of light.
With a degree in economics and architecture and a broad practice in education and technology he is definitely what would someone define as "a man with a mission".

Initially working as a program manager, teacher, and IT administrator for the GreenFab
program, back in N.Y., he arrived in Detroit this past fall with an aim to create "spaces for "making" that integrate creative design & fabrication facilities with learning environments".
Borrowing a FAB LAB trailer from MIT and basing in in Mt Elliot Street he is now looking for a permanent location.



"The Mt Elliott Makerspace (MEM) will be a community workshop located in the Near East Side of Detroit that will leverage its own resources as well as those of the community to address local challenges such as education, environmental awareness, economic development, and community health & well-being. In addition to serving as a space for both formal and informal education, MEM will explore market worthy products/service ideas to create both revenue streams and learning opportunities."



The Mount Elliott Makerspace is a partnership between the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, the Earthworks Urban Farm, and the Mt Elliott Business and Community Association (MEBCA). Inspired by the MIT Fab Lab and the Sustainable South Bronx GreenFab programs, MEM is funded by The Kresge Foundation through their Detroit Program and by the Capuchin Soup Kitchen.

We approached Jeff to help us build a mobile radio station in shubhabah and we got very interested in his project. We spent an afternoon checking the radio station he has build in the YES FARM building, got introduced to his ideas, visited the Fab Lab and assisted him in finding a permanent location for the MEM.

Saturday morning we visited the Easter Market where the Fab Lab van had be temporarily moved and volunteered in assisting him teaching children (and not only) to make a led light pin by putting together a simple electrical system.




The Eastern market is open only on Saturdays and it gathers quite a diverse population since it is the biggest organic food and vegetable market in the city of D.



You can check the Fab Lab and meet Jeff in person at the DETROIT MAKER FAIRE on the 31st July & 1st August.

Double-tail dog



"Where the Sidewalk Ends" the poems and drawings of Shel Silverstein, 1971

If that makes any sense......

7.13.2010

the man that could take us to places around D.



Last night we got introduced to "the man that could take us to places around D".

"Now," said Doug, "we want to find a place where we won't be observed to vanish. There'll be survivors. Some. We don't want any of them to remark the two of us vanishing into thin air immediately before the flood comes. The hole point of project Tic-Toc is that in order to influence history it must never be mentioned in history. "
"The Time Tunel", copy of 1967. The novel is a written adaptation of the famous 60s tv series under the same title. Bought from Ferndaele for one dollar.


Thinking about the life spam of an action and the life spam of its consequences.
Thinking about the perception of a monument and the perception of a ruin.
Thinking about the need to preserve and the unavoidable transitory nature of preservation.

arabian music, traffic reports and interview with galeria 555

banksy piece - photo cropped from another blog (copyleft)



01:07:18 of detroit public radio (audio file)

00:00:00 _program on lebanese diva Fairuz (b. 1935) singing 'habibi' (my darling)

00:06:50 _sponsors support advertisements

00:07:38 _detroit traffic news

00:08:40 _general news broadcast

00:27:11 _gallery 555 interview on banski piece

00:44:51 _environmentalists in michigan on oil pipe between canada and texas


WEDT Public Radio internet broadcast (one of the few non-commercial Detroit radios)



since i arrived to detroit, there has been a series of controversial talks about the removal of a 'banksy' work from a graffiti area called 'the packard plant'.

some just say 'im really happy that this all happened! at least people are talking about art and its problematics, instead of complaining constantly on the financial crisis we are in!!'

the reflective (unfortunately, sometimes judgmental) conversations revolve around graffiti as an art form, and becoming part of the gallery system as another commodified form of art, loosing its transgressive power within society and its public sphere.

the members of gallery 555, aimed to preserve something for the city. detroit, the city where the magician Houdini died (famous by his vanishing and escapology acts), is haunted by ephemerality. everything seems to disappear... historical buildings being demolished, good people moving away.

honestly, i dont like so much the phenomena of 'banksy', from the moment that persona allowed himself to become a product of the system he
explicitly criticizes.

im more curious about graffiti artists like 'space invader', that make their work actually invisible and remain truly anonymous. the viewers only see it, by looking for it, as if in a treasure hunt, where the works are on the verge of perception, physical as much as metaphysical.

PS: somewhere in the radio show, there's also a reference to the educational crisis. Jane, the wife of Dave the glassmaker, was saying the other day that two vacancies on the administrative board for education were open, and no one applied for them. everyone is too afraid of the situation where aprox. 100 million dollars have just vanished ... Houdini's ghost?



KT's brain



Kt is one of the founders of The Yes Farm, an artist initiative created in 2008 at the corner of Fransworth and Moran St.

Gentrification processes in San Fransisco led her to the decision of leaving the city and a community of 16 artists and move to Detroit.
She has been living in Fransworth St. for almost 4 years now.
Looking for a residence in a community that could identify with her life style and practices, she engaged herself in a "house hunt" of approximately 50 locations until she decided to move to her current base.

She is responsible for several gardens withing the city, teaches in summer courses of gardening and art for children and has a strong moral awareness of where she is spending her energy and money.



"artists can live everywhere as long as it's free"

Having a clear understanding of Detroit's potentiality, she believes artist initiatives and farming activities to be major players in the remaking of the city.

She considers gentrification to be an unavoidable effect but is in constant critical re-evaluation of the causes and processes that constitute and enhance it.

We like Kt.

SOUP



We visited SOUP a couple of days ago.
SOUP is a monthly event in the middle of Mexican Town involving visual artists, performers, musicians etc.
It started six months ago and initiated a quite interesting funding system.

Every visitor gets to pay an entrance fee of 5 dollars.

Artists, Performers and musicians offer soup and get 10 min within the venue to present a proposal for an art work and subsequently claim the amount of money gather during the night.




The proposals have already been printed out and spread around the tables and participants get to vote at the end of the night determining where the selected funding should go to.

Considering SOUP as a fruitful platform of exchange we are seriously consider "making" the soup for the August meeting.

weary blues from waitin'





Eric is driving back to Fransworth.
Sunday night.
One hand on the wheel, the other holding a cigarette.

He turns to me and says something like: "...now you need to shut up and tolerate my country music. If you would ask me a year ago what kind of music I listen to I would probably answer everything apart from country and classical. Now I only listen to country and classical..."

He puts his hand in his pocket and pulls out another cigarette just before we reach the traffic lights.
Stops at the side and lays his hand out of the window and offers the cigarette to a homeless guy standing there with a carton sign writing "i am homeless".
He asks the guy "do you like Hans Williams man?"



We continue driving and listening to "Weary Blues From Waitin' ".
I get shivers down my spine

7.09.2010

Detroit techno




betsy needs a new love

a flirting lexicon for whomever might be interested in taking care of betsy

bioethics
agent pink, green, purple, blue, white, orange
mae west
forced draft urbanization
WHO consultation on tolerable daily intake of dioxins
, may 25-29 1998 geneva, switzerland
arthur galston
operation ranch hand
'i prefer a stick on my hand than a tiger on a leash'
the buffalos are better off at ny
incinerators as an (un)conscious agent of gentrification

'i prefer a F340 2v to a C123'
greater resource recovery facility as the gang rape of american english
newnewnew : snuff architecture, gets you a high harder than ruin porn, doublebarreledsawedoffshotgun style
damn im pissed
storms make great coolers
suburbian turkish baths flat-tar-pit water fountains
black ops, and the amazing houdini within the theater of war
linda baptized me jay, jay jenkins, my pleasure, your potato salad is the best
viktor yushenko got it
2,3,7,8 - Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin you gotta love it!
gorilla, gorilla, gooooooori-laaaaaa
great liars are also great magicians
deceptionists at war
romanticizing irony as a survival strategy towards the vertigo of bitterness
aestheticization of disappointment
adolfo luxúria canibal, lúxuria da parte da mãe, canibal da parte do pai
the dukes of hazzard, yes, thats them, us maybe one day
wastecap are cool dudes, i hope to grow one day to be like them
Jack Bauer on the phone: 'Chloe, im going dark, off the grid!'



PS: treat her gently, and wild

horoscope

Kt read my horoscope on line today.
leo: 8th July 2010
"I'm not necessarily saying that you have superhuman levels of courage these days, Leo, but you do have more than usual. What's even more important for the task at hand is the fact that you have an exceptional capacity for identifying the fantasies that frighten you and finding fresh and practical ways to deal with them. That's why I say that you now have an excellent opportunity to achieve a major victory over your fears . . . to outwit them, outflank them, and even dissolve them. To get started on this glorious quest, chant the following ten times: "I am a crafty, compassionate warrior who finds amusement in every challenge."

change of plans

video

We were planning to visit the farm together with KT and run to The Hub to fix bikes for us.

The sudden summer wash changed our plans. We rushed out, walked up to the corner of Fransworth and Elmwood street and laid on the fresh steamy asphalt.

We stood there laying for a couple of minutes as if it's something totally common.

7.08.2010

cutting down, pulling down



Paul bails the land in the corner of Ellery and Canfield E. street twice every summer. First in May and and second around the beginning of July. Last year he collected 800 stacks of hay.
This year, for some reason, the city decided to bail the land, cutting the hay so thin that couldn’t be collected.








We visited the field to give a helping hand in the bailing process, stacking the hay cubes in a truck and transport them to the barn.
Paul treated us with a cold bottle of beer on our return and we got ourselves talking about the tearing down of the old Ferry Pulbic School.

Built back in 1922, locals claim that the building has been closed for about 12 years but had its roof recently renovated
.











It seems insane to pull down a building with such a history to the community, swallowing within every material and equipment locked in the walls of the school.

Though highly risky and illegal, you cannot help but thinking about engaging yourself to the act of rushing in, in the middle of the night and “grab” anything of “value”. And I am not only referring to that side of the romantics trying to withdraw objects as a maintenance of a future historic reference, but more thinking about practicalities, and the amount of resources going to waste during that act.














5.30 this morning Joao visited the location to documentate the workers arriving on spot to continue with the pulling down.
I joined at one and a half hour later to find him recording the interactions on a tool shop around the corner, having as a backdrop sound the roaring of the bulldozers crashing down the metal construction.

To him the whole act was nothing more than a visually portrait on the contradictive co-existence of maintenance and demolition, of hope and despair, of death and resurrection.




Trust the Detroit situation...





Back in Utrecht we fully trust Nikos and Joao getting involved in Detroit, involving themself, eachother understanding the Detroit situation
Back at the office...


Yesterday Bart and me went back home after a 10 day stay at Detroit.
Still a bit jet-lagged, we're back at the office again, evaluating and imagining the rest of Joao's and Nikos' stay. We're happy with the way this pilot-project kicked off. The experiences and insights of the past ten days raised questions on exchanging knowledge and experiences, and the ethics that are involved, yet still need to be explored for a big part too.
The upcoming two months will tell us more. in the mean while...... break it!!



7.07.2010

on redefining critical discourse and the proliferation of small miracles

this coming July 12th - 30th 2010 there will be a 3-week intensive class on 'Abandoned Practices – something out of the ordinary' at the School of Art Institute of Chicago.


its hosted by members of a company named Goat Island, which i spent some time with, back in 2006 in Cork, Ireland.


bellow is a quote of their working philosophy, which i find pretty amazing:


"We want to keep the creative mind engaged as we engage the critical mind. Critical does not mean negative. It means discerning, or able to separate into parts. Whatever we look at, the spot upon which we focus our energy seems to proliferate.


If we focus on a problem, we start to see problems everywhere. We become one who is defined by the perception of the proliferation of problems. Because of this approach, the creative mind often seems to shut down when critical discourse starts.


If we focus on a miraculous moment instead, we start to see miraculous moments everywhere. We become one who is defined by the perception of the proliferation of miracles.


Try the second of these approaches. Think of a creative response as your own work that would not have existed without the work you are responding to. Start with the most obvious miraculous moment that you see in the work. What is obvious to you may not be obvious to anybody else.


You may have an association with that moment. You may want to echo it, multiply it, or work from it in some other way. Work out from that moment. The moment may have been intentional or accidental. Instead of a moment, your starting point might be a structural element, a visual element, a spatial element – anything.


We want to destabilize the boundaries between critical modes and the creative modes in order to enrich them both."


quote from http://www.goatislandperformance.org/creativeResponse.htm


http://www.abandonedpractices.org/course.html

fom A to B

the dutches are gone



The Dutches are one their way back to the Netherlands.

Bart and Luc acted as a catalyst in our introduction to a broad network of artists and organizations here in Detroit.
Their previous visits (May 2009, January 2010) have proven extremely beneficial.

We now proceed practice within a network that is constituted on the basis of common interests and intentions.

Left now to our own devices we are sitting in the living room of KT's house "choreographic" our future plans.

burning house





i like cristal lake, illinois, they celebrate the 5th of july or how to do something out of nothing


do it yourself firecracker am-lis-troit 9000 for the 5th of july 2011
detailed instructions on assembly and usage will follow on printed manual soon available in a local shop close to you



when i grew up in the suburbs of lisbon, we used to make our own fireworks with used car spark plugs. we would run off to the car repair mechanic shop and ask one of the workers for their used spark plugs and car bolts. they would pass us a box full of them, covered in car oil, with a look on their faces like 'why the hell these kids want used spark plugs, and why are they so happy about getting them?'

we would look for the heaviest, and biggest spark plug that could carry the most fire match heads as possible, and a bolt that would fit into the hole of the spark plug. those would be hard to find, and that actually was what would take longer to find, sometimes even making us visit one other car repair shop.

being in detroit during the independence day of 4th of july, which is celebrated with fireworks and surrounded by cars and auto service shops, made me remember those days and see if it could be possible to do that firecracker here as well.

it turned out that
car repair mechanic shops are the same everywhere, and they didnt change much from back in the days (though my dad, back in Lisbon, Portugal, nowadays drives a citrôen C5 with an engine made of plastic and ceramic operated by a central computer chip which you cant really fix on your own when it breaks down).

7.06.2010

motor city bar & grill



Netherlands won over Uruguay and they are heading to the final.



Jane suggested we head over to Hamtramck to watch the football game.

Motor City Bar & Grill is one of her favorite spots. They were voted the best burger in town!



On arrival, the locals thought we were a band touring around the US. Jane had the same impression seeing us all entering, one behind the other.


4th of July fireworks and fires




We climbed up the roof of THE YES FARM to watch the fireworks.
Jane, Joao and KT were laying on the roof while me, Bart and Luc we kept on standing.
An old residency at Chene Street got on fire. We took the car and reached there almost the same time as the fire trucks arrived. It took approximately 40 min for the whole house the burn down.
Firemen where just controlling the fire so it couldn't spread around. It was the last residency on the block.