CAG Volunteer Dan Potter writes about his experience participating in Scarcity Radio Vancouver a project developed with artist Sarah Browne. CAG volunteers and teens from the IGNITE! Mentorship Program at the Cultch, Vancouver, worked alongside a group from VIVO Media Arts Centre, Vancouver as well as with individuals from Slow Boat at Ikon Gallery, UK producing a series of sound-works for broadcast on the Scarcity Radio internet channel www.scarcityradio.org/radio.
This unique project included sound artists, economists, geographers and others exploring the notion of scarity and produced a series of experiences that ask questions about the world around us. Dan Potter writes:
When I was first invited to be a part of the Scarcity Radio project I asked myself what are elements in my day to day life that are scarce? Although I came up with a few answers to this question I found it difficult to pin point any necessities I wouldn’t be able to track down and implement. Over the course of a few condensed meetings we as a group explored these concerns with various artistic and social economic practitioners.
For me, our first meeting with artist Sarah Browne provided the most guidance as we talked from many angles on what scarcity is and how this concept could be applied to a radio art project. One of the points made that I found interesting was this idea of scarcity can only exist within a value system that governs quantity. So what is scarce really depends on our perceived notion of what is desired or at least what we consider a necessity of a comfortable life. This concept fits in with the exhibit How to Use Fool’s Gold where Sarah Browne gets us as viewers to examine our economic value system in order to see it isn’t an absolute power but is built and evolves according to what we put emphasis on in regards to our shared values of wealth and prosperity.
Pretty soon we all started making audio recordings of various events with the purpose of editing them into sound pieces that would be eventually broadcast on a pirate radio station operating out of the UK. This idea of using the AM/FM band as part of public display influenced my decision on what to record. In a world full of iPods and Wi-Fi connected audio streams the word RADIO immediately brings to mind certain social phenomenon in our society that are slowly going extinct and being replaced by a new normality.
Consequently, I decided to make recordings of myself and my family sitting at the dinner table having a conversion whilst eating our evening meal. I took the mundane discussions on where the food was bought and the hysterical slightly drunk laughter and manipulated snippets of them to create a sound piece that would move in and out of reality. Some chewing sounds were looped together to create a rhythmic pattern of excessive gobbling noises and cavernous reverb effects were applied to the end points of dialogue in order to initiate a sense of disappearance.
I wanted to hit upon the scarcity of family relations especially that of a nuclear family and the luxury of easy availability of food in western society. When all was said and done it turned out to be a quick project with not a lot of time to over think which happily kept things spontaneous and unexpected. I also enjoyed hearing what other artist participates had recorded as there was a great diversity of sounds and approaches that when played together will definitely spook any unsuspecting radio listeners over in the UK.
This program was made in collaboration with Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, VIVO Media Arts Centre and Slow Boat, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK.
Designed by James Langdon,Has Man A Function In Universe? is part of an ongoing project begun in 2002 to develop forty projects related to forty questions written by R. Buckminster Fuller. Each project is an artwork or a combination of artworks, developed in response to one of the questions. Of all the questions ‘Has Man A Function In Universe?’ may be the key that binds and directs all of the other questions. Gavin Wade has commissioned artists and writers to respond to this question using a combination of text and image.
The publication will reflect the process of the project – an ‘exquisite corpse’ involving collaboration, dissemination and the combining of works.
Edited and designed by James Langdon, this is the fifth draft user's manual for Eastside Projects, a free public gallery in Birmingham opened in September 2008, that is being imagined and organised by artists. It explains what the organisation is made of, how it was set up, who it is for, how it can be used and what it can offer. As would be the case when operating a machine or learning a subject, a manual may be necessary for the full use of of Eastside Projects. In this draft, the manual is structured as an alphabetical compendium of verbs. Each of these interconnected entries describes an activity engaged in by Eastside Projects as an organisation or a process occurring in the Eastside Projects building. Beneath each entry is a prompt to the reader to follow one of multiple narrative paths through the text. Readers unfamiliar with Eastside Projects should begin at Describing. Others suggested starting points Welcoming, Exhibiting, Narrating, Complicating, integrating.MORE
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Conceived and designed by James Langdon with Peter Nencini and Gavin Wade, this is the sixth draft manual for Eastside Projects, a free artist-run public gallery in Birmingham opened in September 2008. The sixth draft - in the form of a story for children - describes an alternative to the cycle of urban erasure and renewal. In the iconic 1972 publication ‘Adhocism’, architectural historian Charles Jencks wrote: “... the environment should preserve a record of past action, so that present and future actions may become intelligible.” In this spirit Eastside Projects proposes to initiate a new planning policy for Birmingham — informed by values of accumulation, complexity and story-telling — to make a more ‘legible’ environment.MORE
As part of Responsive Subjects, A School for Design Fiction convened on November 8, 2013 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig. This itinerant school employs the curious genre of ‘design fiction’ to assert storytelling as the primary function of design, assuming that every artefact has the potential to express the character of the culture that produced it. This publication documents and expands on the founding of the school through a series of imagined scenarios. These include a drama at the printer for architect Augustus Pugin in 1836, the history of the universe as observed on an English hillside in 1937, the first human trial of split brain surgery in California in 1961, and a Scottish speech synthesis studio in 2013. As the CAG's contribution to the Vancouver Design Week 2014, James Langdon conducted a three day workshop exploring narrative approaches to design, a series of connected exercises subjecting a collection of found materials to various manual and conceptual processes.MORE
This catalouge has been published on the occasion of the installation Wheel of Everyday Life by artist Gunilla Klingberg at Rice Gallery from January 31st to March 13th, 2013. Through covering up entire architectural spaces with ornate, circular patterns that were constructed from everyday logos and brands and resemble sacred mandalas, the artist explores her interest in consumerism and forms of Eastern spirituality. The publication contains a foreword by director Kimberly Davenport and an article by Houston-based arts writer Kelly Klaasmeyer.MORE