The above image and the two below are taken from the blog of the artist Anna Francis. Anna is chronicling the exciting arrival via the post of The Wild Pansy Press Book of Rainy Day Activities. As well as Anna’s DIY Fridge gallery manual pages, the publication also, amongst its 19 contributers, includes my own essay YOUR GAMES ARE IDEAS THAT HAVEN’T THOUGHT THROUGH WHAT PLAYING AND PARTICIPATION INVOLVE. My own tube containing a copy of the book is also currently awaiting assembly!
YOUR GAMES ARE IDEAS… is a collection of games, strategies, philosophies and quotations that in some way unfold from the following statement:
Because a new economic situation and a new kind of game is necessary.
Because I don’t want to be overly pessimistic but in this post-economic age we might not be competitive like we used to but also we aren’t that green = ecological either….
Because we’re seeking a kind of conceptual poetic gamesmanship that is not just an activity, a form of relationship or a type of improvised thinking but a variety of poetry for insects that only humans can access.
Because paper models of buildings are all we can afford, so better get smaller and get inside…. a credit crunch olympics… a without noun now….
And this quotation from Ian Hamilton Finlay seems particularly generative:
.. I don’t usually play games but it seems to me that most games are like many poems, in that they are so complex that luck (randomness) re-enters by the complexity – and that it is better, therefore, to have a kind of ‘concrete’ game, where the basic moves are very simple, but can result in a kind of measured complexity which one can see.
The Wild Pansy Press themselves describe the book as follows:
As our contribution to the exhibition CRUNCHTIME! Artists’ responses to the global credit crisis and its timetable of associated events, The Wild Pansy Press has produced a publication in which a range of contributors make concrete suggestions for new cultural activities in a Post-Crunch society, with an emphasis on the practical, the cheap and the sustainable.
The Wild Pansy Book of Rainy Day Activities will be available to all visitors free of charge during the exhibition.
The Wild Pansy Press put out a call for contributions last year and we’ve tried to include everything that came in as long as it seemed in some way to respond to what we’d asked for. The contributors are mostly artists of some sort but we hope that “some sort” stretches the definition pretty widely.
In essence, The Wild Pansy Book of Rainy Day Activities is an exhibition in book form. You, the spectator, are offered a range of ways to respond; you can curate your own show by making and doing the things we have included (and adding your own) or you can just enjoy the book as a documentation of possibilities. The first thing to do, though, is to assemble the book from the four sheets that can be collected by visiting both of the two CRUNCHTIME exhibition venues (you can make your own cover, too, if you like). Think of it as a warm-up exercise – once you’ve done it, making boots to walk on water or a bike out of a shopping cart will seem just that little bit less daunting. It also means that each person who folds and sews up their own copy can rightfully add their name to the list of contributors.
Just as the making process continues after we pass the book’s constituent parts on to you, the audience, so we hope you will respond by sending us new projects that we can archive on our website including your own responses to and modifications of the ones in the book.
The Wild Pansy Book of Rainy Day Activities is the first of what we hope will be a series of publications that bring together work from a wide range of contributors around different shared themes, all of them exploring (and expanding) the idea of publication as a medium, not just for the distribution of art, but for its making.
CONTRIBUTERS: David Berridge, Kate Brundrett, Wayne Clements, Tom Cookson, Jorn Ebner, Anna Francis, Alex Hamilton, Barry Hughes, Daniel Lehan, Simon Lewandowski, Harry Malkin, Graham Martin, Phil McCollam, Ellen Mueller, Chris Taylor & Craig Woods, Eric Wilhelm, Lynne Williams, and Zieak.