Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on November 23, 2010 at 2:30 pm

This Sunday 2-4pm VerySmallkitchen present BOOK/ GALLERY/ SPACE/ PAGE/ PUBLICATION/ DISTRIBUTION, an open discussion at the Five Years Gallery as part of the current exhibition SO MUCH FOR FREE SCHOOL, ETC: A DRAFT PUBLICATION (27 Nov- 11 Dec 2010).

The discussion picks up on the LECTURE HALL. FREE SCHOOL event at Bethnal Green Library, as well as many recent projects on this site. Proposing the session to the show’s curator Edward Dorrian I wrote:

The starting point for this discussion is the following set of terms: publication, exhibition, distribution, book, gallery, page, space, writing. I am interested in how these terms move between the different realms of (print/ online) publication and (gallery/ elsewhere) exhibition.  I am interested in exploring these terms and relations in the context of lecture, free school, and engaged pedagogy.

What does it mean to think of a book as exhibition? Or an exhibition as a publication? Is there something useful in such cross overs? On what level do such exchanges occur – as creative metaphors, as prompts and suggestions, as practical possibilities? How does “distribution” and “publication” apply to both these contexts? Should we cultivate a fluid leixcon, or hold to a distinctiveness of book and exhibition practices?

The seminar arises both from the context of this exhibition, and a host of recent examples, both of “the educational turn” in curating/ art practices and the related development of “reading rooms” as exhibition form. For this two hour slot I will provide a gathering of historical and contemporary examples – in the forms of texts, publications, plans – as a temporary intervention into SO MUCH FOR FREE SCHOOL, ETC.

These will be available as prompts, sources, and potential structures, but the primary focus of the session is a consideration/ discussion of this small vocabulary of terms, tracking their meaning and utility as deemed necessary by participants.

Edward Dorrian has described the project of the show as follows, highlighting its own articulation of this question of fluidity (not/ how) between forms:

Participants who submitted proposals and delivered lectures as part of LECTURE HALL. FREE SCHOOL. at Bethnal Green Library have been invited to contribute a response to their lecture as part of a draft issue publication(printed) of a Five Years Periodical: SO MUCH FOR FREE SCHOOL, ETC: A DRAFT PUBLICATION.

The aim is to present the draft publication (alongside the original Lecture Proposals) as the basis of a series of editorial discussions in the gallery at Five Years (27.11.10 – 12.12.10). The gallery and all discussions are open to the public. i.e. it is a ‘Show’.

For our purposes, editorial discussion may be understood to be any discussion occurring inside the gallery during the show’s open hours, with anyone.  In addition participants have been asked to suggest and introduce possible (public) ‘seminars’ to formalise in part the editorial discussion. This is not a condition of participation and due to the limited timescale only a selection of suggested seminars will be programmed. A timetable with all the seminars will be published.

As well as the third paragraph of my proposal above, Edward also quotes the following:

(1) …there is the development of practice-based research, whereby the very languages of resistance asserted by alternative pedagogical schema (free schools, night schools, open academies, caucuses, etc.) would seem to be contradicted by the assertion of practice-as-research, an institutionally serviceable and assessable construct.

(2) What are the pragmatic requirements that would enable a free school to operate effectively and consistently… Speakers were given an open brief to address these and related issues in their own ways. There is a simple philosophy informing the school which makes no distinction between teacher and taught.

SOURCES: (1) Andrea Phillips Educational Aesthetics, Curating and the Educational Turn 2010; (2) John Cussans: YES. YES. I KNOW. FREE SCHOOL. I KNOW. proposal statement

For the draft publication I originally wrote a letter, reflecting on the LECTURE HALL. FREE SCHOOL session. When I read through a draft I wasn’t sure it was the kind of text enabling a movement from one form to another, and also capable of opening out into a conversation. It seemed such a text would work best by combing opacity and transparency, space and type. We will see on Sunday if this is the case.

Each contribution was limited to 5 xA5 and so I sent the following, a series of texts very much unfolding the set of concerns  – around instruction, minimalism, score, pedagogy – that had also informed the recent INSTRUCTIONS FOR INITIAL CONDITIONS project. Written one per page the scores are:
















as good as

not as good as

good as as

good good





For further details and full program of seminars and discussions see here.



In Uncategorized on November 20, 2010 at 12:55 pm







The following notes are edited from emails between Sandra Huber and David Berridge in February 2011, following an invitation from David to make a project for the VerySmallKitchen blog.

SANDRA: The first thing that comes to mind is a project I did, and am still doing, via Artists-in-Labs, where I was a resident poet for 9 months in a sleep laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland. Basically, I took the brainwaves of myself in sleep and started turning them into words, creating a long and extremely visual poem from the raw data of the EEG… Eventually, and when all goes well, it’ll go up as an installation at the lab where I was working in Lausanne, but I’m always open to other ways of presenting this work, either internet or physical venues.

… I have also thought about doing a physical chapbook of the (long) poem when it’s finished — it would have to be something that folds out somewhat like an accordian: the brainwaves/words running horizontally and intact across the foldable page as if the page is a static screen. On the obverse of the sheet could be a transcription of the words in a very linear fashion so that the reader has a chance to access them.

… We could of course start with a sort of e-book/blogroll of the conceptual side of the project, since a lot of the actual poetry is in progress (i.e. not finished…) Here’s an idea: during the residency at the sleep lab, I became very interested in the concept of “the room” — for example, the physical room of the sleep laboratory, at once made to look home-like and yet undeniably sterile, that I had to spend a night in to get my data. There are also the different stages of sleep (S1, S2, S3 & REM) that seemed like disparate rooms themselves, signaled by particular waves (sigma, delta, theta, etc).

We could work on something that gives a sense of rooms and in each “room” could be found something different: a line of poetry on a brainwave, the physical bedroom of the sleeper, a fragment of text on the science / philosophy of sleep. This also makes me think of what you wrote about what happens when the words break out of the rigid structure of the brainwaves — this entering and exiting of rooms that could sometimes spill over their boundaries… Thots?

DAVID:  Would the room be a kind of working proposition for us or would it be apparent in all the posts? I guess we could tie each post to the actual lab room, or – as I read your comments – present a series of “rooms” as distinct spatial-conceptual portions/ propositions:  one post the room of the actual room, one of only the text, one of … and so on. Or mixed up…

Have to think how the blog post format would fit this, and also how on the home page it makes columns of the recent posts. I think images and text combinations work well. The format puts quite a bit of clutter around the posts, so have to explore how something using lots of white space and just text would work, for example.

… how to organise it: posts in a series close together or more  spread out. What do you think? Could be a residency for a week….

oh yes and what you say about the connections between rooms, waves breaking out…. I wonder how we could suggest that… how would you like to start?

SANDRA: Where to start? A good question… Always the most difficult thing…

I think, with this idea of “rooms” in mind as a platform, we could literally start with the room itself — the sleep room, a mysterious sort of prelude, and some shots of myself, the sleeper (in a sort of cyborgian costume — I was trying to go for something Ada Lovelace-ish), so at first it’s unclear what exactly is being presented but we do have an idea of an unheimlich sort of space, as well as a character/subject of the writing.

We could then go directly into images of the brainwaves, just the raw waves without writing, and some theory, eventually showing how the brainwaves turn into words, i.e. presenting the poetry, and ending on the sketch of the room of the installation. So in a way, having a movement of the general going to the very specific and zooming back out again (the inside of the sleep room ends in the outside of the installation room: science has completely merged with, or been enveloped by, artifice).

Something like this? As for how it looks on the actual website, or if it’s done in a week’s residency or a more spread out form is entirely up to you..


In Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 1:45 pm

A score from my sequence A Curriculum Out of A Conversation There is Nothing That Is Not The Lesson appears November 5-29 2010, as part of INSTRUCTIONS FOR INITIAL CONDITIONS at Drift Station in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The scores mix short phrases, found texts, and one word poems, continuing the minimalism of my chapbook THE MOTH IS MOTH THIS MONEY NIGHT MOTH (The Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2010) more directly into a mode of research and enquiry.

Thus the title is followed by the poemwrd “FODL,” by the short tale “into his fears of singing in public his tongue was inserted” and, at the bottom of the following A4 page:

b e c a u s e y o u ‘ r e a l l p r a c t i t i o n e r s a l r e a d y

A subsequent text reads:

autobiographical content community based community discourse in comprehensive sequences conservative contexts for continuity in conventional critical citizenship in defining design development discourse form and content hidden implementation implicit institutionalized language of intervention in sequence of master narratives of null performance art and performative disruptions in performative implications of “poor”  poststructural predictability of preexisting  prescriptive problem-centred procedural structure of recapitulation in reified as script sequential social/historical determination of stereotypes in structure student influence on in teaching models transformation of

The text forms a sequence, but is also open to re-arrangements, and the addition of new material, although quite how closed and open it is as a system remains uncertain. Texts should be submitted as an invitation ot the curators to select and display as appropriate.





The concluding five texts of the sequence, one per page, are as follows:






Add a dog.
Blink your gog





See the full document of A CURRICULUM OUT OF A CONVERSATION  as a PDF here. INSTRUCTIONS FOR INITIAL CONDITIONS is curated in collaboration with Parallax Space. The curators describe the project as follows:

The “initial condition” is a term used in Chaos Theory referring to a simple starting point that, when the system is set into motion, is radically transformed into an unpredictable result.  The works in this exhibition describe an initial condition by which an artwork can be made or enacted, taking on the form of instructions that are exhibited as artworks in and of themselves.

They run across traditions and disciplines: some act as a catalyst for acts meant to be carried out immediately, while others are purely poetic calling for no action, or are conceptual or impossible to be realized and can only be completed mentally. Viewers are invited to engage the works as they see fit, either here in the gallery or later at a location of their choice.

The works in this exhibition are the result of an international open call, using the internet as a medium to both solicit and “ship” works.  Over 120 artists from six continents sent works, which were limited to an emailed file that could be printed in black and white on an 8.5 x 11” sheet of paper. These limitations served to show that art fundamentally is not about materials, media, or financial resources but about ideas.  We were surprised and delighted by the diversity of the art works received and proudly present them to you.

At the opening on November 5th there was a performance by Parallax Space’s Bill Graham in collaboration with members of the Mighty Vitamins. It invited members of the audience to help create constantly-changing sonic loops.

I’ve been wondering how these scores/texts of A CURRICULUM would move into sound, whether and/or how these words and phrases would remain.I find some of the space I am seeking here in Brandon La Belle’s essay “Genet on Holiday, or proposals for a dirty ear: where he writes:

Hiding, going undercover, ducking the spotlight, on the move, behind the lines or out of bounds, in the cracks, skirting the issue, out of sight, beyond the pale, out of earshot, past the divide, covert or masked, slippery or slick, – mr slick, ice cold or slimy and slithery… – he remains hard to know, difficult to gauge, unknown to most of us, but somehow always present: surprised by his actions, who is he anyway? What is the point, where is the origin, who knows the secret, the original mark of difference and identity, so as to know to affirm to name to underscore the line of thinking, the directive, the language around which all words and actions circulate? Lost or losing the way, turning surface into a game, words into theatre, self into trickster – I twist the map into a ball, crumple it up and toss it into the street where the wind carries it…

Jean Genet leaves the house to roam the countryside, picking up hustlers and sailors along the way, himself a child a thief a poet a lover all intertwined into the formation of a different kind of dance; he aims to remain on the edge of the language that keeps sex and criminality on either side, love and politics divided, poetry and friendship at odds… I linger over Genet because he shows the way through the twisted roads of the body and the law, where presence is always already more than itself, and wedged into the economy of desire dictated by the markings of the social; misfit derelict hustler fag romantic outcast ragpicker fuck-up loser – the pirate nation comes to haunt the castle by revealing, through a surreptitious counteraction, what is always already housed within.

Yet what Genet uncovers is the means to withstand the very promise of opposition – his is a meandering antagonism, a horizon masking the view with an uncertain presence, one that camouflages the scene with its own inherent patterning, a kind of overwriting to a point of pleasure and honesty, reporting or tracing while pricking the skin. (17)

SOURCE: Cathy Lane ed. Playing with Words: The spoken word in artistic practice (CRiSAP/ RGAP 2008), 17.



A catalogue of INSTRUCTIONS FOR INITIAL CONDITIONS is forthcoming as an online PDF, along with an essay by Parallax Space curator Marissa Vigneault. For the moment, my only information about the show is this sequence of images, and a few more online here.

Curious to note what scores remain legible in such a format, how the others function in their supposed illegibility, and the respective proportions of landscape and portrait amongst the 120 artists included in this show.


In Uncategorized on November 12, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Photo: Egon Stemle


This Saturday 13th November at 2pm I am giving a talk as part of Art/Writing: Writers, Writing and Exhibition-Making, an event at The Dock in Carrick on Shannon in Ireland. It is the first in a series of three Art/Writing Talks, curated by Fiona Fullam. On Saturday the other speakers will be Declan Long and Tine Melzer.

Fiona describes the Art/Writing Talks project as follows:

The Art/Writing Talks consider and explore the intersection of art and writing. What forms can art-writing take and how and where can this kind of work be disseminated?

Art-writing could be said to include critical writing, reviews, related theoretical or philosophical writing, art-writing – which links the visual and the textual, and also textual visual art. Where and what are the links between these and what kinds of knowledge can be produced at these points of intersection?

What could be lost or gained in moving beyond conventional discursive approaches into using visual and textual material? Are notions of authorship affected by the interdisciplinary nature of this kind of work?

Tine Melzer, The Complete Dictionary (2003)

For my talk I have been thinking through different and possible relations of writing and exhibition making, and have been conceiving of three distinct sections.

In the first I am thinking through a number of recent projects, all of which posit a different relation of writing and exhibition making. These include WRITING/ EXHIBITION/ PUBLICATION at The Pigeon Wing, DEPARTMENT OF MICRO-POETICS at the AC Institute, New York and THE SHADOW OF A TRAIN (curated by Mirja Koponon at Totalkunst in Edinburgh), which see writing refracted through various notions of curating and script-making.

In the second section I want to explore some historical and contemporary sources for exhibition making. This is a potentially enormous list so I am working on some performative structure that will enable, say, 100 examples in five minutes... Actually, I have changed my mind here and am focussing on the relations of writing, book and exhibition and how much vocabularies such as publishing, distribution and exhibition are transferrable. Book as exhibition? Exhibition as publication? Still unfolding…

Finally, I want to try and unfold some meanings and understandings of this model of the (art-) writer. I will post more notes and references from this talk on the site next week, but for the moment I wanted to highlight a couple of references that I have returned to repeatedly, and which this talk seems an opportunity to explore more fully:

(1)Joseph Grigeley’s notion of “Exhibition Prosthetics”. This explains how exhibitions have always been surrounded by writing (press releases, proposals and so on) but that this writing can understood differently within a new concept of the exhibition as a prosthetic body.

(2)Falke Pisano’s notion of a practice that moves both freely and transformatively between different sites of page, performance, exhibition, statement, title, content and on. As Pisano writes in her artists book Figures of Speech:

Between these different works there is a circulation and exchange of language, ideas, and forms. A transfer from one work to another often involving a change of status, a reflection within a different context or a further elaboration on an idea. Several formulations come back in different works; formulations of ideas for works become works; descriptions of works are used in preceding or following works and there is an exchange between descriptive or explanatory texts about the work and the work itself.

It is this notion of fluidity, what precisely it means, and how we might understand it, that is at the core of this talk and the practice (my own and others) that I am using it to try and dilineate. In several recent projects I have been interested that the fluidity seems to go along with a more radical transformation of form that also suggests a stop or blockage.

This was certainly true of the online Assemblings – Essaying Essays and Writing Exhibitions – that were made into an exhibition-in-a-box for The Reading Room in Berlin. It was also true of the summers collaborative talk on Kurt Schwitters (with Marit Muenzberg) that I re-made as a text for the forthcoming translation issue of dear sir magazine.

The Reading Room, Berlin

Another useful model for thinking through these issues is John Kelsey’s recently published Rich Texts: Selected Writing for Art (Sternberg Press, 2010). Debates about art writing have often involved shifting it from being “on” art practice to being both “on and as.” So what is that “for” doing?

Kelsey’s texts include journalism, catalogue essays, press releases, Top 10 listings, and introductions. In his preface Kelsey finds a metaphor for his writing practice in the Microsoft Corporation’s RTF document file format, which can transfer material between platforms whilst maintaining its human legibility. Kelsey goes on:

Many of the texts included here attempt to  engage (and perform) the problem of their own participation within (and extension of) the networked, communicational space they share with art. They are produced on the same screen that’s used to visualise, organize, and mobilize contemporary art, and so no matter what they say, or however inaccurate their perceptions and judgements may be, they know they are close to art, in fact simultaneous with it. (7-8)

Tine Melzer and Kaspar Andreasen, The Grass is Greener on the Other Side (2005)

Kelsey goes on to observe how these texts were produced amidst a number of other professional tasks, including the founding of Reena Spaulings Fine Art in New York, and a collaborative writing practice as a member of Bernadette Corporation. How do these practices relate to writing? Kelsey concludes:

… these “rich texts” are also immediately involved with the question of how to elaborate (habitable) rhythms of production today. The reason for avoiding the professional identity of either a writer or an artist, a critic or a dealer, is to bring ourselves closer (and in a more fascinated way) to the problem of how art works under its present conditions. To get closer to a possible and paradoxical definition of art through assuming art’s increasing loss of distinction from other communicative activities. Doing several things at once has been a way of remaining unemployed even in the midst of constant, inescapable employment. Writing, too, can be a form of unemployment within employment, and so is closer than ever to art. (8)

That central to any practice of writing is the articulation of some model of relation of writing and art is picked up on by Daniel Birnbaum and Isabelle Graw in their editors introduction. Suggestively, they suggest the identity of the “hack” may be a useful pseudonym or mask, citing Kelsey’s own statement that “To play is not to calculate profits, it’s to explore multiple forms of distance from oneself. If the critic is always right, the hack is always there – always in play.”

Having cited all this at length I should say that, working on Saturday’s talk, I have been pondering my own relation to this set of ideas, wondering if its actually describing the context I find myself in, or something else, or how precisely this pattern of similarity and difference works.

I’ve also been wondering if there is some way of thinking this through that draws on the various reading-lamp sculptures of Josef Strau. I’ll report back next week.

NOTE: Two further events in the Art/ Writing Talks series are scheduled. On 27th November, at Spike Island in Bristol at 2pm, Daniel Jewesbury, Tamarin Norwood and Jesse Jones will discuss Text and Context. A final session on 11th December, sees Maria Fusco, Maeve Connolly and Kevin Atherton gathered around the theme of Place and Possibility at the Goethe Institute in Dublin. See the schedule here.


In Uncategorized on November 10, 2010 at 5:09 pm

The first Edition of COPY was launched at The Plaza Principle, Leeds, Thursday 21 October 2010. Edited by Charlotte Morgan and Joanna Loveday of CRITICAL WRITING COLLECTIVE this first edition contains DOG MAN SEEING DOUBLE, another episode of DOG MAN: SPIT & PRAXIS, my investigative serial fiction project.

The editors describe the publication as follows:

COPY is a new low-tech publication of critical and experimental art writing based in Yorkshire, from Critical Writing Collective. Each issue offers a proposition loosely interpreted by its contributors.

COPY // understudy contains submissions of writing as or around critical practice and page/image based works with a critical / textual element. COPY // understudy examines the notions of standing in, examined, inquired or performed; the temporary, theoretical or illusory and will be presented at The Plaza Principle, an exhibition curated by Derek Horton and Chris Bloor at the vacant TK Maxx unit in Leeds Shopping Plaza.

COPY will be distributed at regional and national locations and online.

The DOG MAN fiction project began as part of my writing residency for Beyond the Dustheaps at The Charles Dickens Museum.  DOG MAN’S WEEK OF THE 10,000 STORIES was an installation at the Gooden Gallery 24/8 Vitrine.  A further collection of texts –  DOG MAN’S MORNING RITUAL – will appear in the forthcoming BASIC NEEDS issue of 20/20 magazine.

Here is an extract of the episode for COPY// Understudy.


Kingsway, thought Dog Man coming out of Holborn tube station, is where London feels most like Paris. It’s the buildings, trees and the width of road and pavement. The correlation of these elements causes Kingsway to substitute for somewhere else. Somewhere French.

Or Hyde Park as time machine. Each time he walked in Kensington Gardens Dog Man saw, amongst the trees, Henry VIII hunting wild boar. Or Victorians drifting around the round pond. During World War I the gardens had hosted a camouflage school, so perhaps other historical periods, thought Dog Man, are still here, disguised as trees…

At Gants Hill, the central line stations felt like Brooklyn. A single Jewish cloth merchant on Brick Lane; a synagogue folded into the mosque on Fieldgate street.  An oasis, also on Whitechapel’s Fieldgate street, across the road from the bell foundry, worn out looking palm trees sabotaging a desert comparison.

Dog Man never experienced such resonances in the close by financial district, either its busy day or empty night and weekend streets. Its substitutions, copies, exchanges were all on the flickering screens, behind receptionists, on upper floors, to which he had no access.

Little Philippines. Little China. Little Korea. Little France. Little Italy.


Dog Man made himself an orbiting reading list for Whitechapel High Street: Knut Hamsun’s HUNGER; Pierre Guoyotat’s SOMA; Junichiro Tanizaki’s Diary of a Mad Old Man; Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners.  In the later West Indian immigrants chase pigeons for food in London’s parks.

Dog Man stood outside the Spitalfields house of Gilbert and George. He had seen on ubuweb a film about their archive. The semen, the chewing gum, the dog turds. It had seemed comprehensive, but Dog Man could see new gum and dog shit everywhere, whilst G and G stayed inside, behind the shuttered windows of their tall town house.

Gilbert and George must be old now. Who will photograph all the chewing gum when they are dead? Dog Man bought two suits, and wore them both whenever he walked in the vicinity of their house. Gilbert and George could not be copied.


EDITOR’S NOTE: It was in Mags & Fags that Dog Man told me the story of King Gant: his hill and his triumphal journey into London in 1225. King Gant said: In memory of me let there be a roundabout just here to smooth entry into London, particularly during rush hour. Let there be passageways under the earth for access to the tube station that can also work as pedestrian thoroughfares avoiding the busy traffic.

King Gant stopped off, too, at a pre-Medieval version of the Faces nightclub, which was not that dissimilar from the celebrity and premiership footballer hangout of the present day.  King Gant never thought to leave throughout the subsequent eight centuries, a permanent fixture at the bar until Dog Man came, luring him to his A12 storage facility with promises of champion greyhounds.

Find out more here.  COPY//Understudy also includes work by Huw Andrews, Fabienne Audeoud, Rachel Lois Clapham, Emma Cocker, Sam Curtis, Charlotte A Morgan, Flora Robertson, and Rebecca Weeks.


In Uncategorized on November 4, 2010 at 12:33 am


The Inaugural Joris-Karl Huysmans AGAINST NATURE reading group took place at Copenhagen Place, London on October 30 2010. The event was co-organised by David Berridge, Pippa Koszerek and Orion Max.  Download AGAINST NATURE here.

Participants spent time reading the book. The afternoon concluded with a number of readings, performances, propositions, and discussions. The above images are intended not as documentation but as a score for future Inaugural Joris-Karl Huysmans AGAINST NATURE reading group meetings, each with its own discursive form and furnishings.


In Uncategorized on November 3, 2010 at 9:37 am

David Berridge, NO MORE WRITING, lecture/ slideshow (2010)

This weekend I will be participating in PURSUIT: FAILURE symposium, organised by SEVERAL PURSUITS at the Institute  for All Sorts of Things in Berlin. More info here.

I have been working on two presentations as part of the event.  On Saturday at 11pm I will be part of a presentation with Alex Eisenberg and Mary Paterson that unfolds our project Question Time, which took place in Copenhagen during COP15 in December 2009.

Vladimir Tatlin, Monument to the Third International (1920)

On Sunday morning I will present PROJECT POETICS. This unfolds my response to the term PROJECT POETICS, which I first read in Svetlanya Boym’s Architecture of the Off-Modern, and her study of the legacy of Tatlin’s (unbuilt) MONUMENT TO THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL (1920).

This will include the first performance of NO MORE WRITING, the lecture/ slide show on project poetics I completed during my week in residence at Copenhagen Place.

Finally, an essay-fiction THE FLUXUS PRESIDENT: FICTION, FAILURE and COPI5 will be published by Several Pursuits as part of  a publication produced for the event. Across these different projects I’ve been thinking a lot about fiction, its ambition and inevitable failure…

I watch them all, fingers on my laptop. I have many different characters for my story, but in the whirl of COP15 every different “I” becomes one amorphous “They”: activists and civil servants, Harvard students, farmers from the south. All change money, have a first meal of pizza, go wifi hunting in the wide, quiet streets. One body and no body, answering the pizza seller, who asks questions whilst sprinkling flour and rolling out dough:

We chance encounter, they reply. We design. We subject to change. We smallness and the individual voice. We social. We ambition. We abandon. We aim for higher emission targets. We post-global meltdown universe. We writing machine.

We graphic continuity. We draft. We disaster. We turn thought into manifesto. We New Life.  We globe. We guilt. We science fiction. We don’t know. We host. We tone. We light up through pedal power. We wild card. We deal with urban development. We preparatory.

That’s 75 Krone, says the pizza seller.

The Forum, Copenhagen, COP15. Photo: Alex Eisenberg

All these projects take shape within the frame of PURSUIT: FAILURE, both the symposium and the broader project, which the organisers describe as follows:

FAILURE is essential to all greatness, not merely in providing its contrast but as an essential part of the processes of growing, experimenting, learning and living. We cherish the ever failing C. Chaplin or Homer S. for their Sisyphusian predicaments, we quote Beckett, film in obsolete media and yet at the same time few artists dare to embrace the option of artistic practice as failure itself.

The Symposium is the third stage of SEVERAL PURSUITS debut pursuit ‘FAILURE’ for which we gathered positions and reflections to explore meaning and possible potential of failure in contemporary visual arts. In times of omnipresent crisis such as a failing economy and a collapsing art market (and potentially fading self-esteem of those involved making art) we wrote a CALL FOR REJECTS when launching the project in 2009.

Many artists have thereafter submitted images and accounts of works of art that they have themselves rejected yet hung onto. A full archive of these REJECTS can be found on our website  or in the publication for the symposium.

Following this another CALL was spread online in 2010 – inviting more thinkers to submit texts and other written documents that deal with the concept of failure and its reflection in creative practice. The FAILURE symposium has emerged out of these submissions and the further pursuit of topics raised in them.

And an invitation from SEVERAL PURSUITS:

We therefore would like to welcome artists, writers, walkers, talkers, makers and other curious people to listen and speak. An Open Slot is reserved for those who decide to present at short notice. Those with ideas are invited to contact us via

PURSUIT: FAILURE  SYMPOSIUM, 5-7 November 2010, Schererstrasse 9 / 11 @ Institut für Alles Mögliche & secondhome projects, 13347 Berlin-Wedding.