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