Monday, June 1, 2009

From the Finissage of the FUNding FACTORy project at Open Space in Vienna

With this pictures i want to say THANK YOU to all involved in the FUNding FACTORy:-) project initiated and projected by Sophie Hope.
At first thanx to Sophie for proposing the possibility of collaboration for this project to us/me at angewandte, cause i liked the approach of the theme and the challenging work that at the end has defined terms of further discussion and exchange.
Especially thanx all they make it possible to get and dispose the stuff for the metaphorical factory.
Additionally Thanx to all the visitors and friends were enjoyed that.

All the best


Sunday, May 31, 2009

FUNding FACTORy on 24th may 2009

Dear friends,

here some first impressions of Coffee and Cake afternoon for FUNding FACTORY on 24th may 2009 at Open Space-Zentrum für Kunstprojekte Vienna

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dear Friends,

for all of you who were not at the opening of the FUNding FACTORY project at Open Space:
this sunday the 24th may, between 15.00 and 18.00 in the afternoon coffee and cake will be to watch and enjoy.

The doors are open

Domenico ;-)


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reflections on the FUNding FACTORY

Sophie’s personal notes, reflections, afterthoughts:

What did we do, five students and I in the run up to the opening of the FUNding FACTORY? I had previously recorded five interviews with ‘professional’ cultural workers and their responses to the issues they face on their cultural production lines and how they justify and sustain their ‘critical/political’ practices (you can watch these here on the blog). I then worked with five students from the Universität für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna to create an installation of the factory. I was warned early on by their teacher not to use or abuse them, take advantage of their free labour in the pursuit of my own, marvellous gain. My approach to what I do (I had been labelled and introduced as a ‘curator’ before I even opened my own mouth), I discovered, is not the norm. People expect to be used and abused by others, especially curators, because everyone, buddy, in this fucked up world is really only interested in bettering their own careers, apparently. The thought of collective production and not giving a shit about who owns what, is really not an option for many art students today (not all, of course) who are at the beginning of their careers as ‘individuals’. The whole point is that they find ways of owning their own thoughts and producing their own objects in this world. ‘Collective production’ and ‘art education’ is an oxymoron. Still. In Europe. In 2009.

So to ask a group of art students who have been trained to be precious about their ideas as independent producers – the value placed on which their livelihoods, they are told, surely depends (learn to defend those ideas chaps or become a washed up artist who has to, god forbid, teach or work as a therapist or hairdresser or something. Yuk.) - are understandably paranoid about an invitation to get involved in something that is not a group show or an opportunity that automatically presents individual artistic production. Not that I’m dead set against this, oh no. It’s just that the reasons behind why people choose this as their way of working fascinates me more. What we ended up doing inadvertently, those five students and I that week, was a little social experiment into the workings of cultural production in which we all, me included, acted as both the guinea pigs and scientists.

The FUNding FACTORY was a framework for us to work with, among, against and in between. The starting point was the 'cultural production line' – constructing the different elements of the factory, without being prescriptive about what the factory produces, but generally thinking about the mixing, squeezing, filing, filtering, testing, rejecting, slicing, wrapping, packaging and distributing that goes on in all different kinds of cultural production. I asked my sister Fran Hope to respond to the concept with an illustration. As a graphic designer she is currently rethinking the design-as-job process and where her passion lies in the act of production. Her drawings act as inspirations and illusions (see below) rather than instructions on which to build our factory.

So, my invitation to the group was for collective production, through individual / group responses and involvement in which ever way we could muster. The questions were posed by me as a way of initiating a conversation. These five students (Domenico Mühle, Tina Raffel, Christoph Srb, Corina Vetsch and Reinhold Zisser) reciprocated, which was great, as I couldn’t have done it alone. There were collective and individual responses that weaved in and out of the overall process, such as filming the making the factory, setting up a CCTV control room to monitor the workers and visitors, cutting hair at the launch, installing wheels, chains and cogs and laying tracks of old railway line though the space.

This was not a group show, but that seems to be the easily recognisable format that this and many other project spaces follow – instead, I was interested in finding out if we could create an active, living space that brings our different questions and responses on cultural production to the fore. I wanted the factory to break down the hierarchies between practitioners and acknowledge that we are all on this production line (together), with different ways of negotiating it. I’m not sure that comes across in the installation, what do you think?

How can we reflect on the decisions we make to work/produce in certain ways – as well as continue to do the producing/working? Can this critical reflection be possible within an art education/creative industry when we must PRODUCE PRODUCE PRODUCE in order to justify our decision to play this art game and survive the production line? What if we stop producing? Or start producing in ways that do not follow a recognisable / acceptable pattern?

In the end, it all looks the way it does because of the materials and people involved. The need to intervene and make ones mark, erase our marks, record our marks and the decision to be part of a process…

What’s next?

Details of the FUNding FACTORY

A selection of close up images of the production line:

Details of the FUNding FACTORY

Opening night

On the opening night Corina cut Reinhold and Christoph's hair on the train tracks installed by Reinhold.