Cover Story—April 2018: Dates, 700 BC to the present: Michael Rakowitz

Latitudes' home page www.lttds.org


The April 2018 monthly Cover Story "Dates, 700 BC to the present: Michael Rakowitz" is now up on Latitudes' homepage: www.lttds.org

"As Michael Rakowitz’s fourth plinth commission is unveiled in London’s Trafalgar Square, this month’s cover story image revisits Return (2004-ongoing) a related project by the artist that also speaks about the turbulent history of Iraq. And dates. In London, Michael has deployed thousands of date syrup cans to make a 1:1 scale recreation of Lamassu, the fantastic winged bull that graced the gates of the city of Nineveh from 700 BC until it was destroyed by Isis in 2015."

—> Continue reading
—> After April it will be archived here.

Cover Stories' are published on a monthly basis on Latitudes' homepage and feature past, present or forthcoming projects, research, writing, artworks, exhibitions, films, objects or field trips related to our curatorial activities.

RELATED CONTENT:

  • Archive of Monthly Cover Stories
  • Cover Story – March 2018: "Armenia's ghost galleries" 6 March 2018
  • Cover Story – February 2018: Paradise, promises and perplexities 5 February 2018
  • Cover Story – January 2018: I'll be there for you, 2 January 2018
  • Cover Story – December 2017: "Tabet's Tapline trajectory", 4 December 2017
  • Cover Story – November 2017: "Mining negative monuments: Ângela Ferreira, Stone Free, and The Return of the Earth", 1 November 2017
  • Cover Story – October 2017: Geologic Time at Stanley Glacier 11 October 2017
  • Cover Story – September 2017: Dark Disruption. David Mutiloa's 'Synthesis' 1 September 2017
  • Cover Story – August 2017: Walden 7; or, life in Sant Just Desvern 1 August 2017
  • Cover Story – July 2017: 4.543 billion 3 July 2017
  • Cover Story – June 2017: Month Light–Absent Forms 1 June 2017
  • Cover Story – May 2017: S is for Shale, or Stuart; W is for Waterfall, or Whipps 1 May 2017
  • Cover Story – April 2017: Banff Geologic Time 3 April 2017





    Cover Story—February 2018: Paradise, Promises and Perplexities


    Latitudes' home page www.lttds.org 

    The February 2018 Monthly Cover Story "Paradise, Promises and Perplexities" is now up on www.lttds.org – after this month it will be archived here.

    "This month marks ten years since the opening of Greenwashing, curated by Latitudes and Ilaria Bonacossa. Subtitled Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities, this exhibition at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, addressed the melding of corporate agendas and individual ethics in the wake of the exhaustion of traditional environmentalism." Continue reading

    Cover Stories' are published on a monthly basis on Latitudes' homepage and feature past, present or forthcoming projects, research, writing, artworks, exhibitions, films, objects or field trips related to our curatorial activities.

    RELATED CONTENT:


    Archive of Monthly Cover Stories
    Cover Story – January 2018: I'll be there for you, 2 January 2018
    Cover Story – December 2017: "Tabet's Tapline trajectory", 4 December 2017
    Cover Story – November 2017: "Mining negative monuments: Ângela Ferreira, Stone Free, and The Return of the Earth", 1 November 2017
    Cover Story – October 2017: Geologic Time at Stanley Glacier 11 October 2017
    Cover Story – September 2017: Dark Disruption. David Mutiloa's 'Synthesis' 1 September 2017
    Cover Story – August 2017: Walden 7; or, life in Sant Just Desvern 1 August 2017
    Cover Story – July 2017: 4.543 billion 3 July 2017
    Cover Story – June 2017: Month Light–Absent Forms 1 June 2017
    Cover Story – May 2017: S is for Shale, or Stuart; W is for Waterfall, or Whipps 1 May 2017
    Cover Story – April 2017: Banff Geologic Time 3 April 2017
    Cover Story – March 2017: Time travel with Jordan Wolfson 1 March 2017
    Cover Story — February 2017: The Dutch Assembly, five years on 1 February 2017
    Cover Story – January 2017: How open are open calls? 4 January 2017





      In conversation for the exhibition catalogue "Limits to Growth" by Nicholas Mangan (Sternberg Press, 2016)


      Photos: Latitudes.

      After much anticipation, we are elated to see (and touch!) Latitudes' five-part interview with Nicholas Mangan as part of his exhibition catalogue "Nicholas Mangan. Limits to Growth" (Sternberg Press, 2016). The publication is designed by Žiga Testen and includes newly commissioned texts by Ana Teixeira Pinto and Helen Hughes, alongside illustrations of Mangan's work and historical source material.

      The five-part interview weaves together a discussion around five of his recent works ‘Nauru, Notes from a Cretaceous World’ (2009), ‘A World Undone’ (2012), ‘Progress in action’ (2013), ‘Ancient Lights’ (2015) and his newest piece ‘Limits to Growth’ (2016) commissioned for this exhibition survey. Latitudes’ dialogue with Mangan, began around a research trip to Melbourne in 2014, and continued in the form of the public conversation event that took place at the Chisenhale Gallery, London, in 2015, as well as over Skype, email, snail mail and walks.






       

      The publication release coincides with Mangan's eponimous exhibition survey which began in July in Melbourne's Monash University Museum of Art and just opened this past weekend in Brisbane's IMA. The show will further tour to Berlin's KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Summer 2017.

      "Nicholas Mangan. Limits to Growth" 

      Publisher: Sternberg Press with the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; and Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne.
      Editor: Aileen Burns, Charlotte Day, Krist Gruijthuijsen, Johan Lundh. 
      Texts: Latitudes, Helen Hughes, Ana Teixeira Pinto 
      Design: Žiga Testen;
      October 2016, English;
      17 x 24 cm, 246 pages + 2 inserts, edition of 1500; 

      40 b/w and 102 color ill., with color poster and postcard Softcover;
      ISBN 978-3-95679-252-6;
      30 Euros.






















      RELATED CONTENT:




      In conversation with Lucas Ihlein for Artlink Magazine

      The September issue of Artlink Magazine – a quarterly themed magazine covering contemporary art and ideas from Australia and the Asia-Pacific – includes a conversation we recently made with artist Lucas Ihlein. Ihlein's projects explore subjects as diverse as agriculture, gardening and social ecology, everyday life, avant-garde cinema history, fan culture, urban planning, communication and social relations.

      The interview, titled "1:1 scale art and the Yeomans Project in North Queensland", is preceded with an intro contextualising our conversation and how we met:

      Lucas Ihlein and Ian Milliss, "The Yeomans Project", field trip. Farmer Peter Clinch demonstrates the keyline irrigation channels at The Oaks Organics, Camden, NSW, 2014. Photo by Caren Florance.

      We first met Lucas Ihlein in May 2014 at the recommendation of artist Nicholas Mangan. We had been invited to Melbourne to participate in Gertrude Contemporary’s Visiting Curator Program in partnership with Monash University of Art Design & Architecture, and had taken a few days out to visit the Biennale of Sydney and meet some Sydney-based artists. Nicholas was already familiar with our curatorial interests, stemming from ecology and site-specific practices; indeed, we’ve recently made an extended interview with him for the catalogue of his exhibition "Limits to Growth", so his matchmaking with Lucas was prescient. We talked for hours and have been corresponding ever since, with a view to collaborating further.

      We were struck by the breadth and enthusiasm of Lucas’s practice and his voracious approach to the process of learning from the point of view of a novice. Where other people might pain over the policing of the roles of artist, curator or researcher, Lucas happily didn’t spend much time worrying about it. Accordingly, although it was the engagement with social and environmental ecology that initially piqued our interest, we soon realised that his was a collaborative practice that has embraced, for example, the re-enactment of “expanded cinema” works from the 1960s and 1970s (in the form of Teaching and Learning Cinema, run with Louise Curham) as well as a “blogging as art”, an approach that really chimed with our project for The Last Newspaper for which we had edited a weekly newspaper within an exhibition.

      Indeed, a key impulse of our approach to the projects we have undertaken as Latitudes around art and ecology, in the broadest sense, has been to resist the narrow restraints of normative environmental-concern ecology, in part following Felix Guattari’s essay "The Three Ecologies" (2000), to encompass social and political relations, human subjectivity as well as historical research. In other words, thinking about a practice that does not necessarily give primacy to exhibition‑making as well as considering what an ecological art project might mean in terms of process and site, and thinking through what acting ecologically might entail in relation to acting curatorially, acting editorially, or acting historically, and so on.

      Looking back on our projects in collaboration with the Royal Society of Arts “Arts & Ecology” programme—a public commission for London with artist Tue Greenfort (2005–8), our publication "Land Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook" (Royal Society of Arts/Arts Council England, 2006), and the symposium of “Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change”, 8th Sharjah Biennial (2007)—as well as the exhibition "Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities", Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2008), they now seem to belong to a very specific time when green issues gained wider traction. One might crudely say this began with the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change in 2006 and effectively ended, or was overshadowed, by the 2008 financial crisis and its grim legacies.

      We begin this interview at a moment when we’re revisiting some of the concerns left in the wake of such projects from the near past while preparing a group exhibition for CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux in 2017 around the carbon cycle and narratives of raw materials. At the time of writing Lucas has just returned from Guangzhou, where he has been exploring the geographical and social dimensions of sea level rise in the Pearl River Delta.


      Continue reading... 

      Lucas Ihlein is an Australia Council for the Arts Fellow in Emerging and Experimental Arts. He is currently showing alongside Trevor Yeung (Hong Kong) in Sea Pearl White Cloud 海珠白雲 at 4a Centre for Contemporary Asian Art until 24 September 2016. Ihlein’s collaborative project Sugar vs the Reef will culminate in an exhibition at Artspace Mackay, Queensland, in mid-2018. 


       RELATED CONTENT:




      Interview with Nicholas Mangan for his forthcoming catalogue ‘Limits to Growth’

      Nicholas Mangan, ‘Ancient Lights’ (2015). Installation views, Chisenhale Gallery, 2015. Co-commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery, London and Artspace, Sydney. Courtesy the artist; Labor Mexico; Sutton Gallery, Melbourne; and Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland. Photo: Andy Keate.

      We have just wrapped-up an interview with Melbourne-based artist Nicholas Mangan to be published by Sternberg Press as the catalogue of his forthcoming solo exhibition ‘Limits to Growth’, co-produced by Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Melbourne (opening July 20) and Institute of Modern Art (IMA), Brisbane (where it will be on view from October 29), it will later travel to Kunst-Werke Institute of Contemporary Art in Berlin (summer 2017)

      The five-part interview weaves together a discussion of his recent works ‘Nauru, Notes from a Cretaceous World’ (2009), ‘A World Undone’ (2012), ‘Progress in action’ (2013), ‘Ancient Lights’ (2015) and his newest piece ‘Limits to Growth’ (2016), to be premiered at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA). Part of an ongoing dialogue with Mangan, it developed from a public conversation event that took place at Chisenhale Gallery, London on 7 July 2015. 

      ‘Limits to Growth’ references a 1972 report commissioned by the Club of Rome that analysed a computer simulation of the Earth and human systems: the consequences of exponential economic and population growth given finite resource supplies. The overlapping themes and flows of energies in the five of Mangan’s projects discussed in the interview might be read as an echo of the modelling and systems dynamics used by the simulation in order to try and better understand the limits of the world’s ecosystems. 

      Mangan is presenting Ancient Lights’ (2015) at his Mexico City gallery LABOR on April 22, a work co-commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery in London and Artspace in Sydney.

      In conversation between Latitudes and Nicholas Mangan, Chisenhale Gallery, 7 July 2015. Photos: Manuela Barczewski.

      RELATED CONTENT:





      Witte de With and Spring Workshop's 'Moderation(s)' publication 'End Note(s)' is out!

      Cover and backcover of 'End Note(s)'.


      'End Note(s)' is finally out! The publication marks the conclusion of two years of residencies, discussions, editorial and exhibition projects within the framework of 'Moderation(s)', a multiform collaboration between Hong Kong's Spring Workshop and Rotterdam's Witte de With, steered by Singaporean artist and curator Heman Chong

      Latitudes participation took place in January 2013 with a month-long residency at Spring Workshop, Hong Kong, and with the production of "Incidents of Travel": an invitation extended to four Hong Kong-based artists – Nadim Abbas, Ho Sin Tung, Yuk King Tan and Samson Young – to develop day-long tours, thus retelling the city and each participant’s artistic concerns through personal itineraries and waypoints. 

      As announced a few months ago, Latitudes has contributed to the publication with a visual essay documenting each of the artists' itineraries accompanying them with a revised and reedited version of the May 2013 conversation with curator Christina Li (Moderation(s)' witness). 

       
       Section of the book (pp. 61–89) dedicated to Latitudes' "Incidents of Travel". Here the names of the artists and the locations visited during each of their tours.

      Itinerary and photo-documentation of Nadim Abbas' tour on 19 January 2013.


      (Above and below) Itinerary and photo-documentation of Yuk King Tan's tour on 24 January 2013.

       Itinerary and photo-documentation of Ho Sin Tung's tour on 29 January 2013.


      (Above and below) Itinerary and photo-documentation of Samson Young's tour, 7 February 2013.

      Reedited version of a conversation with curator Christina Li – Moderation(s)' witness – originally published on Witte de With's blog dedicated to the project. 

      Here's an excerpt of our conversation with Christina:

      Christina Li: The artists' tours were meant for you both to converse privately with each selected artist while getting to know their practices and the city. Did the public aspect of the Nadim Abbas' tour and your experience of the commercial tours suggest a different perspective of how the format could function from your initial perception? How has this attempt challenged your thinking in mediating and presenting the immediate experience and documentation of these tours to a larger audience?

      Latitudes: Although the commercial tours were taking place regularly by prior arrangement, we happened to be the only participants on each of the days [Feng Shui tour and Tour of the Devil's Peak]. We tried to keep the artist tours casual and inconspicuous, and to respect the notion of hospitality and privacy in the same way that if we came to your house for dinner, you would not expect us to bring a group of strangers with us. In fact, the day with Yuk King Tan concluded with a household of Filipina domestic workers making food for us – women whose trust and friendship she had earned through her personal affiliations and the concerns of her art. In this case it would obviously have been completely inappropriate and something of a human safari to bring along an audience. 



      Visiting Waterfall Bay with Nadim Abbas was part of the public tour on 19 January 2013. Photo: Trevor Yeung.

      But we had no desire to make the days exclusive or private as if they were some kind of bespoke tourist service. Other people sometimes joined for parts of the days if the artist had suggested it, yet the main point of emphasis was our commitment to the tour in lieu of the typically brief studio visit and a situation in which the artist has had ownership of planning the whole day. If there would be definitely something like an audience present throughout (that might expect to be engaged or come and go) the dynamics and the logistics would have changed.

      The artist tours were conceived from the point of view of research, and we have been reluctant to burden the artists or overload the format to the degree that they become durational artworks or somehow theatrical. We are not particularly focused on tidying up whatever their ontological status as art might be and likewise we have deliberately not just invited artists whose work has a clear sympathy with performative, urban research or an obvious relation with sociability or place.  We feel it is important that the format is quite malleable to the personality of each artist and that in the same way that you might browse a newspaper or share a car journey with somebody, the tours do not require a wider audience to legitimize them. In the same sense they have not necessarily required documentation to make them valid. However, we have been increasingly interested in the idea of reportage or live broadcast in terms of the ‘making of’ or ‘artist at work’ genre, while at the same time being really wary about our own positions as protagonists and photographs that might seem like they belong in a travel magazine.

      The tours in Mexico City took place during five consecutive days right after our arrival, so the way we shared the photographic material was more direct via our Facebook page at the end of each day. The exhibition at Casa del Lago opened only two days after we concluded the last tour, so we had to come up with a straightforward display form. For each tour the photographer Eunice Adorno had accompanied us and in the end we projected a selection of 200 of her images as a slideshow, and displayed a few of them printed on the wall alongside a large map of the city with pins locating the sites we visited. We also had printed itineraries, written by the artists, so anyone could later follow the routes themselves if they so desired. 



      Visiting the Espacio Escultórico at U.N.A.M. with Jerónimo Hagerman, one of the five tours around Mexico City in September 2012. Photo: Eunice Adorno.

      In Hong Kong we were using Twitter, Instagram, and Vine during the tours, so it was an experiment in documentation-on-the-fly and live journaling which was open to real-time responses. We also made a series of one-minute field recordings. The tweets were archived soon after alongside these recordings, as well as related Facebook posts. We also published blog posts about each of the tours which included many photographs (by us and others) alongside paragraphs from the artists’ itineraries. This might seem to highlight merely mundane technical aspects of the project but it also heightened our interest in further exploring the idea of the curatorial bandwidth beyond exhibition making, something we continued to investigate in following projects such as #OpenCurating.


      'End Note(s)' Colophon:

      Concept: Heman Chong
      Editors: Defne Ayas, Mimi Brown, Heman Chong, Amira Gad, Samuel Saelemakers
      Contributors: A Constructed World, Nadim Abbas, Defne Ayas, Oscar van den Boogaard, Mimi Brown, Heman Chong, Chris Fitzpatrick, Amira Gad, Travis Jeppesen, Latitudes, Christina Li, Guy Mannes-Abbott, Samuel Saelemakers, Aaron Schuster
      Copy Editors: Janine Armin, Marnie Slater
      Production: Amira Gad, Samuel Saelemakers, Heman Chong
      Design: Kristin Metho
      Printer: Koninglijke Van Gorcum
      Publisher: Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art Rotterdam, the Netherlands

      ISBN: 978-94-9143-529-4

       
      RELATED CONTENT:
        
      First week of the "Moderation(s)" residency at Spring Workshop, Hong Kong (17January 2013) 

      Nadim Abbas' "Incidents of Travel: Hong Kong" public tour (19 January 2013) 

      "Temple and Feng Shui Tour", a guided walk around Hong Kong Island & Kowloon (22 January 2013)

      Ho Sin Tung "Incidents of Travel: Hong Kong" tour (30 January 2013)

      Yuk King Tan's "Incidents of Travel: Hong Kong" tour (3 February 2013)


      Tour of Devil's Peak and the Museum of Coastal Defence (6 February 2013)

      Samson Young's "Incidents of Travel: Hong Kong" tour (7 February 2013)


      Latitudes' Open Day at Spring Workshop on 2 February 2013 (9 February 2013)

      "Archive as Method: An Interview with Chantal Wong, Hammad Nasar and Lydia Ngai" of the Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong. Concluding #OpenCurating interview (1 May 2013)


      "Digression(s), Entry Point(s): An interview with Heman Chong", Singapore-based artist, curator and writer. Eighth in the #OpenCurating research series. (4 April 2013)

      Archive of social media posts related to "Incidents of Travel" tours and photo-documentation.


      13 field recordings from 'Incidents of Travel: Hong Kong' 

      Witte de With opens the group show "The Part In The Story Where A Part Becomes A Part Of Something Else" on May 22, 2014 (21 April 2014)

      Interview between Christina Li and Latitudes on 'Incidents of Travel' for Witte de With's 'Witness to Moderation(s)' blog (7 May 2013)
       
       
      This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. Follow us on Facebook and @LTTDS.
      All photos:
      Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption).
      Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.




      Interview with Nicholas Mangan in Mousse Magazine #47, February–March 2015

      The February–March 2015 issue of Mousse Magazine (#47) includes the interview 'What Lies Beneath' between Melbourne-based artist Nicholas Mangan (1979, Geelong) and Mariana Cánepa Luna of Latitudes.  

       Layout of the interview in English and Italian on the pages of Mousse Magazine.

      The interview centers primarily on discussing the artists' methodologies through two of Mangan's recent works: 'A World Undone' – currently on view as part of Witte de With's show 'Art in The Age of...Energy' (23 January–3 May 2015) – and his film and sculptural work 'Nauru - Notes From A Cretaceous World' which will soon be featured as part of the New Museum's 2015 Triennial: Surround Audience curated by Lauren Cornell (Curator, 2015 Triennial, Digital Projects and Museum as Hub) and artist Ryan Trecartin.

      Read the full review here. Following is an excerpt of the beginning of their conversation: 


      'Dowiyogo’s Ancient Coral Coffee Table', 2010. Courtesy of the artist, Sutton gallery Melbourne and Hopkinson Mossman Auckland. 


      MCL: Unearthing narratives embedded within matter has been at the very core of your practice for some time now. Your most recent sculptural and film works have inquired into natural materials, their transit and energy flow and how their transformation – be it human-induced or ecological – have a social, political and an economic dimension. I'm particularly thinking of your 2010 project 'Nauru: Notes from a Cretaceous World' – featured at the New Museum 2015 Triennial– which focuses on the story of the tiny Micronesian island Republic of Nauru and its financial collapse as a consequence of a century of corrosive colonial exploitation of its phosphate ore resources. Could you elaborate on how this notion of transformation is explored in your sculpture works (traditionally static) and films (moving image) and how you have come to interrelate the two in the spatial narrative of your installations? 

      NM: As transformation is a process occurring in time, the necessity to explore duration has led me to test moving image as a sculptural possibility, to express not only the temporality of the assemblage, but also the forces and drives that produce such aggregations. In the video ‘Nauru: Notes from a Cretaceous World', narration sits over found footage and material that I shot myself, providing an account of Nauru’s material history as shaped by anthropogenic forces. The narration attempts to draw out the various histories that are embedded in material forms. In more recent projects, such as ‘A World Undone’ (2012)and ‘Progress In Action’ (2013), I have attempted to produce an intensified intersection between moving image and sculpture, enabling the materials to narrate themselves.
       
      'Nauru - Between A Rock and A Hard Place' installation view at Art Gallery Of New South whales 2009. Courtesy of the artist, Sutton gallery in Melbourne and Hopkinson Mossman in Auckland. Photo: Carley Wright.

      'Mined over matter', 2012. C-print on cotton paper, 69 x 103cm. 
      Courtesy of the artist and LABOR Mexico.


      'Matter over mined (for A World Undone)', 2012. C-print on cotton paper 69 x 103cm. 
      Courtesy of the artist and LABOR, Mexico.


      'A World Undone', 2012 (video Stills). HD colour, silent, 12min continuous loop. 
      Courtesy of the artist and LABOR Mexico.

      Mangan works with LABOR (México DF), Sutton Gallery (Melbourne) and Hopkinson Mossman (Auckland).

      Related Content:

      Visiting Curator Program, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, 12 May–7 June 2014 (28 April 2014).

      'Nice to Meet You – Erick Beltrán. Some Fundamental Postulates' by Max Andrews on Mousse Magazine #31 (30 November 2011) 

      Interview 'Free Forms' with Lauren Cornell part of Latitudes' 2012–13 long-term research #OpenCurating, released on April 2013 via Issuu.



      This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
      All photos:
      Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption).
      Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.




      "Focus Interview: Iratxe Jaio & Klaas van Gorkum", frieze, Issue 157, September 2013

       'Work in Progress', 2013, production still. All images courtesy: the artists

      The image of ‘work’ and the relation between art and labour
        
      Max Andrews: I’d like to talk about your current project, provisionally titled Work in Progress, set in the Lea-Artibai district of the Basque Country where Iratxe grew up. It began with your curiosity about the informal factories in the area where women trim moulded rubber parts destined for the car industry. What drew you to this subject?

      Iratxe Jaio & Klaas van Gorkum: When we encountered these groups of women sitting in a circle in their makeshift workspaces, surrounded by crates and boxes, performing tedious repetitive tasks together, it struck us as an incredibly complex and layered image. Although it echoed a traditional and communal way of life in what is still a mainly rural area, instead of spinning wool or mending fishing nets these women were working with abstract industrial forms which had no direct use-value to them. A closer inspection of the pieces revealed the brand names of multinational corporations such as Renault, Mercedes and Volkswagen. The women are from countries like Moldova, Peru or Senegal, yet it’s a scene that is at once domestic, local and Basque, while being replete with the contradictions of global capitalism.

      MA:  You are dealing with a representation of working, while also interweaving your own labour by making a film.

      IJ & KvG:  We have a long-standing interest in the image of ‘work’, and in the relation between art and labour. So we took this scene as the starting point for a cinematic analysis of production processes, both in these semi-clandestine work­shops as well as in the main fac­tory itself. Our approach has been strictly dispassionate, free from any superficial attempt to give the workers a voice. Instead, we focused our camera on the disciplinary conditions and rationalization of these processes, reproducing them in the montage by breaking up complex scenes into smaller units and stitching them back together again.

      MA: How has Jorge Oteiza’s Laboratorio de Tizas (Chalk Laboratory, c.1972–4) – thousands of small sculpture-studies made by the late Basque sculptor, yet never conceived as art works per se – come to play a key role in the project?

      IJ & KvG:  To extend the analogy between editing a movie and working on an assembly line, we wanted to ‘splice’ ourselves into the relations of production at the factory by inventing an artistic task that resembled the one already being performed by the workers. So we hired the factory workers to make synthetic resin casts of Oteiza’s ‘Tizas’. Turning Oteiza’s experimental sculpture laboratory into a mass-production line, and recording it on camera is, in essence, a formal exercise that juxtaposes the production of Modernist sculpture with industrial manufacturing. It also allowed us to stage an image of the artist at work, and to superimpose it onto that of the wage-worker, ultimately presenting both as ideologically loaded social constructions.
       


       Producing time in between other things, 2011, installation view at MUSAC, León.

      MA:  Is this project also a way for you to obliquely address the idea of Basque sculpture, from Oteiza and Eduardo Chillida through to Ibon Aranberri or Asier Mendizabal, for example?

      IJ & KvG:  The legacy of Basque Modernism loomed over this project long before we decided explicitly to include a reference to the work of Oteiza – although, in hindsight, it seems inevitable. But to speak of ‘Basque sculpture’ is to turn it into a closed-off category. We prefer to consider how the political function and significance that was once attributed to the language of abstract sculpture in Basque society holds up under contemporary conditions.

      MA:  In combining a study of the serial production of art with a social investigation into industrial manufacturing, you’re also reflecting on yourselves as cultural labourers. This was an important motif in your 2011 work Producing time in between other things (a project I co-curated with Mariana Cánepa Luna). Do you find it hard to be artists who make objects?

      IJ & KvG:  Oteiza once said that it wasn’t he who made the sculptures, but that the sculptures made him a sculptor. And now that he is a sculptor, why should he create more? In a way, we have been travelling in the opposite direction. We’ve always referred to ourselves as artists who do not make objects, and we only started making things to be able to address the notion of practice itself. In Producing time in between other things, for example, the 50 ornamental wooden legs we manufactured were simply a by-product of the task we had set ourselves: to learn how to use the woodturning lathe left by Klaas’s late grandfather, a retired factory worker. We took his place behind the machine, and recorded our ac­tiv­ities on camera, not just as a ‘measurement’ of the passage of time required to gain a certain skill, but also as a reflection on how the disciplinary conditions of the wage-worker’s spare time inform our notion of artistic freedom and vice versa. Yet we’re also very much indebted to those thousands of ‘How to ...’ videos on YouTube, from cooking a steak to casting polyurethane action figures. Considering the generosity of all that is being shared between the producers and the viewers of these videos, is it any wonder that actually eating the steak doesn’t even enter into the picture?
       

      Max Andrews



      Iratxe Jaio and Klaas van Gorkum live in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and have been working together since 2001. They recently completed a residency at LIPAC, Buenos Aires, Argentina. They will present a solo exhibition at FRAC Aquitaine, Bordeaux, France, opening on 4 October.




      Interview between Christina Li and Latitudes on 'Incidents of Travel' for Witte de With's 'Witness to Moderation(s)' blog

      From April, 2013 onwards, writer and curator Christina Li (HK/NL) takes up the role of a designated Witness to Moderation(s) the year-long programme of exhibitions, performances and residencies that unfolds between Witte de With in Rotterdam and Spring in Hong Kong. As such, Li is invited to post regular blog entries responding to the multi-faceted projects part of Moderation(s).

      Christina Li has been a part of Moderation(s) since its inception, and participated in the research and development workshop that took place at Witte de With in October 2012. Li will also be one of the four curators –together with Lee Ambrozy, Amira Gad, and Xiaoyu Weng– organizing the day-long conference Stories And Situations: The Moderation(s) Conference to take place on 5 October 2013 at Witte de With.

      The interview published below between Li and Latitudes was originally published on Witte de With's website on May 2, 2013. 
       
      Christina Li: Incidents of Travel” in Hong Kong is a second iteration of a project that you started in Mexico D.F in 2012, could you talk a little bit about how the idea of inviting artists to plan an itinerary functioning as both an artistic encounter and alternative studio visit came about?

      Latitudes: The idea of the tour guide is of course not new. Back in 2009 while we were doing a year-long project in the Port of Rotterdam, we organised a series of bus tours to the port where we would present projects by Jan Dibbets, Lara Almarcegui or Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller, etc. Listening to the feedback of the group that took part during those tours, we realised there was something very valuable about the idea of being (kindly) trapped in a bus for a day and to be taken around with a group of people whom you shared interests or even friendship with. Some were co-workers and took the day to talk about non-work related issues, to admire the landscape, to listen to the soundtrack that accompanied the bus tour and basically to enjoy a day away from the keyboard. We wanted to repeat what we thought was a successful format and thought our trip to Mexico DF was a perfect occasion for that.


       Tour with Lara Almarcegui and botanist Remko Andeweg around the Port of Rotterdam, 8 November 2009. Photo: Latitudes. More images of the tour here.

      While preparing a small exhibition of our eight years of practice for Casa del Lago in México DF, we felt we needed to add a ‘here and now’ contribution, and suggested inviting five artists (Minerva Cuevas, Tania Pérez Córdova, Diego Berruecos, Terence Gower and Jerónimo Hagerman) to develop a day-long tour for us.The choice of artists was mixed, some we had met before (Jerónimo or Terence) but didn’t know their work in much detail, and others (Tania, Minerva and Diego) we had been following their work for a while, but never met them in person. Our invitation was very open, our idea was for them to develop an itinerary that helped us understand their creative world, and that included them taking us to their favourite (or hated!) museums, libraries, markets, monuments, housing states, shops, restaurants, etc. that were special to their lives or to their artistic practice. We offered all artists a fee, covered all food and tickets-related expenses and had a car to take us around 9am–6pm, after that we used public transport. Experiencing any city accompanied by a local friend always offers a much deeper insight into any city, but navigating it with an artist whose work you admire, is even more meaningful as each site amplifies a personal connection.



       Photo: Eduardo Loza

      Li: Did you choose to adopt a different approach in your invitation to the artists in the Hong Kong edition? As far as I understood, Nadim Abbas’ tour was open to the public, while Yuk King Tan’s, Ho Sin Tung’s and Samson Young’s were conducted in a more intimate manner within a smaller group; what was the reason behind this decision? What were the responses to Nadim Abbas’ tour?

      Latitudes: No, the invitation was the same in both occasions, though in Hong Kong we mostly used public transport. We also had more time to prepare and digest information, as were a month in residence at Spring. In the end it worked out as one tour per week as that suited best the artists’ schedule. Nadim’s tour was the first and was indeed open to the public, it has been the only tour so far with this aspect, although it was still a small group, initially of around fifteen people. We were interested in pushing the format and of course this meant that Nadim had to consider practical issues like distances and locations more carefully (ie. avoiding long walking distances, accessibility for groups, food availability…) in order to be realistic with the timings. A few people joined on and off, some engaged more actively than others. It was wonderful to see that Hong Kongers were also discovering sites they had never been to, like the Waterfall Bay Park or the nearby Waterfall Bay. Somehow we were all tourists for a day.


      Nadim Abbas tour, 19 January 2013. Waterfall Bay Park's waterfall. Photo: Trevor Young
       
      Li: Since these tours have always been meant for you both to converse privately with each selected artist and to get to know their practices and the city, has opening these tours up conjure a different perspective of how these tours could function for you both initially? How has this attempt challenge your thinking in mediating and presenting the immediate experience and documentation of these tours to a larger audience?

      Latitudes: The tours were conceived from the point of view of research, and we haven’t wanted to necessarily burden the artists or the format with the expectations that they were participatory performances or some kind of touristic spectacle. We’ve tried to keep them quite casual and inconspicuous in this sense, and to respect the notion of hospitality in the same way that if we came to your house for dinner, you wouldn’t expect us to bring a group of strangers with us! Indeed this was literally the case in the day with Yuk King Tan, which concluded with a household of Filipina domestic workers making dinner for us – women whose trust and friendship she had earned through her personal affiliations and the concerns of her art. It is really not a question of us making the tours exclusive or private – we have not actually prohibited anyone else from coming along if the artist suggested it or was anyway okay with it. Yet it somehow seemed important to be able to commit to spending an entire day with them, and as soon as there is definitely something like an audience present (that might expect to be entertained or decide to leave) the dynamics and the logistics change.

      The tours in México DF took place during five consecutive days right after our arrival, so the way we shared the photographic material was more direct via our Facebook at the end of each day. The exhibition at Casa del Lago opened only two days after we concluded the last tour, so had to come up with a fast solution to present our explorations: we projected a selection of 200 images as a slideshow, and displayed a selection of printed photos on the wall alongside a large map of the city with pins that located the sites we visited and the actual itineraries we followed written by the artists, which contained short descriptions of each site (we printed extra copies of these and made them available in the exhibition so one could pick them up and follow the route. These are now available to download from our website.)


       Photo: Adrián Villalobos

      In Hong Kong we were able to tweet during the tours, so it was an interesting process of documentation-on-the-go, of keeping a live diary of one’s journey, and to receive real-time responses from colleagues all over the world – the tweets have now been archived alongside some thirteen sound recordings, Facebook and blog posts. We also published blog posts of each of the tours which include extensive photo-documentation (by us and colleagues who took part) of the day interconnecting each photo with paragraphs of the itineraries written by the artists and our own impressions.

      Li: You also have been to some other more specialised tours on offer during your stay in Hong Kong, were there more specific aspects of Hong Kong you were hoping to explore which guided your choices in attending these tours as a sightseer and a cultural tourist?

      Latitudes: We were interested in studying what kind of readings the city offered away from the usual tourist sites (the Tian Tan Buddha, Victoria Peak, shopping tours, a day in Macau,…). We wanted to see if we could find more ‘marginal’ sculptures or sites that presented vernacular displays far from the polished and pre-packaged tourist experience.


        1km of floating boardwalks, Deep Bay, Mai Po Marshes. Photo: Latitudes.

      We picked up hundreds of leaflets in the information office and found a couple interesting ones offered by the Walk Hong Kong company we thought were somehow out of the usual menu. We have always been interested in environmental issues and wanted to approach the high density of Hong Kong from another angle, from its relation to the surrounding nature. We visited the Mai Po Nature Reserve in the New Territories, a wetland on the Australasia migratory route, and ended the day in Long Valley in Sheung Shui, observing birds and farmers collecting large amounts of lettuces and watercress. This also tied in with another wetland we visited later with Ho Sin Tung, the Nam Sang Wai area, in the northwest of Hong Kong. This is to say that our own interests ended up tying in nicely with the sites we visited with the artists. Samson Young took us to a nearby area on his tour, to the border fence that separates Hong Kong with mainland China were we listened to “Liquid Borders”, a soundtrack he has been recording placing contact microphones in the wired fencing and mixing it with the sound of water of the Shenzhen River.

      Another tour we joined was the Feng Shui tour led by Susan Braun. We started visiting Norman Foster’s Hong Kong HSBC building in Admiralty, built according to strict Feng Shui principles, and finished at the Chi Lin Nunnery. The final one was with Martin Heyes, a former British Army officer and passionate World War II specialist, who took us to Devil’s Peak at the eastern extremity of Kowloon and to the Museum of Coastal Defence, to learn everything about the 1941 Japanese invasion of Hong Kong.

      A group of Japanese tourists visit the fough battery on Devil's Peak. Photo: Latitudes
       
      Li: As a whole, what would you say about the kinds of insights you have gained about the city from these tours, which might be seen as complements to the knowledge produced from the more casual encounters you have had through “Incidents of Travel”?

      Latitudes: The Walk Hong Kong tours were an opportunity for us to specifically learn about birds, marshlands, Feng Shui and the 1941 Japanese invasion, but most importantly it was an opportunity to discuss with our tour leaders issues that went beyond the tour script so to speak, issues like immigration, recent historical events such as the 2003 SARS outbreak, the current economic climate, the relationship to mainland China, etc. Curiously, all of the tour leaders were expats that had lived in Hong Kong for many years, so for us it was very interesting to hear how it was to live there today. The same goes for the artists, we absorbed a great wealth of information from each other beyond discussing the sites we were taken to. We talked about books, films, about the art world, what it is to be an artist and a curator today, etc. ‘Incidents of Travel’ and our residency was very much in line with what Heman Chong, moderator of the Moderation(s) program, explained during the January press conference: Moderation(s) is about stretching time. Not surprisingly, the image he chose to illustrate the long term collaboration between Spring Workshop and Witte de With was a clock. That image stood out very clearly during our time there. The offered time gave us the chance to generate conversations with the artists, to find a common ground, to generously share and exchange some kind of knowledge, and to engage in multiple and repeated dialogues with locals and expats, a rare luxury one is not often given.

       Latitudes' talk on 'Incidents of Travel: Hong Kong' and their practice during 'Open Day' at Spring Workshop, 2 February 2013.

        
      Related contents:
      13 Soundscapes of "Incidents of Travel: Hong Kong";
      Storify "Incidents of Travel";
      Flickr album of the four tours of "Incidents of Travel".


      All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
       




      "Archive as Method: An Interview with Chantal Wong, Hammad Nasar and Lydia Ngai" of the Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong. Final #OpenCurating interview.


      "Archive as Method: An interview with Chantal Wong, Hammad Nasar and Lydia Ngai" of the Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong, is available on ISSUU to view on screen and is also downloadable. It is also available as pdf format via Latitudes' web. 

      …And last, but certainly not least, our #OpenCurating research concludes with an interview with three members of the amazing Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong.
       

      Asia Art Archive (AAA) was founded in 2000 with the mission of documenting, securing and making easily available information on the history of contemporary art in Asia within an international context. Based in the Sheung Wan district of Hong Kong, the non-profit organisation holds hundreds of thousands of physical and digital items. AAA aims to stimulate dialogue and critical thinking about how the region’s art histories are told and to “facilitate understanding, research, and writing in the field, enrich existing global narratives, and re-imagine the role of the archive”. Through its website – aaa.org.hkAAA offers access to a wealth of digital material including scanned images, correspondence, artists’ personal documents, audio and video of performance art, artist talks, lectures, and events. A broad range of initiatives including the journal Field Notes, research grants, residencies, symposia, exhibitions and teaching workshops address the core of AAA’s commitment “to create a collection belonging to the public, existing not in an enclosed space, but in a space that is open and productive, generating new ideas and works that continually reshape the Archive itself”.

      Follow:
      @LTTDS 
      #OpenCurating 
      @AsiaArtArchive
         
      ABOUT #OPENCURATING

      What "old rules" about art programming, production and distribution has the internet broken? What challenges, expectations, and new possibilities does digital culture and social media present to contemporary art institutions? To what degree are curators, media teams, publishers and archivists concerned with a dialogue with their audiences? #OpenCurating has investigated these questions through how new forms of culture, participation and connectivity are being developed both on site and on line.

      The research was structured around three elements. Ten new interviews were produced and published as free digital editions as well as via Issuu; a Twitter thread was moderated around the hashtag #OpenCurating; and a public conversation (transcribed as interview #7) between Latitudes and Yasmil Raymond, Curator of Dia Art Foundation, New York, was held on 19 February 2013 at the Auditorium of the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA).


      #OpenCurating was a research project by Latitudes produced through La Capella. BCN Producció 2012 of the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona. 









       
      Content partners: Walker Art Center

       




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      This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.




      "Free Forms: An interview with Lauren Cornell", Curator, 2015 Triennial, Digital Projects and Museum as Hub, New Museum, New York. 9th in the #OpenCurating interview series.


      "Free Forms: An interview with Lauren Cornell" is available on ISSUU to view on screen and is also downloadable. It is also available as pdf format via Latitudes' web.
       
      After serving for seven years as Executive Director of new media non-profit Rhizome, in 2012 Lauren Cornell was appointed “Curator, 2015 Triennial, Digital Projects and Museum as Hub” of the New Museum, New York. During her tenure at Rhizome – a New Museum affiliate – Cornell initiated programmes including the annual Seven on Seven conference series, which bridges contemporary art and technology fields by pairing technological innovators with visual artists and challenging them to develop something over the course of a day. At the New Museum, Cornell was part of the curatorial team for The Generational: Younger Than Jesus (2009) and has curated exhibitions including Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries’ Black on White Gray Ascending (2007), and Free (2010), a group show that examined “how the internet has changed our landscape of information and our notion of public space”. She is currently preparing the 2015 Triennial, the institution’s signature exhibition, which she will curate together with artist and filmmaker Ryan Trecartin.

      Follow:
      @LTTDS 
      #OpenCurating 
      @newmuseum
      @lcornell
      #MuseumAsHub

      ABOUT #OPENCURATING

      Drawing on the emerging practices of so-called 'Open Journalism' – which seek to better collaborate with and use the ability of anyone to publish and share#OpenCurating is a research project that investigates how contemporary art projects may function beyond the traditional format of exhibition-and-catalogue. #OpenCurating is concerned with new forms of interaction between publics – whether online followers or physical visitors – with artworks and their production, display and discursive context.

      The project is articulated around a series of ten new interviews with curators, artists, writers and online strategists published as a free digital edition [read here the published ones so far], a Twitter discussion moderated around the hashtag #OpenCurating and an public conversation with Dia Art Foundation curator which took place at MACBA on the 19 February.

      #OpenCurating is a research project by Latitudes produced through La Capella. BCN Producció 2012 of the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona. 










      Content partners: Walker Art Center

       




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      This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.




      "Digression(s), Entry Point(s): An interview with Heman Chong", Singapore-based artist, curator and writer. Eighth in the #OpenCurating research series

       Cover of the interview. Photo: Joan Kee.


      Interview available for download as a pdf or readable on ISSUU via Latitudes' web.

      Heman Chong’s art practice is comprised of “an investigation into the philosophies, reasons and methods of individuals and communities imagining the future”. His ongoing project, The Lonely Ones, looks at the representation of solitude and the “last man on earth” genre in art, film and literature, and is the basis for a forthcoming novel entitled Prospectus. Chong’s recent solo exhibitions include LEM 1, Rossi & Rossi, London (2012), Calendars (2020–2096), NUSMuseum, Singapore (2011) and The Sole Proprietor and other Stories, Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou (2007). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions including the Asia Pacific Triennale 7 (2012), Performa 11 (2011), Momentum 6 (2011), Manifesta 8 (2010), Busan Biennale (2004), and the 50th Venice Biennale (2003) representing Singapore. Amonograph of his work entitled "The Part In The Story Where We Lost Count Of The Days", edited by Pauline J. Yao, will be published in June 2013 by ArtAsiaPacific

      The interview was initiated at Spring Workshop, Hong Kong, in the context of Chong’s invitation to Latitudes to make a curatorial residency as part of Moderation(s), a year-long series of programming between Spring and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam. "Digression(s), Entry Point(s): An interview with Heman Chong" also includes a guest spot with Gotherburg-based artist and writer Anthony Marcellini.

      Follow:
      @LTTDS 
      #OpenCurating 
      @HemanChong
      #Moderations

      ABOUT #OPENCURATING

      Drawing on the emerging practices of so-called 'Open Journalism' – which seek to better collaborate with and use the ability of anyone to publish and share#OpenCurating is a research project that investigates how contemporary art projects may function beyond the traditional format of exhibition-and-catalogue. #OpenCurating is concerned with new forms of interaction between publics – whether online followers or physical visitors – with artworks and their production, display and discursive context.

      The project is articulated around a series of ten new interviews with curators, artists, writers and online strategists published as a free digital edition [read here the published ones so far], a Twitter discussion moderated around the hashtag #OpenCurating and an public conversation with Dia Art Foundation curator which took place at MACBA on the 19 February.

      #OpenCurating is a research project by Latitudes produced through La Capella. BCN Producció 2012 of the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona. 










      Content partners: Walker Art Center

       



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      This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.




      "books_expanded_field: An Interview with Badlands Unlimited", fifth interview of the #OpenCurating research

      'How To Download A Boyfriend' group exhibition as interactive e-book, 58 pp (Badlands Unlimited, 2012).

      Founded in 2010 by artist Paul Chan – best known for his cycle The 7 Lights (2005–8) and Waiting for Godot in New Orleans, realised in collaboration with Creative Time and The Classical Theatre of Harlem – Badlands Unlimited is a New York-based publishing house whose motto is “books in an expanded field”. Its publications and editions in paper or digital forms (e-books for iPad or Kindle) acknowledge that “historical distinctions between books, files, and artworks are dissolving rapidly”. Badlands aspires to reimagine the activity of reading as it encompasses the artist book, choreography and poetry, 3D, experimental typography, historical translations as well as the format of the group show.



      ABOUT #OPENCURATING

      Drawing on the emerging practices of so-called 'Open Journalism' – which seek to better collaborate with and use the ability of anyone to publish and share#OpenCurating is a research project that investigates how contemporary art projects may function beyond the traditional format of exhibition-and-catalogue. #OpenCurating is concerned with new forms of interaction between publics – whether online followers or physical visitors – with artworks and their production, display and discursive context.

      The project is articulated around a series of ten new interviews with curators, artists, writers and online strategists published as a free digital edition [read here the published ones so far], a Twitter discussion moderated around the hashtag #OpenCurating and a finissage event in Barcelona (date TBA).

      #OpenCurating was awarded the first BCN Producció 2012 Research Grant of the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona. 










      Content partners: Walker Art Center

       




      Creative Commons Licence
      This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.




      'Beyond Interface', first interview of the #OpenCurating series, BCN Producció 2012 research grant, 2012

      Photo: Courtesy Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.


      'Beyond Interface' is the first interview of Latitudes' #OpenCurating project, which was awarded the first BCN Producció 2012 Research Grant. The inaugural interview was conducted with three key figures involved in the website of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, which is also the #OpenCurating content partner.

       
      #OpenCurating interview with Robin Dowden, Nate Solas and Paul Schmelzer from the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

      Robin Dowden (Director of New Media Initiatives), Nate Solas (Senior New Media Developer) and Paul Schmelzer (Web Editor), discuss the museum's new websitewalkerart.org – relaunched in December 2011 following a two-year conceptual reboot and complete redesign. Styled as an online newspaper, the new site heralds a paradigmatic shift for innovative museum websites in creating an online platform with an emphasis on publishing while placing itself at the centre of generating conversations around content from both inside and outside the Walker’s activities. 




      ABOUT #OPENCURATING

      Drawing on the emerging practices of so-called 'Open Journalism' – which seek to better collaborate with and use the ability of anyone to publish and share#OpenCurating is a research project that investigates how contemporary art projects may function beyond the traditional format of exhibition-and-catalogue. #OpenCurating is concerned with new forms of interaction between publics – whether online followers or physical visitors – with artworks and their production, display and discursive context.

      The project is articulated around a series of ten new interviews with curators, artists, journalists and online strategists published as a free digital edition, a Twitter discussion moderated around the hashtag #OpenCurating and a finissage event in Barcelona (date TBA).

      #OpenCurating was awarded the first BCN Producció 2012 Research Grant of the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona. 









      Content partners: Walker Art Center

       



      Creative Commons Licence
      This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.




      Ignasi Aballí at ARTIUM and Latitudes' text on 2009 project in Beijing and a 2010 interview

      Ignasi Aballí "This is not the end". Courtesy of the artist.

      On the occasion of Ignasi Aballí (Barcelona, 1958) exhibition 'This is not the end' at ARTIUM, Vitoria-Gasteiz (curated by François Piron, on view until 2 September 2011), we wanted to share two projects in which Latitudes collaborated with the Catalan artist.

      Firstly, the interview 'Rank & File' between the artist and Latitudes for which we discussed his ongoing 'List' series. The text was originally published in 'The Last Star Ledger' (Issue #4 of 'The Last Newspaper' catalogue, New Museum, New York, 2010).


      Read here: https://issuu.com/latitudes/docs/4_the_last_star-ledger/2



      ARTIUM's 'This is not the end' includes the work "Tomar medidas" (Taking Measures, 2009), in which nine instruments are displayed measuring things we cannot see: dust particles, time, electrical fields, noise, temperature, intensity of light, radiation, etc. The first version of "Tomar medidas" was produced for 'Nothing, or Something' (22 May–22 July 2009), an exhibition curated by Latitudes for Suitcase Art Projects, the project space of the Today Art Museum, located on three floors of the Yintai retail centre in Beijing – see images of the exhibition. 

      Following is the essay included in the small publication 'Nothing, or Something' produced alongside the exhibition – see images of the publication.




      Detail of the publication "Nothing, or Something" published by Today Art Museum and edited by Latitudes.

      'Ignasi Aballí: Nothing, Or Something'

      The morning before Ignasi Aballí’s ‘Nothing, Or Something’ opened, we couldn’t help but overhear an American businesswoman having a breakfast meeting at our hotel. “We’re working very much with intangibles”, she declared – and, we had to concur, so were we. Aballí’s works for Suitcase Art Projects address immateriality, residues and traces. He prompts us to consider things that we cannot perceive directly or are too ordinary to be properly noticed. What is perhaps philosophy’s central and most enduring question – ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ – is simultaneously approached as a precise existential experiment and as if with the shrug of a silent comedian.

      Despite drawing on the formal language of modernism’s impulse towards reduction and the ‘white cube’ of the museum as much as commonplace materials and unremarkable elements of daily existence, ‘Nothing, or Something’ has nevertheless been created for a situation that is neither fully ‘art’ (though presented under the auspices of the Today Art Museum), nor ‘life’, nor public space – but for a shopping centre. Walter Benjamin’s vast The Arcades Project (1927–1940) located the bustling arcades of nineteenth-century Paris – early versions of the contemporary mall – as heralding a decisive shift to the speed and commodification of things which signaled the emergence of the modern age. Following Benjamin’s concerns, Aballí’s project is preoccupied by the parameters of display while being experienced through a collision and confusion with its surroundings. The windows in which it takes place are located throughout three floors of the Beijing Yintai Centre, a recently opened retail destination hosting high-end fashion, jewelry and watch manufacturers in the heart of Beijing's Central Business District, in one of the tallest buildings in the city. In the context of an excess of brand visibility, signage and luxury product presentation strategies, the eight conceptually interlinked works which comprise ‘Nothing, or Something’ seek a counterpoint and temporarily make room for a different kind of looking, a slower revelation and, to borrow from Marcel Duchamp – to whom we will return – a ‘delay in glass’. The constraints and techniques of making something visible, and the very expectation of having something to see, become the projects’ points of articulation. 

      Please excuse our appearance, for example, wryly offers the visitor an explanation for the apparent lack of anything in the display case beyond the out-of-place presence of pages from the Spanish newspaper El País (which has often been used by Aballí as the basis for his art) which are laid on the floor as if anticipating some messy activity. Summoning an in-between temporality of perpetual waiting, the vinyl text on the window requests pardon for an apparent hiatus in the rhythm of seasonal trends. Aballí’s work from 2005 entitled Próxima aparición / Próximamente / Coming Soon – a one hour film showing the text of its title – similarly places the audience in a irrational situation of viewing where the main event is declaredly taking place at another time. Coming Soon is also the title of the vacated shop scenario of ‘Nothing, Or Something’. Only traces are left on the premises. An inventory of products on sale are detailed in half-removed words on the glass. Torn posters hang from the side walls; dirty marks have been left by shelves at the back; the dusty outline of objects in a forgotten display case. Each is a remainders of what purports to have been a unit dedicated to photographic equipment. The awkwardly appended ‘coming soon’ vinyl text on the window creates some confusion, however, as to what has left and what has yet to appear. Dust has regularly featured as a material in Aballí’s work, bringing to mind not only Dust Breeding (1920) – Man Ray’s celebrated photograph of Marcel Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) (1915–23) partially covered in a thick dusty layer – but less specifically a concern with entropy and the threshold of perception, where something is only readily perceivable through gradual accumulation or through its removal. Dust is “a very complex material ... a terminal, annoying, residual material that we don’t want” as the artist has described – particularly when it comes to photography.1 As he addressed in his recent exhibition ‘Without activity’, so many of the gestures and routines of (especially pre-digital) photography are concerned with cleaning, brushing and wiping-away.2 The depositing of dust also becomes an analogue for the exposure of light on photographic paper and in essence the inevitable passage of time.

      Dust is, unsurprisingly, present in the atmosphere of Beijing. In the work Beijing Air, Aballí takes the small volume of the city’s air present in a window display as the subject of what seems to be an encyclopedic annotated diagram cataloguing its actual and speculative, or feared, components. Text fixed to the glass and indicating lines describe the common gases present in air as well as a host of industrial pollutants, various airborne viruses and environmental particulate matter such as pollen. Many artists have commemorated the notion of blankness or explored the radically empty and each different reasons – the void can represent the wiping away of content and yet the preparation for something new. Aballí echoes this legacy – alongside Duchamp once more, whose Paris Air (1919) consists of a small vial of air from the French capital – yet his pseudo-scientific indications that nothingness is in fact not so easily achievable, at least for an earth-bound artist, brings humorous bathos to one of the central myths of the avant-garde.

      Taking measures similarly adopts the language of objective inquiry with an absurd twist. Eight identical plinths occupy a vitrine and present scientific instruments which detect and measure invisible forces for the duration of the project – a stopwatch counts time, a digital barometer records the atmosphere pressure, a compass shows the magnetic orientation, a thermometer-hydrometer measures temperature and humidity, while a lux meter detects light. A sound meter measures in decibels alongside an instrument for sensing radiation. It is no surprise that an anemometer reveals that it is not windy in the vitrine. Contrary to immediate, decorative, or pictorial appeals to vision, Aballí proposes an ongoing sensitization to perceptions that escape direct representation. Yet evidently, we are still looking at something and instead our aesthetic attention is displaced onto the design and the presentational mode of these instruments.

      The vitrine opposite this, Scenic Viewpoints, presents the visitor with an arrangement of what appears to be blank white sheets of paper taped to the inside of the glass. As with several of the other works, in this shopping centre context it could well seem like an unfortunate-looking temporary situation. Something being changed, remedied, covered over and hopefully overlooked: nothing to see here! Yet the attentive are rewarded with an altogether different vision – looking through the gaps in the white ‘tiles’ through to the reflection in the mirrored back surface of the narrow space, one can piece together an exuberant compilation of sights. Each sheet is an enlarged colour postcard depicting views, events and landmarks from the artist’s home of Barcelona, a city whose popularity as a tourist destination lies in no small part to its presentation as a readily consumable and legible visual ‘brand’. Blankly monochromatic on the outside, Scenic Viewpoints refuses such a generalised overview. Its ecstatic orchestration of wide vistas and saturated spectacles is only visible to a peeping, prying viewer who then can only see a small part at one time, while linking “the abundance of images around us with the scarcity of meaning we can attach to them”, as Bartomeu Marí has described of another of Aballí’s works Revelations (2005).3 

      The vitrines titled Illuminating and White Cube are sited facing each other. Illuminating consists only of the application of light. Very bright light. The installation of professional film lights which shine out from the vitrine creates a level of luminescence that is evidently excessive. With a seeming lack of anything in particular to illuminate, one is reflected in the mirrored vitrine in the looped process of beholding oneself beholding the work. A counterpoint to the tastefully spotlighted products in the neighbouring shops, the wastefully ‘incorrect’ situation highlights a stark condition of energetic consumption while literally highlighting its context. White Cube provides the backdrop to this intense reflexivity. It cancels the transparency of its vitrine through the application of whitewash on the glass, a technique commonly adopted by empty premises after going out of business. (Not coincidentally, some of the pages of the newspapers of Please excuse our appearance carry stories related to the recession, which are illustrated by closed-up shops.) As with Aballí’s Big Mistake (1998-2005) and other works using Tipp-Ex correction fluid (used to cover errors on writing or typing paper), the artist creates a quotidian monochrome, through a melancholic painting-like blanking-out activity that nevertheless is never properly a painting. If White Cube refers to a spectre of painting, Vitrines for a Vitrine seems to orientate around some missing sculpture or precious object. Yet as if the artist has been perpetually unconvinced by the plausibility of displaying something, no thing is on show – rather it is the condition of display which is demonstrated in a mise en abyme, itself within the regime of visibility of the shopping centre. Three clear acrylic display cases like those used in museums or in chic stores occupy the glass vitrine. Each contains one small photograph of different empty vitrines which the artist has encountered in various cities.

      Nothing, or Something’ undoubtedly triggers perplexing situations for the shopping public, and the workers of the centre who were more-or-less familiar with the art project’s presence or witnesses to its installation. For many the works may well go completely unnoticed. Are we seeing what we are supposed to be seeing? Where is the work? When is the work? Yet it is not the intention of Aballí’s project to be disingenuous or confrontational. On the contrary, it operates through orchestrating and modifying simple possibilities for observation, deduction and reflection. Something or nothing is happening, is not happening, is not happening any more, or is yet to happen. Enhanced by memory and hindsight the project allows a disarmingly humble visual retirement – the kind of complexity that emerges through ceasing or waiting. How and why are things added and subtracted from the world, or from sight? What is worth looking at, having or keeping, and what is to be doubted or erased? What does it mean to be more aware of the things we cannot see? Perhaps we are all working with intangibles?

      Latitudes (Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna)
       
      1 Ignasi Aballí, 0-24 h., Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, 2005, p.25
      2 Sem Actividade / Without Activity, Museu de Portimão, 2008
      3 Ignasi Aballí, 0-24 h., Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, 2005, p.11

      Text originally published in 'Nothing, or Something', the publication accompanying the exhibition that took place in the Suitcase Art Projects, Beijing, China, 22 May–22 July 2009. 



      This is the blog of the independent curatorial office Latitudes. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
      All photos:
      Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
      This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.




      (Part 3) Latitudes interviewed for "Radio For Example, part 2: R22-Dubai", a project by the Curatorial Delegation for Art Dubai 2012 and The Pavilion Downtown Dubai

      Car where the interviews led by the Curatorial Delegation took place.
       
      Latitudes was interviewed for Radio For Example by curator and writer Juan A. Gaitán, member of the Curatorial Delegation together with Rabat’s L’Appartement 22founder Abdellah Karroum, organisers of "Radio For Example, part 2: R22-Dubai" one of the projects of this year's Art Dubai (see more on the fair in this previous post). Radio For Example consists on a temporary nomadic recording studio in a car that will be circulating throughout Dubai, taking people between different art spaces, public transportation stations and homes, while conducting a series of dialogues and interviews with artists, curators and practitioners aimed at exploring the ways in which individuals engage with notions of the collectiveand operate within institutional frameworks.

       Juan A. Gaitán holding the mic and conducting the interview.

      Privileging the active role of the listener in the construction of knowledge, Radio 22 documents a series of discussions carried out in different places (Morocco, Medellín and now in Dubai) through live engagement with these specific social, geographic and political environments.

      The interview-on-wheels took place on March 21, between Art Dubai and The Pavilion Downtown, where Gaitán also curated the yearly 40-metre banner commission by Lebanese–Egyptian artist Lara Baladi.

        Banner commission at The Pavilion Downtown Dubai by artist Lara Baladi.

       Juan A. Gaitán and Mariana Cánepa Luna of Latitudes arrive at the final destination: The Pavilion Downtown, in the background Burj Khalifa, (so far) the tallest building in the world.  

       Curatorial Delegation tote bag.

      The Pavilion Downtown, a non-profit contemporary art space in downtown Dubai, also hosted the exhibition 'Living with video' curated by Paris-based gallerist Chantal Crousel, which featured 15 video works of artists Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, Melik Ohanian, Hassan Khan, Fikret Atay, Wang Bing, Gabriel Orozco, Mona Hatoum, Anri Sala, Wolfgang Tillmans, all represented by the French gallery.

       Terrace of The Pavilion Downtown
       
      Open cafeteria/restaurant and library space

        Library space. On the shelf a TV screens Gabriel Orozco's animation "Samurai Tree Animation" (2007)

      Wi-fi lovers in the library

      Open lounge/cafeteria
       Chantal Crousel gives an introduction to the 'Living with video' show (17 March – 30 June 2012)

      Cinema space screening  the 16/9 Wang Bing's film "Man with no name", 2009.

       Gallery 2 with works by Fikret Atay, Anri Sala, Melik Ohanian and a plasma screen with a looped selection of the films.
       
      A project by the Curatorial Delegatation (Juan A. Gaitán & Abdellah Karroum)
      Streamed on Radio Apartement 22 and presented at Art Dubai and The Pavilion Downtown.



      The Pavilion Downtown Dubai
      Emaar Boulevard, Downtown Dubai
      Dubai, United Arab Emirates
      [email protected] 
      T (+971) 4447 7025
      Opening: Everyday, 10am–12am




      Interview with Erick Beltrán & Jorge Satorre, 'Atlántica' magazine #52

      Installation view of 'Modelling Standard' at Galeria Joan Prats, Barcelona. Jorge Satorre and Erick Beltrán (Illustrations by Jorge Aviña), “Modelling Standard”, 2010. 58 photocopies pasted on the wall. Variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artists.

      In the current issue of the 'Atlántica' magazine #52 (to be launched on 16 February at 4pm, at the Sala de Amigos, Hall 8, ARCOmadrid), there is an interview between Erick Beltrán, Jorge Satorre and Latitudes conducted in November 2011 during the installation week of the exhibition at Galeria Joan Prats, Barcelona. Below an abstract of the 4,000 words on phantom limbs, microhistory, devil's drool, apophenia, collaboration, information systems, Sigmund Freud's dog Jo-Fi, collage, döppelgangers, Fantomas, mirror neurons, unorthodox research methods, validation...

      – PART I –
      Latitudes (L): Your exhibition at Galería Joan Prats in Barcelona is the latest instalment of your ModellingStandardproject, as well as being a group show which includes the work of other artists. [1] Where should we begin the story, where does it start for you?

      Jorge Satorre (JS): At the core of Modelling Standardis our interest in the methodology proposed by Italian microhistory during the seventies as well as its precedents. Specifically, the essay of Carlo Ginzburg ‘Clues: Roots of an Evidential Paradigm’, which was published in 1979, functioned as one of the main pillars of our project. In the text, he tried to explain a new way of making history in which there are three basic methods to follow: first, reducing scale; second, in-depth investigations of the few sources at hand; and third, exploitation of hints and traces – working like a detective. [2]Ginzburg supported his theory by alluding to the fathers of this paradigm: Sigmund Freud, Arthur Conan Doyle and Giovanni Morelli. These three people worked in very different fields, though they shared a medical background and operated in the manner of a detective: deciphering clues through symptoms and finding hidden meaning in details. From this trigger Erick and I started opening up a web of relations.

      L: It is now a fascinatingly complex project which involves a whole host of characters and has evolved through an exhibition at FormContent in London in 2010, and a comic book which you produced for Casa Vecina in Mexico City earlier this year. Integral to the project are the amazing drawings of Jorge Aviña, who we’ll come onto specifically in a moment, which you commissioned as illustrations of certain concepts. But as Charles Fort said, ‘one measures a circle, beginning anywhere’... so, let’s pick one drawing and one character – Vilayanur Ramachandran?
      Erick Beltrán and Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran. Courtesy the artist.

      Erick Beltrán (EB):Ramachandran represents a really curious phenomena that gets further explored in the comic – the analyses of the phantom limb and mirror neurons. He found out that there are cells in the brain that possess a representative image of our body. If those cells are electrically stimulated, one starts to feel different parts of the body. Via Wilder Penfield’s understanding of the part of the brain called the cortical homunculus, neuroscientists concluded that this representation is distorted, it’s not to scale with how the body really is. Some parts have more sensory neurons than others, hence they appear bigger in the brain’s body image: for instance the hands of ‘Penfield’s homunculus’ are too big and the torso is way too small. 

      L: What is the relation between the individual line drawings and the comic?

      JS:For instance, the misperception Erick mentioned really became the centre of the comic, which is titled El Hallazgo del Miembro Fantasma (The Discovery of the Phantom Limb). The 58individual drawings were the first part of the project and are pasted on the wall like posters here in Barcelona as they were similarly in London. Their structure and relations are set out more like a draft. The comic is basically a story talking about the power of the images in which we incorporated some of the characters from the first part of the project. 

      L: The comic format must have posed a different challenge; rather than jumping from drawing-to-drawing as with the talk-performances you have done during the openings of the projects, a narrative has to be set out and digested in a linear way?

      EB:We made a sort of ‘game of shadows’ with the comic by encompassing the narrative and the visual part. A novel however is something we are going to do at some point.

      JS:The whole project has also set out a new problem for us: we began with the analysis of microhistory, yet as we mentioned before, now we realise this has evolved into considering the power of images. All the characters somehow tackle this problem in one way or another, and with the comic we created a detective story where the characters are victims and perpetrators around a crime related to images.It has been a ping-pong of ideas between us, but we have also let chance be a part of the process. We have had to confront our decisions and integrate characters. Jorge Aviña is the illustrator who, as you said, has produced all the drawings for the project, and we realised that he had a lot to do with Fantomas, a fictional character in a Mexican comic series of the 1960s, based on the French character Fantômas. One of the writers of Fantomas, Gonzalo Martré, who is now 84, becomes the criminal in our comic and also is the cowriter of El Hallazgo del Miembro Fantasma.  

      EB: By then we had realised we had gathered a sort of ‘dream team’ of what Fantomas could represent today. 

      Jorge Satorre and Erick Beltrán (Illustrations by Jorge Aviña), “Modelling Standard”, 2010
      58 photocopies pasted on the wall. Variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artists.


      [1]  Modelling Standard, an exhibition organized by Jorge Satorre and Erick Beltrán. Also participating: Christoph Keller, Raphaël Zarka, Paloma Polo, Bernardo Ortiz, Efrén Álvarez, Meris Angioletti, Jose Antonio Vega Macotela, Vilayanur Ramachandran, Jorge Aviña and Florian Göttke. Galería Joan Prats, Barcelona, November–December 2011.
      [2]  Carlo Ginzburg, ‘Clues: Roots of an Evidential Paradigm’, in Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method , translated by John Tedeschi and Anne C. Tedeschi (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989), p. 102. The Italian edition is ‘Spie: Radici di un paradigma indizario’, in Aldo Gargani and Carlo Ginzburg, Crisi della ragione. (Einaudi, 1979).




      'Nice to Meet You – Erick Beltrán. Some Fundamental Postulates' by Max Andrews on Mousse Magazine #31

      In the current Mousse Magazine #31 (November 2011) you can read the interview 'Nice to Meet You – Erick Beltrán. Some Fundamental Postulates' where Max Andrews converses with the Mexican-born Barcelona-based artist, about the artist's attempt to create the terms of a dictionary of multiplicity. Their conversation ends:
      "In 1997 I was asked to define my work in ten lines, and I realised that was impossible. So I said to myself, okay, let’s just make it one word! So that word was ‘edition’ and from there everything expanded and exploded as I realised my work was about the question of how you select things – what is a choice? And that is a really difficult question."




      Erick Beltrán and Jorge Satorre's 'Modelling Standard' evolving project and forthcoming interview with the artists for 'Atlántica' magazine

      Invitation card to the exhibition at Galeria Joan Prats.


      Opening: 17 November 2011, 19.30h (the artist will do a talk at 20h)

      Exhibition organised by: Jorge Satorre and Erick Beltrán

      With works by: Christoph Keller, Raphaël Zarka, Paloma Polo, Bernardo Ortiz,
      Efrén Álvarez, Meris Angioletti, Jose Antonio Vega Macotela, Vilayanur Ramachandran,
      Jorge Aviña and Florian Göttke.

      The presentation at Galeria Joan Prats is the third iteration of the project which began in September 2010 at FormContent, London and continued in March 2011 at Casa Vecina, México DF. 

      "Modelling Standard takes as a point of departure the radical historiographic turn introduced by Carlo Ginzburg in the 1970s who focused on localised, popular and disregarded micro-histories rather than universal, over-arching versions. The title Modelling Standard references the scientific concept of the Standard Model used in physics to explain the almost invisible interactions occurring between subatomic particles.

      Erick Beltrán and Jorge Satorre use both micro-historical methods and the metaphor borrowed from physics to create connections between small, insignificant hints and traces. These are taken from their heterogeneous references to build seemingly unlikely connections between literary references, personal experiences, historical data, trivia and scientific facts through the construction of a diagram. The result is a series of caricatures and texts through which the artists will construct a detective plot where Sigmund Freud, Carlo Ginzburg, Giovanni Morelli, Aby Warburg, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Joe Orton are the protagonists." (taken from FormContent's press release)

      In Casa Vecina, Modelling Standard expanded with the inclusion of a comic also with drawings by illustrator and project collaborator Jorge Aviña, which will also be presented in Galeria Joan Prats alongside, as the artists have stated, the "input from a number of artists, illustrators and guest researchers, whose personal research work adds new links to the chain that stretches and lengthens ... like the devil's drool".

      Installation process of the exhibition. Photo taken the day we began the interview for 'Atlántica' magazine.

      In relation to 'Modelling Standard' Latitudes is currently working on an interview with Satorre and Beltrán for the Spanish magazine 'Atlántica' (to be published in February 2012), where there will be an opportunity to read more about their thread of ideas for this project as well as the process of their collaborative work – the latter being one of the focus of Latitudes' interests developed in exhibition projects such as 'Amikejo' (four exhibitions at MUSAC, León, 2011) or 'The Garden of Forking Paths' (Maisterravalbuena, Madrid, 2009). More news to follow...

      Related posts:
       


        



      Galeria Joan Prats
      Rambla de Catalunya, 54
      08007 Barcelona, Spain




      'THE LAST STAR-LEDGER' AVAILABLE NOW! #4 issue of the 10 Latitudes-edited newspapers for 'The Last Newspaper' exhibition, New Museum

      'The Last Star-Leger' – Issue #4
      (READ IT ON ISSUU)

      Table of contents:

      Picture Agent - Our singular picture agency:
      Haegue Yang (cover)
      Media Habits:
      Nicoline van Harskamp
      Focus:
      Collin Munn on 'The Last Newspaper's work 'Untitled' (2006) by Dash Snow
      Feature: Latitudes on the
      'The Last Newspaper's partner organisation StoryCorps & archive interview between journalist Ed Pierce and his grandson Scott Cole
      Interview:
      'Rank & File' Ignasi Aballí on his 'Lists' series

      The Next Newspaper: Latitudes interview with Nick Mrozowski Creative Director of Portugal's newest newspaper 'i'
      1989 Patricia Esquivias on…:
      Communism
      'Dirt Sheet':
      Janine Armin's column
      100 Years Ago...:
      'The Tacoma Times' (Tacoma, Washington) 1903–1949, October 27, 1910.
      Weekly cartoon strip: Francesc Ruiz
      Advertising department:
      Ester Partegàs with Rob McKenzie



      EXCLUSIVE CONTENT!

      Nick Mrozowski during his visit to 'The Last Newspaper' exhibition holding a copy of that days' New York Times. Photo: Latitudes.


      THE NEXT NEWSPAPER: i


      Fresh from putting together a 40-page on-site weekend newspaper for the Society of News Designers conference in Denver – Michigan native Nick Mrozowski, the Creative Director of Portugal's newest newspaper, simply called 'i', stopped by 'The Last Star-Ledger' newsroom.

       
      The Last Star-Ledger:
      Tell us about the origins of i [pronounced ‘ee’] – was there a lot of research done into what people wanted from a newspaper in 2009? Was it independently started?


      Nick Mrozowski:
      The guys who launched the paper are seasoned pros in the Portuguese market. They've been directors of other newspapers so they're well-versed in the economy and business. i was started by a public-works construction company in Portugal. They happen to have a publishing branch – they publish regional newspapers – and wanted a national newspaper. Innovation Media Consulting, started in Spain, consulted on the editorial ideas and design before it launched. Even more than their knowledge or research of the market, they tried to create a newspaper based on their instincts and ideas that was totally different to anything else. The staff we hired is very young and capable of serious journalism, but with a lot of spirit, energy, and humor. That naturally found its way into the newspaper and because of that our audience is even younger than we initially thought.
      The newspaper has about 55 or 60 people in the newsroom now. I'm the sole art director, though I didn't design the initial project. The graphic model was done by Javier Errea, who is the most famous Spanish newspaper designer now. He just won the Society for News Design's Lifetime Achievement Award at forty-three years old! In the last fifteen years that his studio has been going, they've probably been involved with most of the newspapers in Spain and Portugal.

      Cover i, 7 October 2010

      TLS-L: The design is obviously a critical part of the newspaper. To what degree did the staff have either design or press backgrounds which came together in its visual journalism?

      NM: We have reporters and designers of different functions. My degree is in journalism, but I focused on design. In all the newspapers I have worked on, I've been asked as much to be an editor as a designer. Our newsroom at i is a total open-plan. We work in the same room without cubicles or dividers with zones designed for communication. In the center are the top editors and then spiraling out are the various news desks, designers, and photographers.


      TLS-L: Is there a typical way an article is put together?


      NM: An editor or reporter decides there is going to be a story about something. They would then come and speak to one of the designers about what they're going to have for the page. We have our own jargon for types of stories or design elements to make it faster. That's pretty standard. The thing we do that's a little bit different is how we start a page. Throughout the course of a day we change it a million times, not only because an article comes in longer or shorter, we change it because somebody has a new idea. There are five designers, one design editor, and myself for the design portion.

      Cover i, 26 July 2010

      TLS-L: And you have 4 sections which are not at all based on traditional newspapers...

      NM: i is 25 x 35 cm (9 8/10” x 13 8/10”) x with 48, 56 or 64 pages. It starts with ‘Opinion’ on the first four pages to get you thinking. The following short section ‘Radar’ is all the news you need to know from the last 24 hours in different formats: a few briefs, a portion of quotations, a photo that tells a story by itself, an info-graphic that has no text accompanying it. The big ‘Zoom’ section is more in depth, more analytical, with longer format, bigger stories, mostly two-page spreads. At the end we have a section called ‘Mais’ (meaning 'more') which has culture, sports, and lifestyle. We don't have this feeling that we need a 'national' or 'international' section with a set number of pages or stories with a certain length, the editing is much more fluid. Although we have developed some habits over time, nothing is set in stone. It changes from one hour to the next, making it harder to work but producing a better result. For some newspapers, it’s a way forward: to be more aggressive, not just in reporting, but in the way we think about how we report.

      TLS-L: You must hear people talking about the decline of the traditional newspaper all the time?

      NM: I see what's happening but I don't believe it. I think there are a lot more to come. They're going to change, they have to change, but it's good change. Obviously the internet is not going anywhere. We talk about it a lot in the industry. Everybody has different points of view and every couple of months there is a prevailing strategy, idea, or criticism. News used to be a printed newspaper – it's not anymore – but a newspaper isn't necessarily an online thing. I read the online version of the New York Times all the time in Lisbon because you can't buy it (you can only get the International Herald Tribune), so I read it in the morning before I go into work, I read it during the day.

      Cover i, 19 June 2010

      TLS-L: Yet in a traditional newspaper you find things you wouldn't otherwise read.

      NM: When I go online I read a lot of stories because there's little investment in clicking a link, if a headline caught my eye, or an illustration. Funnily enough, now that I’ve been reading the New York Times on printed format here these last days, I find it really strange to navigate as an object.


      TLS-L: Can you give our news team any advice?


      NM: A good newspaper should have texture and a feeling of some immediacy. Try to highlight the liveness of it. Save yourself one part each time and only do it in the last thirty minutes so you have no idea what it's going to be. Desperation is a reality of newspapers!

       
      – Interview by Latitudes. Edited by Greg Barton.

       
      + images of i covers here.




      'THE LAST REGISTER' AVAILABLE NOW! #3 issue of the 10 Latitudes-edited newspapers for 'The Last Newspaper' exhibition, New Museum

      Issue 3: The Last Register
      (READ IT ON ISSUU)

      October 20, 2010


      Cover: ‘Exhibit: Exposed!’. Installing 'The Last Newspaper' wall text
      Report: ‘Reaction Distraction’: Gwen Schwartz on the TLN talk with participating artists Nate Lowman, Aleksandra Mir and Sarah Charlesworth
      Focus: Doryun Chong on TLN artist Adrian Piper’s Vanilla Nightmares (1986)
      Media Habits: Dora García
      Dirt Sheet: Janine Armin on truth and fiction
      Picture Agent: Sergio Vega
      The Next Newspaper: Paul Schmelzer on the American Independent News Network
      Feature: ‘Broadcasting’, Joe Salzman on the representation of the journalists on TV
      Exclusive interview: Latitudes with TLN cartoonist Francesc Ruiz
      ‘Patricia Esquivias on...The French Revolution’
      100 Years Ago…: New York Tribune
      Feature: ‘Hyphen-ated’ by Stephen Spretnjak
      Photo essay: ‘Behind the Scenes’, Installing ‘The Last Newspaper’
      Cartoon: ‘The Woods: Scratch Lottery’ by Francesc Ruiz
      Advertising: Ester Partegàs with Adam Shecter



      This Week's Headlines
       

      Philadelphia Newsstand (2010), installation at Temple Gallery, Philadelphia.
      Courtesy the artist and Galeria Estrany-de la Mota, Barcelona.

      “Before the internet, newsstands were the closest thing we had to web browsing”

      Barcelona-based artist Francesc Ruiz is creating ‘The Woods’, a specially-commissioned cartoon strip for the back cover of each of ‘The Last...’ newspapers. The Editors-in-Chief of ‘The Last Register’ caught up with him as he prepared for an exhibition in Cairo.


      Latitudes
      : Is 'The Woods' a family, or is it a place?

      Francesc Ruiz:
      They're kind of a family or a community, as well as a place. The name was inspired by the last part of François Truffaut’s 1966 film based on Ray Bradbury’s 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451. It’s set in a totalitarian society in which books have been made illegal and are being burned. A group of people go into hiding in the woods and decide to memorize great works of literature. They create a community that transmits books orally from generation to generation. Each of them incorporates a different book: there are five ‘Moby Dick’s, four ‘Don Quixote’s, and so on. It talks about the power of human knowledge to adapt to difficult and new situations, which is something that – although under a completely different perspective – is happening right now with the threat to printed matter and the adaptation of content to new formats. In ‘The Woods’ I'm using the city newsstand, magazines and newspapers, as a way of talking about different lifestyles, about specialization and ideology. I want to create a kind of masquerade ball in which everybody is represented or at least plays a role in the social architecture, something also very related to web 2.0 and platforms such as Facebook.

      L: Where if anywhere do you draw the lines between art and design, or artists and designers?

      FR: It’s all about self-consciousness and a critical perspective. As long as cultural object producers (which is what I consider both artists and designers to be) look at their work as something critically produced, to me it makes no sense to establish differences. Looking at it from a slightly different angle, someone asked me recently if I’d ever produced a ‘mainstream’ comic. I think comic books and design can be understood in different ways, just as both experimental cinema and popular cinema coexist. I try to work on the experimental side, but whether this work is read as art or not depends entirely on the context in which it’s received.

       
      L: Can our readers follow the cartoon strip as an ongoing narrative?  

      FR: No it doesn't follow a linear narrative – each issue shows a situation. The whole cartoon strip creates a series of scenes which build on my recent experiences working with a newsstand scenario before in Philadelphia, and now in Cairo. I did consider creating something more narrative led using characters that keep reappearing, but decided against it.
       
      Cairo Newsstand (2010), installation at the Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo.
      Courtesy the artist and Galeria Estrany-de la Mota, Barcelona.

      L: Specialist magazines target a public that has already been identified, yet they can also create new and perhaps unexpected followings. How does the newsstand feature in this relationship?

      FR: Before the internet, newsstands were the closest thing we had to a web browsing experience. You could go there, buy specialist papers and magazines, check out the contacts sections, the classified ads, and see all the niches you could initiate yourself into. Through the printed press you were able to discover new things, it was the main knowledge distribution channel. With most of this now moving online the fetishistic element is not the same. Although there are some web-based attempts to create a similar interface to the newsstand, its visual power of the newsstand is unique.
      For me a newsstand is a form of information architecture, a superstructure or a special building with inhabitants that change periodically. It’s an amazing tool with which to analyse the world and contemporary society. The matter of what will happen to newsstands as printed material begins disappears is something that is already visible: they're converting into lottery card retail points, as well as beverage and snack stands. But maybe they will have a different use in the future? I'm thinking of creating ‘The Newsstand Museum’, a museum with different newsstands from different countries and periods. Every stand will show the content exactly as it was in a specific time and place. For example September 10, 2001.

      L: Can you tell us more about the Philadelphia project you mentioned, made for the Philagrafika 2010?

      FR: I presented a newsstand for which I created all the printed content: a magazine formed by 120 covers and a newspaper which reproduced 12 different front pages. With these two publications I was able to build the ‘skin’ of the newsstand. I added speech bubbles to the covers, and recreated some important characters of the city mixed in with references to different neighborhoods, institutions, shops and bars. My idea was to create an analogy of the city and my experiences, initial reactions and perhaps prejudices about Philly after having been there for just a short residency period. I added a narrative layer around three main subjects: the city as the place where graffiti culture started, the city through which the AIDS crisis was imagined in the 1993 film Philadelphia, and finally the city’s Mural Arts Program, a (successful to some) anti-graffiti initiative. Through the different layers of newsstand I attempted to approximate the complexities of the city, as well as race, gender and class issues. I'm now creating a new newsstand for the Contemporary Image Collective in Cairo and it will take the form of a typical Egyptian street newsstand, only it will be made with newspapers covers that I've modified with a dialogue between the stones that are used as paperweights.

      Cairo Newsstand (2010), installation at the Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo.
      Courtesy the artist and Galeria Estrany-de la Mota, Barcelona.

      L: What difficulties and luxuries has this very particular format of the serial cartoon strip present to you as an artist?

      FR: I made a comic strip series with artist Pauline Fondevila in which we explored the bars of a city nearby Barcelona. Basically it was an autobiographical comic strip in wich we drew ourselves getting drunk and having adventures. We published forty different comic strips and they were published daily, the problem was that after a while the energy and the inspiration weren't there any more – and we had very bad hangovers! On the one hand it was very nice and a special format to play with in order to recreate worlds, but on the other you end up feeling a little like a slave to the daily production process.
      This ten week trial for ‘The Last Newspaper’ is a great period to develop another small universe – that's essentially what I'm trying to do. The weekly frequency is fine compared to a daily routine. I recently showed a daily comic strip for Creative Time Comics, but all of these projects need a lot of commitment.  

      L: Is there a particular newspaper cartoon you admire or took inspiration from?

      FR: I don’t think Tales of the Beanworld by Larry Marder was ever published in a newspaper. I'm a big fan of George Herriman’s Krazy & Ignatz originally published daily in the New York Evening Journal, and that has always has been a source of inspiration to me. The genre ambiguity, the bricks, the accent of the characters and those amazing landscapes, I love it all! Of course there are now a lot of people working on digital comic books and digital comic strips. It's interesting to see how scrolling works very well when reading linear narratives, actually better than the page-by-page structure. Scott McCloud is for me first author who successfully started to explore the potential of the comic book medium. But my favourite author is Kang Full, the Korean Manhwa webcomic artist. The funny thing is that he later prints his comics in paper format which entails a very interesting re-adaptation. And this seems a very apposite process for this period in between two regimes, the page-based former one and the web-based new one.

      – Interview by Latitudes, October 2010





      'THE LAST POST' AVAILABLE NOW! First issue of the 10 Latitudes-edited newspapers for 'The Last Newspaper' exhibition, New Museum

      'The Last Post' – Issue 1 
      (Read it on ISSUU)

      Table of contents:
      Cover:
      ‘Ink vs Link’. Press Room of The Richmond Planet, c. 1899
      Editorial: ‘Welcome to The Last Post, The Last Gazette, The Last Register...’ by Latitudes
      Picture Agent (Our singular picture agency): Kirstine Roepstorff
      Media Habits: Dara Birnbaum
      Exclusive Interview: ‘Double Trouble’, Lorena Muñoz-Alonso interviews TLN artist Pierre Bismuth
      Feature: ‘Lights, Camera...Banality’, Kolja Reichert on Marie Voignier’s Hearing the Shape of a Drum (2010)
      ‘Working with Utopians’ by Richard Flood and Benjamin Godsill
      The Next Newspaper (Profiling the organizations, projects, initiatives and individuals redefining ink-and-paper news): ProPublica
      Fit to Print: ‘The (L.A.) Times it is A-Changin’ by Adam Chadwick
      100 Years Ago…: The Salt Lake Herald-Republican
      Cartoon: ‘The Woods: Teen Balls’ by Francesc
      Ruiz
      Advertising: Ester Partegàs with Rob McKenzie




      EXCLUSIVE CONTENT!


      Below is the first interview of the series 'Media Habits' in which readers get to know how, where and from what artists, curators, journalists, etc. get their information and news. For the first one, we invited
      the New York artist Dara Birnbaum whose work has addressed the medium of television since the late 1970s.

      Self-portrait of Dara Birnbaum. Courtesy the artist.
      Newspapers
      I have basically stopped reading newspapers, except when traveling. Then I read the International Herald Tribune. I will look through the Sunday New York Times, as it is available once a neighbor has discarded it. Basically I scan The New York Times news and read the ‘Arts & Leisure’ section, etc. I will pick up free papers and look through them, such as The Village Voice.

      Magazines

      I use magazines mainly for listings, such as New York magazine and Time Out New York. For New York magazine I also do the crossword puzzle. News is gleaned through TV and the radio. There are only very few magazines I subscribe to, such as Astronomy, that of the Natural History Museum and the Audubon Society. I used to read National Geographic, but recently stopped it as I found I wasn’t reading it thoroughly enough. All are read at home, mostly late at night when it is quiet.

      Online

      I do spend considerable time on-line daily, mostly for research and communication. I use YouTube mostly for great archival footage – and that is my entertainment as well – concerts, interviews, etc. I use Facebook marginally. Mostly I answer when someone wants to be a friend or posts a message to me. Basically I am consumed by keeping up with email, mostly for work.


      Television

      As for television, I can barely watch it. However, I am addicted to Criminal Minds, which I find is well written and well acted. It reminds me of a favorite film: The Silence of the Lambs. I haven’t exactly analyzed why. I can watch some public television, such as Mystery and sometimes watch films on TV, or the Late Late Show on CBS. Most television simply annoys me.


      Radio

      I listen to radio constantly, mostly Wyoming National Public Radio on my computer. Then there are just two stations I listen to on my regular radio by my bed – the two public broadcast stations that we have in New York City.


      Books

      I read constantly, but I skip around a lot – not very concentrated. However, I just finished Little Bee by Chris Cleave and Don DeLillo’s Falling Man and his Point Omega.




      Images of SUM#5 magazine featuring an interview with Marjolijn Dijkman

      SUM# 05 magazine for contemporary art, December 2009

      Updating the 30 November blog post, here are images of the published interview between Latitudes and Marjolijn Dijkman appearing in the December issue of SUM# 05 magazine for contemporary art, pages 56–64.

      If you would like to read the whole interview, please download the text from Latitudes' writing archive.

      SUM is published twice a year in English/Danish by The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts' Schools of Visual Arts. Issue #5 is published with support from The Danish Ministry of Culture's grant for culture magazines and The New Carlsberg Foundation.

      ISSN 1902-8970
      ISBN 978-3-86895-064-9
      www.sum.kunstakademiet.dk




      Greenwashing update: RAF / Reduce Art Flights. Gustav Metzger interview


      The new RAF / Reduce Art Flights website www.reduceartflights.lttds.org, is now up featuring an exclusive audio interview with Gustav Metzger by Emma Ridgway about the RAF project and its implementation in the Greenwashing show.




      Interview with Lara Favaretto published in UOVO/16 (2008)

      Lara Favaretto, Plotone, 2005. 20 air compressed tanks, 20 pressure regulators, 20 distributings, 20 timers, 20 electrovalves, 20 whistles, plastic cables, 165 x 10 each tank. Courtesy of the artist and Galleria Franco Noero, Torino.

      In the first 2008 issue of UOVO, issue 16, Mariana Cánepa Luna from Latitudes interviewed Turin-based artist Lara Favaretto. The issue focuses on the relationship between art and architecture, man and environment and includes interviews with: Raimundas Malasauskas with Adam Carr, Tobias Putrih with Silvia Sgualdini, Michael Sailstorfer with Francesca Pagliuca, Dahn Vo with Adam Carr, Vincent Lamouroux with Céline Kopp, Daniel Arsham with Merce Cunningham, Tatiana Trouvé by Lillian Davies; texts by Michael Rakowitz, Liam Gillick, Marjetica Potrc and Hans Op De Beeck and many more...

      Here is a peek at that interview (you can download the full text from Latitudes' website, here or buy the issue!):


      MCL: In your recent Frieze Commission you sent out a letter inviting the Queen of England to visit the Frieze Art Fair (Project for Some Hallucinations, 2007). The letter in which she declines the invitation was pinned to a tree inside the fair. What kind of arrangements would you have made if the Queen had accepted?


      LF: Very Few! After an official inspection by the Royal Staff, everything would have followed the Royal Protocol. My work stopped before that, with the very possibility to project an apparition, a ‘platonic’ intervention, a Goliardic visualisation, or a confrontation with the appearance of a movie star from early cinema. It was an objectless hallucination, a kind of sentimental investigation that was projected to appear yet be autonomous in denying itself. The failure was long-awaited and foreseeable and was highlighted at the fair by the sound of applause, that put an end to the great daily spectacle as everyone was heading for the exit.




      Lara Favaretto, Project for Some Hallucinations, 2007, Frieze Art Fair Project, October 2007. Courtesy of the artist and Galleria Franco Noero, Torino. Photo: Latitudes.



      MCL: In the context of that commission you said that ‘when one listens to the narration of an idea that is so powerful it ultimately does not matter if it's ever realised’. Can you tell me another such idea or story?

      LF:
      Don't you think it's like that? I think that if very few words can describe a work, just enough to capture the work's physiognomy, it could end up being even stronger than the work itself. The border is really subtle. Telling a story also means suspecting deception and trying to improve it, waiting for it to suddenly unravel, and having fun as much as I have. A story I haven't understood is: ‘I've been studying disguises for a long time now. I am hired to shadow one of the most important people on the American political scene. I am currently based high in the Tora Bora caves.’

      Lara Favaretto lives and works in Turin, Italy. In 2008 she will be artist-in-residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; the Hayward Gallery, London, and at the Proa Foundation, Buenos Aires, where she will subsequently have solo shows. She will also present work at The British School at Rome and participate in the 16th Sydney Biennial.
      She is represented by Franco Noero in Turin and Klosterfelde in Berlin.




      'DAY' by Jordan Wolfson

      Here's an interview with Jordan Wolfson, in which he talks about DAY, the piece Latitudes' produced with the artist presented in the exhibition 'Alrededor de todos juntos, una entre tantas' at ProjecteSD, Barcelona, 8 June–4 August 2006.






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