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Longitudes cuts across Latitudes’ projects and research with news, updates, and reportage.

Nadim Abbas' "Incidents of Travel: Hong Kong" public tour

As part of Moderation(s), the year-long collaboration in 2013 between Witte de With, Rotterdam, and Spring Workshop, Hong Kong, curators-in-residence Latitudes have invited artist Nadim Abbas (Hong Kong, 1980) to develop a public tour of Hong Kong on Saturday, 19 January.

The day-long itinerary plots a course through a handful of sites in the city, which have in one way or another influenced the form, content, and processes of Nadim’s practice. Since Hong Kong has been his home for most of his life, some of these places have been all too familiar to him since childhood. This project now offers him the opportunity to spring fresh surprises on unsuspecting “tourists”, and possibly on himself as well.  

To complement the tour, check our twitter, facebook and SoundCloud, as well as the text "The Pathology of Hong Kong in the work of artist Nadim Abbas", an account of the tour by Zoe Li on ArtInfo.com (includes a slideshow).

Follow future events on Twitter: #IncidentsOfTravel #Moderations


Nadim Abbas introduces his tour to 16 participants in the Wah Fu Estate, Aberdeen.

Incidents of Travel: Hong Kong
by Nadim Abbas
19 January 2013

Although I usually speak about my work in terms of images and the imaginary, there is always an equally important component that describes an encounter with externalspace. By that, I am referring to the heterogenous space in which we live, which we rarely have time to reflect upon except in a state of distraction. But just because there is no time to reflect doesn’t mean that these spaces don’t affect our thoughts, subtly penetrating the internal space of our imagination; in some cases to the point where one can no longer distinguish between the internal and the external, or between dream and reality. It is these moments of uncertainty that interest me the most, and which, in my own experience transforms art-making into a perpetual balancing act on the threshold between banality and oblivion.

The itinerary outlined below plots a course through a handful of sites in Hong Kong, which has in one way or another influenced the form, content, and processes that define my practice. Since Hong Kong has been my home for most of my life, some of these places have been all too familiar to me since childhood; waiting for the right opportunity to spring fresh surprises on this unsuspecting tourist.


Wah Kwai Estate block.


 
Wah Kwai Estate water feature (with no water).
Around the Wah Kwai Estate. Photo: Heman Chong.

Waterfall Bay Park, Aberdeen, Hong Kong


Waterside "resort" used by the local community to swim and exercise by the side of the South China Sea.

Waterfall Bay is said to have attracted Portuguese and British ships to its shores to collect fresh water from its namesake as far back as the 16th century. Today, about 30m from the falls lie the ruins of a WW2 military pillbox and petrol powered searchlight referred to officially as “Beach Defense Units” by Allied troops during the Japanese siege of Hong Kong in 1941. A few minutes walk from the rocky beach along the coastline, residents of a nearby public housing estate have over the years converted what looks like a disused pier into a veritable seaside resort for the local community. Despite numerous government placards warning against swimming in ungazetted waters, residents eager for an early morning dip in the South China Sea have gone so far as to add ad hoc steps, pool ladders and even freshwater facilities for an after-swim wash. 


 Tour guide of the day, artist Nadim Abbas. Photo: Trevor Young.


 Looking towards Lamma Island from Waterfall Bay Park.

For the less adventurous, there are shelters and seating areas where the elderly gather every day to play chess/cards, chat or simply watch the boats passing by. But perhaps the most endearing aspect of this site is the hundreds of porcelain statues of various Chinese deities clustered along the hillside and shoreline. I don’t know what started this particular outdoor collection; perhaps a makeshift shrine to protect local fisherman, or to commemorate a traumatic event? Or because it is considered unlucky to throw away statues of deities, they were quietly transferred to this idyllic setting instead. Needless to say, this latter aspect lends the whole site, already steeped in history, with a certain sacred quality. In a city like Hong Kong, where the regulation of land use usually falls into the purview of one-dimensional governmental policies or market-driven real estate developments, such elaborate appropriations of public space are a rarity. They represent in my mind a kind of fragile heterotopia or an unwitting piece of relational art par excellence. 


Offerings to deities, Waterfall Bay Park, Aberdeen.


Hillside covered with porcelain statues of various Chinese deities. 
and more... Photo: Nadim Abbas


...some with their own shelters.


The waterfall of Waterfall Bay Park!


 Looking the other direction an abandoned WWII beach-defence unit.


Inside the WWII beach defense unit.


 Exploring the bay.


Nadim Abbas, Cataract (Iguazu Falls), 2011. Kinetic lightbox with Duratran print and aluminium window frames. 70(h) x 85(w) x 15(d) cm. Courtesy of the artist.

 Walking through the Wah Fu Estate in Pok Fu Lam. Photo: Heman Chong.


 Wah Fu Estate laundry.


Photo: Trevor Yeung.

Concrete Islands, Eastern Street, Hong Kong

My fascination with marginal spaces in the urban landscape began with this network of concrete islands that are located beneath the Connaught Road West flyovers next to the Western Harbour Tunnel (WHT) entrance. It is a site that I regularly pass by on bus rides to Kowloon side, and it became the model for a 46sq/m sandscape that was built-in a warehouse space as part of an installation titled Afternoon in Utopia(2012). 

Underneath the Connaught Road West flyover. Photo: Heman Chong.

Photo: Trevor Yeung.

Nadim Abbas, Afternoon in Utopia, 2012. Mixed media installation (sand, concrete, pigment prints, painted wall text, red-tinted lighting). Dimensions variable (sandscape coverage approx 46 sq/m). Courtesy of the artist.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of this particular set of islands is the uniform grids of solid concrete trapezoidal prisms that were set into the ground either by government departments or the government-franchised company that operates the WHT. The usual explanation for this strangely monumental arrangement of blocks is to discourage the homeless population from sleeping on the islands. I see it also as a way for the authorities to mark their territory, much like a dog urinates on a lamppost. A couple of questions remain: are concrete islands private or public spaces? What are the laws and jurisdictions that regulate the use of these spaces? Much like the status of homeless people, it seems that these anomalous zones occupy a certain legal grey area, perpetually overlooked because they exist on the boundaries of function and visibility.1
 
Photo: Heman Chong.


Lunch break at the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade, site of the West Kowloon Cultural District development, to host the future M+, a museum for visual culture to open in 2017 with a focus on 20th and 21st-century art, design, architecture and moving image.
 Hong Kong skyline from West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade along the Victoria Harbour.

Man Cheong Street Housing Complex, Jordan, Kowloon

As we all know, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. This is typically illustrated via descriptions of crowded streets in districts like Causeway Bay, Sham Shui Po and Mong Kok, or of the ubiquitous high-rise public housing estates around the territory. This latter aspect is indicative of the tendency, which began under colonial rule, to build upwards rather than outwards to meet the demands of a growing population. Ackbar Abbas, in Hong Kong: Culture and the Politics of Disappearance (1997) writes:

"Hyperdensity is partly the result of limited space, but it is also the result of how this limited space could be exploited for economic gain. On the one hand, the colonial government deals with the problem of hyperdensity by constructing cheap housing estates. On the other hand, the government policy of releasing crown land bit by bit at strategic moments and its prerogative, which it duly exercises, of designating land as rural (where strict building restrictions apply) or urban, ensure that building space remains scarce and property prices remain high."


Man Cheong Street Housing Complex, a case study in hyperdensity. 


Photo: Trevor Yeung. 


 Stuck in traffic conversations (Left: Mimi Brown and right: Nadim Abbas). 


Although the experience of living in a hyperdense milieu is often talked about disparagingly, it has also been argued that the close proximity between the commercial and the residential actually encourages diverse, dynamic communities and a vibrant street culture (in contrast to the bland homogeneity of suburban sprawl). 


  
In the early 90s, a group of Japanese architects conducted an in-depth survey of the city, extolling the virtues of hyperdense living, and going so far as to liken this still existing complex of apartment blocks off Man Cheong Street (another regular sight for me on weekly cross-harbour bus rides) to the infamous (now demolished) Kowloon Walled City:

Circulation inside the apparently solid block is not horizontal but vertical. Each slab-building is actually a grouping of towers, separated by slender slots. [...] Within these slots of space, like everywhere else in Hong Kong, however, residents have built illegal elements. Thus, although at first glance this highly ordered building complex looks nothing like the chaotic Walled City in Kowloon, it shares with it many features, such as its density of use and its vertical circulation.2

 
 Wiring, piping, washing and air-conditioning in the Man Cheong Street Housing Complex.


My own concerns regarding the phenomenon of hyperdensity have to do with the kinds of sub-cultures, or modes of (anti)sociability that emerge as a result of extended inhabitation. This has translated into research and immersion in otakuculture, which carries with it stereotypes of socially inept male subjects walled up alone in their apartments; as if the dense accumulation of cramped interior space encourages introversion or the vacuum of mental space itself. Interestingly, the Chinese word for otakuis宅男 (zaak naam), where is short for housing (complex) or tenement (block), and means male.


 Nadim Abbas, I Would Prefer Not To (宅男) #9, 2009. Digital C-print photograph, 64 x 42cm. Courtesy of the artist.



Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei.

The final leg of this tour takes us down a number of well-known streets in Hong Kong, which are prime examples of the kind of vibrant street culture that characterizes a hyperdense city like Hong Kong. They also provide a historical cross-section of architectural styles in the region, from pre-WW1 “Verandah” type buildings to modern-day podium towers. Each street is known for its specific cluster of specialized shops and/or stalls. Tung Choi Street, for instance, is affectionately known as “Goldfish Street” since it is almost exclusively lined with pet shops and aquarium suppliers. My choice of these 3 streets, in particular, reflect my own interests as a consumer as much as a producer. In fact, it is often the case that I get ideas via shopping, or window shopping - there is always an excuse to pick up another piece of useless junk... 


  Photo: Heman Chong.
 
Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon(Kitchen and restaurant supplies)


Meat cleavers and teapots around Shanghai St.


Pots and pans galore.
Passing by the Kowloon Wholesale Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market.

Durian fruit in the Kowloon Wholesale Fruit Market.
 
Tung Choi “Goldfish” Street, Prince Edward, Kowloon(Pet shops, aquarium supplies, bicycle shops)


Goldfish of all size and variety sold at Tung Choi “Goldfish” Street.


Aquarium supplies of all persuasions.

 Aquarium supplies to decorate fish-tanks.


Mini red, blue and white lobsters, Tung Choi “Goldfish” Street. 


Nadim Abbas, Marine Lover, 2011. Mixed media  (Polyresin coral casts, fluorescent black lights, plywood, door frames, mirror), 300(h) x 100(w) x 1900(d) cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Ap Liu Street, Shum Shui Po, Kowloon(Electronic components, consumer electronics, camera accessories, hi-fi & AV equipment, hand/power tools & accessories, flea market)


Watches, lighting fixtures, cables, transformers, telephone chargers, wires, batteries, and all kinds of other hardware supplies.


 ...as well as fishing nets

...all sorts of magnets. Photo: Trevor Yeung.


...and mountains of second-hand drills in the Ap Liu Street market.

1 In his visual essay, On Marginal Spaces: Artefacts of the Mundane (2011), Peter Benz devotes a whole section to the discussion of concrete islands. For a fictional account, see J. G. Ballard’s Concrete Island (1974), a kind of Robinson Crusoe for the twentieth century.

2 See architectural journal, SD (Space Design) Hong Kong: Alternative Metropolis No. 330, March 1992.

 


 
Nadim Abbas (Hong Kong, 1980) is a Hong Kong-based installation artist. His work explores the intricate role that memory-images play in the intersection between mind and matter. This has culminated in the construction of complex set pieces, where objects exist in an ambiguous relationship with their own image, and bodies succumb to the seduction of space. 


Abbas studied sculpture (B.A.) at the Chelsea College of Art and Comparative Literature (M.Phil.) at the University of Hong Kong. He currently holds teaching posts at the Hong Kong Art School and the City University of Hong Kong. Notable exhibitions and projects include: “No Longer Human”, Osage Kwun Tong, Hong Kong (2012); “Marine Lover”, ARTHK11, Hong Kong (2011); “Cataract”, EXPERIMENTA & Gallery Exit, Hong Kong, “FAX” Para/Site, Hong Kong (both 2010); and “Louis Vuitton: A Passion for Creation – The Hong Kong Seven”, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong (2009).  

Related contents:
Soundscapes of "Incidents of Travel";
Social media archive of "Incidents of Travel";
Flickr album of the four tours of "Incidents of Travel";
'Incidents of Travel' tour with Yuk King Tan on 24 January 2013;
'Incidents of Travel' tour with Ho Sin Tung on 29 January 2013;
'Incidents of Travel' tour with Samson Young on 7 February 2013.



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

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First week of the "Moderation(s)" residency at Spring Workshop, Hong Kong

View of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak.

Wall text at Spring Workshop introducing Latitudes' month residency.

Moderation(s) team. Left to right: Athena Wu and Mimi Brown (Spring Workshop), Samuel Saelemakers and Defne Ayas (Witte de With, Rotterdam), artist and 'Moderation(s)' curator Heman Chong and Mariana Cánepa Luna and Max Andrews (Latitudes). Photo: Spring Workshop.

 Lunch break at Spring Workshop.

As part of Latitudes' 'Moderation(s)' research residency in Hong Kong we will be looking into how the city is articulated through specialist tours and attractions – such as self-made or esoteric museums, museum-like retail spaces, or “marginal” sculptural displays – both phenomena at the edge of the cultural, tourism and leisure sectors. Our first visit took us to the Hobby and Toy Museum in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon (below).

  Hobby and Toy Museum entrance in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon.

  Hobby and Toy Museum galleries at Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon.

 Dinner at Lin Heung Tea House in Wan Chai.

 Divinities shop around Shanghai Road in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon.


'The Palazzo' residential complex in Fo Tan.


 View from Leung Chi Wo and Sara Wong's studio in the Wah Luen Industrial Centre.


MTR station Fo Tan.
 
French toast breakfast at Leung Chi Wo and Sara Wong's studio in Fo Tan.
  
Working table of Ho Sin Tung's studio at the Worldwide Industrial Centre in Fo Tan.
 
Detail of Ho Sin Tung's studio at the Worldwide Industrial Centre in Fo Tan.


Detail of Ho Sin Tung's studio at the Worldwide Industrial Centre in Fo Tan.

Studying the map of Fotanian Open Studios 2013.

 
Fo Tan apartments looming over the forested hills.
 
Fo Tan industrial area.


On 15 January we made day to the New Territories to explore birds and biodiversity. Here's the bird list from the day: 

Eurasian Wigeon, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Eurasian Teal, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Oriental Stork, Black-faced Spoonbill, Yellow Bittern, Black-crowned Night Heron, Chinese Pond Heron, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Great Egret, Intermediate Egret, Little Egret, Great Cormorant, Western Osprey, Black Kite, Eastern Marsh Harrier, Crested Goshawk, Eastern Buzzard, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, White-breasted Waterhen, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, Grey-headed Lapwing, Pacific Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Greater Painted-Snipe, Pintail/Swinhoe's Snipe, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Terek Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Great Knot, Red-necked Stint, Temminck's Stint, Dunlin, Black-headed Gull, Saunders's Gull, Black-tailed Gull, "kamtschatschensis" Mew Gull, Caspian Gull, Heuglin's Gull, Caspian Tern, Domestic Pigeon, Spotted Dove, Asian Koel, Plaintive Cuckoo, House Swift, White-throated Kingfisher, Black-capped Kingfisher, Common Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Grey-chinned Minivet, Scarlet Minivet, Long-tailed Shrike, Ashy Drongo, Azure-winged Magpie, Eurasian Magpie, Collared Crow, Large-billed Crow, Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher, Cinereous Tit, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Chinese Bulbul, Chestnut Bulbul, Red-rumped Swallow, Asian Stubtail, Dusky Warbler, Pallas's Leaf Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Yellow-bellied Prinia, Plain Prinia, Common Tailorbird, Rufous-capped Babbler, Masked Laughingthrush, Silver-eared Leiothrix, Japanese White-eye, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Crested Myna, Red-billed Starling, Black-collared Starling, Blue Whistling Thrush, Grey-backed Thrush, Common Blackbird, Pale Thrush, Red-flanked Bluetail, Oriental Magpie Robin, Daurian Redstart, Stejneger's Stonechat, Red-throated Flycatcher, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Fork-tailed Sunbird, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Scaly-breasted Munia, "taivana" Eastern Yellow Wagtail, "macronyx" Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Richard's Pipit, Olive-backed Pipit, Crested Bunting, Chestnut-eared Bunting, Black-faced Bunting.

Kam Tin river, looking for Grey-headed Lapwings.
 
Entrance to the Mai Po Nature Reserve.


Mai Po Marshes, the scrape.
 
Gate 107 through border fence towards the mangroves and Deep Bay, Mai Po Marshes.


 Deep Bay (mudflat).
 
 Fiddler crabs and mudskipper, Deep Bay, Mai Po Marshes.


 Chinese Pond Heron and Great Egret, Deep Bay, Mai Po Marshes.


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


 'The Scrape', Mai Po Marshes. 


 Southern Mai Po Marshes.


We later visited Long Valley, the largest remaining tract of cultivated land in the Sheung Shui of the New Territories. Here a soundscape with roosting Black-Collared Starlings and Crested Mynas, and a passing train.


Cultivated fields of lettuce at Long Valley.


 Mix of lowland, cultivation, abandoned land and fishponds at Long Valley. 


 Farm worker collecting lettuce at Long Valley.


Packing greens, Long Valley.
 
Long Valley between baskets and sky-scrapers.
 
Very green lettuce, Long Valley.
Highly equipped bird photographers.


Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences in the Mid-levels of Hong Kong.


Visit starts here, don't get distracted.


 Model of Kowloon tower block which suffered the worst outbreak of SARS in 2003.


Display of the Old Pathological Institute. "Medical students" c. 1912 examining rats for Bubonic plague.


Transitions in Midwifery display.


 In the basement: traditional Chinese Herbalist shop 'Cun An Tan' Equipment.


 Model of ear acupuncture points.


"Inoculation of calf with cowpox to produce vaccines against Smallpox" exhibit.


Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware in Hong Kong Park.


Display of tea pots introducing the history of Chinese tea drinking, from the Tang dynasty (618 – 907) to the 20th century.


Introducing the various styles in making tea beverage practiced in China at different times of the day and in different geographical points.


 Compressed tea cake packaging.


All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
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Interview with Steven ten Thije, Research Curator, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, sixth in the #OpenCurating research series

Play Van Abbe, Part 2: Time Machine (10 April–24 September 2010). Curated by Steven ten Thije (guest curator) and Diana Franssen, Curator and Head of Research. Exhibition view of: Raum der Gegenwart, (1930) 2009 scale 1:1, various materials. Installation: 430 x 860 x 610 cm. Collection Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Photo: Peter Cox, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

As Research Curator at the Van Abbemuseum, in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Steven ten Thije is part of the team of one the first public museums for contemporary art to be established in Europe. Under the directorship of Charles Esche since 2004, the museum has defined itself through "an experimental approach towards art’s role in society", where "openness, hospitality and knowledge exchange are important". Ten Thije is also a lecturer and researcher at the University of Hildesheim, Germany, where he is studying for a doctorate in the genealogical analysis of the exhibition curator. He was co-curator of the Spirits of Internationalism (Van Abbemuseum, 2012), and alongside Esche, with curators Christiane Berndes, Annie Fletcher, and Diana Franssen, he was guest curator of Play Van Abbe (2011). Subtitled The museum in the 21st Century, this was a four-part multifaceted programme of exhibitions, research and events in which the Van Abbemuseum reflected on the meaning and role of the art museum. Using its collection to articulate questions about the public's reaction to art and its contexts, the Van Abbemuseum probed its own history and purpose alongside how cultural production has reflected the social and political dynamics of the last twenty years.





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 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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Latitudes residency in Spring Workshop, Hong Kong, 7 January–10 February 2013, as part of the year-long programme Moderation(s)


Moderation(s) is a year-long programme occurring throughout 2013 between Witte de With, Rotterdam, and Spring, Hong Kong. It's ‘moderator’, Singaporean visual artist and writer Heman Chong, will steer a program involving more than fifty artists, curators and writers, and engender a conference, three exhibitions, three residencies and a book of short stories

Moderation(s) begins by hosting the Barcelona-based curatorial office Latitudes for a month residency in Hong Kong (7 January–10 February 2013). During this time, Latitudes will investigate the urban territory from a curatorial perspective by looking into how it is articulated through specialist tours and attractions, both phenomena at the edge of the cultural, tourism and leisure sectors

As part of this – and elaborating on the approach of their recent project Incidents of Travel [see here] at Casa del Lago, Mexico City – the duo invited Hong Kong-based artists Nadim Abbas, Yuk King Tan, Ho Sin Tung and Samson Young to develop day-long tours, thus retelling the city and each participant’s artistic concerns through personal itineraries and waypoints. Alongside these ventures into the city, research around local forms of vernacular collection display and eccentric attractions will be made. This will encompass self-made or esoteric museums, museum-like retail spaces, or ‘marginal’ sculptural displays.


 Incidents of Travel Mexico City. Day 3: Tour with Diego Berruecos. Visiting the Biblioteca Nacional Lerdo de Tejada. Photo: Eunice Adorno.

In October 2012, a working group of artists, curators, and
Witte de With staff members came together in Rotterdam. Comprised of A Constructed World (Geoff Lowe and Jacqueline Riva), Nadim Abbas, Defne Ayas, Mimi Brown, Amira Gad, Natasha Ginwala, Latitudes (Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna), Michael Lee, Christina Li, Pages (Nasrin Tabatabai and Babak Afrassiabi), Vivian Sky Rehberg, and Samuel Saelemakers, the group took part in a two-day workshop developed by Heman Chong to explore and identify materials that will drive the content of Moderation(s). The first project to surface from this workshop is Bibliotheek (Library), a list of books identified by the group to function both as a bibliography for Moderation(s), as well as a planned physical library that will be installed both at Witte de With and Spring.


In speaking about this project, moderator Heman Chong proposes “to make ‘soft’ the practices of both artist and curator, so that one becomes easily soluble in the other, while retaining their unique forms and patterns of working. The participants will be encouraged to indulge in the pleasures of exchanging knowledge and tools without any pressure to collaborate.” 


The 2013 programme includes: 

Latitudeswill produce Incidents of Travel(Spring, January 2013), for which the duo will invite four artists in Hong Kong to develop day-long tours that articulate the city and their artistic practice through routes and waypoints. Artist Michael Lee will join the project to develop a series of maps and charts that trace the larger constellation of Moderation(s). Performances by artists including Benjamin Seror, Anthony Marcellini, Koki Tanaka, and many more will occur in and around Rotterdam inA Thing At A Time (Witte de With, April 2013). In June, fifteen artists, curators, and writers will produce short stories during A Fictional Residency (Spring, June 2013). Additionally, a conference in four parts led by various moderators involving twelve guests will be staged (Witte de With, October 2013). A Constructed World will produce The Social Contract (Spring, October 2013), a work in which audiences are asked to sign a legal contract restraining them from speaking about what they saw inside the exhibition. The Part In The Story Where A Part Becomes A Part Of Something Else (Witte de With, December 2013), a large-scale show mounted at Witte de With that will sublimate many of the conversations and gestures found within Moderation(s)


Twitter: #Moderations / @WdWcentrum / @SpringHK / @HemanChong / @LTTDS

Moderation(s) is initiated by Witte de With’s Director Defne Ayas and Spring Workshop Founder Mimi Brown.









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"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.
Stacks Image 39


The Indianapolis Museum of Art's transparency initiatives

Part of our interest in the #OpenCurating research we are currently carrying out is to look at how museums and curatorial departments are engaging in new ways with their audiences and the means through which "open" initiatives are being promoted and implemented in exhibition-making and via other types of programming.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art has created two really dynamic initiatives which promote transparency throughout the museum's operations: a real-time statistics "Dashboard" including data such as the museum's energy consumption, works of art currently on display, the value of the museum's endowment, their operating expenses, average time of visits to the website, etc. 

The tool was implemented in 2008 and is the brainchild of museum director Maxwell L. Anderson, an active advocate of implementing new media technologies to advance public interest in art. 



The data can be compared to previous years (stats for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011), filtered by museum departments (Buildings, Education, Conservation, Curatorial, Finance...) as well as by topics (Art, Greening the IMA, Attendance...). 


 Dashboard data of the curatorial.

However admirable this tool is, the curatorial dashboard falls rather short on the depth of information, only offering statistics for the "number of acquisitions" and the "number of works with gaps in WWII-Era Provenance". They do not reveal full data sets of their departmental operational budget, for instance. This might show there is still some resistance to really open up  to show other kind of costs (shipping, insurance, exhibition display, fees paid to artists (or not?)...) or even interesting insights such as (air)miles travelled by the curatorial staff, or the amount of paper used for their publications, just to mention a few. 

Some of these topics (how to articulate institutions and organisations complex needs in seeming transparent, responsible and benevolent) were addressed in Latitudes' 2008 exhibition "Greenwashing. Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities" (Archive Books, 2008) and in its catalogue essay "Shades of Green: a conversation between the curators", as well as in the essay by Stephanie Smith "'Alas for the dreams of a Dreamer!': Art Museums and Sustainability" included in the Latitudes-edited publication "Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook' (RSA, 2006).

A second initiative we find quite relevant is the "Deaccessioning database", which classifies pieces that have been deaccessioned at the museum since 2007 (following IMA's policy, see pdf here), explaining provenance, the reasons for its deaccession, listing the recipient and the day of sale, etc.
 Deaccessioned Artworks page www.imamuseum.org/art/collections/deaccession

Take for instance "Houses in the Snow", a 1929 canvas by Maurice de Vlaminck sold via Sotheby's in 2009 for $173700; or the 1889 suite of prints "Les Misères Humaines" by Gaugin, which were transferred to the Musée de Pont-Aven in 2009. Fascinating and revealing, isn't it?


Deaccessioned file for Maurice de Vlaminck's 1929 canvas.



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"Democratizando la sociedad informacional", cuarta entrevista de #OpenCurating con Daniel G. Andújar


Daniel G. Andújar, Democraticemos la democracia, “A vuelo de pájaro, Barcelona–Badalona”, 22 de mayo 2012. 
Cortesía de Daniel G. Andújar estudio / TTTP.

La práctica del artista visual, activista en la red y teórico del arte Daniel G. Andújar cuestiona, mediante la ironía y la utilización de estrategias de presentación de las nuevas tecnologías de la comunicación, las promesas democráticas e igualitarias de estos medios y critica la voluntad de control que esconden detrás de su aparente transparencia. En 1996 Andújar funda la empresa virtual Technologies To The People (TTTP) “dedicada a acercar los avances de la tecnología a los más desfavorecidos, una especie de imprecisa corporación que reproducía el lenguaje disuasorio, los tics de identidad y los arquetipos visuales asociados a las compañías comerciales del ámbito digital”.

"Democratizando la sociedad informacional" es la cuarta entrevista en la investigación #OpenCurating – leer la primera con el equipo del Walker Art Center aquí (inglés), la segunda con Ethel Baraona Pohl (español e inglés); y"Itinerarios transversales" con Sònia López y Anna Ramos del Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA).



El documento se puede visualizar en ISSUU, y también se puede descargar como pdf desde la web del proyecto y por de ahí leerlo en vuestro iPad (visualización optimizada para la pantalla Retina).
 

 
ACERCA DE #OPENCURATING

Partiendo de las preocupaciones exploradas por Latitudes durante el proyecto editorial realizado durante 'The Last Newspaper' (New Museum, Nueva York, 2010), y basándose en las prácticas del denominado 'periodismo abierto' (Open Journalism) – que trata de mejorar la colaboración y utilizar la habilidad de cualquier persona para publicar y compartir – #OpenCurating es un proyecto de investigación que indaga en las nuevas formas de interacción entre los públicos – sean seguidores en red o visitantes físicos – con obras de arte, su producción, exhibición y su contexto discursivo.

El proyecto se estructura a partir de tres elementos: una serie de diez entrevistas a comisarios, artistas, escritores y expertos web publicada en una edición digital gratuita (véase aquí), una discusión en Twitter moderada por el hashtag #OpenCurating y por último, un evento (fecha por determinar).

#OpenCurating es el proyecto ganador de la primera convocatoria BCN Producció 2012 en la categoría de investigación, otorgada por el Institut de Cultura de Barcelona.

Síguenos en Twitter: #OpenCurating
 






 
   

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"Itinerarios transversales", tercera entrevista de la investigación #OpenCurating, con Sònia López y Anna Ramos del Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)

El estudio radiofónico de Ràdio Web MACBA en el Auditorio del MACBA. 
Foto: Gemma Planell / MACBA, 2012. Some rights reserved.

La entrevista "Itinerarios transversales" con Sònia López y Anna Ramos del Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), es la tercera en la investigación #OpenCurating – leer la primera con el equipo del Walker Art Center aquí (inglés), y la segunda con Ethel Baraona Pohl aquí (en inglés aquí).

El Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) abrió sus puertas en el Raval de Barcelona en el 1995, aunque su fundación se remonta a 1987 cuando miembros representantes de la sociedad civil catalana y empresas privadas crean Fundación MACBA, una de las cuatro entidades que integran el Consorcio junto con la Generalitat de Catalunya, el Ayuntamiento de Barcelona y el Ministerio de Cultura. La nueva página web del museo (macba.cat), se lanzó a principios del 2012 tras un periodo de rediseño y reconceptualización, e incluye novedades como los Recorridos (permite al visitante crear itinerarios transversales seleccionando entre las cinco mil obras que componen la Colección MACBA, además de vídeos, fichas de artista, podcasts, publicaciones, etc.) y la unificación de bases de datos de la colección y el Archivo del Centro de Estudios y Documentación, entre otras muchas. Ràdio Web MACBA, el proyecto radiofónico del museo iniciado en el 2006, cuenta con su propia web rwm.macba.cat e incluye una selección de más de 250 podcasts sobre arte, filosofía, música experimental y material documental con la voluntad de fomentar una aproximación crítica a la producción sonora y el pensamiento contemporáneo. 

Sònia López es la responsable de la web y las publicaciones digitales del MACBA desde el 2001. Ha participado en diversos proyectos artísticos y pedagógicos en el MACBA y otras instituciones culturales de Barcelona. Activista crafter a tiempo parcial.

Anna Ramos es la coordinadora del proyecto radiofónico online Ràdio Web MACBA, y co-responsable del sello ALKU, plataforma pluridisciplinar que opera desde 1997. Bajo ambos paraguas desarrolla publicaciones, proyectos, instalaciones y ciclos en torno a la música por ordenador, el audio generativo, la síntesis, el pensamiento contemporáneo y otras áreas relacionadas. Asimismo, acaba de co-editar el libro del artista danés Goodiepal, El camino del hardcore (ALKU, 2012).

El documento se puede visualizar en ISSUU, y también se puede descargar como pdf desde la web del proyecto y por de ahí leerlo en vuestro iPad (visualización optimizada para la pantalla Retina).


 Foto: Latitudes.
 –

ACERCA DE #OPENCURATING


Partiendo de las preocupaciones exploradas por Latitudes durante el proyecto editorial realizado durante 'The Last Newspaper' (New Museum, Nueva York, 2010), y basándose en las prácticas del denominado 'periodismo abierto' (Open Journalism) – que trata de mejorar la colaboración y utilizar la habilidad de cualquier persona para publicar y compartir – #OpenCurating es un proyecto de investigación que indaga en las nuevas formas de interacción entre los públicos – sean seguidores en red o visitantes físicos – con obras de arte, su producción, exhibición y su contexto discursivo.

El proyecto se estructura a partir de tres elementos: una serie de diez entrevistas a comisarios, artistas, escritores y expertos web publicada en una edición digital gratuita (véase aquí), una discusión en Twitter moderada por el hashtag #OpenCurating y por último, un evento que tendrá lugar en Barcelona (fecha por determinar).
  
#OpenCurating es el proyecto ganador de la primera convocatoria BCN Producció 2012 en la categoría de investigación, otorgada por el Institut de Cultura de Barcelona.

Síguenos en Twitter: #OpenCurating
 






 

   
Content partners : Walker Art Center






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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Stacks Image 39


La cultura en España: estadísticas, cifras y porcentajes

El Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte acaba de publicar el Anuario de Estadísticas Culturales 2012. El estudio ha sido realizado por la Subdirección General de Estadísticas y Estudios de la Secretaría General Técnica y está disponible aquí.


 Detalle de la estadística "1. EMPLEO CULTURAL". Descargar aquí.


El estudio se estructura en tres partes: incluye estimaciones relacionadas con diferentes sectores culturales (empleo y empresas, financiación pública y privada, propiedad intelectual, comercio exterior, turismo, enseñanza y hábitos culturales), información sectorial (patrimonio, museos, archivos, bibliotecas, libro, artes escénicas, música, cine y video), y análisis del impacto de la cultura en la economía española (con indicadores sobre su aportación al Producto Interior Bruto (PIB) español). 

La nota de prensa resume el estudio a cinco puntos, que es lo que ha recogido la prensa (El Mundo, rtve.es, Faro de Vigo, El País (Valencia), Ara.cat...): 
  • El sector cultural aportó un 3,6% al Producto Interior Bruto (PIB) en 2009
  • Un 19,7% de los turistas vienen a España por motivos culturales
  • El empleo en el ámbito cultural ascendió en el segundo trimestre de 2012 a 452.700 personas, lo que supone un 2,6% del empleo total de nuestro país
  • El gasto medio de los hogares españoles en bienes y servicios culturales fue de 828,3 euros anuales
  • Escuchar música, leer e ir al cine son las actividades culturales realizadas con mayor frecuencia por la población española
Pero hay material para entretenerse con 17 capítulos por desengranar: 

  1. Empleo cultural
  2. Empresas culturales
  3. Financiación y gasto público en cultur
  4. Gasto de consumo cultural de los hogares
  5. Propiedad intelectual
  6. Comercio exterior de bienes culturales
  7. Turismo cultural
  8. Enseñanzas del ámbito cultural
  9. Hábitos y prácticas culturales
  10. Patrimonio
  11. Museos y Colecciones Museográficas
  12. Archivos
  13. Bibliotecas
  14. Libro
  15. Artes escénicas y musicales
  16. Cine y vídeo
  17. Cuenta Satélite de la Cultura
Allá vamos. Para los que quieran una rápido análisis de la situación, se puede descargar un "Cuadro resumen" en formato pdf aquí. En él se ofrecen cifras de las actividades comprendidas entre el 2000 hasta el 2011 en relación a cada uno de los capítulos mencionados anteriormente, desde "Empleo cultural" (con cifras según sexo, edad, nivel estudios), a "Cuenta Satélite de la Cultura" (porcentajes de la aportación al PIB y al VAB de las actividades culturales).
 Detalle del "Cuadro resumen" que se puede descargar aquí como pdf.

En lo que se refiere a las artes visuales, destacamos los porcentajes de visitas a museos, monumentos, exposiciones:

  • Datos del 2003: 27,5% (visita museos), 28,8% (visita monumentos), no hay datos de visitas a exposiciones
  • Datos del 2007: 31,2% (visita museos); 34,1% (visita monumentos); 24,7% (visita exposiciones)
  • Datos del 2011: 30,6% (visita museos); 39,5% (visita monumentos); 25,7% (visita exposiciones)
Y sigamos con las cifras:

En el 2009, la cultura generó un 2,8% del PIB español, ascendiendo al 3,6% si se le suman las actividades económicas vinculadas a la propiedad intelectual. Por sectores, destaca el de Libros y Prensa con una aportación total del 1% (36,9% en el conjunto de actividades). Las artes plásticas suponen un 9,6% del PIB. Nos parece curioso que no se tengan datos del PIB en el 2010 o en el 2011, y que éste porcentaje (2,8% y 3,6% total) se mantenga estable en el 2007, 2008 y 2009.



Detalle de la estadística "17. CUENTA SATÉLITE DE LA CULTURA". Descargar aquí.

Hay algo muy revelador en estas cifras: ponen de manifiesto (cita textual) "el significativo peso de las actividades culturales en el conjunto de la economía española, destacándose que equivale al generado en 2009 por el sector de la Energía (2,9%) y superior al de Agricultura, ganadería y pesca (2,6%)." 


Y aquí el quid de la cuestión: a pesar su peso económico, la cultura recibe menos del 1% del presupuesto anual español. La mayoría de datos preceden al 2012 y por tanto no recogen la entrada en vigor del reciente aumento del IVA al 21% (desde Septiembre 2012) sobre actividades culturales como el cine y el teatro. Así que habrá que esperar a contrastar estas cifras con futuros estudios.


Más cosas: el gasto medio por persona en bienes y servicios culturales de 312,9 euros anuales (en 2006 esa cifra era de 372 euros por persona, es decir que ha dismunuido un 15% desde entonces). El cine sigue liderando encuestas, con una tasa de asistencia anual del 49,1% (de nuevo, está por ver cómo serán estas cifras el próximo año cuando sí se contará con datos sobre la repercusión del aumento IVA).


Se estima que en 2010, los 1530 museos españoles recibieron 57,492 millones de visitantes


Expandiendo los datos aportados sobre el turismo cultural: en 2011, el 15,2% del total de viajes (13,2 millones de viajes) fueron iniciados principalmente por motivos culturales (un aumento de 2,5 puntos porcentuales respecto al 2010). En el 47,5% de los viajes realizados por residentes en España se realiza algún tipo de actividad cultural. El estudio "resalta que el 52,2% de los turistas internacionales realizan algún tipo de actividad cultural." 


Más datos que se desprenden de la Encuesta de Población Activa (INE), elaborada para el Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte:



 Detalle de la estadística "1. EMPLEO CULTURAL". Descargar aquí.


Datos del segundo trimestre de 2012 muestran que el sector cultural da trabajo a 452.700 personas, esto es el 2,6% del empleo total en España (una cifra en contínuo descenso con respecto a años anteriores: 488,7 en 2011; 508,7 en 2010; o los 544,8 en 2009). El 64,3% de los trabajadores tiene educación superior o equivalente.

Paridad por sexos: de los 488,700 trabajadores del 2011, 290,900 eran hombres frente a un 197,800 que eran mujeres, reflejando lo mucho que queda por hacer en cuanto a la igualdad de género en el mercado laboral.


Más datos curiosos sobre el empleo en el 2012: el 17,6% desarrolló su actividad a tiempo parcial. El 72,3% son asalariados frente a un 27,7% no asalariados, de los cuales 54,7% tiene contrato indefinido y 17,6% un contrato temporal de lo cual se deduce que hay un 27,7% restante sin contrato (?).

Para quien se quiera entretener más, se pueden consultar los gráficos correspondientes a los 17 capítulos del Anuario de Estadísticas Culturales 2012 (desde Empleo Cultural a Cuenta Satélite de la Cultura). 
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Haegue Yang "Der Öffentlichkeit" commission and 'Ends of the Earth – Land Art to 1974' at Haus der Kunst, Munich

Haegue Yang has been the first artist to be commissioned for the DER ÖFFENTLICHKEIT – VON DEN FREUNDEN HAUS DER KUNST [To the Public – from the friends of Haus der Kunst] series, which will take place on a yearly basis in the 800 square-metre Middle Hall of Münich's Haus der Kunst

Her installation 'Accommodating the Epic Dispersion – On Non-cathartic Volume of Dispersion', organised by Haus der Kunst curator Julienne Lorz, and related to her dOCUMENTA 13 contribution, "consists of Venetian blinds suspended from the ceiling. These elements are structured in three autonomous, yet united parts: A massive towering structure, which is confrontationally located at the hall's entrance; a flat vertical grid wall, and a voluminous rectangle on top, which is gradually fragmented toward the floor. Depending on the angle of approach, the blinds overlap in a varying number of layers, and the interplay of light and shadow changes depending on the location. At times, the installation appears completely opaque, and at others, completely translucent." (text from the website). 


On view until 22 September 2013. More info and photos here.



Also on view at Haus der Kunst is the much awaited 'Ends of the Earth – Land Art to 1974' (until 20 January 2013) organised in collaboration with The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA – see website of the exhibition). The show is notable for its careful and thoroughly-researched reconsideration of the idea of Land art, and the way in which it incorporates many artists outside of the usual American white male practicioners associated with the term. (And also through its inclusion of three part-reconstructions of seminal exhibitions/projects: "Earthworks" at Virginia Dwan Gallery, Willoughby Sharp's "Earth Art" as well as Gerry Schum's "Fernsehgalerie Land Art" ). Unfortunately, this is its only iteration on its European tour.


Exhibition poster with an image of the 1967-74 film "Athmospheres: Duration Performances" by Judy Chicago.


  Hans Haacke's "Grass Grows" (1969–2012) at the entrance to the museum.


Robert Smithson's "Spiral Jetty" (1970) film projected in the background and "A Nonsite (Pine Barrens)" from 1968 in the foreground.


Robert Morris' "Earthwork aka Untitled (Dirt)" (1968–2012) a 2000-pound pile of earth, grease, peat moss, brick, steel, copper, aluminum, brass, zinc and felt – urban debris gathered from the surrounding New York environs, originally made for the 1968 exhibition at Virginia Dwan Gallery.


Two views (above and below) of Joshua Neustein's 1970 "Road Piece", originally presented in the Tel Aviv Art Museum and remade for the first time for 'Ends of the Earth' exhibition.



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

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"Der Öffentlichkeit – Von den Freunden Haus der Kunst", begins on November 9

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"Der Öffentlichkeit – Von den Freunden Haus der Kunst",

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"Der Öffentlichkeit – Von den Freunden Haus der Kunst",

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Copyright © artdaily.org
"Der Öffentlichkeit – Von den Freunden Haus der Kunst",

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"Der Öffentlichkeit – Von den Freunden Haus der Kunst",

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Copyright © artdaily.org
As announced in May, this installation is the first in a series of commissioned work that will be exhibited in the museum's 800 square-meter Middle Hall over a period of one year. The series, "Der Öffentlichkeit – Von den Freunden Haus der Kunst", begins on November 9.

More Information: http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=58839#.UJ6Z7YVe6kI[/url]
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"Accommodating the Epic Dispersion – On Non-cathartic Volume of Dispersion", 2012.

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