3 May 2006

boring post about using urban spaces

Using public space as a means to expose your art, or better said, to expose people to your form of art. This is the main goal of two events I’ve taken part in these days.

The first was on Saturday, when I went to Prometheus to watch Andra and Vlad Iachim’s “People Facing Dance and Change” shorts projections. In brief, the project started due to Vlad’s urge to understand better not only himself, but also his relationship with dance; what is dance all about, and, what I liked the most, what happens when you get contemporary dance out in the streets. How do people perceive this form of expression? How do they perceive what’s happening to the dancer? And so on. Vlad said that the experiment of getting dance in the streets was far more difficult than it seemed, but I certainly loved the results. It always feels so good for me to enjoy the work of such passionate people.

As far as the second experiment is concerned, I enjoyed it in two parts, so to say. On Sunday, I saw the “Falling life” projections on MNAC, followed by last night’s workshop “Exploring Urban Spaces” at the Czech Center, with new media artist Michael Bielicky and his billboard artist wife Kamila B. Richter, initiators of the Falling Life project, as well as with Diana Gomez, Columbian artist living in Bucharest.

The artists discussed “Falling Life”, the benefits of showing art independent from time and space, Internet as a giant public space, as well as the way public space could and should be combined with virtual space, the artist’s duty to contribute somehow to the development of art in a public space dominated entirely by advertising and politics, the huge number of possibilities that public space offers for expression, billboards and many other interesting aspects derived from these topics.

Both projects mentioned were about confronting regular people with forms of art. Michael talked about presenting his random projections to people who wouldn’t necessarily go to a museum, see how these people react and what they think of his stuff; some stop and want to know more about the project, they simply get involved and become interested in the project. And this happens mostly due to the unconventional use of the public urban space. Of course there is a group of people who are interested in such events and would have followed the project anyway, but most of those who were confronted with the random projections were just passers-by.

The most interesting part of these experiments, at least to me, is precisely to watch the reaction of people. To answer questions such as: how open, how willing and how receptive are people when it comes to such experiments? What do they get out of it? How do they appreciate the experience? According to Vlad, it turned out that people do not know how to react, they don’t know what is expected from them the moment they realize somebody has a camera pointed at them. Which is why he talked about including a third camera in the next stage of his project, a camera that would only focus on the reactions and expressions of the people who suddenly find themselves involved or at least exposed to such manifestations. That would probably be great. Michael, on the other hand, interacted quite well with his passing-by audience. In fact, he even followed some suggestions coming from regular people in touch with the falling objects.

All in all, besides having a great time, I must admit I received quite a lot of food for thought, especially since I have some projects in mind myself. And Cris also started a series of comics inspired by the two of us attending the conference last night. Yes, i am Darla, all excited and taking notes, while she kept on wanting to see more pictures, pictures, pictures. ah, creatives :))

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