DK ARE QUIETLY in the conversations that always happen at the start of our ‘N’ salons: online, indefinitely and tentatively, and with a whole lot of gumption. If we manage to get 16 strangers to convene in a city, around a topic that starts with an ‘N’, what might happen? What magic could we make? It might look like this. But what about redesigning? After ‘N’ Helsinki: NEUROSIS, the program which we are currently writing a short story about for the zine S P A C E | Helsinki, ‘Coat Check,’ there’s a lot of scope for making it… simpler.
Hard, the original design. Which involve this… Writing to the internet blindly and seeing if people will respond to the query, ‘Do you want to meet new people? In your city which has an ‘N’ in it, right? At a venue that starts with an ‘N’? It costs, by the way, and we’ll choose a date together amongst only those who’ve registered.’ It’s a miracle we managed to do this 4 times.
Whose job is it to create quality public spaces, or active the ones that are there but being used in boring ways like people doing digital nomad stuff that really means they’re staring at their laptops and not actively connecting with the ambient wisdom of the right-around-me-right-here-right-now? Okay, I’m editorializing, but I think you know what I mean. We all know what it feels like when the conversation moves, is great, and people are smiling and enjoying themselves and even learning something at the same time. Had a few small glimmers into the future, while beginning the hard slog of querying total strangers about doing the next one, the next ‘N’, with DK. In S P A C E. A work in progress. As all great pieces truly are.
Special thanks to Khiang Hei yesterday for co-hosting with DK the small salon-party, ‘S P A C E | Phnom Penh.’ Was really good to reconnect after several years and talk shop, talk art, talk art circles, talk failing art circles and exodus of the people who make things, talk about the opportunities and critique and politics and documentary photography and his upcoming show at Rutger’s University, and what it means to be an artist, and the work of work (well, that didn’t get totally discussed at that space but we did bring that party on into the late late evening with F. at, um, a bar. I try to stay away from these places on Friday nights, but you know. Sometimes you gotta see what else is happening in the world besides your own little forays into internet composition and discovery and all that jazzy jazz. Speaking of jazz: this is a topic I love to write about, but, like ‘N’ and things at DK, in general, am finding it’s a very select group that actually also loves free and bebop jazzification of musics. Erm.)
F., if you see this, this is what I was talking about…
[Renownked comic artist] Hal Foster warned in the mid-1990s, ‘the institution may overshadow the work that it otherwise highlights: it becomes the spectacle, it collects the cultural capital, and the director-curator becomes the star.’ More about relational art.
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