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'Avant-Gardening is an arts and environment project aimed at engaging 
all sectors of the community with environmental and sustainability issues 
through art, gardening and food. Avant-Gardening aims to solicit the 
community's creative responses to issues such as global warming, 
recycling and bio-diversity through an ongoing and organically evolving 
programme of arts which will give a voice to the participants and 
involve them in cutting-edge arts projects and activities. 

Avant-Gardening brings fun and creativity into the city's urban green 
spaces and encourages participants to reconsider the local environment 
and their interaction with it. 

These aims will be achieved through a programme that introduces 
participants to contemporary arts practice and environment and 
sustainability issues. We will work with artists with an interest in 
the urban environment and socially-engaged practice; including 
publicworks, Lisa Cheung and Rob Rainbow (formerly of The Light Surgeons)
 to develop ambitious projects that are as artistically valid as they 
are socially-engaged. Avant-Gardening is developed and programmed 
by Paul Green and Polly Brannan.'

Avant Gardening is based in East London, UK.
Above: Mobile Allotment, by Lisa Cheung. Image held here.
Amateur Hour is a showcase for exciting new learning, skills,
entertainment and public actions. Submissions in any form welcome
to selfinterestandsympathy@ gmail.com.

This edition of Amateur Hour features a special on hobbies/ crafts that
found new necessity in postwar Britain:
Animal husbandry: Penguin handbook (originally published 1941, recently
re-editioned) Keeping Poultry and Rabbits on Scraps &
Gardening & Knitting (both currently enjoying a lifestyle-y renaissance):
two wartime posters by Abram Games, Please Knit Now and Grow Your Own
Food. Read the rest of this entry »

istanbul2
This visit to Istanbul coincided with the Istanbul Bienal and was funded through the European Commission project, Rhyzom, with partners Agency (UK), aaa (France), Public Works (UK), PS2 (Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland). The field trip was to visit our Turkish partners, the Cultural Agencies project, curated by Nikolaus Hirsch, Philip Misselwitz and Oda Projesi:
The project fosters an intensive exchange between international students, artists, curators, architects, and Istanbul’s cultural institutions as well as local communities in order to mutually develop initiatives for the future of these peripheries.
An interdisciplinary project by artists, architects, and students on the topics of city planning and public space in Istanbul’s peripheries. An initiative of the Allianz Cultural Foundation in cooperation with the Platform Garanti & Garanti Gallery (Istanbul), the Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts (Istanbul), and the Städelschule (Frankfurt). Read the rest of this entry »
bradley4-16-08-17
(Unrelated) image held here
Bergen Biennial Conference, Norway
17th – 20th of September 2009
http://www.bbc2009.no /
http://www.kunsthall.no
The Bergen Biennial Conference will bring together an international group of curators, critics, artists and art historians so as to benefit from their discussions of their findings, and create the occasion to reflect collectively about the practice and potential of biennials as institutions. Based on an earlier Call for Biennial Knowledge the organizers of the conference have identified and explored existing knowledge from different regions of the world. The conference will be made up of lectures as well as seminar style workshops with young and leading experts in the field. It will be complemented with an extensive publication, The Biennial Reader, aiming to be an important resource, and including existing seminal texts on biennials from around the world as well as newly commissioned essays.
As scholars and curators have acknowledged, the history of exhibitions is both one of the most vital and, paradoxically, ignored narratives of our cultural history. And given the increasing role of biennials and other perennial exhibitions of contemporary art in contemporary culture, it seems all the more necessary to critically examine them today. The impetus to do so now comes in response to the Bergen City Council’s plans to establish a biennial for contemporary art in Bergen, for which the Bergen Kunsthall has taken up the task of organizing an international conference and think tank to study and discuss the status of the biennial as an exhibition model, and also to launch a debate concerning the plans for a biennial in Bergen.

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Crisis in the Credit System is a four-part drama dealing with the credit crisis, scripted and directed by artist Melanie Gilligan. A major investment bank runs a brainstorming and role-playing session for its employees, asking them to come up with strategies for coping with today’s dangerous financial climate. Role-playing their way into increasingly bizarre scenarios, they find themselves drawing disturbing conclusions about the deeper significance of the crisis and its effects beyond the world of finance.

see Crisis in the Credit System

Vodpod videos no longer available.

For more see Simple Wardrobe and Keiler Sensenbrenner.
Amateur Hour is a showcase for exciting new learning, skills, entertainment and public actions. Submissions in any form welcome to selfinterestandsympathy [at] gmail [dot] com

rathowen-co-westmeath

Image: Rathowen, Co. Westmeath, from Ghost Estates of the Irish Property Bubble
The title of this post comes from a chapter in Jane Jacobs’ book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, from 1963. Though speaking about housing and planning policies in the sixties and earlier in the US, the text has a sudden renewed sharpness in relation to recent events. (It doesn’t speak of diasaster capitalism a la Naoimi Klein, although there are similarities in the language of upheaval, violence and shock). Arguing for the necessity of ‘gradual, constant close grained changes’, Jacobs says:
this money shapes cataclysmic changes in cities. Relatively little of it shapes gradual change. Cataclysmic money pours into an area in concentrated form, producing drastic changes. As an obverse of this behaviour, cataclysmic money sends relatively few trickles of money into localities not treated to cataclysm. Putting it figuratively, insofar as their effects on most city streets and districts are concerned, these three kinds of money [state, private and ‘shadow world’] behave not like irrigation systems, bringing life-giving streams to feed steady, continual growth. Instead, they behave like manifestations of malevolent climates beyond the control of man – affording either searing droughts or torrential, eroding floods…
City people finance the building of suburbs. To be sure, one of the historic missions of cities, those marvelously productive and efficient places, is to finance colonisation…
This city building money operates as it does not because of its own internal necessities and forces. It operates cataclymically because we, as a society, have asked for just this. We thought it would be good for us, and we got it. Now we accept it as if it were ordained by God or the system.
The pervasive responses to the recession here  have been variations along the spectrum of  I’m fucked to I’m alright, Jack. (And maybe now is time to get a good deal on a used car?) Apparently we will have to weather this recession until times get good again. The sense of resignation to capitalism’s sometimes cruel weather systems is disheartening. There are very many diverse microclimates to be found in the shade of mountains and in gardens and small parks elsewhere, both by chance and by design.
recommended-4

Brandscapes: Architecture in the Experience Economy, Anna Klingmann, 2007
The Practice of Everyday Life, Michel de Certeau, 2002
Building Great Customer Experiences, Colin Shaw, 2004
One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity,
Miwon Kwon, 2002
Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman, 2002
Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery,
Garr Reynolds, 2008
For some time now I have been mulling over a work that would look
at the blur between art theoretical and management languages/
discourses. The germ of it may be here.

he told me

he found the slops of mashed potatoes

erotic

Photos are from a recent course at no.w.here, London, where Jesse and I became intimately acquainted with the Bolex camera.

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