29 September 2009

Documenting Cloud Body 03

Cloud Body 03 at Bristol University

I spent 3 days in Bristol last week, attending a seminar on digital documentation of performance organised by JISC Digital Media (hosted at the Institute for Learning and Research Technology at the University of Bristol).

During this stay I made a version of "Growing Bodies from the Cloud" on Thursday 24th as part of Speaker's Corner at Arnolfini. The piece was very different from Lori's and my joined forces on Park(ing) Day on Friday and I don't think it worked quite as well. Apparently it seemed fine from 'the outside' but I think much more time needs to be spent on contextualizing the piece for each different time and location. I am still waiting to receive the documentation photos from this event, they will be up here soon!
On Thur night I was asked by JISC seminar facilitators Stephen Gray and Paul Clarke if I wanted to show the piece once more, during the lunch break the next (and final) day of the seminar.

After spending some time thinking and planning I agreed and this time I decided to make the piece into more of an intimate, introvert version - naked but crouched up and hiding my face in my hair, only seeing the sheets of stickers laid out in front of me, and sticking them to my own body. I also choose to place myself on a table as the space was a meeting/work type of room, and (with the help of the very helpful staff - thanks!) made use of the number of cameras the department has - four SLR's, which two on tripods.

This is an idea I have wanted to explore for a while - the documentation being integral to the live performance, and the audience participating partly by documenting, or seeing through the camera. Well, more could have been done in terms of me planning the event... Apparently not every audience member had managed to read the background/instructions - too discreetly stuck on the wall - they must have thought I was completely random! :) I also was made aware of how tricky it is to ask people to use SLR cameras - even with auto settings, most images came out blurry. Possibly an issue to do with lighting as well.

The bottom line is that despite having very little time I DID it, and this I am happy about. Again, great support from staff at JISC, thanks.

25 September 2009

Photo documentation of CloudBody 02 at Arnolfini Speakers Corner, Bristol

Cloud Body 02 showed at Arnolfini, Bristol as part of the 100 Days Countdown: a series of exhibitions, performances and talks highlighting climate change, social justice and art and activism, running between 29 Aug - 6 Dec 2009 - up to the Copenhagen climate conference. My friend and former course mate at Brighton University, Pablo Perezzarate, had the idea of one gig per count-down day, and is now organising a huge number of gigs through Climate350, a Bristol-based charity. He invited me to come and show some work and it luckily coincided with my plans to attend JISC's documentation seminar.

Working on my own made quite a different piece from the version shown at Park(ing) Day, where me and Lori O'Regan had three hours in an outdoor, public site with a mainly 'accidental' audience watching and taking part. On my own, and with much less time at hand, the piece felt rushed and with less defined borders than I would have wanted. Nevertheless, the feedback I had seemed ok. So, at the end of the day I have had a chance to practice a favourite way of performing - structured improvisation, and to use this in something different from movement work, which I would normally use it in. It was interesting to see the improv limitations of this more conceptual piece being different from a more movement orientated piece, where you can fall back on 'doing something dancy' when you run out of flow.

Arnolfini is 'one of Europe’s leading centres for the contemporary arts' according to their own website, and as far as I understand it is true. I ended up there all of my three days staying in Bristol and I enjoyed their open setting by the canal in a buzzing, stroll-friendly part of town, and the culturally minded, good-looking crowd who were casually hanging out in the cafe/bar.

All images by Pablo Perezzarate

22 September 2009

Next Body happening on Thur 24th, Arnolfini, Bristol

Another Body from the Cloud will be made by myself Thur 24th Sep this week in the foyer of Arnolfini, Bristol. 1 - 1.30 pm, as part of their lunchtime programme "Speaker's Corner": Performances, talks, presentations, recitals programmed in response to the 100 Days: Countdown to the Climate Change Conference (which takes place in December in Copenhagen).

This performance I envision being quite different from the one past weekend, although many elements stay the same.
I will be on my own, and I have 30 mins for the performance.
The space is the foyer of a respected arts venue and my space will be central, on a small vinyl circle. (?!)
My movements will more performative and probably silent.
I will outline my own body with crayon or similar, then get up and fill in my own outlines.

21 September 2009

Documentation of 'Growing Bodies from the Cloud', Park(ing) Day Brighton 2009

Thanks to all of you who contributed with pictures of hair, skin and ground to the BODY which grew and came alive on Park(ing) Day Brighton 2009. The live event on Friday went really well, we loved it and had very good response from audience/participants.

Today we are happy to feed these images back into 'the Cloud' - creating a sort of feedback, or dialogue.
This performance/event/installation is made for both a live and an online audience. And we like our audience to be part of the art - we still need photos, and for YOU to take part! :)
Keep sending them in to sara or lori or post to our facebook page.

The next body will be built by myself Thursday 24th Sep at 1pm in the foyer of Arnolfini, Bristol as part of "Speaker's Corner"

Park(ing) Day Brighton was organised by artist CiCi Blumstein in partnership with BLANK Studios Gallery. Publicity Design by Sara Popowa.

The live performance was made possible with the kind support of The Basement, Brighton. Thank you Sam!

The following text was displayed during the live event on Park(ing) Day:

Our idea is to collect digital 'pieces' of human bodies through our online social networks, using these pieces to create a “physical body’’, montage style. A small gesture to materialise our virtual connexions with our friends “in the cloud” (the cloud is a geeky metaphor for the internet).

This is an ongoing project and you can ‘grow’ with us too - give us photos of your skin, hair or the ground you are standing on. Mail or post on them our facebook group.

Thank you for taking part!

Sara Popowa and Lori O’Regan

Location: The Basement's private parking spot right in the middle of Brighton, Kensington Street - The Basement is visible opposite the street. Our own take on the open-source Park(ing) guidelines!
Duration: 2-5pm.
start. composites of images are printed on sheets of sticky labels and laid out in a 'parking square'

outlining Lori's body with small white stickers

the location. next to us are another two (unused) private parking spaces

the body is outlined and surrounded by what will become its 'content', the stickers

we start filling in the body

"finally i get to have hairy arms!"

eyes in place, put there by audience/participants

creating a 'scene' with passers by

the body coming into completion...

Lori, Sara and the Body of all of you are pleased with the result!


Friday, 7pm

Sat night, 3.30am

Sun, 5pm

18 September 2009

First photos of Growing Bodies from the Cloud!




Growing Beds and Bodies happening 18th Sep!

these are some of your contributions! to be printed with many others on sticky label A4 sheets tomorrow morning..

"Growing Beds for Public Hair" which is the name for Growing Bodies from the Cloud's latest manifestation, will happen tomorrow Friday 18th Sep, as part of Park(ing) Day in the backstreets of North Laines, Brighton. Lori and myself will hunt down a park(ing) spot somewhere between Tichbourne St (where both the Buddhist centre and Arts Council offices are:) and Foundry St. There we will build a luscious life size body collage of the 'pieces' of your body that we have harvested through the net, straight onto the ground.

Come by if you are in town (I know not all of you are), we will be there between 1pm and 4pm.
Or see pictures of the result here in a couple of days, or on our facebook group.

Hope to see you there in the flesh, we will see the digital/paper version of you taking shape on our park(ing) spot ground...

17 September 2009

Growing Bodies - prototype

Mini-body to try and mini-publicity stunt (flyers stuck on) on Tichbourne St, Brighton earlier this evening. It looked interesting and felt great to do - somehow touching public property in an 'improper' way, gentle rebellion. We got some immediate responses from people - a neighbour peeking out his window and chatting (checking we were not vandals i suppose :) and when I passed later, I saw three traffic wardens passing by, looking and laughing.

16 September 2009

Call out - we want pictures of your SKIN!

Cloudbody / Park(ing) dayThanks for all your hair-photo-contributions for our Park(ing) Day project - we have had hair wired in from Canada, Australia, France, Sweden... and the collection is growing!

The idea is to collect digital 'pieces' of human bodies through our social networks, and use these pieces to create a final 'montage'. The images, taken by you, will be printed on sticky labels and constructed into the shape of a body, materialising our virtual connections with all of you! We will make our first body here in Brighton on Park(ing) Day, Friday 18t Sep. http://www.parkingday.org/

The latest development is that we want to include your SKIN and GROUND, so please give us a hand by giving us one or more photos of your skin or hair, and a snap of some natural ground near where you are (you can give us both or either).
Tell us your location, and mail the pics through to sara [at] gmail.com or l.oregan [at] yahoo.fr
or post it to our Facebook group page http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=136730178009
For our privacy policy, see the earlier post "We need your help with "Growing Beds for Public Hair".

Tell all you friends, we want as many pictures as possible!!

We have extend the project beyond Park(ing) Day so keep sending your photos in! :)

The name for this extended project is "Growing Bodies From the Cloud". The 'cloud' is used as a metaphor for the Internet, based on how the Internet is depicted in computer network diagrams and as an abstraction for its complex infrastructure.
I caught a bit of a very interesting symposium at Ars Electronica, the weekend before last, 'Cloud Intelligence' (link: Isaac Sasaki is recommended) and I would say this reinforced my belief that the internet ('the cloud') is a site for rapid human behavioural evolution (if I may be so profound!). This evolution comes with a fair amount of physical inactivity and body dis-connection though... which I find hard to cope with. So, our piece could be seen as a way of materialising a body, which originates from the body-less cloud and then is fed back into it, by uploading evidence of its physical making/existance, creating a sort of spiral which i hope will expand more and more.

Check back on the 18th to see photos of the physical Park(ing) Day piece, and come by if you are in Brighton - we will be in the back streets of North Laines, somewhere between Foundry St and Tichborne St.

Thanks for taking part!

13 September 2009

Dear Adam

My friend Adam died one year and a few days ago.
The past days he has been with me a lot.

Here is documentation of a private performance I did around the day of his funeral last year, which I couldn't attend as I was abroad.
Title: Adam, and having a body
29 Sep 2008, Corfu, Greece.

Preparing. A blue sheet of paper is painted white, and a cut-out of my own body is placed on top. White paint and clay is mixed in a mortar and used to outline the edges of the body, at the same time 'gluing' the edges down.
A light breeze animates the blue figure at times.

The figure is filled in with charcoal (carbon).

I undress, rub my body with oil and lay on top of the figure.

The charcoal leaves a print on my back when I get up.

I raise the figure and embrace it. The charcoal leaves a print on the front of my body.

I set fire to the figure and watch it disintegrate.
I leave the space.

thank you Adam

Launching our Park(ing) Day project at Grand Seed Ball at Blank Studios & Gallery

Arrived last minute... and set my presentation up at Blank Gallery, where 'Grand Seed Ball' took place tonight.

The pic is taken with a phone-camera and no light... but in the middle there's a world map drawn on the wall, around it the hair pics I have so far, with location, printed onto sticky paper and connected with drawn lines. There are rows of smaller stickers with drawn green grass - or hair - around it as well. Above the map is a print of the call-out for hair pics, as posted in the Help us with 'Growing beds for public hair'! post

I really enjoyed the evening! Intimate, relaxed atmosphere and interesting work. Many people liked the Grow Bed idea, which felt great.

CiCi Blumstein had installed a great pile of green felt (back left in the first photo), and was inviting people to cut each other's silhouettes out. I liked it, funny feeling to lie on the soft felt on the floor and get cut around the edges of your own body... The results were beautiful and strange too.
The map I designed for park(ing) day was on the wall, I had printed it on two A0 sheets of paper and stuck them together. Looked good!

My friend and collaborator Lori O came later, we will now work together on how to present the hair images on the Day itself.
Blank gallery will be open as a 'lab' open to the Park(ing) day artists during this coming week. We will be there on Wed to see what we come up with with our (then) plentiful, human and digital material....!

11 September 2009

Grand Seed Ball tomorrow 12th Sep!

Arty Party at BLANK studios gallery with a installation growing during the evening, by CiCi Blumstein and also the launch of Park(ing) Day which happens next friday, 18th Sep, in which I am taking part with an installation happening on the day, and publicity design.

PARK(ing) Day is an annual, one-day, global event where artists, activists, and citizenst collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spots into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public parks. Artist CiCi Blumstein is working in partnership with Blank Studios & Gallery and invited artists to pioneer the event in Brighton.

Dress up, theme 'foliage', if you wish, and bring a plant or seeds!

See you there x

Brighton Park(ing) Day 2009 flyer

Park(ing) Day open source design (car designs on flyer front): ReBar
Brighton Park(ing) Day map and design: Sara Popowa

Help us with 'Growing Beds for Public Hair'!

We need your help for our next project "Growing Beds for Public Hair" which hits the streets of Brighton next week during Park(ing) day: an annual, one-day, global event where artists collaborate to transform metered parking spots into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public 'parks'.

The idea is to collect the material - your hair - through our online social networks.

Here are the instructions:

Take a picture of any of your own hair; can be body, facial, pubic or head. Any camera is fine.

Take the picture so that the hair shows as clearly as possible.

And no rude ones please! :)

Tell us your location.

Send the image(s) as jpgs to sara.popowa [at] gmail.com or post it to the Facebook events page http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=273226960112 or as phone-pictures to 07891396695 up until the 16th Sep, that's Wednesday next week. Keep the image size as big as you can easily.

In exchange, we promise that:

Your contribution will be anonymous and no-one else apart from us (Sara Popowa & Lori O'Regan) will use your pics. We won't use/keep your email addresses, apart from sending you a link with a photo of the physical result on Park(ing) Day.

We won't use whole or parts of anyone's face or any other distinctive features.

Your hair will 'grow', together with many others', on the streets of Brighton on Sep 18th!

You can view the development and documentation here on http://sarapopowa.blogspot.com/

Thanks for taking part!

x Sara & Lori