How it all began …

February 24, 2014 § Leave a comment


… collaborations are a practical way of reading the division of labor against the grain, and may turn out to be a way of swimming against the current of an enforced and blatantly absurd measurability of immaterial labor. Only in collaborative environments is it possible to embrace the infinitesimality of what is essentially beyond measure.

The outcome of a collaboration is rampant, unforeseeable, and always unexpected. Sometimes it may not turn out nicely, it may even be harsh, but one thing is for sure: it cannot be calculated, it has to be imagined.

Florian Schneider


Das Ende

February 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

And finally …

At The walking Encyclopaedia …

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January 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Here is the opening statement of this blog from February 2013:

The purpose of this forum is to consider issues relating to the curation of photographic exhibitions. This includes matters of ownership, location, space, identity, collaboration, presence, history, alt.practice, sound, movement, permanence, distance.

Examples, pointers, models, paradigms, precedents will be offered for criticism with a view to considering how new ground might be hoed.

The Crossing Lines Group will occupy The Greenwich Gallery on Saturday 2nd November 2013.

The Gallery may be used as an experimental space for the ‘presentation of presentation’.

The Crossing Lines Group will vacate The Greenwich Gallery on Saturday 16th November 2013.

A segment of the February Crossing Lines meeting will be devoted to the WINGS project which became almost a phantom project; dipping into conversations on curation and being created in the background. As an exercise of collaboration and curation I personally felt that it was successful; as a personal experience in putting work together for it I was moved by the sympathetic way that work was responded to. I also liked the late-arriving idea of adding to the exhibition by means of posting work to the gallery for inclusion. I felt too that the process of engaging with the pieces and working collectively without preconception with the space was an encounter worth repeating. The small  number within the WINGS project was an important contributing factor to the success of this piece.

The success of the Traverse was, for me personally and within the collective, in the doing of it. If all we had done at its end was to take it for itself as a mode of curating a space by walking it then no more need have been done — Process as Product.

But …

We had a commitment to The Greenwich Gallery that we needed to fulfil and time was short. Suppose that we’d had six more months to consider what might become of this fine, thoroughgoing, collection of individual pieces, what might we have come up with?

Whilst writing this I’m listening to Pierre Schaeffer’s Five Studies of Noises which he compiled in 1948. Also composed in that year was Poulenc’s sonata for cello sounding safely very like Poulenc and Myaskovsky’s cello sonata sounding comfortably like Brahms. Elliott Carter also wrote a sonata for cello that year and his sounds of his time. For Carter it was possible to write for an ancient instrument and express a response to a present moment. For Schaeffer it was possible to take a present moment and find a way of making a contemporary piece from contemporary noise.

I see the gallery as an ancient instrument — not redundant but available for alternative methods of use. I also see any space as a potential gallery for alternative uses of an image.

We discussed, briefly, the idea of re-purposing the Traverse images for the smaller space of The RPS Cave. How might we respond to our own images half a year later; how might we respond to each other’s? We might take the example of WINGS as a leaping-off point; another example might be that of Pierre Schaeffer — take the raw noise and process it into an alternative not-noise.

I believe that we should tread on new ground for the sake of doing it. Even if we sink. Waving not drowning. Whilst misquoting.

I also believe that we should tread on new ground as a political act. Try this from Gregory Sholette:

… a radical art scholarship and theory must by necessity seek to revise the very notion of artistic value as it is defined by bourgeois ideology. Besides finding new ways to account for collective artistic authorship it must also theorize the many occasions on which no object is produced or where the artistic practice is a form of creative engagement focused on the process of organization itself.

Or maybe (from Jan Verwoert):

… The decision to collaborate with others is not a moral but a practical choice. For instance, for a musician to play in a band is first of all a practical possibility rather than a moral issue.

Or if not a political act then a definitional one (from Maria Lind):

… Co-operation in art is by no means new (…) It extends from Rubens and other Baroque artists’ hierarchical large-scale studios, which were lucrative businesses, to surrealist group experiments, constructivist theatre projects, Fluxus games and Andy Warhol’s pseudo-industrial Factory. It has also been argued that collaboration was crucial in the transition from Modernism to Post-modernism, particularly since the advent of conceptualism in the late 1960s.During the following decade, redefinitions of art tended to go hand in hand with collaborative practices.

Or …

John Levett

The Phenomenology of Walking

January 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

noun (pl.phenomena)
1 a fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen, especially one whose cause or explanation is in question

The importance of the debate around Objects of Recognition is that it focuses on the act of walking and that act as a mode of interpreting an urban space. The act of walking is central to making sense of urban space as it is by walking that the users of urban space create meaning for themselves in that space, engender conflict within the space, build spaces of tranquility, make play space, fashion calm space, find space of possibility, constitute secure space and reconstitute walking space when space is appropriated. Walking can reconstitute past and imagine future space.

Walking can also confirm one’s expectations of space; to see what one expects to see; to seek out that which one wants to see. What walking can do is to act as a mode of comfort — stroll rather than tramp, stretch one’s legs rather than trek, promenade rather than advance — Sunday in the park rather than retreat from Moscow.

Prompts for those seeking new practice here:

The Walking Encyclopaedia is at AirSpace in Stoke from February 7th to March 15th.

Operations of Recognition finale?

January 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Back at the beginning of December we published the current documents in the debate on Christian von Wissel’s article Operations of Recognition. Below is attached the final catalogue with Barry Cole’s reply-to-the-reply recently received. These documents, along with the evening of Crossing Lines that focused on Christian’s original paper have given rise to a flow of informal debate & comment which, whether or not one accepts the original Robert Smithson position, highlights modes of walking within the urban sphere & associated interpretations of it. Whatever one’s stance regarding apprehending the urban realm, hitting off from one proposal in order to find one’s preferred way of proceeding is a useful way of going engaging in a critical practice of walking.

Here is the full set of docs:

01 Operations of Recognition

02 Barry Cole response

03 Wissel-Perceiving_and_Knowing-Response_to_Barry_Cole

04 Barry Cole re-response

For the record

December 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

A Loose Traverse: original installation.


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WINGS in The Cave

December 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

The WINGS Group of Crossing Lines completed the first part of their curation of the project last Saturday.

The curation is continuing with mail postings each day from members of the group to the gallery for continuing inclusion in the work.

A Finissage will be held on Thursday 12th December from 6pm onwards to discuss what the project has achieved in terms of content and, importantly, about collaborative curation.

The WINGS Group are: Judith Jones, John Levett, Ingrid Newton, Claudia Pilsl, Nick Scammell, Krystina Stimakovits, Sabes Sugunasabesan.


All images by Ingrid Newton

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