We know that we gave the interview, but looking at it translated, we have no idea what we said any more.
For those of you who would like some help, below is our collection of answers in the interview. Unfortunately we do not have the questions any more. We suppose it is like listening to someone on the phone and trying to guess what they are responding to.
Not easily! After 18 years of intense work, there is no quick summary. Check out the web page for lots of details.
Generally, we see ourselves as a laboratory for the construction of experimental situations. So not just objects, but whole environments for people to explore, discuss, interpret, etc.
We think you mean the projects, rather than the whole pre-history and origin of the group! That is all too long ago…
We work collaborative. We are a group, we bounce ideas off one another, experiment, fail, try again, fail differently, until we get to something that we think makes sense to let people explore it. Firstly in public experiments, then in more public exhibitions.
We take our ideas from a huge spectrum of sources as possible: we are several very distinct heads and we find all sorts of things that are interesting, share them and so develop them.
The current projects deal with questions surrounding speculative near and distant futures; what sort of world could we be developing into? Whether the science fiction feeling of Lucid Peninsula, the practicalities of fair trade and transport or the current immediacy of migration in Mind the Map, these projects all look at where we are moving towards. Speculative Culture is a term that has been used to surmise these ideas. These feed into our pan European projects Future Fabulators and Changing Weathers together with our partners M-ITI (PT), FoAM (BE), AltArt (RO), Zavod Projekt Atol – coordinator (SI), Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory (SI); Bioart Society Finnland (FI); Hilde Merete Methi (NO); Stichting Sonic Acts (NL); RIXC Center for New Media Culture (LV).
We are a nongovernment, nonprofit organisation. We receive grants from local, regional, national and European sources, as well as exhibitions and festivals.
No difficulties or problems, just challenges.
Making it work is always a challenge; whether finances, materials, how to, knowledge; we are always finding new partnerships to help us move forward, always learning new skills to help make projects possible, always looking for new chances to keep the flow of resources up.
Another main challenge is internal and external communication; It is not always obvious what we mean, when talking with one another. Working this out takes time and effort. Then taking these understandings to an external audience – well that is another whole challenge!
We work with situations, so we need to talk about whole systems. We are not just creating an object in space, but a whole space, with objects, atmospheres, processes. So we need to be able to deal with everything in those spaces, from video of actors to scaffolding, programming a microcontroller to sound design and textiles. The whole process of “content development” is just as interdisciplinary; we need to include ideas from everyday life, technical and other specialisations, facts and ideas about all parts of the world.
Once again, the challenge is communication across disciplinary boundaries. Talking to artists, curators, mathematicians, biologists, technicians, entertainers, etc – all speak different languages and mean different things. We can never have all speaking at the same level about everything. So finding a common understanding is a goal, at least we all think that the things that are there, are correct and coherent, at least to a level of approximation with which all can be happy, where it all “makes sense” as an experience.
Don’t get stuck!
We have repeatedly re-built ourselves, slowly but surely, over the past 18 years. Reflection, taking time, working out what is exciting and worth doing; these are the activities that help keep us working together. We will improve by building upon our strengths, trying to minimise the negatives, embrace the challenges as processes rather than barriers.
There is no clear idea, no criteria, no check-box of what success is, could be, should be. Processes, experiments, open endings; these all need to be appreciated and explored. Aim higher than is possible, see what happens as you try, accept the result as what it is.
Let yourselves know when it is “good enough” to stop, clean up and enjoy what you have made, what you will show. Process-orientation does not necessarily mean that the rubbish lies around and no visitor has any idea what it is about.
It will keep being there. It will keep being important. It will keep being hard.
We think that the answer above answers this too. People need to be open and ….