I have taken part in the travellers box project, which has the theme of 'to travel is to go somewhere as yourself and become something else. I decided to turn the travellers box into a projector using two magnIfying glasses and an old lens. I thought that a slide show was appropriate for this project as the guidlines suggested the work should involve performance. I created drawings based on the Inuit folk tale 'Nakasungnak'. The story is about a man called Nakasungnak who travels far up north to live with new people. He was told of the ice covered bear which was impossible to kill. Nakasungnak decided to encounter the bear, on finding it he ran up to it, only armed with a small knife. Nakasungnak instantly disappeared down the bears open mouth. The bear tottered and soon fell down dead. When Nakasungnak's fellow men approached the bear they discovered a knife sticking out between his ribs. When the hole was widened Nakasungnak jumped out of it. The hair and the skin on his face had come off, shivering with cold and ague. he ran away to the house. In the mean time the bears flesh provided food for most of the winter. Afterwards the people of the north told Nakasungnak how to behave, when they were trying to catch birds that could speak and fish with both eyes on one side. The swarms of birds and fish arrived: but Naksungnak did not heed the advice and consequently caught none. Lastly they warned him of the giant gnats that were soon expected, the size of sea-fowls, and with stings like the point of an arrow. The swarms approched, like a broken cloud from the south, the people retreated to their tents. However, Nakasungnak disregarded their warnings and remained outside. When all was over, and they went out to look for Nakasungnak, they discovered only a skeleton lying beneath the boat.
When I was thinking about presenting my Travellers Box I wanted there to be a initial communication between myself and the viewer. Because for me this text was what inspired me to do this piece of work and thus they will see the mechanisms of my mind. I enjoy the fact that with any piece of work I make there is a print that will come before or later than the primary work to support the piece but maybe also certify it and give me and the audience something tangible. I hate the way my work sits on my computer hidden in the volts. So by creating this secondary element the work keeps moving and is in circulation. Above you can see the original and my copy then below you can see the photo etched copper plate sitting in the sodium bath to remove the light sensitive coating.
After returning from Madrid I received a email call from a artist in North London telling me she was sending the 'Travellers Box' to my address for my contribution to the online residency. The exchange was quite dis-con-jointed and the actual communication between myself and the curators of the project have been minimal this was something I guessed would change in the weeks to come, nothing to concern myself with. The package arrive as seen below and actually I found the object quite uninspiring and actually was not really interested in this project any longer. My initial thought was create a project with the found address on the inside of the packaging. Now I knew this was not the previous artist as she actually lived in North London, this would be some kind of Sophie Calle/ 'Amalie'2001 project creating and searching for the person at this address. Almost reaching out for some contact some human relation behind this ugly structure. After a few days of with this box the theme of travel was popping into my mind, every day when I arrived home this object was sat in my window ready to ask me the same question. What does travel mean to you? The way it was sat in the window was reminding me of segment of a quote I previously posted."When the time comes to leave, you are troubled by great desires and the sight of clouds moving off towards the sun is strangely disquieting." As though the box wanted to be release, to return back to its travels. I on the other-hand was not interest and just wanted to focus on planting seeds,
not metaphorically, literally!
I just wanted to start planting. I miss being in the garden and now summer is here I am longing for a plot of my own in which to nurture the ground beneath me to reap its fruits. I knew in a few days I would be travelling back to my parents and I would see which of my plants survived the winter and could prepare the ground for planting again. So it was at this point I came across the victor hugo quote. I don't know if it was because I was consumed with the garden but the text inspired me to combine the two projects. "To travel is to born and die in every instant." So I planted seeds in the Box. one instant the birth and then through the structures transit and final arrival at it next destination its final demise, that is unless the next artist decides to keep the plant. I thought what is more perfect to rebound my lack emotion connection with the previous artist than to send the next a living thing to say. This is me and here is my baby, my devotion. Do not deny it your care and do not deny me your attention.
There are many ways to travel and to experience the people, the places and the spaces. Some people experience cities by walking, taking pictures, talking with locals and watching buildings and monuments. Some watch people, plants and animals... Some listen to the sounds of the cities and some dance to it. The drummer interacts in this performance with the sounds of the city , such as cars, motocycles, the wind and building-machines.
Commissioned as one of the UK artists to work on The Travellers Box project, which sees artists from around world working with the same object – the box. On Monday 25th 2010 Katy Bienart and myself did a public space intervention event during which we set a “Polish Picnic” in Windrush Square, Brixton.
Inside the Travellers Box is seven jars filled with remnants of different MEME events from the past two years. Cards, Flexib’s dust from his piece, pieces of sponge we have wiped and cleaned the space with many times, Lalie’s courage / security coins, Asuka’s fundraiser prints, pieces of the bandanas worn at Street Museum, one of Lewis’s language generator trials…through out the night I watch, and choose seven people to give them to. Jacy, Maria, Tim, Mark, Sandrine, the unknown fella, and Caliopia. MEME will be preserved. Forever. The Travellers Box is empty. It enjoys the rest of the celebration with the many, many people that come and dance, talk, watch. Preserved forever.
Obscure / erase
The Travellers Box by James Ford and Adrian Gebers (NZ)
The work could be seen as an extension of my practice and a portable surface/sculptural space for the scribble fields.In the tradition of these works the sub title could be "Black scribble filling a series of metal rectangles". The scribbles will act like a barrier, obscuring the metallic surface of the box. Can scribbling be seen as productive? Time is given to the act, and with the artist’s touch, but the result is one of defacement. Does the box gain from this addition or is it vandalism to the homogenous appearance of the box,in relation to its partners around the globe? In a few weeks the box will be over to its next curator,Adrian Gebers, in Sydney, Australia. Adrian's first task will be to complete my work by rubbing away my scribbles, leaving an "Erased De Kooning" legacy. This particular Traveller's Box will then always be a collaborative artwork by Ford and Gebers, be it as an invisible presence.
Kalle Mustonnen Lahti/ Helsinki
Title: "Terror Daily"
We are what we think. We act like we think. We know what we read. The press has huge power to influence the public opinion.
The hate, fear and racism raises from public opinion.
What you read, you think is the public opinion and there for you act by it.
The freedom of speach can be used to provocate fundamentalists. I travelled reading a news paper and I became a fundamentalist.
Assistance: Mervi Hokkanen
Title: Sköna hem (Sweet home), being somewhere else.