2014.8.13 & 16.
The Burning Issue Residency Programme: Strategic Business plan Public Stakeholders Consultation Focus groups – Kit Hammonds
關鍵議題駐村計劃：策略商業規劃公共關係人諮商焦點小組 – 基‧哈墨斯
Wednesday, Aug 13, 6pm
Saturday, Aug 16, 2pm
Saturday, Aug 16, 5pm
Wednesday, Aug 13, 6pm
Workshop 1: Performance and Identity: Puppets and Puppeteers
This workshop will consider the aims and ethics of independent arts organisations, particular those of associations, studio complexes and other practitioner led organisations. These issues make up the identity of an organization, and through a collective making workshop participants will discuss: What is their image? And how is it formed? How does this represent the community and public they constitute? And does its organizational structure reflect these aims?
Recording artist/Scribe: Yu-Chen Wang
For Kit’s first workshop he started off by giving a brief introduction, where he introduced a recent phenomenon where corporate business have employed creative teams, often artist, to provide consultation on various aspects of their business to promote creative innovation and creative approaches to conservative/ hierarchical business environments.
There is a common metaphor used world wide of puppets and puppeteers, where the puppet-masters control the world with their ‘invisible hands’. With that in mind, for his first workshop the participants were put in two groups and were told to create a life size puppet as a creative model of the art industry.
He gave three simple guidelines;
1) The main body should represent what you collectively feel to be the core values of an arts organization
2) The limbs should be the means by which it operates – what it does, and how it does it. For instance exhibitions, their artist, and their audiences
3) The strings – connected to the limbs should be considered to be the forces outside that control how it moves – funding, government policy or art history – it is up to you. The two groups were given an hour to produce the puppet
The two participating groups came up with very different approaches to the task. One group choose to take a more performative direction where they created a hollow core structure and physically acted as the limbs of the puppet but were all connected and controlled by a handle on top for the imaginary puppeteer ‘the invisible hand’. The other group look the task a bit more literally creating a human-like core structure bounded to the puppeteer handle by strings representing the invisible hands power, then the limbs were also create by line strings that reach out the around the room representing the different audiences that are weakly connected the core structure.
Kit concluded that there are many perspective and directions you can take to put forth this task. But what is important is to know the intentions of your choices, to reflect on the current art industry from a create standpoint and to think about an idea art industry. In addition to rethinking about the different relations among the industry and reexamine our how we as individual or as a business function within the industry.
Saturday, Aug 16, 2pm
Workshop 2: Common Issues
This workshop will look at how art spaces can be alternatively an independent space for a community or a common ground for different groups of people to come together. Sociologist Robert Putnam describes these two forms of social value as Bridging and Bonding communities. Through a collective making process where limited resources and space may be shared and also negotiated resources.
Recording artist/Scribe: Hong-Kai Wang
The same introduction from the first workshop was given to this new audience guiding the participants to think about the art industry as a form of business. Furthermore, this workshop looks specifically at how art spaces can be alternatively an independent space for a community or a common ground for different groups of people to come together.
The task of this workshop was fairly simple it was to construct a bridge between the three ‘islands’ (tables). Each of the three ‘islands’ represented a community (art, money and politics) and each with its own limitations and resources.
He gave three simple restrictions;
1) A ‘sea’ separates the islands, so you cannot stand between the tables. You can throw materials to each other. You can also build things to support the island so long as you can place them in the sea without crossing the lines.
2) There are not enough materials to build three bridges, so you will have to agree between you which island lies at the center.
From this starting point the three groups started building their ‘bridges’. The group representing politics immediately started to give some other their strings to the other two groups, then later decided that they want to build a bridge between themselves and those that represent the money so that they can guild the money towards the group that represents the art industry. The group representing the art industry on the other hand took a completely different route they decided to build a free flowing raft that would float among the three groups, since their goal was to collaborate with both the political and the financial groups. However they did not have enough resources to build two bridges therefore despite the instructions they simply decided to build the raft. Lastly the group representing money decided to take a completely different route, they decided to present ultimatums to the other two groups about their wants from them and presented their promises on the wall. Their plan was to wait until the other two groups build a bridge then connects to the midpoint of their bridge.
Kit concluded by first by briefly analyzing his observations of what went on during the workshop. He mentioned that it’s not really about the physicality of building the bridges but about working together and thinking about the relationship of the three groups. One participate mentioned that the idea of a society is absent from the three groups and that perhaps there should have been another group in addition to the three. However he responded that there are many aspects of society that is absent for the workshop but it is just important to think of the different relationship between the groups that were given and how they are linked or bounded to one another.
Saturday, Aug 16, 5pm
Workshop 3: A Game of Risk
Risk management involves anticipating and limiting potential threats. As such they are speculative scenarios and pre-emptive, predictive solutions to perceived issues of sustainability and security. Risk management not only runs through regulations on the physical environment to ensure health and safety, but is also employed in other areas including the finance and public perception. Significantly Risk Management is intended for both protection and to identify and support areas where risk taking might be worthwhile. In this focus group we will consider what the challenges and threats that independent artists, curators and organizations face creating scenarios to discuss the potential risks and opportunities they may present.
Recording artist/Scribe: Chao-Ming Teng
The last workshop the same brief introduction was given from the previous two workshops, however the focus of this workshop was to look at the risk management which involves anticipating and limiting potential threats. Through the creation and participating of a game where participants were told to consider what challenges and threats independent artist, curators and organizations face creating scenarios to discuss the potential risks and opportunities they may be present.
The participants were put in four groups with three simple rules;
1) The board represents different risks associated with running an arts organization. Each time spins the bottle and where it lands represents a risk that needs to be addressed.
2) Each team has a number of characters one might find in the art world. These can be used to address risks by challenging other teams’ characters, betting money against each risk.
3) There is currently no goal for this game…after each round you should discuss how to make it better, instigate new rules, or rewrite the existing ones.
Thus, essentially this workshop was to play an unfinished game and think about the risks that are involved. The scenarios in the game are all related to potential risks and opportunities that might happen among the art industry, different financial situations and political situations. The participates added potential real life situations such as natural disasters or possible financial crisis.
Kit concluded that games are potentially a good representation of real life situations. Since there are a decent amount of risks that are involved in real life, so it is important to think about different possible scenarios and approaches to a situation. There are times where it would be better to take that leap of faith while other times it is more important to play it safe. It is also important to realize your identity and will you stand in a potential situation.
Organised by: Taipei Contemporary Art Center
Project director: Meiya CHENG
Project manager: Jo Ying Peng
Executive Team: Frankie SU, Yen-Hsiang FANG, YU Cheng-Ta, Ashley Hsieh
Project assistant: Tiffany Lay
The programme is sponsored by the MINISTRY OF CULTURE