Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Black Lab Week Two

Week 2 in the Black Lab

My account of this week's Black Labness may be incomplete as I arrived roughly an hour and a half into the meeting but I have Yvonne's notes to help and hope that also some kind soul will correct me or fill in the gaps with their own minutes.

This week in attendance were Lucy Bannister, Dan Robinson, Stuart Bannister, David Thomas, Alice Bradshaw, Steven Allbutt, Martha Jurksaitis, James Hill, Phill Harding, Yvonne Carmichael and later on Dave Ronalds. It was suggested people bring food and drink and as such the fodder and the drink were piled high on a makeshift banqueting table made from wallpaper pasting table covered in a red table cloth that everyone was sat around.

Looking at the notes it appeared that the meeting began by discussing some of the activity that could happen in the space. MJ has suggested a film night for 27th March. Contents May Vary would like to host a quiz (no date confirmed).. AA has suggested using space for Placemaking action research meetings, as the hub for a pilot for a Time Bank for the creative community in Leeds and also to have his big shed in there. LB suggested getting a large calendar in the space (and online? - google calendar linked to blog?)

When I arrived the conversation around the table was about documenting activity in the space with concerns being raised around the fact that this can sometimes have a negative affect on the activity itself. How can we make sure that the activity and discussions that happen in the space both leave a trace and accumulate in the physical space itself (and also on a blog) so that people who haven't been able to attend every meeting can get a sense of what has gone on there, whilst ensuring that activity remains uninhibited and experimental?

We returned to Alice (and Liz)'s idea of exquisite corpse/consequences and also that one of the goals of the project would be to identify the common points in divergent activity by individuals as had seemingly happened with the Black Dogs house-presentations that prompted the start of this project. Also the idea of starting an archive of catalogues, flyers etc relating to (art) activity we are interested in.

JH suggested there be a library/reading corner where people can leave books and print-outs or photocopies of essays for other people to read. AA proposed some protocol for writing notes or keeping a log or comments book about what has been read. Some form of collectively annotating the texts. Perhaps the big shed from the Festival of Pastimes could act as the reading room?

Suggestions that emails and conversations get printed out large-scale and used to adorn the walls so we get a sense of the accumulated conversation.

What resources would we like in the space? A PA system so there can be musical experiments and maybe even performances (let's not use the word gig because of its carpet-staining connotations). A library in a shed. An oven. A fridge (LB offered one from Axis). A projector and DVD player (projector already in place). Anything else? A photocopier or printer?

What would we like to see happen there? Things already discussed like screenings but how about the use of the space for sharing of info, place for critical debate, workshops etc. Would be great if you could just drop in and there would always be people to talk about work with and show it to. Suggested that we say Tuesdays and Saturdays are these times. Critical drop-ins.

What kind of presentations could happen? Who wants to do one. JH to do his intro to Marx's Capital (18th March?). AA keen to do one about Badiou and Hardt and Negri in next couple of weeks. Dan Robinson also keen.

What about people we might bring in as visiting speakers? A round-the-table wishlist ensued with the following individuals and groups mentioned as people we'd like to see present and have a discussion with in the space. YC to put in a grant application for travel relating to this.

Initial wishlist for visitors includes:

Dave Beech
Eleanor from Bradford Playhouse
Red Wire
Wolsten Holme
Emily Speed
Lombard Method
Gavin Wade
Empty Shop
Book Works
Terry Atkinson
Alvin Lucier
Bill Drummond
Jonathon Mead
David Harding
Suzanne Lacy
Daniel Thompson
Temporary Services
Paul Bailey
James Belling
What, How and for Whom
Time Etchells

What about next week's activity. Dan Robinson suggested that people bring something with them that might help introduce their interests (not necessarily a formal powerpoint presentation or CV but more something that reflects there interests and could be shown to the group informally in five minutes). MJ, for instance, has suggested a film by Sector Sixteen we could watch. PH and SB keen to recreate some Alvin Lucier pieces in the space and perhaps do some La Monte Young recitals too.

Then everyone went to the pub.


AA to bring shed to space, also to pick up fridge from Axis and kolintangs from Holy Trinity Church.

SB to look into sourcing a PA

AA to set up google calendars

YC to complete travel bursary application

All to forward articles, essays etc to James Hill for printing.

All to bring something to show (briefly) to next meeting as a way of introducing interests.

All to bring books they want in the Lab Shed Library.

All to put forward suggestions for visiting speakers.

All to continue to suggest activity for space and add to calendar.

NEXT MEETING TUES 2nd March 6pm.

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