Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Black Lab Week Seven

sorry for not getting these done yesterday - had a busy day but hopefully I've not forgotten too much of what happened..please feel free to make additions or contestations!

Present: Michael Burkitt, Jo Clark, James Hill, Dave Ronalds, Martha Jurksaitis, Yvonne Carmichael, Dan Robinson, Richard Ormrod, Stuart Bannister, Lucy Bannister, David Thomas

We now have a microwave so we can eat something other than crisps! Or, better, we can have hot crisps!

The first half of the meeting was spent revising last week's activity. Andy talked about the Badiou evening and tried to give a synopsis of the main points and the discussion that followed. We talked about the 'Western/Capitalist' and 'Eastern/Islamist' paradigms that Badiou outlines (the former being predicated on experience of death within life or 'enjoyment' and the latter being based on life in death i.e sacrifice). Badiou proposes that art (through the event and trace) can help find a third paradigm not wholly consumed by the power of death. Richard suggested that Badiou perhaps overlooks the life in life that already exists as a 'third paradigm'. Andy mentioned the book 'Death' by Todd May. Lucy and Stu both agreed that similar themes were covered in Chris Morris's 'Four Lions' which they had been watching in Bradford whilst we listened to the lecture last week. It was agreed that it was a challenging but enjoyable evening and that a follow-up event would make sense as more people would like to join in the discussion.

Martha discussed the movie marathon and the group talked about how it had been a good experience putting the night together and spending time working on something as well as enjoying the content of the films. We talked about how the Black Lab might provide a different viewing collective environment from a cinema or watching at home. People were comfortable talking during the films and responding immediately. This is something of a faux-pa in contemporary cinema-going. It was agreed that more films should be watched together in the space, even if they are ones we have seen before. Dan initiated a brief discussion about repetition and the value and problematics therein with specific reference to repeating events or performances.

We had a short break before Dave Ronalds showed a short documentary he had bought along about El Bulli restaurant in Spain renowned as the world's best and most experimental place to eat. The head chef Ferran Adria works with a team of collaborators year round in a lab experimenting with new cooking techniques, styles and ingredients.

Following the documentary we had a discussion about food as art and how the sensory aspects of it have been focused on by the Futurists and Fluxus, the social aspects by relational practitioners like Rirkrit Tiravnija and the ethical issues around food production in projects like Feral cafe which Lucy had some experience of. Andy mentioned that he had met an interesting artist called Jayne Bradley at the Placemaking conference who works in food and has organised Flux-feasts. We decide it would be good to have a food event and invite her to the lab.

We also talked about other aspects of the documentary including the collaborative nature of the lab; the commitment and fidelity (in Badiou's language) demonstrated by the team; and the perceptions of experimental cooking as elitist or intellectual but how its ultimately bodily/sensory/material/emotional nature might make it distinct or more accessible than avant-garde art. A quote that stuck out for Andy was Adria saying something along the lines of that in order to experience deeper emotions we need new techniques and technology.

David Thomas showed a short experimental film he had made manipulating found footage and sound. Everyone enjoyed it and made a few suggestions; perhaps it could be shown again to a larger group with more time for discussion?

We then began to put some dates in the diary as there are less than six weeks left in the Green Sands according to our original agreement with Igloo. We got out the big calendars and added the following events:


Tues 6th at 1.30pm - Sound workshop muckabout

Weds 7th at 6pm - Another evening with(out) Alain Badiou

Thurs 15th at 6pm - Watching La Jetee by Chris Marker

Weds 21st at 6pm - Watching Some Kind of Monster Metallica documentary

Thurs 22nd all day (and eve) - Alvin Lucier reconstruction sound event

Fri 23rd all day (and night) - 24 hour durational music jam

Sat 24th all day - Bas Jan Ader documentary and performance event/workshop


Sat 1st 2pm - Watching Art School Confidential

Tues 4th May at 6pm - Food night

Weds 6th May - Anne Curtis film

Tues 11th May - final meeting!

There will also be the general meetings/crit sessions every Tues at 6pm.


All to organise/publicise/attend events as above

All to continue to contribute to fanzine/publication

All to book in extra events, speakers, visitors to the lab

Next Meeting Tues 6th April at 6pm. Check calendar, blog and above for events in the interim

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