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mind the gap 2021

A new series of videos, podcasts and texts that focuses on bridging languages and cultures, starting from 2021.

The project seeks out representatives of marginalised communities, and engages them into talks about their personal and professional experiences.

Aims of the project:

  • raise awareness of literature, artwork and science achievements by representatives of minority communities,
  • give voice to representatives of minority communities, whom we invite as guests into the project,
  • disseminate the work of our guests.
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art uncategorized

Letter to a Clone Manufacturer

BY GIGI GUIZADO.

Link to the event: click here.

The event on the 25th September 2021 was part of the official selection of the International Translation Day by the English PEN and the National Centre for Writing.

This is a short and semantically multi-layered play which tackles gender and power-issues in a situation set on the verge of the post Anthropocene world. In spite of the grim topic, the irony and the possible plot-twists will save us from immersing ourselves into dystopia.

The intrinsic complexity of the piece does not stop at simply tackling the stereotypes of our societies, but also mischievously plays with the possibilities of swapping roles, until the very end. The last couple of seconds are left open to the readers’/spectators’ interpretation as well.

We found it especially intriguing to have the piece translated from English into Hungarian and see how different cultures, languages, conceptions, ages, genders will affect this endless game of fascinatingly diverse interpretations.

Just a couple of questions that occurred during the English and Hungarian rehearsed readings and open discussions at the event:

  • What circumstances lead to de-humanisation?
  • How objectification reflects back on the perpetrator?
  • How our intelligence and emotional intelligence is shaped by our circumstances?
  • How AI might translate, interpret and react to our languages and feelings?
  • Will the present status quo be challenged at a certain point in the future? How? By whom?

For a full-rounded cultural and linguistic experience, we kindly advise you to watch both the Hungarian and English versions, and taste the exquisite palette of the re-framing and interpretation of the artists.

We are all looking forward to reserching further approaches, re-readings, interpretations, translations and designs of this piece.

Cast performing in English:

Daniela Cristo Mantilla and Angel Mendoza

Cast performing in Hungarian:

Éva Bandor and Ádám Tompa

Translation by: Rita Sebestyén.

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research uncategorized

Action Research

‘IF’: Planning, Research and Co-creation of an Existential Installation-performance

See full art and science research article: https://sciendo.com/article/10.2478/hsy-2019-0005#

ABSTRACT: In her article “‘IF’: Planning, Research and Co-creation of an Existential Installa-tion-performance” Rita Sebestyén offers an account of the research period and perfor-mances of the experimental, action-research based and interdisciplinary performance ‘IF’. The installation-performance was co-created by a group of Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Hungarian artists, and conceived and produced for an international au-dience. ‘IF’ poses a series of existential questions throughout four interactive installa-tions that allow the audience to interact and become co-creators of the performance, together with the performer-facilitator. Using biology, anthropology, mathematics, elements of gamification, sociology and futurology, this performance is a cross-dis-ciplinary and cross-genre experience, and its research cycles are of both scientific and artistic interest, as the author points it out. Keywords: art and science, performative pedagogy, gamification, co-creation, action research.

Photo by: Stine Ebbesen

IF is a cross-over genre: a participative performance using four interac-tive installations that invite the audience into different levels of action and interaction, by choosing life-circumstances: gender, lifespan, friends, relations, society and future. A performer leads the whole game of ex-istence, orientating the audience among the rules of the games; reacts and responds to their actions, and, at well-defined moments, acts out roles related to the four stages-installations. The stages are construct-ed around four different algorithms, which gradually lead the audience from strict rules to choices, this way giving the opportunity to them to take the performance over, step by step. Participants can choose at each stage the level of their activity from watching to acting, and can de-cide on the gender, lifespan, personal characteristics. They receive small human figures as avatars to represent their game-selves in this parallel world. In this specific space, the audience and the performer, even the light- and sound designer can freely mingle, without being confined by the classical partition of stage and auditorium. The first stage is a small laboratory: a microscope placed on a white glass table and connected to a computer. The samples placed under the microscope can be observed magnified on the screen of the computer. The second stage is a min-iature garden on a big size round mirror: soil, small stones, water and plants can be placed and arranged on it. Later on, the five-six centime-tres tall human figures will be placed here. The third stage seems to be a playground with five societal hardships, written in chalk on the ground, which, during the performance, will come alive similarly to a manipu-lative TV-show, with red and white elastic lightbulbs. The fourth stage is a transparent plastic cube, filled with water. Here, at the end of the game-performance, the participants will decide how and who can be saved from the former hardships and go towards the hope of smoother waves. We provide the audience with a set of rules at each stage to build a parallel identity, community, society, and their own interwoven nar-ratives. The performer oscillates between the role of an actor and that of a facilitator. From this phase we started researching together with various audiences. Due to the multitude of artistic and scientific fields included in our work, in the following I will refer exclusively to prima-ry literature. Further description proceeds along the following steps: 1) Research environment concerning venue, community, terminology and the text of the performance, 2) Research method including planning, action and evaluation and finally, 3) The outlook towards a new episte-mology of collaborative performances.

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uncategorized workshops

norwich 2020

Online storytelling and community building workshops

We had the pleasure of welcoming Rita Sebestyen, PhD, to Wellbeing Wednesdays, an inclusive, online platform of weekly sessions and activities run through Zoom designed to follow the 5 steps to wellbeing: connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give.

Rita delivered two online sessions for our programme during May and June 2020. These sessions were interactive workshops, designed to explore how we can talk about our own experiences, boundaries and memories in a safe and comfortable way, using relational storytelling exercises. 

The participants in the online sessions were largely unknown to each other, and very few have ever met in person. The gradual rhythm of her sessions, and the clear and slow paced instructions, enabled participants to slow their own rhythm and focus their minds. Using techniques to move sideways through experience and memory, Rita enabled participants to explore personal storytelling in an accessible and inclusive form. Her structured but adaptable sessions empowered participants to feel in control over their own journey during the sessions, reflecting on their own boundaries, memories and stories. 

An engaged and attentive facilitator, Rita leads her workshops with respect and presence, responding whole-heartedly to each participant’s story and fully incorporating everyone’s contributions. Her broad knowledge and cross-disciplinary approach left participants in awe of her work, and grateful for the opportunity to take part in her temporary and creative community space. 


Melanie Kidd

Wellbeing Wednesdays Coordinator and Higher Education Parent Carer Champion, neaco/University of East Anglia (UEA)

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11. 05. 2020. Pendulum

Lorenzo

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06. 05. 2020. A tile of art

Yufei Xu

《一片艺瓦,万物一片》

一片瓦,比手掌稍大一点,一直随着我。在我用钴青、朱砂、赭石还是雄黄、祖母绿描线让它成为艺术之前,是一片空白。它看起来算是最棒的儿童艺术吧。因为我为它选择的是中国水彩的经典着色,为它勾勒的线条至简如伦布朗的作品草稿。

我带着它走过城市源头到大洋洲的逡巡路线,回到谋职的故土。诸多物件在生活的倥偬里得而复失,有失之海运,有失之滥用。倏忽惊现,小瓦片穿越器物的新陈代谢,从我众多个人物品中脱颖而出,登上艺术的台面。

我怎样做到,造就它呢?

学校叮嘱城市青年“要学农,要下乡”。于是城里的初中学生都“学农”,成了规定好的教育制度。对我而言,14岁那年的“学农”教会我制作乡村艺术品。学农指导员先是讲解了瓦片画的工艺流程,接着让我们制作自己的版本。我们这帮楞头小子,哪里知道什么绘画?对我而言很轻松:我照搬照抄画室笔筒上的传统青花纹样,在瓦片上稍作变形,画了十九朵祥云,它们占据着三分之二的面积。接着把纹样再简化成折笔,二十多划层层叠叠,为的是象征一块山峰巨石,巨石中延伸出松树的枝桠。黄或褐色给巨石,赤色给祥云,青色给树干,绿色给松针。其余留白,乃瓦片本色。烧制瓷器的炉子给瓦片上一层釉,让着色长久,我的工艺品就诞生了。

后来,我按这个法子,匠造自己的博士论文。原来,复制一些再改造一些,运用想象力,加入个人风格,就足够写一篇博士论文。

彼时的我,赋予这小小瓦片以心流、以结构;后来的我,一切都被它们造就。

而且,万物美观。

I have carried a tile with me, a little bigger than the size of my palm. It had been blank before I lined some cobalt, vermillion, ocher or realgar, and emerald to make it a work of art. It seems to me one of the best from kids’ arts. For the hues I happened to choose for it are as classic as those favored by masters of Chinese watercolors, and the lines are as simple and neat as some of landscape drafts from Rembrandt.

I have carried it with me from my urban origin to New Zealand where I spent one and a half year, and finally took it back to the inland Elysium, Chengdu, where I choose to work. So many other objects come and go in my life hustle. They usually are lost in hectic shippings or broken by use and abuse. No small surprise when I was cued by the fact that my little piece of tile art had survived the metabolism of my belongings, of objects.

How did I make it?

Schools bid the urban young “go mingle with peasants, go experience rural area”. So they make secondary school students in the city go through this education session, that is to get educated by the rural, of around two weeks. I went through the session when I was 14, and it taught me to make rural art. At first the instructor had laid out the procedure of making tile art, we, a bunch of rats who had no idea of drawing anything, were commanded to craft our own version of the artistic design. Easy work: I just copied the pattern on the china pen baskets in the studio. The ancient pattern was transformed into nineteen heads of auspicious clouds floating and taking up two thirds of the tile square. Then I curtailed the pattern into a dozen skewed strikes and stacked them to symbolize a boulder, where a branching pine grows out of it. Yellow or brown for boulder, red for clouds, blue for pine trunk, green for pine needles. The rest was as milk white as the tile itself. Out of the furnace that gave the tile lasting sheen from glaze was this art of mine.

This was how I crafted my Ph.D thesis later. It turned out copying and transforming, with a bit of imagination and brush style. 

Everything has been growing out of the flow and structure I gave for this little tile.

And it looks gorgeous.

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03.05.2020. Space Box

Lydia

Περίμενε υπομονετικά. Με ολόσωστες πλευρές και άκρες κολλημένες με πολύ καλής ποιότητας χαρτοταινία. Πάνω του κολλήθηκε και ένα γράμμα με τα στοιχεία μου και τα στοιχεία του. Ένα αρχείο που επικυρώνει την σχέση μου μαζί του.

Όνομα

Τηλέφωνο

Διεύθυνση αποστολής

Διεύθυνση παραλαβής

Περιεχόμενο

Αξία

Ημερομηνία

//

Waiting patiently. With all its sides and edges glued with very good quality paper tape. A letter with my personal info and its details was affixed to it. A file that validates my relationship with it.

Name

Phone

Shipping Address

Delivery address

Content

Value

Date

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25. 04. 2020. Fragola

Attila

A single hotel room while the guest is away. His room is surprisingly tidy. Dusting the wardrobe I observe how his good quality clothes were folded and organized in a perfect way. I sense a very familiar, good vibe. Then there is a drawing on the desk. It was drawn with the pen provided by the hotel on a small piece of paper taken from the noteholder. It is a tree with a disproportionately big fruit on it, an almost heart shaped strawberry. I immediately know that I saw this before somewhere. I recognize every line, every detail of it. 

Have I drawn this myself before? Or will I draw it in the future? What if years later I will come back as a guest to this hotel and I will doodle this while talking on the phone? If it’s me, will I remember this moment of finding it? Why would I avoid meeting myself? I would probably  think that leaving this sketch on the desk is a sufficient gesture to remind myself about the illusion of time.

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24.04.2020. Diary

Réka

Am 42 de ani și deja nu mai romanțez ideea de a avea un jurnal, nici conținutul acestuia.   

Deci, pot deține în acest scop un caiețel fabulos, de culoare vișinie, cu pagini gălbui și copertă ca de poveste, reprezentând un erudit sau un magician cu niște ochelari drăguți, o pălărie foarte înaltă, cu o carte imensă în față, pe care își odihnește mâinile aproape ireale, cu degete lungi-lungi. Stă într-un balon cu aer cald care se ridică sau coboară.  

Așa a fost să fie jurnalul meu, exact ca în cazul acelor relații pe alocuri neplăcute din majoritatea romanelor pe care le citeam noi, fetele tinere, cu scopul de a însuși corespunzător știința de a îmbrățișa pe deplin viitoarele noastre catastrofe, de a ne azvârli în ele..

Doar că acum știu și secretul păstrării unei cantități mari de secrete și în caz că cineva ar găsi obiectul, acest veritabil corpus delicti: un scris de mână incredibil, foarte aproape de o hidoșenie științifică. Ca de doctor, aș zice dacă aș dori să-mi romanțez rușinea.  

Oricum, adevărul este că realmente îmi place gândul unui jurnal cu o copertă eterică, având un conținut surprinzător, dar și dezolant, în anumite aspecte – frumusețe idealizată și urâțenie realistă, umăr la umăr. 

I’m 42 and I’m not romanticizing anymore the idea of having a diary, neither its contents. 

So, now I can have an amazing claret booklet for that purpose with yellowish pages and a fairytale-like drawing on its cover representing a scholar or a magician with very pretty eyeglasses, an immensely tall hat and a huge book on which he rests his almost unreal hands with long, long fingers. He is sitting in an ascending or descending hot-air balloon.

It was simply meant to be, just like all those nasty relationships in most of the novels we’ve read as young girls, with the purpose of assimilating properly the knowledge of how to fully engage in and embrace future catastrophes…

But now also know the secret of keeping a great deal of secrets even if somebody might find the object, the corpus delicti: having an unimaginably, almost scientifically awful handwriting. As doctors do, I could say if I would want to romanticise disgrace.

Despite all that, the truth is that I simply like the idea of a diary with an ethereal cover having a totally surprising and somewhat desolating content – idealistic beauty and realistic ugliness, side by side. 

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uncategorized

09. 04. 2020. Punctum

Li Hsuan. 李璇

Punctum

  1. n. pl. (anatomy) A sharp tip of any part of the anatomy; a point or other smaller area.
  2. a concept from Roland Barthes’ book Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography:
  • to wound;
  • denoting the wounding, personally touching detail which establishes a direct relationship with the object or person within it. 

“Punctum has a power of expansion. Here, the photograph really transcends itself, is this not the sole proof of its art?” (Barthes R., Camera Lucida, p.50)

Picture A    All about my grandpa: Punctum from Wuhan.
                   关于我爷爷的一切:武汉的刺点。
Object/component: herbs—honeysuckle, rose, hawthorn; incense.
材料组成:草药—金银花,玫瑰,山楂;檀香

草药是中医药里的重要组成部分。在作品《刺点》中,图片一的草药是山楂,玫瑰和金银花。我用一根缝衣针串起这些材料,然后把它们刺入第一幅地图,象征我的童年回忆和家乡武汉的“刺点”。

我很爱喝金银花茶因为金银花可以净化身体的能量。金银花常被用来制作草药汤剂,它可以分解身体的毒素,处理细菌感染等。玫瑰则可以用于泡茶,玫瑰也有许多医用功效比如平衡新陈代谢,缓解女性的经痛和缓解焦虑等。山楂也是一种草药,可以平衡心率不齐和缓解消化系统的紊乱等。

关于草药的文化和其神秘的功效,我是从我祖父那学到的。我的祖父是一名草药研究者,他研习功夫和中国传统哲学,他用草药和气功帮助了很多人。他的工作是一所学校的校长,他每年会去山里住一段时间,练习冥想和研究神秘主义。几年前我也曾尝试过系统的草药治疗来增强我的体能和体力,它的味道尝起来像一种特殊的汤,我没能坚持下去,因为味道对我来说太苦了。

The herbs are: honeysuckle, rose, hawthorn. I used a sewing needle to make a string for these materials and pierce into the first map, to symbolise the Punctum from my childhood memory and from my hometown Wuhan.

Honeysuckle is often used as medicine and tea, to cure bacterial infections, to counteract poisoning and to kill germs. 

Rose is used mainly for making tea and claimed to offer numerous health benefits such as boosting the metabolism, helping relieve pain during periods and helping in the treatment of anxiety and diabetes. 

Hawthorn is used as medicine. It’s good for balancing heart rhythm disorder and used for digestive disorders by breaking down fats.

About the culture and mysterious effect of herbs I learnt from my grandfather. He was a herbal researcher, a kung-fu practicer and a healer. He helped hundreds of people using herbal therapy, QiGong exercise, and also by his impressive speech about Chinese classical philosophy. He worked as a headmaster of a local school, and he went to mountains every year to meditate on spiritualism. I have tried herbal therapy some years ago in order to build up my body strength and it was like drinking special soup everyday. I didn’t adhere to it, simply because the flavor is too bitter for me.