14.09.13 MEETING, EXHIBITION & WORKSHOPS AT CZENTRIFUGA, BERLIN
We decided to use the annual East Berlin event “Lange Nacht der Bilder” (Long Night of the Pictures) as a platform to present our Grundtvig Learning Partnership and Skill Sharing activities as well as a focus point to upgrade our Czentrifuga atelier spaces in Friedrichshain, Ostkreuz.
First, to clean the garden from the accumulated trash after rennovation then painting the outside front area and stairways. We made a call out to the universe for old paint which then appeared though the course of the week and Lilly, Rufio, Stine, Coost, Katrin and Beat , collectively got the job done.
Anef parked her Mobile Siebdruck Werkstatt , a large van fitted out for screen printing and design workshops,in front of the Czentrifuga building. We attracted approximately three hundred people throughout the long evening who were a good mixture of both random people from the street and those who were invited or informed via internet , posters or flyers.
Representing our Skill Sharing Partnership Miguel and Flo from La Drucki/Bern and Stephan Kruhl from Kulturpark 3000/Bad Salzuflen attended and, starting on the previous day, helped with the preparations for the event .
We used this time to talk amongst ourselves informally, reflecting on the progress of the partnership and brainstorming on how our planned large scale end-event in Bern 7-15 July could/would manifest itself.
We had already decided to concentrate on how we evaluate our events and meetings. Previous, unsatisfactory, experiences with formulaic assessments of our D.I.Y. activities, (often it was detrimental or counter productive to the socio-creative process) prompted us to experiment and be creative with the idea of evaluation.
Czentrifuga, working with Stephan Kruhl from Kulturpark 3000, selected two existing Project Evaluation models from “COMART” (Communicating Europe – Art as a Tool for Adult Education), a previous Grundtvig Learning Partnership and which is online. and also a model created by “COLOPHON” (European Platform for Dutch Education) translated into both English and German
In the week preceeding the event , members from the Czentrifuga Collective familarised themselves with these two models enough to be aware of the general information points with the idea to present our results to the partnership and find a collective course of action for a transparent project self assessment . Using the Czentrifuga facilities, the Bern La Drucki team , designed and printed a two colour “Czentrifikat” as a creative, playfull way and visual aid to begin focusing attention on evaluating our Learning Partnership.
Beat from Czentrifuga created an extra temporary exhibition space, info kiosk and certificate distribution point in the downstairs entrance area, greeting the visitors and also effectively linking the upstairs activities with the screenprint bus parked outside. Certificates were “awarded” to those that joined in with the two open workshops and also to visitors who made individual offerings to the spirit of the event such as modelling for the new Czentrifuga/Go Go Trash range of caps made from recylcedmaterials. There were food donations (fruits, a cake, nuts, sirup, tabasco sauce) and some guests would sing a song, tell an interesting tale or make a constructive critique about the event content , in return for a certificate. The process was an experiment for us in understanding how to approach the thematic of “data retrieval”.
Tables and chairs were set out on the sidewalk around the Mobile Screenprint Bus , busy with people being creative with paper, paint pens and scissors at Anefs mask making workshop which created a buzz of interest amongst passers by. Meanwhile, upstairs in the animation atelier, Katrin Rothe coordinated a workshop for the iPad “Tagtool” an app for multiplayer projection art allowing the user to paint and animate intuitively by finger touch. Multiple users can also connect to work collaboratively, and everything works completely free of cables, a fresh and simple approach to creating intuitive and inspired visuals. A total of around forty people joined in with the workshops and for the people representing the Skill Sharing Partnership we achieved a positive breakthrough in how to make future feedback monitoring more effective and more fun! As usual at Czentrifuga events , Theater Unter Druck (theater for the homeless and socially marginalised) represented and made an interactive performance with the gathered audience. Finally, Djs rocked the house until late the next morning making for a very long night… FOTO LINK
Die Noch Längere Nacht der Bilder
Radamask Mobile Siebdruck Werkstatt
Kino Skandal – Animation & Film
Tag Tool Workshop
Unterdruck Theater von der Strasse
Go Go Trash Hat Models Waael (Syria) and Miguel (Swiss) – Czentrifuga am Ostkreuz – Radamask Models Nele and Seli (Pappsatt Collective)
Skill Sharers meeting Nr. 6. Sunday, 21.07.2013 Poland/Gyzyzko. Czentrifuga, Kulturpark 3000 and Reitschule La Drucki are the visiting partners. A three day workshop with Kasia and Siggy (SWM ) demonstrating icon painting techniques and the surrounding history and background to this art form.
-Theory – looking at examples both from Kasias own work and her large book collection on the subject.
-Contour drawing made manually or using templates onto a prepared piece of wood
-Applying a special adhesive “Mikstion” (Shellac) onto the areas intended for gold leaf application.The Mikstion remains slightly wet for up to three hours.
– Applying thin flakes of gold “Gilding”, polishing, protection.
– Binder mixing to the / egg yolk, white wine and honey.
– Mixing/melting a binder with the powdered pigment
– Contouring painting.
– Applying Primery colours
– Layering a glaze
– Graphics / applying strokes of white paint in the “highest light” areas
– Icon description presents fidelity to the model.
-Icon protection with a layer of oil.
The countryside ambience provided a great atmosphere for this delicate and slow work process. Tomek installed a sound sytem and played (what seemed like) the entire album collection from Earth and Sun 0))) to heighten the mystic mood. Previous to the workshop, we arrived just in time for the annual Wiatrak poetry festival and got the chance to meet locals and visiting Polish guests and musicians as well as sample Lenins incrediblly authentic tasting “single malt” schnapps.
On the third day, with the oil still damp on the icons , we travelled from the Wiatrak (windmill) art-farm location in the Masuren village of Grondskie, to Gyzyzko for our exhibition at the Mała – Bezdomna Gallery. accompanied by music of Dj SHO/Dublin – Giżycko / with Lady Kate vocal support and visual projection.
Check out the results! http://foto.poetaster.de/icon_painting_masuria
Heres an overview of how the Network is shaping up , one year into the project…
The initial intention of having a broad European network of fifteen partners reduced to then only five, necessitated a shift of perspective and a new road map. After the initial Kick Off meeting in Berlin, we were able to re-examine and modify the initial working plan (The initial plan is under “ABOUT” at the top the Blog page)
As both old and new hands at skill sharing and Learning by Doing, we decided to initialise as many different open workshop forms as possible, as a testground and process to see what works and what doesnt. Attendance of target groups such as irregular workers and the socially marginalised is always critical to the nature of our work as is the generation crossing bridge we represent ourselves as participants who span the ages from teenage to 70 + .Czentrifuga has attended and helped to coordinate three major meetings so far, in Bern, Berlin and Marseille as well as several smaller workshops and meetings both directly related (e.g. two follow up Abelton Live software and music production workshops by Association Spiral Tribe in Berlin) and indirectly related (e.g. Foto Kiez Exkursion in Berlin).
Two main themes relating to workshops and general skill sharing activities that have developed organically within the partnership are the ideas of “Capture” and “Connect”. The Spiral Tribe Association in Marseilles introduced the idea of capture which refers to an open workshop which moves around the city , making field recordings, photo/video and sketches within a fixed time, then post producing and presenting the data for a public final event. Connect was La Druckis concept for the collective production of a Grundtvig Skill Sharing, five colour, silkscreen Magazine which helped to concretise and provide a visual stimulus for the partnerships future. Collaborative design work and the general creation of socio-creative working atmospheres gives direction and form to the partnership ongoing activities.
The idea behind main meetings is to attract interested other groups and individuals to join in with the ongoing group process. Experts such as Grant from the multimedia collective Ugly Funk sat in at the first meeting and has been involved ever since with graphic ideas and is currently working on an animation production an a from artwork sound and video clips taken at Simons (Association Spiral Tribe) «Table of Contents” open workshops. Tommagnetik helped to facilitate a week long, full packed programme of activities as well as professional foto documenation for the Spiral Tribe meeting and workshop series in Marseilles.
Katerin (animations and documentray film maker within the Czentrifuga atelier complex) and Claudia (a learner at the Table of Contents workshop in Berlin) produced an animation and sound clip. Also Renaud Ruhlmann produced an online, professional video production of the « 23 Years SP23« event co-produced with Czentrifuga onboard MS Stubnitz. All this material is presented along with other video and GIF animations on the partnerships Skill Sharers blog in chronological order, together with a comprehensive overview of all activities so far plus some ideas and updates on upcoming public events and workshops.
Most of these actions were unplanned and people from outside of the partnership informally offered up their free support to care (for example) for quality AV documentation/presentation and also other related tasks such as food and accomodation, venues and technical logistic , in the case of the Marseilles meeting, this meant often being spread over various venues and workspaces.Relatively large audiences were introduced to the Skill Sharing Network by way of self organised events such as Association Spiral Tribes sold out 23rd birthday event on the German culture ship MS Stubnitz in London where Coost from Czentrifuga visited and worked onboard with the crew in the preceeding three months to help realise.
The Berlin event Lange Nacht der Bilder was purposley set to coincide with the Kick Off meeting at Czentrifugas atelier complex. Here, Czentrifuga presented earlier Grundtvig printworks and participants were each given a copy of the “Cosmic Hospital” Grundtvig DIY Manual. Also, we made an info point and presented Grundtvig related artefacts at the “Rohkultur Bonbon” month-long Czentrifuga exposition at the largely attended Neurotitan Gallery , Berlin which included open workshops in screenprint and a broadly attended Do it Yourself 3x5x15 meter landscape installation made from found upcycled materials. Within this Grundtvig linked month long exhibition in Berlin Mitte, Beat (Czentrifuga) also initiated a series of site specific screenprint workshops , producing a large newspaper format review of the organically developing installation ,the exhibits and producers as well as two live music and performance events all within the gallery space.
In an iconic graphic experiment to familiarise ourselves with the tasks at hand and also attract outsiders to the idea of lifelong learning we experiment with images of NFS Grundtvig himself, improvising with the aesthetic for screenprinted flyers and posters as well as digital promotion (blog,websites facebook,you tube etc). Again, this this is part of a natural process (reflection) something not imagineable before the undertaking. An edited online archive starts to build, helping to further focus the network and, true to the open source process, the skill sharers story starts to define itself. This blog has been usefull platform for accurately charts the networks development and linking in new connections and relevant text and A/V material.
The ongoing skill sharing offers new opportunities both within the network and also extending to workshop participants. Both basic and specialist knowledge passes freely around the network, teachers are cast from those with specialised know-how who are willing to disseminate their skills and share lifetimes of experience within in an open source framework. Group communication was generally made more efficient (and fun!) by using the consensus meeting model introduced by Mark Spiral Tribe which was completely new to most of the partners and is documented at the beginning of our blog.
We had no significant problems, however there was an obvious obstacle to realising our initial project description as only five partners (from four countries) out of an initial fifteen applicants, were accepted. This made the initial concept somewhat obsolete, however we were able to turn this around by stressing that when partners organise Grundtvig meetings and/or general skill sharing related events, that they attempt to link up with local/regional organisations and individual experts in order to boost general promotion and number of workshop and event participants. At the same time we maintain email communication and invite both previous Grundtvig partners and also those that were not officially accepted for the Skill Sharing Network. One other modification we made was to emphasise that meetings should take place during the week as many of the partnerships members work mainly on weekends e.g. as musicians and performing/exhibiting artists.
One main point to be adressed more concretely within the partnership : How to improve transparency and gauge the results from activities and workshops? The new proposal is to screen print an attractive mini-poster format questionaire which doubles up with a motif/design on the flipside. Participants can fill this out and it would be photographed before they take it away as souvenir/artefact. With the feedback we could then host this on our foto archive and/or make an interesting Gif animation as well as being given the opportunity to monitor and write up the feedback from participants more accurately.Lets see where the road will take us for the last year of this Grundtvig experiment!
Calling all Grundtvigians and D.I.Y. skill sharers! Our meeting is in Masuria, Poland – the dates are 20 – 24 July with the option to stay on a few days longer to kick back , enjoy the nature and r e l a x …..
20 / 21 is the annual Wiatrak (Windmill) poetry and music festival in the village of Grondski…. its a wonderfully out-of-time, cross-generational chillaxed experience.
On the visual side – Kasia from our hosts Stowarzyszenie Wspólnota Mazurska (SWM) , will be hosting an Icon painting workshop. This is a tradition dating back to Byzantine times and more famously known in a Russian Orthodox context. Basically, its a course of workshops set over three days that illuminates both the theory and the preparation methods and techniques of this mystic , Christianity transcending tradition , whereby the participants get the opportunity to create their own icon and show them off on the 24th at the Galeria /Jazz Club in the nearby town of Gizycko.
The event on the 24th will also be a chance to make a musical contribution to the proceedings. The old windmill has a sound and system, also there are various musical instruments to hand, so its a chance to make some sessions – interested audiophiles will have the space and time to jam and catch recordings and/or samples for remixing and re/deconstruction.
Aside from the audio/visual skill sharing activities, we have the chance to kick back and enjoy Grondski and its remarkable setting, that borders onto ancient forests with many lakes for swimming , rivers for canoeing and horse riding…
There’s nice lakeside accomodation for up to 30 people in a nearby house or camping if preferred,plus theres a great (and only) shop , selling all that you need. Accomodation in the house and provisions are famously inexpensive 🙂
for more infos : firstname.lastname@example.org
Complimenting the main scheduled meetings, Marseilles and Berlin have been organising Skill Sharing Network inspired events. SP23 have produced a most excellent video reportage from their fresh project Art Space 23
Meanwhile, Czentrifuga (Unter Druck e.V.) organised their own “Foto Kiez Exkursion” (Capture Class) in Wedding, Berlin, making photographs of the local area for material for a follow up collective developing and print session at the Stadtbad free culture center
The timing for this meeting was perfect as activities for Marseille Culture Capital were at their peak. Czentrifuga were invited to present their books and zines by print legends Le Dernier Cri (LINK) and alltogether this meant a busy timetable before us. The main group of around thirty people met daily at “Mafaldas” studio, (merci beaucoup Mafalda!) transforming their backdrop mural designs first on to paper templates and then, with chalk , transferring these images onto two large black pieces of material. As well as the main Grundtvig group, there were an extra ten people taking part in the process, approximately half of the particpants had graphic skills and there was a free flowing exchange of tips and tricks that meant everyone had the chance to realise their ideas. The eighty centimeter paper templates were sub-divided into grids which allowed those without less or no graphic experience to easily transfer sketched ideas onto a large format. The templates were then placed on the material, chalking around the templates and/or puncturing the template with small holes and filling with chalk so that designs could be faithfully replicated without any need for freehand graphic skill.
As the individual designs became apparent, there was an ongoing informal discussion as to which designs would optically best fit together and, as the first designs were completed and transferred from the paper grid templates, painting onto the fabric began.
Meanwhile, the SP23 crew drew up a timetable for one on one live audio tutorials and, during the course of the week, the individual skill sharers made their way to the studio of Seb SP23 and were given the chance to learn some basics of composition and arrangement using various midi controlled devices and effects to create and record their own electronic tunes. Seb was busy in the evenings transferring the recordings we had made on the first day in Marseille into samples which the skill sharers could then integrate with Sebs pre-prepared sounds. Of course, with only one hour available per person and without any previous experience, there was less chance of any of the mostly uninitiated group, spontaneously transforming into masters of electronic composition, however, the tutorails did allow everyone to take a peek into this world and get a feeling for how electronic music can be made. Again, the philosphy was to start at “less than zero” in order not to exclude anyone and Seb helped simplify the process by marking the various machines with coloured labels as a simple and effective visual aid.
Parallel print n paint action by Czentrifuga and La Drucki
Daily cooking and eating was made collectively at Mafaldas and evening meals were prepared for the group at Casa Consolat ( Grazie mille!) which also coinceded with the Abelton software workshops where one could either join in or simply spectate and enjoy great Italian food. The last session unfolded into a live jam session as computers were packed away and replaced by guitars, piano, trumpet, violin, pots and pans. The daily process of moving on foot from studio to restaurant to atelier allowed the group to get a good overview of central Marseille and savour its distinctive Arabic/African flavour. The final presentation of the results of our activities was made at Mafaldas with a small crowd of around fifty people visiting. The backdrops were finished during the event itself and displayed on the high walls of the atelier, accompanied by excellent Vj work from Tomagentik and (who was the second Vj?) The audio tracks made at Sebs studio were played back during the course of the evening which was a fun way to include and reflect upon everyones creative input.
And so, this very professionally organised week of activities came to an end , special extra thanks to Tommagnetik for his practical and creative help and some excellent foto documentation, as well as the hospitality of the international collective at the “Feed the Pigeons” squat. Mark has written a complimentary report (dont take this bloggers word for it!) HERE
Capture Day Debbie SP23 co-ordinating the route , and with ongoing professional field recordings made by SP23ers Simon and Sebastian, participants are invited to bring cameras and any kind of recording device such as a pen or pencil with the purpose to capture sounds and images while walking and bussing around the city. These recording will be used directly or inspirationally within the framework of Sebastians “one on one” recording and production sessions going on throughout the coming week and to be showcased on Friday17 May!
Abelton Live Workshops 14, 15, 16 May 20:00 Continuing on from the first 3 part series of skill sharing workshops held two months ago at Ponte Carlos Restaurant in Berlin… presented by Simon Distortion – its about getting to grips with this cutting edge intuitive audio software covering all the important stuff from a blank screen to the finished track. The starting point of tech know how is at “less than zero” so everyone is welcome! 20:00 at Casa Consulat Restaurant – Mille Grazi for the great food!
Design and Paint The mission: to produce a large format wall mural “backdrop” to be installed upon future stages and festivals around Europe, a continuing evolution that gives the artefact “life beyond this moment” . Using the “totemic” example (totem pole) of vertically interconnecting design elements and Celtic designs that connect also horizontally, Mark outlined the idea / proposition…. Its important that each participant has their autonomous idea but also important that each design connects with its neighbour within the overall “patchwork” or grid. The way in which these quadrants connect is the evolving point of open source development … designs are slowly prepared and the idea is discussed within the group looking to find a consensus of agreement about technical points such as the thickness of lines and gaps so each quadrant “fits” together with its neighbour . The quadrant size has to be mutually agreed upon , calibrated and measured so that each design passes together , an attempt to destroy the boundaries …
Kasha (SWM) – Should we know who are neighbours are within this graphic matrix?
Mark (SP23) – What size of grid ?
Do we like the idea? …Yes! … and twelve people begin design work as Debbie goes out to buy the fabric.
Et voila! Skill Sharers are on the way! enjoying the Savoir Vivre of Marseilles!
Coming Up! check this space for updates
Here is a link to another unusual Mars expedition
A marathon skill sharing session! ten hours of workshopping Abelton music making software at Ponte Carlo restaurant, Berlin with audio expert Simon Distortion (SP23) split over three days from the very basics to advanced tips and tricks. 40 people attended and Claudia made the audio track to the Bergfest robot video (link) after taking part in all three sessions….