some possible new questions for citizen:
What is your nationality?
Do you live in the country you were born in?
Have you ever changed your nationality?
Do you feel that you belong in the country in which you live?
Are you patriotic?
Are you political?
How involved are you in politics?
Do you agree with the actions of your current government?
Do you perceive yourself as privileged?
Where are you on the scale of privilege?
Have you ever used your privilege to further yourself?
What pronouns do you use?
Have you changed your pronouns at any point?
Are you still the same sex as the one you were assigned at birth?
Have you ever been the victim of racism?
Have you ever dated a person from a different race or social background?
How many friends from different nationalities do you have?
Have you ever been the victim of sexism?
Do you think gender equality is ever attainable?
The 6 questions I think work best are:
- what is your passion?
- what is the meal that makes you think of home?
- what is your relationship to (the street/area/shop) you found this card?
- what was your favourite subject at school?
- what is the first thing you do when you wake up?
- what does the word community mean to you?
100 blank postcards bought from shop | white | A6 | £8.95
100 postcards | printed online to our spec | 105x148mm | £45.00
100 posters | printed online to our spec | A3 | £21.00 + delivery
100 first class stamps | £70.00
100 second class stamps | £61.00
- engaging with shopkeepers/barristers/waiters etc asking them questions directly
- physically posting postcards through 100 people’s front doors
- pasting up posters with a QR code on them | asking shops to put them in their windows
I have been thinking about Citizen and how to get people to engage with the project. Walking down the street I always walk faster when I see a ‘Chugger’ (charity mugger) or someone handing out leaflets. I might stop and read something at a bus stop, or an advert on the tube for instance, but I am notoriously difficult to engage with if I think strangers are trying to sell me something. So if other people are the same, how do we get this information? I am thinking of the Big-Brother-esque experiment at Schiphol airport where, desperate to keep the men’s room clean (and maintenance costs down), the powers that be painted a fly in the urinals. An experiment in human behaviour that could work here. Then I started thinking about politics, religion, class and celebrity as the basis for questions we could ask people, and then I thought about food.
Some questions I have been mulling over are:
* what is the best/worst thing about your area?
* what could improve it?
* have you lived in the area all your life? If so, how has it changed?
* if you could live anywhere where would you live?
* what does the word community mean to you?
* do you know your neighbours?
* do you have faith in your government to protect you if something went wrong?
* what is your favourite film?
* what is favourite beverage?
* do you go to art galleries? how often?
* what is your passion?
* do you have any rituals particular to your family?
* if I came to dinner what would you cook for me?
* what is your favourite family meal?
* what is the meal that makes you think of home?
* what is the best place to eat in your area?
I am still thinking of what we will do with the data when we get it, and what we envision the show to look like…
3 more questions that I thought of are:
* what is your relationship to (the street they are on/area)?
* how would you describe it to someone who has never been here before?
* what would you hope for the future of (the street they are on/area)?
My first post of 2020 and I continue to let things go. A new-year clear up that takes no prisoners. Throwing out stuff from my house and saying no to projects that don’t serve me anymore. All that’s left is the wide, open space. A void filled with air that is cleansing and terrifying in equal parts. The need to be busy is always there, but taking time out to think and assess is important for both my life and my practice. What worked last year? What failed? What can I improve on/let go of? It’s a carthartic process, and although fucking scary, it’s also damn exciting.
The events in the UK over the past week have made me evaluate things and perhaps see art in a different way. Right now I feel that ‘real’ art lies in the community. In the conversations we have with people on a daily basis. In the time we take out to listen to other people’s stories. In the small gestures of kindness and compassion. In the respecting of other cultures. In the grass-roots community projects that spring up everyday – and the very act of being involved with them.
My practice has been on my mind for a while now. I struggle with it, and the art world in general. Its pompous pretentiousness; the money; the biennales that pitch up in sinking cities inviting tourists to places that don’t want them. I think about the burning forests and the flooding, the retreating glaciers and the parched lands, and what I do doesn’t rest easy. My creative practice seems very self-indulgent in the face of all this. Recently I learnt the etymology of the word amusement. Amusement is a way to divert the attention, a way of wasting time. Whereas a museum houses the muses and muses talk about love, sex and death. All the important stuff. Museums are places for contemplation not places for pleasurable, diverting games. If the image is power and art has the power to influence people then I need to take this into account.