Wish You Were Here – Cross-Cultural Art Interventions & Documentation

From the last week’s preparations for the presentation of Bill’s & Mike’s and the project team’s work in the “Is One Life Enough?” module it was left to figure out, how they best possible could ensure the documentation of the hands-on activities and the included messages of visitors and audience. The presentation scene was changed to offer a huge space in the middle for the guests to put the bricks of social media together, which they would want to point out for their beliefs of, what future education would contain. The project team’s prepared bricks hang as a web in the ceiling of the platform to be taken copy of and to be arranged on the floor by their visitors.

Hanging Web of Social Media Bricks

Hanging Web of Social Media Bricks

But how would the option for the desired documentation of the brick walls or brick builds the guests would create be established and how would they be given the possibility for further comments?
On Bill’s and Mike’s wish I did some research and looked at, what others recently have done to document cross-cultural interventions and art expressions in a contemporary way.

From 2002 – 2011 “Das Beckwerk” took place:

Introduction to "Das Beckwerk"

Introduction to “Das Beckwerk”

After these 9 years of active work on several world stages, the documentation was put into a website called “Das Beckwerk Museum”, which means as an entirely online documentation of the world affairs which have been touched in Cairo, Beijing, Herning and elsewhere. The intention was to “freeze” the project at the state it had, by the closing day, January 17, 2011.

Closing of "Das Beckwerk" in 2011

Closing of “Das Beckwerk” in 2011

The above mentioned interactive map with the attached content of “Das Beckwerk”’s activities is best explored, by visiting the website: http://www.dasbeckwerk.com/#map .

Closing “Das Beckwerk” down in this way and bringing all information together on the static website’s museum to establish a solid documentation of the work and art expressions, which have been carried out, provides a memorable way of saving the artwork for the future. Anyway, others go other ways with their audiences.

In the book “Wish You Were Here” art & development interventions from Nepal from 2006-2009 are reflected, with the focus, to engage both the readers and the NGO aid workers in mutual understanding:

Introduction to "Wish You Were Here", 2010

Introduction to “Wish You Were Here”, 2010

In the attempt of finding ways to involve multiple cultures in the observed world affairs, they ask:

Consequently they start the book with a 9 pages long questionnaire to the readers with topics to consider such as these:

Questionnaire to the reader

Questionnaire to the reader

This approach definitely intends to involve the readers of a “normal book” and to illustrate the dilemmas we face in our century: There might not be final solutions and truth in many topics of our existence in 2013, but it is essential to take position, to express and to substantiate our point of view.
There are many postcards in this book, which were sent home to increase involvement and cross-cultural understanding:

Postcard from Nepal to Denmark

Postcard from Nepal to Denmark

Even if we have to do with a much smaller project in the presentation of the work in the IOLE module than “Das Beckwerk” and “Wish You Were Here” were, these examples give raise to the idea, both to initiate active involvement in the documentation of the completed work and to open for individual commenting and dialogue hereby.
After bringing these thoughts back to Bill and Mike, they therefore decided to ensure, that they actually would have some documentation by snapshots of the visitor’s 3 dimensional work, which then could be pasted in an open document with space for comments and as a visible inspiration for new guests to come. For this purpose Bill and Mike created 6 interactive boards to be dragged down to the middle of the presentation platform, so that the hands-on and 3D creations easily could be transferred to the 2D open documents, which then could become the start of the project archive.

Project presentation platform with 6 dragged down interactive screens

Project presentation platform with 6 dragged down interactive screens


Nynne Haugaard & Nikolaj Kilsmark: Wish You Were Here. Revolver Publishing, Berlin. 2010

Additional: http://www.art4change.info/index.html


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s