Over the past week we've been transforming a store room at the Royal Academy into Urbania's Red room. We've built tables, a toilet and brought in many of the objects created during our residency at Parkamoor in the Lake District this july.
The red room will be the focal point for our activity for the next 3 months leading to Urbania's Soup Night on 8th January 2009.
I personally like to thank Grizedale Arts, Martino Gamper and Michael Smythe for there support in the development of the project thus far.
Please feel free to pop in to the Red Room.
During our residency week in the lake district we constructed a raft and attempted to lauch and sail it to Peel Island on Lake Coniston. Peel Island is attributed to be the original home of the fictional Wild Cat Island in the Swallows and Amazons books by Arthur Ransome.
These sample photos document the rafts journey from Parkamoor to Peel island.
For more images go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/urbaniacollective/
Following the cancellation of the live studio event at the Rochelle school, Urbania decided to transfer their activity to Grizedale Arts, Parkamoor cottage in the lake distict. For a week in July 2008 the group took over Parkamoor, embarking on a number of projects, these photos document some of the daily activities that took place at Parkamoor, place with no running water or electricity but beauitfully located above lake Coniston.
For more photos go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/urbaniacollective/
During the summer 2008 Urbania members hosted a number of gatherings in the run to our residency at Parkamoor in the Lake district. These meetings often involved food, discussion and specific activities. The attached photos document some of those activities by Oko and Iris.
Back in March 2008 Urbania was reduced from 8 to 6 members. On the 13 March 2008 we declared Urbania with the words "The place is coming with us". The attached photos record that meeting and the first use our uniform, slogan and brick symbol.
I wanted to update those who'd missed yesterdays meeting very exciting and productive meeting, rather go over the discussion in detail i'm just briefly going to outline the agreement we reach amongst the collective.
The framework and reference for the Urbania broadcast will be the former Prime time BBC show Tomorrow's World, the programme ran for 38 years and through a variety of reports, demonstrations and wacky items looked at developments in science and technology.
We thought it would be good to use the structure and framework this TV format provides. Our aim as a crew is to explore, research, develop, produce and eventually present the content for our very own Tomorrow's world, a 45 minute Futurist magazine show, mixing live and pre-recorded elements, actual or imagined future sounds and visions with a live studio audience, presenters, TV set or who knows
The Collective's aim or mission is to explore future trends in Living, working, behaviour, social dynamics, inter-personal relationships etc, etc. Each member of the collective will be allocated a 5 min slot on the show to develop an item of their own interest that can be manifested by a pre recorded film, an interview or live demonstration etc.
The live/work residency at Rochelle will be provide the opportunity for the group to research and develop their projects for the show on site, like TV production company. There is the opportunity to invite guests, enact items for the show, for example Maki's school idea could be brought to life.
At the end of the meeting those present felt this Framework allows us to live, work and interact as collective while developing a dynamic and interesting online broadcast that reflects both individual and collective, interests and skills while hopefully engaging various audiences.
Thanks to everyone who showed up for last nights Marathon meeting at Rochelle, while i don't think we came up with a definitive idea, i felt we did move things forward. Feeling slightly exhausted, I made some very brief notes, as ever feel free to amend, correct etc
I felt there were some overriding issues that we need to tackle and address
1) The purpose/aim/mission of the collective. What do we stand for if anything?
2) The residency and co-habitation of the collective, How is this structured? Rules, continuous presence etc
3) Collective and individual activity, what do we do as a group and individuals?
4) Broadcasting, How do we use the online, TV format of the Agri-Project.
5) Relationship with audiences/viewers, either local Rochelle and Global via web
There have been several strategies that we've looked at over time
A) Using collecting and archiving/recycling as a means of creating dialogue with other groups/individuals. "the Borrowers" or "Wombles"
B) Community service providers, with a mission, providing a platform for others. ie 'The A Team"
C) Parasites:using, responding, subverting and making interventions within and outside the structure of the Agri Project
D)LAST NIGHTS PROPOSAL.
A collective task to build a structure, a tower or bridge, together during the broadcast week. We would seek materials via our broadcasts and with the aid of a guest builder construct the structure from donations.
2 items on last night agenda were:
* Feedback from my meeting Adam Sutherland, (Director of Grizedale Arts/Project Curators)
There's a strong sense that no one knows what we're doing, what our output might be and what materials/ facilities we need. Adam is quite keen for us the adopt strategy C) Parasites in relation to rest of the Agri project.
I got an overview of most of the other Agri projects, many of which are completed or in full production.
* Jessica's future role in the project.
Jess and me had a conversation about her difficulties in participating in the process so far and likely problems in the future. We talked about how she might be involved through a proposal to stage a specific "Soup" event as part of a possible schedule of invited/guest events in the broadcast week. At the meeting there was a strong debate and a mixed response, with several people questioning Jess's ability to commit to the project as a whole. Jess has sent an outline of the soup project for the group and a final decision will perhaps depend on the nature of the final project.
Last night we explored the idea of creating rules for the group to follow, it was decided that two sets of rules would be created to by followed by the group over 2 saturdays
Rules for the 19th January were written by the individual members responding to previous written rules:
Don't write "I"
Pretend it's Sunday
Only eat purple coloured food
Skip at least 5 times
Learn to play 1 tune on any instrument
Dance in public space
Rules for 26th January were written in secret
Eat 5 new things combined
Eat Lunch alone. Reflect on the notion of a group.
Laugh at people driving red cars.
Pretend its Monday
Ask a stranger if you can stroke their shoulder
Compliment 25 people.
The next meeting has been set for Monday 21st at 5pm to 7pm at Rochelle.
I would like to suggest that for the next meeting we all bring to the table our own project outlines, perhaps with drawings/photos that address points 1 to 5 listed above. Time to lay out cards on the table, what do we really want!
We can then in turn present them to the group. I think it might be easier to make a definitive decision in relation to specific ideas and projects. I feel we have to come out of mondays meeting with clear sense of how the project will develop over the next 9 weeks. It would be nice to move on to the next stage of seeing things realized. This is my view, perhaps a bit dictatorial, but please, please let us know your views.
Love and Best wishes
The movie omits chapter 21 from Anthony Burgess' novel.
We deliberately avoided watching the movie before our visit to Thamesmead. On our return to the more familiar Hackney, we watched Kubrick's movie and recognized places as memories of the afternoon. The horse which saluted us when we arrived and was still there at dusk could have been a possible extra.
On saturday 12th January 2008. Members of the Urbania collective took a day trip to Thamesmead, East London. This 60's housing development was used as a location in Stanley Kubrick's 'A Clockwork Orange'.
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