Working meeting in Dortmund, Germany 7. – 9. July 2012
Working Group Coordinator: Metod Blejec
CP has been invited to participate at the "Industrial Festival 2013" (working title) – an interdisciplinary festival concerning notions of industrialization era in the region and internationally, post-industrial condition and future tendencies regarding the industry.
CP's involvement had been possible on Kuba's recommendation to Hartware MedianKunstVerein HMKV based in Dortmund and got involved from the first meeting for working and brainstorming session towards the "Industrial Festival 2013" (working title). The festival had been initiated by HMKV artistic director Dr. Inke Arns, Fabian Saavedra-Lara (an independent curator) and Thibaut de Ruyter (an independent curator).
The festival has been planned for autumn 2013: 6. September 2013 to 5. January 2014 in Dortmund, Germany
Meeting has been possible by support of Polish Institute in Germany.
Meeting the team
After driving from Documenta 13 (Kassel, Germany) we arrive to Unique Hotel in Dortmund where we are welcomed by Inke, Frauke and Fabian. We check in and leave for dinner in Kyoto Japanese restaurant. We make a provisional plan for Sunday 8. July.
After dinner we go to a nearby bar for a concert and a well deserved drink after several days in Kassel.
Sightseeing in larger Ruhr area
This first working session is aimed to getting to know the local industrial sites, mainly coal and steel.
We meet at 9am in a hotel lobby and depart to a car rental.
First destination is a reconstructed post industrial site Zeche Zollen II/IV – a colliery. Site had been built in 1898 as the prestige object of the largest mining company of the time. Its architecture and technical equipment display the desire to impress current in mining in the late German empire.
In the same museum we walk through an amazing and well curated and designed exhibition on "Forced Labour: Germans, the Forced Laborers and the War".
We stop for lunch. We discover an amazing vending machine in men's toilet and buy a "Travel Pussy" (do not ask!!!)
Inke takes us to HMKV galleries in Dortmunder U Zentrum fur Kunst und Kreativitat. Dortmunder U is a contemporary art venue in Dortmund in a newly renovated old brewery.
We are guided through the shows of Suzane Treister – Hexen 2.0, Francis Hunger – History has Left the Building and Arthur Znijewski – Democracies.
We decide, despite wet weather, to continue our industrial sight seeing in Essen. Place of interest is Ruhr Museum, the biggest of its kind and UNESCO's world heritage monument. We walk through we planned reconstructed industrial site and see some outstanding architectural features.
The last sight we visit id HMKV's previous venue at the edge of Dortmund called Phoenix. This area has been know as the most polluted area in Dortmund due to steel industry that vanished a few decades ago. As part of common gentrification this has become a trendy area for new developments. As part of the gentrification, the city of Dortmund created an artificial lake where the chemical process of iron into steel took place. We discuss possible environmental issues.
HMKV's former venue had been closed since 2010 due to potential developments but have since remained closed and unsold. Inke negotiated with the Ruhr region and the city of Dortmund who asked for €1.3mio for the sight alone.
Former Phoenix space is a massive open plan warehouse assuming some 40x80m with roof at some 15-20m where HMKV's exhibitions, events and other activities took place.
We finish a working day at the dinner and we all decide to resume work next day.
Brainstorming & Planning
We meet at 9.30 at HMKV offices for a brainstorming and planning session. We start with the agenda and address some key particularities of the festival i.e. funding and particularly EU funding for Market of Values and possibly the conference.
IN regard to EU funding HMKV needs two partners in order to secure funding. This is EU funding standard procedure. We brainstorm who would be possible partners and decide to try and get Chelsea College of Art and Design as one of the partners since this could increase their publicity abroad. We all understand bureaucratic difficulties regarding the involvement a massive institution, but are convinced this would be the best chance in securing sufficient funding regarding The Market of Values.
INke introduces the festival idea and mention a working title: "Industrial Festival". We brain storm and come up with some provisional alternatives: Post-Industrial (less enthusiasm as it may appear addressing the past of the industrialization and some present), Neo-industrial...
We talk about several notions:
The conversation stays with the question and addresses where the industry left after it vanished from the area.
We talk about the film Loosers & Winners, a film following the dismantling of newly built colliery plant by Chinese workers and shipped to China.
The idea of a film programme arises based on Inke's preliminary plan of including some films in the festival. Metod joins forces with Inke and decide to compile a list of films worth seeing and including in the film programme.
We talk about industrial culture and what is left behind.
Inke gives some particularities re the festival idea. It starts in 2009 in conversation with Thibaut in Phoenix space – HMKV's former and massive post-industrial venue on the edge of Dortmund. Perception changes through time and artists are often at a core or a reason of this change.
Conversation continues on Manifesta 9, another big international biennial, which is currently on show in Gent, Belgium. The topic of the Manifesta 9 is mining industry. More you can read here: Manifesta 9
We start questioning how value(s) are produced in the region of Ruhr...
We go into particulars and define the festival to harbor many satellites under its umbrella making the event complete. We define the satellites: two exhibitions, Conference, The Market of Values and new commissions.
The inevitable question of the audience arises. How is the audience included in the festival, what is their place and for whom the festival is for? The conversation parallels with the time when industry ruled the area. We acknowledge that in fact the workers were the driving force for the industry, the industry was only the platform, the interface. We discuss further and agree that the festival is that interface, and the audience is the driving force. We decide to broaden our horizon and offer activities cross age, profession, interest etc. In this format we offer:
We continue on the audience topic. We are told that the local is small, but shows and events well visited and followed from Dortmund and neighboring towns.
Audience continues to dominate the conversation. We agree that inclusion is better than exclusion and decide to work towards including the audience in the project. Namely finding individuals and/or groups to tell the story of the locality, its history and possible futures.
Kuba presents on a few possible avenues based on past, present and future.
Janek presents on Free/Slow University and talks about Debt as one of the possible avenues for the conference.
Michal brainstorms of possible individuals working in this field.
Kuba and Metod present on CP, Parade, and the Market of Values. We brainstorm on possible stalls. We talk about the language as an important aspect for Market's success.
Walk&Talk is mentioned as a possible practice in Dortmund, although not placed in any aspect of the festival yet. But this may be a sub-event of Market of Values like Film programme.
We discuss about the roles in different satellites of the festival.
We brake for Lunch at the Taj Mahal indian restaurant where conversation lightly continues...
Thibaut razes concern regarding interdisciplinary and the audience.
We discuss budget and deadline re funding applications (see more details below in "Budget + Deadlines" section).
Director of Polish Institute for the western Germany joins us and we all pitch our respecting parts of the festival. Polish Institute can contribute €10-15k max, and we go and brainstorm who else would be possible to fund the festival. Several options arise and we are done with the meeting.
Thibaut leaves for Berlin and we brake for dinner in a local pub for some local food.
Budget + Deadlines
The estimated overall budget of the festival is somewhere around €300k+
This preliminary figure is divided between two shows, conference, Market of Values and new commissions.
There is a race for funding and we need to supply letters of participation for the first upcoming deadline at the end of July 2012. Several aspects of the festival is legible for EU funding: Market and conference, mainly because they involve international community. The trick with EU funding is that there has to be three partners. We brainstorm re partners and come up with several options. One of the options is Chelsea College of Art and Design. We are aware of bureaucratic nightmare with massive institutions (like an University) but would we think that it is worth pursuing this avenue as it would serve both parties on several levels. This has to be discussed with Neil.
In a few weeks before the end of the month we need to provide letters of participation in the festival for the first upcoming deadline. I am to sort CP's letter. We are to ask Neil if it is possible to get a letter from Chelsea / UAL.