ZERO1 Blog

At the node between art discourse and systems of action

As my concept for a web platform for social practice artists and other forces aimed at social change takes shape, my attention also goes to what may help us better understand some aspects of intervening in the social arena.

To start, what happens when social practice artists approach communities:

  • How do they relate to the current global economic system while aiming at empowering groups and villages?

  • What kind of philosophy do they espouse while enabling poor or marginal communities to move as positive agents in their daily lives?

  • Do they oppose the free market rules or do they go with it; is there even a third possibility...

  • How do we assess their strategies vis-à-vis the difference in histories and traditions in different geographical areas?

Architect Christopher Haas wins AIA Merit Award for work in the ZERO1 Garage

It is our great honor to announce Christopher Haas, the architect and exhibition designer at the ZERO1 Garage, has won a Merit Award from the AIA San Francisco’s Design Awards Program for his exhibition design, Discovery (2012), featured during the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial “Seeking Silicon Valley”. The design is an open framework featuring meandering walls and non-classical spaces that evoke in visitors a sense of wonder, play, and discovery.

Hundreds Play Story-Story at South First Fridays

On April 5th during South First Fridays at the ZERO1 garage I invited visitors to contribute to my research by playing a digital collaborative storytelling game. The game was “story-story” (also commonly known as the add on story game), where one person starts a story and then each person takes a turn continuing the story. The modification I made to the original game was having the visitors alternate between adding an image or a sentence that would move the story forward.  It was really interesting to see how the same starting point of the story could lead to so many different narrative directions and I begin to understand how people used images to move a story forward.

Connecting the not so obvious dots

A.N.D. Social Practice – the project I am doing for my ZERO1 Fellowship - is also about connecting aspects of thought and practice that aren’t necessarily manifested; an intriguing and worthwhile pursuit. For this blog, I wanted to share two different projects by two different artists, and extracting what I see as a common aspect in both. These two projects were part of a six-project compilation I prepared for April's South First Fridays event at the ZERO1 Garage. The projects are shown in these two videos – by the way, if you are in a hurry, give yourself more time: the total duration is almost one hour (but it is well worth it)!

So Sorry, by Ai Weiwei, 2009
Sandbox, by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, 2010

April 2, 2013

I find myself in the remarkable position of being a ZERO1 Fellow, engaged in the challenge of bringing underlying ideas from previous work to the foreground to shape a project that enables connections between disparate places and circumstances. The underlying force is empathy; that curious ability to project ourselves into the experiences of others. To paraphrase Susan Sontag in Regarding the pain of others, place ourselves on the map of another’s suffering, bypassing sympathy, and imagine their suffering as our own.[Susan Sontag. Regarding the pain of others (Picador, 2004),103.]

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