As part of the Discussion space project, and relating to the nature of the space as a purpose-shifting area, I organised a Spoken Word event. Advertised over Facebook and via Posters around the studio anyone with any writing to share are free to read to the group, any subject or type of material is welcome from reading from books to own poetry. Also due to the 5 monitors in the space anyone is welcome to show shortfilms and talk about them.
Firstly Ruben Green reads a passage from the book 'The Argonnauts' by Maggie Nelson.
The book examines the binaries of gender, exploring the boundaries of hetero and homonormativity, the book follows Nelson as a she falls in love with artist Harry Dodge, who is gender fluid, as Nelson develops through her pregnancy it explores queer family structures. Ruben read an exert which relates to our studio dynamic, due to the way mine, Ruben's and Josh's practice has flowed into each other through the parallel Beck Road, Storage Unit and Discussion Space projects which all discuss access and ownership/purpose of space.
Katie Handley shows her video and performs spoken word piece 'Drafts'
She read aloud her own drafted messages to an ex-boyfriend, 'Drafting' is a millennial practise where when engaging in a text conversation one participant will plan multiple versions of a single message in order to get the point across in the best possible way and to save face while doing so.
in these drafts Katie links her ex to one of her Film works whilst saying 'you need to see how fucking talented I am and what you are missing out on' The video shown in the space simultaneously is a man getting attacked by a swan, a popular viral video. She is the swan here as she examines contemporary narcism and constructed identity through social media and virtual relationships.
Lucie MacGregor then performs her spoken word piece 'String Houses'
She firstly shows a short film, it features her setting up string houses in the woods in Huddersfield, her home town.
The string houses are faint in the dense woodland, over the images are pieces of writings, her own poetry about the disconnection between the North and South and her relationships to home and London. the issue of displacement is prominent I'n my own practise as well as Rubin's and Josh's as we question living in London with the parallel Beck Road project.
After her film is shown once it loops on the large monitor, she begins to read poetry, her writings about the process of building string houses and its connection to her childhood, as she reads she allows the pages to cascade onto the ground much like the string falling from the trees in the woods.
Next I read an excerpt from my zine, 'It's fun, it gives you something to do'
I read a page which deconstructs the relations between poverty and media representation, it examines how our perception of lower culture is established by exploitative television shows. This except talks about television and the nature of exploitation,
Next Jessica Donnelly reads her poetry piece 'Grandma'.
She showed a GIF, (a graphic moving image) of her Grandma's bedroom on the large monitor and read a poetry work about her Grandmother's dementia, again ties were established between Lucie and Jess's works as well as Ruben's readings of Maggie Nelson as anxieties of the home and domestic structure are examined. Similarly my own reading comes to mind as we examine identity and home.
Lenart Kirbis read out some translated text and played a piece of music to the group. 'Firma Ilegal by Dubioza Kolektiv (I read the lyrics from this song) and than I played the last minute of Balkan Funk also by Dubioza Kolektiv. I pasted lyrics from Firma Ilegal into google translate and read what came up.'
I read a second double spread from my zine 'it's fun, it gives you something to do' and then a page from Naomi Klein's book 'No Logo', I focused more on the construct of representation 'No Logo' expands on how brand names such as Nike or Pepsi expanded beyond the mere products which bore their names, and how these names and logos began to appear everywhere. As this happened, the brands' obsession with the youth market drove them to further associate themselves with whatever the youth considered "cool".
Ruben Green reads a poem by Dana Ward, 'Kentucky of Mothers'
Josh Collings concludes the Event by reading some texts about Art Angel's Storage Space Project
Spoken Word event from the perspective of the Broadcast stream