-Could you introduce us a bit into your last project?
-Well, I’m still not sure if I could call it a project. I have the feeling that I’m generating a project inside another project and, in terms of terminology, it is a bit confusing to talk about it. Although I’m dealing with an “ongoing project”, I have the suspicion that the project in itself (meaning the action or the format that keeps me busy at the moment) is also a project with its own logics of productions, communication and, of course, decision-making. So, the project unfolds into different layers which crystalizes into different formats that are hosted by this “ongoing project”.
In general terms, if I’m interested in “the project” idea it’s because, one of its meanings, it refers to the idea of going forward. So, there is something very interesting about the idea that the project is moving me forward too. Opposite to that, I’m not interested in the project approach regarding achievement, goals and other forms which are, from my perspective, a bit too aim oriented.
Going back to your question, I have been working on a context which could be a trigger for a conversation between the visitors and the artists involved. It is actually a commission from Graner, a residency space in Barcelona inside Sâlmon Festival which they also organize. As a starting point there was a wish to generate a dialogue between audience and artists while giving visibility to my artistic process. The process they were referring to is APPRAISERS an “ongoing project” which is becoming many things and that started in 2011.
So, “APPRAISERS/this conversation” ended up being a trigger for a conversation. Even though we were working around the idea of dialogue, I found the whole approach of having a conversation much more enriching than the idea of establishing two active positions from the beginning.
-Who are “we”? Are you working with a team?
-From my perspective, there is a sense of team. But that team is not fixed or closed. It is actually a bit more dynamic. Maybe is not a team as such, I don’t know…
What I do know is that APPRAISERS have had many contributors and that they have contributed to different stages of the work. Some parts of those stages have been shared and others not. I believe their contribution is essential for the project to keep moving forward and to the notion of network and affection that I’m interested in.
I presume that having contributors or being in a constant conversation with some people comes as a consequence of my own resources. In fact, I have never applied for any kind of funding. Then, my strategies have to change in connection to my current possibilities and the contexts and I’m in dialogue with. Nonetheless, I have been very lucky to find Raquel Tomàs since she is a supporter and a continuum of the project. She has been involved in many of the formats I have generated. At the beginning, she was involved as a dramaturge but she ended up being an active part of it further than the role of the dramaturge. In fact, we just realized that the dramaturgy of this project is much more on the idea of affects and encounters rather than trying to found tools or strategies for drama. In most of the works we have generated “things looks as they already are”. By that, we explode its own mean of representation as well as its own potentiality for the properties that it already has. At least, that’s something we came out with.
Aside of Raquel there are other people that have been involved in different formats of APPRAISERS. For “APPRAISERS/this conversation” the team of Graner was an active part during the whole process. There was something very interesting on the idea of having a conversation between institution and artist which informed many aspects of the work and some of the decisions that were made. With them, we’ve had meetings more scheduled, they had their questions, I will have mine and then we will go into practicalities.
So, there might a constant relation with something else. A sense of team which arises by the same idea of putting into a conversation what is happening. At any rate, a conversation can happen in many levels and that is what I’m busy with. Thereby, the conversation also happens with the materials and the work in itself and that is one of the valuable aspects of the project.
-I sense you are also talking about a team and, other times, you are talking from your own perspective. I’m assuming you are having a very important position in that work, would you say that you are the leader?
-I like to call myself an activator. There’s something on that position that takes away certain aspects of leadership which I feel not so comfortable with. As an activator, I allow things to be an invitation and non-conclusive. The scores or structures that I work with are platforms where to generate a certain discourse. As a matter of fact, those scores or structures are mine and I activate them by having in consideration the context and the curiosities of the current moment of the project. So, the involvement of contributors is of relevancy as well as when and where the project is taking place.
Today I have the suspicion that the choreographic work of the project is around its logics, the notion of order and the delivery of a context which is affectual, potentiality and concreteness at the same time. Some other days, I just feel that I am “checking” a project that goes on its own.
-What do you mean when you mentioned that “the project goes on its own”?
-The project APPRAISERS wants to deal with data and information in the present. By it, the idea of present becomes at stake. This present attempts to go both ways: past and present. By it, future might come at stake. It is kind of weird to explain, but I’m guessing that the fact of calling a table just by its name gives a shape to the present as well as how the table and the present were constructed. Following to that, the whole data, documents, texts, books, formats are informing each other and already generate an architecture for things to happen.
Actions are ready any time because of its concreteness and not because my artistic decisions. In fact, my artistic decisions are to allow things to be as they are so, as I have said before, they become many things.
One of the positive things of being-with this long project is to be dealing with its constant transformation. That allows me to keep with the idea of moving forward. So, I work with the information generated as a way to allow it to be movable. By it, reformulation it is a very thrilling perspective to have in mind. So, the work generated is the material of the newer becoming. So, I work with the information generated as a way to allow that information to move. Through this potential for movement, reformulation is a very thrilling perspective to have in mind. So, the work generated is, itself, the material of the newer becoming.
I’m not 100% sure about what I just said but maybe it’s good to have it in mind as an approach for myself (laughs).
-Then, does the work always look the same? How are you approaching the materials in relation to this ramification or diversification of formats?
-I don’t know if the work looks the same. What I can say is that it doesn’t generate the same affects. Anyhow, it can be that in one of the formats we focus on something very specific of the project and that, other times, we are doing something rather general.
For instance, the format I activated at Sâlmon Festival was quite a large topic: documentation. What I ended up doing was displaying and composing all the documents I have generated during the last five years of the project. So, even though I was tempted to compose a bit more or to include physical actions inside of the map, it was important that I trusted the material like it was. So, the material being part of a very large room was all that audience would find. I’m inclined to say that what I did was very radical but that was just a consequence of being concrete. At least trying to be concrete.
Briefly, the materials are being treated as materials, as potentials for other logics to appear. In fact, I like to think that there is no big difference between the physical materials, the objects we work with and the people involved in the project. Somehow, we all become subjects and objects of the work: we all become an affect to one another.
**Thanks Chrysa Parkinson for the corrections, clarifications and comments.