Hearing all sides of the story, Paris Art Lab, 2020

Installation view, Paris Art Lab, 2020.

Hearing all sides of the story, Paris Art Lab,

03/03/2020 – 03/05/ 2020.

Bienvenu.e.s / Welcome / مرحبا / Bem-vindo 

English version below

Entendre toutes les versions de l’histoire par le collectif franco-américain The Big Conversation Space, composé de Niki Korth et Clémence de Montgolfier, place au premier plan les enjeux de l’histoire orale, de l’accès et de la diffusion des ressources archivistiques, et du rôle des acteurs et actrices mêmes dans la fabrique de cette histoire. Il s’agit d’une invitation à entendre les points de vue de celles et ceux qui accepteront de participer à la conversation. La discussion et l’écoute approfondie sont des outils collaboratifs qui, à travers le degrés de confiance qu’ils présupposent, mènent les participants à devenir des témoignants, autonomes et responsables. Les questions traduites en quatre langues (français, anglais, arabe, portugais) et matérialisées dans l’espace nous entraînent dans une paresse réflexive, nous interrogeant sur notre rapport au lieu, à l’espace, à nos voisins…. « Comment vous sentez-vous dans cet espace ? » « Saviez-vous que le terrain sur lequel nous nous trouvons actuellement était autrefois une île ? » sont autant d’invitations prétextes au dialogue. L’entrecroisement des témoignages découle d’un partis-pris didactique d’adopter une démarche rigoureusement décloisonnée, de préférer la dissemblance à l’uniformisation. Au coeur de la ville, dans un quartier enclin à la désertification et par ailleurs en pleine transition urbaine, habité par une population mixte du fait de son degrés de fréquentation (touristes, passants, travailleurs, riverains), et du fait de ses diverses spécialisations (architectes, commerçants, ouvriers, institutions publiques) se trouve un microcosme de la diversité existante au sein de nos démocraties. Sommes-nous capables de regarder le point de vue de l’autre dans cette histoire partagée d’une ville et d’un lieu ? Quelles histoires du lieu devraient être préservées et intégrées au discours public et à l’histoire officielle ? Dans une société où l’urgence de la participation active des citoyennes et citoyens à la démocratie technique ne peut plus être ignorée, le regard à la marge est à préserver. Chaque vendredi après-midi, habitués et primo-visiteurs sont accueillis dans l’espace convivial du laboratoire où boissons chaudes leur sont offertes. La saison ponctuée par ces rendez-vous hebdomadaires et des événements spéciaux, permet d’enquêter sur la manière dont l’histoire d’un quartier et d’une zone urbaine est construite, l’impact de la technologie sur l’enregistrement, la connaissance du passé et de la mémoire, et s’il est possible de trouver des couches multiples du passé qui entrent en relation les unes aux autres, à la manière d’une archéologie du savoir. Les artistes regarderons comment les histoires personnelles se rapportent à l’histoire collective et à l’expérience partagée du lieu.

Leslie Veisse avec The Big Conversation Space


Hearing all side of the story by the Franco-American collective The Big Conversation Space, composed of Niki Korth and Clémence de Montgolfier, places at the forefront the issues of oral history, access and dissemination of archival resources, and the role of the actors themselves in the making of this (hi)story. It is an invitation to hear the points of view of those who agree to take part in the conversation. Discussion and in-depth listening are collaborative tools that, through the degree of trust they presuppose, lead participants to become witnesses, autonomous and responsible. The questions translated into four languages (French, English, Arabic, Portuguese) and materialized in space lead us into a reflexive laziness, questioning us about our relationship to place, to space, to our neighbours. “How do you feel in this space? “; ” Did you know that the land on which we are now standing was once an island? ” are all pretexts for dialogue. The interweaving of testimonies stems from a didactic bias to adopt a rigorously decompartmentalized approach, to prefer dissimilarity to uniformity. In the heart of the city, in a district prone to desertification and moreover in full urban transition, inhabited by a mixed population because of its degree of frequentation (tourists, passers-by, workers, residents), and because of its various specializations (architects, shopkeepers, workers, public institutions), lies a microcosm of the diversity existing within our democracies. Are we capable of looking at the point of view of the other in this shared history of a city and a place? What histories of place should be preserved and integrated into public discourse and official history? In a society where the urgent need for active participation of citizens in technical democracy can no longer be ignored, the view from the margins must be preserved. Every Friday afternoon, regulars and first-time visitors are welcomed in the convivial area of the laboratory where hot drinks are offered to them. The season, punctuated by these weekly meetings and special events, makes it possible to investigate how the history of a neighbourhood and an urban area is constructed, the impact of technology on recording, knowledge of the past and memory, and whether it is possible to find multiple layers of the past that relate to each other, in the manner of an archaeology of knowledge. Artists will look at how personal stories relate to the collective history and shared experience of place.

Hearing all sides of the story includes three interviews visible below around archiving, space and inhabiting a place and a territory in relationship with others. We thank the generous participation of Los Angeles Contemporary Archive‘s members Hailey Loman and Saida Largaespada, of architect Sonia Vu from the Encore Heureux agency, and of artist and local resident Marta Hoskins.

Talk Show Festival, La Panacée

Ecoute ! Conversations à l’heure de la reproductibilité numérique

Listen ! Conversations in the time of digital reproducibility

Performance and video, 2018

@ Talk Show Festival, La Panacée, Montpellier, France; curated by Nicolas Bourriaud

Pour le Talk Show Festival, les artistes ont conçu une œuvre qui interroge la manière dont nous prenons part à la conversation dans le présent, à une époque où cette dernière est moins un échange entre des individus qu’un discours diffusé sur des plateformes à un public anonyme, et notre réception filtrée par des algorithmes qui montrent surtout ce qui nous est déjà familier. TBCS propose un échange avec les visiteurs de La Panacée par l’intermédiaire d’un jeu de cartes comportant des questions spécifiques au contexte du festival, où chaque interlocuteur peut réfléchir à son usage des médias et à des notions comme la vérité, la relation entre information et politique, l’art, l’empathie et le discours, montrant comment l’écoute et la tentative de se comprendre peuvent être des outils de résistance.

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How do we play the game of conversation in the contemporary moment, a time where conversation is less a direct exchange between people, and more a speech broadcast on platforms to a semi-anonymous mass whose reception and access is filtered by algorithms that show mostly what we/they want to hear and see, where ideas, images, and words can be reproduced and distributed at unprecedented scales regardless of their reliability? How does this impact the exchange of ideas and discourse about and through contemporary art, and how does this filter bubble interact with the world outside the institution of contemporary art? TBCS intervenes in today’s game of conversation through exchanges with museum visitors based on a deck of playing cards with questions made on the occasion of the Talk Show Festival. Conversations ensue where parties reflect on their use and views of media, truth, art, empathy, and discourse, showing how the work of listening and understanding can be great tool of resistance.


Image : Valérie Bonniol / champ contre champ

Editing : Alyn Divine

Conversations sur l’empathie, Salon de Montrouge, 2018

Conversations sur l’empathie, 2018
Vidéo 5’30(Production Le 149 et Triangle France)
Table de jeu sérigraphiée, chaises, cartes postales impression numérique et sérigraphie, fortune cookies personnalisés, posters impression numérique et encre de chine.

The Big Conversation Space traduit son projet en espace avec Conversations sur l’empathie un titre qui fait référence au sujet du prochain épisode de leur websérie expérimentale BCC Channel. Constitué de divers éléments se voulant les supports opportuns de l’échange et du dialogue tels qu’une table de bridge, ou des fortunes cookies aux messages personnalisés en libre-service, cet espace d’expérimentation et de recherche sera le théâtre de relations aussi sincères que perforées. Conversations sur l’empathie fait à la fois office de préambule, d’extension spatialisée, et de lieu de recherche pour préparer l’épisode éponyme de la websérie. (Mathilda Portoghese, 2018)

 

Conversations sur l’empathie avec et par des visiteurs, pendant la durée du Salon
du 28 avril au 22 mai 2018
ci-dessous : conversation sur l’empathie avec Jamel, Pierre et Anne-Françoise, 6 mai 2018 (photo courtesy des participants)

Ludi-cité, PHAKT, Rennes

Ludi-cité, PHAKT, Centre culturel Colombier, Rennes, Janvier 2017

Partie de The Big Conversation Game organisée sur une invitation de Doriane Spiteri et le collectif Contrefaçons
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Playing of The Big Conversation Game as part of the exhibition Ludi-cité at PHAKT Cultural Center, at the invitation of Doriane Spiteri and the collective Contrefaçons.

From phakt.fr:

Du 05 janvier au 10 février 2017, Play-Full.net (Gildas Paubert, Thomas François et leurs amis) et le collectif Contrefaçons s’associent pour ouvrir au PHAKT Centre Culturel Colombier un lieu dédié à la création vidéoludique. Durant 5 semaines, venez jouer ensemble et, le temps de quelques soirées, échanger autour de ce qui fonde la culture ludique numérique.

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From 05 January to 10 February 2017, Play-Full.net (Gildas Paubert, Thomas François and their friends) and the collective Contrefaçons join forces to open a place dedicated to video game creation at the PHAKT Colombier Cultural Center. During 5 weeks, come and play together and, for a few evenings, talk about what makes digital play culture.


JUMP, CAC BRETIGNY

JUMP, group exhibition at the CAC Brétigny, November 2016 to January 2017, France

“Le saut (JUMP) est le passage d’un plan à l’autre, d’une subjectivité à l’autre, de l’objet vers son usage possible (ou non). JUMP, dispositif spatial conçu par l’artiste Jean-Pascal Flavien, relie deux faces d’une entité—les locaux du centre d’art et son espace numérique, leur propose une traduction réciproque et incertaine. Il y a autant de types de sauts qu’il y a de combinaisons d’éléments possibles.” Commissaire d’exposition : Céline Poulin.

 

For the exhibition JUMP, The Big Conversation Space proposed the installation Conversations sur le pouvoir, composed of a video of the trailer of BCC Episode 4, a table of conversation with conversations cards meant to be activated with the audience, and question forms to be filled by the audience during the exhibition.

 

Installation views of JUMP (commissaire : Céline Poulin), CAC Brétigny, 2016. Photo : Aurélien Mole

Images from the opening of the exhibition JUMP (commissaire : Céline Poulin), CAC Brétigny, 2016. Photo : Aurélie Jacquet

Légende : Vernissage de l’exposition JUMP (commissaire : Céline Poulin), CAC Brétigny, 2016. Photo : Aurélie Jacquet

Légende : Vernissage de l’exposition JUMP (commissaire : Céline Poulin), CAC Brétigny, 2016. Photo : Aurélie Jacquet

 

Installation views of JUMP (commissaire : Céline Poulin), CAC Brétigny, 2016. Photo : Aurélien Mole

Installation views of JUMP (commissaire : Céline Poulin), CAC Brétigny, 2016. Photo : Aurélien Mole

Installation views of JUMP (commissaire : Céline Poulin), CAC Brétigny, 2016. Photo : Aurélien Mole

Installation views of JUMP (commissaire : Céline Poulin), CAC Brétigny, 2016. Photo : Aurélien Mole

Installation views of JUMP (commissaire : Céline Poulin), CAC Brétigny, 2016. Photo : Aurélien Mole

 

Les Incessants

Les Incessants

Villa du Parc, Annemasse, France | 1 April – 29 May 2016

Curated by Céline Poulin, Les Incessants featured artworks that play with imitations and familiar appearances to induce confusion between originals and copies, reality and fiction, exploring themes of deceit, false identities, and copycats.

For Les Incessants, TBCS screened a replay of Secrets, Anonymity, and Transparency from the BCC Channel, and also documented the exhibition and on-site conversations in a video found here.

Photos by Aurélien Mole

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Journal Of Bureaucratic Stories, Indice 50

Journal of Bureaucratic Stories, Indice 50, Paris, 30 April – 15 June 2015

For this exhibition in the storefront artist’s space Indice 50 in Paris, Clémence de Montgolfier used the archive of JOBS that were collected by Niki Korth in the Office/Work show in San Francisco a fews day earlier. Reading the forms and notes in English of the Bureaucratic Stories that various visitors have donated, she then translated those narratives in French while rewriting them as “stories” again. The translation process included filling the gaps, missing information, and acknowledging misunderstandings with mind protocols of guessing, imagination, deduction, logic or invention.

The new stories where then made available to the French audience, while the original archive was available through a flash code online. The Bureaucratic Stories were available for reading by passersby on the street and people from the neighborhood for the duration of the show.

Before 2020, the complete set of documents, English and French, will be sent to the Los Angeles Contemporary Archive for further additions and for continued consultation.
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Office Work, StoreFrontLab

Office Work

Office Work was a social practice project by Carrie Sinclair Katz, Jon Gourley, and The Big Conversation Space (Niki Korth and Clemence de Montgolfier) that took place at StoreFront Lab, in San Francisco from April 4th – 25th, 2015. Visit the official Office Work website here.

Office Work recognized the so-called Kulturkampf ongoing in the San Francisco Bay Area and aimed to use the jargon of ‘work spaces’ to forge a common understanding, welcoming visitors through asking:

“Did we put an office in the gallery, or a gallery in the office? Come see for yourself. Through events, interactive departments, and participatory archives, we repurpose the vocabulary and technology of the office and contemporary art in order to facilitate encounters with the human side of work, the absurd side of labor, and the creative side of knowledge.”

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Events

April 5th – Wikipedia Edit-a-thon: Art + Bureaucracy

Participants learned about Wikipedia’s guidelines and how to edit Wikipedia to help improve articles about art, offices, art and labor organizations, bureaucracy, systems, public art, workplace behavior, and more.

April 17th – Meeting About Nothing

After Samuel Beckett wrote ‘Nothing is more real than nothing,’ (Malone Dies 1959), the (f)utility of modern office meetings has undergone a dramatic shift. Or has it? In efforts to analyze the current state of Nothing, an emergency meeting has been called, which includes presentations by local experts on Nothing: Daniel Yovino, Leora Lutz, Sesh Mudumbai, Jon Gourley, and Niki Korth.

April 22nd – Office Birthday Party

The offices of Gourley and Korth are both celebrating their birthdays, and everyone is invited to the party to enjoy sheet cake and mingling around the water cooler.

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For Office Work, TBCS commenced the Journal Of Bureaucratic Stories (JOBS), an ongoing narrative collection project. 

Concept

Every workplace has a legend, and no story is too mundane

JOBS is an interactive archive and production platform that is collecting narratives involving bureaucracy, offices, studios, libraries, and other places of work for archival purposes and eventual publication in the peer-reviewed Journal of Bureaucratic Stories.

JOBS aims to collect and grow narratives that are donated in the gallery space by willing participants. Narratives sought include stories, legends, tales, myths, or anecdotes that feature bureaucratic experiences or offices, archives, libraries, studios or other ¨places of work” (broadly defined) as element(s) of their subject matter.

How does it work, what will happen with the files?

Narratives are donated through a conversationally-based delivery system to a representative of JOBS who will transcribe them in annotated form in real time. The resulting document is then filed and made available to future participants who may help to grow them independently or through consultation with JOBS by posing new questions via written addenda.

Eventually, the collected stories will be rendered in prosaic form in the official, peer reviewed Journal of Bureaucratic Stories.

How exactly does the “donation of the narrative” work?

Someone comes in and shares a legend/story/tale with the JOBS representative. Notes are then diligently taken by the JOBS representative on the official JOBS intake form, which helps to break the story down into narrative elements for easy historical storage.

Following this is an optional “addendum stage” where viewers/readers of the archive are invited to read these notes and question “what is missing” (i.e., the protagonists age, what time of day the story happened, how big the room was, what year it was, how ripe the mango was, whatever comes to that person’s mind, etc.), and note these inquiries/comments as an addendum. These addenda will then be collected in the same file, available to be referenced by future participants, and the cycle will continue.

Here are some sample excerpts from the documents collected during Office Work:

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Installation and event views :


RADIATIONS 24, Laptopradio

Tarot reading on the radio, RADIATIONS 24, radio program by Emma Souarce and Alexandra Roger, LAPTOPRADIO, Geneva, Switzerland, 2014

Special Radio Program by A. Roger and E. Souarce, a two-day non-stop live broadcast with guest artists, sound artists, music and various events. Laptop Radio is an independent radio project based in Geneva that you can find more about here : laptop radio.

At this occasion, TBCS proposed to read tarot on the radio for three persons for approximately one hour total. The guests were asked to previously think about a question to ask to the tarot (in their minds).

You can download the podcast of Tarot Reading on the radio here (coming soon).

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Creative Commons DIY Salon – I Can Do Anything Badly, 2015

DIY Salon – I Can Do Anything Badly

On Friday 13 February 2015, TBCS organized a Creative Commons DIY salon at Park Life Gallery. The salon featured local artists who celebrate inexperience, sharing culture, and self-taught expertise in projects ranging from publishing and printmaking, to web-based collaborative music communities, to building open source libraries and visualizations.

The salon also celebrated the San Francisco launch of I Can Do Anything Badly 2: Learning By Doing is a Shared Responsibility, a Creative Commons licensed artist’s book by Hoël Duret & The Big Conversation Space, designed by Frédéric Teschner, which features conversational interviews in English and French about DIY culture; from computer programming and independent publishing, to Wikipedia and furniture design. Read the book online here.

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Featured speakers at the Salon:

Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996. It focuses on the intersection of sound, art, and technology. His book Selected Ambient Works Volume II, about the Aphex Twin album of that name, was published by Bloomsbury in 2014 as part of the 33 1/3 series. He has written for Nature, the website of The Atlantic, Boing Boing, Down Beat, and numerous other publications. His artwork has been exhibited in the San Jose Museum of Art; Gallery of Light DUCTAC, Dubai; Crewest Gallery, Los Angeles; and apex art gallery, Manhattan. He initiated and moderates the Disquiet Junto group, where since 2012 musicians respond on SoundCloud to weekly Oulipo-style restrictive compositional projects. Since 2012 he has taught a course he developed on the role of sound in the media landscape at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, where he lives.

Originally from Minneapolis, Carissa Potter lives and works in Oakland, California. Her prints and small-scale objects reflect her hopeless romanticism through their investigations into public and private intimacy. Speaking both humorously and poignantly to the human condition, Carissa’s work touches chords we all can relate to – exploring situations we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives and conveying messages we simply long to hear. Carissa Potter is a founding member of Colpa Press and founder of People I’ve Loved. Since 2010, she has been an artist in residence at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, where she teaches letter­press. She also serves as a mentor in Southern Exposure’s One-on-One Mentorship Program. Carissa received her MFA in Printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2010.

Mahmoud Hashemi is lead developer of the Python Infrastructure team at eBay/PayPal, where he focuses his development and instruction energies on service frameworks, API design, and system resiliency. Outside of work, he enjoys coding on his open-source projects, as well as creating and maintaining several Wikipedia-based projects, such as Listen To Wikipedia and The Weeklypedia.

Luca Nino Antonucci lives and works in San Francisco, California. He received his MFA from the San Fracisco Art Institute in 2010 and is a resident artist at Basement. He is editor and co-founder of Colpa Press, an independent publishing company specializing in art books. He has exhibited his own work widely in San Francisco, New York and Berlin.

Channeling the media

Channeling the media, pour une hantologie de la télévision

A lecture and screening of videos by The Big Conversation Space

Channeling the media was originally created on the invitation of artists Adrien Guillet and Camille Tsvetoukhine, for their performance series Hanter Belleville, Biennale de Belleville III, 2014.

It is a proposition to consider our relationship with the media today as hauntologic, after Derrida’s concept of hauntology.

For technical reasons the performance was cancelled within the Biennale and was then hosted by A Constructed World’s “Salon Jackie”, an informal lecture series in their studio in Paris.

Videos screened during the lecture available below.
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Phoenix Hotel

Phoenix Hotel Conversations

A video document of conversations hosted by Niki Korth at the Phoenix Hotel in San Francisco, May 2012. Korth asked visitors questions about art, politics, philosophy, everyday life, fantasies, and various other topics and recorded their replies and ensuing conversation. Questions were written down on cards that then formed the base for The Big Conversation Game which, unbeknownst at the time, TBCS would develop the following summer.

This video-documentation was edited and sub-titled in French by Clémence de Montgolfier mere days after it was recorded and files were sent to her in France. The video has similarly been exhibited in France, but not yet in California where it was recorded. It was projected in Mulhouse, France, as parts of the Mulhouse 012 Biennale in 2012, and was shown in Paris during the Jeune Creation exhibition at Cent Quatre in 2014, in a video screening curated by Kevin Senant.

 

TASTE! Food. Art. Conversation.

In April of 2010, TBCS* was invited by curator Crystal Nelson to participate via conversation performances in TASTE! Food. Art. Conversation at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. 

TASTE! was described as  “an exclusive, all-sensory tour that is certain to give you something to talk about. Three Bay Area-based artists converge in YBCA’s Grand Lobby for a site-specific, collaborative installation using food, art and conversation to respond to the exhibitions on view in the first floor galleries TASTE!  includes an interactive salon hosted by The Big Conversation Space, hand-crafted spring lemon elixirs by Dori Latman and a global papaya excursion with Chef Ta-Wei Lincurator of the “cultural liberation” brunch at Doc’s Clock.”

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*For the record: TBCS had not yet formed at the time of this invitation, and subsequently materialized/concretized during the exhibition.

Speech Objects

Speech Objects

cur. Etienne Bernard & A Constructed World,

Pavillon du Musée de l’Objet, Blois, France

Conversations took place on 28 May and 17 September 2011 within the Paper Room by Speech and What Archive, upon an invitation by Marie Gautier.

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Art by telephone…Recalled

Art by Telephone…Recalled

curated by Sébastien Pluot et Fabien Vallos

15.11.2012

Cneai (Chatou), CAPC (Bordeaux), ESBA (Angers), SFAI (San Francisco), Emily Harvey Foundation (New York)

telephone

conversations en trois modalités, 2012

Le participant entretiendra des conversations et provoquera des interactions avec ses pairs ou avec des visiteurs selon trois modalités différentes de discours, pendant la durée de l’exposition. Il est recommandé de ne pas activer la pièce de façon secrète mais au contraire de l’exposer et de la proposer à l’autre participant potentiel, afin de s’engager d’un commun accord dans une conversation c’est-à-dire dans une tentative de communication. Les deux parties devraient être informés de manière égale sur le mode de conversation dont il est question ainsi que sur le choix du sujet de conversation.

1/ Conflit : le participant s’investira dans un conflit verbal et tentera de le faire durer aussi longtemps que possible, en utilisant les stratégies de la contradiction, de l’attaque et de la contre-attaque, et en ne se mettant jamais d’accord avec son partenaire. Ceci ne requiert aucune forme de violence verbale mais au contraire l’usage de l’espièglerie, de l’esprit, de la naïveté et de l’humour. N’hésitez pas à faire usage de jeux de mots si nécessaire.

2/ Persuasion : le participant tentera de persuader un visiteur ou un collègue de la bonne qualité ou de la mauvaise qualité de l’exposition, en utilisant aussi bien un panel d’arguments logiques que d’arguments émotionnels (colère, dépit, déception, compassion, pitié, culpabilité). Le choix de l’objet de la persuasion dépendra du hasard plutôt que d’un jugement esthétique donné. Conseil : Tirez à pile ou face.

3/ Apathie : Le participant entretiendra une conversations banale avec quelqu’un, en faisant attention de ne jamais aborder un sujet qui nécessiterait l’utilisation d’opinions ou d’arguments. Conseil : Essayez de vous en tenir à des déclarations et à des observations uniquement.

Si désiré, une variation possible pour les participants est de choisir d’endosser le rôle d’un des personnages de fiction suivants lors des conversations : le Philosophe, le Capitaliste ou le Scientifique. Les participants sont encouragés à faire usage de notes ou de cartes en papiers dactylographiées ou écrites à la main, comme outils de support à la conversation et comme documentation. Les conversations peuvent être répétées ou recommencées si désiré. La pièce ne nécessite pas de documentation autre que ce texte, sauf si le participant en exprime le souhait.

www.artbytelephone.com

(image The Big Conversation Space)