Process and Ethics in Archiving the Contemporary

Hailey Loman and Saida Largaespada from Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA) discuss why and how they started this non-profit artists archive and what are some conceptual, methodological and ethical questions they have to negociate or resolve in its daily functionning. This discussion took place in the context of the ongoing project Hearing all sides of the story at Paris Art Lab, France.

Process and Ethics in Archiving the Contemporary, by the Big Conversation Space, produced by Paris Art Lab, Film stills, 2020 :

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

Behind the scenes with Ma Li at the Bird Bridge in the Milky Way

In this two part video series, artist Ma Li takes us behind the scenes of her installation and performance project Meet You at the Bird Bridge in the Milky Way at Recology San Francisco’s Artist in Residence program. Built entirely using trash that was scavenged by the artist at the San Francisco dump during her residency, the tangible dimensions to this project are a marvel of repurposed beauty, coming together to re-tell The Cow Herd and the Weaver Girl, an ancient Chinese folk tale of love, community, patience, and celebration. As agents of the birds, the volunteer performers are brought together by the dynamic Ma Li to form a bridge of whimsical movement that reunites loves of all kinds.

Part I includes an interview with the artist about the project and the materials involved, interwoven with footage of the performance rehearsal. Part II includes behind the scenes footage of the performance, after which the tangible materials in the work are examined closely by the curious camera. Following this (and not shown here), the second part of the total work unfolded at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, where Ma Li led another group of volunteers in a choreographed performance to assemble the installation – Gathering Among the Stars.

Part I: Interview with Ma Li

Part II: Peering in to the Performance and around the Installation

Birds and Spaces: A Conversation with Stephanie Vidal

Documentation of the exhibition Birds and Spaces at B4BEL4B Gallery in Oakland, California and interview with curator Stephanie Vidal. Featuring the artists Caroline Delieutraz, Enora Denis, Marie-Luce Nadal, and Géraud Soulhiol, Birds and Spaces explored the notion and the tension of borders at a time when we are feeling the pervasiveness of made-man boundaries (political, technological, sociological and otherwise) by revealing their materiality and questioning the phenomena of possession/dispossession they induce. The exhibition took place October 15th – November 15th 2016.

Video produced for the BCC Channel, a collaboration with le149.net

What is a Chill Anime Beat? Conversation with Mahmoud Hashemi

What really is a Chill Anime Beat? And what role might spreadsheets and pivot tables play in defining one? Hashemi goes behind the scenes of an emerging new art form involving chill music and quality animation, tastefully paired in 6 second loops.

Immerse yourself in more Chill Anime Beats here.

Video by Niki Korth and Alyn Divine; produced for the BCC Channel, hosted by le149.net

Conversations about Power, Fear and Information @ CAC Brétigny

Letters to the Editor : Conversations about power, fear and information @ CAC Brétigny

For the exhibition JUMP, curated by Céline Poulin in the French art center CAC Brétigny, TBCS hosted conversations on the subjects of power, fear and information with visitors. Prompted by a set of question cards, the visitors speak their minds, trying to build a reflection on the spot, sharing their various points of view in the hope of adding to a collective reflection. These excerpts show highlights of several hours of discussion over two sessions.

Video produced for the BCC Channel, a collaboration with le149.net

The Televised Chomsky-Foucault Debate, On Human Nature, 1971 (excerpts)

From the Archives : The Televised Chomsky-Foucault Debate, On Human Nature, 1971 (excerpts)

Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault debate on the subjects of power, justice, knowledge, creativity and the aspiration for a fair and creative society on a Dutch television program almost 50 years ago. Their methods and approaches differ greatly, one being an American linguist, and the other a French theorist, prompting us to reflect on the current state of personal and collective creative freedom in our society, and the evolution of coercion from institutions that claim to nurture and protect such freedoms.

Video produced for the BCC Channel, a collaboration with le149.net

Memory is Built to Match our Values and Identity

Memory is Built to Match our Values and Identity: Interview with Martial Van der Linden

Martial Van der Linden, professor of neuropsychology at the University of Geneva, discusses how memory works in our brains, and how we habitually create “false memories” in accordance with our value systems.

Video produced for the BCC Channel, a collaboration with le149.net

Les Incessants (The Incessant Ones)

An exhibition review at Villa du Parc, in Annemasse, France.

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.

Video produced for the BCC Channel, a collaboration with le149.net

Anonymous Art Show Review: Undercover at the Museum

This covert video features two anonymous visitors to the Paris Museum of Modern Art, capturing their candid conversation and reactions to the exhibition Co-workers, le réseau comme artiste / Co-Workers – the Network as Artist. Taking place in the Fall of 2015, the exhibition is described on the museum’s website as “a selection of international artists trained during the 2000s whose innovative practices are largely based on networking.”

Video produced for the BCC Channel, a collaboration with le149.net

French Prime Minister’s Speech on Surveillance (2015)

Recent laws in France regarding the scope and methods of surveillance and intelligence gathering have raised questions and weariness after the NSA revelations in 2013. Failures in the existing intelligence operations have been shown when facing a growing number of terrorist attacks on French soil from 2012 to 2015. Those threats and the fear they provoke raise many issues around the efficiency of intelligence services and at the same time the preservation of individual rights to privacy and freedom of opinion and religion. With these issues in mind, we present edited excerpts from Manuel Valls defend the law on intelligence operations in April 2015 in front of the National Assembly.

Video produced for the BCC Channel, a collaboration with le149.net

Game Show Competition – Buying & Selling Artwork

A role playing game where two art-lover participants embody a gallerist and a collector and compete to convince or be convinced to buy an artwork. Using an ephemeral piece of art from French artist Ben Vautier, our guests improvise to find arguments – logical or absurd – to define the value of the artwork, in an highly competitive and elusive market.

Video produced for the BCC Channel, a collaboration with le149.net

Vanishing Point: How to Disappear in America without a Trace

Book Review Chronicle – Vanishing Point: How to Disappear in America without a Trace

De Montgolfier reviews a book published in 2006 by Revolver and edited by Suzanne Burner after a text she found on the Internet (sic). The romantic aspects of disappearance are addressed, as well as a popular fantasy to abandon everything and one’s past, family or loved ones, to disappear and start over. We are also reminded of how many more traces of identity we leave behind today in our daily interactions, and how much more difficult it would be to disappear now, only 10 years after the book’s publication.

Video produced for the BCC Channel, a collaboration with le149.net

Teaser

The Big Conversation Space Teaser, 2010

We talk, a tape recording is made, diligent secretaries listen to our words to refine, transcribe and punctuate them, creating a first draft that we can tidy up afresh before it goes on to publication, a book eternity. Haven’t we just gone through the “toilet of the dead” ?

Robot Demos

Robot Demos

a collection of scenarios, ongoing

Robot Demos will be a series of mini videos, based on the eponymous play/scenario written by TBCS in 2011.

We are betrayed by technology. The media is trying to conceal our fundamental and structural inability to communicate. The story deals with a robot, a plot, a psychoanalyst, a scientist, a double-agent, philosophy, chess, an art manifesto, a young revolutionary, prophesized profits, real-dolls, a joke, and what robots might have to say about democracy.

Episode 1 :

with Daniel Yovino, and Alyn Divine as Filmmaker