Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day 4 feels NORMAL

Day 4 and I'm feeling like I live here. Through a friend of a friend on Facebook, I was put in touch with a young fashion/costume designer, Ayşegül, who has been so gracious inviting me stay with her in Şişli. Being on a budget can put you in touch with some amazing people in the world, in really wonderful ways. I now have a new friend and know what it looks and feels like to actually live here. It is a safe and quiet area with a very LARGE MALL nearby where I pick up the subway. I've been riding the Metro each day and tonight stopped on my way "home" from the symposium at the grocery store to pick up some yogurt and lavash (have not seen another American in the area anywhere nearby). Went to three sessions today, the first was really fun, with mostly artists (my favorites) including MIND THE GAP creator Alexia Mellor who I met a few days ago. I learned about her project to create a portable open source country which operates online called Lokönenie! Downloaded my application this evening to apply for citizenship. This country is the new corporate Babaylon, a self policing, open state, of non immigrants where they speak esperanto! Crazy, right?

My second panel was actually a set of presentations for upcoming ISEA symposia. For 2012 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Andrea Polli invited me to describe Getting Off the Planet for the audience as one of their collaborators. Updates on ISEA 2013 in Australia and pitches for both Toronto and Dubai for 2014 were also discussed. Everyone was very intrigued with the idea of going to Dubai for a conference . . . . what would that mean? what would that look like? I suggested that they do both locations, creating a simulcast event. We will see where they land on this. Following, ISEA administrators asked participants to stay and give input on what they liked and did not like about this year's conference. It ends up that this one has had the best attendance ever with approximately 1,300 attendees including 300 local people. However, with a group of artists/curators, critique is our forte, so they got an ear full of the most minor details!

Tomorrow is another full day of sessions with Sarah Diamond speaking on Data Visualization in the morning and an Urban Ecologies panel in the afternoon. Am also planning to go back to Taskim to see the ISEA exhibition Uncontainable and again to the Galata Tower area to participate in an all day workshop on Food Interactions. Pre-warned, no blog post tomorrow and the next day, it is my birthday. Look for a recap on Wednesday!

Here is some more eye candy from the Biennial:

Marwa Arsanios
Mona Hatoum
Dani Gal (historical record archive, ongoing)

See all the 12th Istanbul Biennial works online HERE

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