Awkward Dinner Club No 1.
Awkward Dinner Club No.1 was a proposition for a conversation about how we relate to one another and the time and place we’re in, bodily comfort and discomfort, awkward interruptions and uncomfortable silences. Hosted as part of ‘Reading Week’ at CBS with http://www.fsliverpool.org/.
It has become a time of people saying stuff to each other and none of it actually ever becoming dialogue.
It is the end of dialogue.
She tries to think when exactly it changed, how long it’s been like this without her noticing.
The above is an excerpt from Ali Smith’s novel Autumn and we’re borrowing it for the beginning of a conversation at the first Awkward Dinner Club.
How might the stuff we say to each other become dialogue? It feels like we’re all caught up in the gesture of scrolling, our thumbs swipe up to scroll down and keep loading more. It doesn’t even really matter what. Through technology, we’ve overcome the shortcomings of our local bondedness, but as detached distracted bodies we get lost in these rhythms of scrolling and the auto-play of the next episode.
Breakfast Club began in 2014 as a collaboration with g39 during my Warp Library residency.
Set up as a weekly event for communal eating and dialogue it continues to take place at g39 today and I’ve also since hosted breakfast clubs in Venice with invigilators (2015) and in New York at Flux Factory and Residency Unlimited (2017).
do what you can: exercise x
do what you can: exercise x was the culmination of a 6 week practical exercise, both for us, and for the artists involved. It was about us doing something together – do what you can – with the time and resources available to us. The day was the coming together of many people’s ideas to form a temporary gallery, activating an as yet unrealised structure in the city centre.
To cover the costs of artists travel, materials and refreshments, we collected donations of unwanted belongings to trade at Bessemer Road Market. Thanks to the many kind donations received from Cardiff-based artists, friends and family we were able to raise £270 of alternative funds.
We are really grateful to the thirteen artists who contributed to the project - Catrin Llwyd, Aly Grimes, Rosalie Schweiker, Claire Prosser, Kelly Best, Anne Deeming, Ryan Curtis, AJ Stockwell and Jenny Cashmore, At the beginning of the project we both decided that if, in six weeks time, we were the only two people standing on the gallery footings for a day, well that would be enough. As it turned out we were joined and welcomed by 54 participants and friends.
do what you can: exercise x was a collaboration with curator Jess Mathews and took place August 2015.