Behind the Scenes: Making the Love Difference ice cream

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Macedonian Halva with pistachio nuts – Greece
Whipping cream – France
Milk – Australia
Sugar – Malaysia
Eggs – Singapore

“Food is never about just one thing or one culture. You can see where different ingredients and different flavours come from geographically, or by traditions. And when you pull different people together to eat (such a) food, you give opportunity for dialogue about where they come from, the food comes from, and for other issues related as well. So this is the ice cream of Michelangelo Pistoletto.”

— Filippo Fabricca, Love Difference

The session was a multi-hour, multi-thread cook-out with the artist Filippo and the lovely Yoke Peng of the Tuckshop, made so much easier and fun with the Cuisineart Ice Cream Maker. As it churned the minutes away, we sat and chatted about well, the food. More seriously, by the end of the affair, energies spent and the ice cream maker whirring, we could chat freely about Love Difference’s mission (the main thread in our master class series), what makes social engagement in art, and what makes food, like the Love Difference ice cream, a conduit for gathering “in spite of” differences. We even found out Yoke Peng graduated from culinary school, so we were having two ‘chefs’ at work!

Their Pastry Shop project grew into a three-day workshop inviting 40 artists from around the Mediterranean, a process that created over fifty events in thirty different cities, where “food was the way to talk about differences, and the value of such differences”.

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The Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker was sponsored by the TOTT Store. The Tuckshop sponsored the space for this session, as well as the subsequent Post-Workshop Pop-Up. 

 

“Why Is It So Difficult to Talk Critically About Socially Engaged Art?”

This article pulls out the best threads, featuring plenty of quotable quotes, of contemporary thought, and aspiration, from artists, observers, and participant (herself) of socially engaged art. It also includes a great round up of recent such works.

As artist J. Morgan Puett of Mildred’s Lane noted in her recent lecture at the Regis Center for Art, “this work is not new, there’s just a new reaction to it.”  But why? Socially engaged practice is often framed as an alternative to an elitist, exclusionary, and capitalist art world. But the more institutionalized and professionalized social practice becomes (in predominantly wealthy, white institutions, I might add), the more I see a hierarchy emerging that separates social practice knowledge-authorities and those working on the outside. That growing divide raises an important question: Does social practice belong in art museums at all?

I had another one-on-one interaction on that same visit with dancer Dolo McComb, who is a collaborator with BodyCartography Project, a Minneapolis-based choreography/dance confab who were resident artists in thinking making living from late October to mid-November. The afternoon I visited, BodyCartography was rehearsing their piece closer, which is best described as:

a practice in being present.  It is a performance intervention for two strangers (audience and performer) in public space that evolves into a communal experience. It is an invitation for engagement and empathy.  Together we will examine how the space of connection between performer and audience can function as a site for transformation.  closer lays bare the power of live performance to facilitate a re-enchantment of physicality and presence.

For 10 minutes, I followed McComb as she moved throughout the spaces of the Nash Gallery, trying to keep a safe distance, not knowing what to expect. What began as a slightly uncomfortable, self-conscious experience became something like an intimate wordless conversation. At one, transformative moment, McComb was standing right against me, shoulder to shoulder; our breath slowly synchronized, and I felt a great empathy for this woman I’ve never met. I also had an increased awareness of the space surrounding us, particularly when McComb was stretched out on the cold lobby floor while I sat on a bench nearby.

From the article “Why Is It So Difficult to Talk Critically About Socially Engaged Art?” by Ashley Duffalo.

Deadline extended; Master Class with Love Difference: HeART OF COMMUNITY

There’s still time to sign up for the Workshop with Love Difference, our master class with Love Difference in creative approaches to community. To give us more time, we have extended the deadline for submission until 28 January 2015, midnight. We’ve also been receiving inquiries on the 50% discount for Students—yes, the Workshop cost of $60 for all card-carrying Students (this means our international friends as well)!

Join us at our upcoming Public Talk, which precedes the Workshop. We look forward to meeting you there!

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Brack is a ground-up movement. Please spread the word. #BrackGathering.

#BrackChat | HELLO SESSION WITH MATTHEW MAZZOTTA

The following excerpt is from our Google Hangout with Matthew Mazzotta
with Isabella JiangCheng (London School of Economics) and Nasri Shah
on 2 January 2015

[On producing projects in, and outside of North America] I grew up in America, and I made several works throughout the United States. I did one work about climate change, methane, how waste is dealt with in the cities… That project went around the world (…) This was an interesting project – we have a lot of climate skeptics or deniers in the United States, maybe around the world, but definitely in the US – I wanted to bring this concept of climate change into people’s houses through their own means. They enter this project through curiosity, and now they’re talking about it in their houses… but these projects were successful for their context.

But then I was asked to go to Croatia and I presented these works. And even this idea of urban agriculture… producing food inside the city… this is an interesting idea in America where you have big cities, and kids do not know how food is made. I presented these ideas in Croatia, and they were dealing with heavy unemployment. And this idea of “green” was not a big deal to them. And usually where these works have some relevancy… there [in Croatia] they did not. And they also have these huge farmers’ markets where they know where all the food comes from. So the work was dead there. And that’s when I realised I’m an American artist… That’s when I realised, ‘Wow, my work is for a certain audience.’ And so I had a choice: do I make a work that addresses a global thing? Or do I make it super-local to this unique context of Croatia? And so I chose to do [the latter].

Anyway, my next project, I said, how do you make something more universal? And then I did [the Open House project]. And that work was interesting for me because one of the first persons who wrote about it was from Jakarta… and then another one in Vietnam… and then France, South America… and it won a lot of architectural awards. But my thought was like, how can these communities that I’ve never been to find relevance [in this work]? And the woman who wrote about it in Jakarta was not an artist, or an art writer. She is just a journalist, and she said, ‘This is an interesting idea. This could work in Jakarta.’… So then I came up with this idea; because of the internet, we’re totally free now. So, we know this mantra: ‘Think globally, act locally’ – it’s about sustainability. I shifted it now; ‘Act locally, engage globally’. You can do a work anywhere. In the smallest, or littlest town, it’s like when I did that Open House Project, that was only 2,000 people – but that work has gone around the world many times. And so I shouldn’t be scared to work in any community because if the work understands its context, and makes an intervention, any other place that has a similar context can see the value in that work. Open House has a very simple narrative; it’s a public disaster, transformed into a public good, and then it opens up into a community celebration… so this is where I’m directed now. I don’t want to work as an American artist… it’s more of like how can we just go into any context, make it explicit, frame the context and then show art intervention so people have access to both the context and the intervention.

[On the Open House project] I was invited by an arts organisation, and ethically I think that is the only way this social work can be done. You have to partner with a community element that will champion or keep the project going. Otherwise, it could hurt somebody – it could fall apart. A lot of these communities have no resources… it could be a total disaster. Unless that’s there, I think that ethically, you couldn’t do this type of work. You have to partner with a group that will keep it alive.

[On social practice, and policy] I want to work with cities. I think the effect is so amazing. You know, in America, there’re some foundations, and some other organisations, that have gotten the idea of place making… and so now there’s money. And I think the way it goes is this. A city has many employees, and it has a landscape architect, it has the urban planner… I think that those cost a lot of money, those projects, and I think the cities are starting to realise that with much less money, artists can bring about social spaces that are much more unique, they can drive all kinds of things… so I think that cities are very attracted to artists working in this field. Because the impact is from a different angle. So who knows where this will go in the future?

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Matthew Mazzotta will be in conversation at Singapore Art Museum, Moving Image Gallery on 27 January 20157 – 8.30pm alongside art collective Love Difference. The event is FREE with registration via hey@brack.sg

This public talk is part of a Master Class Programme by Love Difference, also Brack’s first in the series.

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Love Difference IDENTITA AL CENTRO

Public Talk, 27 January 2015 @ SAM | Filippo Fabbrica from Love Difference

IDENTITA’ AL CENTRO (Identity at the Centre) is a participatory process to identify the indicators of quality of life in the Old Town of the Montevarchi, Italy, funded by the Regional Office for Participation of Tuscany, through a dialogue between Citizens and Public Administration. This is one of Love Difference’s projects in their community-based art works spanning over a decade.

Filippo Fabbrica, artist and project manager at Love Difference, will be in Singapore for Brack’s exclusive Master Class Programme. In a public talk prefacing the Master Class Workshop, Filippo will present their projects and methodologies they have used in their community-based art projects since 2002.

The talk also showcases Matthew Mazotta, current artist-in-residence at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, who will also share his projects in participatory art.

We look forward to seeing you at the Public Talk on 27 January! At the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) at 8Q, Moving Image Gallery,  7 pm-8.30 pm. The event is open to the public.

MORE INFO

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This public talk is part of a Master Class Programme by Love Difference, also Brack’s first in the series.

JOIN US ON FACEBOOK

BUY TICKETS

HELLO SESSION WITH MATTHEW MAZZOTTA

Brack recently GoogleHung with artist Matthew Mazzotta, who is currently doing a residency in Singapore at the Centre of Contemporary Art (CCA). In this video clip, Mazzotta alongside contributor Isabella JiangCheng discuss his projects Open House (2013) and the Park Spark Project (2010), as well as thoughts about social practice and urban design.

Mazzotta will be in conversation at Singapore Art Museum, Moving Image Gallery on 27 January 20157 – 8.30pm alongside art collective Love Difference. The event is FREE with registration via hey@brack.sg

———————

This public talk is part of a Master Class Programme by Love Difference, also Brack’s first in the series.

JOIN US ON FACEBOOK

BUY TICKETS