Monday, June 07, 2010

AI on their travels again...


It's been awhile since we have blogged and as normal I'm taking advantage of the being on the move to write and contemplate. AI Hq these days is pretty hectic, with lots of changes occurring and us all in and out all the time, what with my PhD at Nottingham University and Matt working alot of the time in Birmingham with Mudlark.

Anyhow i have the pleasure of sitting on a balcony in Athens, overlooking one of the main streets, and if I stand up the Acropylis and Pantheon. Its amazing, and hot (despite the BBCs warnings of rain). Im at an art and creativity conference organised by Atenir. After months of computer science, engineering and geospatial engineering studies (or avoidance of studies!) it is a relief to be back where my heart is, in intense art discussions.

I arrived last night to a a chaotic city, no demonstrations, all seems calm and where I am staying not very skint at all. I am sure away from the main streets and amazing array of posh and high street shops it is a completely different story. The rich continue to shop whereever you are in the world in these days of global captialism.

I had a report to finish for uni last night so stayed in the hotel, couldn't find much more than cheese on toast, so got drunk on the free very potent spirit left in the room and then tried to write stuff. It was lovely when I went to the rooftop bar and sat facing the Acropylis all lit up at night, drinking G+T and working on my laptop. I am one of those sad workaholic world travellers sitting with their laptop for company... like an arts carpet salesman... The life of a mobile artist, I have been thinking alot about the discussions at the Tracing Mobility event last week, and this new world that is part of our locative practice where artists, fly around the world talking, meeting each other and living partly in transit, part virtually, bridging virtual collaborations such as the one with Silvia Leal and part at home in Nottingham with my friends, never mind the travel to and from London. It often feels so disconnected. Technology and connectivity definately makes you more disconnected until you get txts from friends wherever you are in the world.

Today I went to the conference, finally finding Una who is also staying at the hotel with her daughter, she is chairing the panel I am presenting in and has been in email contact through Gabriella who led the paper and is sadly not able to come becuase of the BA strikes.

The conference is really interesting although the panels are huge and strangely diverse (not well curated), I am unsure about this arts academic practice of reading the paper out loud as a presentation and am very surprised that artists would do this. I am thinking about how to give that paper justice and feel comfortable with reading the paper.

I am presenting a paper written by Gabriella, Myself and Steve Benford about the Dark Forest project in context of other performances of nature, within nature, about nature... . Una is presenting about represtentations of climate change which I am really looking forward to hearing.

Found an old friend here, Jools from Nottingham Trent so it all feels a little less lonely and im looking to the Greek Night tonight, whatever that is, should be fun. Hopefully I will get more than cheese and bread (there is a theme to my travels). Eat pig by accident again in the vegetarian pizza things at lunch (another theme of these travels) although managed to gracefully spit it into a serviette without too much drama. Found an amazing vegetarian greek cafe across the road from the conference venue, bought a delicous vegetarian slice of yummy stuff, spilt water all over it, accidently dropped it in the bin and am therefore starving... gonna lose some weight this trip I think if things carry on like this!

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