Leslie Lawrence (b.1989) is an artist and film-maker born in Jersey, Channel Islands. He studied in the Dirty Art Department, Amsterdam and the Theoretical Psychoanalytic Studies unit at UCL, London. He now lives and practices in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Leslie Lawrence's practice uses the techniques of farce to probe the outer limits of artistic philosophies as visions of a better future. This work often involves ambitious co-operative projects, with other artists playing exaggerated characters in fantastical settings.
The perspective of these works are based in ideas from the fields of social ecology and anarchist anthropology and so they act as forums on how alternative ways of thinking can address the underlying structure of domination in social relations. The presentation is one of a heavy-handed farce where sci-fi technology and magic powers allow metaphysical and abstract concepts to be literalised, magnifying the power that the adherents of these worldviews wield over events.
Leslie's own appearance within these works, often as the most oblivious or cynically self-interested character, betrays an ambivalence about whether the artist is most at fault for being captured by illusion; negating revolutionary possibility by aestheticising it
Part of theirworking method is a belief that a different relationship to collaborative process should produce different qualities in the outcome. Shared sites of production act as a commons from which a multiplicity of intersecting works with variable authorship can be drawn. This makes the frame of the video permeable and creates a complexity where the definition of prop and art object is made ambiguous, while allowing a sense of the social organisation of the collaborators to be communicated to the audience
This method also feeds into a form of practical research about formalising group-decision making methods so that a creative process embodies the precepts of a particular philosophy or politics. The goal is that this research informs the artistic strategy by demonstrating within the final outcome either a more egalitarian form of organising or an interesting failure to do so.
Leslie Lawrence's films have been shown internationally including venues in New York, London, Moscow, Milan & Athens; as well as in institutions including MK&G Art and Design Museum in Hamburg.
(Follow links for more info)
My work appears in the new publication Life on Planet Orsimanirana: A non-gesamt Gesamtkunstwerk edited by Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe Hamburg, Tulga Beyerle, Emanuele Braga, Lukas Feireiss, Jerszy Seymour and designed by Floyd E. Schulze. Available now from Spector Books
I am very happy to announce that myself and designer Léo Ravy have received a subsidy from Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie NL for our project 'Experiments in Democratic Poster Design' to take place from now until Autumn 2022.
Credit for website typefaces includes Euripedes by Tanvi Sharma
☰ Master of Art & Design -- Dirty Art Department -- Sandberg Instituut ☷ Amsterdam, Netherlands -- 2017 - 2019
☰ Master of Science in Theoretical Psychoanalytic Studies -- University College London ☷ London, England - 2013-14
☰ Hermitage Gathering -- ERGO Collective ☷ Athens, Greece -- 2022 ☲ with Hermitage Sykaminea
☰ ORANJERSEY: Leslie Lawrence & Sophia Simensky -- Jersey Arts Centre ☷ St. Helier, Jersey -- 2022 ☲ with Sophia Simensky
☰ The Fire Sermon -- Heesterveld 57 ☷ Amsterdam, Netherlands -- 2020 ☲ with Sophia Simensky
☰ PACTO Pool Party -- Public Pool Gallery ☷ Los Angeles, California, United States -- 2019 ☲ as PACTO
☰ A Cold open Show! -- ISO ☷ Amsterdam, Netherlands -- 2019 ☲ as the Dirty Art Department
☰ The Wandering School Part II: Revolution or Bust -- Academiae Biennale 2018: Where Plato Taught ☷ Franzensfeste, Fortezza, Italy -- 2018 ☲ as the Dirty Art Department
☰ Introducing... -- Stoa42 ☷ Athens, Greece -- 2018 ☲ with Léo Ravy
☰ COMPACTO -- Aarhus Billedkunstcenter ☷ Aarhus, Denmark -- 2018 ☲ as PACTO
☰ It's Their Thought That Counts -- PACTO x Croydon Arts Store ☷ Croydon, England -- 2018 ☲ as PACTO
☰ TESTCARD -- t-e-s-t-c-a-r-d.com -- ☷ Online -- 2022 ☲
☰ We Stop Everything, We Think, And We Watch Films -- W139 -- ☷ Amsterdam, Netherlands -- 2022 ☲
☰ VIDEOFENSTER -- Ehrenfeld (various outdoor venues)-- ☷ Köln, Germany -- 2021 ☲
☰ WORM.EXE -- Zest Hall -- ☷ Birmingham, United Kingdom - Online -- 2021 ☲
☰ Life on Planet Orsimanirana -- Museum für Kunstund Gewerbe Hamburg -- ☷ Hamburg, Germany -- 2021 ☲
☰ The And of the World -- Dirty Art Foundation -- Sandberg Instituut Graduation Show ☷ Amsterdam, Netherlands -- 2019 ☲
☰ DEMOKRATIE BAUEN -- S27 Kunst und Bildung ☷ Berlin, Germany -- 2019 ☲ with Jerszy Seymour Design Workshop ☵ funded by Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung & Senatsverwaltung für Bildung, Jugend und Familie with be Berlin
☰ An Accelerated Culture -- Friedman Benda Gallery -- ☷ New York, United States -- 2019 ☲ with Jerszy Seymour
☰ PACTO x 18 Malden Road -- 18 Malden Road ☷ London, England -- 2018 ☲ with Léo Ravy
☰ Onassis AiR ☷ Athens, Greece -- 2022 ☲ with Hermitage Sykaminea
☰ LANDESCAPE ☷ Sicily, Italy -- 2021
☰ This Will Take Time ☷ Point Arena, California, United States -- 2019 ☲ with PACTO ☵ funded by Acorn Partners in Education
☰ PACTO:pillow -- MACAO ☷ Milan, Italy -- 2018
☰ PACTO:BARK -- BARK Projects ☷ Athens, Greece -- 2017
☰ The Man Who Was Thursday -- VIDEORANJERSEY, The Jersey Arts Centre -- ☷ St. Helier, Jersey -- 2022
☰ The Man Who Was Thursday -- A Collective Masquerade, The Overkill Festival -- ☷ Enschede, Netherlands -- 2021
☰ Deep Rodding Trio -- Bomba Video Club, Bomba Gallery -- ☷ Moscow, Russia -- 2021
☰ Defragment -- 48 Hour Film project, Galerie De Jaloezie -- ☷ Online -- 2021
☰ Like Warships Ramming -- The Hidden Life of Technology, Plokta Film Festival -- ☷ Amsterdam, Netherlands & Online -- 2021
☰ Year 01 Films -- We Stop Everything, We Think and We Watch Films -- Kino Club Fallow & Dirty Art Foundation ☷ Amsterdam Netherlands, -- 2019 ☲ with Léo Ravy, Daniel Ordonez Munoz, Jean-François Peschot, Sara Daniel
☰ Revolution or Bust! -- Dirty Art Department Accrediation Symposium ☷ Amsterdam, Netherlands, -- 2019 ☲ with the Dirty Art Department
☰ The Long Take -- Cinema of the Damn'D, OT301 ☷ Amsterdam, Netherlands, -- 2019 ☲ with the Dirty Art Department & Gelitin
☰ Revolution or Bust! -- Goleb ☷ Amsterdam Netherlands, -- 2019 ☲
☰ Quality Products Presents: Quality Products the End -- "It’s not about being wanted or ‘Should I have bothered getting out of bed’ -- Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius ☷ Vilnius Lithuania, -- 2017 ☲ with Marina Stavrou
☰ Spiral Symphonies: Soundman Edit -- Sandberg Instituut ☷ Amsterdam Netherlands, -- 2019 ☲ with the Dirty Art Department
☰ Quality Products Presents: Quality Products the End -- "It’s not about being wanted or ‘Should I have bothered getting out of bed’ -- Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius ☷ Vilnius Lithuania, -- 2017 ☲ with Marina Stavrou
☰ DJ House DJ except he doesn’t play house music and all of the songs are about houses -- Bunker Warming! -- Vondelbunker ☷ Amsterdam, Netherlands -- 2019
☰ Les Voizines -- Kunsthal Gent☷ Geny, Belgium -- 2022 ☲ with Lost Dad Publishing
☰ Printing Plant -- Looiersgracht 60☷ Amsterdam, Netherlands -- 2019 ☲ with Lost Dad Publishing
☰ Artist Self Publishing 5 -- ICA London ☷ London, England -- 2019 ☲ with Lost Dad Publishing
☰ Zine Camp -- Worm UBIK ☷ Rotterdam, Netherlands -- 2019 ☲ with Lost Dad Publishing
☰ Apocalypse Wow! -- by Kokoschka Revival☷ Rome, Italy; Buenos Aires Argentina -- 2018 -2019 ☲ as actor
☰ Several Uniques and Their Properties, Group Decision-Making for Egoists -- Lost Dad Publishing ☷ Amsterdam, Netherlands and Copenhagen, Denmark -- 2019
☰ Introducing... -- Lost Dad Publishing ☷ Athens, Greece -- 2018 ☲ with Léo Ravy
☰ Bergen Assembly Side Magazine: The Fortune Teller ☷ Bergen Asssembly & Werlichkeit Books -- 2022
☰ Life on Planet Orsimanirana: A non-gesamt gesamtkunstwerk ☷ Spector Books -- 2021
☰ Illustration for - Other Worlds Not of our Creation by Hannah Kalverda and Sophie Mak-Shram ☷ Tubelight Magazine #116 -- 2021
☰ Your Collective Needs Rules -- in The Best Place at a Party is in the Kitchen: Recipes for Collectivty -- PACTO ☷ Point Arena, California, United States -- 2019 ☲ with PACTO
☰ The fundamentals of group decision making
both nude and otherwise -- in How Do Groups Learn? -- PACTO ☷ London, England -- 2018 ☲ with PACTO
☰ The Hiker -- in Daddy Issues #1: The Issue With Getting Ready To Go -- Lost Dad Publishing ☷ Bari, Italy & Patras, Greece -- 2018
The Hermitage Sykaminea was founded as a place for retreat, and to rethink modes of life and production.
The Hermitage Sykaminea is situated in a terraced olive grove on a slope of Mount Lepetymnos, Lesvos. In 2020 the Hermitage was reconfigured to include an independent artist-run Summer Program as a space for untamed creative work away from metropoles. The Summer Program encourages individual and group-work, and initiates collaborations that continue beyond the summer. A continuing collaboration is the wool project which works on what can be done with discarded wool waste from sheep farming. The project produces new connections with the local area through recontextualising traditional techniques, and has started discussions on models for new employment and opportunities in the region.
In March 2022, Οnassis AiR collaborates with Hermitage Sykaminea, to host the Gathering in Αthens, that will unfold through a series of events put together by previous residency participants and newcomers. Emerging out of the Hermitage Sykaminea Summer Program, the Gathering collectively explores possibilities of how to live and work in supportive cοmmunities in non-urban areas of Lesvos and beyond. Through a practice of collective investigation, the Gathering gives space to share, gather and develop experiences and knowledges on how to live and work closer to nature, and the land. Focusing on themes of isolation, displacement, hospitality and planetary responsibility, it question forms of organisation, financing, how to work with commons and connect to neighbouring cοmmunities. The Gathering is seen as opportunity to build a supportive, nourishing and long-standing network which engages with the local surroundings of Lesvos and similar areas, whilst staying connected to urban-lives.
The Gathering will conclude with a two-day public program at ERGO Collective on March 21-22, 2022, that is open to all who wish to join in, exchange and add to this collective process.
The Hermitage Sykaminea Gathering is organized with the support of Goethe-Institut Athen, Οnassis AiR, Protoulis Master Olive Oil Makers, ERGO Collective and Dolce Publishing.
VIDEORANJERSEY is a screening of video work from exciting young artists practicing in the Netherlands featuring Veronika Babayan, Diana Al-Halabi, Alban Karsten, Kitty Maria, Baratto & Mouravas, Sophia Simensky, and Leslie Lawrence.
The screening is made possible by Stimuleringsfonds NL international co-operation support. The poster design with Léo Ravy is part of our experimental research into democratic poster design project.
This exhibition was made possible by the support of the Creative Industries Fund NL International co-operation fund
ORANJERSEY is a presentation of contemporary art and design from the Netherlands by Jersey-born artist and film maker Leslie Lawrence in collaboration with artist and designer Sophia Simensky. The ORANJERSEY programme aims to bring exciting young artists working in the Netherlands to present their work on the island with the support of the Jersey Arts Centre.
Leslie Lawrence's highly collaborative practice is displayed in video work made in collaboration with Sophia Simensky. The two films address the destabilisation of orthodox work practices and economic morals during the pandemic. Featuring ceramic busts that cry red hallucinogenic tears, office workers forced to do hydroponic farming, and contemporary witchcraft gone awry, these fantasy narratives see esoteric belief systems moving to fill the ideological gaps exposed by crisis.
Sophia Simensky is showing new work derived from research into the blue mountain region of Pennsylvania. Simensky's scenographic approach deploys creative writing, sculpture, and performance to examine how the ideological foundations of the 'Keystone State' rupture into present day America revealing an ideological legacy of colonialism. Objects in beaten metal and polished plaster form allegorical landscapes, which teem with early American mythologies, violence and faith.
This exhibition was made possible by the support of the Creative Industries Fund NL International co-operation fund
During his residency, Leslie Lawrence has been working on the concept for a film with Leonardo Ruvolo based on the Alcamese historical figure Ludovico Corrao and the concept of the 'Hyperobject'. The film follows an investigation into the idea that objects persist in a greater capacity beyond their appearance and that uncovering this hidden reality will hold the key to overcoming the looming economic and ecological disasters of our age. Traversing the fog gates to the Hypersphere reveals that the Sicilian realm is permeated by Ludovico Corrao, who has transcended his personal history and ascended to the status of a Hyperobject that intrudes upon normal reality.
The Man Who Was Thursday is a collaborative film that uses context of shared art production to produce an additional fantasy narrative about a wild anarchist plot to destroy the world. Under the cover of ‘art practice’, an esoteric cabal publicly flaunts their dangerous activity while moving forward with a deadly plan. At the heart of their scheme is a mysterious briefcase that one undercover operative must find before the mysterious figure known only as ‘Sunday’ has the chance to use it.
Based on G.K. Chesterton’s reactionary early 20th century novella, and echoing contemporary conservative fears about a nebulous conspiracy of ‘Antifa’ activists, the film imagines what it would look like if the postmodern values of ‘bohemian’ artists really did turn them into enemies of the state.
VIDEOFENSTER 2021 is an immersive urban video-art and film project that will take place in Cologne’s Ehrenfeld neighbourhood, from the 22nd to the 27th of June 2021. The Event will run in the daytime between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to midnight during the night. Ehrenfeld’s streets will come alive thanks to a trail of audio-visual pieces by international artists and filmmakers. The theme connecting all the pieces is lockdown and isolation during the Covid_19 pandemic. The landscape will be transformed, in ways that will surprise residents and visitors alike. We expect that VIDEOFENSTER 2021 will allow us all to reflect and communicate our experiences and feelings about the changed world we live in.
A project of the Jerszy Seymour Design Workshop with Macao and Assemble,
“ Life on Planet Orsimanirana is an exhibition as a communal living system and a functioning cooperative physical and online radio station which invites you to immerse yourself in an every-color primordial mud of molecular consciousness, an archive of autonomous reflections, DIY futurist narratives and a pumping funk of organic processes. ”(Emanuele Braga, Amica Dall and Jerszy Seymour)
The internationally known artist and designer Jerszy Seymour, together with Amica Dall from the London architecture collective Assemble and Emanuele Braga, member of the artist and activist group Macao in Milan, create a fantastic and humorous world at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MK&G) that oscillates between exhibition, radio station, workshop and performance space. Life on Planet Orsimanirana follows as a decentralized and dynamic world building project; the idea of the "non-total work of art". International and local collectives, activists, artists, designers and the visitors themselves are invited to immerse themselves in this world, make music, take part in workshops and discussions, develop ideas and share them on the radio, to tune in to a fight for the future and to challenge the world in which they want to live. With this project, the MK&G is continuing its efforts to open up to more participation and dialogue. The project is aimed at everyone who would like to be active in the museum and use the power of joint design to think about new ways and answers to the burning questions of the present.
For the second season of PloktaTV, we dive deeper into the Hidden Life of Technology
Technology is good at hiding. We have always lived with technologies. Bricks. Postal codes. Horsepower. Microwaves. The moment they are part of our lives, they disappear from view. Now technology is better than ever at hiding: beneath friendly interfaces, behind high walls, between the lines of the terms and conditions… in the palm of your hand.
Film is good at showing. It can pierce the surface of technology, revealing its secret lives. Film shows what the naked eye can’t see: the near and the distant; the past and possible futures. It makes you think, or stops you thinking altogether, immersing you in a story to enchant your dreams – or keep you up at night. To look with new eyes, or to watch in pure awe.
PloktaTV PloktaTV unravels the relationship between people and technologies, in all their different forms. The films are not just about gears, valves and switches, but mostly about people and about how we are connected through technologies. About what part they play in our mental lives. In our surroundings. In our societies.
Plokta’s program approaches these questions across fiction, science fiction, documentary, computer code and video art. Not simply the domain of filmmakers, these works also allow designers and artists to provide unique insights into these elusive interactions: stories and images to unveil and to speculate.
See for yourself. Challenge your understanding of what technology is, what it does, and what to make of it. Find your fix, something to push your buttons, or to dazzle you with the ghost in the machine.
This work is made possible by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts)
The Fire Sermon inhabits a world where artists adopt outlandish personas against a backdrop of a society in permanent crisis. This short film series follows Solid Mercury and Dead Stirnerman, the hosts of an artistic television broadcast, who try to turn the ever-changing situation to their advantage to support their show.
Things are looking good as the studio radar protects them from outside threats and a government work programme has led to them securing a new intern to work beneath them. However, their plans are upended when their guest, the famous Doctor Design, reveals a new discovery outside the crisis zone.
In this first episode, Sophia Simensky and Leslie Lawrence address the idea of employment as a moral value and question whether there is an opportunity in crisis to prioritise social relationships instead of work as an end in itself. Artist Janina Fritz features as 'Doctor Design' with her ceramic sculpture 'The Dude’ and Constantin Dichtl appears as 'The Intern'.
Visit our cinema room every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in November and December. In the cinema room we show audiovisual artworks by young makers. In addition, we open the private cinema from Thursday to Sunday, which can be booked with your household at 7:00 PM or 9:00 PM
Designed to work within the restrictions created due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This exhibition allowed visitors to book private screenings within the set of the film. Additionally, a web version of the viewing room was designed and made available to coincide with the exhbiition to create accessibility for those not able to visit in-person
Exhibition by Leslie Lawrence & Sophia Simensky.
Hosted by Lost Dad Publishing at Heesterveld 57.
Web + Design by Léo Ravy & Publicity by Sun Chang.
Cinema sound panels by Octave Rimbert-Rivière.
The Fire Sermon 
Written & Directed by Leslie Lawrence.
Costume & Set Design by Sophia Simensky.
Featuring Janina Fritz & Constantin Dichtl.
The Dude  Sculpted by Janina Fritz.
Making Love to the World:
The peregrination of Doctor Design 
Written and published by Janina Fritz.
Layout & Design by Alexander Pfeiffenberger.
This project is supported by the AFK [Amsterdam Fund for the Arts].
For this special screening of Jacques Doillon's 'L'an 01' Kino Club Fallow curated a short series of accompanying anti-work films to run prior to the main feature
ABOUT KINOCLUB FALLOW: In agriculture, to put a field in fallow is to render it "unproductive" for a given time. Fallow is a process of regeneration of the soil where it is conscidered to be "resting" but demands intensive care. Imagine the soil takes a break and goes to the spa for a while.
This practice was very common before industrial farming came into place and was important for the fields to stay healthy. In addition to this, fallow fields were an essential part of the local commons as they could be used by the community, especially for seasonal grazing for example.
Inspired by this process, we organize fallow screenings in our studio to invite our space to rest and become a commons for its visitors. You. Us. The programmation is open to anyone interested in screening a film, a video of any kind or even in adding a performative element to the events in themselves.
Public Pool is pleased to host the launch of PACTO's new publication, The Best Place at the Party is the Kitchen - Recipes for Collectivity . PACTO is an international alliance of artists, artistic researchers and writers, gathered to discuss and explore collectivity, and to support one another's individual endeavors. Rather than being led by form or structure, PACTO seeks to inquire how to work together and what that means through practice-led processes.
The publication “The best place at the party is the kitchen” was created during the PACTO residency at This Will Take Time, Point Arena, California and launched at Public Pool Gallery, Los Angeles, California in 2019.
The publication documented PACTO's projects during the residency and included contributions to our 'recipe book' from invited collectives. My essay 'Your Collective Needs Rules' on the development of the PACTO collectives internal bylaws was included.
In Summer 2019 PACTO Collective convened in California and took part in the This Will Take Time Residency. As part of the residency we used the geological examinations of previous residents to locate a source of clay on the site to dig from. This clay was used for two purposes: first it was combined with natural material to form a cob mix that was used to build a combination kiln and oven; secondly it was refined so it could be used to make ceramics that would be fired in the kiln. The design of the kiln was such that as it was beginning or finishing firing the temperature would be appropriate for cooking, feeding the collective who worked to fire the kiln by chopping wood and tending to the coals
PACTO also published 'The Best Place at the Party is the Kitchen, Recipes for Collectivity' which included writing from other artist collectives, details of the residency kiln project, and recipes that could be made in a kiln oven
This Will Take Time is dedicated to longterm projects and experiments in land use, education, and the arts. This Will Take Time is a nonprofit organization located in Point Arena, California. It was founded in early 2015 by Tara Shi and Benjamin Lotan. It receives funding from Social Print Studio and is fiscally sponsored by Acorn Partners in Education, a local 501(3)(c) nonprofit.
Lost Dad Publishing is an artist-run publishing house based in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Through this platform, we publish printed matter and organized live events mainly focusing on artistic research through fiction, comics, poems, essays and experiments.
Born from a vision of interdependence, we see publishing as a shared space, a space where individual research and practice can co-exist with collective struggles and ideals. Our main interest is to facilitate the circulation of artistic research, the ideas it may explore and to extend the reach of artist's voices.
Lost Dad Publishing is a co-operative body who has helped with the publication and exhibtion of my work. The multi-disciplinary resources of the artists involved allows us to support each other's projects and achieve more than is possible individually.
The great thing about waiting for the apocalypse, is that it frees you from worrying about the future; you can embrace annihilation, and instead, set sail for the edge of the earth.
With ‘The And of the World’ the graduates of the Dirty Art Department embrace the possibility of moving forward from the promise of extinction—to chart a course through the abyss, toward a happy anding.
You are surrounded by group projects that control your life and yet you have no say in them. Relationships to the state and production are hyper-individualised and calls to collective action are viewed with suspicion.
Is belief in an alternative needed? What if the real alternative is to turn to the most individual of individuals, who guards against belief at every turn and mocks the suggestion that there could be higher ideals? If the egoist can be convinced that working together is not only necessary, but actually the default method by which to achieve their desires, then collectivist and egoist projects become one and the same.
Several Uniques and Their Properties considers the group decision as the fundamental unit of group projects and asks what sort of decision-making process would be possible if a union of egoists were to want to form a group and multiply their capabilities.
Also included in this book are short guides to understanding the four main types of decision-making processes as well as guides to forming small collective bargaining groups and example by-laws for creating organisations.
DEMOKRATIE BAUEN (‚Build Democracy‘) is about creating visionary, purpose-built decision-making spaces in which groups and parties with opposing opinions can meet up: Left-wing, right-wing, religious, non-religious, original Berliners, new Berliners, and old Berliners who were once new Berliners. Different ideas and cultures are what make up a democracy – but which room concepts provide the best conditions for debates and working towards a consensus?
As of early 2018, young people from various different youth scenes, refugees from temporary accommodation, school pupils and trainees have all been coming to explore the curious nature of democracy, discuss its future, and share their opinions and experiences. With the help of artists and architects, they then design their utopian parliamentary architecture in various workshops. Impulse workshops, discussions and excursions are all part of the experimental construction process.
All World Assembly is a gathering of people, animals, and objects, with the task of creating a collective vision of a future world where all are granted freedom, equality and care for the souls of all things. Over 2 days, we will find our common languages, decide on ways to organize, and create the plot and setting of a film to share our vision. The confirmed participants include a refrigerator, a rock, a video camera, a bike, water, a scent, a tortoise, a tree, and a few humans of various ages and backgrounds.
All World Assembly was a workshop created by Jerszy Seymour Design Workshop for S27 Berlin. Video production by Leslie Lawrence
A short film in collaboration with Gelitin & Scott Clifford Evans
In 3 days total, we created a one-shot short film with Gelitin. This film consists of multiple performances and set pieces, the content of which was decided in the first day. No topic or theme was off limits—as John Waters once said, “If someone vomits while watching one of my films, it’s like getting a standing ovation.”
You’ve only got one shot at this, baby! In filmmaking terms, a “long take” is one, long, continuous shot that is longer than other shots in the film or longer than what could be considered the average. A long take can immerse the viewer in an environment, reveal information about a character in fluid, uninterrupted (unedited) “real time,” show an event that drives the narrative, or potentially do all three.
You are invited to our Bunker Warming party! We just found someone to join us in our bunker house and we want to celebrate! You can wear your pyjama, some nightcaps will be availbale. Enjoy your night!
The housing crisis in Amsterdam is more than just a story of spiralling rents. People are led into precarious situations, forced to choose between renouncing to have a place to sleep or accepting unstable living. Those who cannot register cannot work in the city, and so they struggle to match ever-increasing rent demands becomes even harder. They are trapped in a perverse circle. These people are students, families, migrants, the unemployed; all forced to tread lightly as the ground constantly shifts beneath their feet. You may be ‘aware’ of this situation but do you really understand what it is like to hide your craving for a comfortable bed at house viewing after house viewing? Where does the idea of ‘housing’ go from here?
Bunker Warming was an initiative of interdisciplinary artist and social designer Sara Daniel aimed at protesting the dire housing situation of Amsterdam. For the exhibition I performed as the literalist DJ character of 'DJ House DJ except he doesn’t play house music and is literally a house and also all of the songs are about houses'
The Vondelbunker is an autonomous cultural center run by volunteers who share the conviction that space is political. The bunker in its current form has been open since June 2011, hosting an unruly and dynamic cultural programme.
A live broadcast of a television show featuring the artists of the dirty art department where they were simultaneously both the stars and production crew. Those viewing the performance could watch the broadcast on a TV set in front of the stage while also experiencing the chaos of the live production moving around them.
Natalia Jordanova and myself hosted 'P.R.O.P. (People's Revolutionary Organisation for Painting)' which imagined a panel discussion show where the hosts would decide on the features of a painting that would 'cause the socialist revolution' but never actually make anything. The segment is a lighthearted critique of the occassional overambitious claims of socially engaged practice.
In the production I provided the technical expertise to simultaneously perform and broadcast live, splitting the camera feeds so that they could be displayed individually in the performance as well as brought into live editing and streamed online
ISO Amsterdam is a collaborative working arena that combines a public programme with exhibitions, workshops, screenings, lectures, performance and music events. An ever-evolving stage for the (inter)national cultural community.
PACTO was originally meant to be a year-long project, consisting in three main group residencies bringing all of the members together, one in September, one in January and one in July, plus one individual research project/residency for each member.
This was the third and final group residency, held in Macao, Milan, from the the 16th to the 26th of July, and curated by :pillow (Alessandro Moroni & Giulia Ratti).
Macao is an independent center for art, culture and research. Avoiding the creative industry paradigm, and trying to innovate the old idea of cultural institutions, we started to consider art production as a viable process for rethinking social change, elaborating independent political critique, and as a space for innovative governance and production models. Our research concerns the labour conditions in the creative industry and cultural sector, the right to the city and new forms of organization and technological solutions for cultural production. Macao is currently based in a former slaughterhouse in the middle of a huge abandoned area not so far from the center of the city; it has a cross-sectorial program hosting performing arts, cinema, visual arts, design, photography, literature, new media, hacking and the meetings of citizens committees. It is coordinated by an open assembly of artists and activists.
The Dirty Art Department was invited to take part in the Youth Biennale and showed Revolution or Bust! & Daddy Issues 2 to contexctualises our projects in Greece.
Contemporary visual art is one of the dominant major forms of expression that unites populations on a global scale through a universal form of communication that overcomes the barriers of language, culture and history. The artists are the architects of this revolution, they are the intellectual force that generates queries, thoughts, interpretations. This force proposes visions, albeit provocative, that are increasingly addressing the world as a whole.
Young artists naturally are at the forefront of exploring new unfamiliar pathways, whilst facing difficult challenges, and attempting to create a more advanced point of view. The event aims to give voice to young artists from all over the world, to unite their thoughts in an exceptionally evocative location and, with time, become an artistic platform of powerful cultural and social content. A project that gives life to an International Youth Event, building bridges between cultures and populations.
The curator of Academiae Biennial 2018, Christian Jankowski, has set the curatorial theme and has selected professors, from the best European Academies of Fine Arts, who are established on the contemporary Art scene. Together they will then choose the exhibiting students. A Consulting Committee composed by renowned individuals from the local cultural institutions will be supporting and supervising the project.
Revolution or Bust! (2018) is built around Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi’s delivery of his ‘Ode to Capitalism’ as the Oracle at Delphi at the beginning of the Dirty Art Department 2018's 'Wandering School Part II'. Footage from the walk is intercut with sections of video works by the artists to ask how different philosophical approaches can lead to action in the face of a revolutionary moment.
Members and friends of the Dirty Art Department left Amsterdam by plane to Bari, and travelled in descending order of technology—by boat from Bari to Patras, by public transport from Patras to Delphi. On arriving in Delphi, they met the Oracle, Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, who presented his Ode to Capitalism and explained the revolution in his terms.
Continuing on foot from Delphi to Athens, over mountains and through valleys, there was time for rumination and chances to realize new links between themselves and with those they met along the way. Once in Athens, they sought out the light through a series of planned and unplanned happenings, lectures, situations and actions. Caught between the impossible fantasy of the Revolution and the real task of self-organising, those involved decided individually and collectively how to proceed and what action to take. These are some residues from the experience.
Inside the Stoa42 space, guests are invited to play a game. They choose Past, Present, or Future and join an artist from the group in the space. Although the topics are collective experiences, it is a meeting between two independent viewpoints, so the introduction remains personal. The attempts to communicate shared experience are unavoidably subjective. Through these parlour games a new collective understanding is generated, but what is being discussed cannot be heard by those outside the room.
Again, the problem of communicating a shared experience to the outside returns. However, there is a third party in the room listening to the discussion. They work to mediate the speculations, thefabulations, the misunderstandings created by the introductions, and attempt to live-type a new description of collective experience for the benefit of the audience outside the space.
In this way the practices of the group come to new shared representation through a series of texts; autonomous in their own right but marked by an almost impossible attempt to fully incorporate the other.
From May to June 2018, Stoa 42 hosted a series of events organized by members of Lost Dad Radio and by artists and designers from the Dirty Art Department, Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam. A rapid succession of short term exhibitions, performances and events, created especially for the space.
In March 2018, the Dirty Art Department, Lost Dad Radio and friends walked two-hundred kilometres from Delphi to Athens and, having arrived, decided to stay. The encounter with the people in Greece at the time but also with Athens and the Stoa42 space was a moment to explore and reflect on the current local context
Over a course of five weeks at Stoa 42 they were joined every Wednesday and Saturday by their new public to experience both the individual and communal adventures of this exciting group as they continued their journey in Athens.
Stoa 42 is a non profit organization. An experimental cultural space with aim to support emergent artists. At the edge between private and public space, Stoa 42 invites each time one artist to show one work. A mini solo show which is open and accessibile to everyone who passes by.
Cosmic Visons out of Spiral Symphonies was a procession to inaugurate and consecrate the new Dirty Art Foundation piece of land in Amsterdam Noord and one of the first workshops for the Dirty Art Department 2017-18.
This marching forward took the form of several micro performances, rituals and healing shamanic sessions ending with with a spiral bonfire ceremony. The Audience were invited to follow and participate in the procession.
Spiral Symphonies (Soundman Edit) follows the performance by using David Haack Monberg's uninterrupted audio recording as the basis to lead the editing of the film footage.
I completed my masters at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam, joining the Dirty Art Department for two years. As a collective we completed a number of exciting projects, notably the 'Wandering School Part II' in Greece and 'The And of the World' exhibition in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost. The latter event inaugarated the exhibition space of the Dirty Art Foundation for 2019 which continues as an alumni network.
From the Dirty Art Department website:
‘The Dirty Art Department offers itself as an open space for all possible thought, creation, and action.
It sees itself as a dynamic paradox, flowing between the pure and the applied, the existential and the deterministic, and the holy and the profane.
It is concerned with individuality, collectivity, and our navigation of the complex relationship between the built world and the natural world, and other people and ourselves.
It’s a place to build objects or totems, religions or websites, revolutions or business models, paintings, or galaxies.
The Dirty Art Department comes from a common background of design and applied art, it seeks however to reject the Kantian division between the pure and the applied.
Since ‘god is dead’ and ‘the spectacle’ is omnipresent, it sees the creation of alternative and new realities as the way to reconsider our life situation on this planet.
The Dirty Art Department is open to students from all backgrounds including designers, artists, bankers, skeptics, optimists, economists, philosophers, sociologists, independent thinkers, poets, urban planners, farmers, anarchists, and the curious.
Please enjoy the trip’
PACTO is an international alliance of artists, artistic researchers and writers, gathered to discuss and explore collectivity, and to support one another's individual endeavors. Rather than being led by form or structure, PACTO seeks to inquire how to work together and what that means through practice-led processes.
PACTO is an actively growing intersectional, anti-hierarchical and decentralized group. PACTO came together through a MilesKm research project initiated in August 2017, and founded itself – themselves – as a collective in July 2018. Currently PACTO members live and work in London, Athens, Leiden, Amsterdam, and Porto. Our projects and working practice, which range from exhibitions to workshops, from discussions to collaborative writing, reflect this trans-locality.
We investigate the possibilities of collective work as an alternative to individualized practice. We understand the art world to be one in which collectivity, communality and sharing are vital, and as such, we seek to facilitate collaborations with other artists, researchers, writers and collectives. We value supportive, self-organizing, alternative and para-institutional models and we aim to reflect on these practices throughout our work together.
Although we are now familiar with the 'alt-right' and an emboldened white supremacists movement, the specific and peculiar symptom of collapse, the election of Donald Trump, was prefigured online much earlier than many realise. Hypersphere (2015) is a novel collectively authored by the 4chan literature board /lit and sees Trump presiding over a 'death orgy' at its finale.
This video tracks follows on from my previous body pillow work to look more closely at the figure of the disenfranchised and alienated subject of late capital who finds companionship in objects. The financial crisis and austerity post-2008 lead to a western version of the shut-in hikikomori, recognisable before as the 'basement-dwelling neckbeard' but now even epitomised by the possibly terroristic identity of the 'incel'. The notion is that deprived of real social relations we see a resurgence of a kind of 'death drive' accelerationism as previous privileged identities also become 'left-behind' and lacking a class analysis they turn to an identity politics, which for them means white supremacy.
The voiceover is taken from 'Beyond the Pleasure Principle' where Freud outlines his controversial notion of the death driving using some questionable understanding of evolutionary science; the text line at the bottom comes from the aforementioned 'Hypersphere' and the 'Accelerationist Manifesto'.