The collaboration will gather nadine's team, a community of women pottery makers working with Barro Rojo (Red Clay), and Xaquixe glass studio. This group of people and skills will realize a mobile growing unit installation presented at the Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca.
This installation will be a layered mix of technics, involving traditional potteries, blown glass, a two thousand years old chinese watering system, and an automatic solar powered water refill system using opensource technologies (Arduino).
We welcome you to the event in Art Space In Between, Chaussée d'Ixelles 211, Brussels on 26th of October!
16:00 Doors open
17:00 - 18:30: Introduction and Stories
18:30 - 19:00 Publications' Launch
19:00 - 21:00 Vernissage with drinks sponsored by the Embassy of Mexico
21:30 Movie-Preview "Memories of Development by Dougald Hine and Nick Stewart at Plateau (rue du Berger 30 Herderstraat, Ixelles)
The exhibition stays open from Oct 27th to 29th 2013, from 12:00 to 18:00.
Two years ago, in Oaxaca, a group of artists and artisans from Europe and Mexico set out on a journey into each other’s worlds. This October, as the cycle of the Euroaxacan Initiative of Transformative Cultures comes to a close, we gather in Brussels to share the fruits of our journeying and to make sense of what we have brought home with us. Our first steps together were taken during the festival of the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and the ongoing presence of the past has shaped our collaborations. Following the invitation of the Mexican thinker and activist Gustavo Esteva, we have tried to find our way ‘back from the future’. The heroic rocket-thrust of modernity becomes the cautionary tale of Laika, the space dog, drifting to a lonely death. In its place, we look for other stories whose heroes know that getting far out is the easy part, it’s finding your way home that is the real challenge. Among the experiences of pilgrimage and economic migration, can we find our own paths home – wherever home might turn out to be – to a place where the exponential projections of industrial time fold back into a more rhythmic sense of temporality? This Homecoming is a chance to gather the fragments and share the memories of the past two years, in the many forms they take. An exhibition of the sculptures and installations made by FoAM, nadine, the Talleres de Zegache and Xaquixe. A launch of The Crossing of Two Lines, the book produced by Dougald Hine and Performing Pictures during the project. A screening of part of Memories of Development, a film centred on a dialogue with Gustavo Esteva. And an evening of stories, ideas and conversations in which the European and Mexican partners reflect on what we have learned together and where it has led us. Join us for Euroaxaca: The Homecoming on Saturday, 26 October, 16.00 onwards.
Participating artists are bartaku (BE), Christina Stadlbauer (BE), Various Artists (BE), Pacome Beru (BE) and Patrick DeKoning (NL), Performing Pictures (SE), Transfer Studio (SE), David Cuartielles (SE) , Dougald Hine (UK/SE), Christian Thornton (MEX), Daniela Porras (MEX), Luis Canseco (MEX) and La Piztola (MEX).
Along with little Dante, Daniela Porras and Luis Canseco are two visual artists based in Oaxaca, Mexico, where they also run an afternoon art school for children up to ten years old. An exhibition of Luis’s work is currently on show at the Musee de los Pintores Oaxaquenos. Both Daniela and Luis actively participated and exhibited at the Fiesta del Maiz y Maguey in Oaxaca in November 2012. As family in residence at FoAM Brussels as the EITC project draws to a close, they explore the cultural impact of the meeting of two continents – Europe and the Americas – nowhere more pronounced than in the contrast between the cities of Oaxaca and Brussels, despite the ongoing process of globalisation.
When I received the invitation to collaborate with project EITC , the words ART, ENVIRONMENT and SCIENCE rang a bell.
This was the opportunity to create a chimera; the development of new art pieces based on the current problems of the future of corn and maguey in Mexico, and our meaning of "home" in the unstable society we live in. So we immerse ourselves in scientific and historical aspects that complemented its importance and meaning.
The interesting thing about these two years of work in the making of EITC is that it has been a very thorough process, teamwork has been wonderful, and also building such a network of diverse proposals with the same axis. The seminars and talks allowed the speech to be created by the reaction of each of the artists involved. It was a continuous learning in the technical side and in the concept development. The future of these plants and the changes that take place in our homes are uncertain so it is ones work to raise awareness of the present situation to adjust the imbalance while we motion
The research during the stay in Brussels consisted on understanding that a residency is not only a place were an artist (out of his natural environment) stays for a period of time.
Our residence was foremost an experience that transcended the walls that provide us shelter. It expanded our universe and the way we perceive everyday life.
I managed to take up new challenges within a constantly changing context in which quick responses were required. I believe that one of the pillars of this model is the creation and maintenance of exchange networks and collaboration with different people with different cultures that marked clearly the different contributions to my vision.
The installation " home sweet home " describes how my home was transformed in a matter of weeks , because I traveled not only as an artist but at the same time as a mother and wife. My everyday life turned into a art piece.
The piece consists of a native blouse from Oaxaca called "huipil" that I wear regularly. Its rectangular shape allowed me to make a poetic action were I unfolded and unstitch the "huipil" as a symbol of mental and emotional openness to the present circumstances. The aim of reflecting on the theme of home, allowed every spectator to be involved and participate in the piece. When taking time to write a letter that details the emotions towards our homes, each of us create a very different an unique meaning.
My pieces are always looking for a playful dialogue with a ludic outcome. So I also created a card memory game as a small travel journal with almost imperceptible details of the city that become important when linking cultures and strengthening ties. Differences and similarities are the two most important motifs in the watercolors on each card of the game and they depict everyday scenes of Mexico and Oaxaca. In summary this project achieves its goals by changing the vision of an artist from Oaxaca immersed in the cosmopolitan Brussels.
Legacy is a poetic project where a machete is decontextualized and reused with an aesthetic and artistic meaning.
Time plays a fundamental role in the installation since in both objects: framework and machete, one can see life represented by lines made with the body in movement. There are links between concepts like time, life, strength, body, wealth, struggle and search.
These connections and the machete movement create the feeling of cutting, and in turn it makes the machete as if it were a pencil drawing strokes caused by its glaze graphite powder, that is how subtle or complex compositions are achieved with tremendous pictorial value.
The use of the graphite in the installation creates a clearer atmosphere with traces of time, this is how the object is highlighted by enhancing the beauty of its details.
The absence of color makes a neutral and honest harmony without any conceptual or visual distractions that could change the piece if color was used.
Furthermore the antique frame with nineteenth-century details, frames the piece and breaks entirely with the rustic appearance of the machete, making a contrast of two objects separated by utility and beauty, a critique of the society of the rich and the poor, in which the bourgeoisie never would stand out the peasant class.
The history of the machete is another important factor for contemplation and understanding of the work from its manufacture in the U.S. -approximately in the 40s- and the fact that it took a journey to Mexico City to Oaxaca where it stayed more than half a century in constant use, (as a record says) in which metaphor is played between life, history and being.
Attrition is noticeable on the handle as its shape deteriorates and was replaced before by a handmade piece of material out of context as it is a car tire. These strange details make a deeper meaning of this simple tool that happens to be something ordinary, into a piece of contemplation that puts emphasis over time and over legacy.
Within this casestudy about the past, present and future of corn, Various Artists developed a datagraphic that abstractly visualises the research and raw data he collected of the past years. The drawing serves as a design for a carpet that is made by a group of weavers of La Vida Nueva. Patricia Tovar bridges the work of the weavers with the artistic work of Various Artists and as an anthropologist does her own research on the story of the milpa and corn in the lives of the weavers.
During the residency of nadine and Various Artists in Oaxaca and March and April 2012, we organised meetings with the weavers, a visit to the milpa and researched the presentation possibilities of the drawing and the carpet in the future.
If perspective is a manifestation of human control, of mastering the unknown and of limiting the immesurable, than how shall we call the introduction of the unknown into the familiar, of the infinite into the limited?
We could call it "travel", for example. Because travel is not about geography and distance, it's about desire, about a loss and about movement.
In the Shop at Galaitstraat Effi&Amir opened a Travel Agency. It's a place where travel can begin, as a Travel Agency is simply a set-up that makes travel a possibility. The Travel Agency tried to enable travel without physical displacement.
We set forth with some questions:
- What's the minimal space needed for a travel?
- What is the difference between here and there?
- Can "elsewhere" be rediscover in the "here"?
- Our destination is not yet defined.
When Patrick and Pacôme went to fix the mobile growing unit, they discovered a wild colony of honeybees hanging in the tree. Immediate action was required, and the glass sculpture "Capturing the Sun" was removed from its exhibition space. Would the bees move into this room, equipped with some fresh comb and honey? Maybe - if their potential house would be close to them, easy to get to?
A rope was reached around a branch and the exhibition piece hauled high up in the air.
However, the bees did not show any interest, for 2 days.
In a last effort, Patrick wanted to show them the way. He constructed a device with a blue plastic bucket and a Stanley knife attached to a 5 metre long pole. He wanted to cut the leaf where the bees were dwelling into the plastic bucket, using his new contraption.
Some attempts, then corrections of the tool, new attempts - we were invited to join Loes and Trudo to the mountains, to visit the community of weavers who had collaborated for the harvest of Maize at 3000 metres altitude - a unique opportunity.
The bees did not go anywhere. Neither did we.
Capturing the Sun was hung back on the three poles.
Since the beginning of the EITC initiative, FoAM and nadine are researching and exploring the two plants that are deeply embedded in Mexican culture. The plants are versatile in applications, have profound spiritual and mythical value as well as a deep importance in daily life in Mexico. Unfortunately, they face challenges in the near future. Fiesta del Maize Maguey uses the transformative power of art and culture to propose creative alternatives and a re-evaluation of their significance.
The exhibited works are the expression of ongoing processes and investigations, show the momentum of the present and the ongoing defining of their identities.
Exhibition open from Mon-Fri, 9am–3:30pm, Sat 9am–1pm. Guided tours in Spanish at 10:00, 12:00 and 17:00, in English on tue, thu, sat at 11:00.
Jardin Ethnobotanico, Reforma s/n esq. Constitución, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca
For more information, please mail email@example.com
or read the article in Spanish in El Jolgorio here: http://issuu.com/eljolgorio/docs/el_jolgorio_cultural_56
Past, present and future of Maize and Maguey - translated into graphics
After visiting Oaxaca, Mexico in November 2011 for the kickoff of the project EITC; we realized there are a lot of artists/ graphic designers that spread their ideas, political thoughts, etc. through graphic prints with a specific visual language. Our main focus in EITC is on Maize and Maguey, and investigates the past, present and future of those plants. Results and findings are as well surprising as shocking.
The data visualization workshop want to try to translate all this information into speaking images that carry the powerful message drawn from the research. The workshop deals with questions like: how can we translate or visualize data into image? which visual (and or textual) language should be developed? how do people read these prints? what should our message be?
The workshop wants to tie together textual research and artistic practice. In the academic world data visualization is used as a way to structure and clearly visualize written texts. this workshop wants to take these figures a step further. The graphic prints are not only a representation of the research, but also an artistic interpretation/ translation.
Aim of workshop:
Transformation is ongoing - and creatives/the arts have a role on commenting on this.
The future is being shaped now and the role of arts is to shed light upon what is going on and upon what is being planned. This situation and transformation can be used as inspiration. The arts can become a platform that comments and proposes creative alternatives.
Contributions to new insights, methods, perspectives, approaches, within a local context, Oaxaca and further.
As means to understand these new futures we choose aesthetics, visualization, graphics, artistic expressions. Both the methods and tools, as well as the materials used can enhance the weight of the message.
Buried clay pot irrigation (pitcher irrigation) has been used to grow a wide range of annual and perennial plants in China, Pakistan, India, Iran, Mexico, and Brazil. In fact, it is even recorded in Chinese texts dating back more than 2000 years. Pitcher irrigation: a water saving technique
In its simplest form, pitcher irrigation entails burying an unglazed, porous clay pot next to a seedling. Water poured into pot seeps slowly into the soil, feeding the seedling's roots with a steady supply of moisture.
Pitcher irrigation uses water more efficiently than other systems since it delivers water directly to plant root zones, instead of to broader areas of the field.
When a pot, filled with water and covered by a lid (wooden or clay), is buried in the soil, the water oozes out of the clay pot due to hydraulic head difference (moisture content difference) between the pot surface and the surrounding soil until it is in equilibrium with the surrounding area.
The rate of seepage of water from pitcher will depend on the type of plant and soil and climatic conditions around the pot. The movement of water is as a result of the uptake by the crops and it continues as long as the plants take it up and it evaporates.
When the surrounding area become saturated with water and the pot is emptied, water will tend to move back to fill up the pot. The system is therefore self-regulating.
The surrounding soil is almost always at field capacity (approximately 80 per cent of soil pores filled with water) as long as the pot is not allowed to dry up completely due to evapo-transpiration.
With this irrigation, deep percolation losses are negligible since water is released from smaller areas, and the rate of water loss can be controlled site to site by the amount of water put in each pitcher.
Water requirements in a pitcher irrigated field can be even less than those of a drip irrigated system (of the same scale) due to the very low permeability of the pitchers, as well as reduced evaporation losses.
The number of pitchers needed per hectare varies with the type of crop. A creeping crop such as bitter gourd requires 2,000-2500 pitchers per hectare. Upright crops, or crops producing a canopy around the pot require more pots, up to 4,000-5000 pots per hectare. Pitchers used for this purpose should have good seepage ability (minimum 15 per cent in 24 hours) in an open air. It was found that six to twelve liter pots are sufficient to grow most vegetable crops.
Ideal for sandy to loamy soil with good porosity (40-60 per cent) and for small farmers [...]. Pitcher irrigation is used for small-scale irrigation where:
* water is either scarce or very expensive.
* fields are difficult to level such as under uneven terrain.
* in remote areas where vegetables are expensive and hard to come by.
One of the advantages of using pitchers for irrigation is the result of their water saving capacity. To compare pitcher irrigation to flood or sprinkler irrigation one must correct for the fact that the scales are radically different. Pitcher irrigation is used for small-scale, while flood and sprinkler systems are for more extensive irrigation.
Taking this into account, pitcher irrigation is still more efficient. The 'pitcher' system saves water up to 98 per cent as compared to flood basin irrigation system.
A farmer can cultivate about 5 acres through pitcher irrigation on hand-pump, pond, or any simple source of water. This method is also efficient in terms of crop production per unit application of water.
The corn grown in Mexico on pitcher irrigation showed that the crop production was much higher than that with conventional irrigation methods. Pitcher irrigation is useful for vegetables, gardening, landscaping, and growing plants in containers - on patios or porches, where the clay pot is buried in the planter box. It is also excellent for rooting cuttings.
At least four plants of most vegetable crops could be grown around one pot. Limiting water delivery to the area where the crop is grown dramatically reduces weed growth - a major constraint on production in many areas of the world. The pots also may be refilled every few days instead of requiring constant attention.
Method Productivity in kg per plant of corn Per cubic meter of water
closed furrow (basin)--------------- 0.7
porous capsule (pressure)---------1.9
deep pipe--------------------------- 2.4
porous capsule (no pressure)------2.5
buried clay pot----------------------2.5 to 6
wick >------------------------------ 4.0
Since the kickoff of the EITC project in 2011, Various Artists started working on a research about corn. He studied the history of the corn and the effect that world politics and population have on the past, present and future of this plant.
The casestudy Il Castillo/ Zea Mays is part of a bigger research of Various Artists called G-ke, that consists of 8 big installations on geopolitics. Corn, as one of Mexico's most important plants economically and symbolically, became a focus within the G-ke project Various Artists travelled to Mexico for EITC.
Artist Bram Borloo developed during his shop residency a temporary artistic intervention in Schaarbeek with a creative program for children and adults in the neighbourhood. The vitrine of the shop acted as the border between in- and outside. The open studio became public space where Borloo wanted to engage and exchange his cultural practice with the highly populated 'quarter'. He invited people for presentations, music concerts and workshops.
for more info about the ongoing projects of VA follow the website: http://various-artists.be
Might shop was a residency of the designers collective Überknackig that questioned the role of commercial and non-commercial spaces. The shop space in Schaarbeek served as a meeting space and room for exchange. Local artisan were invited to exchange their homemade craftwork with other people. Überknackig used the commercial set-up of a shop to trigger cultural exchange.