Venice Vending Machine Ed. VII

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Welcome to the Venice Vending Machine a performative action by Marina Moreno. Contemporary art is an open door privileged by the collective unconscious, a direct connection that allows us to intervene in a personal and positive way to its creation and growth. Don’t miss the opportunity to take part in this event, THE VENICE VENDING MACHINE!! You will receive a gift of an artwork in exchange for a brief dialogue with Marina Moreno who asks you to respond to the question: HOW DO YOU VALUE ART? What does art mean for you? Over 400 artists have answered Marina’s call outs over the years, and they have been asked to realize an art piece that can be contained in a sphere of 10 cm in diameter. The spheres are inserted in an automatic distributor that works with tokens, a vending machine in fact, object of our child-like desires, a dispenser of dreams and happy moments. Every sphere encloses a universe that is the imaginary world and aesthetic of an artist. It is a message in the bottle that travels looking for a new and diverse contact of the person who will collect it. In the performance the chance and the absolute gratuity dismantle our position in respect of the art system. The spectator has the right in fact to turn the wonderful handle that will make an art work descend to become his/hers and will connect him/her to the selected artist. It is an artistic act, an upheaval of the state of things, a brutal and vital reflection on the intellectual and economic system of the arts. And there is the art in the daily dimension that arises from the research, from the encounter, from the co-mingling and from the chance. The completion, the goal of the work is the perpetual shift of the consciousness, the construction of an artistic terrain which is a shared everyday domain and where the aesthetic is realized if the better qualities of the human race find the way to coexist and to be shared. Creativity, respect, curiosity, adventure, consistency, acceptance, listening, inclusion, will always be manifest in the Venice Vending Machine of Marina Moreno. Do not miss it! Laura Ostan, curator

The Venice Vending Machine 7 @Tate Exchange Liverpool To be part of the Tate Exchange is very significant this year as we feel that this project is very much in line with the ethos of the TexL program: the VVM is made up of a community of artists that share the desire to collaborate with others and meet people through their art work in a very democratic manner. This space, here in Liverpool represents a new beginning and a point of encounter in a practical way, it is a pilot project we are hoping to develop into a more evolved phase. I have wanted from the start to have the VVM as a vehicle for collaboration, I have envisaged for years for this to happen not just via the ether of the internet but physically having people unite and work together. I am hoping to expand on this and to propose for each future project new workshops, performances and talks around the different parts of the world, meeting the different artists that are part of this community, also for them to meet each other and to collaborate in other projects together. Would it not be great if the VVM was invited to new venues and festivals and more of our artists could be incorporated in these new extended programs? We now would like you to connect with us if you feel that you want this to happen and if you feel that you want to help us whether financially, or via working with us in an administrative way, if you feel you can propose a new venue or new ideas. We also would like to have feedback from the artists on what kind of benefit have they derived in being part of this. I won’t be long here but I will just include the main points about the raison d’être of the VVM as follow: Unlike other art vending machines the Venice Vending Machine (VVM) is not a sales or display mechanism for art works but is a participatory, discursive experience. (Tracey Falcon, artist and researcher). Instead of paying to receive a vended product, participants are invited to perform a negotiation with the vendor on the value of art as payment for a tiny work of art secreted inside a plastic ball and dispensed from the vending machine. Participants won’t see the artwork until the transaction has been performed. VVM was the first to promote the touring of a Vending Machine offering artists a chance to show their work in different cities and venues, offering a diverse audience to artists participating in the project The VVM was the first vending machine to incorporate the performance element as a way to attract the audience to participate and engage in a dialogue about the artwork, the value of art and its social importance. It is inter-disciplinary, we were the first to include the use of Digital formats for either Music, Sound, Video and Spoken Word The VVM was the first to conjoin a community of International artist with a call out that spanned the globe with the idea of forming a “Union of Artists” that would support each other rather than compete in the marketplace. Over 400 artists form our international community.

Focus is on collaboration and social engagement. Each edition of the VVM has a curated theme reflecting location, social, political, local and international issues relevant to the moment. It depends upon a conversation and direct dialogue with the audience about the role of art in our society. The VVM promotes collaboration amongst artists. It examines and tackles ideas surrounding democratic curatorial practice. In the mechanical outcome, each artist is introduced personally to the audience that acquires the artwork and the recipient is encouraged to reach out and contact the artist directly both through the comment we require at the time of acquisition and to undertake a dialogue on their own to get to know the artist and the full meaning of their work. It is approached by both professional and general audiences in particular those who would not generally visit an art gallery thanks to the performance skills and personal approach of Marina Moreno. Some of the artists have had the good fortune to connect with collectors and have their work(s) exposed in a larger marketplace and given the chance to move forward in their careers at a rapid pace. Many of the artists become involved with this as a way to enhance their CV and portfolio with the acknowledgement of the quality and status of both the project and the venues. I would like to take the opportunity here to thank: Lindsey Fryer who has believed in this project from the start and who has helped in so many ways Throughout our shared history. Jessica Fairclough, Alison Jones from Tate Liverpool & Tate Exchange for their immense support. Jamie Holman from Blackburn College and Ed Matthew-Gentle from Creative Lancashire both supporting us in this and other endeavours. Laura Ostan, Camilla Boemio, David Goldenberg and Tracey Falcon for their writings and contributions. Margit Hideg, Susan Comer for their workshops. Our wonderful team of volunteers & art students from Blackburn College: Emma Colbert, Lydia McCaig, Molly Heywood, Liam Hartley, Imogen Holden Above all a big thank you to Michael Meldru, who has been next to me for months to make this happen, and has put together this catalogue, all the graphics for the project and more‌..

Alongside the opportunity for exchange, this week-long project will host a series of workshops, performances, installations with daily talks from artists, academics and curators in relation to the ideas of production. Questioning “what is the value of art?” conversations will focus on consumerism, the collection of art, the process of art-marking and the democratization of curatorial practice. In Tate Exchange’s year of production, The Venice Vending Machine invites you to journey through the seen and the unseen; to encounter the synergy between the invisible concept of ideas and the visible outcome of objects.

SCHEDULE of our extended program @ Tate Exchange Every Day Venice Vending Machine Artist Skype Talks

12.00 – 13.30 14.00 – 14.30

Tuesday 31 July 11.30 – 13.00, Clore Learning Studio

Random Motives

Pick up an instrument or sing a few notes at this drop-in music workshop led by US artist and musician, Michael Meldru. All of the sound created will be mixed together to create a collaborative composition which will then be performed in Tate Exchange on Sunday 5 August. 15.00 – 17.00, Tate Exchange

Blind Date Poetry with Marina Moreno

Exchange your creativity and build a poem with someone new. Discover the space and synergy between the meeting of two people through a common dialogue. Participants will work blind-folded as they write their poetic creation together. Wednesday 1 August 11.30 – 13.00, Clore Learning Studio

Random Motives

Pick up an instrument or sing a few notes at this drop-in music workshop led by Michael Meldru. All of the sound created will be mixed together to create a collaborative composition which will then be performed in Tate Exchange on Sunday 5 August. 15.00 – 17.00, Tate Exchange

Sit Down and Dance

with Marina Moreno

Be inspired by artworks from Tate’s collection and create a small dance through gesture and everyday movements. Turn the wheel of the Venice Vending Machine and receive 3 lucky dips for inspiration. Dances will be performed mostly whilst sat down but participants are welcome to get up at times if they wish. There will be a selection of music available to create your dance or please feel welcome to bring along your own favorite song!

Thursday 2 August 11.30 – 13.00, Clore Learning Studio

Random Motives

Pick up an instrument or sing a few notes at this drop-in music workshop led by Michael Meldru. All of the sound created will be mixed together to create a collaborative composition which will then be performed in Tate Exchange on Sunday 5 August. 15.00 – 17.00, Tate Exchange


Join artist and poet Susan Comer for an ekphrastic poetry workshop. Using the Tate collection as inspiration, create your own poems in response to themes, visuals and questions raised by the artworks on display. Friday 3 August 11.30 – 13.00, Clore Learning Studio

Random Motives

Pick up an instrument or sing a few notes at this drop-in music workshop led by Michael Meldru. All of the sound created will be mixed together to create a collaborative composition which will then be performed in Tate Exchange on Sunday 5 August. 15.00 – 17.00, Tate Exchange

How Does Language Sustain You?

Join artist and educator Margit Hideg an artist originally from Hungary based in Canada for a conversation about co-creation and language. Together, you will explore the connections between aboriginal languages and how history has inherently shaped the languages used today. Saturday 4 August 11.30 – 13.00, Clore Learning Studio

Random Motives

Pick up an instrument or sing a few notes at this drop-in music workshop led by Michael Meldru. All of the sound created will be mixed together to create a collaborative composition which will then be performed in Tate Exchange on Sunday 5 August. 15.00-17.00, Tate Exchange

The Structure of Curatorial Revolutions

Join writer, curator and theorist Camilla Boemio and artist David Goldenberg for a discussion on curatorial methodologies. Camilla will speak about her own curatorial practice as well as new methods and artistic practices. David will look at artworks that involve audience participation and question how they are displayed and ‘activated’ in gallery contexts. Both talks will be followed by an open discussion.

Sunday 5 August 11.30 – 12.00, Tate Exchange

Random Motives Playback

Listen back to the collaborative composition created throughout the week with musician Michael Meldru. This performance will be the culmination of participant recordings gathered between 31 July – 3 August. 14.00 – 14.45, Tate Exchange

Fashion Victim

Critically observing Tate Exchange’s theme of ‘production’ whilst addressing issues connecting to labour and wage, artist Marina Moreno will begin her performance in front of the Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Venus of the Rags. Comical and political, this performance will roam around the galleries and culminate in Tate Exchange. This week of activities has been programmed by Marina Moreno, a Tate Exchange Associate, in association with ARTEMOTION.

PRODUCTION – PROCESS - COLLABORATION What does the word production mean to you? Perhaps, through the ages it was more connected to the idea of "artisan/artist”. Now, in our time and our space, what are the associations that come to mind? In a post-modern world we are all connected and the concept of “ideas” and “product” are maybe not unique to one another, but are aligned and associated to other wellsprings of work and inspiration. As artists we create, form, build and fashion using products that come from a series of skills we acquire or possess inherently, and the interventions of other people often unseen and unrecognised. How can we promote the unseen in our art, how can we become collaborators with other skilled professionals? For instance if you are a painter you use paint; do you often think who made this? In a more democratic art world we strive to achieve transparency and this is important. Often, an audience will see only the final product but in this call out we might want to show the raw process from the starting point of concept to the resultant end, the product. What kind of productivity interests you? Production of food, production of a book, production of a household object or even in a more conceptual way of thinking where do you place the word production? Maybe the word production is immediately associated with the ideas of labour and economics: linked to the individual and differences in compensation of time/labour (through gender, classes and ethnicity). Or is there an implication of global economics where some countries control, marshal and dictate the debts of others using production (raw product and labour)? We are looking for your process within the production, as well as the product. How, as an artist, do you arrive at the decision that a work should be produced, what drives that decision? How does that production evolve, both through the thought processes, and in its physical manifestation(s)?

In the days before the term curator was quite so widely used, a glamorous and intriguing Italian woman called Eno Morino would attend parties and private views. Inquisitive and hungry artists would salivate salutations, savouring her attentions. Jostling for an audience like the balls in a lottery machine. The frenzy surrounding her was the fact that she introduced herself as a curator. Sadly the artist that Eno represented was dead. Eno Morino gave talks about this great artist of hers. She was called Marina Moreno. Her death was tragic, mysterious, perhaps merely a disappearance. There may not have been a body. Other artists were keen to take her place, salivating salutations, savouring her attentions. Jostling for an audience. Eno had a heart. In 2008 she could finally release herself from her grief and begin to look beyond her great star artist. Eschewing loneliness she decided to find other artists to promote. One wasn’t enough. One made Eno vulnerable. She needed to work with many artists who would mutually support each other.

VVM – Venice Vending Machine. Initially still raw, she protected her vulnerability by drawing in tiny works of art made by artists from all over the world and Vended Versions of Merchandise in her Vending And so, after



Venerable Marina,

Eno created the

Machine in Venice.

PRODUCTION. These tiny works savoured attention and jostled for an audience in the vast machine. More tentative were the takers and talkers, as the price of the artworks was a conversation with the curator about the value of the art. And so Eno Morino morphs and embodies her star. Marina Moreno Vends Vocal Meetings. She mediates peddled products of private practices, performing with the public through conversation.

PROCESS. Now in its 7th incarnation, the Venice Vending Machine community of artists has grown and the conversations with the public have been extensive. A participatory practice forging absent alliances of artists who collaborate to fill the machine are now beginning to collaborate more with Marina Moreno and each other. A network connected through a machine that runs on conversation rather than selling art products. Savouring attention and jostling for an audience.

COLLABORATION. Written by Tracey Falcon, Artist, Writer, Researcher and member of the VVM Community

The Structure of Curatorial Revolutions Written by Camilla Boemio

At a time of significant global political and social economical uncertainty, it is fitting that a number of the featured artists express varied sociopolitical concerns in their work and each one's aesthetic domain changes through different poetic narratives. My essay explores a modus operandi to analyze the state of art, the curatorial practices, its potential new horizons as well as artistic practices. A feature of globalization is that old institutions suffer as new networks evolve and there is a precariousness, a feeling of being “lost in the wind”. Its personal meaning is akin to what Harold Isaacs called a “scratch on the mind”, which creates new myths, but also an endogenous need to discover a pagan orientation through magic1 but in this analysis that pagan orientation becomes a sort of a new frontier where experimentation and new condition become fertile ground for a new consciousness. During a period of difficult and confusing societal and cultural transformation where the question of differentiation between truth and reality appears to be more and more impossible, it may well be equally important to move one's gaze from the centre of art to the peripheries and adopt utopian theories. We must depart from the desire to see, to recognize and to understand; or we should redouble our efforts to mediate the visual aspect of imagery in a "system of documentation", taken up by artist Douglas Huebler, in order to be able to foreshadow the origins of these transformations and their undreamt consequences of art productiveness.


Nicholas Campion, A History of Western Astrology Volume II: The Medieval and Modern Worlds, (Bloomsbury Continuum, 2009).


Exploring new collisions with other disciplines and social and political interventions; the continuous mutation of the different manifestations of a part the artists and the consolidation of new collisions with other disciplines creates a new global form, a movement, a shape shifting that avoids being pinned down; it moves on before we recognize it with no time to think about what is happening. An expanded reality In the essay L'Arte Espansa2, Mario Perniola addressed the question of enlarging the criteria that define what is and what is not art. In previous publications he spoke of art as a place for the alienation of creativity; it retains its meaning but separates it from every dimension of reality. The chance to analyze a new thesis came about, from the Venice Biennale of 2013 titled The Encyclopedic Palace and curated by Massimiliano Gioni. He, along with numerous others considered it symptomatic of a change taking place. In a world of art affected by a thousand contradictions and in deep crisis, it led to a turning point comparable to that caused by the biennial of 1964, “which marked the solemnization of Pop Art and the end of the historical avant-gardes3”. The speculative bubble of the art world began to swell from there. The choice of Gioni to establish the 55th La Biennale Art edition of the oldest and most prestigious contemporary art exhibition in the world on individuals not recognized as artists by the system, yet in many cases capable of creations very close to those that could have been found in a museum or in a gallery in the last half century, would finally break such artificial balance and knock down the wall that had been preserving the exclusive character of contemporary art and thus abolish the unwritten rules that were governing its habitat. Gioni skillfully mixed the art market with an analysis that enabled him to put artists in a spotlight, creating opportunities for uncommon openings and new interpretations.


Exibart, “Una rubrica che indaga un lavoro molto attuale e discusso. A inaugurarla è il filosofo Mario Perniola” Curatorial Practices section curated by Camilla

Boemio, January, 2015, (accessed July 8 2017). 3

Walter Guadagnini, POP art 1956-1968, (Roma: Silvana Editoriale, 2007), 38.


Meanwhile, the disagreements with official art have become more acute, often becoming inaccessible and the dynamics that lead to the choice of museum programs and appointments are unclear. In an exasperated capitalist decadence, the "cathedrals" of culture which absorb the ways and customs of the multinationals are no less. An expanded form foresees its proliferation in unusual places and new contexts, adapting partially official methods; the non-profits dialogue with the Institution, utilizing precarious and occasional formulas. But how will it be able to guarantee a fluid reception of art at the margins if it doesn't assert itself? The revolutions and renovation of the language of art are still to be supported by valid theoretical constructions. It was epistemology expert Thomas S. Kuhn who indicated in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions4 that discovery begins with the awareness of an anomaly with regard to expectations which is explored until the paradigmatic theory is re-adjusted and what was once anomalous becomes normality. Thus there is a link of continuity between science and revolution, in that the scientist always operates within a recognized and apparently solid frame of reference until he identifies the limit and overcomes it with a theoretical adaptation, thus nurturing the seed of change towards a new revolution. Tracing the thought of Kuhn, it can be said that even the art world is marked by brief moments of revolution, Manifestos or Secessions, alternating with long periods of "academicism", which, by reproducing certain compositional or theoretical principles, in turn stimulates a so-called "turning point" on a cultural level. In the West we are in a moment of ideal crisis, of urgencies and conflicts through which we can proceed towards the renewal of the parameters and morphologies of artistic territories. If art is dispelled by any myth that comes along and reveals its weaknesses how can it succeed in a state of transition where everything and nothing have the same value? If this renewal were to overstretch itself by trying to contain, like a Borgesian aleph, all of the art expressed elsewhere, what would art be risking and how could it draw vital strength from it?


T.S. Kuth, La struttura delle rivoluzioni scientifiche, (University of Chicago Press Editor, 1962).


A state of adaptation Science can meet us halfway at this stage by showing us how the sense of masking used by art can be deeply rooted in the maintenance and evolution of itself. In a new morphology of the Earth's structure, Charles Darwin's theory is always very timely. If natural selection is the basis of adaptation processes, species evolution and how a species will react to a new era then it should also mark a more concrete evolution in society until the state of culture and art are in a new institutional scenery. Adaptation is the totality of the characteristics—both physical and behavioral—which were favored through natural selection, as they increased the possibility of survival and reproduction of an organism in its natural habitat. Adaptation, therefore, is the consequence of the changes in the genetic pool that happen within a population following environmental selective pressures and favor individuals with higher and varied characteristics. Variations in the genetic pool can result from natural selection but also from genetic drift. It must be pointed out that the concept of adaptation is “relative”, since what is advantageous in an environment can be disadvantageous in another but genetically advantageous characteristics can become disadvantageous or vice versa as a consequence of environmental variations. Furthermore, natural adaptation is never a perfect process, but is instead the result of a compromise between the adaptive needs of a given organism. The result of a compromise between a morphology of art and the institutions gives new forms of curatorial and/or artistic practices, as well as a new process of organization that creates new conditions and leads to evolution. In a continuous evolution of the mainstream practices the art system has not been immune in becoming a pathological representation of a capitalist nature and somewhat inadequate in a period of acute global crisis. Practicing a sort of lockdown and transforming the major capitals of contemporary art such as London and New York into cathedrals for the few adherents and cutting out a good part of the artists and the activist and theorist movements present in the cities.


In this watershed, where it would seem that the selection of projects is mainly dictated by a febrile market, there is a lack of solid attention to the experimental fabric of art that world on the fringes has always had in Anglo-Saxon countries; a fundamental cultural weight to determine the renewal of the language of art with the proposed aesthetic methods and by finding a way to hybridize by forging new evolutions. In recent years, the artistic or curatorial proposals of a social nature that have adopted new collective formulas have proved to be healing; orienting towards collaborations of a stratified nature with precise analysis towards: urban areas, pluricontinental works (just think of all the projects that incorporate geographical analyses like the one on the deserts or interactions with the community of regeneration or the development of truly vital projects in the place where they happen (here the city of Detroit is one of the happiest episodes, but also the “Matera story� in the south of Italy, plus a significant number of projects of this nature which are widespread in San Francisco, Los Angeles and southern California). This movement, while encompassing that historic one led by the fathers of the seventies, gets inconsistent attention from the media and has a dysfunctional otherness due to a greater difficulty in re-creating conditions of liveliness that arose when the big crowds came and masses of young people and advocates of culture were brought together. We are caught in a period of vacuous dependence dictated by the stasis of actions; if internet applications guarantee a democratic possibility of visibility they also take away a linear reception towards what manifests in social media. Very often it stays behind the glass but in this continuous saturation of goods, products, advertising and subsequent narcosis, few people manage to find their way and are no longer able to recover from continuous contamination. In this anxiolytic phase the repetition and saturation of some artistic practices manage to feed the historical passage that we are living, using a hybrid language contaminated with spurious elements that come from mass media, politics and aggression in which the capitalist system holds its legitimacy with repetition and psychological coercion. By using continuous references to previous works or to historical moments, even the most recent current events, we reach a certain fluid of consciousness in which critical thinking is activated with stimuli of a different nature ranging from the use of materials to intellectual and visual references. Artists' abilities to distort, modify and subdivide the immense field of existing forms generate areas of intellectual and emotional intensity which are precise references to specific artistic practices on which their experimental approach is based. The same is true for the semantic forms in 5

which he extrapolates fields of discussion and “excursions� that move from space to the written page. Different materials were used in this practice, with vast flexibility in the forms that were applied to his eclectic visual vocabulary. The narration in the exhibition space opened up an intentional rift, raising questions about the eschatological, messianic nature of the economy or the quest for it. In this renovation of the function of art language - how does the art of management and organization change the perspective on projects and exhibitions?

In this a state of transformation of a new art language the new creation is more captivating than ever. But how can one render this new creation more captivating than ever? Theory is sometimes different from reality, as with the recognized reality of curatorial practices. An ambitious concept needs time to be understood by a suburban area to enable the experimentation of contemporary art. Curatorial practices impose a rigorous evaluation of areas, spaces and museums; a fixed and consolidated relationship with institutional and political authorities, intense communication with the press, a clear message to audiences and a solid team capable of maintaining harmony and alignment through each step of the project. A competitive project must therefore be able to attract the public without lapsing into apathetic indifference or the redundancy of Blockbuster museum programs organized with invasive sponsors and designed to easily suck in the public. If some projects thus impose limitations on themselves, the other less fortunate ones will have limitations imposed upon them as well. For this reason I was really open to developing the question of which art would be appropriate for a context and how might introducing art into a context or a museum be used to critique the influence of cultural centers and the role they play in maintaining the existing cultural order. This recurring fact of curatorial history splits into completely separate categories of projects arising from the experience of re-creation. Among these there is the ordeal of exile, a condition as old as Thucydides, Caravaggio and Dante; finding the ideal conditions where one is able to create a fertile public following as well as an understanding of the festival's cornerstones are not always easily attainable; although obviously ideal conditions would lead to a creative receptiveness comparable to a fluid that would succeed in expanding thought and transforming an old-fashioned, outdated place. 6

When entering the vague, foggy stage where the renewal of the cultural fabric is not converted into a new momentum, one is catapulted into a state of exile. It is all too easy to blame the place, without finding out what elements weren't functional in initiating a new network. What would one expect to find in a notably isolated or completely new area from contemporary art? How can we put together a calendar of events that would arouse and increase interest? Would a good theoretical project be enough to awaken an environment opposed to change and renewal from its slumber?

It is a call to action! My mission is to provide a map of a short archipelago of proposals of areas regenerated by culture and contemporary art like “independent project” “biennials” “massive festivals”, and one of most intense and dynamic representations goes from Bilbao to the Urals, including the ongoing Manifesta the European Biennial of Contemporary Art at the Botanical Garden in Palermo, in Sicily. These are areas where political, administrative, social and artistic conditions are encouraged into commendable examples of regeneration, redevelopment and harmonious cohabitation between stratified culture and culture in progress. In this call to action in a cross-cutting approach that can bring disciplines together and stimulate debate, using new methods to construct a broader field the “Venice Vending Machine” is a participatory, discursive experience. Instead of paying to receive a vended product, participants are invited to perform a negotiation with Marina Moreno on the “Value of Art” as payment for a tiny work of art secreted inside a plastic recyclable ball and dispensed from the vending machine. Participants won’t know which of the numerous artworks they will attain until the transaction has been completed. The VVM is a form of resistance and began to rethink traditional economy of art, they believe in the dimension of education and relationship with artists training as a privileged sphere for redefining the tools for interpreting the world we live in; the process of knowledge must be open. Its transmission is activated across what the philosopher Jacques Rancière has defined as “ignorance”. If the transformations we have been plunged into are so rapid, we need to rethink collaboratively methods for acting in different contexts. We need look to an experience based on the principles of horizontality and the sharing of knowledge – we need want to overthrow the traditional hierarchical dynamics of the conservative


Institutions that promote art only for lobbies. We need to free ourselves from all those attitudes that make our scrutiny less flexible and we must open ourselves up to other cultures and visions. Taking into account criticisms of the proliferation of biennial culture, or biennialisation5 as it has been called, the best Biennials aim to create a sustainable model based on the best practices that prioritize artists, artistic production and the meticulous presentation and mediation of art. The large-scale biennial or festival exhibition model has the mission to expand the dialogue between contemporary art and other fields of cultural production and extend its reach from the West to artists and curators throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and essentially, everywhere else. If this model has determined the successful growth of one hundred and seventy-four biennials worldwide, and a significant number of art and photography festivals such as Format in Derby, England, Liverpool Biennial and the massive intense activity of Tate Liverpool or the Economics Festival in Eindhoven and Foam museum in Amsterdam, eventually channeling new energies towards redefining a disruptive success in the provinces or in cities; it begs the question that perhaps more often than not they are a bit forced. The influence created through the organization of a new Festival in an area free from contemporary culture is not just a benefit for a limited number of people; one must also have the foresight to understand that gestation and reception times are much longer. Every place needs to defuse the new contents and enter into a relationship with new languages. The more the festival has a post-conceptual approach, the more it has to dig into a lazy public who is not used to questioning itself by embracing new methods of interpretation. The models that stand out as significant in Eastern Europe range from the Odessa Biennale in Ukraine, the new RIGA International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Latvia, the Kiev Biennale the first international biennale of contemporary art in Ukraine, the Ural Industrial Biennial of contemporary art, the Gwangju Biennale in South Corea, The Sharjah Biennial, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the Sydney Biennale, the Honolulu Biennial, the Taipei Biennial until Land Art Mongolia Biennial.


The Instant Archive, a curatorial project of session 17, written by Silvana Silveira, July, 2008,


(accessed October 10, 2017). 8

Every model is based on a working process that starts from the local, expanding to the regional and the national, and finally to the transnational. Unhinging the habits of a place, encouraging a flow of visitors and creating an unprecedented model of analysis are the initial rules to restore luster to a city; however it also offers a non-conservative culture, such as a project that sisters with a specific geographical area of art immersed in the constant consecration of its past. I have created a list in my past essays in which the new structures analyzed with the curatorial and artistic methodologies could activate new platforms and new horizons to understand the present and the future of contemporary art - in the eternal return of art, in the circularity of its expressive forms: an exterminated creative universe made up of elements that influence each other, which are nourished by ideas - between activism, theories and implementation, public art and contaminations tout court with science and technology. In this broad scenario and in this call to action, the militancy of art becomes an indispensable fruition which focuses on the salient points that branch out in new horizons and underline the programmatic nature of the projects.



How can we use the image of granulation to describe and understand the VVM project? Opening statements The Venice Vending machine project was set up by the UK based Italian artist Marina Moreno in 2010 under the name of Art-E-Motion As a complete entity the VVM is made up of a portable vending machine, containing works inside small capsules produced by a wide-range of artists often from an open call, statements by the organiser, a theme or area of research for each iteration of the project, staging the project at art fairs and Museums in Europe, and China, the activity of distributing the capsules to the audience. At its simplest level this can be seen as a project to distribute art multiples and examples of small art works to make art both available and accessible to different non-art specialist audiences. 1. Molecular works in a new body of art Time doesn’t exist yet we are suspended in time that no longer works and we still think time. The wave particles that constitute what we think of as time have a granular textured quality The image of granulation refers to the materiality and decomposition of both space and image, representation, fixity, the liquefaction of the existing order. Further down the line there are echoes of quantum time that reveal that time doesn’t exist, and the idea of fluidity, flux, shape shifting, taken further in Deleuze The Logic of S e n s e series of mediations on Lewis Carrol the novelist and mathematician, the division between what can be thought and what is outside thinking, machined thinking, computers, algorithms. Set this against the image of VVM as an image of thinking, as an elementary computer and storage system, with its miniaturisation and molecularization of art works and authors, each in their own bubble, as a sort of archaeological sampling of what we understand by contemporary art in a global context stored inside time capsules. This mirrors the process of collapse, a contracting space, inverting the existing order of art. A mixing up, pulverisation and atomisation of existing artworks, categories and terminologies. It is this image of the breaking down into its smallest elementary parts, the co-existence of the parts to each other, and a new indeterminate shape that the mass suggests, a something that cannot be pinned down, operating in opposition to the existing rules, that gives rise to a sense of granulation. 2. Exploring VVM This set up is both rudimentary and at the same time offers the glimpse of something very interesting. What is this something interesting?

I suggest that the VVM is an image of thinking because it triggers two different responses. The response you have when you see the work or see a photo of the vending machine and response to the mental image that the work generates. This needs to be kept in mind if we are to figure out what the interesting aspect of the VVM is. The photo of the VVM is blunt, all you see is the casing and the capsules, it is an obstruction, you see it but it is difficult to unravel what it is you are looking at. This is a characteristic of the best work being made today. If that is the case which route do we need to travel along to start to comprehend what is taking place in the VVM? But if you trust in the suggestions and hints the works obstructions and frustrations triggers then insights start to emerge. If the art works or whatever it is under these conditions – art works – non-art works – which cannot be seen by the viewer or audience, randomly selected, dispersed and distributed, does this imply that there is little or no value in the works? Is it art and does it matter whether it is or isn’t art? Could the work be about anything? Are they works that already exist and adapted to the specifications of the project? Is there by implication a type of work that is specific to the conditions and dynamics of the project whatever they are? And are all disciplines and types of works viable and equivalent? Just by starting along the chain of elementary statements about the project, which are quite slippery and not so easy to pinpoint and formulate, you can sense the possibility of questions and a discussion about the general function of art today through the refusal and blocking of what is normally expected from art. 3. The collective body that contributes to realising VVM How do we define the extent of the community of artists who take part in the project and the extent of the audience who carry out the final action of the project? All the people, places, names compressed into the space of the VVM. In line with many art institutions the author of the project Marina Moreno has adopted the accepted line of the beneficial role of art in gluing peoples and cultures together i.e. the political spatial role of art, which even today is little understood. I am not sure how Marina intends to use this role for art. This defines the context and network the project exists in. As a line that sets in motion a sequence of thinking to think about the actual role of art to link different cultures and to knit together different spaces and territories under the guidance of the model of Western art. Let us take this as a normative statement that is up for questioning. Marina and other authors of the project have also sought to repeatedly frame the project within pre-existing terminologies, categories and historical time frame, what else can they do, to situate the project and event, and to describe something in constant change and flux, and for that reason becomes subject to the same force of erosion and breakdown as any other component inherent to the project, generalised statements posed as a question that they put out there as further material to be tested out. In other words, the authors adopt and reuse the terms and descriptions that are available and which only go so far, they are limited and poverty stricken highlighting the inability of existing language to define what is happening and the inadequacy of existing language to define a contemporary practice, and it is this restriction and inadequacy of descriptions which is highlighted each time of each iteration of the project, and beyond that poverty of resources exists whatever is happening in the project.

For at least 18 years we have existed in a historical moment which doesn’t have a label or description, it is only recently that the art market has pulled back art under the umbrella of Modernism in order to sell Modernist art commodities, setting off a false manufactured debate yet again between Modernism and Post Modernism, cementing the debate and shaping of art firmly in Western centres of Culture. The only interesting works have explored this erosion of labels to define the current age. 4. VVM as a mental image Maybe it is sufficient that each artist who is asked to take part to produce something within the restrictions and specifications of the project is already by doing that problematising and producing a work that takes into account the scale, display and distribution of that work, so this in turn becomes so many separate and individual solutions to the challenges the project throws up. Blind works So instead of the material being a mere token or novelty it is instead condensed into a sign of art, at least in the work I am imagining, reflexive, aware of its spatiality, changing dynamics, trajectories, networks. A work as a message that describes and speculates on the space it travels along and occupies, where the work internalises and opens up the spaces and trajectories the project opens up. A project that traces a series of actions VVM as an enactment of arts global rituals, so that within the simple rudimentary structure of the VVM we can see the compressed global ritual of art, transforming the complexity of these rituals into an idea the mind can grasp. Each sequence density, invisibility, erasure translates into an object for thinking A mass of material converges and is contained in a space, to build a density. Art today is made up of density, a territory, a density that reflects the same dynamics and politics of any art spectacle. Each work is invisible, and there are multiple artists and artworks as in any other spectacle, and in any other event today where art has been reduced to a brand, and only works as a mass, where the work becomes secondary. Each work is randomly and by chance selected and distributed to any person who engages with the project, where the work becomes a token and mutates from a work into a monetary value, currency or at least the exchange between the audience and art work renegotiates the value of cultural artefacts. And where at the same time there is even a leap beyond this where the mixing, pulverisation, chaos is taken to the next level, outside any plan and understanding. The random selection of works or material and the order of selection, breaks up and reconstitutes the material into totally new formations at the point of discontinuity and dispersion from the main body. Blind spots The function of the project to hinder, deny and obstruct the capacity of existing art works to deliver and recirculate normalised ideas inside the existing regime of art has to be seen as a positive, with the reduction of the material into a sign, a trace. To a recognition that art has no effect. This denial opens up a new space. In other words, we use the materiality of art to find a route outside the regime of art in order to locate tools to look back at the entity comprising the brittle formation of existence. Collectively what does each stage of research carried out by the VVM project and debates with the audience in renegotiating the value of art works add up to? Possibly these activities are experiential and outside documentation. Because these parts are not recorded I am not sure and maybe that isn’t the point. Maybe the point is that the re-enactment of the process of a normalised art practice, that there is evidence of signs and traces comprising this normalised practice which are tested out in a mobile project, a mobile museum or gallery, that situates the body of normalised art in unexpected contexts to test that body out.

In many respects the collection of actors involved collectively to realise all stages of the project can be seen as a model of orthodox participatory practices and use of the audience to take the role and responsibility of the production and circulation of art away from the artist, in that sense this is a rerun of ideas from the 50’s and 60’s with the re-enactment of the debate into Autonomy. I would also reiterate that participatory practices have for some time existed in a state of crises or limbo and that no workable theory of participatory practices is sufficient to analyse its role today, and similar to so many other practices today all we can do is note that it exists. But, today is not the 1960s nor is it the 1990’s, although art institutions and artists insist on maintaining this historical legacy, and unbroken history, that bypasses current problems and encourages the lack of criticality, in other words this is a symptom of Neo liberalism. This is a major error and is only guided by the art market and those invested in its continuity. Instead I think, we should see the project as taking this bundle of ideas and activities as a ready-made, to problematise the totality of entities that make up art, and the far more important, untheorized and little understood extended role of institutionalised art, the mutation of the institutions of art into a branch of government, in integrating multiple cultures in our post historical time, of shaping Europe into the centre of a Global Empire. This is to say that the agenda of migration and the role of multi-cultures in the West is hidden, and that we are only privy to glimpse a small part of its mechanisms as a subject for art, and what the process of filtering these issues through art is. At this level of the destruction of the existing regime of art and its logic, chance projects us into chaos and outside the body of thinking we use to think, the complete erasure of existing rituals, habits, cultural symbols, which brings us in a roundabout way to remember the challenge of culture posed 130 years ago by Nietzsche and Mallarme, which shape current thinking and the ongoing project by art to invent a new purpose and set of beliefs to exist by. These are challenges that the best minds and practices are engaged with today. These haphazard thoughts use the image of the VVM to speculate on a type of work or practice, something that withdraws from the trap of existing language, that is sufficient to interrogate the edifice of normalised art, a type of scheme that challenges and peels away the veneer of received thinking that trap us in the existing order. Here the vacuum or empty space opened up by the erosion of normalised art through the various processes staged by the VVM project opens up another space and entry into a new art.