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Global Alien

Hope     Failure Investigating the American Dream


Hope     Failure Investigating the American Dream With the project Hope and Failure we were interested in questioning the idea of the American Dream today. Beyond the atmosphere of financial crises and the 9 /11 decade — how can this idea be re-imagined? All documented actions in this publication show our methods and approaches of sketching, performing and provoking these dreams together with the audience in Portland, Oregon in May 2011. Working with our appearance in a humorous way, we use our visibility to come into contact with other people. Using aesthetical strategies of activism, like banners and workers’ outfit, we provoke in order to mobilize the question of our current agenda. All our actions took part in the public and resumed in a gallery space of galleryHOMELAND.

We arrived from the Pacific Ocean to the Willamette River over the Hawthorne Brigde into the city, arriving at the City Hall, where the TentPerformance was installed. During the lunch break, when people would need a restful nap, we invited the public to come inside our tent and take part in a short hypnotic performance. The understanding of sleep, as described in Nam-See Kim’s following text, was our starting point. Installing this performance in front of the City Hall of Portland made a link to the homeless protests in 2008 / 2009. Camping overnight, a group of homeless people were protesting against an ordinance, which criminalizes those who are forced to sleep in public spaces at night, because for them there is no access provided to shelters. Global Alien

In the gallery space we continued with the Beamer-Performance: the visitor was filmed and projected onto the wall nearby, surrounded with the stories and dreams, he told to us and which somebody drew and drafted for him. The installation Build up your Dreamhouse where your Dreamland is is a continuation of this approach: The visitor was invited to create his house in colored clay and to choose a land on a table with a world map. With the project Hope and Failure we left the idea of a classical exhibition behind by transforming the gallery space into a collaborative and creative platform. The visitors were able to actively participate and become a part of the process of playfully reinventing the American Dream.


Hope     Failure Investigating the American Dream With the project Hope and Failure we were interested in questioning the idea of the American Dream today. Beyond the atmosphere of financial crises and the 9 /11 decade — how can this idea be re-imagined? All documented actions in this publication show our methods and approaches of sketching, performing and provoking these dreams together with the audience in Portland, Oregon in May 2011. Working with our appearance in a humorous way, we use our visibility to come into contact with other people. Using aesthetical strategies of activism, like banners and workers’ outfit, we provoke in order to mobilize the question of our current agenda. All our actions took part in the public and resumed in a gallery space of galleryHOMELAND.

We arrived from the Pacific Ocean to the Willamette River over the Hawthorne Brigde into the city, arriving at the City Hall, where the TentPerformance was installed. During the lunch break, when people would need a restful nap, we invited the public to come inside our tent and take part in a short hypnotic performance. The understanding of sleep, as described in Nam-See Kim’s following text, was our starting point. Installing this performance in front of the City Hall of Portland made a link to the homeless protests in 2008 / 2009. Camping overnight, a group of homeless people were protesting against an ordinance, which criminalizes those who are forced to sleep in public spaces at night, because for them there is no access provided to shelters. Global Alien

In the gallery space we continued with the Beamer-Performance: the visitor was filmed and projected onto the wall nearby, surrounded with the stories and dreams, he told to us and which somebody drew and drafted for him. The installation Build up your Dreamhouse where your Dreamland is is a continuation of this approach: The visitor was invited to create his house in colored clay and to choose a land on a table with a world map. With the project Hope and Failure we left the idea of a classical exhibition behind by transforming the gallery space into a collaborative and creative platform. The visitors were able to actively participate and become a part of the process of playfully reinventing the American Dream.


we came

at the harbor


we came

at the harbor


we came

over the bridge


we came

over the bridge


we entered

the city


we entered

the city


we saw

the city hall


we saw

the city hall


we talked

to the people


we talked

to the people


we slept

in the tent


we slept

in the tent


we dreamt

together


we dreamt

together


Sleep and dreams as discontinuity and severance  For me there can be no art revolution that is waking life and sleep in order to survive. The separate from a science revolution, a political “fatality of sleep” ( Fatalität des Schlafs ) 1 creates revolution, an education revolution, a drug a dynamic in which we are severed from our revolution, a sex revolution or a personal revo- past and are therefore capable of going down lution. I cannot consider a program of museum new paths in our lives. At times, we fall asleep reforms without equal attention to gallery re- from excessive fatigue, sadness, or exhaustion. forms and art magazine reforms which would Our life is then renewed, our batteries recharged, aim to eliminate stables of artists and writers. I by sleep’s interruption of the heavy continuity will not call myself an art worker but rather of time. Our fatigue before falling asleep, morethan an art dreamer and i will participate only over, loosens the solid “latch of individuation” in a total revolution simultaneously personal that binds us, letting more worlds and people enter the place of “reduced identity ( Mehr des and public. 2  Statement for open public hearing of the art workers coalition, weniger Ichs ).”  In this regard, it is understandNew York, Lee Lozano, artist, April 10, 1969 able that sleep brings us colorful and surrealistic dreams in which the boundaries between Sleep is the discontinuation of intentionality in us and the world, as well those between us and the human conscious. We must discontinue our others, vanish.

However we also possess a contrasting desire for individuation and continuity, a desire for existence without the interruptions in identity and life that sleep brings. This desire leads us to ward off the interruptions of sleep with an anxious fiction built out of the belief that the world we return to after sleep is the same world that we left behind, as well as that the person we are after sleep is the same person we were before. It is the paranoid possessiveness of this belief, in its continuous desire to return to an image of the self built in the imagination and to an aggregation of discarded moments from the past, that seeks to polish over the discontinuity and severance of sleep with fictions of continuity and identity. Our fear of dreams is based in such fictions since dreams,

as products of sleep, are proof of our discontinuity and severance from what exists. We attempt to mitigate this fear through dream theories that try to hide the true nature of dreams  —as interrupting, discontinuing, and, thus, destructive acts — by interpreting them through narratives of time and continuity. These theories then say that dreams are only shadows and footsteps of the past, or absurd figments of the imagination. They bind dreams to the past and to irreality in order to suppress their revolutionary energy 3 as forebodings of new times and new lives. The neurotic obsession with self-identity and continuity that we see here has been exacerbated by the financial turbulence of the last few years and the collapse of neoliberal theodicy that is, the collapse of faith in the rationality and efficacy of capitalism and the free market, 4 that it has led to. The neoliberal world-order requires continuous labor and competition from the world’s people, forcing them to compete endlessly with meaningless debris from the past to ensure their own perpetuity. In this way, neoliberalism seeks to eliminate opportunities for discontinuity and severance from history, and fosters a sense of post-historical continuity that urges that there is no better

economic system than the one in place. This crafty ideology seeks to colonize sleep and dreams, the forces of discontinuity and severance dwelling within our lives, for its own benefit and growth. It pushes a continuous flow of labor and consumption onto the breadth of our lives, calling sleep a phenomenon anachronistic to modern life and seeking to excise it as a form of laziness and disease anathema to competition, and thereby invalidates the original revolutionary potential of dreams by interpreting them through gaudy frames of success based in the existing order of capitalism. The recent terrorist attack in Norway reminds us how the obstinate desire for pure identity for the isolated individual and for the group can engender tragedy. The current obsession with discrete individuality, and with undisturbed cultural continuity and identity, conceives of diversity and otherness as an external, foreign threat to cultural purity that must be eliminated. It is a paranoid desire to perpetuate oneself in a singular wave of pure individuation that disdains religious, cultural, and linguistic diversity and strikes out in spasmodic violence against it as a foreboding otherness. This was the mode in which the far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik, a man who gave Nam-See Kim

himself over to the violence of video games instead of the severance of sleep, killed 76 innocent people in Norway, taking multiculturalism as his enemy instead of abiding in the de -identity /de-individuation of the dream. Residents of Portland, Oregon, are currently being invited to a tent installed in front of Portland City Hall. There, they are encouraged to talk about their dreams after taking a short nap. This performative installation is intended to symbolically publicize the positive energy to be found in the discontinuity and severance of sleep and dreams, and seeks to awaken people to the political potential of the de-identity/ de-individuation implied by sleep and dreams, forces that we are in desperate need of in the current global era. 1H  ans Blumenberg, Begriffe in Geschichten, Frankfurt am Main 1998, p. 90 2 see Peter Handtke, Versuch über die Müdigkeit, Frankfurt am Main 1992 3 see Ernst Bloch, Das Prinzip Hoffnung, Frankfurt am Main 1974 4 see Joseph Vogl, Das Gespenst des Kapitals, Berlin 2011


Sleep and dreams as discontinuity and severance  For me there can be no art revolution that is waking life and sleep in order to survive. The separate from a science revolution, a political “fatality of sleep” ( Fatalität des Schlafs ) 1 creates revolution, an education revolution, a drug a dynamic in which we are severed from our revolution, a sex revolution or a personal revo- past and are therefore capable of going down lution. I cannot consider a program of museum new paths in our lives. At times, we fall asleep reforms without equal attention to gallery re- from excessive fatigue, sadness, or exhaustion. forms and art magazine reforms which would Our life is then renewed, our batteries recharged, aim to eliminate stables of artists and writers. I by sleep’s interruption of the heavy continuity will not call myself an art worker but rather of time. Our fatigue before falling asleep, morethan an art dreamer and i will participate only over, loosens the solid “latch of individuation” in a total revolution simultaneously personal that binds us, letting more worlds and people enter the place of “reduced identity ( Mehr des and public. 2  Statement for open public hearing of the art workers coalition, weniger Ichs ).”  In this regard, it is understandNew York, Lee Lozano, artist, April 10, 1969 able that sleep brings us colorful and surrealistic dreams in which the boundaries between Sleep is the discontinuation of intentionality in us and the world, as well those between us and the human conscious. We must discontinue our others, vanish.

However we also possess a contrasting desire for individuation and continuity, a desire for existence without the interruptions in identity and life that sleep brings. This desire leads us to ward off the interruptions of sleep with an anxious fiction built out of the belief that the world we return to after sleep is the same world that we left behind, as well as that the person we are after sleep is the same person we were before. It is the paranoid possessiveness of this belief, in its continuous desire to return to an image of the self built in the imagination and to an aggregation of discarded moments from the past, that seeks to polish over the discontinuity and severance of sleep with fictions of continuity and identity. Our fear of dreams is based in such fictions since dreams,

as products of sleep, are proof of our discontinuity and severance from what exists. We attempt to mitigate this fear through dream theories that try to hide the true nature of dreams  —as interrupting, discontinuing, and, thus, destructive acts — by interpreting them through narratives of time and continuity. These theories then say that dreams are only shadows and footsteps of the past, or absurd figments of the imagination. They bind dreams to the past and to irreality in order to suppress their revolutionary energy 3 as forebodings of new times and new lives. The neurotic obsession with self-identity and continuity that we see here has been exacerbated by the financial turbulence of the last few years and the collapse of neoliberal theodicy that is, the collapse of faith in the rationality and efficacy of capitalism and the free market, 4 that it has led to. The neoliberal world-order requires continuous labor and competition from the world’s people, forcing them to compete endlessly with meaningless debris from the past to ensure their own perpetuity. In this way, neoliberalism seeks to eliminate opportunities for discontinuity and severance from history, and fosters a sense of post-historical continuity that urges that there is no better

economic system than the one in place. This crafty ideology seeks to colonize sleep and dreams, the forces of discontinuity and severance dwelling within our lives, for its own benefit and growth. It pushes a continuous flow of labor and consumption onto the breadth of our lives, calling sleep a phenomenon anachronistic to modern life and seeking to excise it as a form of laziness and disease anathema to competition, and thereby invalidates the original revolutionary potential of dreams by interpreting them through gaudy frames of success based in the existing order of capitalism. The recent terrorist attack in Norway reminds us how the obstinate desire for pure identity for the isolated individual and for the group can engender tragedy. The current obsession with discrete individuality, and with undisturbed cultural continuity and identity, conceives of diversity and otherness as an external, foreign threat to cultural purity that must be eliminated. It is a paranoid desire to perpetuate oneself in a singular wave of pure individuation that disdains religious, cultural, and linguistic diversity and strikes out in spasmodic violence against it as a foreboding otherness. This was the mode in which the far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik, a man who gave Nam-See Kim

himself over to the violence of video games instead of the severance of sleep, killed 76 innocent people in Norway, taking multiculturalism as his enemy instead of abiding in the de -identity /de-individuation of the dream. Residents of Portland, Oregon, are currently being invited to a tent installed in front of Portland City Hall. There, they are encouraged to talk about their dreams after taking a short nap. This performative installation is intended to symbolically publicize the positive energy to be found in the discontinuity and severance of sleep and dreams, and seeks to awaken people to the political potential of the de-identity/ de-individuation implied by sleep and dreams, forces that we are in desperate need of in the current global era. 1H  ans Blumenberg, Begriffe in Geschichten, Frankfurt am Main 1998, p. 90 2 see Peter Handtke, Versuch über die Müdigkeit, Frankfurt am Main 1992 3 see Ernst Bloch, Das Prinzip Hoffnung, Frankfurt am Main 1974 4 see Joseph Vogl, Das Gespenst des Kapitals, Berlin 2011


Exhibition at galleryHOMELAND

Upside down tent


Exhibition at galleryHOMELAND

Upside down tent


Exhibition view

Beamer Performance


Exhibition view

Beamer Performance


Build up your Dreamhouse

where your Dreamland is.


Build up your Dreamhouse

where your Dreamland is.


The artist group Global Alien is spread over the globe with a junction point of members in Berlin. Their projects are concerned with the fragmentary nature and effects of globalization, power relations and cultural identities. The aim of each action is to create a fluid space of performativity, which leads to a permanent exchange with local conditions. Working with aesthetical visibilities of social and urban realities Global Aliens’ approach is inventing ways of communication to overcome borders and meet each other where we are. Global Alien

Global Alien is: Youngjoo Cho, Thorbjørn Reuter Christiansen, Lizza May David, Marte Kiessling, Nam-See Kim, Kuo-Wei Lin, Jakob Schaible, JaeHyun Yoo. The group has exhibited and performed at Meinblau Space in Berlin ( 2006 ), Ssamzee Space in Seoul ( 2007 ), Kunstraum Kreuzberg Bethanien Berlin ( 2008 ), Rum46 in Arhus ( 2009 ), Dam  / Stuhltrager Gallery in Berlin ( 2010 ) and ISCP in New York ( 2011 ). www.globalalien.net

Published in connection with the exhibition: Hope and Failure – Investigating the American Dream galleryHomeland Portland, Oregon, USA May 6th  –  May 28th, 2011 Design and Concept: e o t . essays on typography, Berlin Printed at Conrad, Berlin 500 Copies Translation: Yuni Choi Thanks to the galleryHOMELAND staff: Paul Middendorf  –  Director and Founder Reese Kruse  – Exhibition Director Thanks to further supporters: Linda M. Wysong – Associate Professor, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Friends, families, and the Global Alien Kids Supported by Danish Art Council, Korean Art Council, Berlin Senate Cultural Affairs Department, The Historic Ford Building, Widmer Brothers Brewing Company, Stumptown Coffee, Milepost 5 Lofts and galleryHOMELAND Images are all made by Global Alien    Global Alien, 2011

©


The artist group Global Alien is spread over the globe with a junction point of members in Berlin. Their projects are concerned with the fragmentary nature and effects of globalization, power relations and cultural identities. The aim of each action is to create a fluid space of performativity, which leads to a permanent exchange with local conditions. Working with aesthetical visibilities of social and urban realities Global Aliens’ approach is inventing ways of communication to overcome borders and meet each other where we are. Global Alien

Global Alien is: Youngjoo Cho, Thorbjørn Reuter Christiansen, Lizza May David, Marte Kiessling, Nam-See Kim, Kuo-Wei Lin, Jakob Schaible, JaeHyun Yoo. The group has exhibited and performed at Meinblau Space in Berlin ( 2006 ), Ssamzee Space in Seoul ( 2007 ), Kunstraum Kreuzberg Bethanien Berlin ( 2008 ), Rum46 in Arhus ( 2009 ), Dam  / Stuhltrager Gallery in Berlin ( 2010 ) and ISCP in New York ( 2011 ). www.globalalien.net

Published in connection with the exhibition: Hope and Failure – Investigating the American Dream galleryHomeland Portland, Oregon, USA May 6th  –  May 28th, 2011 Design and Concept: e o t . essays on typography, Berlin Printed at Conrad, Berlin 500 Copies Translation: Yuni Choi Thanks to the galleryHOMELAND staff: Paul Middendorf  –  Director and Founder Reese Kruse  – Exhibition Director Thanks to further supporters: Linda M. Wysong – Associate Professor, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Friends, families, and the Global Alien Kids Supported by Danish Art Council, Korean Art Council, Berlin Senate Cultural Affairs Department, The Historic Ford Building, Widmer Brothers Brewing Company, Stumptown Coffee, Milepost 5 Lofts and galleryHOMELAND Images are all made by Global Alien    Global Alien, 2011

©


Profile for Lizza May David

Hope and Failure - Investigating the American Dream  

Catalogue about the exhibition and performance project by artist group "Global Alien". Portland, U.S.A., 2011

Hope and Failure - Investigating the American Dream  

Catalogue about the exhibition and performance project by artist group "Global Alien". Portland, U.S.A., 2011

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