27 September 2014

The Art of Ω (a weekend of resistance and resistors)

Ceramic intervention on the V&A façade By Carrie Reichardt and the Treatment Rooms Collective, 2014
V&A Museum, London, 21st September, 2014
Last weekend I was mostly in... London.

Now I realise that this might come as something of less than a surprise, but you need to remember that I actually de-emigrated from London three weeks ago. So, the cause of this boomerang visitation -  did I leave the gas on in our old flat? Did I leave my wallet on the tube? Did the experience of being in Ireland and exposure to our cultural malignancy and institutional hypocrisy for two weeks sicken me to the point of existential dysentery, forcing me to flee the hot zone for a safer refuge abroad?

Occupy Sandy information poster, the people's disaster response for an abandoned community
V&A Museum, London, 21st September, 2014
Sadly, none of the above (though the hot zone escape did look pretty tempting after less than 48 hours), for it was work that brought me back to the land of the Sasenachs, though I did time my trip to arrive mere hours before the Scottish polls closed in the hope of waking up in the rump "United" Kingdom. Alas, this was not to be.

I was taking part in the Digital Design Weekend in the V&A Museum, which was fun. A mixture of quirky technology showcase and hands on hacking, making and modding, over 13,000 visitors passed through and saw that DIY-technology doesn't have to be scary and intimidating. Unless you 3D print guns. Which nobody did.

Here's some you can make at home...
V&A Museum, London, 21st September, 2014
During a brief quiet moment on Sunday, I nipped downstairs to the Disobedient Objects exhibition, and was pleasantly surprised. Showcasing the art of people's resistance movements across the globe, and curated with the participation of those groups themselves, it was actually a moving and engaging testament to the strength and ingenuity of people who stand up and say "No más".

It was also more than a little bizarre to see objects that I have seen in person used in the front lines of resistance now hanging in a museum, removed from their original context but strangely more powerful for it, as if the experience of transition from object/symbol to pure symbol has somehow infused them with all the significance of the entire act of resistance, of which they originally were juts a small part of.

Book Blocs (for knowledge shall be your shield), from Manchester and Italy
V&A Museum, London, 21st September, 2014
The exhibition is running from July through to February of next year, and it is more than a little ironic that I only encountered something like this that is so close to my heart after I had actually moved away from London, and through the medium of work rather than my life in the Really Real World.

I think that speaks volumes of the badly weighted see-saw upon which my work-life balance rests precariously.

Ceramic intervention on the V&A façade By Carrie Reichardt and the Treatment Rooms Collective, 2014
V&A Museum, London, 21st September, 2014

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