CYCLE 2 :
SCORE FOR A DIALOGUE BETWEEN PEOPLE
23.04.2019 - 23.05.2019
Performance and installation by
Danielle Aubert, Bianca Ibarlucea, and Kikko Paradela
Organized by Danielle St-Amour
Hosted by SBC Gallery
In Cycle 1, LOOSELY ASSEMBLED invited the working group Collective Question to investigate the role that documents play in shaping and determining structures of power, pedagogy and collective engagement. Working from their research into the Tolstoy College — an anarchist educational community active at the University at Buffalo at the State University of New York (SUNY Buffalo) between 1968 and 1985 — CQ employed the syllabus as a means of structuring both learning and space. Over the course of 3 days SBC, CQ composed a “syllabus” for LOOSELY ASSEMBLED — one that positioned the gallery environment and the exhibition’s design as its elements. Objects such as brooms, chairs, tables, shelves, and so on became elements of this syllabus, as well as site-specific furniture and photocopied archival documents. Throughout Cycle 1, this syllabus was used in a variety of ways - as seating, as stage, as a site of research or production, and as a document, to be read through, criticized, annotated and changed by both invited artists and the public.
Cycle 1's examination of the document by way of the syllabus spurred a larger conversation about graphic design. In a series of talks and workshops co-organized by Chris Lee and Ali Shamas Qadeer, invited artists and thinkers critically addressed the anxious, aspirational inquiries persistent within Graphic Design as a discipline. Turning the oft-outward-gaze of design (What can design do?) back onto the designers (What does design do?), participants looked at the role of design as a tool, as a scaffold, as an arrangement of power dynamics within a variety of spaces and disciplines.
Cycle 2 of LOOSELY ASSEMBLED is entitled, SCORE FOR A DIALOGUE BETWEEN PEOPLE. Danielle Aubert, Bianca Ibarlucea and Kikko Paradela are artists, researchers and graphic designers, all currently based in Detroit. For Cycle 2, they will carry on the conversation of design as a tool and a scaffold, arranging a conversation in the form of a score, a performance, a publication and an archive that weaves together their various practices, investigating how work happens, together; what is brought to the fore, what is left behind, what is seen and what is not?
In 2016, following the US General Election, they began working together as part of a loose coalition called What Is To Be Done? The group’s aim was to find ways to use their various skills — graphic design, printing and programming, the tools of communication — to respond to the charged political moment that followed.
For several months they met weekly to design and print signs (a local screen printing co-op printed a set of signs per week) which were distributed at protests. They participated in countless community meetings and trainings for political and labor organizers. Since 2017, all three havejoined the Detroit chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). In 2017, the group led a workshop at Allied Media Conference, an annual gathering of social justice activists in Detroit, and in 2018, at Cranbrook Academy of Art for SPACE SPACE SPACE, an “un-conference” on the subject of alternative pedagogy.
Aubert, Ibarlucea and Paradela used the “un-conference” at Cranbrook as an opportunity to reflect on their processes as organizers, as designers, and as a collective. They wove together parts of conversations they had while working as WITBD? around political organizing, colonialism, authority, labor, language and distribution as well as issues specific to teaching, pedagogy and the space of the classroom. They developed a score for that was predicated on banal environmental cues (such as audience phone checking, sneezing, etc) to structure short lectures across a variety of subjects.
By thinking through a variety of strategies intended to turn invisible processes visible — including new voice technology / text to speech; scoring methods such as Leonard Halprin’s RSVP cycles, and organizing theories such as Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed — the group (with Ibarlucea working remotely) have developed a score for visualizing their work together. Over 3 days, they will engage the materials they’ve brought for inclusion in Loosely Assembled’s INDEX (la.sbcgallery.ca): posters, protest signs, books, zines, pamphlets, and other ephemera. Each participant will perform for 5-8 minutes each over a scheduled 2 hour period. Following each series, they will pull together reference materials that were used for their lectures, and position these alongside the materials in the INDEX. They will collectively produce a publication, readable on-site for a public reception, Saturday April 27, that will remain available in the gallery and online for the remainder of the exhibition.
KIKKO PARADELA is a graphic designer and researcher based in Detroit. He runs his own independent practice, You VS Jesus, focusing on interactive, identity and installation work for the arts and cultural sector. He studied Graphic Design at the College for Creative Studies, during which he resided at the Detroit Zen Center. He has worked at 2×4 and Base Design in New York and independently on a wide range of projects ranging from fashion to cultural and educational institutions. He teaches Interaction Design in the Communication Design department at the College for Creative Studies. He is an active member of OmniCorpDetroit, a local hackerspace collective in Detroit. He is currently the Creative Director for MEANS TV, a post-capitalist entertainment provider.
DANIELLE AUBERT is a graphic designer and researcher whose work examines materials, methods of production, machines and labor. She is the author of Marking the Dispossessed (2015: Passenger Books) and 16 Months Worth of Drawings in Microsoft Excel (2006: Various Projects). She is co-author, with Lana Cavar and Natasha Chandani, of Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies (2012: Metropolis Books). From 2013-15 she was an Arts Fellow at Princeton University. She holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Virginia (1998) and an MFA in graphic design from Yale University (2005). She is currently working on a book about the Detroit Printing Co-op, which existed from 1969–1980. She is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at Wayne State University in Detroit.
BIANCA IBARLUCEA is a Mexican-American graphic designer and researcher born in Los Angeles and based in Detroit. Her practice uses participatory processes to activate and interrupt the human environment and to raise awareness about the experiences of marginalized communities. She is currently researching the breakdown of voice user interfaces, and their limited recognition of voices with accents. She holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Wayne State University (2015). Bianca is currently the graphic designer at Cranbrook Art Museum and Cranbrook Academy of Art where she designs exhibition graphic identities, publications, and recently led the Art Museum identity redesign under the direction of Andrew Blauvelt.
24 APRIL - 26 APRIL, 2PM - 3PM
27 APRIL, 2PM - 6PM
27 APRIL, 5PM - 6PM