Contribution to, and curatorial work for Painting Connections, a University College London project exploring and showcasing the contested ideas of the Sharing Economy in Hackney Wick and Fish Island, supported by Creative Wick and Affordable Wick.
From July 29th-31st, a pop-up exhibition by local artists Natalie Ryde, Marie Brenneis and Ansell Cizic, creating bespoke work commenting on the idea of the Sharing Economy and the HWFI community took place at Things Fashion warehouse in Hackney Wick.
In collaboration with attendants our team worked to uniquely visualise the story of the hospital, bringing back to life this neglected icon of the city, and its role in our relationship to alcohol, medicine, and the stirrings of a new data science.
Participatory storytelling event for RIBA's 'Make No Small Plans' Late Tuesday programme. Five words is a game played in pairs, exchanging a set of five words and after short delibaration, improvising a story.
Far before (or after) cities exist on paper, in space, or in historical records, they exist in our imagination, language and memory. No plans or professional boundaries restrict our imaginations and how we think about and experience space. Much like the open prose of Italo Calvino's 'Invisible Cities', this activity invites the audience to imagine and shape our ideas of cities outside the parameters of urban theory or professional practice.
Five Words: Invisible Cities is a participative storytelling game that invites storytellers and the audiences to collectively (re)imagine places with the help of words and free association – be it utopian, dystopian, off the map.
Contribution to Charlie Levine / Vishwa Shroff's 'Cornered Stories' project involving artists, architects, thinkers and creatives.
Set of audio recordings and spectrogram illustrations on the theme the contemporary experience of language, place and identity, taking corners in the city as a conceptual departure point.
The project consists of five audio recordings, each taken at a different street corner, of a distant conversation in different languages. They invite the audience to experience a fragment of city life and lead it to make conclusions about the characters and their location. The recordings are accompanied by a printed transposition of the audio data into excerpts from a spectrogram, visualising the audio.
Interview / background
Charlie:Carina, you and I have often talked about ‘space’ and how we fit within it, whether physically or metaphorically. We’re aware of our surroundings and our place within it on and off line. How do you think your past experiences and studies have helped shaped the way you think about space?
Carina: There are two ways in which I tend to think about ‘space’: for one, as political. Political in the way we use it, traverse it, we are empowered or disempowered to navigate, create, manage or control space, and how its creation and use is limited by those who control it for us, and inequalities created, from issues of private ownership of public spaces, to surveillance, to development and gentrification. Both through my academic work as well as working for places such as Groundwork, I have always had an interest in the divide between the governance of space and the way it is used and can be appropriated by civil society, and how to bridge this.
The other is the interplay of space with the shaping of narratives, histories, memories, identities and belonging, which perhaps derives from my own experience of being foreign and the process of displacement and reestablishing identities. The way that people’s trajectories and narratives, their relationship to the grids and spaces, encounters with people and ideas guide their movements become storytelling in space. I find the layering of histories and memories, the potential of pathways and encounters, the temporary manifestations in space that stay with us fascinating. Corners in this context are spaces where these manifestations concentrate: places where people wait and observe, listen accidentally, people meet but also part into multiple directions, people cross over in endless combinations of paths and stories.
Charlie:For this project you are looking at and exploring the city as a global space. The idea of a single city potentially being home to all corners of the world. What about this appealed to you and why have you proposed this idea to Cornered Stories?
Carina: I wanted to do something that connected experiences of language, identity and space – three things that I am very interested in, both as an immigrant and as someone who has always been fascinated by the idea of what constitutes identity and what discourses shape the idea of ‘the other’ and ‘elsewhere’, particularly in places where a myriad of people crossover. I enjoy playing with the idea of identity because it is such a shapeshifting concept, of varying degrees of meaning and importance. Listening to the audio we don’t know much about the characters or languages, but we will make conclusions about their location and story, just as we would in an encounter, without having any reference point.
There is something almost entirely dislocated and transnational about the experience of cosmopolitan cities today, where everyone carries traces of different places, beliefs, stories with them in entirely different measures and meets in one place to simply pass by or to interact, then departs again into a different context.
I looked up the origins of the expression ‘four corners of the world’, which led me to the idea that in many non-European traditions there are five, not four cardinal directions: the fifth being the centre, a meeting point where they cross.
Charlie:Carrying on with this project, you’re delving into new realms of visualisation and interpretation – having not got a formal arts background you have chosen to visually depict the sounds you have recorded and have them side by side. Can you tell us more about this process and how you ended up here with this project?
Carina: I just wanted to take the idea of how we’re tempted to classify information a step further, of how we perceive it and match it to our ideas of something, even if we don’t understand or have no knowledge of the context or ‘the other’. I really just started playing around with ways of how else the audio could be ‘translated’ and then ‘read’ and wanted to find a method that was scientifically representative but to most of us will be as abstract and disorientating as a piece of art.
For me that is the cathartic quality of art, the possibility to be confronted by something so abstract that allows a disengagement from the well-trodden paths of thought and judgement that often makes us miss out on the more real, transient, fragmented essence of things.
When I saw the spectrogram images I was surprised at how different they were and again invited interpretation, even if it was interpretation of something we still don’t understand and can’t read, teasing us with the promise of meaning making but ultimately remaining as they are, unreadable. At the same time I think they’re quite beautiful objects which relay something of the ethereal, intangible nature of language, space and identity. Some of them perhaps even evoke a notion of structure or space.
Contribution to bid writing, programming and coordinating of collaborative international arts exhibition, Thrift Radiates Happiness, in derelict temporary venue, the Municipal Bank in central Birmingham.
One of Birmingham’s most historic landmark buildings opened its doors to the public for the first time in ten years when it played host to a four day contemporary arts exposition.
From 14-17 March 2013 the former Grade II listed Municipal Bank on Broad Street showcased a creative programme of drawings, images, sound and light, video and sound from local, national and international artists.
The title of the exhibition was Thrift Radiates Happiness, taken from an inscription found carved across a main beam within the building. All the art projects featured were appropriately focus on finance and investment.
The showcase event was the result of an arts and business collaboration between Birmingham based gallery TROVE, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Birmingham Architectural Association (BAA), Birmingham City Council and global architect practice Aedas.
Entrance to the exhibition was free thanks to funding awarded by The Arts Council, RIBA and Aedas.
Love Architecture Festival
Programming and project management for RIBA West Midlands' Love Architecture Festival 2012 and 2013.
Programme involved film nights, building tours, lego workshop, debates, exhbitions, open practice.
Collaborations with local architecture practices, artists, Birmingham City Council, Birmingham Heritage, Made Birmingham.