The Project

True to the spirit and legacy of Allan Kaprow, the haudenschildGarage reinterpreted his happening, Travelog (1968), over the course of two days, May 10 & 12, 2008 in conjunction with the exhibition Allan Kaprow – Art as Life at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (March 23 - June 30, 2008).

The original piece took place in Madison, New Jersey where Kaprow worked with a group of students from Fairleigh Dickinson University. About thirty-five people in ten or eleven cars participated. At each gas station a tire was changed; the process was recorded and photographed as it was repeated. The next day the whole process was repeated without cameras or tape recorders.

Conceptualized and organized by Steve Fagin and Eloisa Haudenschild, the haudenschildGarage was not slavish or loyal, and hence represented the best legacy possible to the humble but irreverent Allan. Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner of The Urban Think Tank in Venezuela, artist Song Tao and journalist Lin Yu in China, and researcher and professor of psychology, Nicholas Christenfeld in the U.S. chose a service to engage with and spent a day repeating the task, documenting each of the service iterations. This documentation was sent to the haudenschildGarage inpackages.

On May 10, the packages were opened and the day of service was discussed, moderated by Jeff Kelley, critic and author.  The discussion took place at the haudenschildGarage consecutively on three continents via Skype.  The participants divided themselves into three groups to further interpret Travelog in San Diego. Curators, Lucia Sanroman & Stephen Hepworth together with Diane Rothenberg, social anthropologist and author, and Jerome Rothenberg, poet and professor, led the groups. Group participants included Belinda Bijun Sun, George Bolster, Giacomo Castagnola Chaparro, Rishi Chadha, Coryl Crane-Kaprow, Mary Evangelista, Steve Fagin, Eloisa Haudenschild, Ariana Hernandez-Reguant, Monica Jovanovich, Laura Kwak, David Matlin, Sean Neil, Kyong Park, Alan Rosenblum, Gail Schneider, Carlos Trilnick, Christin Turner, Nina Waisman, and Sybil Wendler.

On May 12 after the groups' activities in San Diego, the participants reconvened at the Garage and discussed, debated, and shared their experiences with Jeff Kelley moderating the evening. Dolissa Medina was the videographer and Marcos Llanos and Monica Jovanovich photographed the events. Present from MOCA were Aandrea Stang and Zachary Kaplan.

For photo documentation of this Happening at MOCA, Happenings are coordinated by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and made possible by generous support from the Getty Foundation. Allan Kaprow – Art as Life is organized by the Haus der Kunst, Munich, and the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven. Concept of the exhibition by Stephanie Rosenthal and Eva Meyer-Hermann. The exhibition is on view at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA from March 23 - June 30 2008.

 

+58: The Urban Think Tank in Caracas, Venezuela

The Urban Think Tank, consisting of directors, Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpert, and their project team, Kwi-Hae Kim, Leonardo Lamedam, and Anna Wachtmeister, commented on what they called the "ubiquity and practicality of cell phone use created the habit of exchanging phone numbers between temporary acquaintances to long term friends." They "acted as tourists guided by a local in the city of Caracas and collected cell phone numbers from the various people they interacted with." Urban Think Tank Project Team was made up of Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpert along with the team of Kwi-Hae Kim, Leonardo Lamedam, and Anna Wachtmeister.

Ubiquity and practicality of cell phone use created the habit of exchanging phone numbers between temporary acquaintances to long term friends.

For the duration of one day we acted as tourists guided by a local in the city of Caracas and collected cell phone numbers from various people we interact with. As we traveled through the poor and the wealthy areas of the city, the list of contacts and photos taken during the exchange were the record of this day long event. At the end of the day, all the contacts we collected were sent to the blog site which will contain information for the exhibition in Los Angeles. Through this site, one is able to participate in the exhibition by calling the number which were exchanged earlier that day.

 

¿Podrias darme su número de celular?

 

PDSNC
That's our name. -- Este es nuestro nombre.

THE NAME
+58 = Venezuela country code

THE BLOG
http://uttkaprow.blogspot.com/

THE NUMBERS

011584168914326
011584129649168
011584169097894
011584241887648
011584166240287
011584128081043
011584122867733
011584161574583
011584168297859
011584241428041
011584245490607
011584241885982
011584129140836
011584142288740
011584122216223
011584120142723
011584143517835
011584123606271
011584141116883
011584125824523
011584169055321
011584141834545
011584166070434
011584123909784
011584125639810
011584167290929
011584269117975
011584126111090
011584129981998
011584128504256
011584141848017
011584127254899
011584129285455
011584163101960
011584166192325
011584166053470
011584166810197
011584141524556
011584142446876
011584166077211
011584143414707
011584145570225
011584241035975
011584162557302
011584149333439
011584122364001
011584120187846
011584127246565
011584164033810
011584126225523

 

FERRYTALE: Song Tao and Lin Yu in Shanghai, China

Song Tao and Lin Yu chose to ride the ferries that cross the Huang Pu River in Shanghai in their project called FERRYTALE. They wrote:

THE PROJECT BY LIN YU

FERRYTALE was a project inspired by Allan Kaprow’s work Travelog. On a single day, 27 April 2008, we, artist Song Tao and journalist Lin Yu, drove to the ferries along Huang Pu River starting in the north and finishing in the south and took each of the ferry lines to cross the river and took pictures during the tour. Since both of us lived by the river (right side) during our childhood, and had rich memories and deep emotions connected to ferries, FERRYTALE was also a chance to return to our roots. Moreover, after the day, we believed that it was a return to the roots of the city of Shanghai as well. It was in the early 20th century, when the first ferries and ferry lines on Huang Pu River were designed to connect both sides of the river - especially for those who were living on the right side crossing to the left side. Later, the first bridge on the river was built and today there are more than 5 bridges, 4 tunnels and several metro lines - crossing the river is easy and quick now, most people no longer depend on ferries as the only way crossing.

However, ferriage is still living in the city. Some people are still taking ferryboat everyday cross the river in the same way as they did in early 20th century, or in the World War II, or before there were the bridges. At some ferry lines, we found the business were still very busy, while we also found some ferry lines were quiet and almost abandoned.

On a ferryboat or beside a ferry station, we saw people quite different from the people we meet in our daily lives. There were poor people, people still living by the river, people from countryside who were unable to access to the mainstream of the society.

On the other hand, we also saw people who were quite like the people we met during our childhood. Those people seemed as if they were just stepping out from our memories and were the typical Shanghainese from the 1980s and 1990s. They remained the typical Shanghainese style of people who had disappeared due to the development of the city.

On the ferryboat of  the “Dong Chang Lu — Jin Ling Dong Lu” line, we found visitors from all over the country and from elsewhere. The boat was quite luxurious with a double floor, cinema-like seats and air conditioning. The line no longer served for local people but for tourists. It was no longer the ferryboat of our memories; it was so commercial and touristy that both of us both sick.

Living or abandoned, busy or quiet, with or without vehicles, for local people or for tourists ... ferries have unique beauty as containers reserving the culture and lifestyle of Shanghai. For this reason, we believe that we are right to put our ferry project from tour to a tale.

 

TRAVEL NOTES BY CHINESE ARTIST SONG TAO

After a light sleep the night before, I got up at 7am and took a shower, and arrived at Lin Yu's at 8:10am to drive north. Traffic was quite good on a Sunday morning. After Central Cycle, we missed the Yi Xian Lu Elevated Line, and had to drive on the ground road among the container trucks. At 9:19am we found our first ferry-station: Wu Song Lu Ferry, where our jeep could ferry across the river. I lived by the river when I was young — at that time there was no bridge but a tunnel, cars crossed the river mainly by means of ferry. Now this ferry line is the only vehicle ferry. But we were shocked when a passenger ferryboat reached the wharf; a staff told us to drive our jeep directly into it! The vehicle ferryboat in my memory has totally disappeared...

We stopped the car in the passenger ferryboat (which I had taken numerous times during my childhood), pulled off the handbrake and switched off the engine, I jumped out of the jeep, passed through the people around me, lit my cigarette and a familiar smell rose into my nose -- the smell of the river. Driving towards the south along the river in Pudong, it became hot in the jeep, and then slowly, it cooled down. Ferries. Wharves. Stall-keepers making their living by the ferries. Bus lines started from the ferries. Pink paulownia flowers were in full bloom. The roaring engine of the ferryboat. Abandoned vehicle ferry wharf. Bridge figure irremovable from sight. Some people remained crossing the river by ferry. Lovers were snuggling up together in the foreground...

The river became sexy at dusk on the LCD screen of camera. The giant steamers parking in the middle of the river were illumined by lights. River-water captured at the shutter speed of 1/8 of a second, and lovers were watching the river — all of those matched my mood perfectly. Deep barges connected one by one, floating on the surface of river. Our ferryboat rounded them carefully driving toward the opposite bank. A ferryboat that started from the opposite drove towards us and passed...

It was totally dark now. We were heading for the south, search for the ferries hiding by the river. Those ferries were waiting quietly in the small village by the giant bridges. They were there before those magnificent bridges were built up, at that time they were very busy and noisy. By then it was midnight, we were still driving towards the south. We were on a lampless road. On both side of the road there were giant trees, whose big trees connected together, which made the road like a tunnel in the lights of the jeep. It was nothing but dark in the rearview mirror, and at the end of the light, there was nothing but dark as well. I lost my sense of speed as I was driving, then I could only depend on the number told by the speedometer needle. Lin Yu told me that at the end of the road was the last ferry of the river, and the last of our journey too.

 

THE ROUTE

2008-04-27
09:19 Wu Song Ferry
09:32 San Cha Ferry
10:59 Dong Tang Lu Ferry
11:20 Neng Jiang Lu Ferry
11:49 Jin Qiao Lu Ferry
12:04 Ding Hai Qiao Ferry
13:22 Xie Pu Lu Ferry
13:44 Ning Guo Lu Ferry
14:04 Min Sheng Lu Ferry
14:14 Dan Dong Lu Ferry
14:25 (Ex-) Min Sheng Lu Vehicle Ferry
14:48 Qi Chang Zhai Ferry
15:03 Qin Huang Dao Lu Ferry
15:32 Tai Tong Zhai Ferry Construction Site
16:01 Dong Chang Lu Ferry
16:20 Jin Ling Dong Lu Ferry
17:02 Yang Jia Du Ferry
17:11 Fu Xing Dong Lu Ferry
17:24 Tang Qiao Ferry
17:42 Dong Jia Du Ferry
18:05 1 Nan Ma Tou Ferry 1
18:22 Lu Jia Bang Lu Ferry
18:35 Nan Jiang Lu Ferry
18:51 2 Nan Ma Tou Ferry 2
19:16 Close to Zhou Jia Du Ferry (Now Construction Site)
19:51 San Lin Lu Ferry
20:16 Gang Kou Ferry
21:17 Xi Du Ferry
21:46 Min Hang Ferry
22:36 Tang Kou Ferry

 

Lux et Obscuritas: Nicholas Christenfeld UCSD Professor in San Diego, California

Nicholas Christenfeld with two graduate students, Kadimah Elson and Britta Larson, engaged people in the cereal aisle of local San Diego supermarkets in their project Lux et Obscuritas. Christenfeld describes the project, consisting of Kadimah Elson as distinctly goth and Britta Larson distinctly not, "as asking patrons which cereal they would recommend as appropriate for her, and then, if the patron was willing, was photographed with the cereal and its recommender, and, regardless, purchased the cereal." He then analyzed the data and created charts categorizing the information.

What makes some people say “um” so often? Is one healthier with female friends? Why in baseball is the season ten times longer than in football? Do people resemble their babies? Are men and women equally concerned about their partner’s infidelity? Can one be tickled by a machine? Would it kill you to live in New York City? Those are among the questions, bringing the tools of experimental social psychology to bear on everyday behavior, that Christenfeld has addressed in his roughly two decades in the field, and which comprise a part of his job as a psychology professor at the University of California, San Diego.

Two female graduate students, one distinctly goth (Kadimah Elson), and one distinctly not (Britta Larson), took turns, in the cereal aisle of local markets, asking patrons which cereal they would recommend as appropriate for her, and then, if the patron was willing, was photographed with the cereal and its recommender, and, regardless, purchased the cereal.

 

TROLLEYTALES: Curator, Lucia Sanroman in San Diego, California

Lucia Sanroman's group worked off of FERRYTALE and looked to the trolley lines in San Diego for their project titled, TROLLEYTALES. They engaged those taking the trolley through asking for change (a comment on the need for exact change for the ticket machines at trolley stations). Trolleytale was a project inspired by Song Tao and Lin Yu's FERRYTALE in Shanghai. Lucia's group (Giacomo Castagnola Chaparro, Ariana Hernandez-Reguant, Sean Neil, Alan Rosenblum, Carlos Trilnick, Nina Waisman, Christin Turner) decided to travel on San Diego's trolley lines, interviewing the passengers. Additionally, they engaged people through asking for change for a $20 bill as none of the stations have change machines and the ticket machines only take exact change.

 

YOUR RECEIPT IS IN THE BAG: Curator, Stephen Hepworth in San Diego, California

Stephen Hepworth's group, Your Receipt is in the Bag, solicited opinions in a retail setting similar to Lux et Obscuritas. This group visited various shops in San Diego malls and pushed the sales associates to pick clothing for them based on only their physical appearance.

 

Objective

Six different clothing stores in the San Diego area where chosen and then visited with a team of six people. The stores were chosen as they represented a range of different merchandise appealing to a different youthful demographic. In each of the stores an assistant would be identified and asked to choose a different top for each of the different team members. Each team member would then be photographed wearing the top and then the assistant would be asked to choose which was his or her favorite top and explain why. The top was then purchased. The assistant was asked to provide their name, age, gender, where they were from, ethnicity and how long they had been living in San Diego. Photographs were taken of the store, the selection of a top, and of the selected team member with the assistant. The project was explained to the assistant when they were approached.

 

Chosen Stores (info from company website or mall website)

American Apparel – Hillcrest
American Apparel is known for comfortable clothing as well as provocative photography.

Abercrombie and Fitch – Fashion Valley
Abercrombie & Fitch focuses on providing high-quality merchandise that compliments the casual classic American lifestyle. The merchandise is sold in retail stores throughout the United States and through catalogs.

Banana Republic – Fashion Valley
While maintaining its sense of the classic and its superb quality, Banana Republic has increased its attention to fashion. Featuring fashions for men and women, Banana Republic means classic style that is current and self-assured but never trendy. Banana Republic also carries accessories for the home.

Hot Topic – Mission Valley
Origins-The Birth of the Loudest Store in the Mall:

It all started in 1988. Guns N' Roses, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi were #1 on the charts, and hair scrunchies, bolo ties and aviator sunglasses were everywhere. A ton of junior accessory and apparel chain stores filled shopping malls, but there wasn't a cool accessory store for both guys and girls. Then came Hot Topic.

In the fall of 1989, Hot Topic opened its doors in Westminster, California. We'd love to tell you it was a huge success, with hundreds of teens clawing their way into the store, but we'd be lying. Sales were disappointing. Some days we barely made a hundred bucks. Was founder Orv Madden's vision doomed? It was time to take a step back and re-evaluate. First, our location in the mall wasn't the best. How the heck could we sell anything if nobody could find us? Then we looked at what was selling-costume jewelry. We started buying more stuff like cross necklaces, unisex earrings and leather bracelets and got rid of hair scrunchies, men's ties and dress socks. Hot Topic found a niche and its name was music-influenced accessories. Whether it was fingerless gloves like Billy Idol or glam metal bootstraps like Poison, music was definitely the driving force behind teen fashion. After our Westminster customers gave us a reality check, we packed our bags, moved to Montclair, California and rocked their mall with the first Hot Topic store to carry all music-influenced accessories for teens.

As business increased in 1990, adding apparel seemed like a no-brainer, and what better way than to add the ultimate music fan essential-rock tees. At the time, finding a rock tee wasn't easy. You had to buy 'em from catalogs, small record stores or at concerts. It was unheard of to see a rock tee at the mall, so imagine how our customers flipped when they were able to purchase Bauhaus, The Cure, TSOL and Depeche Mode T-shirts at Hot Topic. Not surprisingly, these 4 titles blew out, so more alternative bands were added. Within a year, we had about 50 different band titles, and rock-inspired clothing lines like Lip Service and Serious were a big chunk of the business. By the end of 1990, we had opened 3 more stores in California and by 1994, Hot Topic was 50% accessories and 50% apparel. In 1995, Hot Topic had 29 stores open in the Western U.S. and one Midwest store in the Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN. We were ready to take the East Coast by storm and opened store #31 in Staten Island, NY. Our customers loved it, and we got a lot of suggestions that we took to heart. Hot Topic has always been about getting feedback, listening and testing new ideas and products. We're cool like that. Just like with the whole alternative music thing, Hot Topic customers were drawn to the underground cartoon, cult movie and comic book scenes. It was a unique culture they could call their own, and it was difficult to find merchandise from these licenses. Hot Topic brought the world of South Park, Care Bears, Superman, SpongeBob SquarePants and lots of other pop icons into our stores. In 1996, with about 60 stores, Hot Topic became a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ under the symbol HOTT. The cash from our public offering allowed us to open more stores across the country. Hot Topic, Inc. continues to rock the malls. There are Hot Topic stores in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. you.

Old Navy – Fashion Valley
Old Navy's mission is to offer affordable, fashionable clothing and accessories for adults, kids, baby, and Moms-to-be.

Sun Diego – Fashion Valley
Operating as retail stores located all over San Diego County,California , we constantly strive to bring to our customers the best selection of surf/skate/snow apparel and related hardgoods and accessories. There are six Sun Diego stores located within the San Diego area and one store in Temecula. We also have The Blue Room in Fashion Valley Mall, where we carry more specialty items. We value our customers and are proud to have served you for over 20 years. In our efforts to bring you the best and latest products in the industry, we have partnered up with over 200 different companies. We also pride ourselves on our service. Most of our employees participate in one or more of the sports that we represent. Our goal is to make you a customer for life, so we make it our mission to hire friendly and outgoing people and constantly supply them up-to-date information on the latest and greatest in our industry.

Finished form
A folder of images and gathered information, plus descriptions of the store drawn from their company website, the mall’s website and additional information from Wikipedia. Analysis of the information gathered. The purchased items in their bags with their receipts.

 

The Group

Stephen Hepworth (group leader)
Mary Evangelista
Laura Kwak
Rishi Chadha
Belinda Bijun Sun
George Bolster

 

BOOKS: Diane and Jerome Rothenberg in San Diego, California

The Rothenbergs returned to the original Travelog as inspiration, taking a photograph of a Happening in Germany, Tires, and visited bookshops in the San Diego area. They prompted the sales clerk for a book recommendation based on the photograph - encountering a range of exchanges from helpful and friendly to dismissive and abrupt.

The group chaired by Jerome and Diane Rothenberg were all present at the May 10th presentations, and, because there was some competition for the referential projects, we ended up with Lux et Obscuritas. Our prearranged group consisted of Jerome Rothenberg, Diane Rothenberg, Gail Schneider, David Matlin, Steve Fagin, Eloisa Haudenschild, Coryl Crane, and we were joined by Monica Jovanovich and Sybil Wendler and we met that afternoon and discussed doing a project that would involve groups going out to local lagoons and conducting a photographic exchange with visitors to the lagoons. We agreed to meet at the Rothenberg house the next morning to refine our ideas and proceed on our project.

At 9:00 AM on May 11th we met. Diane Rothenberg had prepared maps for north country with lagoons indicated and these maps are included in the documentation although they were not used. Our group was extremely fortunate to have Steve Fagin, the initiator of the whole project, and Coryl Crane, Allan Kaprow’s widow among our members, and Steve quickly indicated that he thought that the essential element of a service exchange in Travelogue was missing in our plans. It was immediately clear that he was right and we proceeded as a group to test ideas for a project that we could do around a service exchange, and including Allan’s interest in technological and social change. Coryl reminded us that an element of tension was also essential in the exchange.

We decided that we would explore the changing world of book purchase with the hypothesis that we might find differences between individually owned and serviced book stores, chain stores with non-invested employees, public libraries that have a service, but not a monetary exchange, and the internet. We Xeroxed and distributed copies of a photograph from a Kaprow piece of a mountain of tires with human figures against it, and our controlled procedure was to be to go in pairs to a range of book acquisition locations, to show the photograph to a service person and to ask them to choose for us books that they thought appropriate to that image. We were to make explicit that we would purchase the books they recommended, and to that end each person was furnished with $50. We were not to identify the image as an art work, nor to mention Kaprow.

The group was enthusiastic about the project and quickly separated into couples to do the task during the day. The Rothenbergs went to Barnes and Noble, Borders, and the Carlsbad Public Library, Gail Schneider and David Matlin covered several used bookstores on Adams Avenue, but had to wait until Monday because the stores were closed on Sunday; Coryl and Sybil went to an upscale private bookstore in the Flower Hill Mall where the owner immediately identified the photograph as a piece of Allan Kaprow’s; Steve Fagin and Eloisa Haudenschild went to the more upscale chain Warwicks and the bookstore at the Contemporary Museum, and Steve used the computer to do an exploration of the service transformations in on-line book purchase; and Monica Jovanovich went to several chains. We all purchased books.

The next night we met for the final meeting for each group to report on their experiences and to deliver our documentation which, in this instance, was a pile of books and photographs. On the whole, the books suggested tended to cluster around issues of pollution, environmentalism, economic inequality, recycling and tires as a subject. There was several children’s picture books, and since no one had suggested art, there were no art books. No one had had a complete lack of cooperation, but some people got more engaged and some defensive when they felt challenged. We came to no conclusions about any of this, nor could we considering the number of variables for which there was no control. But we were pleased that we had kept the project simple and with the original idea of a service exchange involving some element of tension realized by all participants.

—written by Diane Rothenberg

 

TRAVELOG: The Original 1968 Transcript by Allan Kaprow

TRAVELOG was a traveling activity, Travelogs in my childhood were education films which explained a part of the world we didn’t know. The word travelog sounded like pedagog and ship’s log. This one explained a part of the world we thought we knew: gas stations.

It required keeping a polaroid photo and audio-tape log of driving around to gas stations in Madison, New Jersey. At each stop a tire was changed – any tire such as the front left with the spare, or the right rear with the left one – and the choice could be different each subsequent time. The reason given was up to the passengers if the attendant questioned why it was necessary.

Permission to take pictures of the process and record the tire-changing sounds was always asked, and it usually was granted since everybody liked to be thought important. The work was paid for and another station was found. This went on for half the day. About thirty-five people in ten or eleven cars participated that mid-July, 1968.

Naturally, Madison being a medium sized town, a number of gas stations were visited by more then one car in our group. It just happened that way and was amusing. Naturally too, the attendants became curious and asked questions, and we answered as we wished. At some of the stations they were worried that the gasoline companies had sent teams of investigators.

At the day’s end everyone returned to Fairleigh Dickinson University – which sponsored TRAVELOG – to show their polaroids and play their tapes. Nearly a hundred photos were projected at random on a screen and the tapes were played over a loudspeaker. We talked about our travels and traded experiences.

The next day the whole process was repeated but without cameras or tape recorders.

Some interesting things became clear which hadn’t been. Few of us had ever paid attention to gas stations. It turned out there were two types of stations. One, the older kind, was a gas-and-repairs shop, and looked like a garage with signs attached. The other was a modern, brushed-aluminum and plastic affair which mainly pumped gas.

The first kind was a social center on a small scale; lots of cars parked around, tools, old tires, grease stains. The owner was in charge, a man usually in his late forties; his younger assistants were hot-rodders or bikers and tended to come from lower middle class backgrounds. Besides those who worked there, there were hangers-on, truckers and others similarly belonging to the automotive life. A few girlfriends also hung around drinking soda pop from the vending machine.

The second type of station was impersonal, was served not by an owner but by one or two employees who, though they would do minimal work such as changing a tire, were there to operate the pumps and process the bills and credit cards. There was next to no social life, few parked cars, and the places were very, very clean with well-lighted toilets. They were decorated shells, large facades for advertising the gas. The station was a three-dimensional billboard, a theater setting.

From conversations along the way we gathered that the older station was giving out to the modern one. The owners felt anxious. The young attendants were generally surly or indifferent, perhaps aware that their jobs led nowhere. They changed the tired aggressively and incompetently. One owner said that care maintenance and repair were things of the past, not economical.

On the other hand the “clean machine” attendants had no emotional investment in their stations. A few were college students earning summer money. One said that probably all stations would go the way of his station and would become completely self-service in time.

What are you trying to do, they asked, you’re college people aren’t you, it’s a TV gag isn’t it? Sometimes we said we were doing a Happening and then that had to be explained. It was easier to say we were doing research for the university because then the men didn’t mind the cameras and tape machines. We were on an outing and at the same time becoming aware that we were conducting a study. How do you conduct a study, I wondered, and remain part of what you study?

Another thing that we found out was that the cameras and tape recorders transformed hazy occurrences into documentary clarity – different and better then if the machines hadn’t been used. There were aide-memories that literally framed moments out of real time and that could be recalled indefinitely. I was curious to learn if the experience would become a photographic and tape-rerecorded experience.

The second day when we went out again to reproduce the activity without machines, it was no longer as festive or highlighted by uniqueness. It was a bit tedious. We weren’t receiving acknowledgement for what we were doing. We seemed like any other motorist. The machines had been costumes to insure permission to do something unnecessary. There were guarantees of interest and response about the ordinary. Some of the group chose not to do it at all. But those who did concurred that the memory of the polaroids and tapes caused each new tire change to be seen as a picture and heard as a recording. For some time afterwards, well into the next year, stops at gas stations restimulated mental playbacks of what we did.

There was another thought. Besides being field work in sociology and psychology TRAVELOG was a transportation ritual. Car culture in America. The endless road. New wheels for old. Pit stops for repairs. The pause that refreshes. Gas stations our roadside shrines. Documents as sacred souvenirs.

-AK 1968

 

About the Participants

Urban Think Tank
Alfredo Brillembourg & Hubert Klumpner are from The Urban Think Tank (U-TT) a multi-disciplinary design practice dedicated to high-level research and design on a variety of subjects, concerned with contemporary architecture and urbanism. The philosophy of U-TT is to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions through the combined skills of architects, civil engineers, environmental planners, landscape architects, and communication specialists.In each project the design team explores and understands issues generated by the client’s demands. U-TT was founded in 1993 by Alfredo Brillembourg and, in 1998, Hubert Klumpner joined as principal. The office consists of 10 permanent staff members working out of Caracas, Venezuela. In 2003, U-TT expanded its business activities with the addition of a New York research branch called www.slumlab.com at Columbia University GSAPP.

The U-TT Project Team for this Happening includes: Kwi-Hae Kim, and architect/designer born in Seoul, Korea, immigrated to New York in 1986. Kim is the Project Architect for U-TT and has a MA in architecture from Columbia University and a BFA in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design. Leonardo Lameda is a translator/interpreter born in Caraqueno and raised in Caracas. Lameda was educated at the Escuela de Idiomas Modernos, Universidad Central de Venezuela and is currently working as an interpreter and Area Coordinator for Global Exchange. Anna Wachtmeister is an architect/researcher born in Belgium. Wachtmeister has lived and worked in the UK, Germany, Italy, Egypt, and now in Venezuela. She has a diploma and MA in architecture from the Sheffield School of Architect, UK and has experience in urban development practices as well.

Song Tao
Song Tao was born in Shanghai in 1979 and graduated from Shanghai School of Art and Crafts in 1998. He resides and works in Shanghai. Song Tao has exhibited widely. Recent shows include China Poweer Station: PartI, Battersea Power Station (London, UK, 2006), China Contemporary, Art, Architecture and Visual Culture, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam, 2006), Restless, MOCA (Shanghai, 2006), Bird Head, ShanghART (Shanghai, 2005), Guangzhou Photo Biennale, Guangdong Museum of Art, First Lianzhou International Foto Festival: Double Vision, Culture Square Lianzhou (2005), Zooming Into Focus: Chinese Contemporary Photography and Video from Haudenschild Collection, National Art Museum (Beijing, Mexico City and Shanghai, 2005), Shanghai Constructions, Shanghai Gallery of Art, (2005) and Light as Fuck! Shanghai Assemblage 2000-2004, National Museum of Art (Oslo, 2004).

Lin Yu
Lin Yu was born in Shanghai in 1979 and graduated from the Fudan University (Shanghai) with a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Literature and a Master of Arts in Comparative Literature. She presently is living and working in Shanghai as a journalist and writer on art, fashion, film, design, and architecture. Contact Lin Yu at aimee.lin (at) gmail.com

Jeff Kelley
As a biographer of Allan Kaprow, Jeff Kelley has most recently written Childsplay: The Art of Allan Kaprow (2007) and edited Kaprow's Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life (2003). Kelley has written for Artforum, Art in America, Arts Magazine, Artweek, Vanguard, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. He has also contributed catalog essays to publications for the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Mudima Foundation in Milan, Italy, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Des Moines Art Center, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Lucia Sanroman
Lucía Sanromán was born in Guadalajara, México, and educated in Victoria, British Columbia (M.A., 2003, art history, University of Victoria; B.A., 1997, University of Victoria; Fine Arts Diploma, 1989, Victoria College of Art). She joined the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego as Assistant Curator in January 2006. Prior to that, she was Curatorial Associate at the San Diego Museum of Art (2003-05), where she worked on important projects including Past in Reverse: Contemporary Art of East Asia (2004), and Farsites: Urban Crisis and Domestic Symptoms in Recent Contemporary Art (2005). She has also done freelance curatorial work in México and Canada, co-directed a small contemporary gallery in Victoria, B.C., was art critic for a magazine there, and taught in Visual Arts & Art History departments at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, and University of Victoria. At MCASD, she worked closely with Curator Rachel Teagle on Strange New World: Art and Design from Tijuana/Extraño Nuevo Mundo: Arte y diseño desde Tijuana, and has curated exhibitions from the Museum’s collection as well as one-person exhibitions of James Drake, Yvonne Venegas, Brian Ulrich, Hector Zamora, Peter Simensky, William Feeney, Iana Quesnel and others. She worked with Director Hugh Davies on the major exhibition, Robert Irwin: Primaries and Secondaries. Sanromán’s upcoming projects for MCASD include solo exhibitions of Javier Ramirez Limon and Mara de Luca (2008); three related exhibitions that explore work by women artists from Baja California and Southern California (2009); and an research-based exhibition of architecture of the San Diego/ Tijuana Region. She is currently co-curating, with Ruth Estevez, the inaugural exhibition in contemporary art for the CUBO, the new three-story museum venue at the Centro Cultural Tijuana (CECUT) to open in September 2008. Sanromán lives in Tijuana.

Diane Rothenberg
Diane Rothenberg is a social anthropologist whose writings include Friends Like These (selected essays) and, with Jerome Rothenberg, Symposium of the Whole (University of California Press). She has also done extensive writing on various performance art projects of Suzanne Lacey.

Jerome Rothenberg
Jerome Rothenberg is an internationally known poet with over seventy books of poetry and several assemblages of traditional and contemporary poetry such as Technicians of the Sacred and Poems for the Millennium. He taught for a number of years at the University of California, San Diego.

Stephan Hepworth
Stephen Hepworth was the former curator of the University Art Gallery, University of California, San Diego. Previously he was associate curator of Bloomberg SPACE, London 2001-2007; curator of Jerwood Gallery, London 1998-2001 director of The Tannery, London 1995-1997. Independent projects include Into My World, Recent British Sculpture, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT, 2004; Tailsliding, a large-scale touring exhibition commissioned by the British Council, 2001-2003; and Viewfinder, Arnolfini, Bristol, UK, 2001.