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URŠKA JURMAN, POLONCA LOVŠIN: READY 2 CHANGE (2005)

Within our series Transformacije we have published the book Ready 2 Change that documents the project of the same name that Urška Jurman and Polonca realised in the spaces of the Centre and Gallery P74 in Ljubljana in the spring of 2004. Ready 2 Change was a complex project, its fil rouge being the exploration and presentation of possible living alternatives and autonomous approaches to the systems which determine us on a daily basis. The focus was on the principles of informal, temporary and self-sustained architecture, alternative usage of energy, parallel economy, self-organisation and mutual collaboration as well as the “do-it-yourself” principle.

About the book

With its “mobilising” charge, the English title corresponded to the idea of the project, simultaneously emphasising the content reference to the book Ready to Change, published by Polonca Lovšin within the frame of the 25th International Graphics Biennial in Ljubljana in 2003. The project Ready 2 Change thus represents the continuation and the elaboration of the book Ready to Change, which presented the views and practices of people who have stepped away from routine and commonly accepted criteria and values, opening the door to alternative and individual solutions in creative and inventive ways. When it comes to the project Ready 2 Change, our aim was to present, intertwine, experience and test those practices in one place, says the authors.

The bond between theory and practice, i.e., between the discursive nature and the physical experience, was hence present at the project’s very point of departure. The visitors and participants of the project Ready 2 Change were invited to attend the lectures and the exhibition but our desire was to offer them at once a situation in which they could engage themselves to a greater extent. We made a water purifying plant device that cleansed the waste water coming out of the camping trailer placed in the garden in front of the gallery. The trailer served as a temporary residence for visiting artists during the project: first, for Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen and then for cym and her son Oskar; they experienced the way of life offered by mobile architecture. The residence was our way of examining the possibilities of different, more flexible, infrastructural and organisational models, but also a warning pointing to the unresolved issue of artistic residencies in Ljubljana. We organised workshops where the participants were able to learn how to construct, with minimal means, a simple spherical tent based on the principle of the architect Buckminster Fuller. We also arranged a Finnish sauna in one of the tents. We took the visitors to Podljubelj, to Karl Leitinger’s farm, which reflects his life philosophy connected to home manufacture, sensitivity towards the natural environment and a simple logic of building.

The variety of presentations: lectures, demonstrations, exhibitions, the artistic residence with the connected water purifying plant device, the spherical tent workshop and the Podljubelj excursion – and the diversity of experiences they brought – was certainly the second essential departing point of the project. It brought a dynamic to the two-month project Ready 2 Change that allowed us to transcend the representational form and open the space for the exchange of different ideas and their accomplishment.

The project’s third point of departure was interdisciplinarity. We identified the fusion of various fields as an important element in creating a wholesome view on the notion of system. We invited architects, visual artists, curators, scientists, entrepreneurs and laics to present their views and experiences. We strove to avoid a specialised view that might lead to closure and fragmentation; as opposed to that, we established a network of different views that were supposed to initiate a more extensive debate on systems.

As the response of all participants in the project Ready 2 Change was remarkably inspiring, we tried to preserve at least one part of the project in the form of a publication. Thus this book contains the majority of lectures that took place within the project. Andrej Detela writes on his researches in the area of development of electromotors for the new generation electric vehicles, and on the possibilities of alternative sources of electric energy. The text of Marjetica Potrč derives out of her work on the Caracas Case Project in Caracas, Venezuela in the year 2003, and talks about the informal city and informal economy. Janez Koželj takes on a research in the area of degraded urban territories in Slovenia; in his opinion, these are the city’s sole altering component and as such a continuously present possibility for the development, reorganisation and transformation of a city. Mateja Medvedič elaborates the idea of the ephemeral in architecture and urbanism, focusing on the advantages, utility and humour of those actions and spatial interventions, which find the idea of temporariness more important than the idea of eternity. In his text, Jože Barši talks of some artistic projects in which he explored the relation between art, its function and everyday life. Marko Pogačnik recalls the concluding period of the OHO group, when they stepped out of the world/institution of art in 1970 and established a commune, i.e., the Šempas Family, where they intertwined life and art. Taking the example of the project Micronations Summit, which he co-organised in 2003 in Helsinki, Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen examines the occurrence of “do-it-yourself” states, which he historically connects to utopian groups of the 19th century in the USA. Igor Zabel’s text presents the collective exhibition Individual Systems that he curated within the frame of the 2003 Venice Biennale. The exhibition posed questions on the relation between art as autonomous system and the social context, thematising the positive-utopian and the negative-antagonistic aspects of the idea of a system as the essential for the modern social and spiritual world. cym presents herself with a selection of photographs that trace her stay in the Ready 2 Change temporary residence.

This book is not merely a document of a concluded project; it is a vehicle through which Ready 2 Change lives on. Are you ready to change?

About the authors

Urška Jurman is a curator and a critic and a co-editor of an occasionalpublication for contemporary arts PlatformaSCCA. She publishes reviews and articles on contemporary arts in various Slovenian magazines and other medias.<br/>

Polonca Lovšin is an architect and an artist. She postgraduaded in Sculpture and New media from the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts. She presented her works in a number exebitions at home and abroad. In her works, she explores objects and inventions with the aim to improve everyday life in cities as well as in rural areas. 

 

Contents

 Polonca Lovšin & Urška Jurman: Introduction → PDF

Andrej Detela: The New-Generation Electric Vehicles 

Marjetica Potrč: Caracas – Informal City and Informal Economy 

Janez Koželj: Devalued Spaces in the City 

Janez Koželj & Marjetica Potrč: Discussion 

Mateja Medvedič: The Ephemeral in Architecture, or From Theory to Tactics 

Jože Barši: Perceiving is the Beginning of the Action 

Marko Pogačnik: Between OHO and the Šempas Family 

Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen: Micronations – from Utopian Communities to Space Settlements 

Igor Zabel: Individual Systems 

cym: cym at home 

Authors

Colophon

TRANSFORMACIJE 18

English - Slovene edition.

Regular price: 16.27 EUR 

25% discount for Maska subscribers: 12.21 EUR 

Publication description

203 pages, 170 x 240 mm, bw print