Banu Çiçek Tülü is an urbanist / artist based in Berlin, she explained how she works with different perceptions of sound and using sound as a participatory tool. With Tülü we had a session about the role of biennials.
She addressed the three main questions of Vardiya by sharing her own experience. She presented “Kayıtdışı” which is a workshop and event series organized by students including her.
The second experience she mentioned was an exhibitions organized by HKW Berlin. During the exhibition they initiated collaborations between multidisciplinary actors and stakeholder, creating a new platform to discuss the urban and architectural issues.
Tülü concluded the presentation with a manifesto responding to “What should the biennial do?”
“-A biennial should work on the contemporary issues of the world, bearing in mind the past, the present and the future.
-A biennial should be social and inclusive, open to different backgrounds, different migrant groups, as well as different decisions, choices and disadvantaged population.
-A biennial should be critical and create a debate, rather than trying to find an answer. Because ,as we all know, there is not just one answer.
-A biennial should be self-reflective in different geographies and territories of the world.
-A biennial should be political and should try to change the political discourse.”
Çağrı Hakan Zaman had a presentation for us; he showed the previous works he had done. We examined and talked about how digital can help us the create and remember a space. Even we experience the same space; our mind doesn’t remember the whole details, it selects different parts of the room. We also talked about the question ‘’How can a machine or an artificial logic realize the idea of a space
The Venice Times is a multidisciplinary research collective focusing on retelling the story of architecture through fiction as it’s main investigation tool. It was established in the 1700’s by an alchemist and critical art theorist, and has since grown to over 12 members. A diverse collective, members include a designer, a landscape architect, a yoga teacher, a tomatoe cultivator and an opera singer.
Overwhelmed by the empty spaces of the Arsenal after the aftermath of Freespace in 2018, The Venice Times in collaboration with Vardiya™ prepared this song in as an ode the events of this sad moment in the history of the Venice Architecture Biennale. During their intense work for over a month, journalists and researchers from The Venice Times felt the desperate need to contribute all they could towards the aim of seeing the Architectural Biennale of Venice open again. The team joined joined forces with an experienced group of musicians, composers and singers, to compose this song, an anthem, a prayer, a spiritual tool, in the hope of bringing some attention to this urgent matter. The song was based on the heartbreaking observations of the The Venice Times and Vardiya™ members, inside the empty spaces of the Venetian Arsenal, home of the Venice Biennale. Join their voices and let us pray for a miracle – let us pray for consensus!
Saturday was (is!) the final day of our work, so the Vardiya Space turned into to a restless workshop space where everyone individually and all of us together was working in full speed to finalize our work. Interchanging tasks, writing texts, editing videos and preparing our print material, we were all very busy but also enthusiastic to see the final result. Let’s hope we will have lunch soon!
Fragments of our process towards fictioning Venice!
Cüneyt Özdemir, journalist and youtuber based in New York, was our first Digital Critic during the last days of our Vardiya Workshop. He talked about his long-lasting love for architecture, his experience from covering the past Biennale organizations and his efforts to include the architectural discourse in the mainstream news of Turkey. We also discussed the opportunities and limitations of Journalism in Turkey, his diverse experiences from mainstream media and his recent social media engagement and how he feels that freedom of speech cannot be accomplished merely by a change of medium. “If you are talking in this new digital age, in my opinion, it doesn’t matter where you speak but mostly what you are saying” he describes. He also explained how freedom of speech is connected with and restrained by the private ownership of media and that the strict state of censorship in Turkey could be a dystopic future we will have to face globally.
We were very glad to have Paolo Patelli join us for the 4th Digital Lecture of our workshop. We had the chance to discuss with him on some of his recent and previous works. Paolo, an architect and a researcher, currently based in the Netherlands, explained how he uses fieldwork, archaeological methods, and fiction to produce his work. His video installation Shore Leaves, which is currently being exhibited in the Dutch Pavilion, is dealing with the invisibility of labor under automation through the daily life of seafarers. His work underlines that “while human presence and labor are still indispensable and of infrastructural importance, human bodies strive to adapt to remodeled times and spaces and descend further beneath a threshold of visibility.”
We started the day of with a collaborative critique and discussion about our former exercises and ideas. We had a digital lecture themed ‘Quiddit’ with Tamar Shafir. After the lecture, we split into groups to further discuss on how to use our collected data to convey a message and what that message should be. We each came up with proposals for a final project which also considered the effective use and design of the Pavillion of Turkey. We came up with a few sub-topics such as fictional mapping, exercise mapping for accessing Venice and fictional news. We started working more specifically under these titles for our work to later be combined into a final unit.
For the 3rd digital roundtable of Vardiya, we were delighted to meet Jorge Urias. In his presentation, he answered to the three questions posed by the curators of Vardiya, and then talked about his multidisciplinary practice based in New York and Mexico.
Jorge points out that technology plays a big role in how the biennale works, and that the biennale is mostly about dialogue, exchange of knowledge, a tool to experiment and to test. The biennale brings together different cultures and backgrounds constructing patterns of ideas and information.
Just as it happens in a biennale, Jorge describes his practice as an exploration of “the multiple converging variables that work together to create patterns of ınformation”. His work aims to make “visible the hidden patterns between the built and the unbuilt”. In other words, the process of design is based on contextual analyses that results in actual patterns inscribed in the façades of buildings.
Tamar Shafrir joined us for our 3rd Digital Lecture, talked to us about “Quiddity” or the essence of things, the perception of beauty and the technologies of seeing, and answered our questions in a very interesting conversation. Tamar, a writer and researcher in the field of design (architecture, visual culture, technology, fashion), talked about the meaning of the image in an era when most images are not produced for the human vision but for AI. How can a computer have an aesthetical appreciation? How do this new, non-human, aesthetics define the way images are produced, perceived and how do they redefine “beauty”?