Monday, 9 June 2008

The Open Dialogues Live Review was held on Saturday 7th June.

Open Dialogues: Live Review. 7th June 2008
Choriner Str, 85/ Berlin Mitte. Photo: Christina Irrgang
l - r: Doreen Mende, Martin Rosengaard, Rachel Lois Clapham, Mary Paterson

The Live Review came slap bang in the middle of Open Dialogues: New Life Berlin, which is a two-week writing programme taking place as part of the New Life Berlin festival of participatory art. Open Dialogues: New Life Berlin brings together 20 international writers to write about the festival on the project’s blog (, in self-generated, fast turnaround printed publications (‘Issue One’ was published on 7th June), and through a series of workshops, discussions and debates. For the past week, the writers have been swarming across the city - meeting artists, getting involved, becoming participants in artistic projects, and publishing their thoughts.

The Live Review was a public event and an attempt to discuss, evaluate and showcase the Open Dialogues: New Life Berlin model, and to ask some difficult questions about how critical writing works in relation to participatory art.

Guest speakers included Cartographer 1, from ‘30 Days of New Life Berlin’, a project that sets out to map the cultural life of Berlin; Tatjana Fell and Lisa Glauer from Arttransponder, a Berlin- based non-profit collaboration that supports artistic production that reflects on its broader context; Doreen Mende, speaking as one of the co-founders of General Public, a Berlin-based network of artists and arts professionals that organises irregular cultural events; and Martin Rosengaard and Sixten Kai Neilsen, who spoke on behalf of Wooloo Productions, the organisation behind New Life Berlin itself.

There was some heated debate about the definition of terms – What is a critic? What is an artist? What is the point of definition at all? – and questions about the power of the written word, the ethics of using national languages, and the role of criticism in relation to the practice and production of art.

There will be more room for my reflections later. But first., Open Dialogues: New Life Berlin writers will be airing their views on our New Life Berlin blog:

Open Dialogues: New Life Berlin programme
31st May, 10.30am – 5.30pm Writers’ Workshop
2nd June, 2.30pm – 5.30pm Writers’ Meeting
5th June, 5pm – 7pm Peer Critique
7th June, 5pm – 7pm Live Review
12th June, 5pm – 7pm Peer Critique
15th June, 11am - 1pm Plenary Session


Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Open Dialogues: New Life Berlin - First Report

Open Dialogues: New Life Berlin workshop, Berlin, 31 May 2008. Photo (c) Viviana Druga. Courtesy Wooloo Productions

New Life Berlin is a festival of participatory art taking place in Berlin from 1st – 15th June 2008, curated by Wooloo Productions.

Open Dialogues: New Life Berlin is a writing programme that aims to meet the challenges of writing about art that is live, participatory and transformative.

Over the course of the New Life Berlin festival, Open Dialogues has created a community of writers to develop a new model for critical writing, in relation to the festival’s three themes:
  • Transnational Communities
  • Artistic Social Responsibility
  • Participation and Intervention
We are pleased to report that 18 writers have joined Open Dialogues: New Life Berlin in Berlin, and three writers are joining us as 'distance participants' from abroad. The writers come from the UK, Europe, America and Australia, and the writers list in full is: Anga'aefonu Bain-Vete, Alfredo Cramerotti, Clare Carswell, Alexandria Clark, Mary Kate Connolly, Kathryn Fischer, Eleanor Hadley Kershaw, Christina Irrgang, Joanna Loveday, Cheree Mack, Matthew MacKisack, Carali McCall, Charlotte Morgan, Christin Niehoff, Ann Rapstoff, Valerie Palmer, Carrie Paterson, Kara Rooney, Heiko Schmid, Claire Louise Staunton and Eliza Tan.

You can read our writing on the project blog: If you're in Berlin, look out for our printed publication - Issue 1 is out on 7th June.

Open Dialogues: Live Review

Open Dialogues is holding a Live Review, also on 7th June. The event will be a showcase of, evaluation for and live critical response to Open Dialogues and New Life Berlin. Guests include:
We are also expecting lively debate from the Open Dialogues writers and New Life Berlin artists.

Venue: Choriner Strasse 85, 10119 Berlin
Time: 17h - 19h (followed by drinks)
Date: Saturday 7th June 2008