Statement: Hit the Ground Running

Each day Question Time hold a summit somewhere in Copenhagen- in cafes, street corners, domestic apartments, and train stations – after which a new statement of intent is produced towards an alternative declaration of the way forward on climate change.

Date: Wednesday 16th December 2009, 5.30pm

Attendees: Alex Eisenberg, David Berridge, Rachel Lois Clapham, Mary Paterson

Location: Café Zusammen
Minute Taker: Mary Paterson

I wasn’t impressed by it at all today, actually. We could talk about what an interview marathon is, if nobody comes. It’s a beautiful space. I was very excited about that before I came but funnily enough, now I’m here, it doesn’t seem that important. The fact that nobody came doesn’t affect the actual gesture in time and space What is prohibition? I dunno.  I just find that an interesting moment. The rocking chair was particularly meditative.  – The rocking chair was beautiful.  Did you put your head on the rest and just go with it?  – Yeah. I could have stayed there forever. His silences were really good.  He was really struggling with the questions. She was into the big.  We were small.  So it was a total ideological separation. What are we asking of people? Is our project really antagonistic?  We’re sticking to our guns and asking people to answer these questions, even if they don’t want to. Even if you say oh you don’t have to, it’s totally loaded. Human beings want to please other human beings, right? It’s a fucking inconvenience. One person asked me today, how does it feel, approaching people?  Because you’re really out on a limb? I think it gives you a license to do things that are not commercial. It’s a negative economy.  And it’s not sustainable.  Somebody has paid, and that somebody has an agenda. I don’t think they’re fully succeeding.  I think they need to be more radical to approach this. I’m gutted, that I haven’t been in a domestic situation, to cook for people. In London, if you give your room to someone it’s not a political act. Before you came we talked about that a lot: what the frame of ‘the art project’ is. That’s no more hideous that any of the others.  -Yes it is.  It doesn’t have an obscurity built into it. There’s that whole going-with-the-moment thing, isn’t there? She was a ‘young person’ – I’ve got a real problem with that – boring the tits off me. But, it came from a really boring place.  I made it sound interesting by accident, but really it was banal. I don’t think it matters if someone answers the question wrong. I’m very particular with the people I interact with. This has been much more challenging, but much more raw.  Hit the ground running.  Hit the ground running.


Share this:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • RSS
  • Twitter
Posted: December 19th, 2009 | Author: Mary Paterson | Filed under: Statement of Intent | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Statement: Micro Minutes

Micro Minutes [over 4 pages – This is not allowed by the protocol laid out by the group that is named Question Time which stipulates that Statements should only be 1 page.]

Summit Date: 15 December 2009
Attending: Alex Eisenberg, David Berridge, Tord Andreassen, Rachel Lois Clapham, Neil Bennun, Mary Paterson
Location: Café Dyrehaven, Vestebro, Copenhagen
Minute Taker: Alex Eisenberg

2.1 Reflexive Interviewing

We [the interviewers] were interviewed [by us, the interviewers]. This took place at:

  1. The Greenish Cafe, Central Copenhagen
  2. On a wooden bench outside the People’s Climate Action building in Faelledvej 12, The Annex, 4th., DK-2200 Copenhagen N.

3.1 Obama Mania©

We think that it is coming.

We think that it pervades right down.

4.1 Oppositional Language

We think that there is a proliferation of oppositional language but not necessarily a productive place for this opposition to be reconciled.

4.2 Default Position

We have noticed a position.

We will be terming this ‘the DEFAULT POSITION’. This is a position at the very front of dialogue, which happens almost automatically and generally without the need for thought. This is the first stage of things. [and we all do it]

5.1 Perceived Hierarchy

Here is what I perceive the hierarchy to be here, for now [there is no truth in this]:

United Nations

COP15 [pink badge] delegates

Some huge gap,

then groups like:

5.1 Perceived Hierarchy [contd.]

NGO’s

Charaties

Activist organisations

Artists

Other Activists

Violent Activists

6.1 Generalisation

It’s so boring to generalise.

7.1 The Event

We walked past the district where there are the big hotels [SAS, Scandica, The Imperial etc.]. (Copenhagen appears to be deeply influenced by its historic relationship with Lego. I walked past a Lego shop and there were people in there staring at the boxes, not buying, just staring – a slight glaze over their eyes. The effect of this history of Lego might account for the city feeling, at times, like a model town – kind of perfect. It’s the sort of place where the erection of concrete barriers outside certain key buildings is therefore noticeably unusual). There are now concrete barriers blocking the roads off. Police and army officers stand on corners. And if you try to enter they say “STOP”.

“What’s all of this for?”

“What do you think?”

“COP 15?”

“Yes!”

“So is anyone special staying here?”

“What do you think?”

“Yes, any presidents?”

“Yes lots of VIP’s, that’s why the security is tight”.

We will keep asking:

WHERE IS THE EVENT?

8.1 Pushing Through [it can be rewarding]

We will start.

We will try not to judge how things are going.

We will try to stay in the process of what we are doing.

We will keep going.

We will PUSH THROUGH and emerge out the other side [of an interview].

And things, then, will have changed.

9.1 Yurt Conversation

We will enter a yurt.

We will appreciate that a yurt is warm, circular and low lit.

We will sit around the edge of a yurt.

We will begin conversation.

We will exit a yurt.

We will consider how our space affects what we are doing.

9.2 Christiania[1]

We interviewed in Christiania.

We wonder how interviewing in Christiania is different to not interviewing in Christiania?

10.1 Assurance – Eye Contact

We will try to make eye contact.

We will not stare and instead we will try and LISTEN with our eyes.

(Lost my gloves so had to go and buy some new ones. Found a great army surplus shop which had just the ones I wanted – the fingerless ones but which also double as mitts – perfect for my activities here. Whilst we were in the shop three things happened:

  1. I bought a new pair of gloves. (89kr)
  2. A man came in and asked for a gas mask because he said “the police are using tear gas”. The gas masks the shop has in stock were too expensive so he opted for ‘German goggles’ instead. One of the panes of glass on the goggles was cracked. The man asked for a discount. (129kr)
  3. I bought a number of clip on brooches in the shape and colour of a (white) human’s ear.) (15kr each)

We will wear our ear brooches – as a badge and emblem of all that we stand for, as a badge that says:

We will LISTEN to you WITH OUR EYES, give you space to say your bit. [Even if we think it's boring].

10.2 Assurance – ‘Everything you say is correct’

We might say to the interviewee – ‘Everything you say is correct’

10.3 Crib Card

(As our memories get better at remembering what the questions are) We might abandon the crib card (on which all the questions have been written down). And so, we might be able to engage better with our interviewee.

10.4 Follow Up

There has to be follow up.

OR

Make sure you give someone the card that explains the project – after you have interviewed them.

11.0 Some (potentially additional) Questions

What is the agenda?

What is the concern?

What is the atmosphere?

What are we doing to the earth?

What on earth are we doing?

12.1 Bike

We will learn how to back break on the bike.

We will bike.

13.1 Somalian Delegate

We spoke to a Somalia delegate who has been refused entry to COP15 despite travelling all the way here from Somalia and thinking that she was going to be a part of the conference.

14.1 The Recycling Panopticon

[The Recycling Panopticon is in the centre of the building, the courtyard, we are living in – i.e an observer can observe (-opticon) you doing your recycling from all (pan-) the other flats in the building without you being able to tell whether they are being watched.]

We will, from now, separate our waste.


[1] Also known as Freetown Christiania (Danish: Fristaden Christiania) is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood of about 850 residents, covering 34 hectares (85 acres) in the borough of Christianshavn in the Danish capital Copenhagen.


Share this:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • RSS
  • Twitter
Posted: December 18th, 2009 | Author: Alex Eisenberg | Filed under: Statement of Intent | Tags: , , | No Comments »