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  • Ciara Finnegan 03:20 on 11/09/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Mixed Berries September Hangout 

    Berry Good Fun


    What a fine bunch of Mixed Berries turned up on Monday! Vanessa and Christa – you were both much missed but rest assured, you were very much a part of the conversation:-)
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  • Ciara Finnegan 01:59 on 13/08/2014 Permalink | Reply  



    A few links to interviews with two artists mentioned in the hangout on Monday:
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  • Ciara Finnegan 07:16 on 05/08/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    The Auld Sod* 

    Skipping through the lashing rain (yes, summer in Ireland…), not at all confident that I was going the right direction (I wasn’t), I couldn’t help but feel a little thrill of excitement at the prospect of meeting a “Berry” in Real Life – the fact of this meeting, somehow, an affirmation of a commitment to and belief in the importance of .re/act/The Berries (to use the prevailing term;-)).

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  • Ciara Finnegan 13:08 on 28/07/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Summer berries in Europe… 

    Hugh and I have arranged to meet up in Dublin, Ireland, tomorrow:-)


    • Vanessa Blaylock 14:17 on 28/07/2014 Permalink | Reply

      OMG! That’s so cool! Have a great time! Post pix! Say hi to Molly Bloom!

      Hopefully at the August hangout we can introduce Hugh to Edie’s friend Nasrene who’s up the road from him in Dubai.

    • xtaforster 17:36 on 04/08/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Did y’all take pics?

  • Ciara Finnegan 06:19 on 21/05/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Edie’s Farm 

    Jean-François Millet. The Gleaners. 1857

    On Saturday, I donned my virtual wellies and headed down to The Farm. Edie, The Farm is conceptually brilliant! I love the notion of artist/farmers, idea-planters and cultural tillers. I want to go back there and get my hands dirty:-) I also sensed something of a cheeky wink at the health-farm/clinic concept – the kind of place they might have shipped you off to back in the day, to “recover”.
    BTW Edie, thinking about your relationship to the camera which, I agree, appears to be one of mutual celebration, I was amused as, scrolling down this page, I caught sight of an image of myself in which I look like I’m playing the theremin during the recent Berry Shake hangout…
    • Scott Lord 19:21 on 01/06/2014 Permalink | Reply

      You’ve reminded me of Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth. There’s tone in the Millet, an oval shadow, light on their shoulders and backs, but the isolation is from a vast expanse where the estate can be found. Its interesting that he uses perspective to show the depth of the background and size in the foreground; I’m not sure how he did

    • Christa Forster 08:56 on 14/07/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m wondering how Dave Hickey’s book Pirates and Farmers might resonate with Vanessa’s Edie’s Farm.


      Also, Is Edie’s Farm anything like Ant Farm (the 70s underground architecture and arts collective)?

  • Ciara Finnegan 01:44 on 15/05/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Location, Location, Location 

    Dearest Edie,
    I was thinking, while I was doing the ironing (in dying prematurely, sweetheart, I’m guessing you avoided entrapment in this particular activity) but, mindless enough task as it is, I find it affords a bit of thinking space and I haven’t burnt a hole in anything…yet…
    Anyway, I was thinking about your comment and wondering how do we say: There’s this amazing online kind of Cabaret Voltaire/Factory/Salon experimental artist-led space. Really! Yes! You should come! without making it sound like another arts sales-pitch.
    And I was also wondering if, in fact, this matters so much at all.
    This is not a discussion about funding-by(through)-numbers but a question of location and visibility. I had an interesting conversation, with a friend, about this kind of thing in relation to two galleries located in adjacent neighbourhoods in a city. The first gallery was, in the eyes of many, the Arts flagship of the city, its central location ensuring it a much higher footfall than the second. The second gallery, though only 5 minutes walk from the first, involved departing the centre of town, crossing a major arterial road and navigating a car-park before arriving on its doorstep. In other words, the location of the second gallery demanded that the visitor make a conscious choice to visit it.
    This gallery perceives its location not as disadvantageous but as a good thing. The people who go there do so because they want to.
    I think there’s something similar going on here with .re/act…
    What do you reckon?
    • Edie Sedgwick 06:05 on 16/05/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Oh hi Ciara! haha, you’re right, I don’t iron! But I hired Ondine to be my French Maid! But he mostly woke me up and set out makeup and drugs, I don’t think he ever ironed anything?

      Yes, I think I know what you mean. Being in the spotlight is great. haha, really great! Did I mention I love cameras! (and they seem to love me!)

      But if you think about blogs, well, nobody actually reads my blog, but it’s new, so maybe I’ll get readers one day. So far I’d say it’s easier to be the life of the party! 🙂

      But Vanessa’s blog iRez gets quite a bit of traffic. And I guess Facebook sends quite a lot of that traffic. But those peeps never leave comments. Or mostly they don’t even go to the blog, they just “like” the link on FB.

      So FB’s kind of like your mid-city gallery. A lot of traffic. But mostly all those eyeballs turn into “Likes” and other minimal engagement comments on Facebook. The peeps not from there are like your lower traffic zone, but they’re more likely to have something to say.

      The real trick I think is to make your party the one everybody wants to be at! I was pretty good at that IRL, but this cyberspace thingy is pretty new to me, so I’m not so sure about that. And my blouse is wrinkled. Guess I’ll have to go buy a new one.

  • Ciara Finnegan 09:45 on 06/05/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Thinking about .Re/act… 

    I think a lot about the space .re/act provides and about the value of this space. I was hoping that, perhaps, we could talk a little about what .re/act and spaces like it (do we know of any others?) mean to the artists engaging with this platform and how do we perceive this space relative to the real-world institutional spaces we are familiar with within our respective practices.
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  • Ciara Finnegan 09:54 on 01/04/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    On A Roll 

    So, I began composing this inquiry in my head earlier today:

    Has anyone seen Sellotape lately?

    Sellotape,  Sellotape, where are you? Are you stuck somewhere? You were so mighty in your  window-securing-effort during the Blitz, it looks like The Knight could do with your expert help sealing up a few palatial windows right now. (What he lacks in quick-wittedness he makes up for in earnestness!).
    And then, this evening I discovered that Sellotape is squandering her time and talents in these acts!!:
    Yikes!!!! Can somebody please point out the merit in this madness?
    • Sello Tape 11:29 on 02/04/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I live a rich, full life. Sometimes I help protect a care package for a loved one thousands of kilometers away. Sometimes I engage in some harmless fun. I embrace all of it. I apologize for none of it.

      • Ciara 11:55 on 02/04/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Good to see you again, Sellotape, you wacky little adhesive! 🙂

  • Ciara Finnegan 04:27 on 24/03/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    The Other Steve McQueen 

    You know, Isabella, I reckon I channelled the wrong Steve McQueen when vacuuming the other day as it was a pretty dull experience. However, this morning, plugging in the hoover, it was you that popped into my head and a much more inspiring visitor you proved to be!

    I was thinking about this thought in your recent post:  
    I’m not sure you can have maximum story and maximum co-creation.
    I too wonder how far one, or rather, many can push the idea of a collaboratively authored story. Is the prevailing form* of “story” (and, I guess, I’m thinking standard novel here) so at odds with the concept of collaboration that they are, ultimately, incompatible? Does the single story at some point, fragment or simply disintegrate? At what point does this occur? Is it relative to the number of co-authors? Is top-down, directorial influence ultimately unavoidable? How could or should the original initiator of the story intervene? Should there be appointed curators or moderators of the story? So many questions – but I think this is part of a very interesting discussion and they reflect questions that Christa also raised  when I confided in her after the “Oscar debacle” 😉 I also wonder if it is not the idea of story that fails but the enduring strength of the single Author? (Though, to be fair, Barthes took a good stab at undermining this).
     * Because I wonder when it became this way. Of course stories existed and were born by word of mouth, morphing en route from teller to teller for a very long time before consolidating in the 19th Century printed novel…
    I must add that I really liked the radar diagrams. I mentally plotted my own this morning with Wee Children, Blimmin’ Laundry (a category inclusive of SteveMcQueen style activities), Creative Activity and Critical Reflection on the axes…The fact that I didn’t manage to get around to actually offering a visual representation of this says a fair deal about where the polygon is weighted at present!!;-)
    • Isabella Medici 10:57 on 24/03/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Perhaps it wasn’t your choice of Steve McQueens, but your vintage Hoover. If you win the lottery, you should totally get a Dyson!

      • Ciara 23:29 on 24/03/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Funny how “Hoover” caught on as a verb in a way that “Dyson” never did. Or didn’t it? Maybe Steve McQueen gets good ideas while doing the dysoning?
        (To further complicate matters, would you believe, my hoover is, in fact, a Dyson!!! (albeit a very vintage one…))

        • Isabella Medici 04:13 on 25/03/2014 Permalink | Reply

          haha, IDK Dyson was old enough to be vintage! And, OH NO, even Dysoning isn’t inspiring?

          WE’RE DOOMED!

  • Ciara Finnegan 02:28 on 20/03/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Some thoughts about staging… 

    I’ve been thinking a lot recently about #1850charla as it evolved on .re/act and realised that, a few steps into the process, I found myself thinking of it almost as a form of improv theatre – a little more in the absurdist than the comic sense. None of the performers were primed in the other characters beforehand, there was no script, no order of play, no rehearsals and the timing of the interactions was enormously significant in terms of the direction the play moved in. For me, .re/act itself served as the stage or the performance platform and, as such, it provided a fairly avant-garde space for the staging;-) Unlike the sealed virtual ecologies of gaming environments, .re/act (as a stage) tolerated imports from anywhere and everywhere on the web and supported characters hmm… how shall I put it?…characters of very varied “dimensions”.
    It’s funny because, posting this reflection here, I acknowledge that I’m no longer thinking of .re/act as the stage but am, again, using it in its forum capacity.
    And yet, at the same time, nested within .re/act,  I think I’ve detected yet another form growing! A Song!!! I’m really enjoying the intimate exchange of tokens between Isabella and Ysidora – I love the tone of this swap – the reserve in the courtly “I send you”s, the excitement of waiting to “unwrap” the next offering. I hear echoes of “Hush Little Baby” when I read these postings: A mockingbird. A diamond ring. A looking glass. A goat. A dog named Rover…(though, in the lullaby, the gifting is one-sided and return on investment not necessarily guaranteed;-). But, as with Isabella and Ysidora, the relationship between the items in sequence is full of surprise!
    On a completely unrelated note…read the other day that Steve McQueen feels inspired when he’s doing the vacuuming. Wonderful! Time to go channel my inner Steve McQueen…
    • Christa Forster 13:01 on 22/03/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I love this reflection, Ciara, especially the analysis of .re/act as an open stage that tolerates all kinds of characters. This is an interesting idea in light of your point about improvisational acting, where the first rule is say “yes!”

      Earlier I was reflecting on the activities on .re/act that lead up to the #1850charla — I think I reflected over on .re/search? — and I wondered about where authority lies in the chaos of several different virtual “yesses!” happening. Regarding the open environment, I am not sure that .re/act is totally open; one has to “apply” to post here, I think; although I could be wrong — Vanessa?

      Also, your point about the exchange between Isabella and Ysidora as a song is mighty interesting to me, especially in light of something that I heard long ago, “In poetry, a new cadence means a new idea” — an oft-quoted remark attributed to poet Amy Lowell (the poet proffered by Isabella in her Vernal Equinox offering). Isabella is interested in visual synchronicity (a la Joseph Cornell’s boxes); I am interested in the way aural synchronicity works and how images can bloom (or wither) within the sound carriers they travel in. How does the digital exchange affect the visual and aural carriers? One thing is that other voices — yours, for example — lifts up an idea and shakes it up to make it even stronger. Thank you!

      • Vanessa Blaylock 16:03 on 22/03/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, yes! Wonderful ideas about our virtual stage, Ciara & Christa!

        Re Open:
        .Re/act is pretty open, and I think as open as it is possible to be. Anyone can comment, and anyone who asks can post.

        We’re able to let anyone comment because we use the “Akismet” spam filter. Even on days when there isn’t a single post or comment, .Re/act still gets 300+ spam comments. Without Akismet we couldn’t function.

        If we had “open enrollment” for authors, we’d similarly have hundreds of spam authors (it’s true! I’ve tried before) who might be able to hack the site, and in any case would generate hundreds and thousands of fake Louis Vuitton links. You wouldn’t even be able to find the content in the spam haystack.

        As is peeps simply ask for account and they get one. I might have a pretty good idea who the typist for some identities is, but I’ve never actually asked anyone who’s typing for you, and we’ve never turned anyone away. So we’re as open as the reality of the Inter-Net-Street allows.

        This issue winds its way into other places as well. If you only use a platform like Facebook, you won’t even know what spam is because they do a great job of prescreening users and keeping them on a short leash. But it’s also a kind of silo’d space.

        I was just helping my mom with some cable stuff and was horrified (I don’t do television myself) to realize how much money they charge for cartoons or fake history docudramas! (especially when they could get so much better fake history right here!)

        From the perspective of a rapacious monopolist broadband provider like Brian Roberts / Comcast, every minute you “waste” looking at a website is a minute he could have been gouging you for sports video. For a platform provider like Mark Zuckerberg / Facebook, it’s a minute you could have spent enriching the value proposition of his silo.

        I know it sounds like I just ranted, but the important point is that these rich white guys have the opportunity to get a whole lot richer still, and it’s in their interest to make sure that your limited experience is smooth, easy, and flawless.

        When you go out on the Open Web where free people can freely exchange ideas, you don’t have the protection of billion-dollar corporations. Fortunately the Open Source community makes platforms and tools that let us dangle by our fingernails a little bit longer in the accidental freedom and speech we got when they weren’t looking and a bunch of hippies designed The Internet.

        So, haha, I’m done finally, .Re/act is pretty open, and I think as open as it can be given the balance of tools and threats in the neighborhood.

    • Isabella Medici 02:26 on 23/03/2014 Permalink | Reply

      is Steve McQueen related to Steve McQueen?

  • Ciara Finnegan 06:37 on 17/03/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    A man walks into a bar… 

    Gin & Tonic

    Gin & Tonic

    This guy swears they were in here earlier…

    • Isabella Medici 02:23 on 23/03/2014 Permalink | Reply

      So who is “this guy”? He’s quite dashing. No frock coat, I see. Is that some sort of wool-lined jacket?

      • Ciara Finnegan 07:10 on 23/03/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Gosh, do you know, Isabella, I didn’t manage to catch the chap’s name at the time. I reckon he’s a regular at that place, though, so I’m sure I can ask him next time. He is rather smartly dressed, I agree. He’s got that whole chequered look going on with his trousers and, if I’m not mistaken, matching lapels on his jacket!

  • Ciara Finnegan 09:52 on 18/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  


    Hi Guys,

    I’m afraid I have to step out of the 1850Charla process for a couple of days as I’ve come down with a horrible flu.

    Fortunately, I am privileged to be suffering in the 21st Century with access to products of modern medicine helping to alleviate the symptoms that might otherwise have me writhing on my 19th Century deathbed 😉

    Cough. Sniff. Sniff…

    • Christa Forster 12:28 on 18/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, no, Ciara! I hope you are better very soon!

    • Isabella Medici 16:06 on 18/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

      I am uncertain that this will offer much consolation, but if you think 1850 medicine was bad, honestly, you should try 1550!

      Bleeding your right foot didn’t cure it? No problem, we’ll bleed your left today!

      • Ciara 23:02 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

        Aw, thanks, Christa & Izzy. I’m dying here and it’s all starting to heat up on “the wire”. I’m losing the pace! Argh!! Bring on the leeches!!!!!

        • Isabella Medici 08:53 on 20/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

          16th century doctors are quacks… 21st century surgeons are incompetent… patients are violent… what a world!

          I think the best advice might be rest & plenty of fluids. Maybe stream a few Renaissance movies on YouTube or Netflix.

          Get well soon! 😀

  • Ciara Finnegan 12:15 on 16/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  


    My seven-year old son fared better with his Sellotape dinosaur. (Portion of quarter roll; 20 minutes).


    • Sello Tape 01:07 on 17/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      These are both fantastic Ciara! You bring joy to an old adhesive’s heart! And I thought with all the computers and 3D printers and whatnot these days that no one even cared about me anymore.

      Bless you!

  • Ciara Finnegan 12:11 on 16/02/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Imagining Antony Gormley in Sellotape 

    Lacking the material resources and time that the Clever Lad had to dedicate to his sticky project, here’s what I came up with in 20 minutes using a quarter roll of Sellotape:

    Sellotape Guy

    He has a few balance issues…Solvable, of course, by Sellotaping him securely to the floor.


    • ysidorapico 19:26 on 19/02/2014 Permalink | Reply

      The worms! They crawl in; they crawl out; they are reborn! I’m so impressed!!

  • Ciara Finnegan 09:26 on 27/01/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Past selves living everywhere! 

    Linda Liukas’ blog  references a project, “Imagine Finding Me” by Japanese artist, Chino Otsuka who creates imaginary meetings between her past and present self.

    According to Otsuka:

    “The digital process becomes a tool, almost like a time machine, as I’m embarking on the journey to where I once belonged and at the same time becoming a tourist in my own history.”


    • Christa Forster 09:54 on 28/01/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks so much for this post, Claire! I’m excited to follow Otsuka’s work.

  • Ciara Finnegan 12:39 on 24/01/2014 Permalink | Reply  

    re. 1850 Charla 

    I’m really fascinated by the way in which the distributed authoring process is playing out in “1850 Charla”. I’m thoroughly enjoying the experiment: watching the characters evolve, nurtured by their interactions with one another, slipping with ease back and forth in time and space…

    (On a side note, I discovered a curious linguistic connection: “A Chara” is used as an opening salutation in letter writing in Irish (as in “Dear such and such”))

    • Isabella Medici 13:36 on 24/01/2014 Permalink | Reply

      I quite agree Ciara! And this is all leading up to the 28 February “Live Tweetchat” I believe? So perhaps that day will be even more festive. Will others be joining our performance? Is there any ideal number?

    • Christa Forster 14:12 on 24/01/2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Ciara. Thanks for chiming in! Please consider joining us: we’re warming up here, flexing our chops (or choppers, in the case of Donnie) for the February 28 #1850charla on Twitter. You can find the “official invitation” over in the .Re/cipes. http://practicebased.re/cipes/product/1850-tweetchat/

      Also, love the linguistic connection you brought up.

      • Ciara Finnegan 09:29 on 27/01/2014 Permalink | Reply

        A Chara Christa, I’m here already, riding on the diagonal frock coat tails of another/s 🙂

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