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Bridge the gap

CCA, Kitakyushu

Bridge the gap as an evolving conference. This notion of the evolving conference, that Bridge the gap has an ongoing life is essential. It is important to note that this marks the occasion of the opening of the new wing of Kitakyushu University. Our idea is not to create a one time, on-again and off-again spectacular event, but to launch trans-disciplinary and trans-geographical dialogues which then can evolve in time and become a regularly held Kitakyushu summit.

comunicato stampa

Complex Collisions
Chapter one some quotes in introduction

"Ignorance, inertia, but mostly FEAR that we may be forced to give up vested interests has kept us from pooling our knowledge."
(Gyorgy Kepes)

"We cannot understand the forces which are effective in the visual production of today if we do not have a look at other fields of modern life."
(Alexander Dorner)

" Allow events to change you. You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them...Process is more important than outcome. When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we've already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we're going, but we will know we want to be there.... Ask stupid questions. Growth is fuelled by desire and innocence. Assess the answer, not the question. Imagine learning throughout your life at the rate of an infant...Collaborate. The space between people working together is filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight and vast creative potential... Coffee breaks, cabrides, green rooms. Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to. In the interstitial spaces, what Dr. Seuss calls "the waiting place". Hans Ulrich Obrist once organised a science and art conference with all of the infrastructure of a conference- the parties, chats,lunches, airport arrivals-but with no actual conference. Apparently it was hugely successful and spawned many ongoing collaborations."
(Bruce Mau)

"One cannot be an amateur, or decide one day 'Let's be interdisciplinary" A university may decide to develop in that direction, but what matters is that each researcher finds and establishes some complicities with other researchers so that interdisciplinarity comes from the base of the pyramid and works its way up. One can only benefit from interdisciplinary practices if researchers meet other researchers whilst learning how to discuss both their competencies and the outcome of their interaction; therefore contributing to the exposure of the risks inherent in an interdisciplinary practice...the first obstacle is often linked to individual competencies coupled with a tendency to jealously protect one's own domain. Specialists are often too protective of their own prerogative, do not actually work with other colleagues, and therefore do not teach their students to construct a diagonal axis in their methodology.
(Julia Kristeva)

One of the starting points of BRIDGE THE GAP is the increasing interest in science demonstrated in the work of many contemporary artists, architects and designers, as well as by thinkers in the humanities. In Insights of Genius, Imagery and Creativity in Science and Art, which Rudolf Arnheim called "the best discussion of creativity that I have come across." , author Arthur I. Miller investigates the complex interfaces between art and science. Miller shows how seeing in all its many forms-insight, revelation, a distinctive point of view-is central to the most important breakthroughs and advances of the human intellect.

Both artists and scientists rely on visual renderings of visible and invisible worlds, or as Miller says, "artists and scientists alike seek a visual representation of worlds both visible and invisible." Miller asks, "What are the relations between art and science? What is the connection between common sense intuition and scientific intuitions? " One of the Ariadne threads running through this groundbreaking book is the idea that science extends our intuition from commonsense to an understanding of a world beyond our perception.

Changing the rules of the game. Walter Arensberg regularly organised Salons with Duchamp and other artist friends. John Cage transferred the Salon from the bourgeois living room into the kitchen. John Brockman's Edge began as a Salon on the Move that took place in different cities. Now it happens on the Net. BRIDGE THE GAP starts from the observation that the most important things in conferences usually happen in the 'in between'-between different disciplines and geographies, but also in the 'in between' of the actual conference programme.

By making the coffee break a central forum and by enhancing the exchange between participants, BRIDGE THE GAP poses a crucial question concerning the necessity of actual and virtual Salons NOW. We aim for a nonlinear, non hierarchical perspective on knowledge - to go beyond the boundaries of disciplines and to overcome territorial fears.
Classical conferences emphasised order and stability. In contrast, we now see fluctuations and instability: the unpredictable. In non-equilibrium physics, you find various notions of unstable systems and the dynamics of unstable environments. Combining incertitude and the unpredictable with organisation seems especially relevant. Instead of certitudes, BRIDGE THE GAP expresses connective possibilities.

The ongoing life of a conference. THE CONFERENCE as a complex, dynamic learning system with feedback loops, basically in order to renounce the paralysing homogeneity of conference master-plans. The conference is emerging as one begins the process of interrogation. We envisage a conference under permanent construction, with the emergence of conferences within the conference. This idea of renouncing or questioning a master-plan also means that organising a conference very often means inviting for the sake of inviting. As with Russian Matrushka dolls, every conference can hide another conference (Temporary autonomous zones). At a moment when institutional collaboration is increasingly driven by economic reasoning, we consider it urgent and necessary to think about non-profit driven, not brand oriented, but art oriented, interconnectedness. As Indian economist Amatyr Sen points out there is a need for empirical connections linking freedom of different kind. BRIDGE THE GAP seeks such a mutually beneficial exchange linking freedoms of different kinds. "This also means that rather than further enhancing larger and more homogenous institutions, we gear ourselves toward collaboration between different models which enhance differences and allow disparate conditions to thrive through both protection and exposure."
(Cedric Price)

A single CD by Pipilotti Rist and Anders Guggisberg
Energy Clothes by Marina Abramovic
Notebook by Joseph Grigely
Filmmaking and snapshot by Jeff Preiss and Anri Sala
Film Presentaton by Cerith Wyn Evans
Video presentation by Wan JianWei
Film festival in silence by Ken Lum
Graphic Design of programme book by Areyoumeaning Company
Parasol by Rirkrit Tiravanija
Book design by Thomas Byrle
Conference within the conference by Gabriel Orozco

This notion of the evolving conference, that BRIDGE THE GAP has an ongoing life is essential. It is important to note that this marks the occasion of the opening of the new wing of Kitakyushu University. Our idea is not to create a one time, on-again and off-again spectacular event, but to launch trans-disciplinary and trans-geographical dialogues which then can evolve in time and become a regularly held Kitakyushu summit.?

In this way, we resist the 'fly in-fly out' mentality that marks much of current conference practice. It is important to envisage the conference as a process or as a laboratory condition rathert than as a product. The conference no longer has a defined beginning and end, or a switch that can be turned on and off. Instead there is potential for organic growth and for fostering life-like aspects with sedimentations of display (the conference will also be articulated in an experimental exhibition format). This will enable discourse to occur and proceed, instead of allowing it to take place according to a principle of the tabula rasa whereby one display or discourse is always followed by another, without sufficient attention to what has happened before. We want to sketch the possibilities of future institutions that move both quickly and slowly and open up unexpected trajectories.

In this context Cedric Price's FUN PALACE from 1961 is of interest. Price proposed a building which would not last forever, or have to be renovated, but which would disappear after a limited life span of 10 to 20 years. The Fun Palace, which Price developed out of dialogues with Joan Littlewood, was to be a flexible structure in a large mechanistic shipyard in which, according to changing situations, many structures could be built from above. Price's key idea is that the building can be altered whilst it is occupied. According to Cedric Price, this loose social pattern would allow the user to be free what he or she would do next. "The Fun Palace" as a responsive building shall respond to the necessity to connect disciplines and different practitioners in changing parameters. Price developed these ideas further in his vision for a 21st century cultural centre utilising uncertainty and conscious incompleteness so as to produce a catalyst for invigorating change whilst always producing the "harvest of the quiet eye" Rem Koolhaas further develops this idea of slowness and velocity in his museum and library projects: "I don't think you can have a laboratory visited by two million people a year and this is why, in both our libraries and our museums, we are trying to organise the co-existence of urban noise experiences with experiences that enable focus and slowness. This is for me the most exciting way of thinking today: the incredible surrender to frivolity and how it could actually be somehow compatible with the seduction of focus and stillness. The issue of mass visitors and the core experience of stillness and slowness, taken together with the work, are what is at issue in these projects."
(Rem Koolhaas in an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist).

Time is of crucial importance because speed and slowness work together in the process of emerging dialogues and collaborations.?

Marathon visits of BRIDGE THE GAP lead us to the Merzbau.

As for the multitude, Toni Negri and Michael Hardt's brilliant interpretation of globalisation, Empire, describes the multitude as designating new spaces. Its journeys establish new residencies. Autonomous movement defines the proper place of the multitude as it fights the homogenisation of globalisation. The Multitude constructs new temporalities, immanent processes of constitution. The time table will be made up of conferences, small intervals, succession of 10 lectures, "Ping-Pong" discussions, salon meetings, performances.


Marina Abramovic (Art)
Arima Akito (Nuclear Physics)
Oladele Ajiboye Bamboye (Art)
Heike Berhend (African Studies)
Stefano Boeri (Architecture)
John Casti (Physics/ Complex System)
Gregory Chaitin (Theoretical Mathematics)
Chang YungHo (Architecture)
Olafur Eliasson (Art)
Cerith Wyn Evans (Art)
Evelyn Fox Keller (History and Philosopy of Science)
Joseph Grigely (Art)
Carsten Holler (Art)
Hsia ChuJoe (Architecture)
Ikegami Takashi (Complex System)
Rem Koolhaas (Architecture) Kunitake Toyoki (High Polymer/Chemistry) Sanford Kwinter (Philosophy)
Mark Leonard (Politics)
William Lim (Architecture)
Ken Lum (Art)
Sarat Maharaj (Art History/Theory)
Gabriel Orozco (Art)
Jeff Preiss (Art)
Pipilotti Rist (Art) Israel Rosenfield (History of Science)
Anri Sala (Art)
Saskia Sassen (Sociology)
Luc Steels (Computer Science)
Rirkrit Tiravanija (Art)
Wang JianWei (Art)
Anton Zeilinger (Quantumn physics)

Daily Programme
- Oladele A. Bamgboye (Unmasking)
- John Casti (An Experiment in Scientific Fiction)
- Gregory Chaitin (The Unknowable)
- Carsten Holler (Doubt)
- Olafur Eliasson (Seeing yourself sensing)
- Evelyn Fox Keller (The Century of the Gene)
- Rem Koolhaas (Junkspace)
- Sarat Maharaj (on Francisco Varela)
- Sanford Kwinter ( - )
- Saskia Sassen (Global City)
- Luc Steels (The meaning of Red)
- Anton Zeilinger (Quantum Teleportation and the Nature of Reality)

July 25 (Conference) Time - Uncertainity - Complexity 10:00 - 17:00

- Gregory Chaitin - Israel Rosenfield Ð Anton Zeilinger (Complexity in Mathematics, Physics, Biology and Psychology)
- Arima Akito - Kunitake Toyoki (The Meaning of Self-organisation in Society and Culture)
- Luc Steels - Olafur Eliasson (Colors in disciplines)
- Ikegami Takashi - Gabriel Orozco (Rule of the Game)

July 26 (Conference) Economical Gaps, New Branding, Global Change 10:00 - 17:00

- Sanford Kwinter - Saskia Sassen (New Branding)
- Hsia Chu-Joe - William Lim (Spaces of Heterotopias/Indeterminacy)
- Rem Koolhaas - Mark Leonard (The Future of Politics ?)
- Telephone interview

July 27 (Conference) Gap the Bridge 10:00 - 17:00

- Marina Abramovic - Evelyn Fox-Keller (Third Culture)
- Carsten Hoeller - Heike Berhernd (KRAFT/POWER)
- John Casti - Stefano Boeri (Self-organisation)
- Wang JIan Wei-Yung Ho Cheong dialogue


CCA Kitakyushu
2-6-1 3F Ogura Yahata-Higashi-ku
Kitakyushu 805-0059 Japan
Phone +81 93 663 1615
Fax + 81 93 663 1610

Bridge the gap
dal 26/7/2001 al 27/7/2001

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