Investigating news creation through expanded acts of visual reportage

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Solutions Made Simple

Robert Frankle responds to Terry Smith’s brief “Nationalism is a powerful divisive tool. If complex social, economical and personal issues can be encapsulated into a simple idea then there can be catastrophic consequences. If the problem can be made to seem simple then the solution can also be made to be simple, so simple it seems a gun or a knife can solve it.”

E=MC2 72

Nietzsche: “Truth tends to reveal its highest truth in the guise of simplicity.”
John Lennon: Imagine peace

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Tiniest fragments gleaned

Webb-Ellis respond to Mike Stubbs’ brief “All you can do is glean information from the tiniest fragments. Trying to see everything makes you ill”.

Go and See from Webb-Ellis on Vimeo.

‘Go and See’ was made during a 2,418 mile journey over land to the Venice Biennale. A barrage of faces and masks, otherworldly figures on the roadside, the interior of our home as it barrels along the motorway. These fleeting images take on a bizarre significance as they layer and loop back, unpicking the seams of the everyday.

Artist’s work in the video, in order of appearance:

Karolina Magnusson-Murray | Performance for INFR’ACTION VENEZIA
Graham Fagen | Palazzo Fontana
Marco Biagini | High Visibility Burqa
Filip Markiewicz | Grand Duchy of Paradiso Luxembourg
Fazil Najafov | Beyond the line
John Court | Performance for INFR’ACTION VENEZIA
Wangechi Mutu | The End of Carrying All
Fiona Hall | Wrong way time

Voice Over: Jiddu Krishnamurti
Drumming: Kate Walters

Webb-Ellis on Twitter: @WebbEllisArt

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Listen for their tunes

Robert Frankle responds to Richard Parry’s briefs:

“Biennale announces hypnotists to be employed as invigilators. Deeper experience promised.”

“Documentary to begin filming at Venice today exploring what it describes as ‘honey without the bees’. Feature interview.”


“Dealer and gallery director in selfie stick shame. We have the pictures.”

“Sparks fly over so-called ‘performative text incident’”


“Large nebulous artwork accidentally seen by outsider tourist – quizzical looks observed”


“Art writer seen scrawling illegible semi-anarchic graffiti on palazzo door at 4am slurring that going to art parties is the new situationism. Fresh reports.”


Photos from the video “Wrathful King Kong Core” (2011) Lu Yang as projected in the Chinese pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale.

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PRESS ROOM at the Creative Time Summit

PRESS ROOM will be returning to Venice as a Special Project during the 7th Creative Time Summit, presenting three breakfast briefings on the mornings of 11, 12 and 13 August 2015 at the Cymru yn Fenis / Wales in Venice collateral exhibition venue.

The Summit is the New York-based nonprofit Creative Time’s annual platform for the intersections of art and politics. This year it is being staged as part of Okwui Enwezor’s curated exhibition for the 56th Venice Biennale, All The World’s Futures.

In keeping with the Summit’s theme of “The Curriculum”, PRESS ROOM are inviting a number of Guest Editors to present conceptual briefings for artists and citizen journalists to respond to throughout the three days.

PRESS ROOM at Creative Time Summit will mirror the structures and processes of journalism and PR, replacing the journalist with the interventionist – contemporary artists who take on the role of artist-investigator – in order to question and explore how knowledge is constructed and cemented within universal narratives.

The breakfast sessions will be an official pre-summit meeting point where the Venice arts community, summit delegates and members of the public can gather for morning coffee, croissants and dialogue.

The project is supported by A plus A Gallery and School for Curatorial Studies Venice and kindly hosted by Cymru yn Fenis / Wales in Venice. Helen Sear’s collateral exhibition …the rest is smoke will be open early from 8.45am for delegates attending the three breakfast briefings. Cymru yn Fenis / Wales in Venice is commissioned and managed by the Arts Council of Wales and Wales Arts International with support and collaboration from the Welsh Government and British Council.

Practical details:

Breakfast sessions: Creative Time delegates are invited to attend pre-summit breakfast ‘press briefings’ taking place at Cymru yn Fenis / Wales in Venice on the mornings of 11, 12 and 13 August 2015, 8.45am-9.45am. Full venue details and map here.

Press Office: Over the course of each day, summit delegates can stop by PRESS ROOM’s floating ‘news desk’ situated within the Creative Time Summit in the Arsenale’s Teatro Tese Cinquecentesche to receive a daily curriculum of press briefings. Look out for the PRESS ROOM banner-stand.

Online: Follow on Twitter @pressroomvenice #pressroom, on Facebook and visit for the latest alternative news and information throughout the summit.

creative-time     Venice Biennale logo strip 2015  A plus A Gallery, Venice

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on-line #Wunderkammer

Spaziolocal (Giuliano Tarlao & Alice Palamenghi) respond to Annabel Dover’s brief “For me the biennale will always be a Wunderkammer; an (often male) curator’s vision of a perfect world in miniature. Sometimes the Wunderkammer of the 1600s were completely invented in the mind and didn’t exist in reality at all. Often like Sloane’s they held a herbarium. Venice itself has the atmosphere of an overwhelming and supernatural island that deserves its own collection of curiosities. Your brief for Venice is to visit, read or collect as many of these as you can and create your own biennale Wunderkammer.”

We have found the most interesting examples of Wunderkammer outside of the “white cube”, art galleries, and in general, outside of the common space-place representing art. The first step was to observe the city and its dynamics. Its life. The opportunity of long walks through the labyrinthine-paths gave us the opportunity to discover almost the entire lifestyle of the city.

Venice is a great example of sedimentation, depositories and stratification. This is precisely what we mean when we think about the Wunderkammer: not a magic box filled with a collection objects, but a sediment.

This is our perspective (full Wunderkammer series):

Spaziolocal on Twitter: @spaziolocal

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Swallow the gap

Jade Montserrat responds to Shonagh Manson’s brief “It’s easy to despise the super yachts lining the grand canal as objects and symbols of privilege and inequality, but what more can the stories of the people who live and work on them tell us about the circulation of power?”

– oh cool
– yeah
– so how long do you kind of erm live on here for? Like. Do you live on here all the time or like
– live on here for a year
– oh wow ok
– wow
– wow that’s cool
– how long are you gonna be on here for?
– probably by the end of the summer i’ll be able to leave for two months tops
– ok
– travelling
– wow
– whats your job like what do you do?
– I’m a second engineer
– second engineer
– yeah so running working on the boat
– does it need a lot of like
– its a living it’s a living beast you know
– (laughter)
– I can’t quite imagine
– it’s just like so shiny and new I just imagine
– yeah
– that it’s all working perfectly I guess
– we just got a new paint job
– oh wow ok
– they just re-painted it down in France
– ahhh
– so from top to tail
– whoooo
– so that’s why she’s looking so good
– so how often does it kinda move on like how often do you move to different places
– that depends
– do they give you your schedule? or do they keep that from yer?
– no its kept from us
– really?
– yeahh i thought it might would be
– oh! for security
– yeah
– so is that for security basically and stuff like that? I guess erm
– ok so they just see what they’d like to do
– what’s the dress code to get on board? just a (inaudible) and shoes is it?
– laughter
– yeah ha ha
– shirt and tails
– bugger
– ahh that’s funny!
– is this the biggest vessel you’ve been on, you’ve worked on?
– oh no
– by no means
– really wow
– she’s half the size of my last one
– oh wow ok gosh
– she’s fifty metres
– and do the people who own it do they live on here all the time or no, it’s different people?
– its different people
– bit of a toy is it?
– bit of a toy for them is it?
– (pause) suppose so
– yeah I guess
– like would this not just be rented to different people all the time?
– no this is privately owned
– oh this is owned. riiight
– oh wow
– yeah
– that’s pretty impressive
– are they here for the Biennale then?
– pardon?
– are they here for the Biennale?
– thats correct
– yeah
– they come every year
– erm
– did you come to the Biennale?
– oh it’s really good there’s some really good stuff
– I haven’t had time off haven’t
– oh really wow
– had time for two minutes
– have you had a look thro..have you been into the town at all yet, into Venice?
– no
– really?
– yes
– (inaudible)
– oh wow really so you don’t get much time off when you’re actually on the boat then?
– (inaudible)…we get three hours during the day off but err (inaudible)
– that’s mad so erm do you work seven days a week then?
– whenever we have a guest on
– ok
– (inaudible)
– oh wow I don’t think i could cope with that
– yeah
– (inaudible)
– ok yeah
– so food is brought down to the boat and?
– and so you eat everything on the boat and erm and do you have stuff like do you have a gym on the boat you can use? that kind of thing or?
– nope. there’s a gym for the guests but we have are own separate area
– ok i’m just thinking otherwise you don’t get to walk around at all or do anything
– where are you from?
– South Africa
– South Africa
– where do tend to go apart from Venice do you go to other other parts of the Mediterranean or
– yeah
– all over
– (inaudible) Monaco
– oh ok that’s nice
– (inaudible)
– and you’re not allowed to say who owns this I guess?
– I don’t know myself
– oh you don’t
– I’m employed by a company
– seriously wow so have you have you met the person who owns it not really
– there’s continual people coming on board. I have a suspicion of who (inaudible)
– wow that’s amazing that’s so fascinating I never realised that ok
– erm there’s a magazine apparently which is circulating with who’s erm on what yacht in the area so we can always find out that way
– laughter
– (inaudible) … speculation

Text from the artist

Jade Montserrat on twitter: @jademontserrat

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Romantic map of the Venice Giardini

Filippo Lorenzin responds to Anouchka Grose’s brief “Venice art abundance ignites passion between viewers.”

I explored the Giardini and have noted on the map where couples kissed each other. Looks like the Padiglione Centrale is the most romantic place within this part of the Biennale.

Filippo Lorenzin on Twitter: @fi_lor

Calculating Carbon: three snapshots of environmental impact caused by La Biennale

Amy McDonnell, Monica Rivas Velasquez and Fernanda Albertoni respond to Neil Cummings’ brief “Calculate the magnitude of the carbon bubble caused by visitors to the Biennale. PS Carbon Tracker and Carbon footprint calculator


Using a Carbon Footprint calculator and an Energy Resources Calculator

Half hrs worth of Biennale – from asking visitors at the Arsenale for half an hour where they had traveled from and whether by plane, train or automobile!

PRESSROOM participants – by asking everyone present at the final Friday from where and how they traveled.

GB Pavilion – By finding out the amount of visitors to Jeremy Deller’s 2013 Pavilion, and calculating the impact if all of these visitors were traveling by plane from London, obviously the impact would be a lot more grave with visitors from all over the world.