Investigating news creation through expanded acts of visual reportage

Venice Briefings

This page contains the PRESS ROOM archive of briefings contributed by artists, curators, journalists, thinkers and art world individuals during breakfast briefing sessions that took place in Venice on Wednesday 6, Thursday 7 and Friday 8 May 2015 and Tuesday 11, Wednesday 12 August and Thursday 13 August 2015.

Follow our Breaking News announcements to keep up to date with developments, including locations and times for future events, exhibitions and interventions.

Thursday 13 August Briefings

Eleanor Saitta

Venice, like most coastal cities housing about half of everyone alive, is unlikely to exist at the end of the century. Human lives are short and we will all die sooner than we’d like. What are you doing with yours? @Dymaxion

Charles Gaines

Political art is that art that attempts to link the personal and subjective with the social without sacrificing either.

Public Studio & Adrian Blackwell

Discuss the #MigrantChoir intervention @graphicpictures

Anna Battista

Some boards and institutions granting funds to artists for their projects ask on the applications forms how many followers do they have on social media: so is quantity more important than quality and why should a young artist applying for funds, have millions of followers on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram for a project he/she may not have developed yet and may not want to reveal till it’s actually finished? Besides, what about people who end up buying packets of followers? Are they better (con) artists and will they get a grant just because of the numbers of followers? @irenebrination

At the Media Desk: Screening of Romiah Selfie by Khaled Ramadan

Wednesday 12 August Briefings

Simone Leigh

If the World’s Fair Pavilions were a recreation of the colonial project while it was still happening, what does the Venice Biennale do?

Mariam Ghani

Can a biennale ever enact politics, or can it only ever represent them? Why, or why not? @ghanimariam

Gregory Sholette

Palestinian artists have little or no presence in this year’s Venice Biennale, and there is no Palestinian Pavilion to be seen. What does this say about all the art world’s futures? @gsholette @GulfLabor

At the Media Desk: Screening of Romiah Selfie by Khaled Ramadan

Tuesday 11 August Briefings

Peter Heslip

Create the demands for #DivestVenice2017

Vanessa Kwan

The whole of the institution, the mansion, the city can’t contain the phantom, the figment, the creep; how do we build a home for restless practices?

Cesare Pietroiusti

lo senti il vento? / can you feel the wind?

At the Media Desk: Screening of Romiah Selfie by Khaled Ramadan

Friday 8 May Briefings

Martin Holman

We can’t talk anymore. Words spilt or spoken are the alta acqua of the Venice Biennale.

The great Biennale disconnect. Which reality does it serve?

In Venice thousands dine. In the sea off Libya hundreds die.

Don’t look now. For artists’ integrity, Venice is the knife-wielding dwarf in the red hooded coat.

At the Biennale, why does Tintoretto always win?

Anna Battista

The Biennale theme is All The World’s Futures – what is the future of journalism? Will the journalist morph/mutate into a curator, a PR officer, or a merchant or is the journalist destined to wear the venetian “Bauta” and disappear like a ghost? @irenebrination

Many fashion companies are investing into art/ art spaces / museums, or restoration projects. – Is this genuine patronage or just another way to strengthen a brand’s identity and presence on the market? @irenebrination

Shonagh Manson

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? @shonaghm

Karolina Markiewicz/Pascal Piron

Too much of water hast thou, poor Ola from Homs, and therefore I forbid my tears. End of hope in Sicily, Biennale in Venice. @kultursalzkaro

Sicile: Le programme de sauvetage de l’UE en 10 points, en action. Point 2: empreintes digitales des survivants. Pas des morts. @kulturstruktur

(Karolina Markiewicz + Pascal Piron) English translation: Sicily: EU rescue programme in 10 action points. Point 2: fingerprints of the survivors. Not of the dead. @kultursalzkaro (Karolina Markiewicz + Pascal Piron)

Mike Stubbs

All you can do is glean information from the tiniest fragments. Trying to see everything makes you ill. @mikestubbs

Neil Cummings

Calculate the magnitude of the carbon bubble caused by visitors to the Biennale. PS Carbon Tracker and Carbon footprint calculator

Laboratory of the Insurrectionary Imagination

It’s time to stop pretending to do politics in the art world and get real, which means deserting – back to life @labofii

Anouchka Grose

Venice art overload sows discord in relationships. – Anouchka Grose

Venice art abundance ignites passion between viewers. – Anouchka Grose

Ania Bas

Works not made for collectors. @ania_bas

Parasites – works, spaces, events. Peripheries – distance, visibility, funding, @ania_bas

Best visitor experience – sofas, loos, goodies, smiles. @ania_bas

Ben Lloyd

“Mediterranean Migrant Crisis: Vaporetto to Giardini in rescue mission” @BenNebula

Huw Lemmey

What’s left worth printing on paper? @spitzenprodukte

Terry Smith

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.

There have been many people outraged by the utter disregard for human rights by various Governments around the world, there have been many calls for cultural boycotts, which seems, in the bigger picture like a small kind of response and the least we can do. Of course any action that might bring an end to injustice might seem the right action. However perhaps International isolationism may not deliver the aims of a boycott, which are in themselves complicated, to change the direction of a state or to show solidarity with a repressed people. But what if we did the opposite rather that culturally isolate a country embrace it, replace politics with poetics, war with jaw, violence with passivity, action with non action, the sword with a pen, a gun with spray paint, a bullet with a crayon?

These are some of the questions we are asking at Venice Agendas for the breakfast debates at CZ95 and in the evenings at the Imagina Cafe VENICE AGENDAS AT CZ95 CZ95, Giudecca 95, 30133 Venezia Vaporetto: Zitelle on lines 2, 4.1 and 4.2 VENICE AGENDAS AT IMAGINA CAFÉ Imagina Café, Rio Terà Canal, 3126 Dorsoduro, (Near Campo Santa Margherita)

Robert Frankle

Where is the Venice in the Biennale? @pressroomvenice

56th Venice Biennale = Documenta 11 redux ? @pressroomvenice

Ami Clarke

Our (Ami Clarke and Richard Cochrane) twitter bot @LowAnimalSpirit – will be tweeting from Museo Universitario Del Chopo, Mexico City with a special new! arts! venice! biennale! bias… (later in the days due to time difference – they are 7 hours behind us).
Here’s a brief description of the twitter bot:
@LowAnimalSpirit tweeting new speculative arts headlines!

Low Animal Spirits is a High Frequency Trading algorithm driven by real time data, scripted as a live onscreen score and audio work with automated ‘readers’. Taking its cue from the oft-mentioned loss of the referent in both language and the economy, it is a live model of high frequency trading, dealing in words sourced from global news feeds for virtual ‘profit’, whilst speculating on their usage. The analysis produces new phenomena in the form of headlines generated with the help of Natural Language processing algorithms, tweeted @LowAnimalSpirit from it’s present installation at Museo Universitario Del Chopo, Mexico City, with a new bias towards art!

A short experimental text on the Biennale so far:

“The news… but not as you know it”.
liquideasy big boss hard facts hazards a speculation
Is Deutsche Bank a continuation of the 3rd Reich?
harvesting the news
a high frequency news trading bot
and a kiss from a kid with a cold sore.
Do people ever figure this out?
No – they usually think I’m Hungarian.
You’re doing well.
Superluminal doing well.
They met in Beirut.
spoke Turkish between themselves
Armenian to their daughter
Arabic, French, and then English
a Finnish minority group that speaks Swedish
(but less singsong)
and Finnish
that’s closer to Turkish and Hungarian

with thanks/ref to: Really Simple Syndication, @LowAnimalSpirit (Mexico City), Accent Elimination, 2005 by Nina Katchadourian at the Republic of Armenian Exhibition, Courtesy of the Mekhitarist Monastery of the Island of San Lazzaro, Venice. and Factory in the Sun by Hito Steyerl at the German Pavilion.

Jade Montserrat

Make it your business @jademontserrat

Position the PUBLICITY from every angle and every front @jademontserrat

Rachael House

What’s the use of collective joy? @RachaelLHouse

Paul di Felice

All The World’s Futures contains mainly 80s artists who have only incrementally evolved? Is this the future of contemporary art

Richard Shields

‘How much time can be wasted, lost or searching in Venice. in that exclusive moment, can you ever stare into nothing @richartpoorart’

You are in Venice but should you be, do your beliefs conflict with the machine behind the Biennale? Are you hypnotised? @richartpoorart

Gaynor O’Flynn

#brief artists are narcissist, egotistical, fame, money & power hungry monsters who create a money laundering market, discuss? @gaynoroflynn

Thursday 7 May Briefings

Peter Heslip

Who has voted today? @pheslip

Create the demands for #divestvenice2017 @pheslip

Candice Jacobs


If the world of appearances are just a set of illusions then everything is smoke and mirrors. @Candice_Jacobs

Our subconscious mind is part of the crowd and releases a collective desire in conjunction with a desire for collectivity. @Candice_Jacobs

The ultimate human condition and its relationship to consumption, technology, power and control. @Candice_Jacobs

Collectivity as a state of hypnosis where conscious personality is lost. @Candice_Jacobs

Collectivity as a state of unconsciousness that relieves us of the fear of individuation. @Candice_Jacobs

Your existential climax is your attainment of divinity. @Candice_Jacobs

Stuart Cameron

exiles from the garden explore the periphery – Stuart Cameron @crescent_arts

Christopher Kulendran Thomas

Who funds the Venice Biennale?
Break down (or estimate) the make-up of private vs public funding of the Biennalel. What is the budget of the Venice Biennale organisation itself for this year’s biennial as a proportion of the total costs of putting on the Biennale (which would include, for example, the costs borne by national pavilions through public funding as well as by commercial galleries and patrons specific to each presentation).

Soft Power
How does the inclusion of national pavilions over time relate to global balances of political power?

Akerman Daly

Stop playing around with art chat: pavilion, navigate, disbelieve @AkermanDaly

Write a proposal for a new kind of pavilion in 56 words @AkermanDaly

Venice is a living museum where art points at meanings @AkermanDaly

Silvia Ziranek

VB: vanity blossoms. Arty partays portray the indulgences of Those that Chose, How to Please, What Sells, and Vapid Betokenisms.


Event conflict: Opening week at the Venice Biennale where art and creativity are celebrated or the British General Election where the arts are not taken seriously? The creative industries bring over £76 billion per year to the UK economy. The Tory government have done all it can to undermine art education. Vote on the 7th of May to stop the systematic sidelining of the arts (do it by postal vote if you are in Venice)…. @jvoorsanger

Richard Dedomenici

In 2005 a controversial plan to replace the Bexhill-On-Sea crazy golf course with a Boutique Hotel led to me prudently installing my own crazy golf course into the adjacent, just refurbished, listed, modernist De La Warr Pavilion, thereby preserving the town’s cultural heritage. Here is a video and a review of the installation.

At the 2015 Venice Biennale artist Doug Fishbone is installing a crazy golf course.

My Press Room creative brief is to compare and contrast the rationales behind each work, look for clues, gather evidence, and decide if Doug’s piece is either a case of:

A) Plagiarism

B) Cryptomnesia


C) Asynchronous Co-Composition*

All reportage will be used to help contextualise my forthcoming commission – to install a Crazy Golf course in Rafael Vinoly’s landmark Firstsite building in Colchester (the town’s crazy golf course has just been demolished) which opens in June.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Jane Lawson

How can politically ambitious art escape the bounds of representation and move into real world effects? @MsJaneLawson

Mike Chavez Dawson

Venice Biennale donates to Nepalese Earth Quake disaster and encourage wealthy patrons to donate 20% of their annual netprofit! @MCD_Artist

Wednesday 6 May Briefings

PRESSROOM launched in Venice today with a series of briefings from Guest Editors. Follow @pressroomvenice to hear our artist-investigators responses!

Kathleen Soriano

Art party or party art? @kclSoriano

Anthony d’Offay

Belonging in the future occupies which @ARTISTROOMS?

Richard Parry

Biennale announces hypnotists to be employed as invigilators. Deeper experience promised. @rhmparry

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

Critic mauled by rogue family of gerbils. Scenes of pandemonium. @rhmparry

Biennale to issue artists with canoes in bid for efficiency push. online exclusive. @rhmparry

Dealer and gallery director in selfie stick shame. We have the pictures. @rhmparry

Parallel underwater art fair announced to coincide with biennale. Titled floated as ‘Venlantis’. @rhmparry

Sparks fly over so-called ‘performative text incident’. @rhmparry

Royal couple announce baby as artwork and will form basis of next British pavilion show. @rhmparry

Colony of eagles reported nesting near giardini. Artists and public advised not to feed. @rhmparry

Large nebulous artwork accidentally seen by outsider tourist – quizzical looks observed. @rhmparry

Conclave of collectors spotted in bidding war over most hyped artwork using vongole shells for chips. What did you see? @rhmparry

Emerging artist reported stuck in plant pot. Send us your pictures. @rhmparry

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. @rhmparry

Four walls, one artist, seven curators, five dealers, eight collectors with spouses, plus a pastry chef. What did you hear? @rhmparry

Mestre decides to sever all links to the lagoon declaring ‘the lion just got up and walked onto the mainland’. Full report to follow. @rhmparry

Annabel Dover

The Wunderkammer of Venice
The 2013 Venice Biennale had the Wunderkammer as its curatorial focus. Massimiliano Gionithe’s Encyclopedic Palace. This year the 56th year of the Bienale, Okwui Enwezor has created a show entitled All the Worlds Futures, a title that to me conjures a post-war ethos and the spirit of the United Nations.

First opened in 1895 and first International in 1907, overtaken in the
1930s as is evidenced by the majority of Fascist chic pavilions.

In 1974 the biennale was dedicated to Chile as a political statement to Pinochet and in 2013 Udo Kittelman the director of the Nationalgalerie, State Museums of Berlin included the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in the German pavilion.

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.

Ostaria al Marghelo
Caffè Florian (expensive looking can suffice!)
Swimming at the Lido
Peggy Guggenheim’s house
Arena Chapel at Padova
Natural History Museum
Rumanian Pavilion
Finland pavilion.
Prostitute spotting on the way in.
Milky water
Pick some flowers and press them
Collect some water from the Grand Canal

Films and books to read and art to look at:
Venice, by Jan Morris
Casanova’s History of My Life,
Don’t Look Now, Death in Venice, The Comfort of Strangers, The Leopard, any Visconti, John Singer Sargent, Watteau in Venice by Phillippe Sollers, Anne Rice’s Cry to Heaven, Candide, Othello, Merchant of Venice, Fellini’s Casanova

Joanne Masding

Get exhausted. Traipse. Saturate yourself. See the whole biennale @JoanneMasding

Use stealth. Sneak. Make yourself invisible. See underneath the biennale @JoanneMasding

Rise above. Fly. Find yourself a bird’s eye view. See the biennale straight on @JoanneMasding

Peckham Platform

Calling all investigators to consider what could be socially relevant art in the context of Venice 2015? @PeckhamPlatform