[-empyre-] EXCEDENTES/EXCESS Collabroation

Ricardo Miranda Zuniga ricardo at ambriente.com
Fri May 24 01:39:35 EST 2013

Thank you for the compliments Renate!
I acted as the translator/bridge between Brooke and our Spanish
collaborators.  More than once Brooke was furious at me for
mistranslation or simply dropping key points (translation can be
exhausting).  In the end, the translation came through the work.  Once
we got down to whatever needed to be done, we would work both together
and apart and as the work took form, greater understanding was arrived
at.  Miscues became elements that were either adopted or transformed
when shared.  This was particularly true as we worked along side one
another at Matadero Madrid.  In other words, there were times we'd
give up on translation and simply start working individually or in
pairs.  Some of my favorite examples of these moments are the sort of
mind maps that developed from parallel play/work.  Here are a few of

This drawing
became this

Brooke's map served as inspiration to much of our visualization/thinking:

On Wed, May 22, 2013 at 10:55 PM, Renate Ferro <renateferro at gmail.com> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Dear Ricardo and Brooke (and a bit later for Paul),
> The Excedentes/Excess project is absolutely amazing. My apologies for not responding yesterday but I have been finishing up my semester. I had a couple of thoughts that I'll just list below. Right now we are wo Internet so  I am typing on my phone. Let's see how this works.
> You mention that working between individuals or groups where tensions reside can prove challenging but rich. Obviously there can also be not only conceptual tensions but also language miscommunications caused by translation or the unavailability  of translation. Can you guys talk about any language barriers and how you handled that especially during the proposal when you used Skype and Google Docs. Or perhaps everyone was bilingual?
> Maybe Paul could chime in here as well. Btw thanks for talking more about PED. That project was done in China and I can not remember how you handled the educational lectures there?  Were they translated?
> Can anyone else talk about their experiences in working in between two or more languages? I have worked in Chiapis and China and had frustrations when dealing with language and communication.
> Ricardo and Brooke the short film you produced is fantastic!  I burst out laughing when I saw the composting bike. Maybe I have a thing about bikes but as I said about the PED project and yours ....humor can have a provocative and luring affect.
> I will finish in commenting on Paul's last post, I think you downplay the importance of humor in PED!
> Cheers to all.
> Sent from my iPhone
> Renate
> On May 20, 2013, at 2:14 PM, Ricardo Miranda Zuniga <ricardo at ambriente.com> wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Hello Everyone,
>> Renate thank you for inviting Brooke and I to join this week's
>> discussion.  I'm going to focus my thoughts on a current collaboration
>> that began virtually in 2011, developed in parallel in Madrid and
>> Brooklyn with an initial action in Madrid and continues to expand now
>> in Brooklyn - EXCEDENTES/EXCESS.
>> In early 2011, the culture and art center Matadero Madrid began an
>> initiative that was to pair Spanish artists with artist from elsewhere
>> to collaborate.  The space and exhibition itself "El Ranchito" would
>> focus on process as art.  One of the curators Nerea Cavillo put us in
>> contact with Jose Luis Bongore and Beatriz Marcos based on mutual
>> interest - very generally that of art as action in the public sphere
>> to question modes of globalization.  (As Paul enumerated - (1) Shared
>> Agendas.) Over a two week period, we used Skype, Google Docs (now
>> Drive) and email to generate the proposal.  And the team
>> EXCEDENTES/EXCESS was awarded residency for Brooke and I and a
>> generous production commission.  As the final culmination of the
>> collaboration was to be presented in Madrid, the proposed project
>> focused on food waste in Madrid at a time of heightened unemployment
>> when a growing demographic was/is turning to dumpster diving for
>> sustenance, but the act of dumpster diving is illegal and may result
>> in a 750 euro fine.  The artists proposed to collaborate with
>> traditional markets (as opposed to supermarkets) to collect food that
>> was to be thrown away at the end of the day and re-distribute on the
>> street.
>> We continued virtual collaboration throughout the summer and fall of
>> 2011 and elected to do the same investigation in Brooklyn as Madrid.
>> In Madrid, the team effectively established relationships with food
>> vendors willing to participate and worked with TODO POR LA PRAXIS to
>> construct a food rescue and re-distribution cart - "Carrito Mermas."
>> In Brooklyn, we discovered the Good Samaritan Law that protects from
>> liability those who give reasonable assistance, including food
>> redistribution and we discovered that a more urgent problem in NYC was
>> all the food waste going to landfill.  Since NYC has some 1200 soup
>> kitchens and City Harvest rescuing food and dumpster diving is not
>> against the law, the Brooklyn research lead to generating ways to
>> deter food from landfill.
>> Brooke and I landed in Madrid, we worked with Jose Luis and Beatriz to
>> assemble all our research for public presentation.  We took the
>> Carrito Mermas out for collection and redistribution and we brain
>> stormed on how to move forward.  The following are a few of the
>> transformations of the collaboration:
>> 1. As Brooke and I explained the Good Samaritan Law in the US, Jose
>> Luis and Beatriz moved to establish a similar proposal in Madrid.
>> Following discussions with law professors and round table was
>> assembled and legal proposal began to take form.  Effectively, the
>> project changed from a food collection cart to 15+ person team
>> including law professionals and community representatives to form a
>> bill that would facilitate the redistribution of good food.
>> 2. In Brooklyn, we have constructed a food rescue and composting
>> quad-cycle that traverses Crown Heights, Prospect Heights and Park
>> Slope as spectacle and conversation generator.  We have partnered with
>> one restaurant to collect its organic waste and have established a
>> composting lot.  The goal is that of micro-composting as the problem
>> with composting in NYC is scale (unlike cities like San Francisco or
>> Portland) and to show local businesses that composting is good and
>> saves them money.
>> Most of Paul's points make a lot of sense to us.  This project has
>> grown and transformed due to a shared agenda; parity - a mutual
>> dedication has been necessary; and a slightly different take on
>> nomadism - a similar agenda will have different outcomes based on
>> local issues and agreed that a varying skills or flexibility is
>> essential.  One point of disagreement is 2. The Non-Rational: Working
>> with people that you may disagree with to arrive at a community-based
>> initiative can be more challenging and potentially rich on a
>> social/community basis than collaborating with ones drinking buddies
>> (or whatever ;)
>> We do have a video that presents the various facets of the project in
>> 5 and a half minutes:
>> http://vimeo.com/62918389
>> Best,
>> ricardo
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