sábado, 24 de enero de 2009

Sienvolando Room

The Sienvolando room included photos of murals and actions done by Sienvolando in La Plata Argentina as well as some prints of woodblocks participants in the group had made. Some of the murals and actions took place while I was in Argentina during the summer of 2008 and others were documented by the group members themselves. I divided the room thematically by actions and connected the photos and themes present with different colored yarn. The idea of the yarn was to serve as a reminder of the network or web that these groups participate in that link many different movements, people, and situations.

La Sala de Sienvolando incluye fotos de murales y acciones del grupo en La Plata Argentina ademas de algunos ejemplos de grabados en madera hechos por participantes en el grupo. Se hicieron algunas de las acciones mientras yo estuve en Argentina en el verano de 2008, pero la mayoria de los fotos vienen de documentacion de acciones en el pasado. Dividi el cuarto en secciones acciones distintas y conecte las fotos con hilos de distintos colores. La idea de los hilos era de servir como recuerdo de las redes donde participan estos grupos que conectan distintas movimientos, gente, y situaciones.

la entrada:

live mural and printing

There were a few interactive parts of the show, taking inspiration from both Sienvolando and La Sala, groups that value and encourage participation. Leading out of the Sienvolando room, which was full of beautiful examples of murals the group has painted, was a room with three panels of wood and buckets of paint set up with an invitation to come paint. And people did!

Tambien habia unas partes interactivos, tomando inspiracion de Sienvolando y La Sala, dos grupos que aprecian y stimuan la participacion activa de cada persona. Saliendo de la sala de Sienvolando, que estuvo llena de ejemplos de los murales impresionantes que ha pintado el grupo, habia un cuarto con 3 tableros de madera y pintura y pinceles con una invitacion de "veni a pintar"

There was also a printmaking station set up for anyone who wanted to learn about woodblock and print things I had made and found in the trash of the printshop. Sienvolando often bring out the printing press and woodblocks participants have carved to festivals, actions, or parties for people to print in public, often directly on the t-shirts they are wearing.

Tambien habia una estacion de grabado para aprender a hacer grabado y imprimir cosas que yo habia hecho en el pasado o que encontre en la basura del taller de grabado en la universidad. A veces Sienvolando lleva la prensa afuera a la calle, a festivales, acciones, o fiestas con bloques de madera que han disenado participantes para que la gente participando pueden imprimir en publico, usualmente directamente en las remeras que llevan puestas.

martes, 16 de diciembre de 2008

The show will be up at Bard on Wednesday Thursday and Friday in the Old Gym (December 17-19)

Wed: 7-10pm
Thurs: 5-8pm
Fri: 3-7pm

miércoles, 15 de octubre de 2008

jueves, 25 de septiembre de 2008

a proposal for a more fun senior project

this is a proposal i wrote, expanding the map idea, asking for space to do it at the end of the semester:


KELLYANNE MIFFLIN 301-518-4405 / km784@bard.edu


I am writing my senior project in anthropology/LAIS on the artistic expression coming out of social movements in Buenos Aires, Argentina right now. I am interested in how people are making politics creative and in what ways their cultural and artistic activities tie into larger social and political projects. I spent basically the past year (and intensively this past summer) in Argentina making friends, participating, and observing different groups and their various activities. Writing about this only in the form of a paper doesn’t come close to showing the neat inspiring things that are happening in Argentina right now and leaves the voices of the actual participants only accessible through my words, which doesn’t feel satisfactory. So this would be the visual, interactive, tangible creative part of my senior project.

I would like to include the following components:
1. The central part would be a gigantic fabric hand-sewn 3-d map (sewn from material, silkscreen, trash, etc. collected in Argentina). The map would also be made up of objects and words, but primarily would be to show all of the different neighborhood groups/art collectives/popular libraries/community centers/street theater etc. that form a larger network of autonomous horizontal cultural and artistic spaces working for social change in some way. On this map, with color coded yarn, different connections between the groups and spaces will be traced out. (Physical, geographical, collaborative, activities, historically connected, etc.)
2. The yarn would also lead out into the room from points on the map that I want to expand on, specifically relating to the 4 groups that I am writing my project on. So Imagine that the fabric map takes up most of an entire wall and then leading out of it into different parts of the room you follow the yarn to places that would be set up with video projections of art actions, with recreations of parts of murals, with audio clips of interviews. I have a huge amount of documentation and collaborative work of the projects of these people ranging from video, photo, woodcut, silkscreen, audio recordings, artwork, tools, flyers, zines, books, posters. I am also working in a woodcut class on projects relating to this which would be incorporated into the show. Everything will be accessible and able to be touched and examined and read (there will also be some translations)
3. Murals are a huge part of the groups I was working with and I want to have a live mural painting in the Old Gym (perhaps next to video of a live mural painting in Argentina). The theme is still to be decided and would be determined by the painters. It would be happening live while people were moving around the space and there would be the opportunity to pick up a paintbrush and take part. (Don’t worry, with LOTS of drop cloths)
4. Aside from a primarily documentary manner of presenting all of this, I am planning some sort of interactive and participatory part. Ideally this would be popular theater working with the ‘audiences’ experiences in relation to all of the material, but I don’t think that part of it will actually be ready by December. What I am envisioning as possible is an extension of the map. I would like this to be not just ‘interactive’ but actually incorporating the experiences of people in the audience. Rather than just consuming in an inactive way the activities and creations of people and groups in Argentina, those experiences could be seen and then built upon. On the opening (or closing) night people would come together and talk about what this could be related to in their own communities. Material, yarn, and maps would be available to build off of the Argentina map, adding connections and places here in New York, and creating some sort of web of projects across countries.
5. I also am interested in documenting the process of researching and writing and the personal lived reality of anthropological work and how that is so often left out of the final piece but orients and influences every word that goes into it. Far too infrequently do we hear about the fears and worries of the anthropologist and all of the disasters, misunderstandings, personal feelings, and beautiful friendships that go into the creation of an academic project. Throughout the course of my research I’ve been in correspondence with other seniors doing fieldwork, people in Argentina, and friends and relatives outside of the university system who’ve provided invaluable dialogue and perspectives. I would like there to be a section of copies of journal entries, notes on the backs of subway cards, panicked e-mails, and snippets of conversations with participants about their feelings of being ‘researched.’

I love the Old Gym. My favorite performances have taken place there and I’ve always wanted to be involved in something in the Old Gym and now am in my last semester at Bard. As I’ve been planning this project I hadn’t been able to envision it working in any space at Bard until I thought of the Old Gym. The Old Gym would be ideal for this because of the amount of space it provides and the opportunity to work in a multi-media way and cross-disciplinary. The Old Gym allows the possibility to display a lot of material as well as include a performative part at the same time as well as specially light certain parts. What is great about it is that it can be used by so many diverse performances and feel right for each one (unlike say Smog or the MPR that have distinct feels to them no matter what the show). I am excited to be working in a student space, especially because my whole project focuses on community run, autonomous, non-hierarchical spaces.

jueves, 11 de septiembre de 2008

amigxs: perdón por la larga ausencia. entre ordenando mis cosas en eeuu, viendo mi familia, pasando unos dias en el carcel por participar en una manifestación y volviendo a la facultad no he tenido ni un minuto libre. pero ya estoy empezando a pensar en esto otra vez y estoy emocionada de compartir mas y abrir el dialogo de nuevo. hasta pronto!!

martes, 12 de agosto de 2008

curating anthropology?

a while ago i was thinking about the idea of curating a lot. having some regrets at not having studied art history and realizing that that was really something i could get excited about. then i got frustrated with museums, galleries and the inaccessability of those spaces and veered away from thinking about art in museumey terms. but without realizing it, my interest has revolved back to curating, only in a different context. in thinking about writing my senior project, I am figuring out how to put together the actions, activities, projects, artwork, and words of different people and groups in a way that allows them to stand on their own in relation to the other components while still including some degree of my own analysis and perspective.

where do I find the balance between putting my voice and analysis over the words and actions of others to a point of speaking for them (which I really want to avoid)and also not getting so paralyzed that it turns into documentary-style documentation of other people's lives? presenting the work and ideas of other people and finding the common threads and key themes and differences that make up the interactions. but also pushing that further and trying to pull in the realities and experiences of readers and audience members.

so in that sense, I guess the space I am finding for myself right now within anthropology is a somewhat curatorial one, or at least that's what it's becoming even without the conscious decision to make it so. maybe i'm babbling....

recycling, tying together, antropofagia?

jueves, 31 de julio de 2008


Como dije antes, me gustaria que este proyecto sale como algo mas de la parte escrita para la universidad. Esta es una de las ideas que tenía recién.

Una mapa: Estaria hecha de tela, hilo y materiales reciclados, en tres dimensiones. La mapa sería de la ciudad de Buenos Aires y un par de otros lugares en el país, mostrando las conexiones entre todos los distintos espacios y grupos que estaba visitando. Las conexiones serían de muchas clases, notado a traves de hilos de distintos colores: fisicamente compartiendo espacio, colaborando juntos en proyectos, estilos de organización similares, formado bajo el mismo momento historico, desarrollando actividades en comun, etc. El hilo también puede llevar afuera de la mapa a otros sitios en la aula para conectar a mas informacion en forma de panfletos, libros, objectos, fotos, carteles de actividades, entrevistas, grabado, video, etc. Para añadir un componente un poco más participativa relacionada a la experiencia de la gente viendo la mapa en el momento, en el lugar donde se muestra la mapa (en eeuu), habría otra mapa de aquella ciudad o región en particular y la gente viendo la mapa argentina pudieron de allí hacer más conexiones a sus propios proyectos relacionados, haciendo un red.


As I said, I would really like to turn this project into something beyond the written thesis. This is one of the ideas I recently had.

A map: I think I would like to make it out of cloth, yarn and felt and recycled material in three d. The map would be of the city of Buenos Aires and a few other places in the country showing the connections of the different groups and spaces I know of and have been working with. Those connections would be of many different sorts, shown by different types of yarn: physically sharing spaces, collaborating on projects together, similar styles of organizing, formed out of same historical moment, putting on similar activities, etc. The yarn could also lead out of the map to other places of the room that would connect to more information, objects, photos, flyers, books, video, recordings of parts of interviews, etc. To add a viewer participation component, wherever this map was being shown (in the USA), there could be a map of that particular city or the USA in general and people looking at the Argentina map could from there add connections to their own related projects; creating a web of projects across countries.

some very vague ideas, please tell me if you have ideas for where to further take this...

martes, 29 de julio de 2008

Filete Colectivo

In their own words from their blog, Filete Colectivo “are a bunch of crazy people who go around with their memories sharpened, their paintbrushes awake, and their readiness alert,” or in other words “artists and friends engaged in changing this world, making it a little more beautiful, a little more just.” Their slogan is “paintbrushes always on the side of the people, always against the enemies of the people.” They call themselves dreamers who live in reality with the idea that it is possible to work towards a world and humanity a little bit different than what we have now.

Among their activities are many many collaborative murals, usually with video and photo documentation and a blog created for each one afterwards. Some of the places they have painted murals are other cultural centers (including Flores Sur, which was actually the first mural F.C. painted under the name Filete Colectivo), flagpoles in parks, at olla populares ('popular pots' i.e. free food in the street with the roads blocked and a fire going with pots of food heating on it being served to anyone who stops by), and even actions in art museums. They are linked with many other groups and organizations and almost all activities are done in collaboration with other organizations. They use the words ‘recover’ and ‘intervene’ for activities done without permission in public space. They also put a lot of their time into working with kids and giving classes and workshops and getting in the street with new people and starting with youth as a place to think about making change.

At this moment they are in a transitional phase, taking a break from intense non-stop action and activity and restructuring the group dynamic and thinking through the meaning of all of their activities. This meant that although they were one of the groups I was most excited about participating with, I didn't actually ever get to beyond talking with Grone and Sofia. But even those hours of conversation left me with an overwhelming feeling of inspiration and ideas.

you can check out their really extensive blog here: filetecolectivo.blogspot.com

CSyC Flores Sur

la entrada y la venta de pastas


los tambores de los herederos de la locura, la murga

en reunion, jueves casi medianoche

el espacio

el mural en el frente del local, pintado junto con Filete Colectivo (enlace al blog del mural: http://www.floressur.blogspot.com/)

Centro Social y Cultural Flores Sur es un espacio barrial en Flores Sur cerca de la estacion del subte Plaza de los Virreyes. Durante julio y agosto me dejaron observar y escuchar sus reuniones de asamblea cada jueves por la noche. estuvo muy importante para mi ver un grupo de gente juntarse y llegar al consenso en su proceso de hacer decisiones, discutir problemas en un espacio donde todos participan y tienen voces. Habia leido mucho sobre espacios asi pero escuchar el dialogo actual que paso alli me enseno un monton, especialmente sobre la diferencias en problemas y tacticas que existen en este momento en comparacion al 2001/2.

La unica cosa rara, es que no he participado en ningunas de las actividades que hacen y entonces solo escucho su planamiento y discusion sin poder verlo en la practica. Entrar al azar por dos meses de su larga historia y sin entender todos los detalles e interaciones especificos resulta complicado y estoy segura que pierdo muchos niveles de entendimiento.

Centro Social y Cultural Flores Sur is a neighborhood space near the Estación de los Virreyes subte station. They've let me sit in on their assembly meetings every Thursday night during july and august. It's been really incredible for me to watch a group of people coming to consensus together, discussing issues in a space where everyone has a voice and everyone participates.

The only strange thing is that I haven't actually participated in any of the activities they put on, so I listen to thier planning and debates, but I haven't actually been able to see any of it in action and in practice. Just jumping in for one month and hearing all the very specific details and interactions without knowing the path and history that has gotten them there makes me only able to grasp a small amount of what is really being said and done. it isn't insignificant, but it is difficult to know how to speak about something with confidence when I know there is a ton that I am missing and that would color what I have to say.

lunes, 28 de julio de 2008

lugares y grupos

Algunos de los espacios y grupos con quienes estoy hablando:

-Centro cultural y Social Flores Sur me dejan asistir a sus reuniones de asamblea cada jueves.
-Sienvolando es un grupo de La Plata que hacen murales, grabado, y otras acciones de arte. estoy pintando murales con ellos cada semana ahora.
-Filete Colectivo es un grupo de artistas que hacen talleres, murales y acciones en todo el país.
-La Oruga es un grupo de recreacion y educacion popular que juntan en una plaza publica cada sabado para dar talleres y jugar.
-La Sala es un centro cultural, hermana a la Huerta Orgazmika que da muchos talleres, comida no bombas, y otras actividades.
-la Federación Libertaria Argentina (FLA) es un espacio anarquista que existe hace muchas decadas, y tiene el archivo anarchista mas grande de America Latina ademas de desarrollar otras actividades.

Hay muchos mas grupos pero por ahora aquellos son los que estoy conociendo.


These are some of the spaces I am looking at, talking to, working with:

-Centro Social y Cultural Flores Sur are letting my sit in on their weekly assembly meetings and attend their activities and talleres.
-Sienvolando is a group that does art actions, mostly murals who are letting me hang out and paint murals with them each week
-Filete Colectivo is a group of artists who do workshops and murals and other art actions at protests.
-La Oruga is a popular recreation and education group who meet in a public plaza every saturday afternoon to provide workshops and play.
-La Sala is a centro cultural linked with the Huerta Orgazmika, an organic garden squat who have a lot of free classes, workshops, food not bombs and other activities.
-La Federación Libertaria Argentina (FLA) is an anarchist space that has existed for decades and is home to the largest anarchist archives of Latin America, as well as doing other activities

There are so so so many other spaces and groups but for now, these are the groups I am spending time with.


Tengo un millón de preguntas! Estos son algunos:

Más que nada, quiero saber en que la gente se engancha, de que se emociona, que esta motivando personas en este momento, en que proyectos estan trabajando y donde encuentran inspiración y como ponen todo en práctica?

Sin queree ser dogmatica y poner respuestas en la boca de alguien con mis preguntas, estos son algunas de las otras ideas que estoy pensando, en forma de preguntas:

-En que maneras pueden funcionar comunidades/barrios/gente/grupos horizontalmente sin jerarquia o representación política? Como sería esto en práctica? Como están trabajando gente en Buenos Aires en proyectos auto-gestionados, auto-convocados, y autonomos en sus vidas diarias y comunidades?

-Como parece un espacio organizado por la misma gente que sirven? Estos espacios que estoy conociendo estan hechos por la gente que quieren servir? Como se relaciona a la tema del asistencialismo?

-Donde está la intersección del arte y la cultura y la politica? Como relaciona el arte y la creatividad al proceso horizontal? Que es la importancia de proyectos que se tratan de la vidía diaria, de la cultura, de crear cosas con las manos en comparación a los que son más directamente políticos? En que manera están juntando estos campos y encontrar espacios para aprendizaje, creatividad y a la vez resistencia?

-Como se relaciona los proyectos y organización de abajo a abajo en Argentina a una lucha para igualdad en escala global? Donde se posicionan estos grupos en relacion al creciendo interes global de relaciones horizontales, de movimientos anti-capitalistas, anti-autoritario, al anarchismo?

-Que ha pasado en los últimos 6 años desde el 2001-2? Como se relacionan ahora a este momento? En que sentido están distintas llas cosas hoy en dia? Se puede ver efectos de este periodo en el pensamiento de la gente todavia? Cambió su manera de relacionar a espacios comunitarios/barriales, a sus vecinos, al gobierno, a como se hacen politica? Había algún cambio en la subjectividad de la gente y como se relacionan a la política y en donde se ve las posibilidades para cambio?

-Como se interactuan y conectan distintos grupos? Que tienen en común? Como es la comunicacion entre ellos? Se llamaria lo que existe hoy en argentina un 'movimiento social? Existe un solo movimiento social en argentina o hay muchas visiones haciendo sus proyectos distintos y a veces juntandose con otros? Como se participan distintos sectores y grupos? Como generan participación?

-Que rol juega la ideología en las decisiones y actividades que desarrollan estos grupos?


I have a million questions! These are a few:

More than anything I just want to know what people are excited by, what is motivating and empassioning them right now, what projects they are working on, where they find inspiration and how they put that into practice.

Without trying to be dogmatic and put answers in people's mouths with my questions, these are a few of the other ideas I am thinking a lot about, in question form:

-How can communities/neighborhoods/people/groups function horizontally and autonomously without hierarchy or political representation? What might this look like in practice? What ways are people in Argentina working on autonomous self-managed projects in their daily lives and communities?

-What do spaces organized by the people who's needs they serve actually look like? Are these spaces created by the people whose needs they hope to serve?

-Where is the intersection of art/culture and politics. How does art and creativity relate to the process? What is the importance of cultural projects as opposed to/in relation with directly political actions. What ways are people finding to link those and create spaces for learning and creating as well as resistance?

-How does bottom to bottom local organizing in Argentina relate to a more global fight for equality? Where do people position themselves in relation to a global interest in horizontal relationships, anti-capitalism, anti-authoritarianism, or anarchism?

-What's happened in the last 6 years since 2001-2. How do people and groups relate to that moment? In what ways are things distinct today? What affect did that year have on people's relation to community spaces, to their neighbors, the government, how they do politics? Has their been a change in the subjectivity of the people and how they relate to politics and where they see the possibility for change?

-How do groups connect and relate with one another? What do they overlap on? Where is there a lack of communication? Could this be called a social movement? Does an actual 'social movement' exist in argentina right now? How are different sectors and groups represented and participating?

-Where does ideology play in to the decisions and activities done by groups?

martes, 22 de julio de 2008


Yo soy KellyAnne. Viví el año 2007 en la ciudad de Buenos Aires, durante que estuve re inspirada por todos los espacios horizontales, auto-gestionados, y autonomos que encontré en la ciudad y la gran cantidad de proyectos piolas de arte y cultura accessible que uno se ve en cada barrio. Cuando volví a EEUU para empezar mi último año de la universidad en Bard College y escribir la tesis universitaria de antropología me dí cuenta de que linda oportunidad sería poder escribir sobre algo que no puedo aceder por libros, algo que está pasando en las calles, plazas, y corazones de gente en este minuto, afectando y siendo creado por gente que conozco. Entonces despues de un semestre de leer y pensar mucho con dos profesores increibles, estoy de vuelta por los meses junio, julio, y agosto para conocer más, hablar, aprender, y participar.

Estos son los comienzos de un proyecto que todavia no se sabe como va a seguir transformándose. En parte, es mi tesis universitaria, pero lo quiero llevar mucho más allá del mundo académico.

La idea básica del proyecto es una exploración de los espacios autónomos y horizontales en Buenos Aires. Me interesa entender lo que pasó en los ultimos años despues del 2001-2 y ubicar donde están los movimientos sociales hoy en día, ahora mismo. Más específicamente, me interesa la expresión cultural y artistica que sale de estos espacios y como está unido a los objectivos políiticos de ellos: las maneras en que gente están haciendo que su política es creativa y como se incorpora el arte como algo transformativo, participativa, y colectivo.

Este blog se llama, "learning as we walk", que significa 'aprendiendo mientras caminamos', tomado de la misma frase que leí en referencia al proceso de la formación de espacios horizontales en Argentina, poniendo enfasis en el valor del camino y el proceso en vez de un final predeterminado. Me parece una buena manera de pensar en los trabajos que hacen los grupos que estoy visitando y tambien de explicar como va creciendo y cambiando este proyecto mio.

La idea de tener un blog es para que el proceso de comunicación, digestión, y analisis de toda la información y las historias que estoy juntando no sea cerrado y unidimensional, sino que dé lugar para tener aún más diálogo y discusión y esforzar mi mismo a estar mas transparente y ser responsable a la gente acá que me han abierto sus vidas y proyectos.

Cualquier persona que quiere agregar algo (palabras, foto, video, etc.) por favor, hacélo! o mandáme mail a kmifflin@gmail.com

y perdoná mi castellano, sigo aprendiendo....


This is me: KellyAnne. I lived in Buenos Aires for a year in 2007, during which I was incredibly inspired by all of the horizontal, self-managed, autonomous community spaces I encountered and the neat art and cultural projects that were coming out of every corner of this city. When I returned to the USA to begin my final year at Bard College and write my senior project in anthropology, I realized what an incredible opportunity it would be to be able to write about something that I couldn't read about in books, that is happening in the streets, plazas and hearts of people right now, affecting and being created by people I know. So now after a long semester of reading and thinking and learning with two wonderful advisers, Pierre Ostiguy and Diana Brown, I am back in Argentina to learn more, talk, meet, and participate.

This is the beginning of a project that is still figuring out what it is going to be. it is in part my undergraduate thesis, but mostly something I want to take beyond the academic university system.

The basic idea of the project is an exploration into the horizontal autonomous spaces that exist in this city. i am curious about what has happened in the past 7 years after the economic and political crash in 2001/2 and want to get a sense of where the social movements of Argentina are right NOW. Narrowing that down, I am specifically interested in the artistic and cultural expression coming out of these spaces and how that is linked to other political aims. I am interested in seeing the ways in which people are making politics creative and incorporating art as something transformative, participatory and collective. I am working on getting a snapshot of some of the colors and sounds coming out of these spaces right now and an understanding of what they are excited by and what projects they are putting together.

I am calling this blog 'learning as we walk' after the phrase I often read about used to describe the process of forming horizontal spaces in Argentina, valuing the process as opposed to any final goal. I think that's a good way to think about both the ways that the groups I am visiting work and the ways that my own project is growing and changing. I don't have the answers, I don't even know if I have the questions, I am learning and moving every time I talk with new people and leave my house.

The idea of having a blog is so that the process of communication, digestion, and analysis of all of the information and stories I am gathering is not closed and one-dimensional, but instead to give a chance for further dialogue and discussion and to force myself to be transparent and accountable to the people here who have opened their lives and projects to me.

Anyone who wants to add anything (words, photo, video, etc.), please do: kmifflin@gmail.com

miércoles, 30 de abril de 2008