Food as an interface to communicate is old and most used medium. No doubt about that. Sit and have a meal with a people you want to meet and get to know them. People get relaxed and open arround fire with food on it(and if ther's enough to drink, wow). It makes it easy to get someone involved in to a process and that proved right in Plovdiv. So the idea came out of that notion. Frst it stired our group to participate and altough Eva and myself ended up as moderators of the project evryone colaborated up to an extent he/she felt up to. The idea was to invite Plovdiv artists and citizens and introduce them to CF and our presence there. Word art was left out because we didn't wanted to sound arogant, didn't want to scare our guests. Also we needed an clever trap to "catch" them in using the computer media. So we thought of virtual grill, projection of a real thing, and an computer with a text processor to be used as a medium for communication between people and "grill stuff"(that's us). Frst level was the real grill, meat and vegitables on it, Second level was the projection of that grill, pictured by video camera in vivo, and Third was the text written over the image. (text contained the messages, orders and annoucments). Basicly it was concived as a performance in which all present participate and share food, drink and hopefully ideas. On the other hand it was thought as a party, fun, no deeper conotation. The tech stuff was added because that's what we do, it is our tool of communication. Also we wanted to capture people, provoke them to start using that tech. stuff and realise it can be fun. We wanted to break the isolation we were confronted with and to go out to the Plovdiv citizens in a hope we can make netizines of some of them. Was that right? e-BAR-B-Q was the medium, one of manny, to try and achieve that. Only instead of going out we invited them to come in. And how was that done? The proposal came to make flyers and posters to be handed out dirrectly in Art school and Music College. So personal invitations were handed out and lot of explanation(we tried our best to be understood). The result was good, 40-50 people, young and older appeared for the event.
* Communication is open and constant process that can happen within one(communicate with yourself) or more entities, groups or organizations. It is imanent to all life forms.
* Barbecue is a soccial event that involves food grilled on an open fire (or electric). It's human invention, dates back to dawn of mankind.
* Art is an act human beings perform out of basic need. It's also human invention and dates way back to early dawn of mankind.
* New Media is human Neocortex trick, powered by Reptilian. It dates way back to the secound half of the last century.
* e-BAR-B-Q is interface created in Plovdiv, sometimes arround 01 of XXIst century, by a group of "new media" artists who got together on the ocasion of obscure(could it be an occult) CF gathereing.
Lots of fancy and smart words are used daily to describe various human activities. Ones that have greatest magical appeal in a contemporary society are associated with computers, TV and Global Networks. So CF is no diferent and it sets it's target to Communicate through new media interfaces. The problem emerges on variety of levels. In modern world they are described as East/West, South/North, G7/underdeveloped and usualy refer to keywords of a contemnporarry English language that includes political corectness, new geography, globalization(whatever that may mean), IT technologies, transparent, open society, NGO and many more. The communication is however much more simple than that. It derives from the urge to share, to fulfill the basic "raison d'etre" to be a part of a whole. On the emotional level it goes quiet simple. On rational, that's a different storry. So what we do we create a trap for our brain and trick it by doing something basic as grilling the meat. It is kind of anesthetic for the consciousness that puts the Neocortex to sleep.(Movies are good example of that too). Art is used as a medium to present and to give a shock/initiation to the "non-art speaking" viewers. So e-BAR-B-Q is a social event that speaks the common language of food exchange, that aimed at guests hoping to get their attention drawn to the screen and our need to communicate with them. The success of it was directly connected with the honesty of our need to share. Or did we just wanted to impress them? Was it yet another futile experiment to "civilise" "primitive" tribes of local geography? Were we realy opened to them, did we wanted to hear what they have to say? Are we a group, art tourists traveling from an workshop to a workshop, that's closed and independant, deth to the needs of others(and sometimes ourselves)?
Well the whole event of e-BAR-B-Q was a mixture of all mentioned. Individuall aproaches got melted in to the common idea of having a dinner with friends. The menue was fixed but contributions were welcome. The CF group acted as a homogen, in moments as a well trained proffesionals, and our guests felt welcomed. As usual in such ocasions the fuss was arrount the grill(real one) and altough Jane took the gratest burden of grilling evryone wanted to be arround. So the trick with virtual representation of a grill didn't trick the audience and reminded us that the fire should always be in the centre! Nevertheless food proved to be a good medium for establishing contact that leads to communication. The content, well it was not the meat and veg. that we served but the words that came out of us. The whole construction, three layered, that e-BAR-B-Q was made just to frame our intention to share and communicate. The feedback will be seen in period to come. The immediate impact was full stomachs and what seems to be happy people. The meaning should be found in the way it was done not in the construction.
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