Kristof Trakal

2/14 2013
Arriving in la from San Francisco with a bus: Cary Cronenwett who i know from Berlin picks me up at Valencia transit center in his black Honda civic, sunglasses, a shaved head: we go to the Ralph’s in Castaiac. Then to Val Verde: go to the park at sundown with Zaka and Paca.

Drive to Calarts: Paida and Sylvia, friends from Berlin, arrive from San Francisco with a car they rented that we take out to new Mexico: He walks the three of us around: theater halls, galleries, cinema, the cage, the permanent set: I write in my book: a Calarts TV show: a series about life at an art school.

feb – may

may – july
Val Verde
Working on preparations 3, lived with in Zaka Claudells room on Mayfair street with Cary, later in Anna-Luisa Petriskos room on Lexington drive. Meet her boyfriend Ramzi Hibri. He is interested in starting a collaborative, political, self-organized project. We sit at fires. Talk about the trader house rules and about performances that he did.

july – sep
preparations 3

Back in Val Verde, have to stop my work on preparations for Calarts.
A bike tour with Ramzi: he is back from Istanbul where he did an everyday reading performance for 3 weeks. We bike through south la and watts: weed on a pedestrian bridge over the train tracks I tell him of the virus trilogy. We make a long stop at a petrol station: ice cream, pumping bike wheels. Talk about the future of art. An idea that comes out of preparations: a sequel film to the novel prpr, about two brothers that are children in the novel and young adults in the film that is set in the future: 2037. They both go to art school, which in the future has become the dominant education model for free lance labour career path.

Concept of extending your age into the future and drawing a line of practice from the year of your birth to the year of double your age.
Film is set in Val Verde, cal arts, LA.
Between exhibitions, living rooms, classrooms
Being extremely reduced, concentration on dialogs, language
Talking about art, market, exhibitions
At the grave of James Benning in Val Verde
In supporting roles: Seth Price works for the NSA, Ryan Trecartin moves into Hugh Hevners mansion, Anton Vidokle has founded his own national state...

From the film idea I derive: to make an exhibition with students from Calarts that use that concept to talk about their own artist persona birth in the contemporary / the now and drawing two connected lines of the same length one into the past and one into the future. I want to talk about a certain concept of practice that is evolving: and building up on history and self-reference. Body snatch your own practice and develop it back and forth: a story about twins again: both born 2013 one is looking for its roots until 1988 and one is continuing its practice until 2038. A story about sci-fi.

9/9 – 9/29
First weeks of school. I meet Justin Tenny and Joanna Swann that live in Val Verde. We talk about making a presentation of our work in one of the houses in Val Verde, an evening to talk about a possible collaboration. I reserve the permanent set for December and talk with them about making something there. Watching Harun Farocki films and reading his collected writings from the library in german. Clair Bishops artificial hells in recommendation of Petja Ivanonva. Bicycle club: I meet James Morcaldi, Sam Shoemaker, Leander Schwarzer... Ramzi is talking about a short film series that he wants to do each short film for one philosopher. He seems too occupied to work on a possible collaboration.

Meet with Ramzi at school to go over ideas for the permanent set: at the cafe Tatum we sign up for a social group ‘mi gente’ that, so I learned from Walter Vargas, under the guise of a latino identity student collective, will take over the movie theater of Calarts on thursdays during comments time (when no es take place at the school)to program it as a collective. Sit with Ramzi at the zen bench overlooking the Santa Clarita mountain range at the end of the parking lot. We discuss our motivations for a collaboration.

He is involved in a lot of other projects and needs time for his own work: he suggests to do as little preparation as possible and improvise in the space when we have it. I tell him I want to collaborate with more people and I need a lot of production preparation and a weekly forum for dialog with other people. He wants to do everything ourselves, the two of us and then we get other people to help us. I tell him we need at least a project assistant to organize us money and materials. He shrugs when he hears the word money, I assure him he will not have to worry about it. We decide on the plan to script the evening and start with sending us updated versions of a script, to make it available for more collaborators...

//email Ramzi about collaboration

I need another 10 days to finish that script. And to make a blog for participants. I talk with more people about the project and try to set up the presentation evening in Val Verde at Joannas house for the 10/8.
emails/skype/meetings w/ Ramzi: he doesn’t want to involve more people / its either the two of us on the same level of collaboration or he offers to be my assistant: i want more people to be involved and on the same level: Ramzi has little time, but i need to meet more people about it, i invite him for everything. But feel that he is not content with the openness.

//email meeting Val Verde

Meet Lior Shamriz at school. He is invited by Calarts as a guest artist for Nina Menkes class. He just came from a film production in Seoul. Through the Calarts connection he can stay in the US longer and work on a film here. We eat and go to the swimming pool of the school.
I photo-document the permanent set.

Meeting in Val Verde doesn’t take place last minute: Joanna and Chelsea Tuggle, that lives there as well have to trim weed, Bedros Yeretzian has to edit on a film, Sam and Justin express their disappointment. Sam helps me re-organize the meeting for thursday during comments time at school, we decide to make it more open and be less dependent on commitment. Studio visit with Julien Borno. He is writing at the moment for a practice and working on his mid-residency show: we talk about sexual literature and eroticism. I try to pin him down to formulate a discourse that is talked about at Calarts: to name artists.

1st official power house meeting in one of the classrooms at Calarts a217. I show photos of the permanent set off the blog. At the first meeting present: Ramzi Hibri, Sam Shoemaker, Julien Borno, Zach Vidal, Taralyn Thomas, James Morcaldi, Vanessa Sioufi, Leander Schwarzer, Justin Tenny, Joanna Swann, Johann Mun, Tyler Jamison (?)
I talk about my ideas: the 3 layers of social space, industrial space and educational space: that I am coming from the 2nd art institution and the 4th higher education institution, that I believe that the works produced at art school say more about art school then any other discourse they might be in: i am interested in the context of artistic production: talking about the art market, the role of the art school, the education model: people are suspicious to repeat the institutional critique dialog, due to the history of Calarts. The most important thing for me is to make a show as a collaborative work: to speak to a communal experience of that context through production. Ramzi and Sam are challenging me to talk more precise about what i am looking for. Sam has ideas of making a large t shirt for the wooden latter in the set, a stele type sculpture that is repeating surfaces of the set.
There is a moment when Vanessa and Ramzi both suggest that I should conceptualize more about this work: that I am not there yet. But I am looking for conversation, interviews, things that happen between people where productivity is situated when motives arise that motivate a group: maybe this notion of collective process isn’t taken for granted in America/ at Calarts? Or has to be communicated differently. Ramzi tells me later: people need to know what you want them to do in this work, they need directions. I tell him i am not interested in that.

I want to make a compendium of practices of the participants: form a plan for the event out of a constellation of practices of possible collaborators: to make suggestions: make studio visits in order to get to know the practices/ write a list of interview questions that are still very connected to the future of art idea. I talk with Ramzi about it, he is interested, tells me he wants to be at the power house just to interview people about their work during the process.

At the video installation class: Gordon Kurowski shows us the videostudio set up: with live cameras and a live mixer: i am very excited, talk with Lionel Williams about it: I need to use it for the show: studio visit with Tyler Jamison: midnight at the benches outside of whole foods, taking the suburbs for granted: we discuss the american working class and the class issues at Calarts: in his studio looking at his binders and talk about the dolphin painting.