London

On June 18th, 2012, A QUEER HOME EC INTERIOR DRAWING…

marker drawing of Sundown Schoolhouse of Queer Home Ec by Peter Rednour

…by Peter Rednour, a regular visitor to our Hayward Gallery rooftop schoolhouse this week, carefully captures the details of life in the dome this week, with the bright spirally rug in the center and when we finally get around to making our book on this queer month-long school, this drawing will be sure to grace the cover.

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On June 17th, 2012, A BUTOH CLEANSING RITUAL…

Butoh excercises around the QHE dome

…by Mertle (performance artist, Caroline Smith) part of a day of activities organized by Avant Gardening on the  Sundown Schoolhouse of Queer Home Economics terrace was the appropriate culmination of a week of heavy programming and lots of visitors in the dome – with a sunny break in the bleak weather allowing us some last moments of movement and lunch outdoors…before I head back to the USA in the a.m. for a few days, while the Schoolhouse remains as an installation open to the public for the next three weeks.

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On June 16th, 2012, THE 2012 SERPENTINE GALLERY PAVILION…

2012 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

…in London’s Kennsington Park designed by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei – where I made my way for a quick visit this morning before the 11am opening of the Sundown Schoolhouse of Queer Home Ec at the Hayward – is one of my favorites yet, modestly nestled into the landscape, a warm welcoming semi-subterranean cork-lined lounge covered by a thin sliver of reflecting pool. (website)

This year’s Pavilion will take visitors beneath the Serpentine’s lawn to explore the hidden history of its previous Pavilions. Eleven columns characterising each past Pavilion and a twelfth column representing the current structure will support a floating platform roof 1.4 metres above ground. The Pavilion’s interior will be clad in cork, a sustainable building material chosen for its unique qualities and to echo the excavated earth. Taking an archaeological approach, the architects have created a design that will inspire visitors to look beneath the surface of the park as well as back in time across the ghosts of the earlier structures.

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On June 12th, 2012, LEARNING HOW TO KNIT IN LONDON…

learning to knit in London at the Sundown Schoolhouse QHE dome

…at long last – having grown up surrounded by that familiar activity with knitting aunts and grandmother, a knitting mom who knit us sweaters and afghans, and a knitting sister who’ll make me an occasional hat or scarf in shocking colors when I’m lucky – was the highlight of the day at the Sundown Schoolhouse of Queer Home Economics.

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On June 10th, 2012, SETTING UP THE Q.H.E…

setting up the Schoolhouse for Q.H.E.

…or Sundown Schoolhouse of Queer Home Economics on my first day in London-town at the Hayward Gallery – where I am excited to see our new  bright white canvas geodesic dome HQ nicely positioned over the pixelated layout of stacked pallets forming a complex conversation pit which I had sketched up weeks ago, expertly installed by the crack museum crew – and now it’s a matter of moving in, domesticating, nesting, starting with laying down the European Domestic Integrity Field crocheted rug (of donated old clothes and linens ) in the center – which I started in Budapest last week, carted through Heathrow last night, and will continue to work on and expand through the next week; then establishing the reading library of queer domestication; and most importantly a kitchen area for tea, coffee, and illicit homemade soups on the DL….and tomorrow we open.

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On June 9th, 2012, LANDING IN LONDON…

landing in London over the snaking Thames

…circling over the city in a typical Heathrow holding pattern gives me a nice shot of the Thames and a quick tour of my destinations for the the week…starting with the Hayward Gallery rooftop for Sundown Schoolhouse of Queer Home Ec.

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On May 30th, 2012, LONDON HAYWARD GALLERY INSTALL…

Queer Home Ec installation in progress at the Hayward

…of the Sundown Schoolhouse of Queer Home Economics is under way on the rooftop terrace, featuring a sliver view of Big Ben, where I have dropped by for a quick meeting on my way from Liverpool to Budapest to discuss design and details of the geodesic dome-topped platform that will be our HQ for a month starting on June 11.

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On April 3rd, LONDON’S HAYWARD GALLERY…

Hayward Gallery terrace, London

…will be the site of the upcoming ‘Sundown Schoolhouse of Queer Home Economics‘ – which will be perched on the southwest terrace – and with 24 hours in town I have the chance to check out our future digs, make plans, and meet with some local friends who will be involved, including one friend of a friend working on his thesis on queer domestication in London of all things.

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On March 11th, 2012, SUNDOWN SCHOOLHOUSE OF QUEER HOME ECONOMICS…

Sundown Schoolhouse of Queer Home Economics

…is coming to the rooftop terrace of the Hayward Gallery in London this summer (from June 11th – July 11th for their pre-Olympics Wide Open School program) and we are now looking for local and visiting queers interested in participating, interning, contributing materials, and proposing activities. (preliminary info can be found on the webpage)

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On November 30th, 2011, A COHABITABLE ARCHITECTURE BAT WORKSHOP…

a Cohabitable Architecture bat workshop meeting at the London Animal Estates HQ conference table

…kicked off the series today at the Animal Estates London HQ, Urban Wildlife Client Services, and we’re getting reports back of good times with bat ecolocation device demonstrations…

This workshop proposes the design of cohabitable space that is to be shared between bats and humans. Through the acts of drawing and model making we will attempt to explore means of cohabitation between species. In traditional bat mitigation projects a small percentage of space is given for bat habitation within agricultural buildings with the majority of space allocated for human habitation. In order to subvert this idea we will design structures where bats take up 90% of the space and humans the remaining 10%. Inverting the proportion of living space allows us to explore aspects of the bat world that will assist us in designing the human space. Aspects such as flight, blindness, suspension, inversion and clustering will be explored regarding the human side of the cohabitation.

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On November 29th, 2011, A LONDON HONEY MAP…

honey from all over London

…by our friends at Åbäke is in the works for the Animal Estates London HQ, Urban Wildlife Client Services, and today we received this exciting preview planning picture of jars and jars and jars of the local stuff….mmmm honey.

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On October 17th, 2011, THE ALLOTMENT AT KENSINGTON GARDENS…

The Allotment at Kensington Gardens punctuated endless rolling green fields, viewed through a window

…was a highlight find hidden in the endless fields and lawns of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens – first viewed through a mysterious high window…they have chickens that are regularly invited to wander the gardens, nicely designed wood compost bins, organized raised beds, and a welcoming outdoor conference room. (website)

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On October 16th, 2011, BRIAN ENO AND MIERLE LADERMAN UKELES…

Brian Eno and Mierle Laderman Ukeles at the Garden Marathon

…were the big hero highlights of the 2nd day of the Serpentine Garden Marathon – Eno giving an inspiring talk that had me scribbling notes for one of the first times since college, arguing for the approach of the bottom-up gardener vs. the top-down architect for the future where the creator/designer/composer/artist “…organizes only in parts…letting the dynamic create the rest…taking you in the direction you want to go…and their life (of the projects) is not exactly what you would envisage for them…” as evidenced in his own ‘generative music’ approach – and Ukeles talking about her time as the nonsalaried artist in residence at the New York Sanitation Department and series of  trash-related projects at the Fresh Kills Landfill for the past 40 years.

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On October 15th, 2011, MY PRESENTATION AT THE GARDEN MARATHON…

hey, I felt right at home in the the geodesic dome that the Serpentine erected just for the Garden Marathon, and interviewing Denise Withers, resident gardener at the London Edible Estate

…(part of a series of annual talks, performances, and interviews masterminded by the indefatigable Hans Ulrich Obrist at the Serpentine Gallery in London’s Kensington Gardens which has previously taken on maps, interviews, poetry, experiments, and manifestos – for which I contributed a London: A Manifesto from your Animals  in 2008 – with today’s line-up highlights including Elizabeth Diller, Gianfranco Baruchello, Dan Graham, Rodney Graham, Wolfgang Tillmans, Cerith Wyn Evans, FIELDCLUB, Alice Rawsthorn, Something & Son, and muf architecture) – began with the reading of a short autobiographical garden story (read the text here), followed by an interview with Denise Withers – the Brookwood Estate resident, who has been the resident gardening force at Edible Estate #4: London (at the corner of Lancaster and Weber in the Southwark neighborhood south of the Thames) for the past 4 and a half years since it was planted.

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On October 14th, 2011, THE ANNUAL SERPENTINE PAVILLION…

in and out of the Peter Zumthor garden pavillion

…the most elegant, austere, and simple yet in the series – designed this year by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor and Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf in London’s Kensington Gardens – is in it’s final days and the inspiration for this years Serpentine Marathon series of talks taking place this weekend organized by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, and tomorrow I’ll be talking gardens at 19:40. (website)

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On October 12th, 2011, OPENING EVENT FOR ANIMAL ESTATES 8.0: LONDON…

Animal Estates 8.0: London, poster #02 - opening event

…is tomorrow night!

ANIMAL ESTATES LONDON HQ: URBAN WILDLIFE CLIENT SERVICES
at ARUP Phase 2, 8 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 4BJ, October 13th, 2011 – January 20th, 2012

Opening Event…*
MEET THE ANIMAL CLIENTS Part I: Birds, Bees, & Bats, Thursday 13 October 2011, 6.00pm—8.30pm
*Produced in collaboration with the inmidtown Habitats Competition run by the Architecture Foundation and inmidtown

Presentations by local animal experts at 7.00pm…
KELLY GUNNELL will speak on London’s bats. Kelly Gunnell works for the Bat Conservation Trust as the Built Environment Officer with the remit to facilitate solutions for bat conservation in the construction sector and urban areas.
RICHARD JONES will speak on London’s bees. Entomologist Richard Jones has been fascinated by wildlife since a childhood exploring the South Downs and Sussex Weald; he now carries out invertebrate surveys, and writes about insects for BBC Wildlife Magazine and Gardeners’ World.
PETER HOLDEN will speak on London’s Common Swifts and House Sparrows. A senior RSPB manager for over 40 years, ornithologist and wildlife expert Peter Holden has written many books on birds, including the RSPB Handbook of British Birds.

Native London Wildlife…
8.01 Bees (multiple species)
8.02 Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus)
8.03 Common Frog (Rana temporaria)
8.04 Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)
8.05 Bats (multiple species)
8.06 House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
8.07 Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)
8.08 Common Swift (Apus apus)
8.09 Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
8.10 Kestrel (Falco sparverius)
8.11 Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
How did the Animal Client live on the land of London before human habitation?
What can we do or design for the city of London today to welcome them back?

More Information…
email london(at)animalestates(dot)org or visit www.animalestates.org

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On October 11th, 2011, INSTALLATION OF THE ANIMAL ESTATES LONDON HQ…

preview of Animal Estates London HQ, competing reception desks for human and animal clients

…is keeping us (including design collaborator Benjamin from Åbäke) busy morning til night in preparation for the Thursday evening opening event Meet the Animal Clients, Part I: Birds, Bees & Bats organized with the Architecture Foundation.

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On October 10th, 2011, TACITA DEAN IN THE TATE MODERN TURBINE HALL…

'Film' by Tacita Dean in the Tate Turbine Hall

…opened this evening with a packed Frieze Fair week art crowd filling the mezzanine overlooking the massive film projection of ‘Film’ created for the space (which is about 20,000 times bigger than last night’s art destination of the White Cubicle Toilet Gallery) by Tacita Dean as the latest edition of the much anticipated annual Unilever series of art commissions for the space.

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By Fritz Haeg on October 10, 2011 | art, London
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On October 9th, 2011, WHITE CUBICLE TOILET GALLERY…

Tom Dozol at White Cubicle Toilet Gallery

…a favorite art space in town which occupies the 1.40 x 1.40 square meter ladies bathroom of the great George & Dragon (the friendly East End where-everyone-knows-your-name sort of queer-arty hangout) founded and curated by Pablo Leon de la Barra featuring a history of exhibiting artists that would be the envy of any contemporary art museum, opened tonight with a ribbon cutting ceremony (with old friend, Jeremy Shaw aka Circlesquare djing and Michael Stipe making the rounds) to inaugurate the show by Thomas Dozol…

THOMAS DOZOL, I IS NOW
WHITE CUBICLE TOILET GALLERY is honoured to present an exhibition by Thomas Dozol. I IS NOW Dozol presents a series of new photographic work which explores the relationship between the body, sign language, abstract geometry and colour codes. For it, Dozol has created a whole alphabet of hand signs screen printed as black light posters. Writing with a non-letter alphabet, images become phrases which become haiku like texts, but which also refer to the silent languages of minorities and subcultures. The back light posters also remind us of propaganda and political posters of the seventies and of the aesthetics of lost utopias. For the exhibition Dozol transforms the White Cubicle into a glow in the dark installation.

THE WHITE CUBICLE TOILET GALLERY measures 1.40 by1.40 metres, is located within the Ladies Toilet of the George and Dragon, and works with no budget, staff or boundaries. White Cubicle presents a discerning programme of local and international manifestations as an antidote to London’s sometimes extremely commodified art scene. Past exhibitions have included the work of Deborah Castillo, Gregorio Magnani, Butt Magazine, Federico Herrero, Terence Koh, i-Cabin, Steven Gontarski, Pixis Fanzine/Princess Julia and Hanah, General Idea and avaf, Basso Magazin, Carl Hopgood, Giles Round, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Superm, (Brian Kenny and Slava Mogutin), Elkin Calderon, Wolfgang Tillmans, Calvin Holbrook/Hate Magazine, Husam el Odeh, Simon Popper, Fur, Dik Fagazine, Rick Castro/Abravanation, Jean Michel Wicker, Noki, Ellen Cantor,Karl Holmqvist, Julie Verhoeven, Aldo Chaparro, Esther Planas, Nikos Pantazopoulos, Luis Venegas, Twinklife, Rocky Alvarez, Benedetto Chirco, STH Magazine, Elmgreen & Dragset, Francesc Ruiz, Sico Carlier, Stefan Benchoam…

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On October 8th, 2011, LONDON LANDING…

landing over London

…this afternoon to Heathrow where I rush through customs, Heathrow Express, Paddington Station, the Bakerloo Tube line, Regent Park Station, the nearby apartment to drop off bags, (all in under 60 minutes) and finally to the Fitzroy Street gallery at Arup where I meet the installation crew and get right to work  preparing for the Thursday opening of Animal Estates London HQ: Urban Wildlife Client Services on Thursday (and then a Saturday talk at the Serpentine Garden Marathon.

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By Fritz Haeg on October 8, 2011 | London
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