PHOTOROMANCE Staging the sagas of our aspiration

April 29, 2008

As part of Temporary Agency, Chelsea space, London

in collaboration with Micropolitics Research Group


"...Do you mean my 'real work' or 'what I do for money'?..."

Internships, work experience, job placements and voluntary invigilation are often seen as a step on the ladder towards professional life. Increasingly, however they are becoming a structural condition masking the crumbling of public culture as we knew it.
Passions, seduction, desires and betrayal all play a role in the experience of working for free. How do we survive and narrate the internship drama? Characters, wigs, speech bubbles, gestural tableaux: this photoromance shoot is a serious investigation in disguise. We will reflect upon what we learn from free labour and how we might stage our aspirations otherwise.

Begins at 6:30pm

An evening of despondent dancing and joyful analysis.


The concept of culture is deeply reactionary.
Felix Guattari

The C.A.P.E.R Awards is a celebration of the eclectic characters that animate the Plymouth area. Devised by the Committee for Radical Diplomacy, the C.A.P.E.Rs (Cultural Accomplishments in Plymouth: an Extravagant Relay) are in fact decided, delivered and made entirely by the inhabitants of the city.
Small parties of awards presenters move between people in the city as a serious investigation in disguise, setting up extemporaneous ceremonies that reference the kitschified glamour of Hollywood fantasia. As each nominee is presented with an award for his or her contribution to the cultural lives of the city, they propel the relay by selecting the next in line. The result is a mapping of Plymouth that is very different from the findings of think tanks, regeneration commissions and consultants’ master plans.
The C.AP.E.R Awards are born as a response to modes of governance that position culture at their centre while paradoxically generating an homogenised approach to place making. From The Oscars to peripheral competitions for the Best Garden Gnome, awards mechanisms are the perfect example of how the production of value and the production of hierarchy are deeply intertwined. The project’s commitment to naming (therefore conjuring up, evoking...) stories and relations is coupled with a decadent and ironic exposure to the procedures of cool hunting, talent scouting and capitalist value appropriation. In focusing on relays, the C.A.P.E.Rs rather trace the fluxes and the movements of desire that produce value, to show that the real challenge is to invent ever-changing, soft categories able to narrate the a-normative qualities of people and the affective relationships to the city that they produce.

The C.A.P.E.Rs are part of
NO PROGRAMME PART I: Chronicles from a Bureaucratic Beyond
Plymouth Arts Centre
22/09/2007 - 11/11/2007
Projects by: Committee for Radical Diplomacy, Ultra-red & The Monitoring Group, Variant

No Programme The Programme is a notice to the people of a future already written. It can be found in the never-ending proliferation of strategic plans, 10-week exhibitions, marketing brochures, the rendering of life into acronym, and in the little gap between 1 and 2pm on your Blackberry. Set in the context of Creative Plymouth, a proposed re-branding initiative for the city, No Programme Part I challenges top-down decision-making, fixed durations, hierarchical organisation and the 'givens' of social and political problem solving.
No Programme is not a no-thing, or a not-to, nor is it a throw back to earlier attempts to situate art 'outside' or in opposition to 'institution'. Rather, it finds its greatest intensity in its transversal force – its capacity for acknowledging the friction, but also the potential of unlikely conjunctions.

No Programme has been generated by the Committee for Radical Diplomacy and Ultra-red as part of the Artists and Curators Residency Programme of the Plymouth Arts Centre.


Tacky Formats: An extradisciplinary swap session of convivial tools, participatory processes and militant methods.

Berlin, May 24-28, 2007
HAU 1, foyer, 2nd tier
Saturday, May 26, 11am
Hebbel am Uferhallesches Ufer
3210963 BERLIN

The central questionof the workshop is based around our own pre-occupations with how we format encounters in group processes. The session will concentrate on two moments in organising – beginnings and ends. In particular, we are interested finding alternatives to the more stereotypical trajectories that move:

a) from radical start-ups to conventional conclusions
b) from cozy group identification to sectarian bickering
c) from passionate agendas to fizzling (or burning) out
d) from 'everyone is welcome' to 'everyone but him/her!'
e) from informal decision-making to unspoken hierarchies
f) from the interview to the test…

Departing from the tricks, micropolitical situations and anxieties (or disasters!) of participants, the workshop will be a safe space for trading anecdotes, sagas, myths and memoirs.
Based on the interests of those we've invited, the session will draw from a variety of experiences and studies.

Our own caprices have recently strayed us into notions of: flirting, mingling, pimpin', awards, cocktails, chatting up, adventures, ambulations, storytelling, silences, friction, vibe checks, warm-ups, being ignorant in public, misunderstandings, diplomats, cheerleaders, sychronised swimmers, breaking up, traps and trap doors …