Travel Diary

A weblog regularly updated by Jodi Rose.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

12:02 AM
Posted by jodi rose

I started a NEW BLOG! After a 3-year hiatus, when my writing took a more coherent and focused turn for Viator... It feels like time to celebrate the rambling tangential entirely ungrammatical wordplay in my own inimitable style. Why? You may well ask. It's a one year project for the tenth anniversary, with all the bells and whistles, over on wordpress. You can even leave me a comment - not that I promise to read and respond but I will try to remember... it all seems to be going in circles just now, wanted to make sure that if you check in here you will know there's still some bridge activity going on!

Monday, January 23, 2012

11:59 PM
Posted by jodi rose

I'm celebrating ten years of Singing Bridges!
Already started with a fabulous trip to visit the Menai Suspension Bridge for an on-site audio walk and concert event in April, with Bangor Sound City. Also took the ferry across from Holyhead to Dublin and listened to the Samuel Beckett Bridge there, by Santiago Calatrava - the undeniably brilliant Spanish bridge architect. I love his bridges, stripped back and skeletal, his cables are like harp wires, and they all sing. Working on the follow up plans now, back in my temporary abode and studio in Berlin Wilmersdorf. I love it over here, out of the hipster zone and somehow very peaceful, only 15 minutes by ubahn if I feel the need for lively streets.
Next up, the new and improved sonic bridge manifestation with sound and light in various forms - not quite the sculpture I had in mind, but it's going to be briliant - developing in collaboration with the excellent Andy Holtin.
Exhibition on the way to being confirmed at a very exciting Berlin location in September. More plans underway.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

5:05 PM
Posted by jodi rose

UFO Bridge Launch!

I'm super excited to have just launched the indieGOGO Singing Bridges Sculpture Campaign!

The aim is to raise $3,000 by December 7th to make the prototype of a gorgeous new Singing Bridge. Check out the campaign for details of great perks with your support. And remember, no dream is too crazy...

Monday, January 24, 2011

9:27 AM
Posted by jodi rose

That brings us almost up to date, in a very abbreviated form - working hard behind the scenes to collect and compile material from the past 5 years bridge travels...

I remembered where everyone is: everywhere!
It's one of those luxury problems, I know - too many close friends in far-away places... occupational hazard of the culturally nomadic.

Collecting all my travel articles from Viator - I've written 72,700 words for them over the past 3 years! Some are relatively 'straight' destination/places, others more reports from the underground cultural scenes and some are extremely esoteric.

Next up - integration and synchronisation of web presence, so I don't have neglected corners like this one... Slowly adjusting to the next decade, endless digital maintenance required. Not that I'm complaining.

Very near future plans include fabulous singing bridge models with the fantastic Andy Holtin, a singing postcard series with Christian in Barcelona, oh and very excited about doing the Swedish geekgrrl workshop at NK to learn how to embroider circuitry and make my bridge instrument - finally!

Stay tuned for more and please listen in to the stream and join us in the tea lounge or stop by the Open Zone during transmediale.11 if you're in Berlin.

Monday, January 24, 2011

9:19 AM
Posted by jodi rose

Join me in the Traces Tea Lounge for cake and conversation.

Open Zone at transmediale.11
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
1-6th February 2011

Traces Tea and Radio Lounge at The Open Zone during transmediale.11 offers a space for slow culture, open to relaxed interaction and deeper exchange with a live radio show, on-site collaborative publication, tea made from wild Lithuanian herbs, and cake!

TRACES & radioCona invite guests to join the conversation in daily programs, 1-6th February 2011 in the Open Zone, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Foyer, Berlin.

Open invitation to collaborate on the 'Open Zone' TRACES Special Edition with on-site publishing using Booki mobile. A dedicated focus each day to explore Open Zone themes:

Response: Activities - Strategies of Political Participation
Lost in the Open? - Navigating the Open Web & Free Culture
The Currency of the Commons - The Value and Price of Free Culture

The radio shows will be streamed live on radioCona and made available on initiative by MoTA, the Museum of Transitory Art.

Traces Tea Lounge daily, Open Zone, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Foyer

Lost in the Open?
Tuesday 1st Feb: 20:00 - 23:00

Wednesday 2nd Feb: 17:00 - 20:00

Currency of The Commons
Thursday 3rd Feb: 19:00 - 21:00

Friday 4th Feb: 19:00 - 21:00

Saturday 5th Feb: 20:00 - 22:00

Mozilla Open Web Award Area
Sunday 6th Feb: 15:00 - 17:00

Monday, January 24, 2011

9:12 AM
Posted by jodi rose

Listen to semi-recent bridge songs on soundcloud!

Norse Bridge Apocalypse, Week #2 Tiramizu

Live in Linz, European Sound Delta Pirate Barge Gig, Ars Electronica 2008

Love's Pirate, ESD L'Ososphere Festival Strasbourg

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

9:06 PM
Posted by jodi rose

I can hardly stand to be in my skin tonight. You know when the desire to change things in your life gets so intense? That you want to take drastic action just to make something happen. Trying to stay peaceful.

I miss this. The intimacy of writing. Knowing that somewhere, another person is reading your thoughts. I used to be surprised when a friend commented on something I had written - 'how on earth did you know that?' I'd ask myself. 'You wrote it in your blog, remember?' they'd reply - since I have the opposite of a poker face. Ah. That's right, a public place.

A lovely artist I met when he gave an arduino workshop here in Berlin even quoted me to myself. From a rant I had once about the disappointment of media art. How the words are so rarely matched by the experience. He said it had informed his entire art practice. My god. The responsibility. Still, we're collaborating now, on the bridge models with sound that I've been wanting to make for ages. He's an absolute genius with making things and has a nice approach to the objectness of objects. I must do those sketches. Tried to get my head around illustrator but it eluded me. Guess I'm still a post-media artist after all.

Just as I was wondering 'where did all the people in my life go?', the phone rang and lovely Miss Sasha was calling me from quilt making in her kitchen to confirm out breakfast date tomorrow. There are so many beautiful friends around but people come and go so often in this city, or you work together and the project finishes, or you just don't make time to meet.

I'm seriously tired of my emotional life taking place through skype, facebook and youtube. Really. Enough. What am I, fifteen? Although I was chatting to a friend who started a wildly successful online presentation company, and he told me at a meeting recently in San Francisco, he found himself sitting with all these high level tech dudes, showing each other their favourite cool stuff on youtube. And the Guggenheim Museum just had a call for youtube videos in a show.
Anyway, I digress. Embodied would be preferable.

Maybe it's time to resurrect the confessional blog. I still plan to create a wildly coherent and fabulous web presence - collecting together all the traces of activity from the past few years that somehow evaporate in the relentless pace of cranking out the art projects.
But for tonight, I can only work with what I have.

That's the thing with life, I guess. However much you may want to make that leap of faith, and totally reinvent yourself - unless you're going to disappear to the other side of the world (oh wait, already done that!) then you need to start with where you are. Hell.

There was a point to this; Ah yes, that's right.
I need to ask for some guidance. Wherever it comes from is absolutely fine. Any form, any shape. Please, whatever you've got I'll take it. Thought it was 'an agent' that I need, but really it's even more essential than that. Having stripped my life back to this point, I kind of need to know what on earth to do next?

Give it your best shot, universe! Guide me, please.

Monday, November 22, 2010

3:03 PM
Posted by jodi rose

In between April - November?

Glitchen, Sonic Exquisite Corpse created for SoundFjord Sonic Arts Gallery, London, UK

Musique du Pont Volant stereo remix in Re(SOUND) Hunt Gallery Webster University, St Louis, USA

Norse Bridge Apocalypse exhibited in Dragonfly Ambient Arts Festival, Falköping SE

Musique du Pont Volant stereo remix at emergeandsee Festival, Stattbad Wedding, Berlin, DE

TRACES - Transcultural Research Artist Curator Exchange Series, program supported by the European Commission for Culture and Education
Co-Curator & Co-Editor with Transcultures, Mons, BE

coming up in Barcelona - a work in the exhibition:
Inauguración ¨Exposición ¨Borrón y Cuenta Nueva¨
Taller ¨El Lavadero¨
Calle Sant Rafael 14

Opening 2nd December 20:30

Monday, November 22, 2010

2:52 PM
Posted by jodi rose

Hi. It's been a while.
Took three attempts to remember the login address.
Only two for the password.

So, where have I been and what's my excuse?

Well, let's just say that last project nearly killed me.
Recurring dream of faking my own suicide off a bridge. Decided it was probably best to take some time off. Think about life, what the hell was I doing with it and where do I go next...

That took most of the summer. Not sure how it turned into late November. Still have no plan.

Perhaps I should to mention at this point that there was also positive feedback to the Bridgeland caper. Someone told me it was their favourite event in the festival. My wonderful musician Guy said this person is hard to please and very critical; so it wasn't just ego-stroking. Perhaps if the build-up hadn't been for anything more than a very strange and esoteric experience of bridge music, it wouldn't have disappointed. Still, the curators were all begging to have one of our bridge team's gold ribbon 'Bridgeland' ribbons to take home. Anyway, I must learn not to take criticism to heart. "Weigh your publicity, don't read it", that's what they say.

Additionally that you're well and truly sunk when you start to believe your own hype. The trouble is, I don't think it's possible to live the mega-fabulous life that somehow I create in the fictional version of myself.

And by fictional I mean 'very lightly fictionalised' as in 'none of the names have been changed to protect the guilty' and I'd like to claim this was all a lie, or at least partially invented but then I never did quite get the hang of fiction...

It's that see-through face of mine. You can read it like a book. Coming back to the point of this entry. Or re-entry. You see, I've been not-trying to write a book for, oh at least the last five years. I manage a few chapters now and then; but the trouble with a memoir based on your actual life as you're living it is - where the hell is the end? I mean, I can't wait until I die to start the story. I didn't find love and get married on a bridge. I didn't jump. There hasn't been a climactic break-through where I've reached the penultimate bridge and created the global symphony. And yet.

Still there is a tale to tell. So this morning - oh, ok this afternoon for the pedantic amongst you - finds me lying in bed (I got up, had a bath and in despair at trying to get dressed collapsed back in front of the internet) researching which literary agent would best resonate with my work. Since the whole - well I've had this crazy life and written a lot but it's far from coherent and as for a manuscript, umm well I write best to a deadline thing - might be a little off-putting for most agents. I have found a deliciously digital savvy branch of the profession in New York - now the question is which version of the many attempts to get my freeform rambling into some kind of coherence will I pull together and to whom shall I send it?

I've finally realised that unless I write the letter and send the query, it's highly unlikely that any one of these fabulous professionals will stumble across the adventures of bridge girl and invite me to join them.

So, deep breath, I hereby make this my public declaration - by the end of this week I solemnly promise to have collated enough written material to form a decent fifth draft and emailed the query.

I'll keep you posted....

Monday, April 26, 2010

10:18 AM
Posted by jodi rose

I finally found my dark angel of the bridge, a day late.
He was there at the event, helping strap the contact mikes into position, and keeping a watchful eye over the crowd. Quite literally a guardian angel. I sent someone to ask at the time, but didn't quite get the message across that I just needed someone to wear the black wings and escort me across the bridge - afterwards, he said 'oh, is that what you wanted? And the wings are black - of course I would have loved to be your angel.' It turns out that he was, and many other people's too along the way, in a fuctional not a performative sense. The angel Jimmy only made himself known after the fact, ain't that always the way?

Using angels as a metaphor for communication, French philosopher Michel Serres reflects on global space as a worldwide network of messages, as a space filled with angels, who come to us in places of transition and passage. Wandering with no fixed habitat, their is an unstable nature and they have a dual role as verbal messengers and elemental fluxes.

Angels in this case being understood as messengers, the nomadic mediators who circulate between worlds and whose constant movement creates networks and points of connection, bringing together people and places in unexpected ways to create new perceptions.*

*Jane Rendell

The relationship between place, subject, experience and perception is heightened on a bridge, where you are displaced from the certainty of a fixed location to walk through the gateway (pylon) in-between, from one side to another is a threshold of possibility.

Literally suspended in the air, moving through space outside the boundaries of you destination, the bridge could take you anywhere, water flowing beneath you speaking of connection to far-off lands and people.

I guess that's a lot for an audience to take in through a conceptual sonic moment! Reflecting on the Bridgeland opening ceremony, I'm through the terrifying dark haze of post-event trauma, where I managed to step away from the abyss of self-flagellation and loathing that inevitably follows the act of revealing something of yourself through creative work in the public sphere for the world to comment on, applaud, disdain or ignore.

There may be people who have such cast-iron confidence that they can take all the reactions in their stride and with a large grain of salt, but I'm still learning not to focus on the negative until it overshadows every other response and feedback.

Let's get the criticism out of the way first, shall we, so I can move past it and end on a positive note...

Apparently, some people were 'expecting something more spectacular,' with the only mention I found online in the days afterwards being 'it was ok but I was a bit disappointed.' Thanks for that intelligent engaged critique! Luckily some other people had more considered responses to the piece.

Since we are living in the society of the hyper-spectacle, of course I can understand that - I was hoping for something more spectacular myself, but somehow even the virtual fireworks I had planned (along with the toast in imaginary champagne) got lost on the night in the unpredictable mix of events.

I did happen to be on a bridge this last new year's eve, where haphazard self-launched rockets and lanterns were shooting out from all sides into the night in a chaotic spectacular. That would have been a lot of fun and I did think of re-enacting the moment, however it did prove a little tricky to get permission for, and somehow our extremely minimal budget didn't quite run to pyrotechnics. It's strange being in what was actually the second tier of this big international art festival - so with some funding but nothing like the extravagance of the five main commissioned works - where everything was pulled together on personal contacts, favours and goodwill.

It's quite extraordinary in fact what you can make happen on less than a single airfare from Australia. Although yes I confess I would love the Artstar budget!

So, back to the show and what really happened on the bridge that night....

Inevitably the technical set-up took much longer than expected - aiming for midday, we didn't start unpacking the gear until 2pm, and even with all the helping hands it was around 5:30 when sound-check took place. One of the pleasures and challenges in making site-specific single performance work is that you have to respond to the conditions on the day without knowing exactly what will be in store.

Managing the locations of all the gear was the first step, after walking through the performance with Dav, Becky, James and Kris to give everyone an on-site overview. Starting with the gazebo and desk, moving through cables, speakers, stage, microphones, ramp, electricity, lights was a complex and lengthy process.

I retired to the avenu cafe across the road, assisted by the gi & lowsalt volunteer to prepare ceremonial sashes for the lamp-posts and bridgelanders lapels. These proved very popular with visitors and helpers alike, some people demanding them as souvenirs.

I was very conscious of making the sense of occasion evident throughout the space, and ordered the gold satin ribbon as it was the colour with least possible contentious reading - and wonderfully celebratory. When it arrived (being finally able to purchase from athena crafts online - after 2 days trying to track down through wholesalers and manufacturers) I was thrilled with the 'beautiful bright buttercup yellow', which being made in Thailand is quite possibly the Queen's favourite yellow-gold, and the exact same colour as the cables on the Mega Bridge in Bangkok.

Kris and Becky had screenprinted our lovely bridgelady logo onto them - I was also very happy to be bringing Dolores back onto the bridge, as her statue had been removed for renovation only last week - and we did the final measurements for the ribbon-ties to keep them from drifting off the bridge in the wind. The river has its own microclimate - of which extremely windy and 3 degrees colder than the rest of town seem to be the main features. The bridge looked gorgeous and highly festive decorated in the gold sashes, and immediately suggested a sense of ceremony. I had designated the north side as the start, and insisted on having people brought across in small groups, with an 'initiation' into the space through the sound of the gong-like red metal suspension bars, which I struck as people crossed over the middle of the span.

The provocation I had given the fabulous bridge guardians to Judd and Lou was to question people about something a little esoteric - a childhood dream, something they desired or inspired - as a way of entering the conceptual space of Bridgeland.

Judd did a brilliant job in this, describing to me later how he asked people to imagine a memory when they were really happy - tears running down your cheeks laughing happy - or to project themselves a very short time into the future, where something they really love is waiting for them, and to feel the glow of that pleasure. He told me - 'I didn't let anyone cross until they had a cognitive moment', and he could see their eyes lit up with the memory or anticipation - one man taking ages and holding up his group of five or so, until finally he got it and was allowed across. This grew partly from our joking about the Monty Python 'bridge of death' sketch (the first three questions being: what is your name? what is your quest? what is your favourite colour) and was also a serious element in designing the interaction between the audience and the space as part of the performance. Anticipation!

The ritual part of striking the bridge as a gong while people crossed also related to an experience I had in the Thai temple Doi Suthep, on top of a mountain just outside Chiang Mai. Here a cheeky young Buddhist monk who was conducting the blessing of visitors looked up at me sitting quietly to admire the Buddha statues, and flicked the water from his bowl across the heads of a group of tourists so that it reached me. The personal interaction and sense of joy it gave me still resonate, and inspired the gesture of welcoming people into bridgeland while they crossed the bridge.

This was one of my favourite parts of the evening, it was lovely to see the large crowd of people who had turned up as they drifted by in small groups. Some laughed and chatted with me, looked around them at the view, or stopped to listen to the sound through of the structure through the megaphone I was using to amplify the contact mike (a very simple set-up that echoes the way I have made the bridge recordings for the past ten years), while others were a little bored or confused or just too cool to look interested.

The other highlight for me was to see how people who were simply using the bridge in their daily life reacted to the event. I walked down to the arch under the pylon on the Southside, where Dave was plucking gorgeous melodic phrases out on his double bass as people walked through, and prepared to make my opening speech. At that moment, a local couple passing by walked into the space in front of the audience, where the diminutive and very glamorous girl proceeded to completely steal the show with her wonderful breezy patter 'Oh, for me? You're all here to see me... for one night only' she primped her hair and posed as though it was an talent show, making it a little hard for me to take to the stage with the ceremonial solemnity possibly required. I loved that moment though, wish I had invited her to declare the bridge open! This was planned for after the musical part of the evening, however by then people had drifted onto the bridge or off into the night, so in a future version I would definitely make all the important speeches and ceremonial rites at the start.

That was the main disappointment for me in terms of the opening not really taking place - I had an invocation to the spirits of the bridge, the voice of the bridge, the trolls and the angels to join us, inspire us, protect and guide us - but with the last minute technical run, interruptions and no time to get zen beforehand, this kind of ceremonial voice wasn't there.

Everything else was as smooth and successful as you can get in a large scale public environment with no time for a full run-through or technical rehearsal. The music was highly structures, with many meetings of the musicians and myself, although Guy and Dave's carefully prepared signals went unused as the setup meant that one could see only light and the other darkness.... I started by 'playing' on the cables of the bridge, to awaken the spirit and hear the voice - first with a broken umbrella that Guy had found on an earlier site visit, and then with our sign-master extraordinaire Nick's berimbau, which made a wonderful oversized bow. Dave started to join in on the double bass, and after I finished he took over the musical focus, with a composition of prepared and live samples being played and mixed by Guy. We had the piece developed in three parts, the first being the crossing of this bridge, then tuning into to many bridges and finally the 'opening' of Bridgeland - all through the sound.

I attempted to create a human tesla coil in the audience by moving through the crowd joining people's hands, however this didn't really take. As the first drone part with micronations, bass and bridge faded into our minimal midsection, I then took to the radio - tuning into the stations on the fm dial as the voice of Dolores Ibárruri came through the static and rang out with her passionate declarations of freedom and democracy. Someone told me later this was his favourite part as he loves her statue so much and recognised the voice - or at least the Spanish - it turns out that she is one of only three statues of women in Glasgow. The others being Queen Victoria and the girl telling me forgets who the third one was.

I liked the voice of La Pasionaria coming through the years and inhabiting the bridge which she looks over. Finally I tuned into the sounds from other bridges also coming through the radio, and that developed into the final section of psychedelic sonic insanity!

I've been collecting experiences from people who were there, but that's enough for today - join me again for more later.