Building Batteries
Red76 Eastern European Tour

In February of 2004 Red76 arts group and friends set off on a tour
of Eastern Europe: Croatia, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and
Germany. Carting along most of the members of Red76, as well as numerous
coconspirators (many among them from US arts groups such as the Lab
Lecture Series, Pacific SwitchBoard, Collective Jyrk, and Dynamite!),
the tour was the culmination of a question posed years ago by Red76
members Sam Gould and Matthew Yake: Why don't artists tour like bands?
Tour Participants Included:

Katy Asher
Sam Gould
Amos Latteier
Zak Margolis
Gabriel Mindel-Saloman
Matt Poole
Jen Rhoads
Paige Saez
Matthew Yake
Over the past half decade artists have been joining forces in ever
increasing numbers to form collaborative platforms to display and
distribute their ideas. What makes these situations different from past
displays of collective group action within the art world is that the
focus is less on collectivity and exclusion and more on collaboration
and connectivity.

Many artists today have grown up through the DIY/Indie music scene and
are now taking that community's framework and applying its practices
into the realm of the art world. Slowly but surely they are creating
viable alternatives to the perceived notions of what the "art world" is,
as well as circumventing the road to the "art market" in general. These
artists are getting off the beaten path, building new roads more to
their liking and leading the way towards their chosen destination rather
than one predetermined.

While in Eastern Europe, Red76 toured a presentation/performance
evening as its centerpiece. Consisting of lectures, slideshows,
films/videos, music, and more, the presentation set out to inform
the viewers of a slice of what is taking place in the US today.
This planned presentation was only one aspect of Red76's tour though. The
goal of the trip was to establish communication and to create a shared
dialogue between the arts communities of America and Eastern Europe. It
was a goodwill mission. The group set up formal as well as informal
talks with artists and members of arts organizations while on tour, as
well as enacted small public projects focusing on sharing and
communication. All the while documenting the journey, hoping to
create a tour guide of sorts for other artists to make the same
exchanges of thoughts, ideas, and hopes within their own communities,
both at home and abroad.
The Presentation

As viewers enter the room, Katy Asher's photo project--a series of photos of tour participant's home-lives with wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, pets, living rooms, and the like--will be screened. Printed materials; a selection of what the group thinks is "American" food and drink; and handmade gifts (felt corsages, stickers, buttons and crocheted eye-patches) will be available at this time.
Act One:

The presentation will start with a talk by Sam Gould on the history of Red76 arts group and their reasons for touring.

Amos Latteier:
Amos will present his lecture/performance "Ant and Human Societies". The lecture relates stories of ant life including; raising aphids, battling the xenodusa beetle, and founding new nests. It goes onto look at ways of interpreting these stories and their relation to stories about human society. Finally it dives into questions of freedom, individuality, and collectivism as highlighted by ants and people. The lecture tries to find ways that studying ant societies can inspire change in human societies.

Gabriel Mindel-Saloman:
Gabriel will be performing a lecture about American consciousness, media distortions, and the failure for one culture to translate the truth to another. Using internet translation devices, the lecture will be translated into and read aloud in the host country's national language. The artist will allow for question and response at the conclusion of his lecture.

Brief Intermission
Act Two:

Sam Gould:
Sam will screen the first volume of his video series "The 60’s". The series deals with interpreting the 1960’s through the eyes of someone born in the mid-1970’s through the use of sock puppet actors and found sound. "Volume #1: Meditation and Violence" deals with two incidents in the life of poet Allen Ginsberg.

The Portland Vampires (Matthew Yake and Zak Margolis):
The Portland Vampires will score Zak Margolis's ever expanding animated film "The Moustache."
Tour participants announce their offer to cook and prepare dinner for audience members at their home on one of the days following the performance. Matthew Yake is looking for people interested in playing basketball with us, and Amos would like to find someone to take him on a tour of local factories.
Tour Locations and Dates:

Pacific SwitchBoard
Portland, Oregon USA
February 1st, 2004

Prague, Czech Republic
February 8th - February 11th

Hints Collective
Budapest, Hungary
February 11th - February 14th

What, How, and For Whom? Collective
Zagreb, Croatia
February 19th - February 22nd

Weimar, Germany
February 22nd - February 26th

Reed College
Portland, Oregon USA
March 3 - March 7th