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step-by-step guidelines for drifting – maggie’s visit cont.

Before starting to post about getting to Madrid, we got inspired by the notes on 3Cs blog about our discussion/drift in Open Eye Cafe on spaces of labor/no labor on Sunday. We would like to contribute to the 3Cs note taking enterprise about maggie’s visit with what we remember from the last bits of our conversation with Maggie: the Step-by-Step guidelines for drifting & mapping discussion @ Weaver St. Market. We are paraphrasing because we took mental notes, apologies in case we don’t remember well”

-But really, how did Precarias a la Deriva go about doing, performing, making, putting together a drift? It is not so obvious when you really want to engage in drifting a la precarias’ …

-It is a long, but at the same time, expectable process”first, a deriva/drift makes no sense if there are not previous discussions on the main themes the group is concerned about and wants to start investigating in a collective way. From a series of group discussions, a set of thematic axes comes up as guidelines for the drifts. A couple of people linked to a particular axe, volunteer to organize one drift. These people know about that particular topic well because of personal experience -working in that sector for example- and have quite a few contacts. These point people strategize an itinerary identifying places that would speak to the issue in question, also contacting other possible participants that could also be interviewed/have a taped conversation with during the drift. That previous work is essential in order for the drift to work and be worthwhile. Then the rest is more or less explained in our different texts. Basically a group of people with note-taking equipment engage in an itinerary guided by a couple of guides who are experts in those spaces, those particular routines, that concrete sector. After visiting places, and having conversations within those locations and also in transition from place to place, each participant goes back ‘home’ and starts writing about the drift: being descriptive, emotional, reflexive, etc depending on the mood. Then all the texts are shared and collaged.

-Drifting feels like mapping, isn’t it? And actually your book includes some cartographic representations of 3 particular drifts? Did you ever follow that path as a venue for your militant research project?

Yes, and actually the precarias research project started as a mapping project. we wanted to document the different everyday itineraries of women workers to put together another vision of the city of Madrid. But it did not work, logistically but also conceptually: all that colorful drawing somehow did not work, the message that came across was not so powerful, and it really did not provided ways of collective organizing. We found out that the idea of actually performing the itineraries together and talking on the way, on the move, allowed for much more powerful communication and mutual understanding developing a sense for commonality and at the same time a sensitivity for diverse particularities.

-So it was a kind of mapping 1 to 1 scale, right? That’s what we are thinking for the mapping the university project”[tim and liz replied]. TO BE CONTINUED in future conversations”.

Precarias in the Triangle

Maggie Schmitt has been in Chapel Hill/Carrboro in Nov.30-Dec.4

She fascinated us with her energy and her talks sharing the experience of Precarias a la Deriva in Madrid. Our group has been following the steps of this Madrid-based group, been always very inspired by their method of feminist/precarious derivas.

Following her advice and the Precarias a la Deriva quasi-obsession for documenting every day events and collective itineraries, we could start our blog by remembering Maggies step-to-step description of drifing and recapitulating our fist attempts of carrying on one while her stay with us. These are the different activities we did with Maggie about drifting (maybe each could be the themes for following posts):

-Brainstorming axes/themes and possible locations @ Mediterranean Deli

-Collective discussion on spaces of labor/no labor on Sundays @ Open Eye Coffee

-Step-to-Step guide for drifting & Mapping discussion @ Weaver St. Market

[drifting with precarias] notes from dec. 2 drift

The 3Cs drift with Maggie Schmitt started at 3:57 PM on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 2 in a crowded Carrboro coffeehouse, Open Eye. 3Cs commandeered an unused corner of the cafe for our homebase, and started with a discussion of what themes we wanted to explore in the drift. Themes proposed were:

  • How much do we work (as student/in other roles)?
  • How much is our time worth?
  • Soft exploitation and self-exploitation (what forms do they take in our daily lives)
  • Where does UNC happen on a Sunday?

It was a rainy day, and we spent some time trying to decide what methodology to use for the drift. Should we walk to campus and visit workspaces (likely to be empty, except for lab buildings)? Visit places around Carrboro? We started off with a group interview on the question: what do you do on a Sunday? (In these notes, Im going to include only responses, no names)

    Sunday activities:

  • working occasionally at UNC Planetarium (funded by Union Carbide); avoiding work/trying to work at home
  • at home; working on the couch at a friend’s house, working at Weaver Street or Open Eye (need other people around to concentrate)
  • working (always at home)
  • Sunday morning mass, brunch with friends sometimes, working at home, phone call to parents, dinner with friends (make a point of not going to campus)

Opting to stay at Open Eye and delve further into the topics of University work on a Sunday, we started a discussion about the nature of University work, workplaces, and the intersection of social space and labour space.

Open Eye has been described as Carrboro’s living room — a place people visit to meet friends and to relax and to do work, more often all three. On the day of the drift, we counted 75 people in the cafe, and 45 laptop computers. Only three people weren’t working (or, weren’t trying to look like they were working). Work permeating the social environment to such an extent is something we realized we’d often taken for granted, and the discussion which ensued focused on the relationship between work and social space.

Sebastian: “One of the cute/destructive things about this sociality is that whenever we see each other, we’re reminded of work we haven’t done. We [married couple with a young baby] used to come to Open Eye and bring work, and it’s interesting that there’s no barrier between work and café. You only have to be at the University for so many hours, but you’re expected to do hours of other work.”

Maggie: “Things are very different in Spain”

Maribel: “Agreed”

Maggie: “Right.. work doesn’t happen in cafes, it happens in the overcrowded libraries. The whole notion of a café for workers doesn’t exist. You go to a café to hang out/smoke/drink/play cards.”

Liz: “Still, there are some benefits to having this collective space – I remember one time all of the folks in one of my seminar classes happened to be here at the same time before a big due date for a paper, and we all collectively decided not to do the assignment”

Sebastian: “But you were all anthropologists; that’s important – only certain departments come here. Lab sciences have to be physically in the lab to work, and they’re there most of the weekends.”

Tim: “Yeah, so all of South Campus [the medical/sciences complex] is busy on the weekends, while North Campus is quiet.”

Maribel: “Maybe it’s a political/cultural thing?”

Maggie: “There’s also this added value of networking – you can’t read everything but you can know enough people who have. Does this space become important as a site for affirming casual relationships?”

Tim: “It’s not just University work though. Weaver Street Market [a co-op grocery with café, down the road] is sort of a creative class hub. You see architects meeting clients there, business meetings, job interviews.”

Maggie: “So does the quality of the work people do change at Weaver Street or Open Eye? Why go there instead of home or the office? What is that choice about?”

Maribel: “There’s also the issue of public space – we don’t have much of it.”

Maggie: “If this is our plaza, what does it mean that everyone is plugged-in and focused on their own work? Why come here?”

Liz: “One of my friends and I used to make plans to come here and work, and not talk to each other.”

Reno: “I kind of feel like this is the way life happens. You don’t go outside your bubble, you use a laptop as a shield to help protect your bubble. Or, maybe, the laptop creates a feeling of isolation and you come to a public space to help mitigate that?”

Craig: “One of the other cafes around here bans laptops at night. My old roommate used to be a programmer, he got really mad at that.”

Maggie: “What is the history of the café workplace? Coffee shops go back to the 1980s, right? Why cafes as workplaces?”

All (chorus): “Now we have laptops! Digital labour!”

Maribel: “What a strange object! The laptop is a digital workplace, a portable workplace, and yet we all associate good feelings with it.”

(Sebastian runs out to count laptops and engage in an informal survey of laptop work. Results, 45 laptops in the building; many of them in groups of people working together, each on their own laptops. We also discover biologists, environmental scientists, and medical students all working at Open Eye. End scene.)

Brian Holmes Visit to Triangle

Monday, October 20: 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Room 220, Saunders Hall, UNC-CH

Brian Holmes. “Artistic Activism, New Cartographies, and Cultural Politics in Contemporary Europe“.


Brian Holmes is a cultural critic, working on the intersections of artistic practice and political economy, living in Paris, moving restlessly around the world. He holds a doctorate in Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of California at Berkeley, is the author of the book Hieroglyphs of the Future: art and politics for a networked era (Zagreb: WHW, 2002), was the English editor of publications for Documenta X, Kassel, Germany, 1997, a member of the graphic arts group Ne pas plier from 1999 to 2001, has more recently worked with the French conceptual art group Bureau d’Etudes. Lectures widely in Europe & North and South America, is a frequent contributor to the international mailinglist Nettime, a member of the editorial committee of the art magazines Springerin (Austria) and Brumaria (Spain), and of the interdisciplinary journal Multitudes (France). The latest collection of essays, Unleashing the Collective Phantoms, is currently at the press (Autonomedia, New York). All Brian’s texts can be found at the website of Tangent University,

See complete schedule below:

Complete Schedule for the Week:
Monday October 30, 2006

5.00pm-6.30pm.          Brian Holmes. “Artistic Activism, New Cartographies, and Cultural Politics in Contemporary Europe“. Room 220 Saunders Hall, UNC-CH.

Tuesday October 31 2006:

12.30pm -1.30pm.       The European Project and Social Movements. John Pickles’ “Europe Today” class. 204 Saunders Hall, UNC-CH. [Open to all]

Wednesday November 1 2006:

11.00am.                      elin slavick. Two projects:  “Bombsites” and “workers’ identities”.

SoundScape Movement Fest: May 18-21, 2006

The festival is an improvisational based sound and movement festival in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area. International and local artists will put on nightly performances and daily educational workshops. The festival will take place at local venues including the Nightlight, the ArtsCenter, the Local 506, Balanced Movement, Carolina Fitness and the Internationalist Bookstore. For a complete schedule and details, please see:

Our own Michal Osterweil is performing a piece on public space, Friday May 19 with Jen

Padilla, Alexis Mastromichalis and others at Local 506 as part of the Soundscape Movement Fest.

The international guest artist for the festival is — Ivo Dimchev (check out his website at He is performing at the ArtsCenter on Thursday, May 18th (8pm) and the Nightlight on Saturday, May 20th. (10pm). Also, see for a complete list of performances and schedule info. In the recent several years Ivo Dimchev has become known to the audience mostly due to his radical work in the field of physical theatre. He is author of the choreography and the music of the Butoh – performance ”Sleeping Dog”, realized in collaboration with Masaki Iwana on the stage of the National Theatre ”Ivan Vazov” in Sofia 2001. The performance has been presented on festivals in France, Italy, Egypt, etc. He is a choreographer, composer of the music of the performance ”The Garden of the Singing Ficuses”, a production of The Red House for Culture and Debate staged at the National Theatre ”Ivan Vazov” 2002 presented at festivals in France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, etc. In 2003 Ivo created the improvisational video street-performance ”Volk’s Mother”, the video-version of which has successfully given arrive in ”They Are Leaving” Sofia, 2003, Balkan Dance Platform Bucharest, 2003, Art Expo Madrid, 2005 and the Biennale for Young Visual Artists Bucharest, 2005. He is author of the photo-installation ”The Last Room”, presented for the last time within the framework of ”The Ideal” A Week of Contemporary Art – Plovdiv, 2005. In 2005 he creates ”Lili Handel -blood, poetry and music from the white whore’s boudoir”- 44 min. physical performance.  Ivo Dimchev is also a founder and director of HUMARTS foundation.

Lauren Rosenthal exhibition at the Ackland

The show will open to the public with an informal reception from 5:30 until 9:00pm.  It will be on view for one month. On Sunday, April 23rd, there will be a more formal “opening” reception on from 2:00 until 5:00pm.  Also, on Wednesday, May 3rd at 12pm, all of the artists in the show will be giving artist talks in the Museum.

Lauren writes:

“I have been making artwork that depicts river networks for the past year and half.  I am interested in both the literal and metaphorical implications of these freshwater systems which highlight our incredible interconnectedness, both with one another and with the earth. My experience as coordinator of the Haw River Learning Celebration has had a profound impact on me, and I have made a number of pieces that image this dynamic and beautiful system. 2 of them will be on view at the Ackland Museum.

More recently, I have been using GIS technology to make maps of possibility and critique.  My most current work is a river-centered atlas of the United States of America.  I have redefined all of the political boundaries in this country so that state lines are defined by watershed divides.  I hope that by imagining a nation that puts water at the center of its value system, this project might provoke dialogue and stimulate change around how we construct both the social and physical the landscapes in which we live.”

March 30-31, kanarinka visit

kanarinka (Catherine D’Ignazio) is a new media artist who creates collaborative experiments in public spaces both online and offline using old calculus texts, techniques from cartography, and the participation of the general public. Her current project, “The Institute for Infinitely Small Things,” is a research organization that supports various ways of going on expeditions in the world to find and create infinitely small things. By conducting microperformative interventions and supporting research into infinitely small things, “The Institute for Infinitely Small Things” creates experimental social and political spaces for members of the public to imagine new forms of resistance to the current condition of Empire.     kanarinka is Co-Director of iKatun, a collaborative group of artists and technologists, and the Associate Director of Art Interactive, Boston’s premier new media arts space. She is a regular contributor to GlowLab, a collective of artists interested in psychogeographic practices. kanarinka has been commissioned by and the 7a*11d International Performance Art Festival. Her work has been shown at MASSMoCA and the DCKT Contemporary Gallery in NYC among other locations. kanarinka is a 2005 candidate for an MFA degree in Studio Art from the Maine College of Art.


THURSDAY  March 30 4pm–5pm. — elin slavick studio, Hanes Art Center #312, red door — US bombsites and other projects

FRIDAY March 31 1.00-2.00pm: kanarinka presentation: ‘how to make the invisible stay invisible: on biopolitical engineering’ Saunders Hall 2nd Floor Conference Room.

FRIDAY March 31 5.00-7.00pm: A gathering on critical mapping. 204 Saunders Hall.
Short presentations of various critical cartography and alternative economies projects. Presenters (5-10 minutes each): Bring material to share (including maps, texts, flyers, etc both electronic and touchable) we can project them and hang them on the walls as a mode of temporary exhibition. The presentations could be timed, no more than 10 to 15 min. each, including a time for brief discussion at the end of each one.
kanarinka — new projects
Maribel Casas Cortes — feminista de la deriva
Sebastian Cobarrubias, MC, Juan Aparicio, and JP – delete the borders
Tim Stallman and Craig Dalton — dis-Orientations
Michal Osterweil — alternative economies network
Lauren Rosenthal — maps and art activism
Denis Wood – projects on art mapping
UNC derive, Dana Powell, Angela Cacciaru, Others.

kanarinka’s Affiliations:

Recent Projects:

Institute for Infinitely Small Things

Corporate Commands Database

42 or 363 Definitions of Cartography (Book)

100(11) Instruction Works

online studio

Glowlab is an artist-run production and publishing lab engaging urban public space as the medium for contemporary art and technology projects. We track emerging approaches to psychogeography, the exploration of the physical and psychological landscape of cities. Our annual Conflux festival, exhibitions, events and our bi-monthly web-based magazine support a network of artists, researchers and technologists around the world.

In South Slavic, “katun” means “temporary village” and is used to designate seasonal communities near pastures and bodies of water. iKatun’s mission is to foster and develop temporary communities that experiment with art, geography  and political engagement in everyday life. iKatun provides fiscal sponsorship to artists, produces experimental educational gatherings such as conferences, walks and reading groups, and conducts field research with the Institute for Infinitely Small Things.

Micropolitical Machines

Micropolitical machines are social technologies engineered by  distributed agents to produce experiences of dissonance,  complexifying encounters, qualitative difference, multiplicity,  disrecognition and invisibility. The Control Society – our current  sociopolitical configuration under global capitalism – deploys  quantitative, over-determining technologies to produce complex  circuits of consumer desire. Though decentralized and rhizomatic in  structure, the Control Society constitutes a new kind of overcoding  machine concerned at all times with social production to accelerate  economic exchange.

Micropolitical machines are engineered not as mechanisms of  resistance or revolution in response to the Control Society, but as  the effectuation of molecular lines of flight from it – the  deployment of tiny, sociopolitical beginnings. The performance- frameworks and social systems discussed in this paper reengineer  circuits of consumer desire, stage encounters with qualitative  multiplicity, and, most importantly, operate in the Virtual as  opposed to the Real. These micropolitical machines utilize existing  capitalist infrastructure in order to deploy a beginning (or the  beginning of a beginning) of another society, another politics,  another world. This is the territory of the micro-: instead of  relying on representation, symbolism or didactics, these artists  traffic in affect to effect social transformation.

Artists and researchers discussed include Yoko Ono, Krzysztof  Wodiczko, Cesare Pietroiusti, The Institute for Applied Autonomy,  Lucy Orta, Stefanie Trojan, and my own work with iKatun and with The  Institute for Infinitely Small Things.

March 11, 2006: Counter-Cartography Brunch #1

@ Mess Hall 6932 North Glenwood Avenue,  ‘Morse’ stop on the Redline

On the occasion of a random Saturday in Chicago, this event will gather a range of Chicago based activist map makers, experimental geographers and space interveners to meet up with a collection of visitors producing incredibly relevant and related projects/writing for an afternoon of show-n-tell, eating and discussion. We will be presenting an archive of collected mapping projects including the work of Bureau d’études (Fr). Hackitectura (Sp), Friends of William Blake (USa), and more in a temporary exhibition for the afternoon.

March 8, 2006: Delete-the-Border!

Delete-the-Border! Activist Art Movements, New Mapping Projects, and the Reworking of the Euro-Border

Sebastian Cobarrubias, Maria Isabel Casas Cortes, Juan Ricardo Aparicio, and John Pickles. CCC presentation in the special sessions ‘Experiments with Territories: Post Cartographic Map Design I and II’. Annual Conference of Association of American Geographers, Chicago.