Just a few screen shots of the raw, non-graded material we’re filming in Davao for Humanitarian Response Consortium, ASD and Oxfam. Everyday, goosebumps and some days, some tears. Gave a manicurist a manicure the other day at an evacuation site. She needed some love. Typhoon Pablo. Lobot.
That shot that looks like a big, long, dry riverbed is not actually a riverbed. It’s what remains of a town.
• 13 January 2013
SCHOOL OF THE PRESIDENTS STARTS OFF THE YEAR WITH 3 WORKSHOPS
Bringing in the new year with a bang on Bantayan Island. Finished one dance video workshop where we did an RGB-themed piece for a local crew from Madridejos town. Rasmus stayed behind on the island to give them the 2nd and 3rd workshops for this month, on analog poster design and concept visuals for the Isda Festival beauty pageant slash award-winning dance troupe slash all around glamourous happening. Pictures to come soon.
Cloyd and the gand did the video work for the local Isda Festival pageant in 2012, and what’s great is that the hookup came from one of our past workshop collaborators. We met Isda Festival organizer and choreographer, Queenie, during a music video shoot last year. And one thing led to another and bam. Now he’s a School of the Presidents client.
Wow. School of the Presidents has, like, clients. Wow. We’ve come a long way in the last 2 years. Remaking Rashomon is still a bit far off, the gang has got to focus on building skills and getting their business off the ground but we’re not worried. We know that when SOTP puts their mind to something… they get it done. No excuses.
• 11 January 2013
OPENING WINDOWS OF IMAGINATION FOR CHILDREN WHO FIND CERTAIN DOORS PERMANENTLY SHUT
Also knows as the Bonifacio Global City fusebox installation. Photos by Kaid Ashton, Illustrations by Rem San Pedro, design by The OCD powerinterns Stefan and Rasmus, heretofore known as Stefmus.
The 5 workshops we did with street kids from Taguig, Parañaque and Navotas, produced buckets and buckets of drawings. Planning to turn these drawings into an exhibit at Bonifacio High Street. With Hocus Manila and Craft MNL, our neighbors at The Collective. Fingers crossed and if we don’t die of lack of sleep, it will be up in February 2013.
• 11 January 2013
BLACK JESUS AND FILM SUPPLY SHOPPING
We went to buy camera supplies at Quiapo. And got caught in the biggest procession of the year in Manila where what seemed like millions of people tried to throw towels onto the statue of the Black Nazarene. For good luck. So I think our shoot in Davao next week for Oxfam, A Single Drop and all the other NGOs of the Humanitarian Response Consortium has started out on a good note.
Here’s hoping Black Jesus brings better luck to the typhoon Pablo devastated areas we are going to film. We’ve heard and seen that the area is completely and absolutely leveled by the powerful typhoon from just a few weeks ago.
Black Jesus has his work cut out for him to bring them better news this year. Off to the south we go, waving our towels in the air for good measure.
• 9 January 2013 • 1 note
BININING PROMISED LAND
On saturday the 22. of december Koken Ergun ,turkish artist and anthropologist, is coming to manila, to show his film on filipino overseas workers in israel. It’s called Binibining Promised Land. and yes, it’s about beauty pageants. The showing will take place in Luneta Park, 7:30 PM and is a part of the iranian film festival.
We created 2 different Low-fi/retro inspired flyer designs to promote the film and we’ve just picked them up at the printer. We will be handing them out on saturday in and around Luneta park before the showing of the film
• 21 December 2012
DOCUMENTATION ZH#4: WE WEREN’T KIDDING ABOUT THE STUFF IN THE LAST POST
Trying to find political signifiers within the context and implications of so-called infinitely small things often involves getting in touch with your inner child. Because children are infinitely wise beings.
• 19 December 2012
THE INSTITUTE FOR INFINITELY SMALL THINGS DOES ZAMBOANGA HACE #4
We’re in the middle of the workshop on Performance Art, the 4th and final one for this first series of Zamboanga Hace. We have about 60 students this time, most of which have expressed their approval for one of the Institute members’ K-Pop mystique. That’s him in his lab coat.
But it hasn’t all been fun and games. The kids have been working hard, in and out of the classroom. They’ve done mapping exercises, group and mass performances, collected loads of data and documented everything. Fake eyelashes, glue-on sparkles, tree hugging, and gummy bears have, as predicted, proven to be invaluable tools for behavioral research.
For tomorrow, Day 3, they have scheduled Tactical Instruction Field Research Trip #2. This time, the students dispose of a micro research grant with which to finance their foray into Zamboanga City. The experiments they will conduct will prove vital to The Institute’s purpose. The groups will be asked to do a formal cost expenditure liquidation with our accountant for this workshop: a pineapple-flavored German gummy bear.
Explaining a Denis Wood map
• 19 December 2012 • 1 note
CROSSING RIVERBEDS, VISITING AETA SETTLEMENTS, STUDYING MACEDA SCORES AND WONDERING IF THE ACADEME WILL EVER UNDERSTAND WHY
The day after the 5 Homeschool workshops were done, we set off to Pampanga in a pick-up truck. To scout locations and see more Aeta villages. For the shoot of another project, Lupang. The one about displaced indigenous communities and how that dislocation from their ancestral land affects their identity. The one about volcanoes. The one about a concert in an aboriginal village, where a mass-participation piece by the experimental composer Jose Maceda, a new legend about a volcano and an epic poem in the Kapampangan language take the stage. The one about science and folklore finding (we hope) common ground.
We crossed a dry riverbed and hiked to a small village of cement block houses with no electricity. They dried their laundry spread out on the grass instead of on clothes lines, apparently there is a reason for this.
We met a musician who offered landlocked sanctuary to a seafaring tribe who were chased out of every coastal city they crossed. They built tent houses on stilts next to a dry riverbed. The musician took us to a field with a lake to sing us a special song he wrote. But there was a carabao mooing really loudly in the field.
We met an ethnomusicologist who thought we were crazy, but helped us out nonetheless. We met an anthropologist who objected to the fact that this project was not an exposé documentary about tribes being swindled out of their ancestral lands.
We met an Aeta leader with a beer belly who loved to tell stories and drove us to his fancy-humble village. They had electric posts, a cemented basketball court and painted cement houses. The village leader, Ruben, wore Batman shades
We ate lunch at a theme park with replica indigenous villages and bought a souvenir at the replica Aeta village. The Aeta souvenir was a musical instrument native to another tribe.
We met a government worker who had more giant bonsais than we could count and had lived with remote Aetas for long periods of time. He fed us fruitcake and showed us his press clipping.
We were given papayas, a dictionary, long conversations and endless smiles from indigenous people in shorts and t-shirts.The men were drinking at 5 pm. The women were gambling with cards.
We sat in the middle of the girlie bar district of Angeles city and held our heads in our hands and had 3 beers and wondered if we were crazy. Surrounded by prostitutes and elderly Caucasians, an afro-sporting Aeta slept on the street.
Anthropologists assert that the Aetas’ secret to survival has been their flexibility in the face of change. Hunter-gatherer tribes that quickly learn how to fish and cultivate farmland and work in the employ of lowlanders by acquiring new skill sets, with relative harmony, are apparently few and far between. Feeling rather like a pygmy in a shopping mall myself, I want to channel some of that primal flexibility. Shooting begins next month. Time to stretch before the race begins.
• 19 December 2012
HOMESCHOOL WITH BONIFACIO ARTS FOUNDATION
EDSA MAGALLANES FLYOVER
Manila is just full of contradictions. It is where symptoms of underdevelopment are starkly felt. It is where slums sit right next to the wealthy and the fancy side of things and here is where we find one of Homeschool’s favorite street classrooms, the Magallanes Flyover. It is located on the fringes of the country’s busiest commercial center. Belarmino Compound, where our students live is just across the flyover and intersection that connects and leads to other parts of Manila.
Mindless of the busy traffic our student and their parents pay close attention to TOCD director Clara as she shares the agenda of the day.
We barely had no problems getting the attention of our bright young students. Once again the workshop proves how art can easily connect with people and also such potent way of opening up personal and creative expression. Particularly with this workshop a lot of parents also shared their time and got involved that somehow made us think that they appreciate the things we do.
With crayons and pencils,these kids reveal stories and somethings about themselves and their community.
The top students receive gifts
Another class picture
• 5 December 2012 • 3 notes
HOMESCHOOL WITH BONIFACIO ARTS FOUNDATION
THE CEMETERY TRASHDUMP
Paranaque Public Cemetery in San Dionisio Paranaque City was the location of the first workshop for Homeschool 3. As you come into the area, a trash dump welcomes you as people live here side by side not just with the dead but with the rubbish all over the place. Here the “final resting place” also applies for the living as it is much for the dead. Most of the children here are deprived of school and exactly where Homeschool needs to be.
Being here again is like a renewal of friendship and deep connection between Kaid and the community. In fact, Kaid’s artwork, a wheatpasted photograph still remains in one side of the area.
Our classroom, an abandoned chapel which is now a dwelling for a lot of homeless people.
Despite their precarious situation, for these hopeful kids it’s their home and playground.
Kids at work and this art class is certainly a break from the dismal things that occupy their daily lives
Our first class picture
Bringing the Homeschool Project again this year to Manila is a collaborative effort of The Office of Culture and Design and the Bonifacio Arts Foundation(BAFI).
• 5 December 2012 • 1 note
STEFAN AND RASMUS, THE NEW INTERNS a.k.a. THE KARAOKE KINGS OF LITTLE DENMARK
So we’ve been busy since Stefan and Rasmus arrived two weeks ago. They’ve come from the Skolen for Visuel Kommunikation in Denmark to Manila to do their 4-month internship at The OCD. In the past 15 days, they have made a presentation video, conceptualized a public art installation, done a live action powerpoint for a conference, prepared bucketfuls of photo mockups, designed a bad-ass flier and sung karaoke 3 times. Every time they’ve done karaoke, the crowd has gone wild. Which is pretty hard to do if your crowd is over 45 years old. Apparently, Rasmus has a talent for freestyle rapping that sounds really good with a lounge piano player. Stefan likes to do schoolboy renditions of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and plays some pretty fancy guitar. We want to form a band. The OCD has invested in a new ukelele for this purpose.
• 27 November 2012 • 1 note
WE HAVE BEEN AWARDED THE EOS VISITING ARTISTS PROGRAM GRANT !
Next stop, volcano research in Singapore :)
As part of the Zamboanga Hace project, we are doing a film on the plight of Indigenous Displaced Peoples (IDPs) in the Philippines, particularly the Aeta tribesmembers that have been displaced to Olongapo since the destruction of their villages in the 90s. When Mount Pinatubo erupted, the tribe believed their volcano god had punished them for allowing the Filipino government to do geothermal drilling on their ancestral lands, on the mountain that was their deity. Most of them have been living on reservations ever since, we’re not quite sure why, because they can return to the mountain. It is legally theirs and their villages are safe to return to, for the most part. We think it might have to do with animistic guilt, among other things of a more political nature.
We knew that if we wanted to do a piece on the plight of the Olongapo Aetas, first item on our research list was: learn about volcanoes. Like, a lot. So we are traveling to Singapore to talk to EOS scientists. So we can get a better understanding of the Aeta volcano god and hopefully be able to bridge the gap between myth and science in a way the tribe (and we) can understand.
Filmmakers Martha Atienza and Carlos Casas are working with writer Lobregat Balaguer to put together the experimental film and installation for this project. It will be interesting to observe how the relationship between film and storytelling, written or otherwise, emerges in their collaboration.
• 16 October 2012
QUOTABLE QUOTE OF THE DAY BY POLI
FvF Interview Barcelona: Marcela Gutiérrez & Miquel Polidano
Ab big and warm Welcome to Barcelona on Freunde von Freunden.
“You know, I actually get vertigo when I’m in high places. I would describe it as a fear that comes only when you’re somewhere you don’t want to be. Right now, I am exactly where I want to be. I climbed all those steps because I wanted to get here. Now I’m just enjoying the view.”
Meet charming illustrator Marcela and graphic designer Miquel in their creative bubble right in the middle of Barcelona und enjoy our first portrait from this great city here.
Thank you Clara Lobregat Balaguer + Teddy Iborra Wicksteed for this amazing portrait and the ones to come.
• 16 October 2012 • 4 notes
YOU HAVE A PRESENT FROM ANAMOR AT THE OCD WEBSITE!!!
So we’ve been planning this since July or something, but due to unforeseeable circumstances (i.e. needing the landing page of the website to be our blog for a few months, for more information power) we had to wait a bit for to see Hello, come back to life, with a special art present by the Spanish performance artist, Anamor, made with love for you and your cell phone. Just click on over to our website, officeocd.com
Hello,is a one-image online art gallery where most of the art is free. Each exhibition is completely erased from our html files after it runs its course, which makes Hello, an exercise in temporary existences and permanent destructions.
Hello, looks for virtual or otherwise digitized artwork that pushes the boundaries. Which boundaries? Whichever ones apply at the moment.
Hello, wants to thank everyone who visits its white, make-believe walls by giving gallery goers something to take away with them: their very own piece of virtual but very real artwork. And a digital plant to love and nurture.
• 24 September 2012
GUEST BLOG BY CHRISTINA NEWHARD: CLOYD PROJECT UPDATE
Christina Newhard is a Filipina in NYC. She works at Columbia University and raised some money for the Cloyd Project at the Clinton Hill Block Party held in Brooklyn last weekend. The kindness of many strangers who are now in our extended family has helped us complete funding for School of the Presidents’ next workshop with Francisco Guerrero in November, on Professional Lighting for Film and Photo. Here is what Christina wrote about the SOTP in NYC experience:
I met Martha Atienza while backpacking in Bicol back in 2007, and read about Kuya Cloyd’s projects and the School of the Presidents via her “Gilubong” project. I thought: THAT IS REALLY COOL, and wanted to show support in some way from Brooklyn.
A good friend of mine, Annabelle ( also a Fil-Am living in Brooklyn), throws a block party every year with her old neighbors in Clinton Hill. That’s a great story too… most of the original neighbors have moved out of the building, and yet they come back for this big, meaty block party, with bands, grills and a friendly Brooklyn crowd. (In past years, Annabelle even cooked a lechon. THAT sort of meaty.)
Annabelle let me take donations and hand out flyers for SOTP next to the longganisa and chicken inasal was cooking up. This party draws a creative and diverse group, and they were very supportive, donating $257 in total. A couple chuckled at Jaypee’s dubbing himself “President Barack Obama” on the SOTP self-promotion viral commercial, complete with “Yes We Can!” sign (this crowd was full of Obama supporters). They also appreciated the teens’ entrepreneurial spirit in starting their own business.
Ironically, I was grilling chicken inasal while fundraising for Cloyd + the teens. So I guess if there’s a moral here, it’s: Never underestimate the persuasive power of Visayan chicken barbecue!
Go Kuya Cloyd + SOTP. Keep working and growing! Love, NYC
• 15 September 2012 • 1 note