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Diversity Kitchen

Participatory video performance showcasing construction of new common culture, values and symbols within the corporate world.
by Marina Landia

The performance is conceived as shared creative experience - a ritual, that creates emotional links between participants. Video is used both as part of performance and as documentation.   Participants are asked to bring small everyday objects that have a special meaning to them, to be contributed to the creation of a new “unifying object”. To give an idea what their possible contribution could be participants receive a list of examples together with the invitation to the performance:
old pen
key pendant
buttons of the favorite shirt
coffee cap
favorite cooky
old tie
empty bottle of perfume
a picture (of the person, site, etc.)
old mobile phone
a cover of favorite cd
favorite newspaper etc.

 
Production of the new object takes place through a staged ritual and involves different parallel processes. Besides contributing their object and associated stories participant can also engage in different other roles: as negotiators, commentators, designers etc.
Each participant tells a short story giving background information about his/her "contribution".
Stories – which emerge in a dialogue with the artist acting as facilitator – are followed by negotiations with other participants, who decide about how much of contributed objects can be incorporated into the "new product".
This means that each object will be adapted and changed: e.g. only parts of a postcard, a fraction of a pen will be taken.

These processes will in turn be commented, evaluated and re-told by other members creating a feeling of a new ethos.  

Story told by the participant, contributing a globe shape key chain holder: Artist: What is your contribution today?  Participant: I brought you my world...thatʼs my whole world.
A: your whole world in your pocket? Are you traveling all the time?
P: I travel frequently, but not to all parts of the world
A: What is the meaning of this object?
P: I was a younger guy when I bought this and...since then accidentally hemispheres twisted at the equator level, so it does not even feet any more together and itʼs already altered, the keys were scratching off even my home country Germany, so I decided that itʼs finally worth of bringing it here - to be more altered.
A: Do you have very strong national identity?
P: I think so...yes
A: How do you introduce yourself? As a German manager?
P: I would introduce myself as a German....manager
A: Are all typical characteristics of a German manager compatible with those of international type?
P: There are big differences
A: Would you sacrifice them to be more successful?
P: Hmmm.. Nobody can jump over his own shadow...I would say no.
A: we will integrate your object into the new one. Please proceed to our negotiator.


In the end the fractions of contributed objects are set together and fixed with liquid acrylic mass, which hardens within next 1.5 hours into a glossy beautiful block - the new product.

"Diversity Kitchen", the performance with 80 participants at the European School of Management and Technology Berlin.


The new Product


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