30 January 2007

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon - Part 2

Once you got around the idea that your connections are used in a fun social game, what's the next step?
For Kevin Bacon, it's about further connecting people for a good cause. So he created SixDegrees.org where you can raise money for a cause you'd like to defend or where you can yourself donate money to celebrities' or "common people's" charity organisations.
The plus is a video where Kevin adresses you on the homepage and explains the whole concept in his cool way. His sexy voice makes you wanna give away all your money... I guess he knows what he's doing..

-- Joëlle.

18 January 2007

(Fashionably) Late

Within few days, I got to enter the two hippest clubs of Paris that have made some noise in the trendy papers of the capital for more or less 3 years, le Paris, Paris and le Baron. In both cases, it was my first time. Considering they've opened for some time, one could say I wasn't in a hurry to discover those places. Maybe it's the blasé side of me or the i'm-tired-to-go-clubbing-and-see-the-same-people-hear-the-same-music spirit that I've had lately, but indeed I was rather indifferent to the buzz - after all, 14 years of clubbing is maybe enough and even if I'd love to befriend Sofia Coppola and could seek her out every night at le Baron, I don't think I'm that motivated.
Yet, I jumped this last week on two occasions that presented themselves one after the other by chance and I found it ironic enough to make the effort. Both clubs are former private hostess clubs, hence the space is small and intimate - which is probably why the concept of clubbing like if you were "at home" surrounded by your friends got so popular. The entrance in both places is logically free - you don't pay at a friends party - but you have to be on a guest-list - like when you're invited by your pal Joey. This somehow has the advantage of getting you in without queuing - provided you don't get there at 2am of course when even guests have to stand in line because the room inside is so full and you still want people to be able to breathe. So it's a bit like if you'd set a party in your studio flat or restrict it to the living-room and 150 people would show up and they'd feel so comfy, you'd have them around until dawn. How could the other 150 people you invited have a chance to join in?
So, I went early to the Paris, Paris with Claire and Yann last Friday to hear the dj set of my pal Leo. Honestly, the place was rather welcoming and the music was plainly good. People were in for the dancin' and that was good news to me. The pretty boys that flocked the place weren't a bad thing to have either. I drank far too much but all in all, I had a good time.
Disappointing was le Baron, where I went on Tuesday night with David and Alex: too young a crowd, a rather mediocre band showcase, and this nauseating feeling of looking at the high-society on display with a touch here and there of foreigners convinced that there was no other place they could be seen at. You can add to that that the boys and girls were not attractive: in short, a simple disaster. But I'm willing to think it wasn't the right night, the right music.
It could also be the difference between a place located in the 1st district (bourgeois but central, hence crossed by a very diverse crowd, especially coming from surrounding popular areas like les Halles, les Grands-Boulevards and further areas in the 9th direct in line with Pigalle/Clichy) and a place located in the 16th district (ex-centered, psychologically too far too reach for most parisians except for the ones who actually live in the 16th, and who constitute a very special crowd, a mix of drug-addicts wealthy teenagers, ugly old men and their mistresses, rock-band-members-wannabes aristocrats and soon-to-be Sarkozy voters). Make your choice!

--Joëlle.

16 January 2007

And then there was Light!

Finally, we're launching the Dorkbot event in Paris. It was about time!
There are a lot of initiatives in France around electronic art and interaction design but we hardly know each other. It's like there's one network here, one network there, and no bridges between them.
I hope this event is a possible way to bring people together if only to put a face on a name that we're aware of.
So if you're in Paris on the 24th of January, come around... If not, there'll be surely other opportunities to join doing strange things with electricity. From then on, we'll probably do a Dorkbot event every 2 months or every month depending on the working forces.
In a next post, I'll try to list most of the actors involved around electronic art in France and their network to draw a map of what's going on in this lovely country.

--Joëlle

12 January 2007

New year, new life, new mac

12 years ago I went to the Sinai with Joachim, our relationship was ending. I had started another one few months before with Renaud with whom I was very much in love but I had planned long before a trip to Israel with Joachim so we decided to go anyway. The trip was quite colourful and lovely, it was my way to be in Israel without a family context. This winter I went back to the Sinai with my friends Bertrand and Martin. It was very different, we were almost the only people in the bedoui camp, the weather was windy in the day and cold at night but it was real vacations, like I didn't take in quite a long time. All we did was reading, sleeping, playing cards, eating and sunbathing when it was possible. We also spent time in the Negev desert, the Dead Sea and Jerusalem. Tel-Aviv was our base and I enjoyed the city from the inhabitant perspective, staying at Lior's place in this dodgy, hip, curious district of Florentin. Although I travelled to Israel few times within the last 12 years, I connected this trip directly to the one I took with Joachim because of the Sinai. A way to look at the past with much fondness, without any nostalgia, with tenderness for the girl I was at 20. I got random news from Ibrahim, the Sudanese guy who had a camp in Tarabin where I stayed but who is now in Cairo but has another camp during the summer, norther of Tarabin because it's not like what it used to be.
Now Paris again, where I feel more and more comfortable, and is now my base for sure after my plans for Berlin failed. But even then, because I feel more stable, I imagine new plans to work around the world. I have an exhibition to prepare for Tokyo next August and I hope to spend more time in Japan in 2008 if the application I made with Julie for the artist-in-residence Villa Kujoyama gets accepted.
As the new year begins, I get excited by the potential in front of me - before I left for my winter vacations, I thought that my professional life and my love life were set at least for some time. I had to resee things as both these clear horizons shifted to dark in a radical way. But the positive thing is that it doesn't get as exciting as much as when you have to start all over. Which is why, first thing first, I ordered a new Macintosh. I'm sure my flatmate is happier with that choice than if I had gotten a dog instead.

--Joelle.