The art pavilion PTTH://: in Lucerne becomes a mashup: on four weekends in April, the BROTCAST (pun made from the words bread (Brot) and broadcast) collective will broadcast up to 10 hours live into our living rooms. The collaborative exhibition project is both a production site and a broadcasting station. BROTCAST works with and processes flour as a material and bread as a basic staple food. In doing so, they go beyond the rim of the art plate. In addition to cultural workers, they collaborate with social designers, nutritionists and pizzaioli. The brotcasting is curated by the two curators of PTTH://:, Andrina Keller and Sarah Mühlebach, as well as guest curator Maja Müller.
Livia Berta spoke with Andrina Keller, curator PTTH://: and part of the BROTCAST collective about the month-long programme.
Picture above: Part of the BROTCAST collective, the BROTSCHAFT team: from left to right Benjamin Berger, Andrina Keller, Maja Müller, Dubravka Vrdoljak, Romano Zaugg. Photo provided.
The project takes place hybrid. You are live streaming and also inviting people to participate on the spot. Does it feel like a replacement programme?
Andrina Keller: No, not at all. We decided early on that we would build the exhibition in such a way that it would also take place in the digital space. The project as it is now would not work at all without the digital. So the aspect of digitality has become the substance of the exhibition.
Supermarket shelves cleared, flour stashed at home, everyone a sourdough expert: How much have you jumped on the Corona hype? Why bread?
AK: Let me elaborate a little: The initial idea was to conceive an exhibition project in collaboration. A collective was formed that not only consisted of cultural workers, but also included nutritionists, for example. It was therefore important to us that the underlying theme accompanies us all in life, is accessible and interests us aesthetically, haptically, socially and personally. And yes, of course, the early days of the pandemic certainly steered us in the direction of thinking about what bread and flour mean to us.
I imagine it is rather difficult to plan in such a large group at the moment. How did the different formats come about in this collaboration?
AK: The collaborators were only given the keywords bread, flour and society. We, the curation, wanted to get completely involved in whatever they did with them. Partly it was a big challenge because we could only discuss online. For the sake of efficiency, we then split up into smaller project groups, which is how the very different projects, approaches and dynamics developed.
Picture above: Screenshot of the Brotcast homepage (find link below).
If bread is set as the main protagonist, what other topics are covered in your hybrid programme?
AK: The Corona situation was initial. From there, we spun a broad network of themes that were always connected to the theme of bread: food waste, cultural traditions, materiality, economy, history, aesthetics. It was always an interplay between personal and social topics and the examination of the material itself.
Does the perspective on art shift when it reaches the audience via live stream?
AK: An important aspect of the project is that it was not designed exclusively by artists. BROTCAST has many levels and is certainly in the context of art, not least because of its location in the art space PTTH://: and because we ourselves call it an art project. The live stream, which is accessible to everyone, moves it somewhat away from the context of art and brings it closer to a possibly younger or non-art audience. Perspectives merge.
Not only do the boundaries of where the art takes place – whether in the art space or at home – become blurred, but also the content?
AK: Yes, everything merges much more in virtual space. That’s why this medium in particular is very exciting for our project. We want to combine as many perspectives as possible.
Does this make it more low-threshold or more confusing?
AK: Of course we don’t want to confuse anyone – but perhaps challenge them to look at the topics differently. We are presenting a total of eight extremely different programmes. Everyone is sure to find an approach.
You broadcast continuously for up to 10 hours at a time. Who watches that in times when we are slowly getting tired of screens? What is the attraction of such long-term performances?
AK: It’s illusory that anyone watches us constantly. Many people probably click in several times or take an active part in the performance at PTTH://:. That’s where the on-site space merges with the virtual space. For us, it’s about creating a space that you can immerse yourself in, that creates a situation that changes slowly and that you have to endure both on the computer and as a performer. Creating this world and making it work as a whole takes time.
Next programme items: Live Stream 5 on Friday, 16 April, at 6-7pm Bread Workout and Live Stream 6 BREADSHIP – 2nd date on Saturday, 17 April, 12pm-2pm. More streaming info here: http://brotcast.ptth.pt