The first PAIC workshop took place from February 2-9, 2017 in Osek, Slovenia and was mentored by Slovenian art collective BridA (Jurij Pavlica, Sendi Mango, Tom Kerševan) and Spanish artist Domènec. The workshop was hosted by Academy of Arts of the University of Nova Gorica, together with the KTD Osek.
The event series that took place in the Osek village, Slovenia was gradually prepared through regular meetings with the representatives of the local culture and tourist association, between mid-September and late November 2016. After the public and the open invitation to the workshop through posters and flyers distributed within the 3 villages of Vitovlje, Šempas and Osek an introduction or kickoff event took place, including some 30 locals. There the PAIC project was introduced briefly and the artists introduced their works and methods, suggesting some possible artistic approaches to the topic of “Visible/Invisible”.
The presentation of the project PAIC and the internationally renowned resident artists, Domènec (Spain – Barcelona) and BridA (Slovenia – Šempas) opened the workshop process on Tuesday, 29 November 2016 at 19h in the gallery “Učilna” (Osek 73), where for the last 10 years the Osek village community produced most of its indoor cultural programmes. The event marked the beginning of the community workshops to the topic of “Visible / Invisible”. The participants, who responded to the call via flyers and posters spread across the neighbouring villages and the nearby Nova Gorica town, were to be led by the artists, collaborating every afternoon between 30.11 and 12.08. in the location “Farovž”, the newly acquired premises dedicated to various cultural activities of the community.
The community workshop method, lead by BridA and Domènec, departed from gathering old photographs and stories of the important local people and events that people disposed of privately, such that were probably not to be chronicled or archived otherwise and were likely to be lost in time. These were then discussed and selected; the faces of key persons of the community historical events, families and landmarks were scanned in and digitally edited, then printed life-size. Facial masks were produced and mapped onto relevant locations throughout the community. Stories were recorded on audio and/or video to document these connections. A selfie-photographing activity was held throughout the community locations. A rich-media google-maps based mapping of the locations and stories took place on a dedicated web page, that was also displayed for interactive use at the final event, next to the facial masks and selected “selfie” photos and other documentation of the workshop process.
The participants worked closely with artists, according to the topics and methods agreed on the first evening; they learned and develop creative processes or tools with which to address the selected topic of “Visible / Invisible” — they were to depart from old photographs, brought in by the participants, mapping personas, real locations and their stories into a (hyper)media remix
The professional workshop on participatory art, conducted by the PAIC project team was held partly parallelly and intertwined with the aforementioned process between 5. and 8. 12. 2016, they were held in Osek and at the premises of the Academy of Arts of the University of Nova Gorica.