Last week I attended the 2nd birthday party for Oxford’s Playground, a forum for artists and musicians to develop work and socialise.  As well as party snacks we were presented with a ‘Menu’ of conversation points “in case we get bored of what the other person is talking about”. I shared some of these snacks with Playground regulars…

Starter for 10 with Cath Watson (Playground organiser)

Who would win in a fight between Will Gompetz and Andrew Graham Dixon? (homemade starter)
It’d be a long long fight, with no clear ending. and little interest from anybody else.

Main : Where are you going with this?
I’ve no idea.

Dessert: Where will Formaldehyde be in 10 years time? (mixed dessert)
Having a great career as an Artist (with a capital A)

Rob Ridley Shackleton (noise/performance artist)

Starter: Who would win between in a fight between Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst?
I don’t know exactly what would happen but I believe I know who would come on top; Tracy has a lot of upper body strength due to her training in martial arts; Hirst is into Kicking things, So I’m thinking lets be honest, Damien is more of a business man, so he’ll probably win, because capitalists always come out on top; Emin’s probably from the gutter.

Main Course: An idea that won’t leave you alone  >  Cardboard (making sounds with)

Dessert: Where will art be in 10 years time?
In ten years time we’ll have procrastinated until sound art becomes more important in our lives. Noise, art and sound will become more important in years to come; we’ll go to a cafe and hear noise art, now we’re conditioned to need beats and melodies, but in the future people will go to HMV to buy their favourite noise album.

Russell Anderson (theatre director / early Playground organiser)

Starter: Which Ism?
I get bored of isms cos everyone goes for the same ones, postmodernism, structuralism – and forget about the more intense ones like masochism. I’ve always had an unintended masochistic streak. (can art be masochistic? – Marina Abramović! the items on a table thing went dark really quickly, before long she’d had all her clothes cut off and being lashed with roses; someone loaded a gun and held it to her head)

Main: What idea won’t leave you alone?
In art and life, masochism; because it’s so personal i’ve never found a way in, it’s too close, it’s either too pretentious, self indulgent or boring.  As much as I keep thinking i can’t really get into it; I keep going, wanting to make some kind of work out of it. I’ve got a vague idea at the moment, starting from other people’s perspective on it. I’m being intentionally vague as I will be doing an exercise at Playground next month (Tuesday July 22nd), where I will try and crowd source some material, so I don’t want to give anyone a head start – you’ll just have to come along!

Dessert: Paint or Formaldehyde?
I don’t know what to say, I’m just drawn to it! I think should just go and smell some formaldehyde. I don’t know the smell, whereas I already know the smell of paint.

Playground is held on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Old Fire Station Gallery

This post was written by dot23x