Experiences from the first hand: BDW at Design Miami & Art Basel

MIAMI moments: portraits from Gesi Schilling’s pop-up photobooth

To commemorate the first decade of Design Miami, the fair’s organizers invited friends and collaborators to take part in a project that pays tribute to the international design players that populate the Collins Avenue halls each year. ‘Designing Miami: Celebrating Ten Years’ features a photo booth installed in Olson Kundig Architects’ Collectors Lounge, where Miami-based photographer Gesi Schilling has documented its visitors throughout the duration of the fair.

You can find all of the Gesi Scilling’s pop-up photo booth portraits here.

Absurd and Elegant: Sleeping and Counting Grains of Rice with Marina Abramovic at Design Miami
At this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach, Foundation Beyeler, in collaboration with MAI (Marina Abramovic Institute), presented an interactive public installation designed by performance artist Marina Abramovic. Visitors of the Art Basel Miami Beach 2014 art fair were invited to to lie down, rest, and sleep with no time restriction. This work is entitled Sleeping Exercise, and offers the public an opportunity to slow down within the hustle and bustle of the art fair.

In a welcome move for those who are taking full advantage of the epic party scene surrounding the art fairs, participants, guided by trained facilitators, will be “encouraged to lie down, rest, and sleep with no time restriction,” according to a release from MAI, which adds, “This exercise will offer the public an opportunity to slow down within the lively, fast-paced environment of Art Basel.”

Speaking at the Tuesday opening of Design Miami, where she is presenting the exercise, Abramovic said, “I think it is important to know that technology is great, but it’s also a dangerous thing, because it takes up all our free time, and we need to learn how we can get this free time back for ourselves. And the only way to do this is to really immerse in some long-duration activities.”

Abramovic also presented her “Counting the Rice” exercise, a long-duration pastime which requires participants to separate grains of rice from lentils.

How does this concept (or Marina, there to draw the crowd) fit into a design fair? Simple, it does because you’re performing the task at an elegant table and chair combination designed by starchitect Daniel Libeskind. “You might think it’s crazy to sit at a fair and count rice, but this is exactly what you have to do to reclaim time,” added Abramovic. “If you can’t count the rice for three hours, you can’t do anything good in life.”

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During the 10 year history of Normann Copenhagen, we have learned that passion for design and architecture is strongly connected to people and not places. Coming from a part of the world where DESIGN is almost part of your DNA and every household has a selection of Design Classics, does not guarantee that passion is found.   When coming to Belgrade for the BDW 2009 we found a dedication and passion at the highest level. We can only be jealous that such events, created with passion and real interest to push the viewers and visitors to the next level are not more commonly found in Denmark. That again is a tribute to the great efforts found behind BDW and we hope to be part of your events in the years to come.

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