The AU Process

Year 1979
Text by Pino Poggi
A man holding a huge sheet of paper with collaged photos
Pino Poggi with AU-sheet, 1975

The AU Process is always an up-to-date action. It focuses specifically on the current perception of the social situation and responds to the apathetic and isolated nature of the audience. This socio-aesthetic form, which is initially perhaps a little trivial, conveys the participating audience (audience X-Y) a whole new dimension of perception and criticism while affirming the need to collaborate with the people near us. The subject matter I use is real, without deception (photos, newspaper clippings, articles, etc.). The result should be a “question mark”, an alternative. This initiative, which is very mobile, becomes stuck if we do not act together (cooperation). The phases or impulses that should initially set the evolution of this social-aesthetic process in motion are:

After the process is finished, the Utilist will move away from the position of author and director and wait for the reaction of the “question mark”, the alternative.

Is Pino Poggi’s useful art more useful than other art? Do we talk about art here at all? Is an interesting new form of creatively engaged journalism being developed here? By now those questions can not be answered. But the approaches to initiate, record and – enriched by one’s own artistic contributions – continue communicative processes are certainly worth the attention.

Wolfgang Längsfeld (in: Wie nützlich ist nützliche Kunst?)

The Process phases

Phase 1: The initiation

A photo collage on a white sheet.
AU-sheet (before AU-action), 1978

The current, chosen problem is developed/ processed in the inner space of the Utilist to be subsequently offered to the cooperating audience X outside.

Phase 2: The social development

A table with graphic material standing in the street. 2 persons writing on some sheets. Other persons standing around and watching them.
AU-action in Munich, 1977
Photo collage on a white sheet. The blank space around the collage is totally full with handwritten phrases and a few drawings.
AU-sheet (after AU-action), 1978

The action outside – the previously developed, present chosen problem of the Utilist outside in real contact with audience X. The resulting reaction is photographed and video recorded.

After participation, the individual members of the audience are asked to write down their addresses; they are then sent an invitation to the exhibition of the 3rd phase which takes place in three months.

Phase 3: The confrontation – analysis

Layout and notes
Sketch, 1974
A large white sheet with several photo collages and lots of handwritten text around them.
AU-sheet (Metamorphosis), 1978

Again, the Utilist goes into his studio to face the two phases, i. e. the sheet not edited by the audience and the one edited by the audience. The phases are displayed and analysed in a new, large graphic format. This way the confrontation with its own commentary reactivates an even better and more concrete interest in the current, chosen topic.

Phase 4: The exhibition – EX-AC-DI (exposure-action-discussion)

Sketch, 1974
A white cloth covers partly a wall and also stretches over the floor. On the wall hanngs a large sheet with several collages and lots of handwritten text. Two persons standing on the white cloth.
Exhibition (Environment AU), 1978

The metamorphosis, i. e. the symbolic change of the existing, aesthetic forms of phases 1 and 2 are depicted limited by a large, white linen cloth (Environment AU). This large, white linen cloth not only limits the space of the Raum AU; when we step into it, we witness the participation (footprints) in the alternative. This creates new possibilities and new interests i. e. the invited audience X meets with the common audience Y which creates a new encounter and confrontation between the different members of audience X and Y. A discussion follows.

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