Iain Cameron's Diary
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2006-11-30 - 6:22 p.m.

I have decided there is something that slightly unnerves me about this city – maybe its to do with the language. They have their own – Valentian – which is not the same as Spanish, not that I speak that, and they have made it the primary language – all school children have to study it – a kind of reaction to Franco banning it.

The place has the sense of being a capital which indeed it has been at various times. And it goes back a long way – they claim to have the Holy Grail in their cathedral and there is definitely remains of a 6C basilica in a cellar near by. They have a strong sense of community which shows itself in good urban facilities but at the same there is slightly challenging face turned towards the rest of the world, evidenced in the very high quality graffiti. They have their own model of economic development based partly on a lot of construction and they have a good level of skill to decorate and maintain buildings well.

The modern art museum has some good quality mostly US art from the minimalist and conceptual era. There’s an Yves Klein blue female body print, a small shiny Judd piece being quietly secretive, some late 60s Bruce Nauman films of walking, hanging, bouncing etc, the Robert Smithson spiral jetty film shows impressively almost filling a wall of the gallery, a Sierra conceptual piece about television creating people, a case it makes very logically. Amidst this standard avant garde they display their own artists who look pretty good and are on a very similar set of themes and techniques

Maybe the alien sense also comes from the futurology which had the kind of strangeness that often descends when the Commission are running something of this sort. I checked with various other participants whether they felt the same thing and the general concensus was that there was a a kind of Beckettian aura – one was waiting for the key which would open the mystery of the proceedings and somehow this was never delivered.

I managed to lig along last night with in a crew which included the commissionariat and I discovered that one of them was a Serbian who had witnessed the arrival of cruise missiles in Belgrade in 1999 sitting in a bar. I suppose such an experience might ignite a passion for technology management.

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