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The Agenda
Exchange Project 2
Exchange Project 3



At the table

Fred, Anne & Sandra

Group portrait


View from window

Bird hide


Father Deeson & Paul

Richard Layzell – The Exchange Project 2
First Private Meeting
27th Jan 2005
RSPB Reserve Great Barr

TK What’s this about?

RL Don’t you want to know how it went?

TK Not in general

RL What do you want to know?

TK How it compared to the meeting in June, the venue, your role, what you had for lunch, what you wore, who came, details…

RL In that order?

TK Don’t mind. Anyway, why such a long gap?

RL It was more a case of when to start, a run of monthly meetings. January seemed right.

TK It’s sounding quite corporate. Forward planning. Get the meetings in the diary. Confirm attendance. Email reminder. Agenda?

RL That’s what people were asking.

TK Understandably, if you call it a meeting.

RL That’s the nub, Tania.

TK So soon?

RL Yes. With a public meeting it’s open and you take it or leave it. And we also published the agendas in advance. With a private meeting and no agenda people were uncertain, were asked to make a commitment, wondered what was expected of them, even though it was held in a bird reserve.

TK Why would they know what’s in your mind unless you tell them?

RL We tried. Kate (Hadley) did most of the inviting. It’s quite hard to explain.

TK I thought that was part of the work.

RL What?

TK The inviting

RL You’re right. With time pressures this slipped a bit and Kate took it on.

TK What else did people wonder about?

RL What kind of meeting, would they have to speak, were we canvassing their opinions? So now I’m not sure if ‘meeting’ is the right word.

TK Did it seem like a meeting?

RL More of a lunch, a walk, a gathering, all and none of these.

TK So there’s your answer.

RL What?

TK It wasn’t a meeting. It was an invitation. A ‘meeting’, not a meeting. And all those associations and expectations – “I’m going to a meeting” – no need for them.

RL How to describe it then?

TK That’s why the invitation is key. Once they arrive you can explain it. Did you do that this time?

RL Not really.

TK Lose your grip?

RL A bit

TK Surprises?

RL The organisation hosting us.

TK Anoraks?

RL Not at all. Felt like a genuine exchange. They were as pleased to be hosting it as we were to be there. We invited two of them to join the meeting, Lee and Grainne. Not anoraks, good contacts. And what this is all about.

TK Contacts or surprises?

RL Surprise contacts, open-ended context.

TK Who came? Give me names. Letters. Words. Titles. Names are meat to me.

RL Debbie Lees, Gucharn Mall, Anne Wilkes, Fred Barnfield, Paul Reece, Liz O’Neill, Kate Hadley, Father Deeson, Pauline Marshall, Siobhan O’Neill, Lee Copplestone, Grainne Green.

TK Gucharn Mall hits the spot.

RL He’s a percussionist.

TK There you go. Did you get what you wanted?

RL I was very excited by it.

TK What did you wear?

RL Warm clothing, no style.

TK Mistake?

RL Oversight

TK Role?

RL Needs more attention. Was a very different role from the public meeting. More of a host and facilitator.

TK Art?

RL Not sure what you mean

TK As an artwork?

RL What do you think?

TK I wasn’t there

RL Hasn’t held you back in the past

TK Seems to me that it comes through the detail, the documentation and the framework. This piece is deliberately translucent - I’m in the mood for words - ephemeral, mercurial, barely present, even anti-art, not-art. It’s an exchange.
Maybe you’ve lost sight of this. I haven’t. That list of names was almost enough for me. Are you full of guilt or something? How about the group portrait photos? Were they sent through the post rather than by email this time?

RL Yes. I’m not sure people knew what to do with them though.

TK That’s not your problem. It’s the exchange that matters. And lingers.

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