In SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE*, Will Foster and Guyan Porter investigate the phenomena of small print*. Spaces are temporarily transformed into publicly accessible centres for researching, reconsidering and re-presenting the enormity of small print and ambiguous text that floods contemporary society.
At Akbank, Istanbul a system of workstations were installed, activated by visitors and invited guests, each workstation being allocated a series of questions connected to its function. ‘Free Lunch International’ explores the phrase ‘There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch’ (TINSTAAFL) by creating a network of international interpretation. The artists set out a catalogue of international dialogue, asking people throughout the world to translate the phrase into other languages, and contribute proverbs that are used to express a similar awareness towards deception or hidden costs. In German, e.g. “Umsonst ist nicht einmal der Tod, er kostet das Leben” means; Not even death is for free; it costs life”, while in Indonesian; “Pipis aja bayar” means; ‘even peeing is not for free’. Further contributions where made to the catalogue and at the same time different approaches to archiving and representing the material where explored.
‘The Forum’ formed the central meeting point for investigating the phenomena of Small Print through a process of interdisciplinary dialogue. The focus of the discussions would change in relation to the discipline or topics contributed by the invited guests. Banu Cennetoglu was in conversation with Basak Senova on the subject of small print and control mechanisms within the context of her practice. Cennetoglu also presented a selection of publications from BAS – an Artists publication archive she initiated in Istanbul. A variety of methods were used to discuss issues of freedom and bureaucracy, including philosophical inquiry, open dialogue and singing.
The ‘Audio Booth’ offered a more solitary space where interviews with guests where conducted and personal accounts relating to freedom and apathy were recorded by Dictaphone.
Each day new Small print examples where submitted to the ‘Small In Print Out’ workstation, to be dealt with through a process of collaborative editing. In the act of making small print bigger the material was deconstructed and re-published. At the same time visitors where invited to generate small print relating to an aspect of their own life experiences.
Every hour, on the hour, a pronouncement was made by the ‘Town Crier’. In Medieval Europe a Town Crier was a chief means of news communication, at a time when large proportions of the population couldn’t read or write. The Town Crier would carry a handbell to attract people’s attention, shouting words such as; “Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!”, before making their announcements. In ‘Town Crier’ Foster and Porter shed a light on legalese, give examples of advice and read out clarifications of terms and conditions, ‘Bringing the unfamiliar word to the ears of the layman’.
SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE* aims to confront, challenge, deneutralise, magnify and make visible those tiny little sentences that could be detrimental to your expectations as a consumer, and your rights as a citizen.
*‘Small print – noun. 1 printed matter in small type. 2 inconspicuous but binding details or conditions printed in an agreement, advertisement or contract.’
Oxford English Dictionary, 2009
Banu Cennetoglu, Burak Arikan, Eray Makal, Nazim Richard Hikmet Dikba, Orton Akinci, Dara Kilicoglu, Gülçin Aksoy,