|THE HOUSE OF DRAFTS AS WEBSITE:>
The Dom Promaha, House of Drafts, is a virtual apartment building inhabited by the imaginary characters created
by eight Bosnian and American media artists in the summer of 2001. Our characters have refused the opportunities
of exile and instead have chosen to stay in Sarajevo's Dom Promaha. We now invite you to enter this apartment
building through our website as a way of meeting the characters who live here.
This building relies on an architecture comprised of images, sounds and text. The project as a whole is shaped by autobiographical experiences as they are filtered through poetic reflections, original music, and video. From a performance artist who moonlights as a de-miner, to a cinematographer who uses his camera to turn a decaying Sarajevo into a bustling Bangkok, to a traveler caught by the inferno of a burning library -- the project represents our ruminations on a city and its inhabitants during and after a period of war. As Americans we have learned a great deal from these artists who have survived the devastation of their country and emerged with a respect for the significance of a personal, be it ephemeral, mode of creative expression.
You have the opportunity to experience the site by downloading the separate three minute pieces as Quicktime movies (with sound) or walking through each room at your own pace with still frames and text.
THE SARAJEVO WORKSHOP: Dom Promaha, The House of Drafts exists as a website and videotape and was created through a series of internet and in-person exchanges between two American artists and six Bosnian artists associated with the Sarajevo Center for Contemporary Art (SCCA). Organized by Dunja Blazevic, director of the SCCA, and supported by an Artslink Fellowship we spent a year coordinating a collaboration which culminated in a two-week workshop in Sarajevo in June of 2001. Mid-way through the early stages of the project, we received additional funding from the Trust for Mutual Understanding through the fiscal sponsorship of WOMEN MAKE MOVIES. While in Sarajevo, each morning we met in a workshop setting in which we all wrote and shot videotape as a way of creating a set of imaginary characters transformed by the turbulent history of Sarajevo. We gave ourselves writing exercises that evoked a remarkable array of responses. For example, we each wrote a confession for an emotional crime our character had committed. We then describe the crime while the character looks out the window at the city's landscape. With our cameras, we explored the theme of water, memories of a time in Sarajevo when it no longer flowed but, instead, was carried. After shooting videotape for several weeks, we began the editing process by putting all the images and sounds into an open repository from which any one of us could take material.
WITH MUCH APPRECIATION:
We were assisted by artist Teri Rueb who donated her time and talents as web site consultant and developer.
Dunja Blazevic, director of Sarajevo Center for Contemporary Art, organized the workshop in Sarajevo, facilitated artist participation and hosted the American artists with fabulous Bosnian generosity and style.
ArtsLink Director, Fritzie Brown>, supported the project from its inception through her advice, contacts and enthusiasm for the Balkans.
Michael Montgomery>, correspondent for American Radio Works, National Public Radio, helped facilitate Jeanne and Lynne's stay in Bosnia through his expertise and contacts. Cecily Montgomery worked as the "Best Girl."
The staff at Pro.BA (the Sarajevo Media Arts Center at the SCCA) graciously shared their facilities and knowledge during the workshop.
Thank you to the University of Maryland Baltimore County / Department of Visual Arts for hosting the web site and to In Choi, a digital artist at UMBC, for maintaining the site and its archive.
If you are interested in seeing the video compilation for the House of Drafts, please contact either Jeanne Finley or Lynne Sachs. Enjoy!
Jeanne Finley, San Francisco, California
Lynne Sachs>, Brooklyn, New York