What are you doing here?

I am attending, watching, talking, listening and hanging around Dortmund for the time of the festival. I am tring to understand my role, why I am here and what I can do about it. I’m not a journalist, I am not here to make a record of what happened during the festival. But we all have habbits and the tools of journalism are one of mine. But I have no set context, no one to whom I am reporting to, no predetermined audience.

So how to explain my experiences and thoughts? On the internet, where everyone can read and see, but no one knows me? or the festival? or Istanbul? or Dortmund? Through photographs, (here I speak about printed, not digital, photographs) where those who know something of the situation can reminisce of their own experiences? Or they can buy them, maybe they will be worth something. Or perhaps I can write, or make a movie.

It is completely possible that nothing may come out of it. What if that happens, what if I keep everything to myself. Am I fulfilling my role? Sure. Of course. I am suppose to be observing afterall.

But alas, my unseen task-master rears its ugly head. As my mother calls it the ‘thing in the back of your head’, which requires useufulness, productiveness, contribution to a larger good, creeps into my thoughts. My own expectations, as well as those of my hosts. The questions, the emails, the time.

But what if my existance is pointless, useless and othewise irrulevent. What if no one cares.

Observer in Residence is like:
observer meanings and roles
observer pattern in programming
midieval court jester

by Julie Upmeyer, Observer in Residence, Off Limits Festival & Symposium, 2007

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