As the new manager of 24 Carrot Gardens my addition to this great initiative is to strengthen the artistic side of our activity. But what kind of art do I talk about here? Well, there is no simple answer for this… Starting from the point that what do I, Tamas Oszvald is doing under the label of ‘art’?

Originally I came from analogue photography that led me on a journey to contemporary media art. Later when fed up with pixels and interactive installations, I digressed to traditional folk art wood carving using my hands, chisels, saw, knife, plane but my life tossed me back to contemporary art. Through public projects, while slowly falling in love with performing street theatre and walking on stilts. These categories are not usually aligned with each other, or recommended to mix them…

But hey, wait a bit – I thought to myself. I feel good about all of them, and there is (fundamentally) no difference between them, or in other words there should be a common thread between them. For me they all became tools in my hands that I could  grab for the perfect fit for whatever I want to achieve. So, you see, be brave to do your art, whatever it is…

Recently I have been labelled as “community artist” as I use and imply all of the above skills and techniques to carry out projects with people. It is teaching and learning at the same time.

In my working method I take ‘community’ as ‘the artwork itself’.  This concept requires a holistic approach: in which various projects become included in a body of work that includes processes and materials outcome too. The projects themselves can differ in media, style, and intended audience. The focus of my artistic practice is informed by a detailed observation of all the local stakeholders. This approach includes a simultaneous insider-outsider attitude; and an investigation of local situations from both local internal and global perspectives. Project ideas born from this interactive, context-responsive inquiry can then be carried out with a wide-ranging collaboration between communities, institutions, and localities.

You might share the feeling that  I sense on my skin: there is a challenging aspect of the global-local interrelation and it is how to manage our global awareness intelligently and how to translate this awareness into a dynamic plan for collective actions locally. We are at the stage of ‘awareness without power’ where our task is to keep this increasing awareness from becoming negative. Awareness without the power to act fosters disengagement. Just think about your school…

Therefore I believe that every project, perspective or propositional change starts with ourselves; so whilst it is important to imagine, strategise and build the global future in theoretical ways, we have to act on local levels. And that is the platform where I would like to meet you…, so come on…