According to a publication from the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía "Joystick uses these projects to inform on the perverse dynamic that exists in most developed societies' capitalist systems which makes many citizens consider useless still serviceable clothes, furniture and even electro-domestic goods". After reading this definition I was curious to know if this had been their original purpose. "It wasn't meant to be a project, just one of our experiments… When we arrived in Barcelona we were fascinated by the fact that we could furnish a house with furniture we found in the street, because you don't see that in Columbia. People don't throw things away until they can hardly be used anymore… And when you do throw something away someone will recycle and restore it. We came up with the idea of reporting later on, and its wasn't exactly a report, it was more a kind of conclusion we reached after a lot of talk comparing our experience in Columbia with our experience here …it is a re-use project about having respect for the things we have, for consumption - they are an intrinsic part of our lives; about sharing things we don't need; about communities…"
This re-use idea isn't exclusive to "Trash". It's a common theme.
"Archivos Mayo" is another good example. During a visit to Medellín in 2003 they digitalised 28 hours of 16mm film produced by Mario Posada (Mayo). On their return to Barcelona they got together a group of friends and met up with them over the next few months to watch and take notes on the sequences that interested them most. The idea, once they had watched the material, was to make a video based on the images. The end result was 18 audiovisual pieces published in a book and a DVD (and if you take a blank DVD to one of their exhibitions you can get a copy).
And it wasn't only that series that benefited from "Archivos Mayo". It was also a catalyst for other projects such as "Screeners". According to their website "Screeners are pirate copies of the cinematographic films sent to critics and censors before the official launch. The term is also used for the video camera recordings of films in the cinema".
Exploiting this double reading people were invited to bring their own home videos to be projected and then recorded by other digital cameras.
In this case their proposal wasn't just a visual one. They wanted to try and reflect on how the way we copy and distribute information is changing in the light of the increased number of users who have access to certain domestic technology.
Although these questions broaden the "Archivos Mayo", experience these ideas aren't exclusive to "Screeners". To a certain extent "Black Marketing", a workshop they put together with Ignacio García from Platoniq in April this year, had already explored the subject.
In the workshop they tried to explore different diffusion possibilities, focussing on the analysis of production. They explained in the course introduction "the noise generated by the unlimited publication of content highlights the importance of re-assessing the role of the information editor, the selection of information and the "sharpening" of the distribution channels".
While imparting concepts about simple technical procedures, they tried to provide basic tools for developing ideas. "The experience was a very good one. The workshop group was small and we were able to talk about the specific themes that interested them and practice technical skills related to these doubts." Although there aren't any concrete plans to repeat this experience this inventory of information could evolve into something else. "At some point I think that I will make a web page for people to consult and if possible (and there's time), a series of tutorials they can download and print", explains Ric.
At this point (and looking back over their back-catalogue) it is clear to me that the mediator role is another of their fundamental functions.
If sharing and transmitting constitute Joystick's foundations, their series of radio programmes "Untitled Folder" is one of their most elemental pieces. Their idea was to offer a space which houses very different proposals: conferences from people like Richard Stallman, concerts (Domotic, Cinema Dub Monks, Lucrecia…) or special presentations (An overview of 100 years of Sound Art or a look at Bootlegs). The programmes are transmitted as streaming on Burn FM and stored next to a contextualised page. A real radio with a screen (their definition).
When I started this article I said that at times definitions limit an idea in an unjust way. Now however I feel that in this case nothing could have been more true. It is a total mystery what subject, form or direction their future actions will take. And possibly one of their greatest virtues.