Design for a Carnival, 2003, is an evolving project. It exists as a series of videos, re-mixed music, billboard projects, drawings, large scale public art works and small ephemeral events which collectively propose an entirely new form of festival – a model for a community to engage with each other in a way which is full of play and disorder, free from commerce, words, reason, and fixed hierarchies or identities. But this is a community which is fragmented – its identity apparently rooted in the local yet networked internationally as the carnival migrates across a number of spaces and times.
In the video Design for a Carnival (split into three ‘houses’: House 1: ants organise sequins,
House 2: lace making for vinyl, House 3: tree smash/fix), lace-making catalyses a new method of DJ-ing ; teenagers destroy and carefully reconstruct a woodland sapling; ants prepare a constellation of sparkling sequins on their ant hill. Together, the outline of an event is being suggested, a tentative sketch, ambiguous, dark, excessive and joyful, far from the safety of the contemporary, commodified , urban street festival. But is everything Chodzko shows us in Design for a Carnival preparation for the carnivals future existence? Or is what we see the carnival itself; a carnival of preparation, of allusions and ideas, taking place here in the act of viewing itself?