During the first weekend of August Kaunas Artists’ House yard hosted a very special residency: the travelling culture club “RättBuss“, arriving to Kaunas from Sweden in a 15m long bus for the last stop of their migrating festival.
During parties and discussions about alternative artistic practices this activist collective explores the problematics of tourism and capitalism. During their residency in Kaunas, the members of “RättBuss“ and guest artists shared their artistic practices and experience: sound artist Zan Hoffman (USA) was leading a performative bus tour “Kaunastones”, a creative “šaltibarščiai” workshop took place alongside open discussions and the initiative to collectively create the alternative Kaunas tourism zine, as well as a performance by “Lady Blue Beard”, a soul pop band from Germany.
RättBuss has since 2010 been a mobile room for culture, alternative travel, collectivism, party, activism and karaoke – and that place you didn’t think existed. Through the years we’ve hosted i.a. bus performances, protests, and cinemas. We’ve travelled near and far and on board we’ve had a library and a bar.
We are now on this journey we call “traveling festival” and the big finish will be in cooperation with Kaunas Artist House. On this trip we examine the complexity of tourism – destinations are today a product, a polished surface that’s being sold to the tourist. We’re getting further away from seeing ourselves in relation to the people, culture and nature that exists in the places we visit. We’re only there to consume the image that being presented to us in the brochure. SHOP! EAT! LIVE! SEE! A varnish, that we know not to be true, is created – municipalities as brands – to attract the “right” citizens and tourists.
We have tried to do something else, but it’s hard. How do we sell tickets to a trip without using created images, however maybe alternative images? We’ve tried to make a program throughout the trip were we can meet other places, people and destinations than in the glossy papers, but have we succeeded? Environmental impact, exotification and simplified images, but at the same time widening views, greater understanding between people and for many life’s greatest experience. How do we deal with it?
Zan Hoffman aka Zanstones – „Kaunastones“
The sidewalk is moving. The city walk has been thrown into chaos this season as sidewalks are being torn up and replaced. A subtle history is being destroyed and simultaneously created. Zan Hoffman (Kentucky, USA) embarks on a bus tour to explore and explain from an outsiders perspective impressions and implications of the changing experience. His Zanstones project captures through sonic exploration and good humor cities potential to create original narratives.
Lady Blue Beard
The first time you hear Lady Blue Beard, you get the impression the band was born in the wrong place at the wrong time. The way the lead singer reminisces of past giants such as David Bowie or Lou Reed with his extravagant style and unique voice. As though the band heralds from the good old days, when Pluto was everyone’s favorite planet. But Lady Blue Beard isn’t your typical vintage band where you’re sure, with every song, that you know the original. Much too distinct are the complex arrangements, too open the genre borders to jazz, neofolk and modern pop. And with no astonishment you read that the band’s direct idols include Dirty Projectors, Feist and Michael Jackson.