How to Live  2008

(6-minute preview of) 39-minute video based on a series of performances and spoken-to-camera monologues in public spaces in Berlin; produced during a residency at Galerie Art Claims Impulse, Berlin.

Walking backwards in a circle around Mariannenplatz I’m kind of wondering why... why it’s proving so difficult to find... to find anything really. I mean I keep walking – I’ve been walking for miles. But um, I think walking in itself is not really teaching me anything. So I’m going to have to keep doing things. Um, otherwise... I mean I might get very fit... and I can already feel the soles of my shoes wearing thin. But... I mean surely there must be more... I don’t know, walking... you get from A to B – and that’s something.

Changing my shirt according to the colour of passing trains

Flying a model aeroplane around Tempelhof airport

...okay so I’m here in, er, Tempelhof airport. Um, unfortunately I don’t have an aeroplane to catch, so I don’t really know what I’m doing here. It’s a pretty impressive kind of building, but I kind of wish I did have an aeroplane to catch... otherwise... there’s really not much you can do here – other than look. There seem to be a lot of people... kind of just waiting. But anyway, at the moment, I’m just kind of looking round, thinking... maybe I might bring a little plane – a little model plane – and fly it. Um, because I think, you know, if you’re going to fly a plane anywhere, then... this is kind of the sort of place to fly it, really... on one level, um, I think it was, it was quite a successful... you know, a successful... trip, really. And I did – I did begin to see, er, a lot more than I’d seen before. But after climbing... all those steps – and I think somebody mentioned that there were two hundred and something steps. After all that – to put all that effort into climbing to such a high height, and then, have nothing... nothing to, you know... nothing to do when you get there, I think is a bit of a waste of energy. I mean... I mean, other people were just – other people were just... taking photographs obsessively. I mean, I guess... I guess they were feeling the same thing, I guess they were thinking “well, we’ve made all this effort to climb up all those steps, and all there is to do is just look around...”

Releasing tinned anchovies back into the water

Sweeping leaves from the right-hand side to the left-hand side

...but I don’t know, I mean, whenever I turn a corner I see something else, and I go that way. Um, often I get lost, but it kind of doesn’t matter. But something’s compelling me to spend hours and hours just going to places. Or not even going to places but... starting out going to places and on the way... going to other places, and going on detours.

But if... if you don’t have the luxury of having somewhere specific to go, then... then you do have to just keep looking at things – looking at the grass around you, looking at the trees, looking at the people. And... and what these things are telling me I’ve no idea. And um... I don’t know what I’m wanting them to tell me. They’re not giving me any answers but I – I don’t even know what my question is...

Taking a sausage for a walk

An accompanying series of around 50 drawings also forms part of the project.

A catalogue Dave Ball: How to Live was published to coincide with the residency and solo exhibition at Galerie Art Claims Impulse.

The work has been shown at solo exhibition Dave Ball: How to Live, Galerie Art Claims Impulse, Berlin in 2008; Cluster Arts Magazine: Act Two, launch event at Space, London in 2008; Extraordinary Days, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown, Wales in 2009; Stadt am Rande/Cities on the Edge, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China in 2010.