With '17 Aandbloem Street' Michael Blum has initiated a dialogue with Cape Town and its inhabitants from the 'genus loci' of Meeran's home in Vredehoek where he and Marcelle were living during September month. Commencing from his front room in the house where he is staying, he embarks on a quest to unearth memory and narratives from the past. The front room opens to a stoep which opens on to the green patch which in turn opens to the city. This critical alignment of space is typical of the Victorian terrace houses that characterise the neighbourhood. The clear alliance of space, of private leading to public establishes a supportive trajectory for an outsider seeking to uncover a hidden past.

The culmination of his work in the Green Patch Party, counterposes Thembe Goniwe's township exchanges and realised the meeting of diverse differences. In this sense valency of the work parallels Angels Ferriera's Zip Zap Circus drawing in performers, township people, neighbours, invited guests, artists, passers by, and hangers on; representing people form various classes, racial groupings, professional backgrounds, and ages, etc.

This work has prompted more than the unexpected 'social engagement' in the form of a commentary by Sunday Times columnist Lin Sampson. As a neighbour, Blum had engaged her early in the project, and the vitriol of her 'En Passant' column belies the frailty of a columnist who is in search of her weekly fix. It seems littered with the prejudices of someone who is clearly out of touch with what is occurring about her neighbourhood. Her apparent inability to connect with the difference of the other is what labels her as 'the old colonial racially biased person'. Ms Sampson's conclusion that 'until he [Mr Blum] turned up we were all living together quite happily' speaks of the myopia of the continued privilege that she seems so desperate to deny. From the fluidity of my privileged position as observer/writer, Michael Blum's project, of all the <VRT> projects, brought together the most difference in terms of social engagement across a number of scales and boundaries, who sustained an almost 10 hour period of social experiences between somewhat strangers.

Iain Louw in Very Real Time publication, Cape Town, 2004 (excerpt)