BLOCK 14/II MILIEUS
CURATED BY PIERRE RUBIO
1 May-31 July 2014
postgraduate program, research center
2014 BLOCK II
1 May-31 July 2014
Researchers Participants in the Postgraduate Program
Camila Aschner Restrepo
Hans Van Wambeke
Silvia Ramos Pereira
Research End Presentations
Maité Liébana Vena
Research Centre Researchers
PAF Performance Arts Forum
Contributors for workshops
Damla Ekin Tokel
Elke van Campenhout
Hans Van Wambeke
Kristien van den Brande
Pr Jan Masschelein
Silvia Pereira / Omniadversus
Elke van Campenhout
Kristien Van den Brande
curated by Pierre Rubio (Associate Program Curator) and Nicolas Galeazzi (Program Coordinator)
Milieus is a collective artistic research environment for the participants, mentors and other workers of the a.pass program. In a shared workspace we develop our practices in a collaborative context, on the basis of self-organisation and self-rule. Through individual actions, Milieus generates a dynamic territory for exchange, cooperation and (tacit) negotiation. A mutual creation of the individual and the common.
We invite different guests to enter into this environment with us, to participate, open up the proposals and issues addressed in the collective work and/or to problematize the situation, fueling the ecology of ideas and practices in Milieus.
The whole curriculum content was curated by the researchers-participants themselves through the proposition of their ‘Collective Practices’ and the collective curating of the ‘Guest House series’.
27 / 05 / 2014
‘A COLLECTIVE PRACTICE OF COLLECTIVE PRACTICE’
collective practice by Pierre Rubio
This practice aims at sharing/developing our knowledges and skills in workshop design.
How is it possible to translate an individual practice into a collective practice?
How can we support each others’ effort to imagine and invent collective practices out of our individual problematics?
From identifying central research questions in each one’s researches to transformations of these questions into shareable practices up to appropriating collectively personal singularities and nourishing a possible ‘general intellect’.
30 / 05 / 2014
‘GETTING A TASTE FOR FOOD’
collective practice by Rares Crauit
Food is highly charged with meaning and affect; it is performative and theatrical and, as a live art, it is fleeting and sensorial. Today, in a world where one in eight people are suffering from chronic undernourishment, cooking methods, consumption protocols and gastronomic speeches are lengthily elaborated on. So what is there left for artists? Looking carefully at food particularities we may witness the ordinary and extraordinary about food as an event, catching the interest of chefs as well as artists and social campaigners.
02 / 06 / 2014
‘love and other matters’
ritual for charging the space by Elke Van Campenhout / Tara
Monday at 10am (sharp, since a ritual can not begin twice…) we meet for a social choreography, a scored ritual, a love event, a political redistribution of desire. We work together to transform the space of Milieus into a tableau vivant of ritual practices, using objects, the body and the voice. The ritual re-charge will go through different stages, but all require your full state of attention, comfortable clothing, and a powerful energetic level. Please don’t eat before coming, and bring: -one object that will mark your ritual space, and that is connected to the positive energy, the love you want to dedicate to Milieus -one ritual uniform that marks your role in the ritual
04 / 06 / 2014
‘THE COOK, THE THIEF, THE WIFE AND THE LOVER’
collective practice by Philippine Hoegen
The aim of the workshop is to play a homemade card game and to ameliorate its rules collectively.
Some cards have 2 images, some 2 words, some an image and a word. Some have an image and a blank space, some a word and a blank space, one card has 2 blank spaces.
Players are invited to create connections (of similarity, opposition or otherwise) as the cards are laid.
Each participant at the table has a role: The Cook, The Thief, The Wife or The Lover.
11 / 06 / 2014
‘NEW CONTINENT OF THOUGHT, DO YOU READ ME?’
collective practice by Vanja Smiljanic
Invitation to gather the concepts/fetish objects/questions/ideas/ghosts that obsess and possess the participants. Translation and materialisation of these thoughts to build up a space for their habitat.
The proposal is to see and experience this space as a momentary virtual temple.
Discovering the path to ones own virtual temple, building up the temple, guiding a tour through it, then leaving it.
The journey to/through/out of the temple is conceived as a virtual pilgrimage.
Following the structure of the pilgrimage, the virtual temple represents a liminal phase of one own’s research, a space of transgression, a threshold between previous way of structuring and understanding everybody own’s identity, time, space or community and the new way of doing so.
17 / 06 / 2014
‘BAD T.V. SEMINAR’
collective practice by Anna Sörenson and Stef Meul
‘Head of Bad TV Department’ Anna Sörenson and ‘Bureau of Censorship President of Operation’ Stef Meul invite participants in a Bad TV classification evening. They step by step take the participants through the ground pillars of Bad TV, and invite them to a public voting to help the Bad TV Department classify the very core of Bad TV. The Bad TV Department uses a system of indexing, classification and creation of categories. To inform and improve the system it is needed to gather the public opinion annually. The public voting is an important input to understand what Bad TV is in 2014 and to keep the research team informed in the many genres of Bad TV, the research in depth and the categories. The public voting is giving the statistic input the Department needs to continue the work and prepare for the coming year.
The feeling of watching something you like, but voting for it’s “bad-ness” is a conflicting feeling and a confusing thought. The nature of the Bad TV-video clips is quite entertaining but the group can feel confused by the voting system.
26 / 06 / 2014
‘SENSORY / SENSORIAL TRANSLATION’
collective practice by Veronica Cruz
A collective practice working with the sensorial way with which we engage with the world and create our understanding of it. Subjectively translating stimulus from sensation to information and vice-versa.
The body is always the receptacle of the interrelationships’ alchemy from which we build the capacity for understanding and apprehending individuals, as well as emotions and sensations. The body’s ability to invoke the past to produce new actions and behaviours most often improvised (without previewed plans) comes from a ‘practical intelligence’.
How to propose a different sensorial approach to performative experiences? Which mediums of transmission are favoured in your research project? Which sensations are the triggers of your research? What feeling/perception would provoke your research in its receptors/audience/spectators? How could you translate the emotions of cognitive statements of your research core into a physical stimulus?
27 / 06 / 2014
‘TAKE A GOOD LOOK BACK’
collective practice by Peter Stamer
Visualize the past as present. Close your eyes, take a good look at what happened during the Milieus program so far. Re-imagine the events that left a mark in you, that were decisive for you, major ones, minor ones. Reveal your observations by revisiting the spots that appear in front of your inner eye. You do what you say. You tell what you see.
27 / 06 / 2014
‘GUEST HOUSE SERIES : JAN MASSCHELEIN’
one day seminar around the work of Pr. Jan Masschelein curated by Philippine Hoegen and Gosie Vervloessem
We propose an experimental seminar on horizontal learning environments/structures.
Can one create a school for oneself? What is the role of the school as an institute?
What does self-education mean? How can we think of different ways of creating school?
How to counter the production oriented machine (knowledge production, instrumentalisation of terms like research in education, in art? What could be a de-capitalised labour? How could this affect knowledge production in an artistic research environment? How to keep the ‘school’ as a place of ‘free time’.
In relation to current education and knowledge production, Jan Masschelein talks about consumerism (students as consumers of education, the entrepreneurial student), he is critical of the demand for everything to be made productive (productive time, time as a commodity, and also knowledge production) making the ‘school’ a place of formation, he calls this the taming of the school. He describes different learning environments such as the seminar, the workshop and the lecture hall: “In this sense, the lecture hall can be described as a heterotopia; a ‘place without place’ or ‘location’ with its own order, its own technologies, rituals, ways of speaking and discipline. According to Michel Foucault, it is a space where we are exposed, that is to say ‘drawn out of ourselves, in which the erosion of our lives, our time and our history occurs’. It is a place where we are exposed to a thing-in-common and are engaged in public thinking.”
30 / 06 / 2014
reading session by Camila Restrepo
Camila Restrepo will guide the participant into an exhaustive reading of an iconic essay by Jacques Derrida: “Archive Fever”. Some key points and notions will be discussed in order to embrace the (complex) sense of the text.
02 / 07 / 2014
‘GUEST HOUSE SERIES : FEMKE SNELTING’
one day seminar by Femke Snelting around the project ‘Fathers of the Internet’ curated by Pierre Rubio
Throughout World War I and II, Belgium internationalist, universalist and documentalist Paul Otlet imagined The Mundaneum: a city that would bring together all knowledge of the world in one flexible relational classification system. His work was largely forgotten until recently, when Otlet resurfaced as ’a founding father of the Internet’. Simultaneously, corporate titan Google adopted the remains of his archive preserved at The Mundaneum in Mons. The museum is not only located in the home town of Belgium current prime minister Elio Di Rupo, but also conveniently close to Google’s largest European datacenter in St. Ghislain. Since then, The Mundaneum proudly advertises itself as ‘Google on paper’ and ‘The great ancestor of Google’.
‘Fathers of the Internet’ is an ongoing exploration of a wandering archive and the entanglements of artificial intelligence, patronage and political intrigue.
08 / 07 / 2014
‘GUEST HOUSE SERIES : ALMA SODERBERG & HENDRIK WILLEKENS’
one day practice around Alma Soderberg and Hendrik Willekens’s work curated by Danny Neyman
Alma Soderberg and Hendrik Willekens are offering one day of happy experimentation with music making. We will play with the idea of starting a band and explore what this collaborative improvisatory way of working with and around sound could mean. Playing instruments together, exploring our voices and bodies as instruments of sound, singing and otherwise. We will learn how to make beats, and how to use microphones and friendly machinery to make voice and sound into a material to be moulded, sculpted, messed around with.
09 – 11 / 07 / 2014
‘GUEST HOUSE SERIES : JULIEN MAIRE’
‘FIELD OF WORK, DEPTH OF FIELD’
workshop by Julien Maire curated by Hans Van Wambeke and Camila Aschner Restrepo
There are many definitions and uses for the term “fuzzy” but they all involve some reference to a state of instability. The fuzzy logic, for example, is a programming method used in artificial intelligence: the program sets doubts that are not exclusive and that are constantly negotiable. While the Boolean logic is limited to the use of disjunctions, conjunctions and negations, the fuzzy logic reaches a state of sharpness gradually, but the focus is made with hesitation and by approximation.
By analyzing the various definitions of what could be “the fuzzy,” the workshop will question the positioning of the actor, the performer and the spectator inside the “depth of field.” The purpose is to experiment with fuzzyness and sharpness under various angles: working in a space with a fixed lens, with a single point of focus; moving through a space with a variable focus (autofocus); reducing the depth of field (macro, micro photography); and overall to devise alternative principles for “focus control,” the intermediate stages that precede a sound, a gesture, a concept or an image.
14 / 07 / 2014
collective practice by Danny Neyman
A collective practice about our bodies and our relation to our bodies through language.
I want to gather together around the “poor material” of our own bodies, selves, memories, speaking mouths, and guide a series of exercises which will generate a verbalization of body-selves, exploring our bodies in fragments, looking at how our bodies are charged with meaning, stories, experience, memory, signification, seeing what can and can’t be said about bodies, where words cling onto a body and how and when do they slip off.
15-16 / 07 / 2014
collective practice by Samah HIjawi and Sara Santos
The workshop will weave together several ideas around contesting historical narratives, and the power of images, their fetishization, and their potential of/for resistance through methodologies of collage and montage.
In two separate groups, using texts, images, photographs and video each group will work for a couple of hours in creating two separate narratives of this underground collective and their manifesto, a timeline mapping the trajectory of their activities, and we try to imagine the flag they might have made to represent themselves and present themselves to the world with. Using materials provided, as well as materials we bring with us from our own practice we create an historical document of this precious moment in history.
Then, the groups switch stations. Using collage and montage sensibilities, the groups reconsider each others historiography to intercept each others narratives.
16 / 07 / 2014
‘THE GROOM OF THE STOOL’
collective practice by Gosie Vervloessem
A diary of digested and not digested practices.
How does your practice digested by a foreign body looks like?
The Groom of the Stool (formally styled: “Groom of the King’s Close Stool“) was the most intimate of an English sovereigns’ courtiers. The Groom of the Stool, in the very earliest times was responsible for assisting the King in the performance of the bodily functions of excretion and ablution, whilst maintaining an aura of royal decorum over the proceedings.This physical intimacy naturally led the Groom to become a man in whom much confidence was placed by his royal master and with whom many royal secrets were shared.
Recipe for a workshop :
A. Warm up – playing around with maizena
B. The recipe
Cook your work/your practice/your life and write down the recipe and present your meal
Sharing practices by eating and digesting, devouring and digesting each others’ dishes.
Choose and eat the meal of somebody else – the cook assists the digestion and interviews the eater (the actual grooming) – record the interview on paper/take notes.
The eater reports on the excrement, using whatever means that seem suitable. How does your practice digested/processed by a foreign body looks like, smells like, …?
18 / 07 / 2014
‘GUEST HOUSE SERIES : LUIGI COPPOLA & CHRISTOPH MAIERHANS’
one day practice and discussion around ‘Alternative Democracy’ by Luigi Coppola and Christophe Maierhans curated by Nicolas Galeazzi
Whenever people come together, decisions will be taken – explicit or implicit, legal or legitimate, in conflict, consensus or as a compromise, spontaneously or according to a strict protocol. The dominant ‘democratic’ protocols of taking such communal decisions, are put in question from many sides: from Rancière’s concept of equality, to Putin’s rhetorics, threatening western libertarianism.
However, in the age of flat hierarchies and the emphasised individualism, artistic group decision taking mechanisms are – willingly or not – strongly influenced by the biases, falls promises and suspiciousness against the democratic way of live. Many projects and methods try to avoid, alter or oppose democratic structures.
a.pass, for example, and specifically Milieus, are in many sense rooted in practising agonistic structures of negotiation and try to find alternative ways.
21-22 / 07 / 2014
‘TRANSNATIONAL ART COMMONS’
collaborative workshop-project by Nicolas Galeazzi
I would like to invite you all to a collaborative practice around the Transnational Arts Commons, which we are developing in relation with the Dampfzentrale in Bern.
The aim of the project is, to temporarily run the Dampfzentrale during the Bern Biennale as a Commons, and to use this opportunity as a case study in order to develop a sustainable artistic economies based on the idea of the commons.
In order to create a legal and recognised status for this commons, we aim to found a european co-operative, which will run its business as a commons. The exact model for this co-op is still very controversial and has to developed through many stages and with the input and interest of many people. You are kindly invited to take part in this procedure.
Beside this gathering, we are organising a “State of the Arts” meeting. The focus of this meeting is to bring different interests and ideas in relation to each other. We invite some people engaging in alternative currencies, some active in the basic income debate, and others interested in a european network of alliances between the arts and other fields. All these approaches have their problematic points and have things in common.
23 / 07 / 2014
‘MONOPOLY OF I’s / MONOPOLY OF ID’s’
collective practice by Silvia Pereira / Omniadversus
It is a Monopoly game, with us as participants.
We will be the piétons (pedestrians), playing at being and buying artistic identities. Identities that we will create ourselves for ourselves to the purpose of the game. The way the game will be organized will lead the group to movement very similar to the one in dynamics of creating identities as by-products of the subjecthood in relation to the conditionings of the industries of the arts.
During the game the subject as an art piece will pass through several passes in a spiral of ascension which represents the glorification of the subject as an attributed value constructed in a narrative, a chronology and history.
While playing we will experience through the practice the process of subjectivation of identity while enquiring about it accordingly to the positions/roles being played in the game, subject/object/art collector.
24-25 / 07 / 2014
‘GUEST HOUSE SERIES : MICHAEL KLIEN’
two days of practice and discussion around the project ‘Parliament’ by Michael Klien curated by Damla Ekin Tokel and Stef Meul
Michael Klien proposes a ‘closed’ Parliament for participants. 4 hours long to experience the setup. After that we can discuss how to take this into the city. All day is spent tuning perception to the underlying dynamics of the individual and collective mind, sensing, and interacting with nature’s self-organising dynamics. These choreographies are rehearsals of utopia, nevertheless real social relations. Rather than just commenting on it or deconstructing it, but using that aspect that those are rehearsals for our emerging social relations.