2020 has so far been a turbulent year: of course, the global background we are all aware of, but also for a.pass and all involved, as a community, as a group of colleagues and as a place of politics and organisation. We need time to meet despite all difficulties, and we need time to think together. We think of this block primarily as a meeting of ideas and practices of the researchers and the block contributors, in order to make space for an emergent support structure shared between all involved. Our desire is to ground the support structure of a.pass in a close relationship with the necessities and practices of the researchers. Curating here refers again more to care, than to an overarching trajectory. The core of what we do, practice artistic research, is what needs input and support. Starting from the question of what we need and how to organise it we want to create transitory and sustainable modes of organising and sharing research. The block practice, starting with the Settlement gathering, is focused on organisational and structural awareness and feedback: which spatial and temporal structures do we propose, how is it working with us and our research, and is it something we should keep for the future?
Research Center 19/III - Reviewing emergence cleaning is just another approach to messing up
- Cared by Nicolas Y Galeazzi
- 01 September 2019
- 30 November 2019
A looming score - we share your politics of damage Block 2019/III curators Lilia Mestre and Sina Seiffee
- 02 September 2019
- 01 December 2019
- case of: Sina Seifee
case of: Lilia Mestre
Troubled Gardens / Block 2019/II ecologies of artistic research
- Nicolas Y Galeazzi
- 29 April 2019
- 28 July 2019
- case of: Nicolas Y Galeazzi
STUDY DAYS block 2018/III A curatorial proposal by Adva ZAkai
- 10 September 2018
- 30 November 2018
Hosting Research Center Block 2020/III
- 01 September 2020
- 12 December 2020
- case of: Nicolas Y Galeazzi
Zone Public co-curated by Femke Snelting / Peggy Pierrot / Pierre Rubio
- Block 20/I
- a.pass Brussels
- 16 January 2020
- 27 March 2020
- case of: Pierre Rubio
MILIEU(S) 30 January 2019
- BLOCK 14/II
- 01 May 2014
- 31 July 2014
- CURATED BY PIERRE RUBIO
- case of: Pierre Rubio
Milieus, associations, sieves and other matters... 24 April 2018
- BLOCK 18/II
- 30 April 2018
- 02 September 2018
- CURATED BY PIERRE RUBIO
- case of: Pierre Rubio
The problem of the score Block curated by Lilia Mestre / May > July 2017
- case of: Lilia Mestre
This block is concerned with the processes and questions of a mobile, displaced, untethered research practice. We will use the methodologies of moving out, taking a trip, going for a walk to reconsider the building blocks of our research and discover new ones.As a collective practice for this block each a.pass participant will propose a trip or an excursion to a place that resonates with the topics of their research. The excursions will be maximum one day or night long and be attended by the a.pass participants (and will be in most cases be open to the general public on a sign-up basis). Some of them will be collaborative experiments, some will address a specific question from a current research of the a.pass participant. All proposals will work with a specific practice of being on the move together, of doing research on site and of documenting and publishing.In collaboration with the Research Center we will explore the process of zine-ing (or making a zine) as a collective and nomadic publishing machine throughout the block and specifically towards it end.On the theoretical and critical side of things we will take this opportunity to re-examine mobility of research practices in the context of de-colonial and feminist discourse on space and its social production. How do notions of power and privilege figure into this academic exploration of the presupposed „outside“ of the institution? With our colonial histories, what does it mean today to go on an excursion, to go looking „elsewhere“ for knowledge? Which gestures of power and othering are we replicating by using these methods of (ad)venture in our research? This block will be guided by an attempt to apply de-colonial thinking to the very idea of research itself, to unlearn its innocence and to insist that coloniality and its critique apply as soon as we open our doors and step outside, and as soon as we think towards „other“ places and discourses.To work on these themes the excursion practice will be supported by several external inputs from the areas of de-colonial theory, urbanism and feminist critique. More detailed information about those events you will find on our webpage soon.The preparation of, the excursions and the documentation will be done in three collective periods throughout the block.
TROUBLE ON RADIO TRITON- ((((((( changing (the) world (s) )))))) 10 December 2016
- BLOCK 17/I
- 09 January 2017
- 30 April 2017
- CURATED BY PIERRE RUBIO
- case of: Pierre Rubio
UNTOUCHABLE / UNACCEPTABLE / INTANGIBLE- about the imaginative aesthetics of change 31 March 2015
- BLOCK 15/II
- 01 May 2015
- 29 August 2015
- CURATED BY PIERRE RUBIO
- case of: Pierre Rubio
BRICOLAGE a tool for opening the block
- Nicolas Galeazzi
- 04 May 2015
- 08 May 2015
- case of: Nicolas Y Galeazzi
- one precious object, relevant to your research in a personal, ev. emotional sense,
- one broken object, to be fixed, even if in this case fixing might be hopeless,
- and finally one object with an open structure - something not yet finished, in the middle of its becoming.
17 March 2015
posted by: Nicolas Y Galeazzi
To open this block we start with bricolage. The bricoleur never starts - he is continuously working on 'whatever is at hand'.
Diving into this concept, described in Claude Levi-Strauss' 'The Savage Mind', we develop a practice to present, discuss and discover the momentary objectives of our researches. With the help of found and constructed objects, objects of personal importance and desire, daily objects and precious ones, or objects of thought and discourse, we will try to define the actual quality of each one's research model and methodology.
The bricolage technique may be very close to many of our practices. The artist researcher is commonly acknowledge, as the bricoleur-scientist. He crafts the object of knowledge. Levi-Strauss describes the the bricoleur in opposition to the engineer: the bricoleur’s tools and materials are heterogeneous but - working only with what is there - his/her universe of instruments is finite. The understanding of the world is assembled and constructed on the go. The material "is the contingent result of all the occasions there have been to renew or enrich the stock or to maintain it with the remains of previous constructions or destructions."
The engineer instead, tries - in the most rational manner - to overcome the constraints of his current reality and works under the basic assumption of infinite possibilities. The engineer as much as the scientist creates events (changing the world) by means of structures and the 'bricoleur' creating structures by means of events.
Living and acting as an artist researcher in-between these two methodologies is a choice of political dimension, which we want to discuss at the beginning of the block.
In the course of this week we will present the current state of our research case from various perspectives. ‘Bricolaging’ the 'objects' of your research, turning them upside down, looking at them through the other's eyes and assembling the elements in play, we want to understand the complex horizon of your research target.
For this we will use a variety of objects (and their relations, materials and relations to those materials, tools and relation to them.) Fixing and recycling will be as much part of the practice of understanding as destroying, dismantling and dissecting.
As a preparation to this opening workshop we would like you to search for three objects with different characteristics:
All of these objects should have a more or less tight connection to the research discourse or field you’re working on.
APPLY TO THE A.PASS PROGRAMMESSIGN UP TO EVENTORDER
posted by: Nicolas Y Galeazzi
What is the possible relationship between art and social change? When forced into the corner of economic demands on the one hand and the need for aesthetic subversion on the other, a lot of artist workers feel the need to defend their ‘right to be’ through critical strategies and political transparency. In defence of the power of aesthetics this block tries to pry open the difficult paradox between criticality and imagination, between the power of the subject and the passive resistance of the object, between political critique and artistic re-imagineering strategies.
In a famous essay, Isabelle Stengers borrows from Dostoevski, through Deleuze, a conceptual character : the Idiot. Stubbornly believing that “there is always something more important”, the Idiot slows everybody down and consequently opens ‘interstices in the soil of good reasons’. During this block, we will use this Idiot figure as a conceptual totem, ‘in the presence of which’ we might challenge our aesthetic certainties and ethical values.
Over the past decade a renewed interest occurred in the arts in practices that have been labelled as ‘neo-animism’, ‘neo-shamanism’, ‘object oriented performance art’, ‘speculative’, etc.... These movements seem inseparable from the general crisis of modernist avant-garde forms of art that, one way or another, based their authority on the exclusive reference to progress, universality, authoritarian formalism, self-referentiality, critical conceptualism and so on and so on.... In that sense they announce a large and deep unfolding crisis, because one does not get rid so easily of the Modernist agenda of aesthetic and political concerns that has served as a compass for the Euro-American art scene since its unfolding at the beginning of the 20th century. Nevertheless, a necessary crisis, because the aesthetic mind frames of the current arts scene are blind to the actual novelty of the current era, marked by a reevaluation, through practice, of the models of production of aesthetics and subjectivity. New models that pose a threat to the accepted contemporary artist identity and its well-defined role within society. "New Age fabulation!, Idiotic!, Superficial!, Overly therapeutical!, Dangerously spiritual!, Fuzzy dreams!, Pseudo-Metaphysical!, Not serious enough!…", a whole bunch of despising critiques erupt regularly. Mocking what produces discomfort and what demands a redefinition of the ways one reads art and ultimately of who one is.
Here in a.pass, when we practice and discuss the outcomes of aesthetic speculations, of magical practices and of spiritual performativity, it is because these practices/modes of thought are too often defined as purely utopian, ineffable, abstract or just disconnected imaginations unable to get a grip on reality. In response, we want to consider them as forms of agency, concerns, as localized potentialities. The sense we can make out of such unacceptable, untouchable, intangible proposals are linked to their consequences, to the modifications in the understanding of the present they perform.
Animating objects to animate our agencies.
Fictionalising the real as a critique to produce alternatives to ideology.
Speculating on the impossible to construct a possible.
Considering imagination not as escapism but as an operative vehicle for change.
The unacceptable reveals the limitations of the acceptable.
The untouchable foreshadows the adventurous discovery of difference.
The intangible offers a speculative sense towards the radically other.
Pierre Rubio, March 2015
posted by: Pierre Rubio
TROUBLE ON RADIO TRITON
((((((( changing (the) world(s) ))))))
‘ The struggle to survive is not really separable from the cultural life of fantasy, and the foreclosure of fantasy is one strategy for providing for the social death of persons. Fantasy is not the opposite of reality; it is what reality forecloses, and, as a result, it defines the limits of reality, constituting it as its constitutive outside. The critical promise of fantasy, when and where it exists, is to challenge the contingent limits of what will and will not be called reality. Fantasy is what allows us to imagine ourselves and others otherwise; it establishes the possible excess of the real; it points elsewhere, and when it is embodied, it brings the elsewhere home.'
Undoing Gender, 2004
For the coming months, a.pass will adopt a ‘Sci-Fi terraforming mode of attention’ to challenge the current assembly of artist-researchers with the task of creating some conditions to critically questioning our abilities to ‘render our world habitable again’.
In fact, far from proposing an innocuous escapism in the false paradise of disembodied utopias, the next a.pass block is concerned with questions addressing the possible (in)capacity of art in general to produce a change and aims to understand the (im)possible contribution of art to collective empowerment by means of artistic researching.
The hybrid dispositive of the block is designed to research, reveal, activate and share the political inventive potentialities of our artistic researches through, paradoxically, an immersion into and practice of different types of (speculative) fiction.
Which alternative worlds do our researches/practices contain and can immanently produce? How do we relate to the future via artistic-research? As artists, do we through our researches contribute to changes in contemporary culture? And if yes, then which cultures do our researches produce?
Trouble on Radio Triton is a metaphoric multipolar dispositive. A discursive and practice-based ‘lure for feeling’ and thinking. An operative alibi strategically using ‘if’s’, ‘what if’s’, ‘as if’s’ to exercise critique and imagine alternatives.
Through a permanent dialogue between practice-based research, reflection on a variety of discourses and different modes of speculation we will explore multiple but simultaneous realities induced by a proliferation of free-form 'fictionalisations' of every participants’ research in parallel with the individual development of these very researches.
What can we discover in our research by listening to it from another space – the one of fiction? Who will talk? What will talk? But also: how to listen? Where to listen from? What to listen for? And whom to listen with? How to get to more than one point of listening? What/Who will become deaf? What/Who will be silenced? What/Who will be heard?
We will present our researches three times during the block, using different forms: at first a networked portrait then a master class and finally a performative artistic-research presentation.
On Thursday mornings we will welcome several engaged practitioners in a series of reading sessions, talks and discussions curated by Pierre Rubio in collaboration with some of the artists-researchers involved in the program. They will share with us their efforts at creating conditions for imagining otherwise.
With e.g. : Sol Archer, Peggy Pierrot, Laurence Rassel, Fabrizio Terranova...
We will follow three different practice-based workshops: Alice Chauchat's Wordling from this World , Helena Dietrich's The Tea Party and a taylor-made proposal by Myriam Van Imschoot.
We will attend a series of conferences by Edward George, Paul Gilroy, Lizzie Borden and Donna Haraway.
We will collectively curate the Night Sessions: a series of evenings proposing lines of flight and unexpected connections with the program.
We will finally collaborate together at creating a true/false/real/fictional radio station: Radio Triton.
Radio Triton is the collective experimental dispositive of the block – a pedagogical and metaphorical tool. The proposal invites the participants to imagine and produce a series of audio pieces developed out of their researches and their contributions to the block. They can be produced individually or in collaboration within the ‘machine’ Radio Triton, which nature and identity we will collectively invent.
The Radio Triton ‘'program’ will follow two main trajectories. The first consisting of the recording of different forms of interviews between the artists researchers and the block-guests and second being the creation of fictional audio and sonic pieces through the application of various translation processes to the participants’ researches.
These translations/speculations will be supported by a series of sound research ateliers. Starting with ”Foley your Research” with Christian Hansen -a queer interpretation of Foley art- around the question "how does/could your research sound like?" and followed by a series of Thursday afternoon sessions curated by Pierre Rubio in collaboration with the artists-researchers. The aim of the sessions will be in finding the appropriate 'displacing questions': the futures we need to produce the audio fictions we need.
Radio Triton will simultaneously engage in the tasks of performing, documenting, archiving and broadcasting alternative -both disturbing and reassuring- ways of becoming-with-each-other otherwise.
The block and the radio dispositive are named in reference to Donna Haraway’s “invitation to stay with the trouble” and the anarchist and hedonistic science-fiction masterpiece novel by Samuel R. Delany ‘Trouble on Triton - an ambiguous heterotopia’ from 1976. The novel was partly written in a dialogue with Ursula K. Le Guin’s anarchist and feminist science fiction novel ‘The Dispossessed’, whose subtitle is ‘an ambiguous utopia’. As the subtitles imply, the two novels offer conflicting perspectives on utopia and imagine the concrete possibilities and consequences of anarchist and queer societies.
Both books inviting us to see through the trouble.
Pierre Rubio, December 2016
“The first cultural device was probably a recipient .... Many theorisers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier”. So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women's Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody with in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilise it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely foetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don't know. I don't even care. I'm not telling that story. We've heard it, we've all heard all about all the sticks spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.”
Ursula K. LeGuin in ’The Carrier bag Theory of Fiction’,
In Dancing at the Edge of the World, 1986
Part one: Reading, Inspiration and Preparation
Sept 4th-30thOPENING WEEK : Sept 4-8thWe will take this week to welcome the new researchers to apass and to meet the mentors. During the opening week we will present our researches to each other and get to know each others work in its current state. We will frame the presentations through a collective mis-reading of the zine of the previous excursions block and the themes and problems established there.WORKSHOP Making Public Domain : 11th - 15th September - Middelheim Museum - Antwerp(free of charge for apass researchers)Summer School #2 ‘MAKING PUBLIC DOMAIN’ will examine how public domain can be made and what role art can play in this. The starting point is that public space does not actually exist, but must constantly be created and activated. Which strategies then - artistic, civil, activist, social, political, legal, etc - are able to generate public space?Artists, experts, policy-makers and academics (art academics, jurists, urbanists, media specialists and so on) will tackle a different theme every day. By means of workshops, lectures, artistic interventions and case studies, summer school participants will be actively involved in a 5-day exchange between artists and experts unravelling the concepts and practice of ‘making public domain’.The 5-day Summer School opens up an interdisciplinary network of professionals, knowledge and expertise, creating a shared scenario allowing for a collective and individual learning process. During the day an inspiring selection of relevant cases connected to the theme of the day will be introduced, allowing anyone to participate and contribute to the discussion from their own perspective. In the evening the Summer School offers insights on the topic to a wider public of stakeholders.PREPARATION : Sept 18-30thWe will spend those two weeks reading, discussing and preparing our respective excursions with each other. We will read on decolonial perspectives on research, ethnography and geography. In addition to that several artists will join us for one-day inputs on research ontology, brussels lore, and spatial practice. The artist researchers Pierre Rubio (apass Research Center block 3 2017), Peggy Pierrot, David Helbig, the architect Miriam Rohde and the writer Luanda Casella have been asked to inform our preparation process. during those two weeks.Part two: Excursions and FeedbackEXCURSIONS: 23rd Okt - Nov 4thThis will be the second big collective moment of the block. We will join each-others proposals. Each researcher will be responsible for organising one (max one day) excursion for the others. We are planning for mentors to join some of the excursions, and we will facilitate two collective moments with the apass artistic team to start the week off and to engage in a collective feedback moment towards the end.Part three: Documentation, Collective Zine-ing, PAFWRITING WORKSHOP Forged Theorywith Peter Stamer and Vladimir MillerThis workshop will engage in playful methods of writing theory by using methods of dialogue, stream of consciousness and combining them with a structural/analytical approach to reading theoretical texts: how are they made? Which rhetoric figures and structures of support of an argument are used? Can we use them as playful toolkit to make up our own theories in fragile support of our practice?COLLECTIVE ZINE-ING: 20-24th NovAs a documentation, reflection and review process we will engage in a collective process of making a zine or several zines together. We will tackle the Zine-ing in relation with and supported by a.pass Research Center to nurture a general concern around methodologies of documentation. How will the documentation process of Zine-ing the excursions will affect our practices and experiences? And how the Zine-ing can constitute a model for experimental documentation? At large a.pass Research Center will focus on problematising the Zine-ing process as well as the Zine-ing will problematise some of the key concerns of a.pass around the nature and operativity of forms of documentation.ENDWEEK: 26th Nov-2nd DecPerforming Arts Forum - St Erme - France.only for apass participants.MentorsCaroline GodartHeike LangsdorfPierre RubioPeggy Pierrot
More information about the block soon!
21 April 2017
posted by: Lilia Mestre
From May till July 2017 the a.pass post-master program questions how structures pre-determine singular outcomes, and to what extent they imply relationality. Every system is a network of connections and the way the system is set to operate defines forms of relation which reveal ideological standpoints. In other words modes of interaction are formatting forces that construct worlds. If we think that way, what kind of problems do our research structures entail? And if we can think a polyphonic world , constituted by multiple models, how do we consider our own structure as a relational one? What kind of technologies are we putting into place? What kind of invitation are we making? And to whom?
The notions of ‘apparatus’ and ‘tentacular thinking’ will be key to understanding and experiencing the problem of score in contextual ecologies. Apparatuses, as coined by Foucault and Agamben, are systems of governance that enable relationships between beings and structures through which the subject is constructed. During former block Donna Haraway introduced us to tentacular thinking as a place from which one can build relations to economical, biological, philosophical, productional, institutional, etc orders. Together with the a.pass researchers, workshop givers and guests we reflect on them, challenge our practices and relate to other authors and art makers.
Every Thursday we meet at a.pass 4th floor for movement practice with Anouk Llaurens, followed by a reading and reflexion group that tackles emergent issues and in the evening we play ‘The medium Score’. Through the score we concentrate on Medium, Method and Model in our researches as points of analysis and tools to craft relations. The MMM attempts to understand the implications of our works in our environmental context. The crazier the better!
The Medium Score is a next iteration of Block Curator Lilia Mestre’s research on scores as collaborative tools for production, pedagogy and discourse. A variation of Writing Score https://apass.be/writing-scores-the-book/ but this time each score participant will focus on his/her own medium. Scores are seen as dispositives of collaboration, of conversation and practice that tie together a plurality of concerns of a.pass researchers. More information about the previous scores at the ABCDAIRE > entry = Scores
In what concerns workshops, Vladimir Miller and his project Settlement is in for a 2 week investigation on how spatial setups embody and facilitate certain ideologies of togetherness. Jennifer Lacey gives a week workshop on choreography and dance. Her approach consists in the development of processes specific to each project and its resources of production. Through her methods we produce aesthetic rules, body vocabulary and behaviour related to us as a group in context.
In collaboration with former a.pass researchers Sofia Caeser we organise a seminar at La Bellone with focus on the status of document and display as structures that reveal power relations and equally structures that can be transformed and modify those same power relations. The full programme is under construction but we can already announce that artists Vincent Meessen, Olga de Soto, Kobe Matthys and Femke Snelting are invited to give public talks and masterclasses. Former a.pass associate researcher Juan Dominguez launches the book that results from his research on conspiracy.
During The Problem of the Score the concrete models under consideration are the methodologies of researchers, the devices proposed by workshop givers, the structure of a seminar and the score as learning through practice tool.
More information about the block soon!
- case of: Lilia Mestre
posted by: Pierre Rubio
Milieus, Associations, Sieves and other matters
some orientation guidelines
Today, to the question ‘what is technoscience?’ the answer is: it is the medium of knowledge. Just as technology is not the instrument of science but its epistemological framework, so it is not the instrument of our communication, but our medium of meaning. Everyone seems to admit today that we are inhabited by our habitat, built by our niche, processed by our technical environment, which is neither external nor peripheral, but inherent to our being and to all meaning. Now it seems obvious that it is one and the same milieu that surrounds and separates us, and that which crosses and connects us, but this environment has become technical. The co-birth of humans and technology means that the latter is both our medium (the midpoint through which individuals maintain each other) and our environment (our space-time). The technical environment perfectly illustrates the idea that our environment or what surrounds us is actually in our midst (au milieu de nous). That technology is both our exteriority and our interiority, our cage and what takes us away from it. How, in an artistic research environment, do these ontological, ethical and political contemporary concerns resonate?
Composing a processual environment, the block consisted in a sequential ensemble of collective dispositives that were proposed to be appropriated, interpreted, developed and problematised by the artists and researchers. A metastable milieu in ‘crisis’ which evolved by shifting to new dimensions out of a series of analyses and temporary resolutions of problematics linked with the artists and researchers’ projects considered as technologies.
The basic structure was an arrangement of 1-self organised interactive events intersecting with 2-a series of three theoretical study days and 3-a series of advanced forms of feedback.
Organisation / Trajectory
1. Twenty two self-organised interactive events of different dimensions : the C.R.I.’s
(from May 31st to July 19th)
The acronym C.R.I. stands for Collective Research Interface. The researchers were invited to compose and propose participatory events that one could identify as shareable practices out of/around/through their individual researches. Instead of qualifying -and reducing- simply the object by ‘collective practice’ or ‘workshop’, the name ‘Collective Research Interface’ produced momentary shared interstitial spaces between different scales (private, public, cultural, social, personal, artistic, aesthetic, political and so on…) and enabled and supported a certain mode of attention, the one of technical mentality. Experiencing with this mentality was possible as the mode of production of the C.R.I.’s followed a principle of compositionality. The performativity and meaning of the C.R.I’s, as complex technical ensembles, were determined by the meanings of their constituent parts and the modes of relating/assembling used to combine them. A structuring loop was formulated : invent, invite, do, participate, share, document, discuss, reflect, problematisatise… and back again. The researches were not only presented but organised into shareable dispositives, that then were described, analysed, filtered driving the attention to their resonances in term of constructions and modes of assemblages. Their technological qualities.
2. Three theoretical study days
a/ The diagram and the residual (June 12th)
The program visited the artist residency project ‘Villa Blanche’ within the Solvay Parc in Brussels with Martino Morendi (philosopher-hacker-activist) and Pietro Fortuna (philosopher-artist). The day was articulated around the tension between two conceptual outlines, two proposals that sketched complementary or opposite modes of understanding reality. The diagram, as the systematic representation of a set of relations between elements, where logics, organicism and industrial engineering converge in the effort to govern and organize these relations and the residual, as the irreducible part that remains beyond one's hunger to explain and describe, that recedes and escapes any attempt of organization and rationalization.
United if only by their distance from the subject-object mode of disclosure, Martino Morandi and Pietro Fortuna oriented us through a series of ‘objects’ like an elegy by Rilke, passages from von Uexküll and Agamben, a bourgeois villa, a tree, a giant Olmec head made of stone, the Solvay ammonia-soda process ... and a series of readings of objects related to every researcher’s art and research.
b/ on Participation (June 17th)
The program visited the project ‘Precarious Pavillon #1 - Don’t eat the microphone’ -an artistic project initiated by Veridiana Zurita and Petra Van Dyck, curated by Michael Vandevelde and co-produced by Vooruit- happening in the garden of the Psychiatric Hospital Dr. Guislain in Ghent.
The study day was dedicated to the critique of participatory art and ideas of participation. Don’t Eat the Microphone represented for us a grey zone where we could think but also be challenged in our certainties about the nature and function of participation. Currently focused on the development of the Collective Research Interfaces and exploring the value of several modes of participation, we wanted to problematise the issue(s) in a problematic environment.
What is participatory art? What does it mean to participate?
What are the relations between participatory art and utopia?
Which kind of public space and social fabric participatory practices do (and do not) produce? What are the relations between participatory art and communicative capitalism?
What is participation-as-injunction the diagram of? Is it still possible not to participate? Is it still possible even to imagine non-participation? How to foster (non) participatory arts and (un) communicative thus militantly collective aesthetic educations of possibilities? After a phase of various reservations expressed about the optimistic rhetoric accompanying collaboration and participation, could we now be entering a new phase of a practical re-invention of participation?
This tentative list of problems and questions guided our study day displaced in the frame of Don’t Eat the Microphone. We read some Hal Foster , Chat Rooms / some Claire Bishop, Artificial Hells / some Yves Citton, Ecology of Attention / some Derek R. Ford and Tyson E. Lewis, On the freedom to be opaque monsters, and discuss in various ways our doubts on participative art with the curators of ‘Don’t eat the microphone’ project and the patients of the psychiatric hospital.
c/ Poieien (July 14th)
Invited by the summer program to structure a day around concerns traversing researchers and artists when thinking about methodologies and their politics, Bojana Cvejic, then-curator of the research program at p.a.r.t.s., guided the group of researchers and artists through a critical reflection that she currently conducts on methodologies, opposing practice and action to poiesis. During the encounter with the researchers of a.pass, she proposed two points of entry: how poetry pierces through other mediums than text and poiein, as in how to make, compose, form... more than do and act... a kind of thought that arises from within, or close to, artistic practice that in turn becomes an instrument of looking past art. She accounts for it by “poetics”, using the term to emphasise the productive power of thought as opposed to the genre of interpretation that classifies specimens of kinds. Bojana Cvejic shared that poetics entails engagement with art in imaginary and speculative senses that ‘theory’, tout court – in the way that it has become the superstructural element of art production in capitalism – no longer enables.
The participants did map out their imaginary around their matters of concern, read some texts and discussed with Bojana.
3. Three 'Sieves' proposed by three human 'analogous algorithms'
The aim of these three advanced modes of feedback named ‘Sieves’ -performed by three ex-a.pass researchers identified as 'analogous algorithms'- were to create conditions that could define practices of creative feedback experimentations on artistic researches envisaged as technical dispositives to investigate how each rhetoric of presentation and its digestive techniques could be expressed in terms of data model (Sina Seifee in May), in terms of recipes and cook books (Gosie Vervloessem in June) and in terms of idiotic practice (Vanja Smilianic in July)
a/ Sina Seifee / Filters
The basic question of 'Filter' was : what happens when linking the symbolic space of data-model to the (relational, procedural, emotional) qualities of the researches of participants? The work started with working on/with the feedback material produced during the block’s opening week and processing this material in diagrams. The proposal centred on the notion (and practice) of topological analysis to investigate questions of connectivity and boundaries, in order to find out what remains invariant as a result of transformation. This did direct us to construct ‘transversal objects’ actualising what connects and joins, what delinks and disconnects in the culture of each participant researches.
b/ Gosie Vervloessem / Vision and Digestion
The protocol was to bring one’s research and start to think about the taste of it, the way it could move through one’s intestines and try to visualise the tools and methods one would use to transform one’s questions into a dish. How to boil down questions, how to crystallise the background dramaturgy of researches? As a way of documenting the symposium, Gosie proposed to write the recipes of the ‘dishes’ and to edit the cookbook out of the ‘digested’ researches.
c/ Vanja Smilianic / Idiotic Mandala attacked by a parasitic octopus
The Idiotic Mandala -indicating a weird circular configuration with a centre that radiates outward into compartmentalised areas deranged by the unvited presence of a creeping octopus- asked to switch off one's rational thinking and opened it up to wandering and wondering. The practitioners were invited to introspectively transform the Vicious Circle ( sad passions at work disguised as set of tools and technologies that became behaviour patterns in one's research) into the Virtuous Circle (creating a universe in which idiots are able to act)
Milieus, Associations, Sieves and other matters
Thematics, Research questions, approaches, potentials, methodologies, relevance
In response to a proposed frame given by a.pass coordinator and research center curator Lilia Mestre to structure the block in relation to the Senselab concepts and practices, postmaster program curator Pierre Rubio choose to design entry points to different set of practices and theoretical notions accessing a central theme for Senselab and him, the one of technical mentality. A few years ago SenseLab published a special issue of Inflexions ‘Simondon : Milieux, Techniques, Aesthetics’ and Brian Massumi’s lenghtly interview ‘Technical mentality revisited’ was published in Parrhesia. Rubio, since 2010, regularly revisits Simondon’s texts in relation to his practice as artist/dramaturge and observes the growing interest for the french philosopher's ideas in the academic and artistic fields. He curated an a.pass block in 2014 -'Milieu(s)'- that problematised some aspects of technical mentality within a collectively constructed ephemeral public school dispositive. The possibility of considering artistic researches trajects and projects as technical objects and experimenting with technical mentality seemed to be relevant for this block especially in the vicinity of Senselab's residence invited by a.pass Research Centre within the 'Parallel/Parasite' project.
-A poly semantic space to activate problematisations and progressive resolutions through concretisation
-The individual CRI’s as case studies of non-autonomous technological open objects
-Constructivism, technical mentality and artistic research
-Simondon and artistic research : a promising diffractive equation
... to be continued...
posted by: Pierre Rubio
a partial documentation of Milieu(s) can be found here
20 December 2019
posted by: Pierre Rubio
Zone Public contributes to an ongoing conversation on the dynamics of publishing generated by technologies of artistic research. From January 2020 onwards, within the a.pass platform for artistic research practices -where its agents continuously re-examine and re-imagine this special form of knowledge production, specifying over and over again its generative nature and deploying its potential- a three month series of readings, mediations and compilations is oriented by the postgraduate program and its participants to (re)consider the forms and conditions for disseminating artistic research.
In the context of a.pass, the field of artistic research is one to be embodied but also to be explored, discussed and ultimately transversally invented. Instead of a discipline, a.pass considers artistic research as an inclusive library of heterogeneous, impermanent, precarious yet rigorous constructions and affirms that only as a non-discipline, un-discipline or de-discipline can artistic research create the conditions for multiple sites of intersection between society, academia and art. Methodological conflicts, critical discursive inventiveness and continuous experimentation with tentative sub-categories, all are generatively interconnected through hybrid artistic and research practices. Thus, Zone Public wants to closely observe and document the sources, contexts, dynamics, compositions and especially the modes of publicness of the multiple and diverse art and research projects conducted in the post graduate program. The different participatory dispositifs initiated by Zone Public are situated in this specific context, where artistic research is modulated as a topological object to articulate the ways in which artistic practice, theory, history and other disciplines intersect and combine in unique ways in each artistic research projects and trajects.
Nevertheless, to consider these diverse artistic researches as singular assemblages, as effects but also as proposals for new combinations implies navigating a space where the separation between what is discrete and continuous is reduced. Thinking/doing, writing/publishing, researching/performing, speculating/archiving, containing/executing, exploring/presenting, disagreeing/collaborating, emancipating/determining… Zone Public wants to question these polarities and tries to articulate a relational material that supports, binds and maintains both the discrete and the continuous scales of a non-uniform zone of artistic research in tension with its publicness.
Especially, Zone Public invites to (re)consider the conditions for dissemination of the specific forms of knowledge that artistic research does produce/process/practice. It activates the interrelation between research-as-process versus the crystallisation that publishing requires, and wants to open up the exhibitionary regimes which seem to articulate current artistic research practices and the infrastructures of knowledge production that its agents are both using and possibly used by.
What happens to research when it is made public? How to deal with the apparent dichotomy between research and publicness? What are the ways to manage the (im)possible task of (re)presenting something as hybrid and liquid as a research process? How to produce legible forms out of unformed research matters? How to understand publishing beyond legitimisation and validation? What relations emerge from the determining norms of institutional or academic forms of publication? What to expect from the transfer of research to audiences and what would be, for both agents, useful to know? What could be the definitions and practices of spectatorship for artistic research? What could a public for artistic research be?
Tuned through an ensemble of co-curated proposals designed and coordinated by Femke Snelting, Peggy Pierrot and Pierre Rubio in discussion with the a.pass actors, Zone Public is set up as a collective situation to reflect upon the conditions for making research public, as a space, and time, for together reconsidering academic and/or artistic (internalised) standards of communication and to get to terms with their implications. Therefore, Zone Public is also an occasion to share, invent and consider experimental, performative and/or speculative forms of publishing and exhibiting.
Zone Public is co-curated by three cultural workers. Each of them arrive with distinct but related practices and approaches to the problems of publishing and they assume each of the participants will arrive with theirs. Pierre is interested in modes of knowing, forms of culture and processes of collective individuation specific to artistic research; Femke brings tools from new-materialist feminisms to the tensions between publicness and ongoingness; Peggy questions how publishing can be defined in other ways than by utilitarianism
Zone Public is organised around four dispositifs. Each of them allows another entry into 'the problems of publishing' and is proposed as an invitation to be appropriated and developed.
1. Multipolar Book Club (Researching / Reading / Discussing)
Every Thursday morning, a time to read and discuss together. The texts to work with are reflecting upon questions of concretisation and individuation, around intersectional relations between cybernetic control systems and structures of knowledge oppression, on the problems of the public, on entanglements and how to cut, and on usefulness and anti-utilitarianism.
When: Thursdays 10h00-14h00
2. A Becoming Library (Researching / Contributing / Compiling)
On Friday afternoon, time to work on concrete experiments of research-publishing. On the program: making on-line publications, editing photocopied fanzines, reprinting materials and programing small radio-capsules. What knowledge would be really useful to publish, and for whom? This collection of publishing experiments will form a growing 'library' of content and forms that matter. The group will contextualise and reflect upon this 'becoming library' through the practice of 'compilation'. Compiling is a term borrowed from collective software-development and it is used to describe a practice of iteratively and temporarily bringing together of resources and references to form a running program. Rather than formatting itself according to preformatted templates of art-publishing, artist books, or academic publishing, can one think the infrastructure of referencing and distribution in ways that work performatively with and not against the intricacies of artistic research?
When: Fridays 14h00-18h00
3. The Bermuda Radio Show (Researching / Questioning / Positioning)
The Bermuda Radio Show is a series of triangular audio recorded conversations. They are occasions to reflect on the issues with ‘making-public’ in relation to artistic research projects conducted at the moment in a.pass. Each project producing possibly its specific form of and matter for interviews.
When: flexible between Thursday afternoons and Friday mornings or at other possible times.
4. Close Encounters (Researching / Curating / Hosting)
On some Thursday evenings, a series of presentations and public conversations that was proposed in the context of the a.pass research center in 2018. (See: https://apass.be/close-encounters/ ). Close Encounters are light and irregular events to take time to meet, listen and evaluate an idea, a project, a research, or a specific point in a research trajectory. The events are free-formed and singularly appropriated by its protagonists, but the format is always a dialog with one or more guests; all are invited to expand on their research or the problem posed through the lens of their expertise, experience or concern. For Zone Public, the Close Encounters series will invite guests that have relevant practices with regards to (infrastructures of) publishing and/or making-public and/or art and research publicness.
When: most of the time on Thursdays 18h00-21h00
here more information about the block of which "Zone Public" is a part
Femke Snelting - Zone Public co-curator
Femke Snelting works as artist and designer, developing projects at the intersection of design, feminisms and free software. In various constellations she has been exploring how digital tools and practices might co-construct each other. She is member of Constant, a non-profit, artist-run association for art and media based in Brussels. With Jara Rocha she currently activates Possible Bodies, a collective research project that interrogates the concrete and at the same time fictional entities of "bodies" in the context of 3D tracking, modelling and scanning. She co-initiated the design/research team Open Source Publishing (OSP) and formed De Geuzen (a foundation for multi-visual research) with Renée Turner and Riek Sijbring. Apart from mentoring at a.pass, Femke teaches at the Piet Zwart Institute (experimental publishing, Rotterdam).
Peggy Pierrot - Zone Public co-curator
Peggy Pierrot lives and works in Brussels. She works mainly with different associations and educational or research structures. Her most favourite tools are human sciences and free softwares. Since there are "profound links between gesture and speech, between expressible thought and the creative activity of the hand ", she is currently working at the Ecole of Recherche Graphique (ERG) both as a technical and logistical assistant and as a teacher in Media and Communication Theory. She is also involved in the master's program Récits et expérimentation - Narration spéculative. (Storytelling and experimentation - Speculative Fabulation) She gives lectures and workshops on Afro-Atlantic cultures and literatures, science fiction, media and technology and has an active practice in radio.
Pierre Rubio - Zone Public co-curator
Pierre Rubio works as artist, independent researcher and dramaturge. At large and through different forms, his work questions modes of individuation to explore contemporary production of subjectivity in/through the arts. What is real for an artist? is his main research question. Pierre was a dancer and choreographer for a long time, holds a master degree in the arts combining theatre & communication at the campus of Aix-Marseille University (France) and dance & choreography at the campus of Centre National de Danse Contemporaine in Angers (France). Pierre is currently a core member, co-curator and mentor in a.pass - a platform for artistic research practices.
22 September 2020
posted by: Nicolas Y Galeazzi
There, we go on…
The Associate Researchers are sitting together again physically. Sometimes masked, hands well disinfected and -as usually, hosted by the institutional care of a.pass. This care might be physical as never before. After several months under the lockdown's separating conditions and a half-suspended block, live meetings seem to be a real relief! It feels like re-starting the real. Of course, this feeling is not justified. However locked away from the real-'live' and however difficult the Corona-spring was, the productivity of the online collaborations was astonishing! A new online working-site has been filled with masses of texts, notes, and plans. It might be difficult to document live working processes with the same intensity. Last block ended with a residency in Zsenne Art Lab in July, when physical meetings were possible again. Workshops were proposed by each researcher as a way to share and exchange. This residency stayed contained within a small group of people, that for the first time came together physically.
Now, the autumn block has started with a new constellation of people and new conditions - the conditions of the post-lockdown-yet-infectious-city-life. The associate researchers Pia Louwerens, Breg Horemans, Davide Tidoni, Lili Rampre, Esteban Donoso, and block curator Nicolas Galeazzi meet again regularly. More or less every second Thursday one of us is hosting the others in their research 'field'.
When we meet, half of the meeting, we are guests in the field of the other. We think-with, take part, and relate to whatever is proposed to be practiced. The second half of the meeting is explicitly not pre-conditioned by us. We relate to what is there, to what comes up, or what is needed at the moment. The possible plays of guest and host - amongst bodies and viruses, parasites, and hosts - are multiple, and allow us to experience our relational dependencies.
There, we are again...
Again and again, it is necessary to think through the relational field we are working with. Not only the forced physical distancing, the prohibited hugs, and the masked faces, but also the role of the institutional and individual responsibilities, the new urgencies for presence and absence, and a new mix of carefulness and caring, are tinted the relational questions at a.pass with the Corona crisis.
What and who are we to each other in a research group? What does the research group do for us? What does it mean to be Associate Researchers - what does it mean to be a host? What is the institutional framework - what does it allow, and what does it problematize? What kind of projections are made into the institutional, and what kind of speculations could we unleash on them?
The virus highlights these questions in a very special way. Bodily distanced, we are still physically related. It feels like a real-time training in relational ontology. Donna Haraway manifests it as “beings do not pre-exist their relating" and therefore relations do produce us, not the other way round. This way to see ontology is into our face any time we have to say hello to somebody and hesitate whether to show the elbow, to hug, or just to stay still at 1,5m apart. Anyway, or specifically now, it’s worth putting the focus more on shaping relations around us rather than to shape ourselves. If this is true, attitudes of hosting, being it places, practices, contexts, and perspectives is an approach we will explore.
"We are going"..
Derrida starts his article on Steps of Hospitality / No Hospitality with this ontological statement about being guest, always! "We are moving around: from transgression to transgression but also from digression to digression." What does that mean in the contemporary context? "This step too many." These days we are crossing lines at any moment. Unavoidably. The lines of the subject are massively shaken, enforced, penetrated, and transgressed or at least put in question by a multitude of crisis - Crisis of trust (replaced by control), a crisis of care (replaced by security), a crisis of mattering (denied by ignorance).
Derrida invites us to practice unconditional hospitality and sets out the conditions for it: to go on, step by step, to put oneself in a constant not-knowing the lines guest/host-hood.
What can that mean with respect to Haraway’s relational ontology?
Probably we can explore this by speaking out invitations. Let’s challenge unconditional hospitality and ask how to shape relations as a conditioning factor to deepen our understanding of the specific relational fields we find ourselves in.
We are going on a walk..
As a starting ‚seminar’ in this block, we invite ourselves for a walk in the Ardennes. We will be hosted by Elke Van Campenhout at her new residence and invite her to join our 'going on'.
Originated in the wish to give attention to all the physical and social side-processes around our research in focus, which inform our relations, trajectories, and perceptions, we want to share an experience of time besides the habitual working patterns. A hike seemed to be a simple push out of habits into a habitat where we are guests per se. Let's see how this attention infects us and our research.
11 September 2018
posted by: Joke Liberge
PROGRAM AND SCHEDULE
This block is organized around a series of Study Days. Almost every Monday till the end of November, a.pass hosts artists, thinkers and researchers to contribute to the problematization of various issues that bring together love, art, school, improvisation and politics.
** The texts bellow are written from the perspective of the notions explored at a.pass, and not by the guests, who are invited to respond to them from within their own practices **
Maybe one day, love will no longer be considered a private endeavor or a slogan of hippies, but rather a public and a political mode of being...
Guests: Johan Grimonprez & Bleri Lleshi
Imagine a society that bases its arrangements, institutions and democracy on love itself. Such a society will probably teach and exercise love as a force that contributes to the constitution of communities. Maybe then it will make less sense to say that love is a social construction than to say that love constructs society... What kind of practices can re-appropriate love by allowing it to shift from individual, consumerist and patriarchal inclinations into the political engagement of play and interaction of differences? How can love be romantic but not only? What if love would expend beyond the limits of the couple and the nuclear family and serve as the basis for our political projects in common?
10h – 13h A session with Johan Grimonprez
13h – 14h Lunch
14h – 15h15 presentation of work by Johan Grimonprez
15h15 – 15h30 Break
15h30 – 18h A session with Bleri Leshi
To be included your love tool kit
Or: Tender technologies: how tools shape practice and practice shapes tools
Guest: Femke Snelting
Femke Snelting: Can we transform our relation to everyday communication technologies? Can we take that risk? Currently, tech giants dominate all forms of digital communication, from cloud-storage to production tools and archiving systems. Infused with modernist ideas of progress, these tools are full of capitalist values and dreams of seamless scaleability. They form intricate webs of human and non-human agencies weaving themselves into and around us, intimately linking our personal and professional practices. Also institutional practice has come to rely on the use of commercial platforms, including places that are dedicated to radical transformation, political love and commoning like a.pass. So how are we being with technology when practicing a School of Love? This study-day is dedicated to experiencing technology differently, of developing a convivial relationship that foregrounds vulnerability, mutual dependency and care-taking. With the help of old and new Free, Libre and Open Source Software tools we will practice a transition from anticipating efficiency to allowing curiosity; from expecting scarcity to demanding multiplicity; from solution to possibility.
10h – 13h A session with Femke Snelting
13h – 14h Lunch
14h – 18h A session with Femke Snelting
September 24th – September 29th
Inspired by the interest in both love and school as charged with potential to generate new politics and relations in the world.
a.pass meets SOL participates to The Swamp School at the Venice Biennale Architecture 2018
"In exploring the imaginary of a swamp—a living organism in which borders defined by social, political and cultural factors are porous and permeable— the Swamp School will investigate an open artistic/architectural form, effective workshop and publication methodologies. The Swamp School will act as a pilot for future learning environments, informed by and informing the architecture and installations of its own space. Research questions will focus on creating public interfaces and manuals that support adaptation and learning to meet the demands of a changing environment.” Swamp Pavillion curated by Nomeda and Gedeminas Urbonas.
Participating institutions: MIT School of Architecture and Planning, Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, University of Antwerp, Università Iuav di Venezia, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti - NABA Milan, The Art Institute at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW Basel, Institute of Aesthetic Practice and Theory IAeP, Academy of Art and Design FHNW Basel, University of Iceland, Vytautas Magnus University Kaunas, a.pass - advanced performance and scenography studies Brussels, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Contour Biennale 9 Mechelen, Design for the Living World Class at HFBK The University of Fine Arts Hamburg, Städelschule Architecture Class – Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Frankfurt
Blame it on monogamy
Guests: Eva Berghman, CW/the Common Wallet project, Kathrien De Graeve
Many of us were indoctrinated to believe that they desire only one way of moving through the course of life, where pairing is the ultimate goal and the preferable mode of being. This probably has not much to do with the belief in the mental and spiritual profoundness of the unit of two, but rather being motivated by the fear of being left out by a society that socially and economically prioritises the couple. How to re-appropriate institutions that re-appropriated love itself by bounding it to laws, contracts, economy and morals? What if being polyamorous would not only mean having many lovers, but many kinds of love? We could chose to stop considering Polyamory as merely a sexual and romantic practice, and think of it as an ethic that potentially destabilizes the normative hierarchies between human relationships. Monogamy is not just a way to love romantically, it also influences our relations to money, time, jobs, passports, artistic/scientific/academic researches etc... If Polyamory would be the dominant way of relation in the political and social sphere, how would this effect the notions of owning (property, identity, ideas) and owing, of secrets and privacy? How can love subvert and de-construct power structures that use monogamy to move us away from caring collectively?
10h – 11h30 A session with Katrien De Graeve
11h30 – 13h A Session with Eva Berghmans
13h – 14h Lunch
14h – 15h30 A session with CW / the Common Wallet project
15h30 – 16h Break
16h – 18h A discussion through relating the themes of the day to our own practices
Love makes schools make love
Guests: Jan Masschelein, Laurence Rassel, SRG / school research group
Maybe one day, schools will no longer be considered as merely a protective incubator that prepares one to life outside of it, but rather an engaged environment that influences the world. Think of a society that bases its schools on experiment, reflection and collectivity, independent from the market's need. Schools that produce ideologies and policies, instead of being instrumentalised by them. Schools that gather strangers and differences under the common wish to study public matters in order to challenge and improve them. If ever such a society will exist, it will probably construct its schools as flexible systems that work in acceptance of potential change and disruption, as a way to embody that which is being studied in them. Can schools embrace love as a strategy to create a place of encounter where both the institution and its part takers grow in relation to each other? How can a school base its structure on the same principals it wishes to teach?
13h – 16h A session with Jan Masschelein
16h– 18h A session with Laurence Rassel
18h – 19h Dinner (provided by a.pass)
19h – 21h Presentation of school models that were developed by a.pass participants
By putting that which is between us before that which we think belongs to us.
Guests: Caroline Godart, Elke Van Campenhout
School is maybe more of a verb than a noun. Its a state of “attentivnes” to the world that one could chose to enter at any time and any place, in the company of others. Within this logic, wouldn't being a student similar to being an artist? Schools and students could be considered as lovers, who commit to each other, but do not wish to control what the other does with the love that they give. To school could mean to study and care for the same thing that you would also be willing to let go of. To - engage with, and - detach from, at the same time. This could be the love that dares to bound spirituality and politics together. If school becomes a verb, teachers would then teach how to school, and maybe love would not be a feeling, but a mode of studying that generates feelings.
10h – 13h A reading session with Caroline Godart
13h – 14h Lunch
14h – 16h A reading session with Caroline Godart
16h – 16h30 Break
16h30 – 18h A reading session with Elke Van Campenhout
October 31st – Nov 5th (Nov 3rd – off)
Instead of needing to know
A workshop by Joao Fiadeiro.
Guests: Elke Van Campenhout, Alex Arteaga
If in both Love and School an openness to change through encounters with others is practiced, we better develop sensitivities to deal with a change into an unknown path. Perhaps we would be better off improvising through, with and within the unknown instead of needing to know. Maybe improvisation today can be approached as a mode of resistance to tendencies for a life dedicated to an anticipated and defined future. It might seem like stating the obvious, proposing to put improvisation back in the agenda. Life itself is an improvisation, of course, we never stopped improvising. But we can dedicate a special attention to it in order to examine its relevance to nowadays realities. Not the improvisation that aims to emancipate repressed self expressions, neither the one that provides skills and masteries to manoeuvre within individual lives and careers , but an improvisation attitude that may create an actualized set of relations between us and other people, us and other things, us and anything that is not us.
10h – 18h A workshop with Joao Fiadeiro
19h – 21h (Nov 2nd, 4th, 5th ) Evening interventions by Joao Fiadeiro, Elke Van Campenhout, Alex Arteaga
The Love workers
Guests: An Mertens, Daniela Bershan
Artistic processes often face the contradiction of critiquing the same protocols they have to comply with, such as deadlines, saleable products, authorship, commissions and competition. Many artists experience frustration by the fact that policy makers, programmers and curators determine the visibility of certain artists/art works instead of others. A Love Worker – could this be a synonym for an Artist? Would this emancipate some practices from having to defend their relevance through the procedures imposed by artistic scenes? Or better than that – could this expand the boundaries of what an artistic work can become?
10h – 13h A session with An Mertens (in the forest)
13h – 15h Lunch (+ coming back from the forest)
15h – 18h A session with Daniela Bershan
Bleri Lleshi is philosopher, writer, lecturer, youth worker and DJ. He studied political sciences and philosophy at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. At the moment he is writing a ph.d on the struggle of the excluded. Lleshi is lecturer at UCLL where he teaches various subjects on social sciences. His research focuses on topics such as inequality, neoliberalism, youth, migration, identities, and extremism. Lleshi has participated in conferences, debates and media. In 2014, he was considered as one of the most influential immigrants in Belgium
Johan Grimonprez’s critically acclaimed work dances on the borders of practice and theory, art and cinema, documentary and fiction, demanding a double take on the part of the viewer. Informed by an archeology of present-day media, his work seeks out the tension between the intimate and the bigger picture of globalization. It questions our contemporary sublime, one framed by a fear industry that has infected political and social dialogue. By suggesting new narratives through which to tell a story, his work emphasizes a multiplicity of realities. Grimonprez's curatorial projects, films and installations have been exhibited at museums worldwide. He published several books and he lectures widely.
Femke Snelting works as artist and designer, developing projects at the intersection of design, feminism and free software. In various constellations she explores how digital tools and practices might co-construct each other. She is member of Constant, a non-profit, artist-run association for art and media based in Brussels. Since 1997, Constant generates performative publishing, curatorial processes, poetic software, experimental research and educational prototypes in local and international contexts. http://constantvzw.org/
Eva Berghmans is a journalist working for 'De Standaard'. As a journalist she has an excuse to step up to people and ask them all kind of weird and intimate questions. She never took 'because this is the way we have always done things' for an answer and tries to see through the presumptions in our everyday lives. Currently she is working on a research project on polyamory, published on http://www.standaard.be/tag/.'
CW/the Common Wallet project is an initiative of 10 people from the art sector in Belgium who share their individual income in one collective bank account. Through this experiment they collectively explore their psychological and cultural dependencies on money and a possible alternative to the monogamous and often lonely relationship one has with the money one earns. CW part takers are : Luigi Coppola, Eliza Demarre, Anna Rispoli, Adva Zakai, Diederik Peeters, Christophe Meierhans, Luca Mattei, Agnes Quackels, Ingrid Vranken, Irena Ramanovic
Katrien De Graeve is a postdoctoral researcher of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), affiliated to the Department of Languages and Cultures of Ghent University, and member of the Centre for Research on Culture and Gender. In 2012, she completed her PhD at the Department of Comparative Sciences of Culture at Ghent University with a critical analysis of intensive parenting practices in Belgian-Ethiopian adoptive families. In her current research project (2016-2019), she has shifted focus to the study of sexuality/romantic relationships and discourses of exclusivity and plurality in light of the normative two-parent nuclear family.
Jan Masschelein is head of the Laboratory for Education and Society, and of the research group Education, Culture and Society. He studied educational sciences and philosophy at the K.U.Leuven and at the Johan Wolfgang Goethe Universität in Frankfurt am Main and is as well Fellow of the Alexander Von Humboldt-Stiftung. His research can be situated in the broad domain of the formation of educational theory, critical theory, social philosophy and governmentality studies. More concretely it concerns the public and societal role of education and schooling, the role of the university, the changing experiences of time and space in the age of the network, the educational meaning of cinema and camera, the architecture of schools and architecture of the learning environment, a pedagogy of attention, the notion of 'pedagogy', the pedagogical role of teachers and social workers. A lot of attention is directed towards experimental educational practices and towards new forms of documentary and exploratory research.
Laurence Rassel is currently the director of art school ERG in Brussels. Educated in visual arts and pedagogy, she pursued an interdisciplinary trajectory from new media to the management of an artistic institution. From 2010 to the end of June 2015, she was director of the Fundacio Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona, a foundation created to promote contemporary art and thought, and the study of Antoni Tàpies' work. Previously, from 1998, she was, among others, responsible for Constant, a non-profit organization based in Brussels. Constant connects theoretical thinking, the critical use of new technologies, artistic behavior and political issues in the network. At the same time, she was project coordinator for the Interface3 women's technology training center in Brussels, as part of the European ADA project from 2001 to 2006.
SRG/School Research Group is an open group of art practitioners and pedagogues who meet regularly in order to share their interest and experience within school environments in Belgium and study together.
Caroline Godart is a writer, professor and dramaturge based in Brussels. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature with a concentration in Cinema Studies from Rutgers University (USA), where she studied with Elizabeth Grosz. She is now an Assistant Professor of Communication, Germanic Languages and Cultural Studies at IHECS (Institut des Hautes Études des Communications Sociales, Brussels). Her first book, The Dimensions of Difference, was published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2016. It explores the question of difference, and in particular of sexual difference, through three axes (space, time, and embodiment), which are approached both as aesthetic devices and as philosophical concepts in the works of Luce Irigaray, Gilles Deleuze and Henri Bergson.
Elke Van Campenhout / ELLE is a tantric practioner and artistic researcher. She developed her work partly at the a.pass research institute where she worked for five years under the umbrella of Bureau d’Espoir, a practice on the import, export and redistribution of hope. For this practice she studied political theory, contemporary philosophy and spiritual body practices. Her work is a transdisciplinary practice, linking contemporary philosophy to spiritual body practice, in the development of an ethics of coming together and rethinking our relation to the world we live in. Since 2 years Elke Van Campenhout and Stijn Smeets started up the experimental living community The Monastery, dedicating all their time and resources on the creation of a spiritual life of devotion, alternative economies, and ritual composition.
João Fiadeiro belongs to a generation of choreographers who emerged in the late 1980’s and led to the emergence of the Nova Dança Portuguesa. In 1990, he founded the workshop RE.AL Company that supported the creation and dissemination of several choreographers and their works, which were regularly performed in Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and South America. Real Time Composition is a project that he has been developing for twenty years. In parallel, he has organized several workshops in various training courses, schools and universities throughout the world. João Fiadeiro is currently completing a PhD in contemporary art at the University of Coimbra in Portugal.
Alex Arteaga’s research integrates aesthetic and philosophical practices relating to aesthetics, the emergence of sense, meaning and knowledge, and the relationships between aurality, architecture and the environment through phenomenological and enactivist approaches. He studied composition, music theory, piano, electroacoustic music, and architecture in Berlin and Barcelona and received a PhD in philosophy from the Humboldt University for his dissertation Sensuous Framing: Fundamentals of a Strategy to Realize Conditions of Perception. From 2008 to 2012 he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Collegium for the Advanced Study of Picture Act and Embodiment at the Humboldt University and visiting professor at the MA Choreography at the Inter- University Centre for Dance Berlin. In 2012 he led the research team at the Berlin.
An Mertens is artist, writer, and core-member of Constant, an artist run organisation for experimental art and media in Brussels. Next to a practise of literary creation using algorithms, she is also a nature guide in Forêt de Soignes and writing fiction with a particular interest for the non-human presences in woods. http://constantvzw.org, http://www.algolit.net, http://www.paramoulipist.be/
Daniela Bershan aka Baba Electronica is a love worker using visual arts, performance, music making and social organization around topics of collective study, care-making and practices of (non-sexual) intimacy. In her work she conceptualizes not just the characteristics of her materials but with and through them the skills and objects they can be read with: the DJ, the remixer, the researcher, the love-worker are dissecting choreographies and scores in order to make tangible how they operate; and enable to organize relations otherwise. They are committed to experiment and circulate with queering tools. Bershan co-founded and directed FATFORM (NL), and is co-organizing ELSEWHERE & OTHERWISE at Performing Arts Forum (FR). Her works, projects and performances have been presented worldwide.
23 April 2019
posted by: Nicolas Y Galeazzi
The earth faces troubles of kind humanity never experienced before: climatic changes induced by humankind are dramatically destructive and - meanwhile unavoidable. Therefore we can register a shift in the environmental movement from an understanding of trying to prevent the planet from a catastrophe to mere dealing with life within the consequences of climate changes. This perspective fundamentally shifts our culturally abstracted understanding of nature - and therefore it poses big questions to the arts as a source of cultural knowledge for that great deal of life. The catastrophe might mirror the impossibility of hierarchical understandings of the relation between nature and culture, but it also forces us to the obvious insight that all vital cycles - whether social, ecological, technological, cultural, mental, emotional, economic etc.- are inseparably connected ecosystems.
Knowing about their sensitivity and complexity, I’m asking myself, how does my artistic practice and research act within the disturbedness of these ecosystems? How can I understand myself and my research as transformative part of their troubles - knowing, that I’m a troubled and troubling ecosystem myself?
After having curated two blocks at a.pass with regards to the conditions which, and in which we create - the block 2017/II about the commons, as an alternative economy, and the block 2018/I about the making of conditions and Institutional Critique - I see the need to look beyond our cultural boundaries and understand the meshwork of diverse conditions we are living in together with other species, elements and time zones.
The aim of this block is to challenge our individual research aims as living creatures and companions in and as ecosystems. Hyper related, affecting, and never singular, our researches are - however - in resonance with their surrounding. We can not ignore the influence of these aspects, but we are also hardly aware of the performance of these influences on our practice.
Taking this ‚ecosystem-perspective‘ as the main tool for our investigations, this block shall give you the possibility to reflect your research as a relational field within a ‚terrestrial‘ landscape. On the other side, it will unavoidably put our researches in relation to the ecological crisis and catastrophes surrounding us and will help us to develop tools and understanding for a post-anthropocentric, post-atopocenic, probably post-artropocentric relational practice with your research.
Therefore, this block IN-vites you OUT. Where to investigate and experience a behaviour as ecosystem better then in the outside - an outside, that immediately takes us in, makes us being a part of it! ‚Outdoor‘ - at places with-out-doors - might be the right term. Where weather and biosphere meet industrial (side-)performance, migrant activities, walls, traffic, sun - and state power, written and unwritten laws etc. interact with each other.
This block takes you out into the systemically ‚wild‘. What allows structure? I don’t know - at the moment, before having taken up theses c/glasses any curated structure feels violent towards the tenderness of the ecosystems. Handling the idea ‚ecosystem as research as ecosystem‘ with care is as crucial as to care with the greatest sensitivity for the ecosystems we are about to enter by stepping out of the door.
This in mind, I throw out my tentacles to propose a path to step into our ‚worlding‘ experience and to trace the stories we will tell on that way.
27 August 2019
posted by: Lilia MestreWhy loom? We were thinking about the loom’s invocation of the closeness of the textile sense, fabrics that bind our desires and bodies. The loom means also the threatening feeling of an inevitable terrible thing as it approaches. And the possibility of b-looming, from the rest, waste, residue, remainders of the storm. Furthermore, loom echoes a gendered practice of writing textile; in the making of fabric like Arachné, that talented mortal weaver who challenged the god of wisdom, as well as Penelope, who weaved and weaved (a mournful making and unmaking fabrics) to postpone her arranged marriage. The loom is a metaphor that invites us to think of reality as something deeply embedded within context, like “the weaver's loom that is discerned within the cloth it weaves” (Veena Das). That means, modes of knowing constitute the objects of knowing in a manner that profoundly affects how one comes to inhabit a new reality.That is just the conceptual backdrop for us. In this block we want to focus on a support structure that will help each other research and continue what has been initiated in the past block, ‘Troubled Gardens.’ We transport what has been found out there and elsewhere into looming (transposed into weaving + feeling the darkness of it). That is to sustain being immersed in the subjects of ecology, feminism and their possible political agency in this unpredictable and precarious world we are living in. In the coming block, we’ll take these lines thought while going back “home” (we will land somewhere in a.pass studios hosting three scenographies from Laura, Maurice and Caterina for their End-Communication). We would take the movement of going inside as the one to prepare for winter: gather, digest, tell stories, imagine futures. As a curatorial approach we are not interested in obsessing on these concepts per se, but working in and through the particular challenges of our researches.We are structuring the block around three ‘scores’ (i.e. structures for enabling the plural): “what do you eat? what do you think? what do you do?” The score here is seen like the loom (a trope of text and textile): thinking made in the context of its weaving in the criss-crossing of one another's desires. Like patterns of giving and receiving affect, concepts, panics, worries, concerns, literacies, curiosities, play, know-ofs, as-ifs, why-nots, sometimes obvious sometimes cryptic sites that you and your colleagues are caught in long enough. By ‘playing’ one integrates, takes care of things that one might not be interested in, engages in an ongoing pattern of feeding and being fed. This joins the power of the transformative by paying attention to things that one does not notice alone. ‘One is alone together.’ What kind of monsters are we?!The score is structured on a weekly basis. We will gather one morning and one afternoon only once a week, as follows:Mondays from 10:00 till 15:00what do you eat? is about bringing your food--we feast, making lunch, not cooking, eating together, extended breakfast, with reading practices. Bring something you want to share: text, problem, theme, practice, concern, old question, new question, film, … in case you have nothing, Sina and Lilia have a bag of goodies.what do you think? has to do with the harvesting fields of interest, readings, questions you have in your work and what has been provoked in the last block. Asking what was the sort of knowledge about the ecological thought that you inhabited in ‘Trouble Gardens’?Tuesdays from 14:00 till 18:00what do you do? has to do with what are the residues of the kinds of knowledge, imagination, relations that you are bringing into your current work. There is a list of existing scores in the a.pass website, if you want to know more go here. Performing Back Score, Medium Score, Bubble or Writing, Fragile Community Score, each with its own different nuances of attention, writing and composing. We will present them during the opening week and work with one score throughout the block.ParticipantsMuslin Bros, Amélie van Elmbt, Rui Calvo, Anapaula Camargo, Chloe Chignell, Diego Echegoyen, Deborah Birch, Lucia Palladino, Piero Ramella, Adriano Wilfert Jensen, Quinsy Gario, Kasia Torz, Magda Ptasznik ,Dedicated mentorsSara Manente, works with digestion and fermentation processes and feminist theory. Choreographer and performance artist working on ethics and aesthetics of fermentation in relation to artistic research.Jeroen Peeters, writer, dramaturg and performer, part of the artistic team of Sarma, a laboratory for discursive practices and expanded publication. The topics of his work includes: performing arts as a site for social experiments, embodied knowledge, languages of making, visual regimes, and ecologies of attention.Nicolas Galeazzi, in the cross over through media, methodologies, materials and theories, he works as an actor, teacher, theater director, concept artist, and performance artist. Galeazzi works with Mise-en-Discourse - performative research frameworks where public can experiment with political and social conditions.GuestsMilena Kipfmüller and Klaus Janek, artist duo resident at Q-O2, working on development of theatrical, radio and soundwork that deals with aspects of staging sound in specific situations, the processing of musical material, field recordings and language based sound. They will give a workshop in a format of a practical research about how sound acts by itself in a context of performative dramaturgies. Their contribution to the block coincides with the a.pass engagement in defining its own notion of making public, performative devices and working with sound.CuratorsLilia Mestre, is a performing artist and researcher based in Brussels. She is interested in art practices as a medial tool between several domains of semiotic existences. Coming from a choreography and dance background, Mestre now researches on Scorescapes, a research she started in a.pass questioning support structures and artificial friendships in artistic research environments.Sina Seifee, artist-researcher-storyteller works on the poetics of animal description, the ecological cosmologies of nonhumans-with-history. His artworks illustrate research trajectories that traverse the questions of technology, storytelling, globalism and intercultural mythologies, with an eye on the premodern techno-culture in the Middle East.
16 September 2019
posted by: Nicolas Y Galeazzi
How is not keen about ‚dynamics '. Mechanics describes it as a concern for the "effects of forces on the motion of a body or system of bodies, especially of forces that do not originate within the system itself". I'm wondering how mechanics define borders of a "system" - what belongs to its inside, and what does not. I imagine it as a possibly unavoidable but finally arbitrary process of deciding. However, I myself, I consider dynamics connected to vitality - or let's call it breathing.
One year, six associates, three curators, several events and residencies, lots of contexts and thoughts, etc. - I think we can say, the research center was never as extensive as this new cycle. It was time for a.pass to come up to the promise of generating more publicly available content. The five associate researchers accompanied by three different curators have processed their contexts and brought them to a ripe state for publishing. Holding in, taking a breath, smelling the taste, enjoying the fill of the lungs, holding in again and softly pushing the are out - and so, the cycle can start again. What was here? What was nourished by the oxygen? What did come up by breathing the same air as five other researchers?
This block we take a breath. We are looking at what emerged. We are cleaning up, select what felt useful, archive and document, think about publishing, and try to evaluate the insights for the next cycle.
Of course, while wrapping up, the question comes, is this not what research anyway requires from us at any time? Isn't wrapping up just another word for going on? Or is wrapping up possible anyhow in a research that is at the end never ending? Sure, close looking, reflecting, evaluating and sharing are intrinsic to research. It just takes place in a different light than pondering, discovering, curiosity, surprise etc.
Nothing against ‚Research '- but 'search' comes first!
This summer I was standing in a forest, next to my child. We listened, imagined, looked in the search for bears and libels, mushrooms and orchids. There was no direction, just forest, we entered where it was possible, and continued where that forest opens vision. The structures are given but inscrutable. We learn, we wonder, we wish, we compare, and things fall into our memory to be linked to other memories. Search is big. Search is following the order of the woods - not the trees.
Research feels a bit like hide-and-seek. Everything takes place within a certain convention - the rules of the game. That's what the fun is about it. I exactly know what I'm searching for and what I have to do, I just don't know how it will happen, and when. We collect, we document, we reorganise, we create an overview, we create vision. Research is messing up the order. Research is taking perspective, so we don't see the whole woods for the trees.
The a.pass Research Center is dedicated to supporting advanced research and to collecting and making public methodologies of artistic research developed at a.pass. After being initiated as a platform for individual research trajectories, the Research Center shifted to welcoming a group of advanced researchers for a period of one year.
This winter block marks the closure and thinking back of the first cycle of the a.pass Research Center through publishing.
Cycle I - Associated Researchers
Adrijana Gvozdenović is an artist who notes, talks, writes, and collects. She is interested in anecdotal and peripheral art, the conventions of exhibition making, artists’ motivations, and responsibility in the general context of art and art-related politics.
Sina Seifee researches as an artist in the fields of narrative, performance and knowledge production. He has been working on the question of technology and storytelling in the arts and sciences of the middle ages and the past-present of material reading practices in collective life. He studied Applied Mathematics in Tehran, received his master in Media Arts in KHM Cologne and in 2017 finished an advanced research program in performance studies in a.pass.
Rob Ritzen works as a curator with a background in philosophy, museum studies, art and architectural history. His curatorial practice is focused on self-organised and co-operative formats in close association with cultural practitioners — consciously positioned on the margin of established institutions and outside of market oriented spaces, but in the middle of communities of cultural practitioners. Most recently he co-initiated That Might Be Right, an attempt to reconfigure the politics of making art and alternative forms of production and presentation.
Isabel Burr Raty is a performance artist based in Brussels interested in the ontological crack between the organic and the artificially engineered, between the unlicensed knowledge of minority groups and the official facts. Her research interweaves new media, body art, lectures, installations and participatory performance to propose hybrid narratives and bio-autonomy practices that play with synthetic magic and compose in situ Sci-Fi.
Sara Manente lives in Brussels and works as a choreographer and performance artist.
Her projects start from an understanding of dance as a performative language and exist at the limit of the choreographic: texts, dance pieces, films, workshops, experimental performances, artistic researches and collaborations.
At the a.pass Research Center she is gathering knowledge on fermentation techniques in order to consider her research from a perspective of bacterial/interspecies ethics and aesthetics.
Antye Guenther, born in former East Germany, has a theory based visual art practice dealing with epistemological questions within the realms of technology, post-humanism, science fiction and fictionality of science. Since her fellowship at the Jan van Eyck Academy in 2015-2016, Guenther, who has a background in medicine, is investigating neuroscientific research and imaging, particularly in its entanglement with neoliberal corporate structures and ideologies.