The block MAKING/CONDITIONS is made of patterns. Here is the first pattern of an unfolding language of patterns that shall be created during the next three months. In a weekly meeting we will look at the emergence of common patterns in or between our investigations of possible conditions for our researches.
A pattern is a description of a specific practice, thought or approach that can help to develop a shared understanding of a certain field of knowledge. In this case the field of institutional critique and performance as an economic, sozial and artistic category. It discusses the relationship between an artistic research practice and its supporting conditional structures – the institutional in its broadest sense.
Inspired by the Pattern Theory of Christopher Alexander we will develop a language that shall emerge from practicing our individual researches be shareable with a larger audience.
According to Alexander, patterns are building blocks for transformation and follow an evolutionary structure: a pattern is repeatable, connective to other patterns and changes according to the needs of a situation.
Patterns can take shape in any material or immaterial form, but should, if possible, be accompanied by a descriptive. The patterns will be gathered in a library and should be presented in a way that anyone can interpret and appropriate them in a actual situation.
Building a pattern language means to create a common context of a specific set of patterns. The singular patterns can be composed to syntax-like structures. Like in a spoken language, design patterns follow certain grammatical structures and can be combined in different orders – but most likely not in any orders. The Language we create will evolve out of the context of our artistic research practices and will have to comply to it in its very specific way.
The patterns shall be assembled and discussed in a library. This library shall be hosted in a shelter that shall be build in the big space of a.pass during Plenum I. It shall act as a center of the pattern language practice. The library of patterns shall be a living archive of practical thought, methods, acts, performances, approaches etc.
Users of the library can experiment with the growing variety of patterns, can patch them together to sentences that make sense to their situation, can alter and amend patterns and add new ones. This is how the language fill find its form.
Every artistic practice is contained in a context and relates at the same time to a multitude of contexts. Yet, it is an intrinsic character of artistic practice to act beyond boundaries and in the grey-zones between contexts. For that the arts often needs to think and go beyond their conditions and rather start creating and intervening their own. This however might be difficult in situations where the overall structure is too big to leave. This might or might not be the case if we think of todays capitalist economy.
However it seems that institutional critique enters a new phase where systems are changed not only from within, but by experimentally exploiting their structures. Authors like Gerhard Raunig talk in this context of new instituting practices. Through the construction of a pattern language we explore these practices and try to understand what they could mean in relation to our own researches.