Sina Seifee /10

    • block information
    • block 21/ II
    • Not in the Mood a.pass Block 2021 II curated by Isabel Burr Raty, Adrijana Gvozdenović, Antye Guenther, Sara Manente, Rob Ritzen, Sina Seifee
      05 April 2021
      posted by: Sina Seifee
      Not in the Mood

      Having completed a cycle of a.pass Research Center in 2019, the six of us proposed to co-curate the block of 2021/II as a group. We aim to collectively curate an a.pass block where we redistribute and redefine the roles of curator, mentor, guest and workshop facilitator. This implies putting our knowledges, our differences and kinships into (re)productive promiscuous interactions. Each of us thinks of a.pass as an ecology of sensitivities, sentiments, rhythms and styles of knowing, but also as apparatuses, technologies and infrastructures. We do a block curation that pays specific attention to the affective and emotional dimensions of research and knowledge production, which we call here “mood”. Not only do humans have their moods and mood swings, but more-than-human, eco-synth-tech systems, and also climates and markets have it, too. By thinking and proposing practices with and about mood, we are navigating with and within affective interactions, imperfections, subjectivities and sensations of making oneself orient in the research environment and the world.


      Block Scenario

      The block unfolds from the 3rd of May to the 31st of July 2021. 

      The fourth floor of a.pass will host two installations, Unrest and The Depository Cat, inhabiting the common space, before the block starts. 

      Unrest, an artwork by Sofia Caesar, is a kinetic space that can move and stretch with our interactions, triggered by the workshops and reading sessions throughout the block. The Depository Cat, by Isabel Burr Raty, is a tentacular inflatable that proposes an ongoing practice based on research-treatments sharing, oriented to harvest living testimonies of the block’s processes and moods.

      During the Opening Week, Sara Manente leads the first collective practice called the Washing Machine. It is a fast-paced associative game and a way to use the filter of mood to look into our research. 

      In the first part of the block, Antye Guenther facilitates a hybrid workshop practice, titled Oh So Serious, around moodiness for de-professionalization.

      Throughout the block, Sina Seifee takes the role of PR by interviewing the participants and publishing regularly online.

      Multiple reading sessions will be conducted on Thursdays during the block.

      In the first part of the block, we will read selected essays associated with or drawn from Affect Theory, namely Lauren Berlant, Sara Ahmed, and Silvia Federici, under the working title Nail Art Affects Reading Sessions, facilitated by Sara Manente and Adrijana Gvozdenović.

      In the second part of the block, Thursdays are reserved for The Labour of Laziness reading sessions, proposed by Rob Ritzen.




      During the Opening Week, Sara Manente leads the first collective practice called the Washing Machine. It is a fast-paced associative game and a way to use the filter of mood to look into our research. Every participant is asked to prepare in advance 10 heterogeneous items from their practice under the filter of “obsessions”: bring something that you cannot stop thinking about, or that keeps coming back to you. It can be an unreasonable idea or feeling, a fragment of your own or somebody else’s work. Items can be of any format: a quote, a research question, a scrapbook, a dance move, a thought, a video extract, an object, a dream, or a short practice.





      THE DEPOSITORY CAT - Isabel Burr Raty
      activated by a workshop at the beginning of the block on Wednesday 12th of May

      The Depository Cat is an ongoing practice throughout the block, which proposes the installation of an interactive space that invites participants to share their research in the form of self treatment/s or treatment/s for others. The idea is to open the possibility for the treatment’s giver/s and/or receiver/s to remain in a constant state of alteration, envisioning flux as one of the foundational resources in the processes of artistic research.

      The “treatment” implies the sharing or design of “healing” tools that give the opportunity to translate personal artistic concepts into physical or imaginary forms. These are put into motion by being with the - self - or with the - other/Cat, to trigger inner and outer mutations that can particularize, de-particularize or meta-morph affects underlying in the creative process of research. 

      The Cat takes the form of a “first aid cavity” that creates a visual space composed of i.e: non-standard animisms technologies, syncretic beliefs and statements, that can be freely inhabited. This cavity is at the same time a tentacular organism, as its limits can be stretched throughout the block, populating the common a.pass room. Participants are invited to deposit the or various “remainants” of the treatment/s offered in order to imprint the memory of the “healing” that took place. The remainants can be ornamental, devotional, cathartic - human and more than human objects and/or non-objects - that can infect, disinfect, contaminate, or not the common a.pass space. The depository process is archived with photographs and shared in the form of an album at the end of the Block.


      PR - Sina Seifee
      ongoing interviews, public relation

      Sina will make interviews with the participants throughout the whole block one by one on a weekly basis. The interviews are immediately edited into a short videographic piece with a collage style and animated elements from the imagination, the project, or the environment where the talk takes place. The pieces are published every week on multiple social platforms. The main host for the talks will be a subdomain of the a.pass website, which will be designed as a “collector” of the interviews for future access. The interviews in the format of video will be posted and prompted on both a.pass and non-a.pass platforms, where a wider audience has immediate exposure to it as it gets produced during the block.

      The interviews are informal and playful, with a heuristic approach to getting to know the participants' work and their personalities. The interview will be a substitute for mentoring (around), questioning (at), guessing (what), inventing (off), entangling (with) and imagining (on) what they are doing, what they are up to, and which mood they are in. The aim is less about understanding, and more about engaging and guessing fabulously what their matters of care are, with a perspectival (i.e. a reaction that is particular to me) and speculative (the “what if”) force that I embody in my own practice. The talks might take a maximum of two hours of recording and the final edited piece will not be more than 30 minutes long. The publication of the content will be based on the agreement with the participants, how and to which extent each likes to be exposed on social media. The interviews might take place in a.pass or elsewhere.





      NAIL ART AFFECTS READING SESSIONS - Sara Manente and Adrijana Gvozdenović
      Thursdays, the first half of the block, before the HWD
      13th, 20th, 27th May

      We propose a formalized but relaxed situation, a hybrid form between mentoring and a reading group. We will do each other's nails while reading essays on affect theory. 

      “In ancient Egypt and Rome, military commanders also painted their nails to match their lips before they went off to battle.” Similarly, we will take care of each other, talk about what makes us happy and why do we feel like we feel (Sara Ahmed) to prepare for the “age of anxiety” (Lauren Berlant), to learn how we can repair (Eve Sedgwick) and to “re-enchant the world” (Silvia Federici).

      Doing manicure is a self-care or a professional service that can be considered a beautification process: removing the dead cuticles, massaging and moisturizing the skin, filing, polishing and decorating the nails. It is an intimate, private process and a ritual of preparation that serves the appearance in public. Could this be also a definition of what mentoring is? Can this situation create a space where different reading and discussing of the text can happen? 


      OH SO SERIOUS - Antye Guenther
      two days practice, 31st May and 1st June

      Antye is proposing a hybrid workshop practice around seriousness - approached as a state of non-moodiness - as questionable traits of professionalism in the arts. The aim is to propose and test, in conjunction with the participants, various strategies to insert moodiness,  non-seriousness and silliness (back) into artistic (research) practices as a way to de-professionalize. Where are our desires to be serious/ to be taken seriously in professional artistic contexts coming from? In what ways is this an attempt to champion objectivity and rational thinking in strong opposition to affects, moods and feelings, referring hereby as well to suspicious, idealized concepts of scientific practices in the 19th century? And what kind of strategies could help us to evoke processes of the-seriousness-ization for de-professionalization?

      This two-day practice will consist of a (performative) input lecture to shed light on the complex intertwinement of academisation and professionalization in the Arts, which seem to have been fundamentally boosted by neoliberal demands of constant self-advertising and promoting. This lecture will try to trace back specific tropes of professionalism to the 19th century ideal of the scientist as an ‘objective’ data recording device. After this lecture a short reading session will be proposed, to start and stir a conversation around (problematic) seriousness and professional attitudes. This will be followed by the invitation to the participants to share and to reflect on their own seriousness in their practices, what seriousness might mean for them as artists/practitioners in the arts. At the end of the first day, the participants will be asked to think of strategies to oppose rational-objective thinking and to practice hyper-seriousness or non-seriousness as a way to ‘de-professionalize’, which we want to share and test out together the next day.

      In preparation, Antye will collaborate with Sara and Isabel to invent and test specific ‘body practice’ to be added to the toolbox of de-professionalization on the 2nd day.


      THE LABOUR OF LAZINESS - Rob & Steyn Bergs
      reading sessions, Thursdays, the second half of the block, after the HWD and one moment in PAF
      24th June, 8th and 15th July

      The Labour of Laziness is dedicated to exploring the ambiguous, complex, and contradictory valences of laziness, and to examine its potentially subversive or invigorating political effects.

      In neoliberalism, tirelessly working on and investing in the self becomes an exigency. Because of their relative economic precarity, but also because of the nature of their work, artists and art workers often find themselves at the forefront (or rather, at one forefront) of exploitation and, perhaps especially, self-exploitation. We are less interested in laziness as a mode of resistance to this neoliberal regime than we are in laziness as a lateral form of political agency. In other words, we are not necessarily after laziness as a straightforward opposition to work—as passivity, as a simple refusal of work, as ‘doing nothing.’

      Instead, in discussing laziness, we want to raise questions about work and productivity in the arts. We will do so through collective reading sessions, taking place in an installation by Sofia Caesar.

      Furthermore, for the duration of the block, participants will be invited to keep a ‘lazy journal’ as a means of reflecting on their own relation to work and (self-)discipline, as well as on their understanding of productivity and how it informs their practice. These journals will be used as a common ground for a final group discussion/workshop. Importantly, the journals need not take the written form; other formats—video, drawing, or other media—can of course also be explored.




      Inga Nielsen, Anantha Krishnan, Jimena Perez Salerno, Carolina Mendonça Ferreira, Gary Farrelly, Aleksandra Borys, Amy Pickles, Chloe Janssens, Anapaula Camargo, and Vera Sofia Mota.



      Isabel Burr Raty, Adrijana Gvozdenović, Antye Guenther, Sara Manente, Rob Ritzen, and Sina Seifee


      Isabel Burr Raty is an artist, filmmaker, teacher and sexual Kung Fu coach exploring the interstices between the biotic and the virtual. She is currently researching on the human body as a territory for sustainable agri-culture and intertwining performance, installation and film to queer labor understandings, offer SF in real-time and play with geo-synthetic magic.

      Adrijana Gvozdenović is an artist interested in artists’ motivation and ways of resisting (self)institutionalized structures. In the last three years, she has been developing methods of collecting and annotating symptomatic artistic practices that recognize their anxiety as a prerequisite state for criticality, which led to developing formats of publicness that push the borders between research, mediation, and production. These will be tested as needed during the block.

      Antye Guenther is a visual artist, born and raised in East Germany. Drawing from her backgrounds in medicine, photography, and in the military, her art practices orbit around themes like ((non)biological intelligence and supercomputing, computer-brain-analogies and mind control, think tank ideologies and self-optimization, neuroimagery and fictionality of science, body perception in techno-capitalist societies and science fiction. Her work comes then in hybrid forms: performances, performative ceramic objects, fictionalized video tutorials, photo-text works, speculative scripts, artist publications, and narrative installations in various collaborations.

      Choreographer, dancer and researcher based in Brussels, Sara Manente, is interested in the dynamic relation between performer, work and spectator. Her projects are developed throughout hybrid research and become public in different formats. Currently, she works with aesthetics and ethics at the intersection between live arts and live cultures: namely, fermentation technology, noise, chimerization and (auto)immunity.

      Rob Ritzen is co-initiator of THAT MIGHT BE RIGHT, a founding member of LEVEL FIVE and coordinator of PERMANENT. My curatorial practice is focused on self-organized and collaborative formats in close association with cultural practitioners. In my research, I am concerned with social and political constellations that have a hold on everyday life. Cultural practices are a way to dislodge the hold the present has on us.

      Sina Seifee is an artist based in Brussels, Tehran and Cologne. Using storytelling, video, and performance, he explores and teases with the heritage of zoology in West Asia. His work picks up on how epistemologies, jokes and knowledges get shaped in the old and new intersections of techno-media and globalism.


    • Publication
    • Research Center
    • ZOOLOGICAL VANDALISM 02 March 2021
      posted by: Steven Jouwersma
    • Sina Seifee
    • case of: Sina Seifee

      ZOOLOGICAL VANDALISM by Sina Seifee in collaboration with editor Renan Lauran and designer Foad Farahani, is immersion in the compiling and composing of Seifee’s notes on medieval bestiaries, and placing them in sequential order. It is the first chapter of a series that creates context and opens small descriptive steps towards (what Latour might call) “knowing interestingly” about bestiaries. It is a speculative adventure in bio-techno tales and old styles of knowing. As an “ecology of obligation” with Iranian sensuality and its ardent materiality, somewhere in the menagerie of found and feral animal videos on Whatsapp and Telegram, is Seifee’s undisciplined grounding in visual crafts.

      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 MA in Media Arts in KHM Cologne. In 2017 he finished an advanced research program in performance studies in a.pass.

      Price 5 Euro


    • Publication
    • Research Center
    • CYCLE I: PUBLISHING ARTISTIC RESEARCH with: Isabel Burr Raty, Antye Guenther, Adrijana Gvozdenović, Sara Manente, Rob Ritzen, Sina Seifee and a.pass
      17 February 2020
      posted by: Steven Jouwersma

      Documenting, archiving, and publishing are intrinsic to the ongoing practices of a.pass. They are seen as research tools that enable critical reflections through their exposure of artistic research processes. The program seeks to find public formats or outlets for research in the course of its ongoing development, and facilitates an understanding of the politics of such processes.

      With these concepts in mind, the a.pass Research Center (RC) began a new program in 2018 that hosts six Associate Researchers in cycles of one year as a platform for exchange in artistic research. Cycle I hosted Isabel Burr Raty, Adrijana Gvozdenović, Antye Guenther, Sara Manente, Rob Ritzen and Sina Seifee. They contributed to the platform through concerns, concepts and “ways of doing” inherent to their practices.


      PDF of the ANNEX you can read HERE




      ROT is a publication reflecting the research “Wicked technology/Wild fermentation,” by Sara Manente that focuses on forms and practice of fermentation as ways to rethink bodies and their making. This glossy magazine performs research, aiming to infect the reader, and questioning how to spread, publish, and help the work survive.

      Sara Manente is a performance artist, dance maker and researcher born in Italy and living in Brussels. She is interested in narrowing the distance between the performer, the audience, and the work. Her research starts from a dance practice that problematizes perception, translation, and ways of doing. Her work comes out in hybrid forms: book launch, 3Dfilm, written text, interview, choreographic piece, workshop, telepathic experience, collaboration, et al.

      Price 14 Euro


      FORMS OF LIFE OF FORMS brings artistic research into form – not merely as an aesthetic question but as a social and political one. Indeed, there are no politics without form! With Forms of Life, Rob Ritzen curated several “Moments” that assembled works, collective readings, and other references into a single installa- tion. This publication reshuffles documentation of these “Moments” as a visual reflection of the trajectory of this research.

      Rob Ritzen works as a curator with a background in philosophy. His curatorial practice is focusing on self-organized and cooperative formats. Consciously positioned at the margins of established institutions and outside of market-oriented spaces, his practice is placed in close association with communities of cultural practitioners. His initiatives are attempts to reconfigure the politics of making art and alternative forms of production and presentation.

      price 12 Euro



      ZOOLOGICAL VANDALISM by Sina Seifee in collaboration with editor Renan Lauran and designer Foad Farahani, is immersion in the compiling and composing of Seifee’s notes on medieval bestiaries, and placing them in sequential order. It is the first chapter of a series that creates context and opens small descriptive steps towards (what Latour might call) “knowing interestingly” about bestiaries. It is a speculative adventure in bio-techno tales and old styles of knowing. As an “ecology of obligation” with Iranian sensuality and its ardent materiality, somewhere in the menagerie of found and feral animal videos on Whatsapp and Telegram, is Seifee’s undisciplined grounding in visual crafts.

      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 MA in Media Arts in KHM Cologne. In 2017 he finished an advanced research program in performance studies in a.pass.

      Price 5 Euro



      NEOCORTEX is a textile poster publication. It can be used as a head or neck scarf, a hairband, a veil, a belt, a table cloth, an arm sling, a disguise in political demonstrations, a laboratory sieve, or a tool for receiving and transmitting alien thoughts. This scarf is the second materialization of ongoing research on neuroscientific visualization practices and questionable conceptualizations of our brains. Referring to the current trend in the scientific community to print posters on textiles rather than on paper, it combines reconstructed MRI data of the artist’s brain with various text fragments from science and science fiction.

      Antye Guenther is a visual artist and artist-researcher, born and raised in Eastern Germany. Drawing from her background in medicine, photography, and in the military, her artistic practice treats themes like (non)biological intelligence and supercomputing, scientific representations of cognitive processes and mind control, body perception in techno-capitalist societies and fictionality of science. Guenther studied at the art academies of Leipzig and Karlsruhe, and at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. In 2019 she received the first Mingler Scholarship for Art and Science.

      Price: 155 Euro




      by Adrijana Gvozdenović in collaboration with Sina Seifee, Pia Louwerens, Kristina Gvozdenović and Goda Palekaitė, is a noisy visual archive and online publication that takes the form of an essay. This platform is a way to reflect and diffract from the different activities and events realized in the past year. The writing and editing processes are exposed and show the different steps of the collaboration and their constructive agencies.

      Adrijana Gvozdenovic has been for the last two years a researcher at a.pass. She proposes activities that push the borders between research, mediation and production as well as examine new formats of publicness. Naming these activities ‘Otherwise Exhibiting’, is an attempt to shift the focus from the object to relations. During the last year, her research project “Archiving Artistic Anxieties” was supported by the Royal Academy of Antwerp, which resulted in this online publication in collaboration with a.pass Research Center.



      BEAUTY KIT – AN ECO-EROGENOUS ART PROJECT by Isabel Burr Raty with contributions by Kristin Rogghe, Elke Van Campenhout, Gosie Vervloessem, Pablo Diartinez and Tim Vets, is an experimental catalog summarizing Isabel Burr Raty’s research on conceptualizing and manufacturing eco-erogenous para-pharmaceutical products. It tells the story of the BKFF, a mobile farm where she and other females harvest their orgasmic juices to produce beauty bio-products, used for treatments in the BK Spa, critically discussed in the BK Focus Group and moving forward into becoming a village, where every-body harvests each other. The catalog comes with contributing text, “Harvesting bodies – The Farm as Paradox” by Elle/Elke Van Campenhout, and other reflections on the project.

      Isabel Burr Raty is a Belgian-Chilean artist, filmmaker, and Media Art History teacher in ERG (École de Recherche Graphique), living between Brussels and Amsterdam. She is currently developing her second feature film, about the colonial impact on Easter Island, and creating live art and new media installations that queer production understandings, such as the Beauty Kit Project. Her works have been shown internationally.


      Price: 10 Euro


      Please contact
      if you are interested in more than one publication, you get a discount on the total price.


    • Recent Past
    • Research Center
    • Research Center Cycle 1
    • RESEARCH CENTER Cycle 18/19 - Block III Co-Curated by Isabel Burr Raty / Antye Guenther / Adrijana Gvozdenović / Sara Manente / Rob Ritzen / Pierre Rubio / Sina Seifee
      29 April 2019
      posted by: Lilia Mestre
    • a.pass/ ZSenne ArtLab
    • 29 April 2019
    • 28 July 2019
    • case of: Pierre Rubio
    • RESEARCH CENTER Cycle 18/19 - Block III

      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.

      This summer block marks the end of the first cycle of the a.pass Research Center. 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. The last block of the cycle 2018/2019  is co-curated by the group of Associated Researchers. For a three week period - June 24 / July 14 - the work will be developed at Zsenne ArtLab.

      We are happy to work with the following Associate 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.

      For this co-curated current block the Associate Researchers will be supported by Pierre Rubio as the Research Center curator.

      Pierre Rubio (France, 1962) works as an artist, dramaturge, and independent researcher. His practice at large aims at re-negotiating habitual modes of individuation by using displacement and speculation as a methodological principle. He often uses ‘as if’s’ processes -alone or in collaboration- to investigate technologies, cosmologies and ideologies of artistic and research practices in relation to the production of subjectivity. Rubio is currently co-curator of the postgraduate artistic research institute a.pass (Advanced Performance and Scenography Studies_a platform for artistic research)

    • Workshop
    • Little Fables of Practice Workshop 07 June 2017
      posted by: Lilia Mestre
    • Sina Seifee
    • a.pass 4th floor
    • 24 July 2017
    • 25 July 2017
    • case of: Sina Seifee
    • Little Fables of Practice Workshop

      In this two days workshop Sina Seifee proposes the notion of keyword seen as a site where one formulates concepts and narratives that reorient one within one's own research practices. We will (re)animate our keywords as fables, which are operational metaphors that shape subjects and objects of knowledge. How can we participate in (re)shaping our objects of knowledge in terms of little fables?

      Committed to staying with linguistic differences in each of our stories we open a praxiography, a way of investigating the ontological commitments embedded in language that we are using to describe what we do. The participants are asked to bring their "found-objects" (objects, categories, metaphors, concepts, words, terms, and figures that one cannot stop following) and put them under telling: stories about the lives of your found-objects in a practice of writing. In telling-practices we engage in a contingent (re)materializing of our empirical objects and we question the essential stories that hold each of our practices together. With the aim of keeping our objects, concepts, and insights in a state of generative transformation, through participating in different (though not fixed nor mutually exclusive) ecology of key concepts we will learn a relational empiricism that helps decomposing one's solid objects of knowledge.

      Where? a.pass 4th floor from 14:00 till 18:00

    • Performance
    • Block 17/I
    • Book club #7bis An Animal Escape Case Book club series special event / Sina Seifee
      28 February 2017
      posted by: Pierre Rubio
    • a.pass
    • 10 March 2017
    • case of: Sina Seifee
    • Book club #7bis  An Animal Escape Case



      Book Club #7  'Special event'  by Sina Seifee

      An animal escape case

      March 10th – 2.30am-3.30pm



      This essay/performance investigates the fragile intersections of friendship between digital avatars and trans-animals in the social media in Tehran’s landscape. Through personal animal-findings and fairy-tale associations the An Animal Escape Case interprets the epistemological openings and closings in cross-species sociality in Tehran domestic landscape exemplified in the everyday use of mobile phones where images of pets circulates and different species meet in mediated formats. The essay/performance analyzes all that anthropomorphism performs and withholds on and with animality in the situated conditions of contemporary Tehran domestic life and addresses the relationships between people, animals and place in a socio-technological milieu as complex as Tehran's urban environment with its politics, televised operations, public/private cross- boundaries, its wilderness, and technologically mediated stories and rumors that populate its landscape. By going through the politics of friendship in a political and historical milieu the essay explores different modes of friendship in the literary texts such as: the 8th century Kalile va Demne’s indo-Iranian essence of friendship, the quotidian of middle ages registered in the works of Saadi, an Iranian modality of everyday happening of greeting in Taarof, children animation films, and ‘Telegram’ social networks in my own family. The An Animal Escape Case as an artistic concern with “foreign-policy” remains committed to the finite essence of friendship while investigating the origins of reciprocity, identification, and greeting in quotidian technologized performances. By problematizing the notion of Democracy as an institutionalizations of a Graeco-Roman model of friendship, the essay/performance asks for other forms of friendship that has stakes in multi-species contingencies in a “difficult” landscapes such as Tehran, operations of disproportion and disidentification empowered by middle ages Indo-Persian cosmologies, and the possibilities of empathic non-understanding in everyday life.


      Sina Seifee is an interdisciplinary artist working in the field of computer art, writing, drawing and performance. He is involved in research and work on technology, narrative, globalism, and intercultural mythologies.



      Book Club #7  'Special event'  / Sina Seifee

      March 10th – 2.30am-3.30pm

      Entrance free

    • Reading Session
    • Block 17/I
    • Book Clubs #3 & #4 Situated Knowledge Book Club Series / Sina Seifee
      29 January 2017
      posted by: Pierre Rubio
    • a.pass
    • 02 February 2017
    • 09 February 2017
    • Book Clubs #3 & #4 Situated Knowledge


      Which version of "realism" are you talking about? Recollecting truth and objectivity are activated whenever a 'point of view' is produced among other metaphors that we use in our practice and thinking in techno-scientific societies. In this group reading sessions we are going to study one of the most stubborn and pervasive phantasms in art and sciences, the figure of objectivity, with the Donna Haraway's 1988 essay 'Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective'.

      This reading focuses on politics and epistemologies of location, positioning, and situating in our power-sensitive conversations, and what does it mean to become accountable and responsible for one's own noninnocent translations.

      We begin with her essay on the 2nd of February and talk about each of our practices in particular continuing on the 9th.

      From 9.30am to 1pm both days.

    • excursion
    • Workshop
    • EXCURSION TO CEN 30 June 2016
      posted by: Vladimir Miller
    • Sina Seifee
    • apass
    • 12 July 2016
    • 12 July 2016
      (in the direction of my research; hastily opening the ontological envelope that saves a heart full of "list of specifications"...)
      the visit will be to the 'European Committee for Standardization' (CEN, French: Comité Européen de Normalisation), one of the EU fostered nonprofit public institutions of the cutting-edge development regarding ambitious notion of 'data', 'systematic knowledge', and 'specifications'. the excursion will be oriented towards a meeting between the participants of APASS and the representatives of CEN; and encourages a run between the ontological demands of international economy and contemporary art, their disastrous split, and where their epistemological formations meet and intersect.
      KEYWORDS: cosmology, experimentation, existence, specification, future, knowledge, irrationality, permanence and substance; technological acts (of naming); suspicious partnership of "advanced democracies" and "high technology" (what allows their mutuality?); standard-testing (which sectors of existence it traverses?); the very little difference between specification and "the real thing"; the origin of the demand for rigorous specification; migration of questions in or out of the areas of instrumental fitnessa path of becoming (on the grid of technological dominion); 

      Please note that all replies and comments in this report are not verbatim transcriptions but thematic summaries. For full statements made on the public Day 3 please see the video recordings.


      On July 8-10, 2020 a.pass has hosted the conference Research Futures. The conference took the form of a gradually expanding meeting of practitioners in the fields of art, education and artistic research. The conference was initiated by a.pass in collaboration with four other institutions of artistic research participating in a.pass' comparative benchmarking study: Dutch Art Institute, Jan Van Eyck Academy, UNIARTS Helsinki and Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. The conference brought representatives from these five institutions together with professionals working in the field of education, arts, culture, artistic research, curation and activism to expand the result of the comparative study towards a series of questions concerning the futures of artistic research in relationship to its institutions.


      As a publicly funded educational platform, a.pass is reviewed by the ministry of education in regular five-year intervals. With the next review process underway, a.pass took the opportunity to propose a collaborative process of self-evaluation to four other educational institutions in the field of artistic research. This process was motivated by a desire to establish a platform for mutual criticality where institutions of artistic research are not pushed to compete against each other, but can meet as partners sharing many of the same stakes. This critical intra-vision is also a balancing measure to the tendencies of such evaluations to produce an equalizing standard in a respective field of cultural production. Instead we aimed to understand, compare and strengthen our differences, in order to create greater specificity and add complexity to the developing field of artistic research.

      By proposing the conference we wanted to better understand what is the range of educational and institutional strategies and practices operating in the field of artistic research today. Where do we see common struggles, pitfalls and current problematics with respect to our concerns with inclusivity, sustainable support structures, institutionalization of artistic research and politics of publication? By posing these questions we wanted to compare ourselves to the future: what are possible scenarios for artistic research to continue its contribution to the field of artistic development and production, and how can these contributions respond to the changing social realities of a challenging future?



      Day 1, July 8th

      On day one the representatives of the contributing institutions met to review the process of self evaluation so far. Moderated by Delphine Hesters, the independent researcher who compiled the comparative study, we looked for commonalities and differences between our institutions and how they operate and addressed the challenges we outlined together in our shared reports.

      ► expand

      The day started with a presentation of Delphine Hesters on the main conclusions of the comparative benchmark study. Delphine summarized her findings around following main areas, here quoted with brief excerpts:

      Artistic research

      "Defending or maintaining this open approach of artistic research is not self-evident. [...] Another kind of challenge is that the institute’s open approach of artistic research does not necessarily meet an equally open definition within the funding bodies upon which artistic research projects are dependent.

      If we recognize that breaking from the predefined and segregating boundaries between disciplines, professions and fields of knowledge is an essential part of artistic research, it is clear that finding strategies for dealing with conflicting norms and for crafting autonomous spaces is important for the future of artistic research."


      Individuality and collaboration

      "The dominant belief within the art field remains that artists are first and foremost individual creators or authors. Similarly, academic researchers testify to an individualized learning path from the bachelor’s degree to the PhD and beyond." Delphine concludes that among the participating institutions exists range of collaborative approaches to break away from this ideology of individual excellence and stimulate the collectivity of artistic and research practices alike.


      Selection of candidates

      "The selection procedures of the five institutes are rather similar and based on written applications, including a research proposal, CV, portfolio and motivation letter from the candidate.

      The selection in all the institutes is primarily based on the quality of the proposals and the artistic trajectory of the candidate. This ‘quality’ has no formal measure and is judged by selection committees (in different set-ups) with expertise in the field."


      Archiving, documenting, publishing and dissemination

      "The public events organized by the institutes, which equally take multiple forms, are important drivers for the dissemination of research, both as inherent parts of the research process and as markers of its end. They are also important for the creation of a critical community of participants, ex-participants and external people – researchers, practitioners and engaged others."


      Evaluation, sustainability and sustainable management

      "For independent institutions like a.pass or the Jan van Eyck Academy, building their own archives, administrational procedures or publication tools allows them to invent tailor-made solutions to their own questions about documentation, administration and publication and the ways in which they are interwoven. However, it demands a considerable investment of time and money, as well as in the knowledge of their teams. These institutes can establish diverse partnerships with other organizations, but they need to build them up and maintain them solely by their own effort. This is also true in regard to the development of procedures for preventing and responding to possible cases of discrimination or harassment. [...] The larger institutes also have more elaborate protocols available in regard to prevention of and response to forms of discrimination or harassment (while it remains up to each research or education unit to bring them into practice)."

      " [...] In short, the promises of working autonomously are powerful and important, especially given the core of these institutes is to create an open and adaptable context in which artistic research can be developed and expanded. However, whether this potential is realized and whether the institutions can bring their practices in line with their principles, depends on the means they are able to secure to invest on all of these levels."


      The shared overall outcome was that although the institutions represent a wide range of positions and practices on all of these topics, the study and the meeting showed that there exist a great commonality of sharing them as concerns.

      The subsequent discussion revolved among others around questions like:

      • what are the advantages of being part of a bigger (academic)structure? What are the possibilities of acting quasi independent within such structures? what are the needs to create frameworks beyond these structures ? How 'independent' are these frameworks beyond the structures?
      • how do "individual learning paths" that actually enable transversal processes relate to on one hand to "ideology of individual excellence" on the other hand "collectivity"?
      • how to institute transformation?
      • What will be the resilient future structures for artistic and academic development beyond the categorizations of culture, education, science and within the framework of social and environmental change?
      • Institutional challenges in the neo-liberal context: autonomy, self-organisation, "swamp-ness"
      • what can be institutional practices that can resist and reshape the complex of excellence, quality, authorship and individuality associated with academic research?


      The second half of the meeting was devoted to developing four topics to pass on to the next round of discussions the following day. The over-arching concern shared by all participants of Day 1 was the question of how to institute artistic research. The four topics were formulated in order to allow the table groups of Day 2 to speculate on possible and impossible futures: which contexts of artistic research will persist, which will change in the future? Which directions will current developments and status quo take? In short: which futures do we want to compare ourselves to? The four topics that were developed for Day 2 are:

      • Institutional Autonomy within Larger Systems
      • Internal Relations
      • How to be Public? Where to be public?
      • Instituting Transformation


      The topics themselves are reported on below, as they were included in the public introduction to the day.




      Day 2, July 9th

      For Day 2 of the conference we invited ca. 20 practitioners and professionals from the field of cultural production, education and artistic research to come together with us in a working session dedicated to the four topics proposed on day one. Gathered around the topics in groups, the main objective was for each group to critically develop relationships between present conditions and implications and their future scenarios. Each group was accompanied by a Reporter, an artistic research practitioner whom we asked to develop and facilitate a specific mode of conversations among the participants of their Table, and who took on the task of compiling a report on the work of the Table for the public discussion of Day 3.

      ► expand

      At the start of the day, Delphine Hesters introduced the results of the comparative study, the discussion of Day 1 and the four topics for the Tables. The Day proceeded by coming together in four groups around the table practices and topics. The following list combines the proposed topics with a brief overview of the proposed practice. The Day concluded with a collective feedback on the process and further questions.

      The reports of the Tables process and discussion were presented publicly on Day three and will be discussed in this report there.


      TABLE 1: Institutional Autonomy within Larger Systems

      What relations to build to 'the larger system'? How to position ourselves within the larger whole?

      Reporter: Kristien Van Den Brande


      • categorisation and segregation of fields within arts (educational, artistic, social practices, etc) are working against the transdisciplinary conception of artistic research
      • what are the advantages of being part of a bigger (academic)structure? What are the possibilities of acting quasi independent within such structures? What are the needs to create frameworks beyond these structures ? How 'independent' are these frameworks beyond the structures?
      • what are the expectations and questions of the cultural / educational sector towards institutions and practitioners of artistic research?

      Questions raised:

      • How to create feedback-loops between the institutions and the larger system? How to be critical towards our own support structures?
      • How can we create and foster solidarity among the institutes?
      • Who are the future allies for artistic research?
      • What is the mission and task of artistic research as a publicly funded field?
      • Not only institutions position themselves, they already welcome distinct positions from participating artist researchers. What are the modalities of formulating a collective position within the institution?

      To facilitate these questions Kristien Van den Brande proposed a roleplaying game: The rise and fall of a dystopian regime for (institutional) artistic research. “Rise and Fall” is a role-play in which players create a dystopia, explore its rise to power, experience how everyday life operates during its tenure, identify how the regime is brought down and envision the reemergence of life in and beyond its ruins.

      The role-players were invited to explore the question: What are the roots of (institutional) artistic research during each of these phases, concretely or metaphorically?


      TABLE 2: Internal Relations

      How to build the relationships between the institutes and their participants?

      Reporter: Philippine Hoegen


      • Questions of neo-liberalism in connection to education, regulatory dependencies and access

      Questions raised:

      • How to create not only critical but transformative feedback processes within our institutes?
      • Trust or control: An inclusive access policy relies on an elaborate regulatory structure within the institution. Deregulated institutions can run the danger of perpetuating status quo

      Phillippine Hoegen proposed to work with an online mapping tool. Several mechanisms of collecting keywords and grouping them into common concerns served as a visual tool to facilitate a self critical look at the organisation of internal structures and relations between participants and all persons working within the institution.


      TABLE 3: How to be Public? Where to be public?

      Reporter: Sébastien Hendrickx


      • Publicness often serves as a "proof of work" and a measure of validity of the cultural sector and specifically artistic research
      • Growing importance of the countryside vs the city. In the past cultural production was more decentralised. Decentralisation is becoming more important also in response to climate change. Should artistic research dislocate from the urban and if yes, how?
      • Growing importance of regionalism and its emphasis on parallel and other histories, on subcultures

      Questions raised:

      • Visibility and need to be visible vs. the need for invisibility: how and how long to stay invisible?
      • Visibility versus performativity: what can artistic research do besides being visible?
      • How to communicate in process?

      Séba Hendrickx’ practice aimed at speculative collaboration open to neurodiversity. The participants of this Table were invited to make a pluralistic mind-map in form of a collective wall drawing. Each participant could elaborate on the drawings, diagrams and writings of the others. Misunderstanding and being lost in translation were inherent to the practice. With drawings or remarks of his own, the Reporter of this Table tried to push the map- and discussion-in-progress in specific directions.


      TABLE 4: Instituting Transformation

      How to institute transformation and what resists instituting?

      Reporter: Sina Seifee


      • decolonial politics
      • growing importance of social and civic movements (MeToo, BLM,...) as future-shaping agencies. how are they different from institutions, how can we welcome their potential?
      • Transformation in the context of sustainability
      • Conditions of perpetuating of precarity: precarious institutions "pass on" the conditions to workers

      Questions raised:

      • How long does an institution need to live? When should it dissolve?
      • How to create adaptable / plastic (in the sense of plasticity) frameworks?
      • The question of activism of and within the institution and resistance from within.

      Sina Seifee proposed a Table-session as a moderated conversation around the central question of transformation in regard to artistic institutions and their sustainability. In the process of transformations whole classes of questions, phenomena and forms of knowledge may be lost or rendered unthinkable. Institutional transformations can reorder our sense of value and structure in the world, as well as change the way we embed social norms. The aim of the conversation was to give more specificity to the different kinds of transformation. The session began by asking the participants: what new forms of organization and community are emerging in your particular institutions? What power relations do they rely on, create, or destroy?




      Day 3, July 10th

      For this day a.pass invited all participants of the previous days and the public into the process. The link for online participation via a video conference platform was published online, and an invitation was sent out. After an introduction by Delphine Hesters, the Reporters of the Table groups presented their reports to the public. Each presentation was followed by a discussion and was open to questions, comments.

      ► expand


      Introduction to Day 3


      [video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="https:///"][/video]


      The Introduction brought back some question and topics of the Groups of Day 2 to Day 3:

      • We must be aware of the different understandings of AR present in the room
      • What do we mean by collectivity and inclusion?
      • In connection to the PhD in the Arts boom: is academia a refuge for the artist?
      • How and why are theaters, museums and other art institutions committing to AR?
      • What different culture of/for AR to cultivate?


      Reports by the Reporters

      [video width="1440" height="1080" mp4="https:///"][/video]


      Table 1 Report

      Kristien Van Den Brande

      ► Practice Presentation


      Tackled through a role playing game.



      dreamer (instagram influencer with a fashion line)

      uber-socialist (young artist)

      rebel (black-block activist seen as vandal)

      archivist (big data manager)


      • categorisation and segregation of fields within arts (educational, artistic, social practices) are working against the transdisciplinary conception of artistic research
      • The condition of partial identities: being a part of multiple systems at the same time
      • What are the expectations and questions of the cultural/educational sector towards institutions and practitioners of artistic research? eg: a theatre: why do they engage with AR?
      • What are the (dis)advantages of being part of a bigger (academic) structure?

      2 problems:

      • What are the larger systems? (funding bodies, a bigger academic structure, art/social work/science, allies of AR). Why do we call them ‘larger’?

      • Is the word ‘autonomy’ creating an interesting horizon for the discussion? (Institutions are de facto mediators between (related) individuals who belong to other or larger systems. Autonomy as the awareness of non-autonomy.)

      1. Larger systems

      Instead of making an exhaustive list of ‘larger systems’, we created a (more or less) fictitious dystopian* world in which to position the question of (institutional) autonomy. The idea was to create 3 stages (rise, establishment, fall) of a dystopia, and to see how (individual and institutional) resistance and collaborations* operate in every stage.

      *relative term (where does it touch on utopia? Rise and fall have interwoven features.)

      *in the double sense: in the positive sense, and in the sense of (un)consciously being on the side of what is criticized.

      What were the features of the world:

      • complete commodification: no more public space, no more commons, instrumentalisation of art, art as a dialogic practice no longer recognized as art, false beliefs in the politics of images (protest is fashionable), always be positive (instagram culture) and gaslighting, neutrality of data, prevalence of entertainment industry
      • Radical exclusivity (segregation, nationalism, art having to express predefined values, ‘inclusive’ and ‘participatory’ becoming a facade for its opposite
      • Dominance of the virtual (over the sensorial, surveillance capitalism, ip-ification)
      • Money making more money
      • Mass unemployment

      Over-bureaucracy and looming of legal threats (seeking legal representation for conflict in the absence of a society of trust)

      1. Wrong horizon of the word ‘autonomy’

      Philosophically we are probably aligned in thinking entanglements rather than autonomy (Rancière, Donna Haraway, Tim Ingold). The only autonomy is an awareness of our non-autonomy.

      Creates a shift in the questions we can/should ask?

      Instead of thinking the borders of an institute, focusing on connecting lines: how to generate feedback-loops between ARers - the institute - other systems?


      • What instituting is needed: turning bureaucratic requirements from funding bodies into occasion for conceptualizing positions (eg this conference, relation to ones own board and GA: how to put it together, how to sustain and undermine its authority)
      • Role play in reality: the question of ‘who do you work for?’. Positioning the discourse/question to make visible ones alliances.
      • Methodologies of production (that include relation) is what is being produced in AR (eg: contracts)
      • Building the archive of methodologies, strategies - who owns the archive?

      ! Time-factor: what is the life span of an artist-run organisation, a research institute, a board.


      How to deal with the double threat of annihilation of the institute (it wants to be open to change) + the institute that takes care of itself when it panics?

      Threat comes from

      • AR itself (if AR includes the production of methodologies of production)
      • Funding bodies that understand how we establish and practice interdependence
      • Movements like #metoo, blm, collaborative structures that are not recognized by the board (eg: witte de with, netwerk aalst)



      Open discussion after the presentation:

      > “Me too” harassment, Black Lives Matters are all examples that need quick institutional responses but we are confronted with the SLOWNESS OF THE INSTITUTION. There is the threat of annihilation but also the institute takes care of its own survival. The moment of panic is very tricky! Which strategies do institutions have to deal with those panic moments? Example of criticism: Witte de Wit had to deal with its colonial past: they spend a long period of time in attempt to change the name and then director put out a new program. But corona and black lives matter happened and things escalated because institutions were too slow and got heavily criticized. An Institute is slow to react and there is a precarity within an institute that needs to be sustained by its partners.

      > What strategies can we think of to make such transitions possible, considering the kind of forces in question? Institutional memory should trace those moments and share the archive of these transitions.

      > All institutions are hierarchical so we could talk of institutional schizoanalysis. For my experience, at X university, when there is a personal change, everything changes . It's faster if the person at the top takes decisions already because of peer pressure: sometimes it can be interesting for peers to point out the weak points. At X academy there were ongoing debates and in two days the director reacted. We have to help each other (peers to director etc...). How do you become a better director and person?

      > What kind of feedback loops do we organize in order to catch up?

      > I'm happy that institutions are slow. Change is also slow. We are looking for ways to move together. The legal paradigm in which we need to inscribe in is organized hierarchically. To balance insecurity of AR and have an institution that gives you the opportunity to do the research.

      > People are divided in the classroom and I have the responsibility as a professor. We still don't recognize structural racism etc.. there's a lot to do. How fast can we catch up without making a quick fix? “Not too know” it's not good from my position while the world is on fire!

      > It is problematic having to respond fast because you are giving yourself the authority to do it. How to create a place of discussion instead of decision?

      > A level of transparency is needed so one can see the progresses. With opacity of institutions, there is no sense of what is possible.

      > there is a double bind of slowness/fastness. Slowness is resistance but “the world is on fire” and how do you respond? Maybe a way forward is in relation to what's happening to representative democracy (in Belgium). How to make it more participatory? You don't abolish existing institutes but you establish a faster reacting extra part of it. Could there be a way to make debate platforms in a more continuous manner and not ad hoc as a way to combine qualities of fast and slow.

      > “you have to be fast and you can't be wrong!” doesn't sound very interdependent.

      > don't forget that certain regulations come from a want, they are there for a reason.


      Table 2 Report

      Philippine Hoegen

      ► Practice Presentation

      Internal Institutional Structures for Instituting Artistic Research


      The aim of the discussion about internal institutional structures for instituting artistic research was to take a (self) critical look at the organisation of internal structures and relations between participants and all persons working within the institutions. We spoke through 3 categories: 1. structures of decision making and organisation, (including formal and informal hierarchies). 2. Structures and instruments of self- and external evaluation. And 3. Relations with participants and their agencies.

      Discussion Thursday 9th

      There were representatives from 2 different institutions at the table, in some ways opposites, especially in scale. One institution, although it doesn't see itself as big, is of a much larger scale than the other, and with that, there is automatically more formal structuring. One is coming from specialisation and moving towards interdisciplinary, while the other is interdisciplinary by nature. One contains BA, MA and PHD, the other is post-MA.

      None the less there were significant overlaps. And from this first glimpse it would appear that there are a lot of elements already present in the institutions which would be continued in a desirable future institution, but in some cases those are now present as concepts but not as practices. Or they are ambitions but not yet founding concepts. Other things are simply lacking, either as founding concepts or as practices. The most acutely missed factors are those that aren’t yet present within the ambitions of the institute.



      Several subjects surfaced of which three stood out:

      1. (Self)-evaluation. One situation sketched was: there are various structures for self-evaluation in place, but follow-up on the outcomes, and therefore actual change, is lacking. Another situation: there are many moments of feedbacking or evaluating the own organisation, but they are not formally structured. So, follow up is haphazard rather than structural.
      2. Continuity. In both cases, the search for time and money for the institution with which to ensure continuity – not only of the institution itself, but also of the work/knowledge flowing into and out of the institution – were not self-evidently part of the set of ambitions, let alone them being a founding concept or a practice. Continuity here is meant in various senses: contracts of staff members, long term plans / vision and follow up, longer relationships with alumni....
      3. Institutional engagement and responsibility. Informal relationships, collegiality, and frequent meetings amongst staff members, as well as personal and frequent contact with and amongst participants, are valued highly in both the larger and the smaller institutions. But this also assumes a high level of engagement and responsibility, in other words TIME, not always remunerated, or (in the case also of participants) not necessarily available or on offer. Instituting artistic research requires formal structures for informal organisation to take place. And it needs time management, something we are notoriously bad at in the art field, lavishly spending our own and each other's time.

      Discussion Friday 10th

      For the third day of the conference on Friday the 10th of July, different scenarios for each subject were projected, showing possible trajectories to engage with the different issues. The scenario for the problem of self-evaluation was: institutional (self)-evaluation / critique becomes an integral part of artistic research processes. Both staff and researchers / participants are allotted time for that, and also for proposing / effectuating follow up and change.

      For the issue of continuity, the scenario was simply: continuity is put firmly on the agenda of the institution. As simple as it sounds, it does come with the risk of further entrenchment in the neo-liberal conditions surrounding education as more money means more justification demands. The scenario that we discussed in particular was the one addressing institutional engagement and responsibility:

      Scenario: The extra time needed for engaging with the institution by all parties is taken into account in the budget, there are rotating shifts for taking different responsibilities, meetings are well structured, time is allotted and roles planned ahead.

      Questions and problems: -How to avoid becoming ensnared in tedious procedures? -How to measure what is a 'correct' spending of time? -The paradox of the formal and the informal.

      Debated Questions

      The question of measuring time led to a debate, with on one side those people who are convinced that the monetary measurement of time is a waste of time and an unholy quest.

      On the other hand, there were those who pointed out that remunerating time is simply fair practice, and a plea was made for considering administration as a form of care.

      About the roles and agencies of participants, most people felt participants should and do have an important say in how an institution is run, but also that they are sometimes blind to the struggles of the institution, and for what it can and can’t do.

      What we didn’t have time for, but might have been a necessary part two of that conversation is the other side of the coin: is potential of existing institutional blindness to some particular needs or struggles of participants.


      Open discussion after the presentation:

      > Paradox of inclusion: inclusion asks also for diversity in abilities, backgrounds etc, but at the same time it requires that we treat everybody equally. Difficult!

      > What is the lifespan of the engagement with an institution?

      > What is slow, what is fast?

      > Question to other institutions: do you involve the other participants in the way the organization is made?

      > on the slowness of regulations: for example legislation was made for the PhDs in the Arts to exist, but labour regulations (time, wage) are still rooted in a Fordist era. They not adjusted to the artistic reality and administration needs to deal with that.

      > There is a lot of passion at institution Y, for the good and for the worst. There are practices of living together for a week, including the after-hours. Participants are living together, a group of 7-8 people. Different visions of roles, of labour and invisible labour co-exist. Covid was a bomb making those discussions blow up. Students positions are not that different from those of workers (crew/staff and tutors/guests). Alumni become crew and tutorial staff. We have political consciousness but budgets, regulations, hierarchies are also there. There's an urgency of many discussion. For instance, students have to work outside to pay the fee for Institution Y, but now they realized that their role is not so different from the guests and contributors. The director of Y is the only person with a full time wage and they have to do all the work that the others don't want to do. There is a difference between students and participants. There is a higher demand for accountability from students while they have to pay a fee.

      How to move away from neoliberal approach of the student's demand to the institution to "serve"? But we all share other ideals so this discussion became very explosive.

      >> counterargument: calculating time can save time. Taking care that tasks allocation is fair and equal.

      >> Is emotional time considered in this calculation of time?

      >> In Institution Z the age difference spans from 29 to 67 years old. Administrative care is needed. There is pressure on the institute to change: to enhance feedback process and evaluations. What is even possible?


      Table 3 Report

      Sébastien Hendricks

      ► Practice Presentation

      On the first day of the conference, four main topical fields were defined as a basis for the following day. Our table - table 3 - was going to deal with the publicness of artistic research: how and where should it be made public, if at all?

      The proposed practice aimed at speculative collaboration open to neurodiversity. Minds imagine differently: some tend to cohere, others to open up, analyze, criticize, associate, visualize, textualize, daydream, etc. There are advantages and disadvantages to mental slowness as well as to mental speed. We made a pluralistic mind-map: each participant could elaborate on the drawings, diagrams and writings of the others. Misunderstanding and being lost in translation were inherent to the practice. In order to prevent the whole group from falling off a cliff into a Sea of Randomness, a moderator lightly intervened from time to time. With drawings or remarks of his own, he tried to push the map- and discussion-in-progress in specific directions.

      The practice consisted of the following elements:

      • a big piece of paper hung up against a wall
      • some chalk markers to draw or write on it
      • a bench to sit on and take some distance to look at the collaborative map-in-progress
      • a laser pen to highlight specific details of the map during the group discussions which alternated with the more silent drawing and writing sessions

      We started from four distinct questions, which could be interrelated in various ways:

      (1) Can artistic research just be without being public? Why / not?

      (2) What are the advantages of secrecy for artistic research?

      (3) How could artistic research relate to traditional knowledges and practices?

      (4) Where to make artistic research public in 5 years from now?

      On the third and last day of the conference, the moderator transformed into a reporter who, with the help of the laser-pen, guided the audience along his subjective trajectory through the map. He more or less said the following:

      As our table dealt with the question of publicness, it is maybe not so surprising to see so many eyes show up on the map (which is actually, thanks to the horizon line, more of a landscape drawing - an image not drawn looking from the top down but while standing in the landscape itself). There is the many-eyed-monster who could be seen as a symbol for collective intelligence (or collective confusion, if you wish); there are the hollow non-eyes of a skull predicting the end of artistic research in the world to come; for some mysterious reason the dilettant is drawn with a pair of profoundly sad eyes; I particularly like the eye within the vague circle, which to me stands for the participant-observer, the researcher who’s more or less part of a field (with all the messiness, paradoxes and complexities such an involvement can entail); very different is the distant, so-called objective or scientific eye right next to it - maybe that one refers to the gaze of the Academicized Fartist, the proliferating mock-version of the artistic researcher - whose worst emanation could approach the God-like Gaze (also to be found on the map). Most of these eyes, however, seem to represent the eyes of artistic researchers, while our main questions were related to the issue of publicness, so to the eyes of others. One of those eyes can be found looking at a tower. The edifice itself has an eye drawn on it. The image suggests the tower can see while hiding from view what is happening inside of its walls. Artistic research could be a phase of invisibility for an artistic practice, a break in its publicness, a space for an artist to observe, try things out, transform, develop a praxis, all of this free from the pressure to be successful and productive, or to make sense immediately. As a basis for experimentation, the tower could be filled with lots of unfilled time, as is mentioned right underneath the image. Let us now move our attention to what some participants suggested could be called the Fartbox, even though the arrows clearly point out the cloudlike shape doesn’t forcefully leave but enters or envelops another entity. The box looks like a Russian doll: in the worldbox we can find the artworldbox, and in the artworldbox there is the artistic research niche or ghetto. When artistic research is made public, in which of these boxes does it appear? And how? In order to become public, does it have to adapt, does it have to become a box itself, a form that fits in? Or can it change - cloudify, melt or mould - the structures that be? The ghetto and the niche have another well known metaphor in their vicinity: the one of the church. Does artistic research only preach to the converted? Is its proud cosmopolitanism not much more than a rootless and at the same time profoundly provincial way of inhabiting the world? Considering the larger spheres of the Fartbox - the artworld and the world - one may wonder if artistic research first and foremost feeds into an artist’s career or rather into his or her life. The map also suggests that any possible answer to the question of publicness strongly depends on one’s definition of artistic research. Some proclaimed artistic research is not a phase, but more something like a form or a type of practice - maybe even a discipline? According to them, in a world in turmoil, this form or type or discipline could benefit from a more specific description. What if social innovation would be its main characteristic? Or social change (including tradition, next to innovation)? In that case, publicness wouldn’t mean becoming visible in the eyes of others, but acting (possibly in concert with others) upon the world. Could artistic research go viral? Could it be a tool for action and intervention - socially and culturally - or could it produce such tools? And which tools would be needed for this production? How would artistic research making use of rakes and spades and hammers and sickles instead of MacBook Pros, look like? What if artistic researchers would all give up on their latte frappe macchiato and massively migrate to the countryside to make their soft hands rough and dirty? The question each of them could at least ask him or herself is: if my research is a pebble, in which pond do I want it to make ripples?


      Open discussion after the presentation:

      > Is AR an attitude or practice? And how much do we take contemporary art as synonymous with AR? There are examples where art is deliberately instrumentalized for a research that is artistic in its methodology or genealogy and has political effects: Forensic Architecture, Chimurenga Collective and Wochenklausur in Austria. Are we then on the verge of passing into social work? Hijacking art could mean that if we cannot have political effect, can use the position of artists as joyful dilettante, can we use the naiveté of not being burdened by specialization or by bureaucratic difficulties to oppose political and social problems differently? How can artistic techniques be hijacked for that purpose? There is also an epistemic benefit, because we learn something about learning. The question remains why we still call it art and not activism? Should it be social work?

      >> I change my mind about that question every day, on the days where I am more critical I see as Risk of diverging of political potential from real politics to symbolic places. From which position is that done? From a place of privilege?

      > How far is secrecy is helping? Secrecy as a power position is different than invisibility of being powerless, of non agency. In my professional experience of many years I used working systems, loving systems, reading systems without talking about AR. Lately I have been doing AR in a big institutions with money but the care or time was not being given for discussing of what is what. “We don't want a debate about AR”. The whole discussion become a political field. Opacity/Tower of AR is a problem: AR is elitist or considered as such.

      > there are different cultures of research: it gives space/time to certain practices, to different gestures, to safe spaces.

      > teaching as artistic researcher in Institution A, in relationship to the question of secrecy as potential (from Table 3): Maybe the question of making AR public is a question of how it positions itself within a social environment not of how AR makes itself visible. If we think of AR as something that acts upon the world then AR is already public because it is in an environment. If we think about it as some kind of a pause, it carries some kind of secret knowledge. It is problematic if AR is a secret knowledge that is being produced and served as a finished dish. AR has the power to dwell in a non-articulated phase, but also share from that phase. Seen like this AR is maybe an attitude. I prefer calling is pre-articulation.

      > Focused on AR, productions and fair practices within the arts. There is not an opposition between the public and AR, but it can be a weaving together with the public. One should not stay too long in the room, but share, get feedback and develop together with the public. Being artist and researcher is not a decoration, I think it's clear that is a real necessity of life. Neoliberal times makes seem the arts and AR useless. If so, then you can ask what is the legitimacy of all human endeavours (philosophy...), in the arts not everything should be productive.


      Table 4 Report

      Sina Seifee

      ► Practice Presentation

      The session was proposed in the spirit of conversation around the central question of transformation in regard to artistic institutions and their sustainability. In the process of transformations whole classes of questions, phenomena and forms of knowledge may be lost or rendered unthinkable. Institutional transformations can reorder our sense of value and structure in the world, as well as change the way we embed social norms. The aim of the discussion was to give more specificity the different kinds of transformation in question. The session began by asking the participants: what new forms of organization and community are emerging in your particular institutions? What power relations do they rely on, create, or destroy?

      During the session we talked about role of educational organizations in geopolitics as international relations influenced by geographical factors. The aspect of geopolitics relevant to this context can be defined as the question of who gets to move where at what cost. These topics were raised:

      • Inequality The notion of inequality was mainly understood and raised as financial inequality. And this was exemplified regarding the national borders of the European states where these institutions are located. Some of the participants postulated the implicit location of education within Europe's foreign policies. That means, how educational organizations becomes part of the decisions of inclusion/exclusion. One of the frontiers where this inequality was clearly felt in this discussion was visa applications and visa processes. This issue was raised in a wider series of questions regarding the distribution of wealth and privileges beyond national borders. Many involved institutions are ethically transnational, but contribute to the local. We talked about how the idea of "local" is shattered.
      • Scale (of administration) From the point of view of the administration workers present at the discussion, it seemed that larger organizations have more problems with the politics of inclusion/exclusion, with getting things done bureaucratically. The logistics and concerns of institutions dealing with inclusion change with their scale. Institutions are built within institutions, in a nested structure, causing the regulations to be conceived inside regulations. As the result of scaling up processes they do not always fit or continue to fit together. For instance, frictions occurs as one has transnational inclusion ethics, while the other has more domestic politics in mind. This friction can be felt in the ambivalence of support and limitation. As an institution gets larger in size (i.e. change in quantity), this leads to sometimes to a different logic (i.e. change in the quality of how it understands its world).

      Two distinct positions were articulated in the session:

      1. Solidarity and alignment. Working with the metaphors of "radical fairytale" (a form of radicalization, small but provoking thoughts), "flipping the coin" (how easy things can change to its opposite), and the "Fortress Europe" (the oversimplified question of "how to open Europe to foreigners"). This view operates by contentious direct-action approach to geopolitics in artistic research. Suggesting that we have to formulate the future and in doing so transcend our bad internationalism. The mentality of pushing our demands against the external social/systemic forces.
      2. Actor network perspective. Sometime having a "contact person" in the other institution from a different scale can do a lot for you. This contact person has to be cultivated and is achieved through heuristic talents of networking. In this view, you invest on networking and networks of relationships. The label "bureaucrat" was suggested as an inaccurate name for people with particular views and people with different privileges. Because you have to take feeling and emotions into account. For example you might find ways to have their "view" layered, and not necessary radically transform them.

      In this session we visited two modes of thinking togetherness in Europe: (1) internationalism, as mode in which one connects "among" the other actors. This position recognizes distance and domestic borders, but works in interaction with them. And (2), transnationalism, in which one thinks "beyond" what constitutes as difference and distance. The institution is invested in foreign operation, and acts beyond or across national boundaries.





      Open discussion after the presentation:

      > Notion of the (g)Local was important for the discussion. There were several positions on how to see this.

      > Framing was discussed, bad local and good local are possible. Not traveling makes us rethink the idea of local. But it is also food for a nationalist approaches. How would we work with this idea?

      >> this conference is a good example of how to think this

      > Good and bad digital was mentioned. In the future scenarios mobility will be restricted to the 1%, and big tech will have the only means to educate. There is a danger of not coming together anymore. Mobility is already exclusive if you consider visa restrictions.

      > How to create longer phases of engagement and alternatives time zones in order to engage deeply with a place? Nationalism is not about the local, but about a specific layer of the society.

      > Institutions are nodes of international attraction. Can we think further than that? There is no culture of AR in many places (example Italy). It is important to include other localities which do not have cultures of AR.

      >> for example the rural vs the urban, to include the rural.

      > Trans means to go *(active movement) beyond, while inter is inbetween *(stuck, passive). Transnational and not International

      > Institutions have a wish for inclusivity as long as it does not change the culture of AR. Inclusion must come with the courage to change standards.

      > An open definition of AR is not open in the sense of "whatever", but in the sense of being open to actualization and transformation.


      Summary of Day 3

      [video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="https:///"][/video]


      Delphine Hesters


      In the last hour of this debate, Delphine Hesters presented her summary of the discussions of the day and outlined trajectories of the debate so far. She proposed a mapping (see picture) where she outlined and grouped the topics discussed during the Reporter's presentations along a future timeline for a speculative year 2035. Her main groupings were:

      Practices to give up:

      Institutions as service provider


      hiding behind slowness

      quick fixes

      being in the position in which we have to legitimate ourselves

      constant measuring of time in order to remunerate


      Practices to nurture:

      set up continuous debates that don't have to be conclusive

      take advantage of the slowness of institutions - possibility of thorough-ness, resistance, dialogue. (debates need slowness)

      administration as care

      having principles of self-evaluation

      (formal) structures to make informality happen

      accommodate different „time zones“, also the different requirements of time that different practices need. (but the question of how to measure time stays, we still are in an approach to time as labour and labour as time. it is a trap for AR and arts)

      tweaking of the bureaucratic requirements, pirate versions of existing models

      ask yourself - who has to move where at what cost

      the institution should be public - share your archive, show how you change, how you work

      ask yourself - in which pond do you make ripples? which circles you want to create?

      map your entanglements, know your dependencies and autonomies

      weaving with the public








      Think what could annihilate your institution

      Balance self care & being ready for change

      'being public' as acting upon the world

      Think in terms of currencies instead of positions and hierarchies

      approach to AR as both open and specific


      General Discussion

      The day concluded with reactions, feedback and proposals for next steps. Here is a transcript of that discussion, without naming the contributors. Direct reactions are marked with >, responses to comments with >>

      > Repetition of wealth - for you a visa is a right but that doesn't count for everyone

      > Transparency adding nuance - an institution is not a homogeneous space, which moves within different worlds, there is also the importance to resist having to share everything,

      >> The demand for transparency comes from a lack of trust.

      >> Maybe also the idea of visibility and transparency as a system of control

      >> Transparency has to do with control, but also it is about complexity. For a lot of administrative people this is a mountain they have to move. Trying to communicate the artistic field to the administrative field, and the other way around. Like speaking different languages. Not necessarily about ill will. Maybe something for administrative artistic research.

      > The notion of safe space was dropped a couple of time, and I wonder to what extent the need for safe space is reserved for AR, or if it is intrinsic to the field of education.

      > Maybe all these things relate to institutions in general, any of these relate to artistic research as a discipline?

      > When we talk about visibility and communication it raises a lot of question about responsibility, who holds this safe space? Art is also social, modes of representation is really a task within AR. This is also a question of practices. It sounds abstract - bringing practices together. This is a selection process, if we are in the pre-articulated space, bringing practices together, articulating to each other.

      >> As an artistic researcher at a.pass my personal motivation was the possibility of taking a break. The shelter was needed to fail, if things were visible all the time, this would have been impossible. Being visible and producing artworks that nobody needs

      > Maybe we could think beyond binaries visible-invisible, etc, more think along the lines of what visibility should be, or transparency should be, determining what according to us is visibility, instead of letting it be determined for us

      > Measure of having no family or role model to look up to, in a queer way, from someone who mainly does research through queer perspectives. In these queer times it is interesting to be more radical, think more about negative decision making, thinking what is no longer sustainable, in the last ten years these MA PhDs didn’t give us perspectives that are useful in current years. Continuing is a luxury that very few will have.

      > First of all my gratefulness, because I didn’t want to go to AR conferences anymore. I really enjoyed the optimism. We missed the word queer in the last 3 days, but it is important to keep these spaces safe and open at the same time. Heard something many times and mentioned often in other AR conferences: also academics are coming our way to do artistic research. Important not to think within categories, we really have something to offer that transcends what we consider to be artistic research.

      > One aspect that I want to bring in or back, is that the future of AR has to rethink its notion of access in a radical way. What we have, no matter how hard we try its always based on conditions. What could be modes of unconditional access for researches, which doesn’t jeopardize the safe space and secrecy. Maybe this can cross the binary of the institution

      >> ’(digital) commons' :)

      >> what makes us want to say yes to this environment, and what do we lose with this unconditional access?

      >> something about the unconditional. There is multiplicity of societies that need specific access points. If we streamline we use very broad terms that a lot of people don't feel connected to.

      > Back to the question of transparency. We should define for ourselves, what it means for us. Delphine already mentioned it: sharing our vulnerability. Sharing of vulnerability brings us closer to the ethics of artistic researchers. Often we feel a big gap between the way the institution functions and the ethics of researchers inside of it. Institution introducing itself as a research in itself. There the ethics of the institution and the researchers in it come together. In that respect some us wouldn’t need to enter an institution in order to protect ourselves, because there would be a culture of risks, we wouldn't need to withdraw.

      > I was wondering about the notion of academia. I have read papers and essays from people at universities and they really transformed my thinking. How, if academia is so bad, they produce such amazing things?

      what happens to the sleepwalker if the world is on fire?

      Delphine Hesters than asked into the round:

      What can we do together? Continue to do together? And for what purpose?

      > We need to talk about the selection process at the part of the institution. It counteracts unconditional access.

      > Getting rid of labour or reformulating labour relations - if we open up the floodgates of imagination there are some things we will lose is social production.

      > Something institutions can consider is conditions of production. People don’t pay attention to what we are producing but the way we are producing. If we remember that the Israeli army reads situationist international: What are we contributing to neo-liberalism. It needs to be politicized. We have an expanded form of democracy coming our way, and we should think about how we are going to contribute to that, as researchers.

      > We need not only researchers or institutions people in our work groups, also managers and administrators.

      > What we need from both sides is a bit of courage. Art is in underdog position vs a terminator.

      > We started from an unspoken understanding of Artistic Research is and now have arrived at the question of not only what "artisitc" is but of what it should do. Independent of our disagreement about what Artistic Research is, its definitions should keep transforming for the future similar to the way in which art also always transforms.

      > Translations always have obscure sides and transparencies. I think it is important to talk together. AR's responsibility of searching it's own limits, and it this sense it's a contribution to the world.




      A much needed conversation

      The three days of the conference were a multifaceted, engaged discussion on Artistic Research Institutions, an impression which was supported by many contributors and participants in the their feedback. The perspective of the institutions, installed here as a result of the benchmark process, created a much needed productive conversation around common concerns. There was a shared feeling that institutions do not exchange enough on that level: eye to eye as organizers and facilitators. Being able to discuss, self-critique, be open and constructive about the difficulties and pitfalls of organizing institutions is important to the field of artistic research and its current economical, educational and administrative context.

      ► expand

      While this institutional perspective allowed for a discussion among institutions and was a welcome change from discussions within their singular hierarchies of art education, there was also a shared agreement that this institutional perspective can only be a start of a larger series of conversations. An area of discussion that deserves its own focus is the question of how Artistic Research enters into the larger context of art and cultural institutions and the broader social context. Representatives from the broader field have participated in this conference and there is an urgency to continue to understand the work of Artistic Research as it ventures beyond the institutions which support it. The other important topic would be the artists' and students' perspective on Artistic Research and the institutions they take part in. This perspective should become the main focus of a next conference.



      A common point during conference was to pay more attention to the responsibilities of institutions of artistic research as community instigators. How can we continue to care for the researchers and concerns which leave the institution? How can we support the emergent community of artistic researchers and their professional networks? How can we support them as they in their turn instigate and interact with the communities outside the educational field? To accomplish this the institutions should not only connect among themselves, but foster a larger cultural network of Artistic Research that includes cooperatives, venues, social and activist initiatives.


      Administration as Care

      The perspective of care was also important in the discussions around administrative concerns. In these discussions administration was often framed as care. Administration actively co-creates the space of indeterminacy which Artistic Research relies on to be able to find its own limits, definitions and processes. This space is constantly foreclosed by educational regulations which operate from more traditional assumptions and policies of art education and research. To push against those boundaries and to reshape the regulatory structures from within is the work of administration in the institutions.



      Accessibility needs to be continually addressed as we develop these conversations. Here the administration also plays an important role, as it is the place where not only the conditions of access to the institution are being defined but also where the work of making them more permeable happens: negotiations around insurance, visa- and administrative regulations allow for the legal persona of the artistic researcher to exist within the administrative frameworks. Other processes of institutional access have to do with an understanding of the institutions as a resource for the larger community. How can institutions continue to develop modalities of sharing this resources alongside with the already existing admission policies? Admission policies are themselves in question: we have to pay even more attention to whom does our call for proposals reach and on which basis do we prioritize certain proposals over others in a field that is as amorphous as Artistic Research. To work on access we could question the call procedure as an accepted standard and discuss other potential models.



      The processes of making visible of artistic research is at the center of the questions of its relationships to a larger context and also contributes a further point to the discussion of access. On the one hand institutions of Artistic Research are seen as precious safe spaces, away from visibility and allowing for time and a place to experiment, fail and explore. On the other side of this argument is the question of contribution to the social and political sphere. How can we not lose sight of both necessities? Can a rethinking of publication as a modality of entering the public sphere contribute to this discussion? What kind of collaborations can be formed to share processes of investigation that go beyond production of art and the academic paper?


      Practice, Discipline, Methodology, Field

      The conference clearly showed (again) that many paralleled conceptions of what Artistic Research is and what it should do exist in the field. There were several calls to try and agree on a preliminary common idea of what we are talking about, while already going forward with the discussion of the implications of this practice in the field. Any further meeting on this topic should address a specific conceptualization of Artistic Research as a temporary proposal in order to facilitate deeper and more contextualized discussions of its processes and politics.

      During the conference two parallel modes of reaching this temporary commonality became apparent: One perspective argued that Artistic Research is inseparable from its search for its limits and meaning. This argument stems from a similar process of continued transformation of art as a cultural practice. It could be argued from this perspective that it is more important to share how artistic research is done that what it is. This "doing otherwise" is itself a valuable contribution to artistic, social and political fields. The other perspective on commonality or diversity of definitions is oriented by the question whether Artistic Research is an emergent discipline in its own right or a methodology which can be applied within exiting (research) disciplines. This might be a foundational question for institutions of artistic research and their self conceptualization, as it works in different ways within the tensions between their conceptual and artistic autonomy and educational policies.



      For a.pass, as the instigator of this conference, some immediate and some longterm outcomes and commitments follow from this conference. This report will become a part of our evaluation process and application for funding for the next five years. We have proposed a so-called Steering Group to become a part of the a.pass structure. Our wish is that this group will – in two annual meetings – become a satellite of the institution and create a space for shared reflection, critique and continuity for a.pass as a research in education. The Steering Group is a step towards a greater permeability and will be a critical dialogue partner for the institution. It will engage a group of potential a.pass contributors from the larger field of artistic research including representatives from partner institutions, social initiatives and alumni.

      The institutions participating in this conference have expressed a clear desire to continue this conversation. A next step would be to make proposals of how this continuity could be installed. a.pass will engage in exploring the topics of these discussion in further conferences and contribute to a continued process of collaboration with the participating institutions.

      Thank you!

      We would like to finish this report with a big "Thank You!" to all contributors and the engaged audience of this conference. We appreciated the commitment to discussion, doubt and supportive critique in the complicated circumstances of this year. We are looking forward to continue and to meet again!



      Post Conclusion

      As a small outlook, we have recently asked the a.pass researchers why they chose Artistic Research as their field of work. Here is a small list of answers. We take them as seeds for a future conference on artists' perspectives on Artistic Research.

      To have time for a process, and work in a collective setting.

      To work with the patterns that research creates in artistic practice

      To be in dialogue with other researchers and colleagues.

      To share resources: in art practices resources are often use for the purpose of a singe artist or a singe project. In artistic research institutions resources can be shared and benefit more people.

      To understand our own process better: a self-anthropology of artistic labor.

      To practice clairvoyance

      To question the performance of authorship

      Hosting and crossing of disciplines, to engage in transdisciplinary practice. To engage with disciplines as conflictual zones.

      To engage in and share failures

      To unlearn productivity, to understand productivity not as a goal but as a contingent pattern of practice, a moment of crystallization. To split productivity from practice.

      To position artistic practices within society and away from producing products for society

      To understand the agency of a cut.







      Please leave your comments and feedback in this collective pad




    • Documentation
    • Publication
    • Block 17/I
    • RRadio Triton
    • RRadio Triton Data Retrieval Interface 29 December 2019
      posted by: Sina Seifee
    • online:
    • 01 July 2018
    • case of: Sina Seifee
      case of: Pierre Rubio
    • RRadio Triton Data Retrieval Interface

      RRadio Triton is an experimental radio project aiming at producing collective audio documents gathered in and disseminated by the ad hoc fictional radio label/station, recording, editing, sampling, remixing and releasing audio and soundscapes. The audio publications of RRadio Triton are the recomposition of the outcomes of the voluntary contributions from all the actors of the 2017 a.pass seminar, BLOCK 17/I TROUBLE ON RADIO TRITON_ ((((((( CHANGING (THE) WORLD (S) )))))) curated by Pierre Rubio.

      RRadio Triton Data Retrieval Interface, inspired by the hybrid dispositive of its makers, is intended to be a science-fiction entity, a problematic database design, and a speculation site for the politics of imagination. The website is result of the initiation and curation of Pierre Rubio with the artistic and technological dramaturgy of Sina Seifee, and the supported of Christian Hansen.

      The website is an instance of a labor-intensive artistic work, deliberately creating the visual language and semantic for the composing of image assemblage. Made by Rubio's laborious editing and situated imaginary, and Seifee's tailor-made chaoticism. In terms of programming the site, our problem was how knowledge can resist appropriation and translation into an idiom of digital interface, and how to create a living context of the "representations" that were done in the RRadio Triton seminar. The interface is designed as a landscape in the manner of a vortex, filled with a series gif objects, as successive approximations or placings-in-variations. The gif animations are chosen meticulously as semiotically invested figures to play with their vague morphology (a vase, a wheel, a skull, a sun, an eye). They do not visualize the audio pieces, rather populate the field of view by rendering the sound timeline as a topological singularity.

      For further information go to Seifee's techno-epistemological report on the making of the interface here.

    • Research portfolio for finishing a.pass:
      Download here: Sina Seifee dossier for a.pass end-communication.pdf

      In this dossier I am working towards an outline of my interrelated research practices in a preliminary character, the intersection of trajectories which I am just at the beginning of any kind of understanding. It contains grains of analysis, different styles of noting, but mainly, it is a try to create hybrid objects of study. As my work is “about” ajayeb (short for Ajayeb al-Makhlughat, medieval bestiary), also precisely, it can never be only about that. My research’s curiosity must also be inclusive of, more than a few but not too many, distributed agencies in layers of locals and globals, tongues and timescales. in my work, figuring, constructing an “angle of arrival” for ajayeb, I am trying to carefully approach the notions of emergence, process, historicity, difference, specificity, and by that, teach myself an artful practice rich with cohabitation, coconstitution, and contingency. 







    • Recent Past
    • Workshop
    • Sounding Situations 03 September 2019
      posted by: Sina Seifee
    • Milena Kipfmüller & Klaus Janek
    • a.pass
    • 09 October 2019
    • 07 November 2019
    • Sounding Situations
      The duo [SNDNG STTNS] Milena Kipfmüller & Klaus Janek, seeks for the reciprocity of the auditive and its staging. Semantics, appearing sounds and music elements form musical gestures and meaning, the composition is in tight correspondence with its staging.  Challenging the line between discourse and aesthetics, the focus on conflicting situations animates interpretation and questions in a subtil and humble way.

      The territories of interests of sounding situation are prospected from worldwide sociopolitical dynamics and the romantic utopia of truth. Attributes are side-specific-ness, perception in motion, Radio waves, reformulated beauty -  formats are concert, installation, music theater. [SNDNG STTNS] was formed in 2014. Since then works were commissioned by Goethe Institut Montreal, Salvador, Sao Paulo, Haus der Kulturen der Welt-Berlin, various German Radio Stations, Musrara Mix Festival, Jerusalem and more. The duo was invited to Vila Sul earning a scholarship with Robert Bosch Stiftung and won the 2018 Music Theatre Now competition.
      During oct 2019 [SNDNG STTNS] are resindents at Q0-2 and will further-exam aspects of staging sound and its force and properties. A further concern will circulate around the stochastics of sound-appearance and its inclusion in the claim of the Werkbegriff. The two open the research up to side aspects and field and invite co-researchers to exchange and be involved. 

      October: 9 / 10 / 11 / 24 / 25 / 30 / 31
      November: 1 / 6 / 7


      There has been a shift in humanities scholarship:

      (feminist science studies, the post humanities, the ecological humanities, animal studies, queer theory,) humanities scholars have represented their matters of care with an aesthetic (and therefore political) commitment to narrating stories with an emphasis on the relationality among agencies, forces, phenomena, and entities usually kept separate, in the background, or out of the story altogether

      --> redistribution of agencies

      political stake ==> aesthetic tactics

      (the reading of ajayeb portraits) the global [and therefore ethical] consciousness (at the end of 12th century middle-south asia, “the east”)

      • descriptive practices of poetics and natural history


      situated perspective ==> storytelling

      my interest in your work is to become skillful at reading with you our situated perspectives --> Zoumana’s, Hoda’s, Sina’s, ajayeb’s, apass’, etc.


      • women in my life: Avital, Haraway, Ahmed, Scher, Barad, Despret, teaching me science and art, attentive modes of differential reading and writing, practices of noninnocent care and concern
      • men in my life: Serres, Sennet, Delanda, Levinas, Anand, teaching me a non-guilt-driven knowledge of history and past, a different mode of remembrance which provokes a different mode of response and responsibility

      #i am learning from Kohn that the survival is complicated, from Haraway that world works by excess and therefore filled with hope, with Sennett and Delanda a better account of socio-material history, from Ahmed a different understanding of psychoanalysis, from Barad poetry and argumentation, from Scher the effort needed to become interested, from Kenney that there is no need for a “standard language” to describe your interventions or to produce a body of knowledge about your matters of concern,



      stories that collect stories [~= archive? my hypertext? a mouth full? --this specific type of stories are dangerously worlders, usually handed to the unquestioned mechanics of universalized taxonomy and 17th century rigs: encyclopedic homogeneous tables. they are the stuff of ajayeb]

      (kinda mispronounced by Ekaterina > captured by Hoda > made found object by Sina)


      stories that collect other stories:

      1- archive ~--> sortability

      2- translation ~--> linearity

      3- dictionary ~-->

      ==> universality (that both these stories claim)

      (my work on hypertext apass ajayeb graph rigs, is to deal within these conditions of storing/storying. i wasn’t interested in this some time ago: a shift in my interest)



      excess : there is always more that we don't know, what yet has to come; the world is constantly doing stuff; (--X--> accelerationist manifesto, apocalyptic narratives, technophobic narcissistic stories, etc.)

      (i am drawn to and by excess, and i am engaged in it: in my lectures, talkings, writings, and I take it up also visually in my drawings. my ajayeb hypertext search is contingent and opportunistic, and its searches are non-systematic.)



      (as you have already noticed, my:)


      • interrupting stories with stories
      • partial connection (and its performance)
      • moving arguments through by infecting them with other arguments (=/= dialectical)
      • mobilizing (multidisciplinary) fields (=/= the imperative of knowing A, B, and C first before you do D)
      • mobilizing citation apparatus --> that which gives sense to what enables this work --> deliberately having a conversation with ajayeb al-makhlughat عجایب المخلوقات, Sa'di, Attar, Sadra, Sohrevardi, etc.
      • remembering what one knows (=/= owes) (and organizing, performing, reworking it, sustaining a state of generative transformation = my
      • having stakes in rationality (i constantly criticize rationality, but as you can see, i am not at all throwing it out)





      • Bibliography
      • Wonder
      • Ongoingness
      • Ontology



      • study as artwork
      • reading as artwork
      • bottom-top approach to writing



      • every research practice:
        • must include "the image of body"
        • must employ ontological attention to differential productions
        • must rework decompose redefine its root-metaphors
        • must give extensive equipment list
        • must trace its social connections in a wider ecology of practices


      citation apparatus

      to begin writing about ajayeb with the citational ‘avardeand ke...’ (...آورده‌اند که)


      citation, an important characteristic of fables, is about relational histories


      absence of definitive source (in my old childhood favorite radio show, by bring an endless list of fantastic source and bodies of lures) allows monsters to flourish and me the full range of my passionate crafts. ajaybe's compelling mystery demands (from me) an unorthodox and omnivorous approach (hame-chiz-khar همه چیز خوار).


      اما راویان اخبار و ناقلان آثار و طوطیان شکرشکن شیرین گفتار و خوشه چینان خرمن سخن دانی و صرافان سر بازار معانی و چابک سواران میدان دانش توسن خوش خرام سخن را بدینگونه به جولان در آورده اند که ...


      • Mirabile dictu... (miraculous to say...) (--> wonderful to relate… / Virgil’s citation making) (=/= sad to say…, unfortunately...)


      (with Despret's talking parrots)

      parrots (shekar-shekan) (and philosophers) really like to control the exchange, to keep control of a conversation : their refusal to let another individual choose the topic of conversation

      (parrots have) a pragmatic rather than a referential conception of language

      [?am i also referential (=/= pragmatic) in my conception of language?]--> to teach a being to speak presupposes not only a tolerance of but also a profound interest in misunderstanding (this ‘profound interest in misunderstanding’ is precisely both cognitive and political aspect of what I am trying to bring forth) ~-> (how language-learning with animals can help us learn) restating and inverting the question of control? (Despret asks)


      exchange can only be achieved when there is “a continuous reprisal of translations and betrayals of meaning” ==> understanding itself is compromised


      “we”: constituted by the assemblage of different (animal-, nonhuman-, machine-, human-)beings equipped with an apparatus aimed at making them talk well



      (one thing i am learning in apass is that) modeling ontologies involves articulating knowledge in ways that sometimes appears alien to that domain community

      [asking with Bowker:] for my ontology-building to appear representative, does my community itself have to learn the goals and language of my knowledge modeling?

      (the question i asked Sven: to tell others 'which language one is using.')


      in a way, my work and interest in ajayeb is about:

      • histories of standards in knowledge production, which, i argue, is key to all sorts of other productions
      • the politics of remembrance : the politics and philosophy of classifying certain textual/material activities such that they have a chance of being part of the cultural potential memory)-->{Olga, Hoda, Sana}

      -artists are using a lot of standards (of representations or materials)

      -(out of) control standards

      -there is a huge amount of standards i am depending on in my hypertext

      -international diplomacy depends on manufacturing and enforcement of standard vocabulary --> how much are we really in diplomatic businesses?


      (it is about) organizing my memory

      (it is about) that which comes to (my) mind, and “things” coming to mind(s) (of the people around me, and before me)

      (it is about) the things I am told

      __(these are perhaps other names of cognition, affect, memory, semiotics, history, inheritance, figuration, interface, thing-relations, huntology,)

      __in our shared space where we let each other in the effect of our languages, I want to practice what comes to mind when I stand in front of you and your work, ask myself ‘what else’ comes to mind? in a sense, my project on ajayeb is that kind of training


      also in apass i want to catch you in your acts

      it is my privilege to recognize you (as...)



      1- what do I know?

      2- what am I told?


      1. the first question has no clear answer, what i know is not placed somewhere in me, it is always an articulated matter of ‘with’ or in interaction with, it is an always compound relation between matters, changes before i can grasp, knowing is done always with a figure or a thing, it includes all sorts of optics and technologies, (affect theory, media theory, epistemology, semiotics, ajayeb theory, Sadrian imaginal ontology, etc.)
      2. the response to the second question is also not clear, i can never be sure of what i am told, i don't remember or even hear, what i am told is infolded in what i know


      (when i started with my islam lecture series i was testing the waters of these two questions and the possibility of staying with them without freaking out of ambiguity, panicking into a meaning i don't actually want to mean, or plotting an answer, plotting relevances)


      is all about loving to tell you about what i am reading


      to become a skilled listener : listening ~= response (=/= simply answering) --> (when we speak) we give other people talismans that are not (perfectly) clear to us----we penetrate and unpack what someone doesn't have the words clearly and response to what they intend

      -these have nothing to do with “common understanding,” “make something work,”


      cooperation is about getting deeper into something


      (i am more interested in) conditions that more skills are required (and not the opposite)


      (digital reading practices of) data mining =/= reading for the reactions of an implicit reader --> what the scholar of ajayeb (in the medieval) might have felt?


      #on hypertext note:


      i am becoming skilled at looking at my own notes:


      {(1) what are the skills necessary [=/= tabula rasa (of the reader, of the audience) of the communo-capitalism's standard of “user-interface”--the strange idea that the interaction and reading doesn't need or must not need learned-efforts or skills, that it should be “easy” and “effortless” --> fallacy of the unskilled listener.] to engage, interact, and get involved with the interface, data-set, grammar, and literacy of (my) reservoir? }--> ** let's ask that question with every apparatus that engages us into desire, movement, articulation, ...

      skills --> to become literate in this particular way --> situated knowledge includes this situated literacy and skills of reading particular to the object of “text” (in that case how do i address my interest in the pervert reader? the skills of the unlearning*)

      --> (2) this skills of (my) reservoir, what set of questions or problems equip me to address?


      (Sennett’s) varzidan, varz, varzide, ورزیده


      ok, again, the ‘skill’ question:

      1. --> what are the set of skills needed for my work?
      2. --> which problematics these skills equip me to address?
      3. --> can i (or should i) not know these problematics in advance?


      as you can see almost all my crafts and tropes are related to social order, communities of concern and research, practices of response, interactions in collective life, etc. the meanings of community and knowledge


      because of working on ajayeb, i am becoming sort of a “definitionist,” or “definitionologist” (not in the classical sense of concept theory)

      a definition i give is a local abstraction, even when it is making boundaries for a dispersed or global concept, it is still a situated knowledge. that means it might be categorical but not applicable outside this particular niche of space and time, even when accessed in my hypertext (--> wht Sven’s music sounds different when he plays it in the group?)


      (committed to the imperative of the Rig,) things not to do in the pop-up book:

      • use as ironic: incongruity (عدم تجانس) in expectations of what is meant and what it will mean in advance
      • use to symbolize: as a way of not dealing with transference and sujet supposé savoir
      • use of anamorphic gaze: a non-diffractive optical system
      • use of palindromic model --> to be careful (or keep in check) with sequential palindromic notion of pop-up book, to deal with the parsable seesaw motif inherent in the pop-up book Blickmaschin


      *a non-ironic non-symbolic non-anamorphic non-palindromic work



      my Rigs diagrams are swarms? -a multitude of different creative agents (how can it be:) not a website but a “para-site”

      • am i creating an ego (for ajayeb) in my if yes, that would be interesting how? To equip a being with “ego”.


      topos/topic of hypertext, spatial character of electronic writing

      topic [from Greek ‘topos’: a place, in ancient rhetoric used to refer to commonplaces, conventional units, or methods of thought] exist in a writing space that is not only a visual surface but also a data structure in the computer --> Hypertext: “is not the writing of a place, but rather a writing with places, spatially realized topics.” (Bolter < Hubert)

      -in my hypertext, which writing materials, cognitive mappings, itineraries of reading, textual stability, loops and reductions are addressed?


      • in the so-called url address or location bar, is itself a control panel, a graphical user interface widget;
        how did i come to use “?q=”: rhetorics of technologized inquiry in place before i even could think about how do I allow my objects constituted by “?”, “q” and “=” of the language and grammar of internet
        • selection pressure of ?q= : a (abstract) probe head:  explores a space of possible forms (of writing), is blind or shortsighted, nevertheless effective in certain circumstances ==> double articulation
          • producing highlights: embodied attention that produces non-zero clusters of salient words that come to glow different than others
        • ?q= is an abstract machine that differentiates the process of sedimentary-sentence formation from the process that yields textual species
      • google webmasters tools is my first readership, it communicates its reading with me; (did i have a desire to make the hypertext for a machine?)
      • url passed in facebook post, results into a link to فلزیاب ، مطالب علمی و آموزشی / مدار فلزیاب و دستگاه فلزیاب تضمینی, a series of websites for selling treasure finders, finding metal under the ground, ganj, and so on...


      the English (since World War II) --> (1) international lingua franca of high technology, (2) the language of computers

      -in the enforcement of standard spelling and grammar is weak or nonexistent

      -the amount of linguistic replicators that circulate through my ajayeb hypertext are bound to a colloquial English, they are nevertheless “English”. but this English is being changed and adapted by my foreign use in multiple ways. Is this language really “English”?

      -(towards) a flourishing of a neo-English + Farsi miniaturization of Eng



      ajayeb's craft and undisciplined tradition can be called empirical, it is an example of an archival research (done by historian.) i want to highlight the aesthetic quality of this activity.

      aesthetics: how elements are arranged together, how they are composed, how they are brought into relation in the space of a text (Kenney > Latour,Stengers, Bellacasa) (--> La Guin's bag, bundle) }--> rigs

      **aesthetics are political because they do consequential relational work**


      novels, poetry, feminist theory, speculative fiction, bestiary list categories --> these genres of composition gather together and stage their “matters of care” in ways that perform relations between things and teach their readers to inhabit sometimes unfamiliar, agential world. they are practices of sf worlding.



      bottom-up writing


      my ajayeb hypertext, what is there the specific law of putting together letters ([and atoms?] to produce a text)? That means the question of Greekness and syntax technology, and my reworking articulated

      • alphabetical proto cloud (Serres) --?--> without law, random
      • what are the laws of good combination that i am reworking or resisting or acquiring or answering to, in my ajayeb hypertext? (how composition is reproduced?)

      --> (the law enunciates [تلفظ کردن ,مژده دادن] the federated,) the law repeats the fact =/= the things of ajayeb are (still) in the process of being formed (--> the morality of reading that i am working on)

      (in the facts of the law there is no space between things and language, is reduced to zero)

      -language and things are born together with the very same process (Serres - Hermes.) --> stable gathering of elements

      • ajayeb's version of the network of primordial elements in communication with each other


      my interest in the devil is in the details of my makings (and others)


      *please take in mind that these names are my guess at my own rabbit chasings, (they are not “wants” or purposefully organized tracings or mobilized intentions)


      (do we need?) to get at (and maintain?) the deep structure of the one's situation

      --> transformational grammar

      --> bring intuitive decision-making to a conscious level


      in my hypertext writing, am i trying to enable myself to talk about my work in a language (that computers could understand)?


      common language ~= standard language

      (we can't talk about the commons without sorting out our understanding of our standard-saturated world)


      (my hypertext is not data-driven [= a system with focus on the acquisition, management, processing, and presentation of atomic-level data] nor a process-driven (or process-sensitive system, for example delivering a care), what is it then?) (also not systematically storing [my] “knowledge” for later access, storage of information in such long-term memory, no no no)

        • is it a support for my various tasks and practices outside the computer? --> excess-driven storytellings =/= minimum data set


      • a non-data-driven systems in this society are named secretive and mysterious in the name of transparency



      #in a way i am building an adequate mode of encounter with an idea of “Iranian scientist” (?)


      authors of ajayeb approached nature not in a way to sketch the boundaries of a discrete animal event, therefore, a unit of analysis, (which is very “natural” at 21st century;) rather an infrastructure itself in flux, providing an unnatural hierarchy


      questions for my ajayeb's Rigs and pop-up book:

      my rigs and pop-up book are descriptive concepts, that means: they obtain their meaning by reference to a particular physical apparatus ==>? a constructed cut between the object and the agencies of observation

      • pop-up book: an instrument with fixed parts ==> concept of “position”
      • Rigs on the other hand tries not to exclude other concepts such as “momentum” from having meaning

      --> ajayeb's variables require an instrument with moveable parts for their definition (?)

      exclusions (= physical & conceptual constraints) are co-constitutive

      objectivity (= possibility of unambiguous communication, boundary articulations) --> reference must be made to bodies in order for concepts to have meaning (?)

      • my Rigs and books are basically about how discursive practices are related to material phenomena


      reading: “text” is the interface between the materialization of “reality” and subjectivation of “reader” --> inseparability of language and reality in ajayeb

      (“We are suspended in language in such a way that we cannot say what is up and what is down, The word ‘reality’ is also a word, a word which we must learn to use correctly.” Petersen < Barad)


      ajayeb's iterative processes of materialization


      عجایب نامه =/= imagined and idealized human-independent reality


      ajayeb's stories of historically nonhuman people


      in ajayeb's descriptive intra-actions with reality, humans and language are part of the configuration or ongoing reconfiguring of the world (= phenomena)

      (with Barad)


      we cannot so easily answer where the apparatus ends, and this poses serious questions about the ontology of our practices


      • (but again, how can I answer) which ontological practices are embodied (or embedded) in (the productive and constraining dimension of regulatory) apparatuses of my ajayeb? (rigs, hypertext, pop-up, my sayings, etc.)
      • (resisting the anti-metaphysics legacy) how can I keep insisting on accountability for the particular exclusions that are enacted in (my) ajayeb and taking up the responsibility to perpetually contest and rework the boundaries (of my objectives)?
      • (if i continue with digital tech in reading ajayeb) how the digitized ajib knowledge can resist appropriation and translation into an idiom that will not sustain its metaphysics?



post-master program
pre phd-program
to be discussed

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