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    • postgraduate program
    • bleed is inevitable
    • block 2021/III
    • 7 WALKS (resolution) Vermeir & Heiremans and Luke Mason
      26 September 2021
      posted by: Kristien Van den Brande
    • 16 September 2021
    • 17 September 2021
    • 7 WALKS (resolution)

      Ronny Heiremans and Katleen Vermeir take us for two walks in SPA in the context of their research ‘7 WALKS (resolution)’. The context of SPA offers the unique opportunity for a series of itinerant reflections on water and art. Drawing inspiration from the intangible legacy of historical walkers — kings and czars, political refugees, artists and philosophers — and, strongly anchored in a local context, Heiremans and Vermeir propose to explore a balance between private property of and access to resources that we hold in common as a society. Can SPA inspire to unbundle the proprietary rights that have been stacked around authorship and (land) ownership, i.e. two paramount features of Western subjectivity?

       


       

      7 WALKS (resolution) consists of a series of public walks in the therapeutical landscape around the city of SPA. Spa became renowned for its medicinal water as early as the 16th century. Its ferruginous springs not only attracted many visitors, it was also exported internationally. Gradually the city became the so-called 'Café de l'Europe'. Visited by kings and czars, political refugees, artists and philosophers, it was a peaceful haven where a wide range of philosophies, social questions and artistic visions could interact. The 'bobelins', as the locals used to call these international visitors, walked through the surrounding forests, along landscaped paths on their way to the springs. They came to see and be seen, for diplomacy or espionage, and even for the arts. The local painter Antoine Fontaine depicted these illustrious visitors in Le Livre d'Or (1894), a 9 metres wide group portrait spanning four centuries of visitors.

      7 WALKS (resolution) draws inspiration from the intangible legacy of historical walkers and, strongly anchored in a local context, invites its participants to explore a balance between private property of and access to resources that we hold in common as a society. Spa offers the project the unique opportunity for a series of itinerant reflections on water and art.

      7 WALKS (resolution) responds to current and recently intensified debates about the necessity and position of art in today's society. Like water, art can be considered a basic necessity of life, a proposal that many international resolutions have promoted. The project questions how basic human rights enter into dialogue with individual private property- and exclusive use rights. To discuss these questions Vermeir & Heiremans and Luke Mason will be joined by participants and guest walkers David Aubin, Steyn Bergs, Marie-Sophie de Clippele, Françoise Jurion, Ulrich Kriese, Anne Pirard, Scott Raby, Christoph Rausch, Marie-Christine Schils, Julie Van Elslande, Jens Van Lathem, Tobias Van Royen,...

       


       

      CAPTURING WATER FROM THE ARTISTS’ SOURCE

      Walk#07_Promenade des Artistes, Pouhon Delcor to Promenade Cherville to Waux-Hall

      Thursday 16 September 2021, 2 to 6pm

      Dedicated to the many artists active in Spa in the 19th century the Promenade d'Artistes was inaugurated in 1849. The trail follows the valley of the Picherotte, a small stream that runs down from the wooded hills. At the beginning of the trail we come across one of the many capture points of Spa Monopole, the enterprise that has been bottling and exporting the communal mineral water sources since 1921. A discussion on common property and use rights of the waters extends to one on immaterial goods and services, like the arts.

       

      A CONSPIRACY OF EQUALS IN SPA?
      Walk#08_To Promenade Deschanel and Frahinfaz, further to Balmoral, back via Promenade Arago.

      Friday 17 September 2021, 11 to 5pm

      Mid 19th century Belgium was hospitable to many French political refugees. Among them we find Emile Deschanel, Etienne Arago, P.J.Proudhon, Victor Hugo, Jules Hetzel, Henri Rochefort, Edgar Quinet and others. They found a friend in journalist Felix Delhasse who hosted many of them in Spa. Delhasse was part of the secret society La Charbonnerie and was a disciple of its founder Filippo Buonarotti. Buonorotti’s text ‘The History of the Conspiracy of Equals’ related the failed coup of Grachus Babeuf in 1796. Babeuf rejected the notion that equality before the law itself was sufficient to define societal equality, and thus placed a strong emphasis on the abolition of private property and on equal access to food. Walking the Promenades dedicated to Arago, Deschanel and Hetzel, we end our walk in Rue Delhasse.

       

      More about the other walks.

       


       

      The videos and installations of the artist duo Vermeir & Heiremans investigate the complex relationship between art, economy and the built environment in today’s highly globalized world. The artists define their own house as an artwork. The 'house as artwork' functions as a framing device that allows the artists to zoom in on the role the arts play within the ever-growing entanglement between finance, urban development and governing. Their practice employs financial tools, historical references, technology, and cinematic language to reflect on social codes as well as on the production of value in today’s artistic and non-artistic realms.

       

    • During Bleed is inevitable, Agency invokes Thing 000923 (Scared Straight!), a copyright controversy related to a pedagogical program in prison and the oscar nominated documentary Scared Straight!. During the court case, the judge had to decide if the pedagogical program was a dramatization of prison life and whether it could qualify for the protection of copyright as a work of performance art. At a.pass we will revisit the moment of hesitation during the court case and dwell on the problem discussed in the case as a way to fabulate different outcomes. What happens if 'facts' become included in a reciprocal way within artistic practices? 

      7pm @ a.pass!

       


       

      Agency is the name of an initiative that was founded within art practices in 1992 and is based in Brussels. Agency makes varying "assemblies". Agency’s assemblies look at the operative consequences of the apparatus of (intellectual) property for an ecology of diverse art practices. The aim is to take care of practices and their singular modes of existence. Each assembly calls forth one or a series of "boundary things" from its cooperative List of Boundary Things. The assemblies speculate around possible inclusions of what has been put in the background by of the enclosures of the commons.

      For Assembly (Bleed is Inevitable) Agency proposes to speculate around the question: “What if 'facts' become included in a reciprocal way within artistic practices?” For this occasion Agency will invoke one controversy Thing 000923 (Scared Straight). It concerns a conflict in the U.S. between on the one hand Rick Rowe, a prisoner at Rahway State Prison in New Jersey and organizer of The Juvenile Awareness Program and the film maker Arnold Schapiro about the Oscar nominated documentary Scared Straight!. Rowe brought suit against Schapiro claiming copyright infringement of his pedagogical program within his documentary. During the case, Rowe v. Schapiro the court had to decide if the pedagogical program was a dramatization of prison life and could qualify for the protection of copyright as a work of performance art.

      Thing 000923 (Scared Straight) convenes an assembly at a-pass. This assembly will exist of three parts. First, we will introduce the conflict of this controversy and take a look at fragments of the documentary which was part of this controversy. Second we will read collectively through certain fragments of the U.S. court case report by the judge. And third we will discuss together with invited concerned guests about possible other speculative outcomes. The purpose of this assembly is to revisit the moment of hesitation during the court case and to dwell on the problem discussed in the case as a way to fabulate.

      More about Agency.

    • postgraduate program
    • bleed is inevitable
    • block 2021/III
    • Role Play Intensive
    • LARP "Identities" by Amélie Orsel
      26 September 2021
      posted by: Kristien Van den Brande
    • 27 September 2021
    • 28 September 2021
    • LARP

      Identities is a science-fiction LARP in which aliens of humanoid appearance from various planets are gathered for a very special experiment.

      If you could become the person you dreamt to be, or at least someone who would function in harmony with the world around you instead of bumping into it, would you be tempted?

      Whether it's a dream or a necessity for you, the people of Cori, a type IV planet in the Omega 9 galaxy, can help you. Indeed, the Coriphes have psychic powers that allow them to durably modify one’s spirit and personality.

       


       

      Identities is a science-fiction LARP in which aliens of humanoid appearance from various planets are gathered for a very special experiment. It is in this context that characters will integrate a session of the mysterious and expensive Cure. How does this Cure work? The characters know almost nothing. They arrived in the center the previous evening and briefly introduced themselves before getting some rest. The LARP itself begins in the morning, during the first activity related to the Cure. These activities will be repeated in a rather monotonous way, the goal being to transform the personalities of the characters in small increments, gradually modifying their reactions to a limited number of exercises. Alien artifacts will also be used. During the individual final scenes, each character will play the conclusion of their own story, happening elsewhere and in a near future.

      Repetitive activities do not mean you'll be bored. This LARP offers strong roles, emotions and questionings. One does not intend to give up a part of their personality without reason.

      Friendship, fidelity, idealism, love, duty, revenge, despair .... What is the price of your identity? Is it ethical to sacrifice who you are if you do it by your own free will? Is it better to be modified with insidious softness or pain, whether physical or psychological? Since we are asking some questions, how do you define identity? Would a personality remodeled according to your wishes make you less real, less free?

      More about the LARP.

       


       

      Amélie, aka Saki Jones, great consumer of narrations of all kinds, and a weakness for science fiction and strictly no scientific training. What interests her in the future is the freedom to reinvent social frameworks, thus raising new questions, or very old ones that can be considered in a new light. She wrote, co-wrote and organized a dozen LARP of various formats, ranging from the multi-month campaign (Bloody Old Town) to very short formats (Oracle, Aymard's Shortbread ...). Her obsessions: creating group dynamics and keep LARPing accessible, while sipping a good chamomile with a pressed lemon juice.

    • This day is organised around a para-legal document, 'Collective Conditions for Re-Use' (cc4r). Cc4r is an authorship license in-the-making, a reluctant contract that tries to make space for collective care around authorial practice.

      https://constantvzw.org/wefts/cc4r.en.html


       



      Intellectual property law binds authors and their hybrid contemporary practices to a framework of assumed ownership, authenticity and individualism. It conceives creations by default as original works, negating the inevitable bleed of cultural production. Within that legal and ideological framework, Copyleft, Open Content Licenses or Free Culture Licensing introduced a different view of authorship, opening up the possibility for re-imagining authorship as a collective, trans*feminist, webbed practice. But over time, some of the initial spark and potentiality of Free Culture licensing has been normalized and its problems and omissions became increasingly apparent.

      How to create conditions for creative practices to flourish beyond individual control? How could attribution be a form of situated genealogy, rather than accounting for heritage through listing names of contributing individuals? In what way can we limit predatory practices without blocking the generative potential of Free Culture? What would a decolonial and trans*feminist license look like, and in what way could we propose entangled notions of authorship? Or perhaps we should think of very different strategies?

      CC4r is an attempt to articulate conditions for re-using authored materials. It is inspired by the principles of Free Culture but tries to respond to a growing discomfort with licenses that remain bound to the idea of authorship as ownership and stay with an universalist approach to openness. The CC4r considers authorship instead to be already part of a collective cultural effort and wants to remind current and future authors of the social and historical conditions that may be reasons for refraining from release and re-use of a work.





      Femke Snelting develops projects at the intersection of design, feminisms, and free software in various constellations. With Seda Guerses, Miriyam Aouragh, and Helen Pritchard, she runs the emerging Institute for Technology in the Public Interest. With the Underground Division (Helen Pritchard and Jara Rocha) she studies the computational imaginations of rock formations and with Jara Rocha, Femke activates the collective research project Possible Bodies. Between 2003 and 2021, she was co-responsible for the artistic program of Constant, association for art and media based in Brussels. Femke supports artistic research at PhdArts (Leiden), MERIAN (Maastricht) and at a.pass (Brussels). She teaches at XPUB (Master programme for experimental publishing, Rotterdam).

    • postgraduate program
    • bleed is inevitable
    • block 2021/III
    • Role Play Intensive
    • bleed is inevitable curatorial assemblage facilitated by Kristien Van den Brande
      20 September 2021
      posted by: Sina Seifee
    • 06 September 2021
    • 30 November 2021
    • bleed is inevitable

      The block “Bleed is inevitable” starts from the premise that we are inhabited by several voices - be them spiritual, psychological, political, juridical, institutional, identitarian, non-human, culture-historical, assigned or acquired, short or long term,… - and that we are subject to environments that bring these voices into dialogue or conflict, or muffle them. During the block, the a.pass researchers are invited to think their interactions from the perspective of role play, and to create artificial environments in which to experiment with and dis-equilibrate an individual or collective constitution of voices. It is a guided exercise in letting go of what one knows or thinks to know and a prodding for delineated and contrived spaces to speculate on different modes of being together in the world.

      History will always be in the room though. In LARP (Live Action Role Play)-vocabulary ‘bleed’ refers to the experience of transferral between real-life and game-world. In-game experience inevitably spills back into life, and vice versa, one’s game character and world is inevitably inspired by real-life experiences and self-perception. LARPers have developed techniques to halt or hold this zone of oscillation, between what is and what could be. While closure of play might be a necessary tool to keep up with ‘real-life’, we could also question the ‘right to a proper end’ as particular to Western storytelling tradition, with consequences for what we think a proper life or story is. ’Bleed is inevitable’ invites the a.pass participants to question and reinvent assigned roles, investigate the ideological space of ‘bleed’, as well as experiment with techniques of game-design within artistic research.

      “Bleed is inevitable” is an assemblage of different curatorial proposals that have been in conversation for a longer period of time. Not seamless, but definitely more than tangentially connected, therefore with the ongoing challenge to superimpose and retrace how they spill into each other.

       


       

      First, Ronny Heiremans and Katleen Vermeir take us for two walks in SPA in the context of their research ‘7 WALKS (resolution)’. The context of SPA offers the unique opportunity for a series of itinerant reflections on water and art. Drawing inspiration from the intangible legacy of historical walkers — kings and czars, political refugees, artists and philosophers — and, strongly anchored in a local context, Heiremans and Vermeir propose us to explore a balance between private property of and access to resources that we hold in common as a society. Can SPA inspire to unbundle the proprietary rights that have been stacked around authorship and (land) ownership, i.e. two paramount features of Western subjectivity?

      Guests: David Aubin, Scott Raby, Steyn Bergs, Jens Van Lathem, Tobias Van Royen.

      September 16-17

       


       

      Second, block curator Kristien Van den Brande organizes a two week Role Play Intensive. The Intensive combines immersive experiences, showcases, reading, film, discussion with invited guests, and this input is alternated with open slots where we translate and experiment for ourselves what role-play can bring to our work. Discussions around consent, boundaries, co-authorship and a willingness to suspend the self into play will be key. We will take role-play as a space for investigation, confrontation and speculation rather than escapism. What conversational, contractual and/or architectural techniques have LARPers, BDSMer or therapists developed to mark the transition between real-time&space and play-time&space? What are ethical limits of engaging in role-play, regarding the politics of appropriation and trauma? What are the conditions for role-play to offer a safe space to practice critical empathy (Ed Fornieles) or un-recognizing (Elvia Wilk)?

      Guests: Amélie Orsel with the LARP Identities; Olivier Stein with an introduction to different Role-Play cultures and techniques; Carolien Stikker with a demonstration of Voice Dialogue Therapy; Femke Snelting with an attempt at a new authorship license; Sarah Vanhee’s film The Making of Justice; Wouter De Raeve and Lietje Bauwens with the film WTC A Love Story; Kobe Matthys / Agency with an assembly about a copyright controversy around reality-tv.

      September 27 - October 8

       


       

      Third, a.pass participants Chloë Janssens, Amy Pickles and Túlio Rosa are organizing a temporary context for collective study: ‘On Coloniality: a public gathering’. Through different artistic and theoretical speculations they invite us to study coloniality and its manifold dimensions. The term ‘coloniality' differentiates colonialism, as a historical process, from its legacies. It refers to the modes of organisation of power in colonized territories, and how this extends out into supposedly post-colonial states. How is the colonial rationale at the basis of current modes of social and political organisation? How have these supposed histories collapsed into, resonate with, and form our present? Departing from critical reflection on the countries where they were born — Belgium, Brazil, UK — they invite us to draw connections between different times and locations by closely following methods of appropriation and extraction of land, resources, labour and data. Through different artistic practices we will draw parallels, observe symmetries and find correlations across colonialism as it exists across all aspects of our lives; institutionally, economically, in corporations, governance, everyday structures of living and our bodies. 'On Coloniality: a public gathering' will be hosted inside and outside of a.pass, a porous programme open to the public. There will be an exhibition that hosts artist work, reading and listening sessions, screenings, public conversations and discussions.

      Guests are announced shortly.

      November 10-13

       




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