project, research center, seminar

PHARMAKON

15 October-15 December 2015

Pharmakon : whitch culture ?

 

‘Pharmakon: whitch culture?’, is a Thematics artistic research residency project, taking place in Brussels from the 15th of October until the 15th of December 2014. This residency is one of the stages in the development of the broader, transnational ‘Pharmakon’ research project undertaken by Institut Nomade. The ‘Pharmakon: whitch culture?’ conference will last three days and will explore the theoretical and artistic approaches to dealing with an increasingly toxic economic, ethical and cultural environment, in search of other techniques by which to connect, share and imagine the fabric of our togetherness. As a ‘performative conference’, this meeting involves artists as well as theorists, dissolves the boundaries between ‘specialists’ and ‘public’, and between ‘performers’ and ‘theorists’, and opens up a space for desire and reflection.

Thematics is organized by Bains Connective, in collaboration with Institut Nomade, the a.pass research center and Kaaitheater.

 

Pharmakon: whitch culture?

This Thematics project builds on the notion of ‘pharmakon’ as coined by the contemporary philosopher Bernard Stiegler. In ancient Greece, ‘pharmakon’ was understood both as ‘poison’ and ‘medicine’, and in some cases also as ‘scapegoat’. The word might mean either the one or the other depending on the context, which implies a certain knowledge, or ‘knowledge-ability’. A skill of dosage and use, witchcraft involving insight and imaginative contextualization.

At the ‘Pharmakon: whitch culture?’ conference, a group of artists and theorists will investigate the notion of ‘pharmakon’ in our society. As Stiegler suggests in his analysis of the need for a ‘pharmacology’ to counter the poisonous fumes of economic, ethical and cultural impoverishment, it is clear that the fabrication of our culture(s) has urgently to be (re)questioned. What are the categories we use to produce and develop the culture in which we ‘individuate’ ourselves? What is the change in ‘technics’ that is needed to re-imagine our desires, stepping out of ourselves, as ex-isting in the public sphere? What sort of witchcraft is demanded from us, as artists, citizens and thinkers, to come up with the right spells and potions, and to dose our practices to transform poison into medicine.

 

The ‘Pharmakon: whitch culture’ conference is part of the Thematics two-month research residency project, organized by Bains Connective, which brings together artists and theorists to work on, share and perform their concerns on this matter. They experiment on developing artistic remedies and toxic fumes, in search of a reformulation of the agency of the artist in contemporary society. In this way the Pharmakon project inserts itself into a growing movement of artistic initiatives that engage more directly in the political sphere, that want to make the public, the other, the citizen, part of their researches, that question how the artistic relates to the world we live in. These artistic interests speak of the willingness to restate desire in its fullness as a societal driving force. A desire that is not reduced to economic drives, but that is structured and transformed in accordance with the practices and thoughts of its members. Or more simply: we speak about set-ups that could inform and produce knowledge, and which could question the drives and urgencies that produce our social agencies.

 

Participants in the Thematics residency:

Alexandre Le Petit, Flora Pilet, Sophie Quénon, Lilia Mestre, Elke Van Campenhout, Joséphine de Weck, Michiel Vandevelde, Michiel Reynaert, Veridiana Zurita, et al.

 

Guests invited to the conference:

Bernard Stiegler, Pieter de Buysser, Maria Lucia Cruz Correia, Maika Lond , …

 

Partners of the project :

 

(1) Bains Connective

Thematics is a two-month residency program for artists and theoreticians, curated by Lilia Mestre within the framework of Bains Connective. Every time the residency addressed another topic, deemed to be urgent or relevant for the current state of (artistic) affairs. During this period, different artists and thinkers share their works, strategies and ideas. The work space Bains Connective creates the initial context and set-up, and offers work spaces and a communal starting point by inviting artists, theoreticians, academics, politicians and activists to add and contribute to the research. As a basis for the exchange, we organize weekly meetings as well as two public encounters, where the participating artists can share their work in a format of their choice. Starting from these basic principles, we work closely together on developing ways to share interests and processes of work.

Thematics develops for each residency project a strategy of questioning and interviews that follow up and register the artistic processes so as to create a written publication that reflects every Thematics residency. These publications are also a working tool that expresses to necessity to communicate, to speak out, to share the practices, methodologies and artistic trajectories with each other and a larger public.

 

(2) Institut Nomade

The activities of the Institut Nomade are fundamentally trans-disciplinary in nature. Concerned with how the notion of “performativity” resonates in both artistic practices and cultural constructions, the Institut conducts research into the ontology of performative language, the relationship between the performer/author and the stage, and the stage itself as a scene of collective individuation and thus a form of micro-politics. The global project of the Institut could be described as an inquiry into “modern culture”, that mobilizes the conceptual tools provided by the performative arts, the heritage of J.L Austin’s concept of performativity, and Bernard Stiegler’s contemporary elaboration of the idea of the “pharmakon”. The Institut is concerned with all forms of writing that compose our public voice– forms that we create by and for ourselves. This research takes on a variety of formats including interviews, performances, texts, images, videos, installations, soundscapes, etc. The interaction between these media is organized by rhizomatic systems of writing and by experimental loops of representation that participants are invited to appropriate and reconstruct.

 

 

(3) a.pass research center

a.pass  is an artistic research environment that develops research on performativity and scenography, in an international artistic and educational context. a.pass offers a one-year artistic research training program at post-master level for artists and theoreticians, based on the principles of self-organization, collaboration and transdisciplinarity. a.pass participants develop an independent artistic research project, with a personalized curriculum in a shared and collectively created research environment.

 

The a.pass research center develops, documents and archives tools for qualitative and relevant artistic research practices. The research center uses this growing archive to communicate and interact with the artistic and educational field and functions as a forum for the development of a critical approach on
artistic research. a.pass emphasizes the relation between the research practices and a broader societal field, and encourages engaged transdisciplinary practices.

 

In the context of its artistic research center, a.pass offers a tailor-made PhD trajectory for doctoral students that gives the possibility to develop the practice-based part of their PhD research in collective research environment.

 

(4) Kaaitheater

The Kaaitheater is a Brussels and international arts centre which has been a leader in theatre, dance, music and performance for over thirty five years.

A number of artists and companies have been closely associated with the Kaaitheater for many years: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker & Rosas, Jan Decorte, Jan Lauwers & Needcompany, Meg Stuart & Damaged Goods, Ictus, tg STAN and Tristero, and from abroad Jérôme Bel, Raimund Hoghe, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Jonathan Burrows, The Wooster Group and others. From 2013 to 2016 Eleanor Bauer, Kris Verdonck, Mette Ingvartsen and Ivo Dimchev are our artists in residence.

Social and ecological topics are a prominent element in Kaaitheater’s work. The Kaaitheater is part of two European networks: Imagine 2020, that focuses on art and climate change, and House on Fire, supporting productions that are intended to contribute to a critical debate on political and social issues.

The Kaaitheater presents about 75 productions each season and welcomes its visitors to two locations in the canal zone in Brussels: the Kaaitheater itself (the large theatre, on Sainctelettesquare) and the Kaaistudio’s (small theatre and rehearsal studios, near Dansaertstraat).

 




information, postgraduate program

MENTORING STRATEGIES block 2015/III

1 September 2015

the new structure for dedicated mentorings and the interview sessions
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performative publishing, research center

Bureau d'Espoir SELF-INTERVIEW Elke – Elle

1 September-31 December 2015 / Abbeye de Forest

MNSTRY
Elke (a.pass researcher): Elle, with the new project ‘Mobile MNSTRY’ you again tackle some of the issues you have been dealing with in your extended project Bureau d’Espoir already for some years: the recuperation and embrace of practices and terms that have been categorized, marginalized and recuperated by capital strategies. For example: you worked on the mobilization of the concept of ‘anorexia’ in the Hunger and Anorexic practices as tools for rethinking our relation to the consumption of food, and our own place in the ‘food chain’ of capitalism. You worked in ‘Battery’ on the embrace of circumstances that are considered detrimental to the ‘healthy’ development of the individual: 21 days of imprisonment, hunger and lack of private space as a spiritual-aesthetic machine for the production of hope and change. Now you propose the Mobile Monastery: a practice that is based on rethinking the monastic rule, the disciplining and deep experience of the everyday, introducing ‘poverty’ and social service (karma yoga) into the practice. Your proposals all seem to verge on the extreme, uncomfortable, and frankly, possibly moralistic. How do you plan to make this collective practice seem inviting to collaborators.
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postgraduate program, research center

2015 BLOCK III

1 September-30 November 2015

2015 POST-GRADUATE PROGRAM AND RESEARCH PROJECTS SUMMARY
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postgraduate program, workshop

Vladimir Miller Settlement VIII

14 September-2 October 2015 / a.pass studio

TOWARDS FRAGILITY

settlement
Settlement is a space that tries very hard not to settle. Its instability naturally works against the establishing of clear boundaries between „your space“ and „my space“, what hopefully follows from that is that it is very difficult to establish boundaries between „your work“ and "my work". I believe that practice is bound by space, and if space gets shaky, unstable, shareable, so does the practice.
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research center, workshop

Adva Zakai / Raphaële Jeune OR SHALL WE USE THE STAIRS?

18-20 September 2015

Or shall we use the stairs?/Helena Dietrich

Brussels-based choreographer Adva Zakai and French curator Raphaële Jeune propose 3 days of lectures and exercises to collectively explore different aspects of the relationship between humans and machines. Together with special guests and anyone interested, we aim to share thoughts on the digitalization of our world, through introduction into concepts that developed in response to it: The challenging dialogue with algorithms, the splendor and misery of Transhumanism, recent developments in Donna Haraway’s thinking (author of 1985’s Cyborg Manifesto) and the theory of Accelerationism.

 

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research center, workshop

Adriana La Selva / Mika Juusela The Bridge

5-9 October 2015

the bridge
This workshop is part of Adriana La Selva’s research on contemporary training methodologies for theatre. The beginning of the project concentrates on a deep understanding of physical practices which draw from the Theatre Anthropology vocabulary developed by Eugenio Barba, in order to question and push forward training principles devised by his group.
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postgraduate program, workshop

Juan Dominguez dirty room

12-22 October 2015 / a.pass studio

EL ANGEL EXTERMINADOR Luis Bunuel 1962.preview
I will ask you a lot of questions, over and over. From the begining till the end. I will question you, you will question everybody, we will experience suspiciousness I guess. In which conspiracy are you involved at the moment? Angles, all the time different ones. We will trip for sure, all kind of trips or maybe not all kinds but different trips. Follow me through the rabbit hole and lets visit Wonderland.
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performative publishing, postgraduate program

Thiago Antunes / Darling, what would you do for being integrated in a new country until the end of the week otherwise you I dont know what but something very bad would happen?

16 October 2015

Colonization, gamification, scores, characters, diagrams, schedules, plans. But, Luanda, how to live from art in Belgium? Should I prepare myself for being a Chef de cuisine at least to earn more mony from restaurants? Yes, of course, if you like it don’t lose your time. I regret not having done the same few years ago. It is hard to be an artist here, very hard, darling.
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lecture, performative publishing, research center

Veridiana Zurita don’t eat the microphone / televizinho / mommy, daddy, me 

24-24 October 2015

invitation research sharing

Los Angeles, Kinderreiche Familie

 

24/10/2015, 7-10pm, a.pass studio, de bottelarij

In 2014 I started working as an artistic researcher in a.pass. Since then I developed three different projects. ‘Don’t Eat the Microphone’: a weekly session developed together with the residents of the psychiatric hospital Dr. Guislain in Ghent, ‘Televizinho’: a series of re-enactments of Brazilian soap-operas with no-actors of a river community in the Amazon and ‘Mommy, Daddy, Me’: a letter trialogue about love relationships between me and my parents. Through these experimental set-ups I gathered a lot of materials of various kinds. Now I would like to share these video’s, texts, experiences and set-ups with you. I would be happy to host you during an evening-long sharing of materials from the research, and offer an idea of the contexts and imaginations that brought these ongoing projects to life.

More information here


end presentation, performative publishing, postgraduate program

FIRE SALE TOUR

3-8 November 2015

firesale5_for webx


postgraduate program, workshop

Bureau d'Espoir Mobile MNSTRY

9-22 November 2015 / Abbeye of Forest

MNSTRY
The Mobile MNSTRY (Monastery, Ministery, Monster-y) is a collective location project, organised in and around the previous Abbeye of Forest. The MNSTRY will install a temporary (monastic) community that lives and works within a limited area, following a shared time score and accepting the rule of poverty for the duration of the workshop. During this time all activities of the MNSTRY will be organised within the public contexts of Forest, and developed as an open invitation to the neighbourhood and passers-by. During the workshop the time score of the MNSTRY will bit by bit start to change: the original 'monastic' score will be taken over by the members of the community, who will start to decide on what there is to be done, what we will spend our shared time on, and what is it that is needed today, here, and for whom.
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APPLY TO THE A.PASS PROGRAMMES

post-master program
pre phd-program
phd-program
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