Oxana Timofeeva is a Professor at “Stasis” Center for Philosophy at the European University at St. Petersburg, member of the artistic collective "Chto Delat?" ("What is to be done?"), deputy editor of the journal "Stasis", and the author of books History of Animals(London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018; Maastricht: Jan van Eyck, 2012; trans. into Russian, Turkish, Slovenian, and Persian), Introduction to the Erotic Philosophy of Georges Bataille (Moscow: New Literary Observer, 2009), How to Love a Homeland (Cairo: Kayfa ta, 2020; trans. into Arabic), and other writings.
On the Soul Video recording - online talk
- Oxana Timofeeva
- 19 November 2020
Hosting Research Center Cycle 2 Block II
- Breg Horemans, Davide Tidoni, Esteban Donoso, Lili M. Rampre, Pia Louwerens, Nicolas Galeazzi
- 01 September 2020
- 12 December 2020
- case of: Nicolas Galeazzi
Debunking the Myth or The Emperor’s New Clothes Revisited
- Elke van Campenhout
- 16 November 2020
- 20 November 2020
AUTODOMESTICATION 01 September 2020
- Krõõt Juurak
- 27 October 2020
- 31 October 2020
Settlement 16 The Unconditional Institution
- Vladimir Miller
- 14 September 2020
- 03 October 2020
- case of: Vladimir Miller
2020 has so far been a turbulent year: of course, the global background we are all aware of, but also for a.pass and all involved, as a community, as a group of colleagues and as a place of politics and organisation. We need time to meet despite all difficulties, and we need time to think together. We think of this block primarily as a meeting of ideas and practices of the researchers and the block contributors, in order to make space for an emergent support structure shared between all involved. Our desire is to ground the support structure of a.pass in a close relationship with the necessities and practices of the researchers. Curating here refers again more to care, than to an overarching trajectory. The core of what we do, practice artistic research, is what needs input and support. Starting from the question of what we need and how to organise it we want to create transitory and sustainable modes of organising and sharing research. The block practice, starting with the Settlement gathering, is focused on organisational and structural awareness and feedback: which spatial and temporal structures do we propose, how is it working with us and our research, and is it something we should keep for the future?
APPLY TO THE A.PASS PROGRAMMESSIGN UP TO EVENTORDER
01 September 2020
posted by: Vladimir Miller
During the days of Sept 14th - Oct 3rd 2020 a.pass will come together and host an open workspace called Settlement. In the course of these three weeks we will share our current work processes within an open collaborative workspace. We aim to create a poly-central gathering that is self-structured, self-organized and open to contributions from anyone. You are cordially invited to join this process by establishing your own space in the a.pass Settlement and sharing some of your ideas, practices or works with others. The materials and structures available at the a.pass main space will be a common resource for all who join to create whatever is needed to facilitate this process. The schedule for these three weeks will be developed on site by its participants and shared online on the a.pass website.
please let us know if you want to join this workshop by subscribing a week before you come. covid measures will be followed in the shared environment to ensure it safety.
some key ideas which have informed similar spaces before:
The potential of this setup is that it allows us to encounter each others processes instead of products of our artistic work. Processes are much more difficult to make visible and to see as they require a different mode of attention and participation. The attempt to witness a process requires a change in the temporal mode of being-together in the collective space.
The space we are trying to facilitate is open, but it is not an exhibition. There is no „spectator mode“, and no institutionalised responsibility for hosting visitors. However any participant (including possible newcomers) is welcome to invite and host anybody according to the logic of their work process. Anybody is welcome to join the collective space for any timespan, respectful of the fact that Settlement is a predominately a workspace. The (growing/changing) group will try to provide enough information at the entrance, so that everyone feels welcome and knows how to join and share.
We will collect most of the materials for the space from the a.pass storage and re-accommodate them towards our purposes. This strategy produces a space that is fragile, self-made, and constantly changing. Such a space influences the sociability within it towards similar qualities – towards a more fluid social contract. In asking for a hands-on construction and deconstruction of its makeshift set-ups, such a space allows for a quicker change of settings and a decentralised mode of (self)organisation. For this reason, the suggestion is to refrain from using usual furniture (tables and chairs) and improvise new set ups for „work-stations“ and collective moments out of what we can scavenge.
The Unconditional Institution
While this workshop is a place for all involved to develop their own and collaborative work, it is also a place where we can come together around a common concern or concerns. Settlement invites to think about research in a similar way: as a material contribution to the shared environment, a place to care for which can bring other researchers together in collaboration.. The time frame of three weeks allows to actually build these spaces and consider their material conditions, access and affordances.
Coming out of the a.pass conference Research Futures, and as the initiator of this workspace Vladimir Miller will contribute a focus on the idea of an Unconditional Institution to the shared space. This focus is not a mandatory collective topic of discussion, but a first in hopefully a number of collaborative focal points which will develop during the process. This work on the Unconditional Institution will take the form of a collective debating and writing of a manifesto in conversation with all who want to join.
If neo-liberalism behaves as if it was unconditional (in the sense of all-encompassing), how can public institutions hold against and within this condition? They need to be built on fundamentally different politics in order to be able to provide a real alternative.
How can we rethink institutions as care places for specific practices and topics? How can we rethink their borders and access on the basis of time and labour investment into shared concerns, and not on the basis of belonging?
The practice of Settlement is asking the question of access on a granular level: if our practices are mini-institutions within the artificial mini society / space of the Settlement, what are their modalities of conditional and unconditional access? Learning from our own small institutions we can look towards the bigger ones and develop desires and paradigms of how they should be working.
The idea of the Unconditional Institution is rethinking the fundamental ideas of access which institutions are built on. How can we turn the paradigm of conditional access to institutions around? Can we imagine institutions with unconditional access? How would that work within a society where conditional access is the very foundation of social and economic life? Can we create a utopian imperative for institutions to give unconditional access to their resources like space, time, materials as part of their structural organisation?
posted by: Vladimir Miller
As a performer you provide your audience with something that cannot be measured in material terms. As regards the activity that produces the cultural content of the commodity, your labour involves a series of activities that are not normally recognised as work – activities involved in defining and determining cultural and artistic standards, fashions, tastes, consumer norms and, on a strategic level, public opinion. As a performer you are primarily a producer of subjectivity. Typically, an artist’s value does not lie in what they “do” but in what they “are”. Now, remember, for example, how Richard Florida described the processes of gentrification caused by the migration of artists and creative workers – the artists may or may not be aware of the value of their mere presence but on a larger scale they produce “results” simply by existing. Survival in the (performing) arts requires creativity that goes beyond the artworks one creates. In fact, a typical performing artist spends about 99 percent of their time off stage – as an audience member, a critic, an administrator, a networker, friend, mentor, student, teacher and so on. Inventing and re-inventing oneself on and offstage, adjusting to various situations, restrictions, moving from project to project, one residency to the next, brimming with creative energy, training and forever educating oneself is the way forward.Autodomestication is a workshop about becoming what one already is. Autodomestication asks the participants to colonise themselves to the furthest edges of their souls, extend in all directions and go nowhere. This is the first level of a multi-layered performance which will extend beyond workshop hours and breaks. Infinite moods in which one is not fully aware of what type of decision will be asked to be made next, time-based ways of being, spaces of attention, autobiography as a tool of speculation, insurrection of experience and emotions, and non-causal reasoning.You can find a conversation between Krõõt Juurak and Vladimir Miller here:
01 September 2020
posted by: Vladimir Miller
16.-20. Nov 2020
To be a contemporary artist comes with a lot of prerequisites these days: unspoken discourse rules, critical norms, and a general salonfähig consensus about values like fluidity, horizontality, collaboration, etcetera… Often these values are taken for granted while a strong discourse is ruling the artist's world, zooming in on any hint of postcolonial insensitivity, patriarchal blindness, gender observations, and faintly non-consensual power use. This attitude stems from the bountiful history of feminist and queer studies, cultural studies insights, and a general growing awareness of her-stories and the damage done by biased educations and cultural misgivings. But at the same time there are also a lot of other untouched territories underlying these value markers: 19th century romanticism, liberalism, humanism, … Each one carrying within it a very specific view of what it means to be a human being in this world, how we are connected and what we are able to convey.
In the current climate it seems to me a lot of these values are not questioned thoroughly on how they influence our capacity to open up to the choices in the work that want to manifest. Often the research is blocked by the embodied discourse, warning against any infractions on the presupposed shared value system. Which often seems to stop the experimentation at the point where it dips into uncertainty, risk and the danger of losing the stamp of approval of the community. In this workshop I would like to look into these presuppositions, both on a discursive and body level: to see what are the desires that are being thwarted by the powers-that-are-being-accepted, and how we can reclaim the ones that aren’t and activate them in a thinking and body practice out of a normative context, but within the expansive limits of an experimental research practice.
Deadline to sign up is Thursday, 12.11.2020
22 September 2020
posted by: Nicolas Galeazzi
There, we go on…
The Associate Researchers are sitting together again physically. Sometimes masked, hands well disinfected and -as usually, hosted by the institutional care of a.pass. This care might be physical as never before. After several months under the lockdown's separating conditions and a half-suspended block, live meetings seem to be a real relief! It feels like re-starting the real. Of course, this feeling is not justified. However locked away from the real-'live' and however difficult the Corona-spring was, the productivity of the online collaborations was astonishing! A new online working-site has been filled with masses of texts, notes, and plans. It might be difficult to document live working processes with the same intensity. Last block ended with a residency in Zsenne Art Lab in July, when physical meetings were possible again. Workshops were proposed by each researcher as a way to share and exchange. This residency stayed contained within a small group of people, that for the first time came together physically.
Now, the autumn block has started with a new constellation of people and new conditions - the conditions of the post-lockdown-yet-infectious-city-life. The associate researchers Pia Louwerens, Breg Horemans, Davide Tidoni, Lili Rampre, Esteban Donoso, and block curator Nicolas Galeazzi meet again regularly. More or less every second Thursday one of us is hosting the others in their research 'field'.
When we meet, half of the meeting, we are guests in the field of the other. We think-with, take part, and relate to whatever is proposed to be practiced. The second half of the meeting is explicitly not pre-conditioned by us. We relate to what is there, to what comes up, or what is needed at the moment. The possible plays of guest and host - amongst bodies and viruses, parasites, and hosts - are multiple, and allow us to experience our relational dependencies.
There, we are again...
Again and again, it is necessary to think through the relational field we are working with. Not only the forced physical distancing, the prohibited hugs, and the masked faces, but also the role of the institutional and individual responsibilities, the new urgencies for presence and absence, and a new mix of carefulness and caring, are tinted the relational questions at a.pass with the Corona crisis.
What and who are we to each other in a research group? What does the research group do for us? What does it mean to be Associate Researchers - what does it mean to be a host? What is the institutional framework - what does it allow, and what does it problematize? What kind of projections are made into the institutional, and what kind of speculations could we unleash on them?
The virus highlights these questions in a very special way. Bodily distanced, we are still physically related. It feels like a real-time training in relational ontology. Donna Haraway manifests it as “beings do not pre-exist their relating" and therefore relations do produce us, not the other way round. This way to see ontology is into our face any time we have to say hello to somebody and hesitate whether to show the elbow, to hug, or just to stay still at 1,5m apart. Anyway, or specifically now, it’s worth putting the focus more on shaping relations around us rather than to shape ourselves. If this is true, attitudes of hosting, being it places, practices, contexts, and perspectives is an approach we will explore.
"We are going"..
Derrida starts his article on Steps of Hospitality / No Hospitality with this ontological statement about being guest, always! "We are moving around: from transgression to transgression but also from digression to digression." What does that mean in the contemporary context? "This step too many." These days we are crossing lines at any moment. Unavoidably. The lines of the subject are massively shaken, enforced, penetrated, and transgressed or at least put in question by a multitude of crisis - Crisis of trust (replaced by control), a crisis of care (replaced by security), a crisis of mattering (denied by ignorance).
Derrida invites us to practice unconditional hospitality and sets out the conditions for it: to go on, step by step, to put oneself in a constant not-knowing the lines guest/host-hood.
What can that mean with respect to Haraway’s relational ontology?
Probably we can explore this by speaking out invitations. Let’s challenge unconditional hospitality and ask how to shape relations as a conditioning factor to deepen our understanding of the specific relational fields we find ourselves in.
We are going on a walk..
As a starting ‚seminar’ in this block, we invite ourselves for a walk in the Ardennes. We will be hosted by Elke Van Campenhout at her new residence and invite her to join our 'going on'.
Originated in the wish to give attention to all the physical and social side-processes around our research in focus, which inform our relations, trajectories, and perceptions, we want to share an experience of time besides the habitual working patterns. A hike seemed to be a simple push out of habits into a habitat where we are guests per se. Let's see how this attention infects us and our research.
27 November 2020
posted by: Steven Jouwersma[video width="1280" height="720" mp4="https:///www.apass.be/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Oxana-Timofeeva-On-The-Soul.mp4"][/video]Oxana TimofeevaOn the SoulA talk and a conversation on the soul. This talk took place on November 19th.The talk was proposed by Adriano Wilfert Jensen and supported by the a.pass participants assembly as part of a new modality of participants curated content at a.pass.The talk addresses to some episodes in the history of philosophy from antiquity to the present, where the soul is considered, fist, in its corporeal aspects, i.e. in its immediate or mediated connection to the body, and second, in the context of the question of the passages between the human and the nonhuman, as well as between individual and collective experiences.