pa, postgraduate program, project
Where do we go from here – Block 2022 III
5 September-30 November 2022
a proposal by Martina Petrovic
Is a series of dinner encounters which aims to map and introduce four collectives from the Brussels scene to a.pass participants from the September block 2022. Collectives: Common Wallet, Helectolitre, BOSCH and JUBILEE/EMPTOR, are self-organized, or which have alternative approaches on commons, organization, finances and ways of living and working as artists.
Through a format of dinner we will explore how these collectives operate, what are the politics behind the modes of being and working together, where are the difficulties and what are exciting new possibilities of working with different structures. Participants of a.pass will come to the dinners of these four collectives, after these four encounters for the final dinner a.pass will take the role of the host.
Sept 20th, 7pm: Dinner with Hectolitre
Oct 7th, 7pm: Dinner with Common Wallet
Oct 27th, 4pm: Reading Room and dinner with Jubilee/Emptor
The dinner table has its own politics, how one sets it influences the conversation around it, it can generate questions, introduce different ways of composing a menu, question the tools we use, it can unveil the social structures that make the table possible, sometimes unexpected surprising flavors appear on one’s plate and many other delicious subject can surface on it.
These encounters would allow us to collect tools, inspiration and to learn from existing experience and structures on how to collectivize. Further to question what are the challenges, where to search for help, or what is the strength of working in these alternative ways. It would be amazing if this encounter would spark connections and give opportunity to new, unexpected ways of thinking. Maybe some of these conversations encourage propositions where to begin, which steps to take, what traps to avoid, etc. Maybe they provide inspiration to come together and merge projects or initiate art communities and support systems for each other.
DINNER with HECTOLITRE- 20th of September – Rue de L’Hectolitre 3.
HECTOLITRE is a space dedicated to artists who wish to delve deeper into their projects, experiment with transdisciplinarity and connect their art form/research to the neighborhood. The artists living and working at HECTOLITRE are co-joining interconnected community rings, together with involved neighbors, socio-cultural activists, local and international artists/curators. It is also a place where I have been living for 8 months now, which has opened for me a door to an amazing artist community, given me the time and space for research and implemented the seed from which the idea for dinners with collectives blossomed.
HECTOLITRE is also an unusual building in the heart of the Marolles neighborhood undergoing a radical change of identity. Former swingers club, then storage for antiques, the space is filled with peculiar Art Brut interventions, resembling a kind of «memory forest».Thus, visually and symbolically complex, the surrounding is no obstacle, but rather is perceived as a living system to accept, associate, question, and experience, providing a shared atelier, hosting exhibitions, performances, musical encounters, film projections, debates and other initiatives. The complementarity among artists, curators, creatives and neighbors inhabit the place and catalyze exchange.
The project’s device is based on open, curious and benevolent exchange. Innovation, perseverance, the desire to undertake guide the approach, all in an atmosphere that is joyful, lively and harmonious. The methodology of co-creation and collective intelligence governs the organization of the life of the place and the design and implementation of projects.
Meeting of the hectolitre community would take place through a neighborly Balkan traditional activity of roasting papers for preparation of traditional autumn dish Ajvar. Ajvar is a spread made from paprika, oil and spaces which is not only delicious but always takes more than 1 person to make. It invites people to come together, make a summary of the summer experiences, and start preparations for winter. This collective activity also has its economical side, it takes care of rationing the resources,by using one grill and stove for multiple households. Which brings us also to an unavoidable discussion in these times about the advantages of cohousing, living in the collectivity, and sharing working and living spaces. Where and how to search for them and how to start commonizing? Further questioning: the organic organization of the community, what does it mean, and how does it function?
DINNER with COMMON WALLET – 7 October, 7pm @ Rue de L’Hectolitre 3
Common Wallet is a shared bank account and an experiment of radical trust created by a small community of eight people mainly based in Brussels. The members are artists and cultural producers with different lifestyles, levels of wealth and family conditions. Every income generated by the participants is shared in one common bank account. Any member of the Common Wallet can take money from this account based on their needs and with responsibility towards the group and life’s projects. This means that all everyday and regular expenses such as rent / mortgage, food, clothing, energy, transport are paid for by this common pot of resources. The experiment started in January 2018 without fixed rules but with a shared set of values and the idea to practice a polyamorous relationship with money.
Common Wallet’s polyamorous relationship with money is a provocative experiment in trust. They invite us to have a conversation around our relation to money. How does one deal with income, resources and outgoing costs – how do we tackle the taboo around these issues? When the current capitalistic structures are not very welcoming, where and how could we reach for alternative solutions? The dinner with Common Wallet will tackle these questions through an open conversation around the table and by introducing us to a game made by three common walleters, named Commonopoly. How did the idea come about? How is a common wallet structured? What are its positive sides, opportunities and pitfalls.
The dinner is curated by Amy Pickles and Martina Petrovic, in collaboration with Adva Zakai and Anna Rispoli (from Common Wallet).
DINNER with JUBILEE/EMPTOR – 27th of October, 4-9pm @ Radical House (Luikenaarsstraat 2 Rue des Liégeois, 1050 Elsene/Ixelles)
Jubilee is an artist-run organisation that functions as a platform for artistic research. Jubilee is a polyphonic and transdisciplinary structure that supports the work and research of its founding artists, as well as the projects of associated artists within collective reflection trajectories. Jubilee initiates collaborations as a basis for long-term and reciprocal relationships.
Jubilee is concerned with sustainability of artist practices and pursues viable conditions for an ecology of artistic practices. Jubilee wants to raise awareness among artists and have a positive impact on organisations and policies. It does so both by disseminating critical perspectives on the existing precarization in the arts field through individual artistic projects and collective reflections, and by participating in educational contexts, debates, lectures and working groups on an (inter)national level. Jubilee aims to propose practice-based solutions to reconceptualize solidarity systems.
Jubilee’s most comprehensive collective research trajectories are Caveat and Emptor.
Caveat and Emptor
The project title Caveat alludes to the expression caveat emptor (buyer beware) – signaling the research’s ambition to raise awareness around financial transfers in the arts and around how money is constitutive for work relationships, on a socio-economic, legal and cultural-institutinial level.
Caveat’s primal focus is on contracts as a tool for reconfiguring relationships in the field of visual arts. The research project Emptor focuses on property relationships. In the wake of collaborative, performative, internet-based, audiovisual, and immaterial turns in the arts, it is ever more delicate and complex to define what is the artwork, and how it can be exhibited, conserved and sold. Ownership of material objects remains crucial within the visual arts economy, regardless of the challenges that new art practices pose to materialisation and acquisition. How to dislodge the focus on property to ensure the ‘life’ of artworks within collaborative set-ups?
Emptor proceeds by alternating a series of preparatory Reading Rooms with public-facing Assemblies of Practice, for in-depth presentation and study of practices of associated researchers.
Reading Room #25, towards the Assembly of Practice ‘Whose institution?’
Working towards Emptor’s third assembly of practice ‘Whose institution?’, Jubilee invites a.pass to Reading Room #25. We gather around texts from the Handbook that accompanies Documenta 15/Lumbung, an artist-run and collectively structured edition of Documenta which has implied a significant shift in the possibilities of institutional practice. Lumbung is the name for a storage in rural areas for surplus rice that is collectively managed.
The Reading Room will proceed with a dinner conceptualized by Martina Petrovic.