Passepartout 2020-12-11T18:25:31+01:00 Emma Hyttel Tørnæs Open Journal Systems Introduction 2020-12-11T18:25:30+01:00 Signe Meisner Christensen Rachel Mader 2020-12-09T23:02:31+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## On Care and Citizenship 2020-12-11T18:25:30+01:00 Elke Krasny <p>As a result of the most pressing concerns of our global present, care, essential to life and survival, is at the center of political struggles and ethical concerns in the 21st-century. With access to health care infrastructures highly unevenly distributed, and caring labor vastly exploited, care injustice is on the rise. The Waiting Room by artist Simone Leigh addresses these concerns. Dedicated to commemorating care worker Esmin Elizabeth Green, who, after 24 hours of waiting, died in the waiting room of a Brooklyn hospital in 2008, this project transformed the New Museum into a center for care, and political mobilization. Foregrounding the experience of Black female subjectivities, alternative healing, and radical resistance, Leigh’s art-as-social practice gave rise to Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter, who used the museum for self-care and political organizing. This essay follows the nexus of care and citizenship through the political dimensions of infrastructural access to health care and culture. Remembering that the modern museum, implicated in the politics and economies of colonial capitalism, created rituals of citizenship based on an exclusionary gendered and racialized notion of the citizen, this essay asks if The Waiting Room enacts a ritual of care as ritual of citizenship.</p> 2020-12-10T22:51:38+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Strategy and Spell 2020-12-11T18:25:30+01:00 Luiza Crosman <p><em>The essay “Strategy and Spell: Art as Infrastructural Change” is an investigation of the performative force art spaces have on the field of art and on various infrastructures at large. It is also a strategic proposition on how to envision a position for action and from which to gain leverage within the current neoliberal global context. Drawing from contemporary art, design and media theory on systemic thinking, and the post-contemporary time complex, the essay reflects on two personal projects: the exhibition space casamata (2014–2017), and the project TRAMA, developed for the 33<sup>rd</sup> São Paulo Biennial – Affective Affinities (2018). Favoring a speculative approach that tackles large-scale problematics and collective organization, it demonstrates how there are many potentialities contained in exhibition spaces and how such potentialities could, through an understanding of a contemporary art megastructure and art practice as infrastructural change, operate new experiments for the art system.</em></p> 2020-12-10T22:52:46+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Institutions as Semantic Forms 2020-12-11T18:25:30+01:00 Gabriel Flückiger <p>With reference to different examples of self-organized Swiss art projects, this article highlights how the ‘institution’—especially Kunsthallen—can be a (literal) infrastructure for running a project. As such, institutions act more as semantic forms. However, this does not mean that they are merely simulated or faked, but rather that these semantic forms serve as vessels for artistic ends of social connections and imagination of production, which ultimately create something concerned with institutional imagination.</p> 2020-12-11T14:58:19+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Organizing in the Public Interest 2020-12-11T18:25:30+01:00 Ditte Vilstrup Holm <p>Art’s engagement with social practices has promoted reflections in art theory about strategies of organizing. Whether in the form of temporary self-organized initiatives, interventions into society or as the possibility of art developing alternative, sustainable organizations, questions of organizing come to the fore. In this article, I suggest that art theory will benefit from engaging with organizational theory, and I point to sociologist John Law’s concept of “modes of ordering” as a useful analytical tool with which to study the organizing practices involved in and affecting contemporary art. In particular, the article targets the field of participatory practices and suggests that they might be interpreted as the effect of cross-institutional modes of ordering. The potential of such an analysis is twofold. First, it offers an alternative analytical entrance point into the field of participatory practices, as opposed to the two dominant positions of a durational-dialogical and a conflictual-interventionist perspective. Second, it underlines how organizational processes cut across disciplinary fields and institutional barriers, generating networks of processual relations that support and strengthen certain practices, while challenging and impeding other practices.</p> 2020-12-11T14:59:07+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Infrastructure as Chewing Gum 2020-12-11T18:25:30+01:00 Rachel Mader <p>Starting with the observation that institutions are far beyond the stable and clearly organized structures their representation in respective tools like organigrams, websites or specification booklets suggest, the article is interested in the way the manifold loopholes that are part of each institutional setting can be activated for an emancipatory use. With reference to concepts such as “affirmative sabotage” (Spivak, 2016) or strategies of intervention (Mouffe, 2012) it is interested in how this can be done as part of the daily routine within institutional life and, by doing this, in how far there is a potential for changing institutions on a long-term basis. A specific understanding of institution underlies this view, one which states that regulations are far less absolute than is commonly assumed; something often ex negativo is asserted in institutional critique as well. In contrast, they depend on acting subjects, routines or even rituals. Therefore the text undertakes a micropolitical viewing of an interplay between actors and structures that is continuously negotiated. My own institution, an art university, and my interaction with it, will serve as a case study of the analysis.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> 2020-12-11T14:40:47+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Interviews with the Swamp Thing, the Poacher and the Healer 2020-12-11T18:25:30+01:00 Jamie Allen Bernhard Garnicnig Lucie Kolb <p>Interactions with and within institutions have characteristic qualities, styles, personalities, and tone. These aspects of institutional life are difficult to capture through formal description or professional obligation. Institutions comprise performed characters, each activating infrastructural scenography in their way, infusing physical, procedural architectures with particular tonalities. How might we trace these performers? What are these performances, and for whom are they enacted?</p> <p>Transcribed here are conversations with essential practitioners. These are the characters of art institutions, tracing outlines of who they are and what they do, and how they perform it. Necessarily veiled and anonymized, these personnel profiles have monikers following their ways of life within the institution: Swamp Thing, Poacher, and Healer. They recount and refract dimensions of the critically indivisible person-professional-practitioner entities that people in arts and cultural institutions find themselves impelled or compelled to become. Such exchanges about practices in institutions reveal how these contexts demand that we enact reactionary and curative roles, composed within the constraints and affordances of the scenographic infrastructure of buildings and publications, policies and procedures, presumption, and tradition.</p> 2020-12-11T14:41:38+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Only Temporary. Structures in Flux 2020-12-11T18:25:30+01:00 Annette Maechtel <p>Botschaft e.V. was an association of up to fifteen people at a time, which in the six years of its existence in East Berlin, from 1990 to 1996, produced a multiplicity of spaces, discourses, media, personal constellations and fields of practice. In 1995, the group was invited to documenta X by its artistic director Catherine David, but refused to participate because in their view it would have narrowed them down as a group of artists. Their agenda, instead, was a wide range of exhibition projects, video and film productions, Internet platforms, self-organized seminars, clubs and political activism, which was constantly developed further through new projects. However, these project-based ways of working have entered into a complex and often complicit relationship with flexible and precarious work contexts that Luc Boltanski and Ève Chiapello characterized as part of a “new spirit of capitalism” (1999). This perspective overlooked and ignored the political dimension of a purely temporary structural fixation. This paper will describe a practice caught between the conflicting processes of institutionalizating and instituent practices as exemplified by Botschaft eV.. A nuanced presentation of their micropolitics shows how their ability to resist questions of representation and temporary power relations allowed them to create possibilities for action.</p> 2020-12-11T14:42:11+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Resound Kefalonia 2020-12-11T18:25:30+01:00 Sandra Volny <p>This paper examines emerging artistic experiments led by Resound Kefalonia (2018), a Sound and Space Research group operating on the island of Kefalonia, Greece, as a case study of the region’s surviving aural spaces. Initiated by artist-researcher Sandra Volny, Sound and Space Research uses in situ sensorial experimentation as the main tool to expose “The Surviving Aural Spaces,” a key concept of Volny’s research. Hidden in the background noise and spatial echoes, the surviving takes shape in sonic traces, sonic residues, and sonic fossils. Persistent while intangible, resisting their own disappearance, surviving aural spaces appear in the tenuousness of our environment and our memories. The paper reflects on the response of the team to the island’s sonic territory, as well as a site-specific workshop led by invited sound artist Jacob Kirkegaard. Topics and questions raised by these experiments inspire innovative models of contextual, collective, and interdisciplinary collaborations. In the clash of our remembering, it is necessary to stretch the ear in order to become conscious of our aural universe. Resound Kefalonia reiterates the importance of auditory awareness in paying attention to our surroundings, and listening to the history and the stories of the unheard.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> 2020-12-11T14:42:49+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Starting from the Middle—Handshaking in Hökarängen 2020-12-11T18:25:30+01:00 Signe Meisner Christensen <p>This text analyses the project <em>Home Works</em>, an art program that took place in 2015–17 in Konsthall C, a contemporary art center in the Stockholm suburb of Hökarängen. The argument of the article is that Home Works can be seen as a socio-material practice of producing the city differently. I thus propose that Home Works provides an example of how art projects hold a potential as methodologies for enacting versions of the city that connect to contemporary social struggles as well as to the right to the city. The text applies a pragmatist, new materialist methodology and proposes that urban realities are enacted through practices and co-shaped by the spatial and architectural environment. Thereby I seek to discuss with an art discourse that has been preoccupied with defining socially engaged art as communicative (as a layer of reality that can be added or removed) and with a trend in urban studies which views temporary art projects as subservient to urban restructurings driven by gentrification.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> 2020-12-11T14:43:21+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Common Tensions 2020-12-11T18:25:31+01:00 Sarah Kanouse Nicholas Brown <p>Based in the hilly, unglaciated Driftless Area of the upper Midwest of the United States, Common/Place is a self-organized, off-the-grid platform for ecological resilience, cultural inquiry, and land-based pedagogy. The rustic setting offers a space to examine how such rural spaces have been both produced by and mobilized within the linked projects of capitalist extraction and settler colonial extermination and to connect and grow the nodes of resistance always present within such systems. Our primary project up to this point has been a series of experimental seminars assembling artists, writers, and cultural workers to learn from and with naturalists, historians, farmers, citizens of the Indigenous Ho-Chunk Nation, and the land itself. This grounded creative research and pedagogy generates a network of informal relationships that connect the urban and rural to break through the present moment of political retrenchment and set the stage for social and ecological cooperation in the face of the climate chaos to come. This practice-based, epistolary essay reflects on the first four years of Common/Place, highlighting constitutive tensions and continued negotiations around property, relationships, ecology, and time—individual, generational, and geological—that can quickly become sedimented in infrastructure and no longer open to question.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> 2020-12-11T14:54:41+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Commoning-Based Collective Design 2020-12-11T18:25:31+01:00 Eve Olney <p><em>This article outlines how a radical practice of commoning-based collective design is developing new concepts of social practices, through a direct democratic common assembly method. A commoning-based approach implies that collective design is being developed with the underlining principles of broader commoning practices and living. This includes an anti-capitalist standpoint and a focus on fairness, equality, inclusion, sharing, self-limitation and self-organisation (Bollier and Helfrich, 2019).</em></p> <p><em>The underlining organizational principles are drawn from political theorist Cornelius Castoriadis’s argument for an ethical and political project of social organisation, which is based upon self-governance through an ongoing process of common assemblies, and Murray Bookchin’s conception of communalism, where “every productive enterprise falls under the purview of the local assembly … to meet the interests of the community as a whole” (Bookchin, 2015, pp. 17–18).</em></p> <p><em>Two art exhibitions, thematically centered on precarious living conditions, as well as two ongoing social projects, serve as case studies that provide a reflective critique in which I argue how this methodological approach opens a new field of discourse relating to social participation in communal projects. Within this argument, a new critical interplay between art and architectural practices emerges in terms of fulfilling a role within long-term social change.</em></p> 2020-12-11T15:49:48+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## The Art Institution as a Commonist Training Ground 2020-12-11T18:25:31+01:00 Kathrine Bolt Rasmussen <p>In this article the current attempt to (prefiguratively) transform the Utrecht-based exhibition space Casco into an institution of the commons is introduced and discussed. Focusing on this shift where commoning is conceptualized as both a working method and as a long-term horizon, the article analyses Casco’s aim to put into practice a commonist aesthetic as an art institution. The article identifies how Casco uses the current (economic, social and climatic) crisis to perform a commonist alternative to neoliberal capitalism. The article discusses different readings of related institutional projects. Some critics find such projects to be arty recuperations of potentially subversive strategies of resistance; others argue that the horizontal strategies of commoning risk being assimilated too easily by neoliberal capitalism, which uses them to re-launch itself, with the result that the commons end up forming the basis of new capitalist growth. Although the creatively playful experiments at Casco in many ways are characterised by paradoxical and contrasting tactics of resistance, the article argues that they constitute an important suggestion on how art can be used to point out alternative ways of inhabiting the world in a present situation characterized by ideological breakdown and crises.</p> 2020-12-11T17:29:03+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Commoning and Learning from Athens, Documenta 14 (2017) 2020-12-11T18:25:31+01:00 Sevie Tsampalla <p>The paper focuses on Documenta 14, Learning from Athens (2017). Documenta is a large-scale international, periodic, contemporary art exhibition which takes place every five years in Kassel, its permanent home since 1955. In 2017 the exhibition was also staged in Athens, a city which Polish curator Adam Szymczyk saw as a relevant vantage point from which to speak about crisis, austerity and resistance against them. The move followed the attention that Athens has drawn in the past decade as a site to learn from everyday struggles and collective art practices amidst ongoing crisis; particularly in occupations that house migrants and refugees, commoning practices based on sharing, cooperation and solidarity, provide collective grassroots responses to austerity, anti-migrant policies and shape new forms of social organization. Documenta 14 closed its doors by performatively declaring itself as a commons. Its public program had inquired about the commons as a political concept in relation to struggles in migration and commoning in relation to negotiating the boundaries of identities and art institutions. The move to Athens could even be seen as a gesture towards instituting in the commons, since the curatorial team called for solidarity with the city’s organizations. Among the envisioned institutional alliances, which ultimately never materialized, was the Athens Biennale, a biennial receiving scarce state support and considered a resilient model experimenting with collectivity. Moreover, by prioritizing partnerships mainly with public institutions, in order to support them as common goods, Documenta 14 pointed to the commons as a savior of the public, rather than as a way to redefine its boundaries, creating a gap in its horizon as a Documenta instituted in the commons. By examining Documenta 14 and commoning in relation to the context, the scope and lastly the instituting horizon, the paper thus argues that the gaps between the performative claim of Documenta 14 as a commons and the potentializing of commoning by the exhibition remain significant.</p> 2020-12-11T17:29:31+01:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##