Category: School of Mutation

THE ART OF DAO | Decentralised Autonomous Organizations for the Commons


School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration DAO Decentralised Autonomous Organizations for the Commons. The online meeting is on Wednesday, June 9th Round Table 15:00 CEST, Lecture 17:00. The lecture and the round table will be recorded and streamed in the museum, the zoom room will be open to the speakers.

Co-organized by 

Institute of Radical Imagination / The School of Mutation

The Sphere for LIFE on The Planet ORSIMANIRANA / MGK – Hamburg 

Program

15.00 – Round table 

NFT, Quadratic Vote and Common Wallets 

Ruth Catlow (Furtherfield), Emanuele Braga, Cem Dagdelen (CurveLabs / The Sphere), Massimiliano Mollona (Goldsmith University/IRI) in discussion with Erik Bordeleau,  Massimo De Angelis and Jerszy Seymour

We gather around this table projects and researchers that experimented in the last decade on how to use blockchain and crypto-economic for the process of commoning. The challenge here is how to use technology, not for a blind techno-optimism, replicating the capitalistic financialization of the social, competition and individualism, but on the opposite, how new technologies could infrastructure the planet to come. In this round table, we question how NFT, decision-making process, fundraising and common management of resources can be the technological answers to political questions. 

17.00 – Lecture

We Too Have a Code:  Notes Around Digital Commons and the question of Programmability

Erik Bordeleau

We need to cultivate a new feel of the infrastructure that is up to the challenge of political organizing in the digital age. How do we conceive of the becoming machinic of the social, and the becoming social of the abstract machines we are part of? And how does that concern the formation of cosmo-financial or crypto-scalable commons to come?  Taking Deleuze & Guattari’s notion of surplus value of code as a starting point, this presentation will explore the question of organization as digital incorporation in an age of monetary experimentation, following the development distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and the emergent field of blockchain-based cryptoeconomics.

18.00 – Performance 

How to visualize an ecosystem

UNCOMMON GROUND: ART ECOLOGY AND DE-COLONIAL FREEDOM | T. J. Demos in conversation with Mao Mollona


School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration Film Archive and Militant Cinema. The online meeting is on Tuesday, June 15th at 20:00 CET; 11:00 PTS.  Join us on Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85226477196  Meeting ID: 852 2647 7196 – Streaming online on IRI YouTube Channel – Share the FB event

Having worked for more than two decades at the intersection of art, de-colonial politics and ecological justice, art historian T. J. Demos has consistently theorized and written about art as an experimental practice of “world making”, based on speculative knowledge creation and posed against racial and colonial capitalism, emerging in the dialogical encounter between artists and various communities of action and social movements. Demos’ vision of “ecology as intersectionality” locates revolutionary agency at the crossroad, and, as an articulation, of different, socio-political, and economic fields, and out of the labour of connection, mediation, and recuperation of shifting and diverse “uncommon grounds”. In conversation with Mao Mollona, Demos will discuss contemporary practices of de-colonial and anti-capitalist artistic engagement, particularly resurgent forms of black and indigenous activism. Besides, in line with recent IRI’s iterations, he will also discuss his involvement with the Zapatista political experiment in Chiapas, considered as a form of anti-colonial and anti-capitalist socio-political experiment, a revolutionary indigenous aesthetics and an experiential practice of land-based autonomy and self-determination. 

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NO TIME FOR ART? ARTISTIC PRACTICE AND VISUAL ACTIVISM DURING A REVOLUTION | Olga Kopenkina, Antonina Stebur, Aliaxey Talstou

The Art of Regime. Minsk, 15.08.2020. Photo Curtesy of Lesia Pcholka


The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration  We have a situation here: Dmitry Vilensky moderates an online conversation with Belarusian curators Olga Kopenkina, Antonina Stebur and artist Aliaxey Talstou on Tuesday April 27th at 18:00 CET. Join us on Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81103336056 Meeting ID: 811 0333 6056 – Streaming online on IRI YouTube Channel – Share the FB event

After a devastating bombing or a political victory, there’s no time for art. That is to say no time for contemplative reflection, for philosophy. It is time for action; solidarity or celebration, and anything else seems inappropriate.

Doa Aly, “No Time for Art?”

We are pleased to invite you to the talk with curators Olga Kopenkina, Antonina Stebur and artist Aliaxey Talstou, who will focus on various forms of artists’ organization, activist practices and strategies that have emerged during the mass civil uprising in Belarus.

Since August 10th, 2020, the day after the Presidential elections in Belarus, marked with the state’s fraud to ensure Alexander Lukashenko’s pre-determined victory, until now, Belarusians have conducted a peaceful but fierce political-aesthetic mobilization that was met with the unprecedented use of violence by the authoritarian state. The confrontation between people and the state resembled almost the Manichean dualism of good and evil: a good, peaceful and tolerant nation, most famously symbolized by the march of women-in-white waving flowers, is impeded by an evil force embodied by the mustached male dictator and heavily armed police force – an image that rather obscured the real social and political forces that stand behind the protest than illuminated them.  

What became clear, though, is that Belarus is experiencing the cultural renaissance amidst civic unfreedom. The proliferation of street activism, protest-oriented art and political imagery, as unforeseen as it was, has been one of the most astonishing outcomes of the political unrest there. Across the country, professional actors, musicians, painters, book illustrators, commercial graphics and Instagram artists weaponized their skills to make works that instantly became icons of the protest. Their work has often merged with creativity and activism of the regular citizens, who employed aesthetics as a tactics in their everyday protests, seeking to cross-fertilize creative and emancipatory energies, between experiences of suffering and resistance.

The conflation of art and political activism, of course, is not a new thing. From the Paris Commune to Russian Revolution to Occupy Wall Street, artists and intellectuals never simply cater to the needs of rebellious masses – they forge a new creative linkage between themselves and “militants,” and, as philosopher Alain Badiou argues, find new spaces where “politics is possible.” After it became clear that factories in Belarus failed to establish themselves as the central force of the uprising, in classical Marxist sense, artists began to utilize cultural institutions, repurposing them – in a partisan way –  into platforms of radical positioning. Many artists and cultural workers abandoned “normality” of exhibiting their works in official art galleries and cultural centers and joined the struggle by staging actions of solidarity on the streets, similar to actors and musicians, who refused to perform on stages of the state-run theaters and concert halls, and instead, played in the outside public spaces.

Discussions among Belarusian art practitioners are centered around the question: What should artists do during a revolution – echoing the debate artists around the world have conducted for decades.  In one such a debate, Egyptian artist Doa Aly asks: In time of a revolution, is there time for art? Do artists have to represent themselves – individually, or collectively – within a common struggle?Or, do they become a sort of “martyrs” who “kill” their own practice to blend with revolutionary masses? Does the expression “time for action” really imply “no time for contemplative reflection”, or art?While merging the category of ‘artist’ with that of ‘protestor,’ do artists distinguish their role from any other professional, or a citizen, who employs tactics of “visual activist” in their struggles? Can the new forms of political organizing that emerge during the protest, with its focus on depersonalization and decentralization, protect cultural producers from the state violence and ensure their survival in the future? Other questions are at stake: Can artists disassociate their practice from the idea of fine art market and its neoliberal institutions (private galleries, privately-funded art spaces, cultural hubs, etc.), in a context, where such institutions, as opposed to state-run art centers, foster new communities, while facing the consequence of becoming a target of government’s repressions? When joining the public outcry to release political prisoners, among which are a former banker and cultural entrepreneurs, will artists in Belarus re-join neoliberal capitalism? Or, can they create a “third position,” from which they can negotiate autonomy and spaces of resistance within the capitalist hegemony? Isn’t it the future that calls us now?

Biographies:

Olga Kopenkina is an independent curator and art critic. She was an artistic director of the 6th Line gallery, the first privately-funded non-profit art center in Minsk, Belarus. Based in New York City since 1998, she has curated numerous exhibitions, including “Sound of Silence: Art during Dictatorship” at Project Space in Elizabeth Foundation for Arts,  New York, 2012. Kopenkina is a contributor to publications such as Moscow Art Journal, Art Journal, Artforum, ArtMargins, Hyperallergic, Brooklyn Rail, and others. She teaches at New York University.

Antonina Stebur (born in 1984) — curator, researcher. Graduated from the European University of Humanities (2009) and School of Engaged Art “Chto Delat” (What is to be done?) in 2019. Antonina is a co-founder of the #damaudobnayavbytu project on gender discrimination in Belarus, a co-founder of the research group on activist art “Spaika”, member of the “AGITATSIA” research group. She is one of the authors of “The History of Belarusian Photography” book. She is a co-curator of the exhibition “Every Day. Art. Solidarity. Resistance,” which is currently on view in Mistetsky Arsenal, Kiev, Ukraine.

Aliaxey Talstouis an artist, curator and writer. He worked as a curator of gallery CECH in Minsk and a project leader at Status: Role of the Artists in Changing Society project. His two films, Observing solidarity and If the past will not end are currently on view at the exhibition “Every Day. Art. Solidarity. Resistance.” at Mistetsky Arsenal in Kiev, Ukraine.

Recommended readings:

http://dev.autonomedia.org/node/13795

https://www.internationaleonline.org/opinions/1050_arresting_images_arrested_bodies/?fbclid=IwAR1DsCEXE8ToIhEPp2Jpu6f_jczz1pUOGWx0efG5tT4QW5VrMx33FFwHVQk

https://post.moma.org/on-forms-of-political-organizing-illuminating-the-future/

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ART FOR UBI MANIFESTO in English > https://instituteofradicalimagination.org/2021/01/16/art-for-ubi-manifesto-launching-campaign/

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ART FOR UBI MANIFESTO in English > https://instituteofradicalimagination.org/2021/01/16/art-for-ubi-manifesto-launching-campaign/

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ZAPANTERA NEGRA | An Artistic Encounter Between Black Panthers and Zapatistas

Photo Curtesy of EDELO, Zapantera Negra. The installation was at Fresno State University H street graduate gallery.


The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration  We have a situation here holds an artistic encounter between Black Panthers and Zapatistas on Thursday MARCH 11th at 19:00 CET. Join us on Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89402223075 Meeting ID: 894 0222 3075 – Streaming online on IRI YouTube Channel – Share the FB event

What is the role of revolutionary art in times of distress? When Emory Douglas, former Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party, accepted an invitation from the art collective EDELO and Rigo 23 to meet with autonomous Indigenous and Zapatista communities in Chiapas, Mexico, they addressed just this question. Zapantera Negra is the result of their encounter. It unites the bold aesthetics, revolutionary dreams, and dignified declarations of two leading movements that redefine emancipatory politics in the twentieth and twenty-first century.

The artists of the Black Panthers and the Zapatistas were born into a centuries-long struggle against racial capitalism and colonialism, state repression and international war and plunder. Not only did these two movements offer the world an enduring image of freedom and dignified rebellion, they did so with rebellious style, putting culture and aesthetics at the forefront of political life. A powerful elixir of hope and determination, Zapantera Negra provides a galvanizing presentation of interviews, militant artwork, and original documents from these two movements’ struggle for dignity and liberation.

EDELO (Where the United Nations Used to Be) 

In the Fall of 2009, over one hundred displaced indigenous community members occupied the offices of the United Nations, located in San Cristóbal de las Casa, Chiapas, Mexico. The offices were taken over in the hope of gaining international attention from humanitarian organizations. After a few months of the occupation, the United Nations simply decided to find another building and moved.

A few months later, Mia Eva Rollow and Caleb Duarte, repurposed the building.  It is a part of an investigation into how Art, in all its disciplines and contradictions, can take the supposed role of such institutional bodies to create understanding, empathy, and to serve as a tool for imagining alternatives to a harmful and violent system that we do not have to accept.

Inspired by the 1994 indigenous Zapatista uprising, where word and poetry are used to inspire a generation to imagine ‘other’ possible worlds, EDELO has retained the name of the UN office.  From 2009 to 2014, EDELO, Where The United Nations Used to Be, was an artist run project in Chiapas, Mexico that created sculptural performances and community events through relational aesthetics, social practice, and social sculpture. EDELO centered its practice as an intercultural artist residency of diverse practices and an ever-changing experimental art laboratory and safe house. The work at its core focused on the lessons and use of art by the EZLN, the Zapatista autonomous indigenous movement in Chiapas, Mexico that has used art as a main tool to demand immediate and drastic social and economic change as a response to 500 years of invisibility, oppression, and neglect. The works consisted of artist residencies in Zapatista territory as well as at our art center and gallery. The emerging aesthetic was one of urgency in the face of the continuing clash between colonial and Mayan Mexican indigenous worldviews. 

EDELO Migrante  2014 – Present

Once an experimental intercultural art space and residency of diverse practices inhabiting the building of the former UN, Edelo is now nomadic collectives creating works with diverse communities in the Americas.

Our work is of urgency. It is theater, sculpture, social practice, dance, painting organizing festivals in the spirit of true collaboration and shared authorship with the communities and art spaces that we work with.  URGENT ART is a specific working methodology that collaborates with artist from different disciplines in the development of art. It encourages us to listen to what communities are expressing and turning that into a visible living experience. This augments the possibilities of converting experienced moments of tragedy into situations of healing.

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You can sign the ART FOR UBI MANIFESTO here > https://www.change.org/ARTforUBImanifesto

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ART FOR UBI MANIFESTO in English > https://instituteofradicalimagination.org/2021/01/16/art-for-ubi-manifesto-launching-campaign/

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UN MUNDO DONDE QUEPAN MUCHOS MUNDOS | Natalia Arcos


The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration  We have a situation here holds this online conversation with Natalia Arcos on Tuesday FEBRUARY 23rd at 19:00 CET. Join us on Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82655470474 Meeting ID: 826 5547 0474 – Streaming online on IRI YouTube Channel – Share the FB event

The Zapatismo Movement breaks in many respects with traditional forms of politics. It does so by opening spaces at a creative distance from the State, and by constantly experimenting with innovative ideas and strategic perspectives. In this session, I will give an insight on the organic role that aesthetics and poetics have played in the politics of this revolutionary movement. In the first part I will provide a general overview on this theme. Some of my views are informed by the fieldwork that I conducted in Chiapas, México, between 2013 and 2020. Then, I will talk and show my experience of curating two exhibitions on Zapatista art in Nottingham, England (2015) and Havana, Cuba (2018).

See more here: https://artezapatistaencuba.webnode.mx/?fbclid=IwAR3vpL_ItUUF550-TndfS_63G0Cr3HvPL7WM6sgLaOj1B0nRzPSwz8_603g


BIO

Natalia Arcos (Santiago de Chile, 1979) has a Degree in Theory and Art History from the University of Chile and a Master in Contemporary Art from Paris IV-Sorbonne University, where she was the first latinamerican accepted. As an independent curator, she has done twenty exhibitions in Chile, Argentina, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Cuba, England and Greece. From 2008 to 2013, she was Programming Director of the Chilean Television Channel specialized in art, ARTV. From 2013 to 2020, she was member of GIAP (Grupo de Investigación en Arte y Política) based in Chiapas, México, where she also directed the center for artistic residencies. Natalia was collaborator on the books “Los latidos del corazón nunca callan: poemas y canciones zapatistas” and “Para una estética de la liberación decolonial”invited by Professor Enrique Dussel. Actually, she follows a Master Degree in Sociology of Art at CESMECA Institute of University UNICACH, México.

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ART FOR UBI MANIFESTO in English > https://instituteofradicalimagination.org/2021/01/16/art-for-ubi-manifesto-launching-campaign/

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You can sign the ART FOR UBI MANIFESTO here > https://www.change.org/ARTforUBImanifesto

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ART FOR UBI MANIFESTO in English > https://instituteofradicalimagination.org/2021/01/16/art-for-ubi-manifesto-launching-campaign/

ART FOR UBI MANIFESTO in Italian > https://instituteofradicalimagination.org/2021/01/01/art-for-ubi-manifesto-campagna-online/

We strongly invite you support the EU Citizen’s Initiative to Start Unconditional Basic Incomes (UBI) throughout Europe https://eci.ec.europa.eu/014/public/#/screen/home

#schoolofmutation #radicalcare #covid19 #socialpoetics #commons #tangibleutopias #dissenting #diyculture #decolonialalliance#radicalnetwork #culturalactivism #grassroots #communityorganisation #culturalactivism #grassroots#radicalimagination #socialpracticeart #socialagency #counternarratives #contestedspaces #artandsocialaction #communityengagement #curatorialpractice #care #curator #artcurator #art #ubi

ART FOR UBI (Manifesto) 2/

You can sign the ART FOR UBI MANIFESTO here > https://www.change.org/ARTforUBImanifesto

use the hashtag #ARTforUBImanifesto

ART FOR UBI MANIFESTO in English > https://instituteofradicalimagination.org/2021/01/16/art-for-ubi-manifesto-launching-campaign/

ART FOR UBI MANIFESTO in Italian > https://instituteofradicalimagination.org/2021/01/01/art-for-ubi-manifesto-campagna-online/

We strongly invite you support the EU Citizen’s Initiative to Start Unconditional Basic Incomes (UBI) throughout Europe https://eci.ec.europa.eu/014/public/#/screen/home

#schoolofmutation #radicalcare #covid19 #socialpoetics #commons #tangibleutopias #dissenting #diyculture #decolonialalliance#radicalnetwork #culturalactivism #grassroots #communityorganisation #culturalactivism #grassroots#radicalimagination #socialpracticeart #socialagency #counternarratives #contestedspaces #artandsocialaction #communityengagement #curatorialpractice #care #curator #artcurator #art #ubi

RECLAIMING WIDER ECOLOGIES OF KNOWLEDGES UNFOLDING LEARNING COMMUNITIES | Alessandra Pomarico


The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration  We have a situation here holds this online conversation with Free Home University co-founder and curator Alessandra Pomarico on Tuesday JANUARY 26th at 19:00 CET. Join us on Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82800989996 Meeting ID: 828 0098 9996 – Streaming online on IRI YouTube Channel – Share the FB event

What’s there to unlearn?  How to reclaim a wider ecology of knowledges, and creatively decouple from the conditionings reproduced by the dominant western neoliberal educational system? As the current crisis is rapidly showing, our paradigms are insufficient to preserve life, and constitute rather a threat. institution of knowledge production are complicit in creating asymmetrical, exploitative and extractive dynamics towards other beings, cosmogonies and economies. 

A radical shift needs to be produced, and revising the education project is central in this call for a societal transformation: exploring radically different ways of learning, where knowledge is not separated from bodies, places, actions and considerations of how life can be lived by humans and other than humans- in respect of our interconnected and interdependent relations. 

How can we form coalitions and take responsibility in creating learning spaces devoted to regenerate communities? How autonomous self-organized learning spaces, and pedagogies as politics can help us shift from hegemonic epistemologies and from narratives that drive the world in our unsustainable present? Is art a tool to challenge the monoculture of the mind, the fragmentation, the isolation, and help us disinvest from a culture that commodifies life?  

Alessandra Pomarico will share from her experience as part of  Free Home University, a 7 year  ongoing experiment at the intersection of art, pedagogy, activism and community building, and from the eco-justice movement ecoversities alliance.


BIO

Alessandra Pomarico (PhD, Italy/ US) is an independent curator, writer and educator working at the intersection of arts, pedagogy, social issues, and nano-politics. Member of the global Ecoversities Alliance (www.ecoversities.org) dedicated to reimagining higher education, Alessandra is the co-founder of Free Home University, artistic and pedagogical experiment focused on generating new ways of sharing and creating knowledge by experiencing life in common  (www.fhu.art). Also a co-founder of Ammirato Culture House, and residency program Sound Res, recent collaborative projects include M.E.D.U.S.E (Mediterrenean Ecofeminist Decolonial Union for Self Education) and # Faju/Healing, a session for the New Alphabet School, a project of HKW.

ART FOR UBI (Manifesto) 1/

You can sign the ART FOR UBI MANIFESTO here > https://www.change.org/ARTforUBImanifesto

use the hashtag #ARTforUBImanifesto

ART FOR UBI MANIFESTO in English > https://instituteofradicalimagination.org/2021/01/16/art-for-ubi-manifesto-launching-campaign/

ART FOR UBI MANIFESTO in Italian > https://instituteofradicalimagination.org/2021/01/01/art-for-ubi-manifesto-campagna-online/

We strongly invite you support the EU Citizen’s Initiative to Start Unconditional Basic Incomes (UBI) throughout Europe https://eci.ec.europa.eu/014/public/#/screen/home

#schoolofmutation #radicalcare #covid19 #socialpoetics #commons #tangibleutopias #dissenting #diyculture #decolonialalliance#radicalnetwork #culturalactivism #grassroots #communityorganisation #culturalactivism #grassroots#radicalimagination #socialpracticeart #socialagency #counternarratives #contestedspaces #artandsocialaction #communityengagement #curatorialpractice #care #curator #artcurator #art #ubi

ART FOR UBI (MANIFESTO) | launching campaign

ART for UBI Manifesto > ITALIANO

#ARTforUBImanifesto

You can sign ART FOR UBI (Manifesto) on change.org
We strongly invite you support the EU Citizen’s Initiative to Start Unconditional Basic Incomes (UBI) throughout Europe

ART FOR UBI (Manifesto)

1/ Universal and Unconditional Basic Income is the best measure for the arts and cultural sector. Art workers claim a basic income, not for themselves, but for everyone.

2/ Do not call UBI any measures that do not equal a living wage: UBI has to be above the poverty threshold. To eliminate poverty, UBI must correspond to a region’s minimum wage.

3/ UBI frees up time, liberating us from the blackmail of precarious labor and from exploitative working conditions.

4/ UBI is given unconditionally and without caveats, regardless of social status, job performance, or ability. It goes against the meritocratic falsehoods that cover for class privilege.  

5/ UBI is not a social safety net, nor is it welfare unemployment reform. It is the minimal recognition of the invisible labor that is essential to the reproduction of life, largely unacknowledged but essential, as society’s growing need for care proves.

6/ UBI states that waged labor is no longer the sole means for wealth redistribution. Time and time again, this model proves unsustainable.Wage is just another name for exploitation of workers, who always earn less than they give. 

7/ Trans-feminist and decolonizing perspectives teach us to say NO to all the invisible and extractive modes of exploitation, especially within the precarious working conditions created by the art market.

8/ UBI affirms the right to intermittence, privacy and autonomy, the right to stay off-line and not to be available 24/7.

9/ UBI rejects the pyramid scheme of grants and of the nonprofit industrial complex, redistributing wealth equally and without unnecessary bureaucratic burdens. Bureaucracy is the vampire of art workers’ energies and time turning them into managers of themselves.

10/ By demanding UBI, art workers do not defend a guild or a category and depreciate the role that class and privilege play in current perceptions of art. UBI is universal because it is for everyone and makes creative agency available to everyone.

11/ Art’s health is directly connected to a healthy social fabric. To claim for UBI, being grounded in the ethics of mutual care, is art workers’ most powerful gesture of care towards society.

12/ Because UBI disrupts the logic of overproduction, it frees us from the current modes of capital production that are exploiting the planet. UBI is a cosmogenetic technique and a means to achieve climate justice.

13/ Where to find the money for the UBI? In and of itself UBI questions the actual tax systems in Europe and elsewhere. UBI empowers us to reimagine financial transactions, the extractivism of digital platforms, liquidity, and debt. No public service should be cut in order to finance UBI.

14/ UBI inspires many art collectives and communities to test various tools for more equal redistribution of resources and wealth. From self-managed mutual aid systems based on collettivising incomes, to solutions temporarily freeing cognitive workers from public and private constraints. We aim to join them.


SIGNATURES

Individuals

  • Emanuele Braga / Macao, Milan; Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Marco Bravalle / Sale Docks, Venice; Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Gabriella Riccio / L’Asilo, Naples ; Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Ilenia Caleo / Campo Innocente; Incommon – Università IUAV Venezia
  • Anna Rispoli / Artist
  • Maddalena Fragnito / Macao, Milan; Phd at Coventry University
  • Andrea Fumagalli / Effimera; University of Pavia
  • Nicola Capone / Philosopher; L’Asilo, Naples
  • Luigi Coppola / Artist
  • Giuseppe Micciarelli / L’Asilo, Naples, University of Salerno
  • Julio Linares / Economist and Anthropologist; JoinCircles.net
  • Dena Beard / The Lab, San Francisco
  • Manuel Borja-Villel / Museum Director, Madrid
  • Salvo Torre / Professor, member of POE Politics, Ontologies, Ecologies
  • Sara Buraya Boned / L’Internationale; Institute Of Radical Imagination
  • Kuba Szreder / Curator and theorist, Warsaw
  • Dmitry Vilensky / Chto Delat
  • Charles Esche / Director of Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
  • Franco Bifo Berardi / Philosopher
  • Gregory Sholette / Artist
  • Zeyno Pekunlu / Artist, Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Anna Daneri / Forum dell’arte contemporanea italiana
  • Massimo Mollona / Goldsmiths’ University of London, Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Jerszy Seymour / Artist and Designer; Sandberg Institute
  • Marco Assennato / Maître de conférences in filosofia, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture, Paris-Malaquais
  • Roberto Ciccarelli / Philosopher and journalist
  • Sandro Mezzadra / Philosopher
  • Geert Lovink / Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam
  • Alisa Del Re / senior professor Ateneo Patavino
  • Andrea Gropplero / Film Director
  • Giuseppe Allegri / Activist
  • Elena Lasala Palomar / Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Nicolas Martino / Philosopher
  • Ilaria Bussoni / Editor and curator
  • Danilo Correale / Artist
  • Annalisa Sacchi / Incommon – Università IUAV Venezia
  • Giada Cipollone / Incommon – Università IUAV Venezia
  • Stefano Tomassini / Incommon – Università IUAV Venezia
  • Piersandra Di Matteo / Incommon – Università IUAV Venezia
  • Elena Blesa Cabéz / Researcher, Barcelona; Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Jesús Carrillo / Senior Lecturer at the Department of History and Theory of Art Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Pablo García Bachiller / Arquitecto; Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Theo Prodromidis / Artist; Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Mabel Tapia / Art Researcher Madrid-Paris
  • Chiara Colasurdo / Labour Lawyer


Organizations

  • Institute of Radical Imagination
  • Il Campo Innocente
  • Macao
  • Sale Docks
  • Chto Delat
  • L’Asilo
  • Euronomade
  • Dirty Art Department Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Dirty Art Foundation
  • Effimera
  • OperaViva Magazine
  • Basic Income Network – Italia
  • Community and Research for Circles UBI
  • Forum d’arte contemporanea
  • Global Project
  • Dinamopress
  • Sherwood
  • AWI Art Workers Italy
  • Maestranze dello Spettacolo Veneto
  • Autonomedia New York City

KRËLEX ZENTRE PHANTOM OFFICE ON AIR | An aerial session with IRI


The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration  We have a situation here holds this online aerial session between Krёlex Zentre and the Institute of Radical Imagination on Tuesday JANUARY 19th at 19:00 CET. Join us on Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82632736832 Meeting ID: 826 3273 6832 – Streaming online on IRI YouTube Channel – Share the FB event

Krёlex zentre
— is a fictitious art institution that does not exist in reality, therefore it is more correct to call it a para-institution (or parastitution). The two employees of this organization — Maria and Ruthia — work mainly with imaginary worlds, helping their inhabitants connect to our ‘physical’ version of reality to exchange experiences and collaborate.

Phantom Office
— is one of the forms that our para-institution can temporarily take in physical reality. The office operates in unreal-time mode, which helps keeping the office’s portals half-open towards different versions of reality. Phantom office is an unstable form that can only exist for a short period of time called Airtime.

Airtime
— is the time when Maria and Ruthia are connected and able to talk about their work, show examples and answer questions about the future, the past, the universe and themselves. This becomes possible due to the fact that airtime differs from normative straight time, opening access to queer temporalities, which makes the causal relationship between questions and answers slightly confusing. They also use sympathetic communication channels to forge connections with otherworldly places in order to check the capacities of the channels and find out what is happening outside our time-space continuum. What exactly viewers will see through those connections remains uncertain due to the physical limitations of the inter-world communication system. That is why Airtime events are usually more unpredictable than they ought to be, and all descriptions are strictly probabilistic in nature.


ABOUT

Krёlex zentre is an imaginary art-institution and a theoretical platform designed for cultural workers with clearly multiple/mixed identities and weak sense of belonging — queer, translocal, uprooted, diasporic, fluid, ghostly, neither fish nor flesh, etc.). It is also a poetic/artistic collective consisting of Maria Vilkovisky, Ruthia Jenrbekova, Ramil Niyazov, Maria Neff and other less identifiable and more facultative members. Krёlex Zentre does not exist but rather oscillates between Almaty and Vienna since 2012.

EUTOPIAN IMAGES FOR OUR TIMES | Philip Rizk

EUTOPIAN IMAGES FOR OUR TIMES. THINKING THE COMMONS WITH IMAGES an expanded reading group facilitated by Philip Rizk as part of the School of Mutation online activities

This reading group of images and words is limited to 12 participants. Since space is limited please only sign up if you know you will be able to participate fully.
The group held in English will meet once a week over the course of 7 weeks starting at 7pm CET on January 25 2021. The viewing & reading materials (usually 1 film per week and ~ 50 pages of reading) will be made available at sign up and should be engaged with prior to each meeting. These will be collectively discussed in the 2 hour online sessions which won’t be recorded.
To join or if you have questions please email the facilitator by January 22nd 2021: rizkphilip AT gmail DOT com

“There is a song older than world here, it heals deeper than the colonizer’s blade could ever cut. And there, our voice. We were always healers. This is the first medicine.”

An indigenous Anti-Futurist Manifesto

In the early 1500s Thomas More wrote a novel entitled with a word he coined, “utopia.” 500 years later the play on words More had intended has been lost and only one of the two possible meanings of the term remains in common use: outopia, the impossible place. In the workshop “Eutopian images for our times,” we will resurrect the second possibility of the term: eutopia, a better place, with eyes set on the present – not a faraway future. In the seven session reading group we will engage with films and critical readings on themes of counter-histories, agricultural self-sufficiency and organic seed production, the commons, anti-neocolonialism, anti-imperialism and afro- futurist sounds for the now. A central pivot of the workshop is the exploration of what images can do and what kind of images allow us to theorize and think. If images have the potential to open up a critical space of imagining different worlds, can they arouse eutopic experiences for our times?

ART FOR UBI (Manifesto) #2 | Open online Assembly


Online Assembly ART for UBI (Manifesto) N°2 on Thursday, December 17th at 18:30 CET. With Ilenia Caleo, Dena Beard, Julio Linares, Anna Rispoli, Emanuele Braga, Marco Baravalle. The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration Art for UBI.  Join us on Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87252121414 Meeting ID: 872 5212 1414

We continue our collective debate towards the drafting of the ARTS FOR UBI Manifesto. In this session we will address the mobilizations of art workers in Italy during the pandemic. We will analyze the experimental basic income for artists implemented by the city of San Francisco. We will talk about basic incomes models on blockchain and about art as a possible field of experimentation of alternative economic models. 


PARTICIPANTS TO THE ASSEMBLY

Ilenia Caleo: Performer and researcher in queer studies and feminist epistemologies at the IUAV University of Venice. She is among the co-founders of Campo Innocente, a network founded after the pandemic outbreak to defend art workers rights and to promote UBI. (https://ilcampoinnocente.blogspot.com/)

Dena Beard: Executive Director of The Lab in San Francisco. She received her M.A. in Art History, Theory, and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was previously Assistant Curator at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

Julio Linares: researcher at Circles, a blockchain based basic income made to promote local economies. https://joincircles.net/

Anna Rispoli: (Common Wallet) Common Wallet is a community based practice in Brussels created by artists. They are socializing their personal income basing the access to liquidity on mutual aid principles.

Emanuele Braga (Macao – ITA) Emanuele is an activist and artist, member of Macao, center for art and research in Milano (IT). His intervention will describe the self organized Basic Income redistribution within the community of Macao in the last 5 years. http://www.macaomilano.org/IMG/pdf/3_-_commoncoin_basic_income.pdf?1498/0c7e90052d75f199cb712e014f1f8100f3113c3e

Marco Baravallle (S.a.L.E. Docks – ITA) http://www.saledocks.org/ Marco is a member of S.a.L.E. Doks, a self-managed art space in Venice. His intervention will focus on the importance of UBI and dis-identification in the organization of art and culture living labor.

Giuseppe Micciarelli (L’Asilo – ITA) jurist and political philosopher. PhD in Public Law, Theory of National and European Institutions and Legal Philosophy at the University of Salerno, Italy. He is member of Laboratorio filosofico-giuridico e filosofico-politico ‘Hans Kelsen and editor of Soft Power, Euro-American Journal of Historical and Theoretical Studies of Politics. L’Asilo elaborated on UBI within the framework of The commons as ecosystems for culture on EU scale.

Gabriella Riccio (L’Asilo – ITA) is an artist, activist and researcher, member of L’Asilo, art & culture common in Naples IT. L’Asilo elaborated on UBI within the framework of The commons as ecosystems for culture on EU scale.

THE BECOMING-PLANT OF BODY POLITIC | Assembly with Michael Marder


Assembly with Michael Marder, facilitated by Dmitry Vilensky. The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration  We have a situation here holds this online meeting on Saturday December 5th at 19:00 CET. Join us on Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82527087936 Meeting ID: 825 2708 7936 – Streaming online on IRI YouTube Channel.

Recently art world has started to welcome many types of artistic works which deals with broad issues of vegetation. We observe them in forms of installations which includes real plants, the films which document different ways of alternative agricultural developments or speak about ecoversity and we could remember many other examples of the artistic approaches and care for the new forms of previously ignored subjectivation. 

Looks like that these processes are interconnected with general political turn which could be explained as a move from nomadic relationship to a sedentary one. And this situation is definitely accelerated with the current pandemic. 

This issues we will discuss with Michael Marder

The vegetalization of body politic is well under way, but we lack the language for articulating such a momentous development in the lives of our societies. Our imagination of the political realm still relies on figures and tropes derived from the animal world, positing body politic as a healthy or sick organism with one or two vital centers of power and a totality of members subordinated to centralized authorities. I suggest that, in order to start thinking through the vegetalization of politics, it is crucial to consider the process of becoming-plant in general and to view this process as fundamental to any sort of becoming. Thus, two objectives will animate our encounter: appreciating the ground rules for becoming-plant and transposing them onto body politic. (M.M.) 


Suggested Materials

Marder, Michael, “Resist like a plant! On the Vegetal Life of Political Movements”, Peace Studies Journal, Vol. 5, Issue 1, January 2002. p. 25. quoted from http://peacestudiesjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/PSJ-Vol-5-Issue-1-2012.pdf 

https://www.michaelmarder.org/articles/list-of-articles/


BIO

Michael Marder is IKERBASQUE Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. His writings span the fields of phenomenology, political thought, and environmental philosophy. He is the author of numerous scientific articles and fifteen monographs, including Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life (2013); Phenomena—Critique—Logos: The Project of Critical Phenomenology (2014); The Philosopher’s Plant: An Intellectual Herbarium (2014); Pyropolitics: When the World Is Ablaze (2015), Dust (2016), Energy Dreams: Of Actuality (2017), Heidegger: Phenomenology, Ecology, Politics (2018), Political Categories: Thinking Beyond Concepts (2019), and Dump Philosophy: A Phenomenology of Devastation (2020) among others. For more information michaelmarder.org

RAISING CARE | Care for language


3rd online Assembly with Brigate Volontarie per l’Emergenza (Italy), Territorio Doméstico (Spain), Skart (Serbia), Open School for Immigrants of Piraeus (Athens), Obiezione Respinta (Italy), Mesa de mayores de Usera (Madrid).  The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration Raising Care holds this online workshop based on exchange of practices on NOVEMBER 12th at 17:30 CET. Join us on Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89525339150 Meeting ID: 895 2533 9150 

NEW PARADOXES OF THE POLITICS OF CARE 

Both ethics of care and care practices have moved forward during this last crisis. One of the aims of this collective 3-sessions-iteration would be to analyse this new tension among groups whose “care practices” were active from before the Covid-19 turn and also with groups which have been rising during covid. 

We plan to start a conversation among collectives by asking: 

  • who cares and who is cared for? 
  • what needs of “socialising care” (redistributing) are we meeting now? 
  • which tools are we using or building new because of new needs? 
  • how have reconfigured the public language/space/media. 
  • how care is becoming a term of the power, governments, media? 
  • which conflict in our practices are we finding? 
  • which relations we found among our “autonomous” practices of care and the role of the public sector nowadays? 

Profiles

Brigate Volontarie per l’Emergenza (Italy) Fighting fear together to defeat the virus. This initiative was created to address the risk of the collapse of the national health system during the Covid-19 emergency. Volunteers in support of the population, together with Emergency ONG, we organize intervention teams to make our active contribution to overcoming this emergency. https://www.facebook.com/brigatevolontarieMilano

Mesa de mayores de Usera (Madrid) is an organization of elderly people from Usera, a southern neighborhood of Madrid. Facing the lack of hedge during covid pandemia, the Usera Senior Board are self-organizing alternative tools with the aim of offering support to the elderly. Through social networks and email, the board faces isolation, provides information about the resources of the neighborhood and brings mutual care support. http://mayoresusera.alonsodiez.com/

Obiezione Respinta (Italy) is a movement fighting for sexual and reproductive self determination. Facing the increase of obstetric violence and general disinformation on medical / health practices aimed at women and lgbtqi subjects cases in Italy, Obiezione Respinta have created a self-managed platform that allows to report the places where the objection of conscience is in a common map. The platform offers a free service of access to information that is commonly not easily available. https://obiezionerespinta.info/info

Open School for Immigrants of Piraeus (Athens) has been active in the field of solidarity education since 2005, while in 2006 it took the legal form of an association, with its ultimate aim being the educational and training support and the cultural advance of immigrants and refugees residing in Greece. Last year, it had more than 670 registered students from 43 different national backgrounds and 38 volunteers in teaching and supporting roles. http://solidarityschools.gr/?page_id=12341&lang=en

Škart (Serbia) Škart (rejects/ausschus/scarto) group was founded in 1990 at the Architecture Faculty in Belgrade, Serbia-Yugoslavia. Through permanent inner conflict, together with various collaborators, the group survived 3 decades as a collective which is questioning edged forms of poetry, architecture, graphic design, publishing, music, performance, alternative education and social activism. http://www.skart.rs

Territorio Doméstico (Spain) is a feminist and transborderist collective in Madrid, formed by women, many of them housekeepers, climing visibility and social reorganization of care work. TD has been fighting for more than 14 years for the recognition of rights in household employment, the valuation of care work in a system that devalues them, makes them invisible and precarious, despite the fact that they are essential sustaining life. https://www.facebook.com/territoriodomestico

Raising care – is an iteration and a working group for the School of Mutation, by members of IRI and its network, that came together to reflect, organise and instigate a new approach to care as commons. The group consists of Elena Blesa Cábez, Emanuele Braga, Sara Buraya Boned, Jesus Carrillo, Maddalena Fragnito, Elena Lasala Palomar, Theo Prodromidis, Gabriella Riccio and Pablo García Bachiller.

LUTA CA CABA INDA – THE STRUGGLE IS NOT OVER YET | Mao Mollona & Filipa César


Introduces Mao Mollona, with Filipa César. The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration Film Archive and Militant Cinema holds this online meeting on NOVEMBER 12th at 18:00 CET. Join us on Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89498935345?pwd=ZTlhODh0dVhkRjBRTExKWm8vMmVXdz09 Meeting ID: 894 9893 5345

Luta ca caba inda (The struggle is not over yet) On the militant film archives

For nearly thirty years, an archive of film and audio material was stored at the Guinean Film Institute in Bissau, institutionally neglected and on the verge of complete ruination. The material in it is a testimony of a decade of collective and internationally connected cinema praxis in Guinea Bissau, as part of the people’s struggle for independence from Portuguese colonialism (1963-1974) and subsequent nation building. 

In 2012, in collaboration with the Guinean filmmakers Sana na N’Hada, Flora Gomes and Suleimane Biai and with institutional support from Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art (Berlin), artist Filipa César, curator Tobias Hering and many others embarked on a long term project aimed at re-accessing this archive. Its peculiar state, suspended between ruination and work-in-progress, activates questions about past promises and their contemporary pertinence. 

The project was titled Luta ca caba inda (The struggle is not over yet), after one set of reels found in the archive, a documentary film from 1980 on post-independence Guinea-Bissau abandoned in the editing process. The title cursed the completion of the film, the struggle and also this never to be finished project.

In the course of the Luta ca caba inda project a series of discursive events and public screenings have been dedicated to activating the potencies of this collection. Luta ca caba inda, as an informal collective of people and praxis, enables an ecology of relations and spaces of care and subjectivity to emerge, materializing in collective assemblies where images and sounds of the archive are discussed between the filmmakers, and European and African audiences. Here the cinema acted as a collective editing room and assembly for reflecting on conditions of the present and projecting new futures.

WHAT MEANS TO STAY HUMAN IN EXCEPTIONAL CONDITIONS? | Assembly with Keti Chukhrov


Assembly with Keti Chukhrov. Moderated by Dmitry Vilensky 
The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration  We have a situation here holds this online meeting on Tuesday November 3rd at 19:00 CET. Join us on Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86795986726 Meeting ID: 867 9598 6726

This urgent question in the name of the gathering could be considered at the core of many debates on what were those changes in human life that were brought (or accelerated) by a pandemic. 

Epidemics, through the declaration of a state of exception, are great laboratories of social innovation, the occasion for the large-scale reconfiguration of body procedures and technologies of power”

Paul B. Preciado, The losers conspiracy

A shift from an anthropocentric society gives shape to the new subjectivities. Never before the mass application of bio-politics was so present in our daily life. We could simplify and see that the voices have split into two general positions – those ones who defend from different perspective the traditional approach to human beings whose bodies are sacred as the bodies of subjects and whose personal and collective meaning of existence stands exceeds the limitations of their physical life. And those who (quite in the vein with Donna Haraway) consider the body to be similar to “any other component or subsystem, that can be localized in a system architecture whose basic modes of operation are probabilistic, statistical”.  

This transformation which is rather common observation of many scholars can be celebrated or could be resisted and together with Keti Chukhrov we focus on one specific human activity – the possibility of mourning and how these key social rituals could be performed during pandemic and why they are not reclaimed either by artists or by societies. 

On the Libidinal Motives of the Denied Mourning.

The first days of the pandemic brought about the dimension of eschatology – the abnormality intervening into the daily life of speculative capitalism. This eschatological abnormality oscillated between regrets about inability to commit the acts of sacrifice or mourning in the conditions of self-isolation (Agamben) and the global lock-down consensus. Quarantine had the effect of the uncanny inevitability, yet it evoked the moods and attitudes that could have evolved into experiencing temporality eschatologically; it could as well reveal the necessity of the radical suspension of capitalist circulation in terms of consumption, and its reconsideration in terms of distribution and production. This suspension of capitalism’s libidinal elements, nevertheless, did not happen: moreover, the civic moods proved to be even more prone to the capitalist condition than the governing institutions. It is interesting in this connection to see how the reluctance to heed the death toll and inability to mourn are tied with the libidinal regimes of desire. Freud, Butler and Derrida will help us to unwind this paradox. (K.C.)


Recommended materials: 

Political Action beyond co presence (a panel discussion with participation of Keti Chukhrov, Judith Butler, Alexander Bikbov and Greg Judin) 

David Cayley, 2Questions About the Current Pandemic From the Point of View of Ivan Illich”, Published on April 8, 2020 http://www.davidcayley.com/blog/2020/4/8/questions-about-the-current-pandemic-from-the-point-of-view-of-ivan-illich-1

Paul B. Preciado, “Learning from the virus”, May/June 2020 https://www.artforum.com/print/202005/paul-b-preciado-82823


BIO

Keti Chukhrov is ScD in philosophy, an associate professor at the School of Philosophy and Сultural Studies at the Higher School of Economics (Moscow).  In 2017-2019 she has been a Marie Sklodowska Curie fellow in UK, Wolverhampton University. She has authored numerous texts on art theory and philosophy. Her full-length books include: To Be—To Perform. ‘Theatre’ in Philosophic Critique of Art (European Un-ty, 2011), Pound &£ (Logos, 1999),  and a volume of dramatic writing: Merely Humans (2010). Her latest book Practicing the Good. Desire and Boredom in Soviet Socialism (University of Minnesota Press/e-flux 2020) deals with the aspects of non-libidinal socialist political economy. She authored the video plays “Afghan-Kuzminki” (2013), “Love-machines” (2013), “Communion”(2016), which were featured at the Bergen Assembly (2013), the Specters of Communism (James Gallery, NY, 2015), the Ljubljana Triennial U-3 (2016, cur. B. Groys), etc. Her latest play “Global Congress of Post-Prostitution” premiered at the Steirischer Herbst festival, (Graz, 2019).

RAISING CARE | Care for tools


2nd online Assembly with Brigate Volontarie per l’Emergenza (Italy), Territorio Doméstico (Spain), Skart (Serbia), Open School for Immigrants of Piraeus (Athens), Obiezione Respinta (Italy), Mesa de mayores de Usera (Madrid).  The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration Raisin Care holds this online workshop based on exchange of practices on NOVEMBER 5th at 18:30 CET. Join us on Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85257147600 Meeting ID 852 5714 7600

NEW PARADOXES OF THE POLITICS OF CARE 

Both ethics of care and care practices have moved forward during this last crisis. One of the aims of this collective 3-sessions-iteration would be to analyse this new tension among groups whose “care practices” were active from before the Covid-19 turn and also with groups which have been rising during covid. 

We plan to start a conversation among collectives by asking: 

  • who cares and who is cared for? 
  • what needs of “socialising care” (redistributing) are we meeting now? 
  • which tools are we using or building new because of new needs? 
  • how have reconfigured the public language/space/media. 
  • how care is becoming a term of the power, governments, media? 
  • which conflict in our practices are we finding? 
  • which relations we found among our “autonomous” practices of care and the role of the public sector nowadays? 

Profiles

Brigate Volontarie per l’Emergenza (Italy) Fighting fear together to defeat the virus. This initiative was created to address the risk of the collapse of the national health system during the Covid-19 emergency. Volunteers in support of the population, together with Emergency ONG, we organize intervention teams to make our active contribution to overcoming this emergency. https://www.facebook.com/brigatevolontarieMilano

Mesa de mayores de Usera (Madrid) is an organization of elderly people from Usera, a southern neighborhood of Madrid. Facing the lack of hedge during covid pandemia, the Usera Senior Board are self-organizing alternative tools with the aim of offering support to the elderly. Through social networks and email, the board faces isolation, provides information about the resources of the neighborhood and brings mutual care support. http://mayoresusera.alonsodiez.com/

Obiezione Respinta (Italy) is a movement fighting for sexual and reproductive self determination. Facing the increase of obstetric violence and general disinformation on medical / health practices aimed at women and lgbtqi subjects cases in Italy, Obiezione Respinta have created a self-managed platform that allows to report the places where the objection of conscience is in a common map. The platform offers a free service of access to information that is commonly not easily available. https://obiezionerespinta.info/info

Open School for Immigrants of Piraeus (Athens) has been active in the field of solidarity education since 2005, while in 2006 it took the legal form of an association, with its ultimate aim being the educational and training support and the cultural advance of immigrants and refugees residing in Greece. Last year, it had more than 670 registered students from 43 different national backgrounds and 38 volunteers in teaching and supporting roles. http://solidarityschools.gr/?page_id=12341&lang=en

Škart (Serbia) Škart (rejects/ausschus/scarto) group was founded in 1990 at the Architecture Faculty in Belgrade, Serbia-Yugoslavia. Through permanent inner conflict, together with various collaborators, the group survived 3 decades as a collective which is questioning edged forms of poetry, architecture, graphic design, publishing, music, performance, alternative education and social activism. http://www.skart.rs

Territorio Doméstico (Spain) is a feminist and transborderist collective in Madrid, formed by women, many of them housekeepers, climing visibility and social reorganization of care work. TD has been fighting for more than 14 years for the recognition of rights in household employment, the valuation of care work in a system that devalues them, makes them invisible and precarious, despite the fact that they are essential sustaining life. https://www.facebook.com/territoriodomestico

Raising care – is an iteration and a working group for the School of Mutation, by members of IRI and its network, that came together to reflect, organise and instigate a new approach to care as commons. The group consists of Elena Blesa Cábez, Emanuele Braga, Sara Buraya Boned, Jesus Carrillo, Maddalena Fragnito, Elena Lasala Palomar, Theo Prodromidis, Gabriella Riccio and Pablo García Bachiller.

FILMING AS TRAINING IN THE PRACTICE OF FREEDOM | Mao Mollona & MTL Collective Amin Husain & Nitasha Dhillon

Introduces Mao Mollona, with Amin Husain and Nitasha Dhillon MTL Collective. The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration Film Archive and Militant Cinema holds this online meeting on 30 OCTOBER at 19:00 CET. Join us on Zoom platform by clicking on https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89343627345 Meeting ID: 893 4362 7345

Decolonial freedom, means that freedom looks different for different people. It’s about other worlds existing within this world, about de-centering the center and having many centers, and still about a shared horizon of liberation that is always in the making and never ending. So no to means and ends, to dichotomies, and yes to and upon a politics that Fanon would say unsettles everything and creates something new that perhaps is and never was old, just not felt or seen.

Decolonial film is not made in isolation from movements and organizing but rather emerges—analytically, aesthetically, and economically—within and alongside movements and against the set rhythms of colonial logic. It is a form of action, a way of learning and doing from below, an epistemology of the south, emerging from practices, communities and locales of anti-capitalist and decolonial struggles, unmoored from the normative spaces and sites of settler, colonial and racist capitalism, and producing its own economies and ecologies of love and care.

Film as Action in the expanded sense. Between the screen of the film being viewed and the viewer lies the chemistry that can produced a shared basis and offering of affirmation, and confirmation, and language to ask better questions, another step, on the path less known and thus less travelled, perhaps longer, and in this way, also anti-capitalist, because the relationship to time is not about expediency, but an understanding that we walk we do not run because we are going very far.

Here, we are not talking about film as an object. We are talking about film as part of a space that can allow for breathing, for better questions, for transformation, for enunciation, for bridges of solidarity that build power across, and engages in the war being waged in the imagination. One answer is process, another is undercommons, a third is participation, a foot in the street and a foot in aesthetics or film, and another always in living and breathing, that triangulation.If decolonization necessitates abolition, how can cinema be used towards that purpose, interrogating what lies beyond and behind the frozen visual reality produced by the imperialist apparatuses of image-making (Azulay 2019)?

Experience and identity are not important in themselves. Fuck representation. Represent to whom? Where? Why? In the process of filmmaking as training in the practice of freedom, we are thinking of constructing relations, unearthing bonds, memorializing debts, upending domination, hallucinating time, perhaps by holding space for militant love and radical acts. text by Amin, Nitasha and Mao

FILMOGRAPHY
  • Pontecorvo, G. 1966. Battle of Algiers.
  • Solanas and Getino, 1968. La Hora de los Hornos (Hour of the Furnaces)
  • Heiny Srour, 1984. Leila and the Wolves.
  • Assia Djebar, 1977. The Nouba of the Women of Mont Chenoua.
  • Akomfrah, J. 1986. Handsworth Songs
  • Caldwell, B. 1979. I & I: An African Allegory. 
  • Gerima, H. 1979. Bush Mama César, F. (2017) Spell Reel. 
  • Guzman, P. 1975. The Battle of Chile. 
  • Jafa, A. 2016. Love is the Message. The Message is Death. 
  • Nicolas, B. 1977. Daydream Therapy. 
  • Obomsawin, A. 1984. Incident at Restigouche (Canada, 46 min.)
  • Povinelli, E and the Karrabing.  2016 Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams 
  • Sanjines, J. 1969. The Blood of the Condor. 
BIBLIOGRAPHY 
  • Azoulay, Ariella. 2011. “Getting Rid of the Distinction between the Aesthetic and the Political.” Theory, Culture & Society 27 (7–8): 239–262. 
  • Azoulay, A. (2019). Potential History. Unlearning Imperialism. 
  • Barclay, B. 2003. Celebrating Fourth Cinema. Illusions. https://www.academia.edu/4905111/Printed_in_Illusions_Magazine_NZ_July_2003_CELEBRATING_FOURTH_CINEMA
  • Campt, T. 2019. Black Visuality and the Practice of Refusal. Women and Performance.
  • Croombs, M. (2019) In the Wake of Militant Cinema: Challenges for Film Studies. Discourse. -Dhillon, N. 2020. Life, Film and Decolonial Struggle. https://worldrecordsjournal.org/tag/nitasha-dhillon/
  • Getino, Octavio. 2011. ‘The Cinema as Political Fact’. Third Text 25 (1): 41–53.
  • García Espinosa, Julio. “For an Imperfect Cinema.” Translated by Julianne Burton. Jump Cut 20 (1979): 24–26. Accessed September 2, 2016. 
  • Grande, S. (2013) Accumulation of the primitive: the limits of liberalism and the politics of occupy Wall Street’. Settlers Colonial Studies. 
  • Gray, R. and K. Eshun, 2011. The Militant mage a Cine-Geography. Third Text. Dillon, N. 2020. Life, Films and Decolonial Struggle. https://worldrecordsjournal.org/tag/nitasha-dhillon/
  • Lorde, Audrey. Poetry is not a luxury.
  • MTL, “From Institutional Critique to Institutional Liberation: A Decolonial Perspective on The Crises of Contemporary Art’, October 165 (Summer 2018)
  • Povinelli, E. Geontologies (2018) 
  • Rizk, Philip. 2018. 858-No archive is innocent.
  • Teshome, G. 2011. Towards a Critical Theory of Third World Film. Journal of African Art History and Visual Culture. 
  • Zeynabu, I. D. 2014. Keeping the Black in Media Production. One L. A. Rebellion Filmmaker’s Note. Cinema Journal 53.

BIOS

Nitasha Dhillon has a B.A. in Mathematics from St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Media Study – University of Buffalo. Nitasha also attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York and School of International Center of Photography.

Amin Husain has a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science, a J.D. from Indiana University School of Law, and an LL.M. from Columbia Law School. Amin practiced law for five years before transitioning to art, studying at the School of the International Center of Photography and Whitney Independent Study Program. 

Together, Amin and Nitasha are MTL, a collaboration that joins research, aesthetics, organizing, and action in its art practice. MTL is a founder of Tidal: Occupy Theory, Direct Action Front for Palestine, Global Ultra Luxury Faction, and most recently MTL+, the collective facilitating Decolonize This Place. Currently, MTL is in post-production of an experimental feature film, Unsettling (forthcoming end of 2020).

Unsettling takes viewers on a journey to Palestine, a land frequently invoked yet rarely heard or seen beyond the distorted representations of mainstream media and pain-driven documentaries. Unlike other films that take Palestine as their subject, the emphasis of this project is on land, life, and liberation rather than Palestinian oppression and dispossession, which, in any event, is captured unavoidably.

RAISING CARE | Care for people


1st online Assembly with Brigate Volontarie per l’Emergenza (Italy), Territorio Doméstico (Spain), Skart (Serbia), Open School for Immigrants of Piraeus (Athens), Obiezione Respinta (Italy), Mesa de mayores de Usera (Madrid).  The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration Raisin Care holds this online meeting on 29 OCTOBER at 18:30 CET. Join us on Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84259733096

NEW PARADOXES OF THE POLITICS OF CARE 

Both ethics of care and care practices have moved forward during this last crisis. One of the aims of this collective 3-sessions-iteration would be to analyse this new tension among groups whose “care practices” were active from before the Covid-19 turn and also with groups which have been rising during covid. 

We plan to start a conversation among collectives by asking: 

  • who cares and who is cared for? 
  • what needs of “socialising care” (redistributing) are we meeting now? 
  • which tools are we using or building new because of new needs? 
  • how have reconfigured the public language/space/media. 
  • how care is becoming a term of the power, governments, media? 
  • which conflict in our practices are we finding? 
  • which relations we found among our “autonomous” practices of care and the role of the public sector nowadays? 

Profiles

Brigate Volontarie per l’Emergenza (Italy) Fighting fear together to defeat the virus. This initiative was created to address the risk of the collapse of the national health system during the Covid-19 emergency. Volunteers in support of the population, together with Emergency ONG, we organize intervention teams to make our active contribution to overcoming this emergency. https://www.facebook.com/brigatevolontarieMilano

Mesa de mayores de Usera (Madrid) is an organization of elderly people from Usera, a southern neighborhood of Madrid. Facing the lack of hedge during covid pandemia, the Usera Senior Board are self-organizing alternative tools with the aim of offering support to the elderly. Through social networks and email, the board faces isolation, provides information about the resources of the neighborhood and brings mutual care support. http://mayoresusera.alonsodiez.com/

Obiezione Respinta (Italy) is a movement fighting for sexual and reproductive self determination. Facing the increase of obstetric violence and general disinformation on medical / health practices aimed at women and lgbtqi subjects cases in Italy, Obiezione Respinta have created a self-managed platform that allows to report the places where the objection of conscience is in a common map. The platform offers a free service of access to information that is commonly not easily available. https://obiezionerespinta.info/info

Open School for Immigrants of Piraeus (Athens) has been active in the field of solidarity education since 2005, while in 2006 it took the legal form of an association, with its ultimate aim being the educational and training support and the cultural advance of immigrants and refugees residing in Greece. Last year, it had more than 670 registered students from 43 different national backgrounds and 38 volunteers in teaching and supporting roles. http://solidarityschools.gr/?page_id=12341&lang=en

Škart (Serbia) Škart (rejects/ausschus/scarto) group was founded in 1990 at the Architecture Faculty in Belgrade, Serbia-Yugoslavia. Through permanent inner conflict, together with various collaborators, the group survived 3 decades as a collective which is questioning edged forms of poetry, architecture, graphic design, publishing, music, performance, alternative education and social activism. http://www.skart.rs

Territorio Doméstico (Spain) is a feminist and transborderist collective in Madrid, formed by women, many of them housekeepers, climing visibility and social reorganization of care work. TD has been fighting for more than 14 years for the recognition of rights in household employment, the valuation of care work in a system that devalues them, makes them invisible and precarious, despite the fact that they are essential sustaining life. https://www.facebook.com/territoriodomestico

Raising care – is an iteration and a working group for the School of Mutation, by members of IRI and its network, that came together to reflect, organise and instigate a new approach to care as commons. The group consists of Elena Blesa Cábez, Emanuele Braga, Sara Buraya Boned, Jesus Carrillo, Maddalena Fragnito, Elena Lasala Palomar, Theo Prodromidis, Gabriella Riccio and Pablo García Bachiller.

THE SHOW MUST GO ON, BUT NOT UNDISTURBED | Dmitry Vilensky & Joanna Warsza and Florian Malzacher

Discussion on the production of pandemic public sphere with contribution of Joanna Warsza and Florian Malzacher. Moderated by Dmitry Vilensky 
The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration  We have a situation here holds this online meeting on Wednesday 21 OCTOBER at 16:00 CET. Join us on Zoom platform by clicking on the link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88910935697 Meeting ID: 889 1093 5697

In last days it has become more then obvious, the pandemic is here to stay. A long winter ahead full of anxiety, solitude but also time to think and re-think. It is obvious to say that at the moment of pandemic the access to art has changed dramatically. It is not about lockdown when this encounter was almost completely impossible (the excuse to leave the flat for the meeting with art did not work). Performing arts are even in more trouble, since you can encounter art in intimacy, and it is so much more complicated with arts designed for creating assemblies.

What could be a new postcovid public sphere. Some people keep believing that it is a chance to build new relations based on care, celebration of reproductive work and mutual support. Others, in a deep pessimist way, predict that new reality could look more as a dystopia – with atomized individuals, full of fear, totally broken financially, psychologically and ethically, addicted to social media, when only online gallery showrooms survives. 

Most likely we can expect that future reality stays, as a hybrid of this opposite scenarios and we – art workers, could contribute to the proliferation of certain models. Those of us who criticize and attack the art system as it used to be, now need to show a courage of finding a way out and despite all failure try to create a new situation which help us to move forward 

Let’s start this discussion with a very simple question – can you imagine any art events which people will join even if they feel certain hygienic insecurity? What could be a role of public art in a new formation of the commons?  What would be art’s role in over-coming the isolation, the fear and taking care more about the mental health? How to go on… since we have to, but we can not go on undisturbed… 

BIOS

Joanna Warsza is a Program Director of CuratorLab at Konstfack University of Arts in Stockholm, and an independent curator interested in how art functions politically and socially outside the white cubes. She was the Artistic Director of Public Art Munich 2018, curator of the Georgian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale and associate curator of the 7th Berlin Biennale among others. During the spring of 2020 together with Övül Ö. Durmusoglu she co-initiated “Die Balkone: Life, Art, Pandemic and Proximity” in the windows and balconies of Berlin’s Prenzlauerberg where they both live. They are currently preparing the third edition of the Autostrada Biennale in Kosovo for summer 2021. 

Florian Malzacher is an independent performing arts curator, dramaturge and writer. 2013 – 2017 he was artistic director of Impulse Theater Festival (Germany), 2006 – 2012 co-programmer of steirischer herbst festival (Austria).

THINKING WITH SOME FRIENDS OF THE VIRUS | Dmitry Vilensky & Some friends of the virus


The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration  We have a situation here
holds this online meeting on Thursday 15 OCTOBER at 20:00 CET
Facilitated by Dmitry Vilensky, with The friends of the virus

We ask you to kindly register here to allow us to better organize the meeting
and join us on Zoom platform on October 15 at 20:00 CET clicking on the link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84228138309

On 22 of March some friends of the 16 Beaver initiative have published first issue of the zine The Society of the Friends of the Virus, Vol. 1

The project starts with provocative open letter to the virus:

Dear Virus, We want to write to you this communication, as a short note of thank you. To our human companions on this planet, such a gesture would appear a betrayal, since at this very moment you have been declared as an enemy of humanity . Not since the events of September ll has there been such unanimity and propagation of fear and the mobilization of uncritical construction of an enemy toward relinquishing further power to states and exposing our most intimate (i.e., personal and impersonal) details ? habits to the observation, surveillance, determination. In some states, even what …

16 Beaver Group has been inhabited since 1999 by a wide range of artists, intellectuals and activists who have for more than 20 years been involved in conjoining and considering the interrelations between art, political thought and action. Its name is based on the address where the space was initiated just below Wall Street.

Different friendships, collaborations, and initiatives have resulted over the years, including regular meetings, encounters, collectively produced situations and occasionally public-actions. Among the many anchors weaving the practices of those involved in the material and virtual space together has been the very question of what constitutes politics and a political activity today. And where do art and learning play a part in this process of rethinking life in common. 

the Society of the Friends of the Virus exists as a series of publications in the form of zines, and has extended into a series of weekly thematic online assemblies, where some of the ‘friends’ have been invited to share and discuss questions which they feel the virus has provoked or opens us all to reconsider. 

In this conversation, we will be joined by several contributors from the Society to think together the “mutations” in the social fields and how they may alter our conceptualizing of agency and even ‘what is to be done’ or as the Society has written, What/How is to be undone?

All publications of the Society of Friends of the Virus can be found on the website centreparrhesia.org


Society Against the State

Society for Cutting Up Men

Society of the Spectacle

Society of the Friends of the Text

Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Société Anonyme

Society Must Be Defended

Postscript to Societies of Control

We begin with this list to map out trajectories of the invocations of ‘society’ which could be some reference points, in a sharp counterpoint to uncritical invocations of the term society, including the dubious ‘civil society’ notion which shall be familiar to readers of this text.

The exigency of the Society of the Friends of the Virus has been very precise, like the periods of 2001-2007, 2008-2019, this conjuncture, which we have sometimes referred to as the epoch of the virus, opens up to a critical shift in the way state and capital organize themselves in relation to the forces which stand opposed to their monopolization of the meaning and form life acquires in this century.

The attempt to find a way to struggle at every level of our lives and affirm what it is we are willing to do with our bodies in the conflicts of ‘interest’ (in all the variances and vagaries this word calls) that are laid ever more apparent before us.

Those who side with moderate steps and keeping things as they are, well, they will work to erase this moment as quickly as possible if they can. Turning it into a phenomena or event which they may later ‘reflect upon’ as yet another purloined letter for discourse produc- tion and ultimately oblivion. They will say, we were either mad or naive, unrealistic in assessing the powers of states and capital to recoup the gains of this entire viral affair. But this is the composure of impotence guised as intelligence.

We have lived long enough to see the fruits of these objectivities, which produce the most docile subjectivities. To shift our perspectives and our bodies in the lines where we see the faults, the fault lines of our deteriorated existences, and where desire wrests open paths which we have either been too fearful or too alone to embark upon.

Those paths do not lead to the existing institutions, they call for a multiplicity of strikes, exits, and this is why we intervene in this moment. Destroying the highly militarized states seems as improbable as voting our way through them. What this moment of stoppage opens is the possibility to take a deep collective breath, and not return to the states we have been living in and reproducing through our ‘participation’ and endless ‘activities of compliance’.

Our lives are structured like a performance organized by another who determines the rules and in which we are invited to ‘participate’. We know all about these forms of participation and they are as false as the pre-scripted roles and potential set of actions allotted. Everything is possible, in accordance with everything unquestionable.

To find our ways, we must discover new choreographies of our own collective un/making. Our names and biographies identify us and also stand in our way. We must take distance from ourselves to rediscover again the art of distances, most importantly from capital and state.

A l’amitié à venir,

The Society of the Friends …

Since March 2020 the Society has published four volumes:

VOLUME 1

VOLUME 2

VOLUME 3

VOLUME 4

Two supplements:

PERSPECTIVES Supplement Vol. 2

PERSPECTIVES Supplement Vol. 3

Five films:

CONTAGIOUS NEW YORK

And organized more than twenty assemblies with friends from 16 Beaver Group and Centre for Parrhesia:

TESTING ASSEMBLING

On this occasion, we will be joined by some of the animators of the Society for a conversation about art, life, politics, strike and whatever questions you may have in relation to their published materials.

ABOLITIONISM: TOWARDS ALTERNATIVE MODES OF STUDY | Mao Mollona & Eli Meyerhoff, Max Haiven, Abigail Boggs, Nick Mitchell, Zach Schwartz-Weinstein


The School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration Future of Art & Cultural Institution, holds this online meeting on Monday 12 OCTOBER at 20:30 CET, 19:30 London, 2:30 EST. Facilitated by Mao Mollona, with Eli Meyerhoff, Max Haiven, Abigail Boggs, Nick Mitchell, Zach Schwartz-Weinstein

We ask you to kindly register here to allow us to better organize the meeting and join us on Zoom platform on October 12 at 20:30 CET clicking on the following link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87253020002

Abolitionism in university follows the movement to abolish prisons and police, seeing these violent institutions as continuations of slavery by another name. Left abolitionism is both destructive—dismantling racial capitalism—and constructive, building alternatives, seeking to replace the prison-industrial complex which is the foundation of our capitalist system with alternative practices of community accountability, safety, and transformative justice. The Left abolitionist approach to universities also brings these two paths at once: reckoning with universities’ complicity with a carceral, racial-capitalist society while creating an alternative, mode of study and enquiry. 

Continue reading “ABOLITIONISM: TOWARDS ALTERNATIVE MODES OF STUDY | Mao Mollona & Eli Meyerhoff, Max Haiven, Abigail Boggs, Nick Mitchell, Zach Schwartz-Weinstein”

ART EDUCATION IN LIMBO | Dmitry Vilensky & WHW Akademija (Zagreb) and School of Engaged Art (Saint Petersburg)

Mladen Stilinović’s text-based work Drei Tage bis zum Ende der Kunst (2002)


School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration We have a situation here. The online meeting is on Thursday July 23 at 19:00 CEST. Facilitated and composed by Dmitry Vilensky, with WHW Akademija (Zagreb) and School of Engaged Art (Saint Petersburg) 
register here

A dialogue between two informal art schools – WHW Akademija (Zagreb) and School of Engaged Art (Saint Petersburg) 

Art practice was always adventurous journey into unknown – to shape something which not yet exist, or it is already with us but people need some navigation to discover it. Such practices were often happening at the back ground of more or less stable world outside art. Now the background for art making is changing – the whole societies stays in limbo and no experts could predict what would happen in a next few days. 

The global pandemic has already completely transformed the situation with education from elementary schools to Universities.  The “temporary” shifting of all classes online has created a crucial dispute about the future of pedagogy and relations inside schools. What is the community of learners would mean nowadays? And how this situation has influenced the art education which was always based on personal live encounters with mentors and between students? 

Also we are faced with deep transformation of the whole idea what art could and should be. The shift of art practice into direction of reproductive work, care, therapy, healing and community building has questioned the whole convention of art making and its distribution. 

What do we teach and how do we learn during pandemic? 

How does our school survived under this condition – what have we already learned? What do we gain and lost already? 

BIOS

WHW Akademija is an independent, tuition-free interdisciplinary study program for emerging artists founded by the curatorial collective What, How and for Whom/WHW in 2018.  The name of the program, like that of the collective, includes the acronym for the three crucial questions of economic organization, What, How, & for Whom. Based in Zagreb, Croatia, the program accepts 8–12 fellows per year. Its aim is to work with the participants in Zagreb over the course of seven months on new forms of self-determination based on modes of critical reflection, curiosity, and encounters among artists, artworks, arts professionals, scholars, and practitioners in various disciplines. The program consists of a series of intensives, experimental exercises, workshops, and seminars, as well as a range of exhibitions, performances, and discursive programs that are in large part open to the public.  WHW Akademija is realized in partnership with the Kontakt Collection, Vienna. The collection focuses on experimental and neo-avant-garde art in Central, Eastern, and South-Eastern Europe from the late 1950s onwards. See more here https://akademija.whw.hr

The School of Engaged Art was initiated by Chto Delat collective in 2013 The School of Engaged art is a radical art education initiative with the goal of establishing a community of cultural workers which use art practice as a tool for transformation of society based on the values of justice and equality. The School is established and operate inside Russian social and political situation where basic democratic freedoms are under threat, in conditions that offer no support for any critical culture, and where there are no academic programs in contemporary art at all – this situation demands to develop its own tactics and method how to survive and reclaim the access to art and public sphere. The curriculum of the school is a hybrid of poetry and sociology, choreography and street activism, political economy and the sublime, art history and militant research, gender and queer experimentation with dramaturgy, the struggle for the rights of cultural workers with the “romantic” vision of art as a mission. A central component of our school is the care for collective practice.  We are convinced that a community of learners together are able to challenge the status-quo of artistic life and combine horizontal and delegation power structure. In the last 7 years we worked closely with about 140 young professionals who are now play a decisive role in the local cultural life – organizing public campaign (feminist-queer, precarious workers, conferences and exhibitions). The project is realized with the support of Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Moscow and Chto Delat Mutual Aid Fund. See more here: http://schoolengagedart.org/en/

POPULAR EDUCATION AND KNOWLEDGE IN COMMONS | Mao Mollona & Rebecca Tarlau, Lea Ana Blaustein, Zeynep Tul Sualp, Alessandro Mariano


School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration Future of Art & Cultural Institution. The online meeting is on Tuesday, July 21 at 16:00 CET; 10:00 US; 11:00 Argentina & Brasil; 18:00 Istanbul. Facilitated by Mao Mollona, with Rebecca Tarlau, Lea Ana Blaustein, Zeynep Tul Sualp, Alessandro Mariano
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This session will bring in conversation the radical pedagogies of the Bachilleratos Populares in Argentina, the Landless Movement in Brazil and the Academic Without Campus (Kampussuzler) in Istanbul for the construction of a common imaginary of horizontal, grassroots, post-capitalist and non-Eurocentric practices of learning and study. 

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THE PARADOXES OF GIFT ECONOMY AND HOW BASIC INCOME COULD SAVE, CHANGE, ABOLISH ART MAKING | Dmitry Vilensky & Oxana Timofeeva

Image from @Reco Steemit.com


School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration We have a situation here. The online meeting is on Thursday July 16 at 19:00 CEST. Facilitated and composed by Dmitry Vilensky, with Oxana Timofeeva.
register here

Today provoked by pandemic situation we hear more and more often different proposals for establishing Universal Basic Income (UBI). The UBI is often presented as the only measure which could save human life in front of growing precarity and forthcoming competitions with AI and robots. 

As correctly and precisely mentioned by previous panel of IRI:

it is a necessary condition in order to rethink our extractivist ecological model, to correct many race and gender asymmetries and, last but not least, to change the art world’s present neoliberal structure. UBI must be seen as a tool to open up new subjective spaces, alternative to the dominating entrepreneurial individualism and focused instead on commons and care. 

At the moment looks like that some affluent societies could come closer to implement this measures not at universal/global level but at their national proximity – regulated by local governments and national agencies. 

If we look back, we could discover that something similar to BI was already existed – in the West it was called welfare system, in the socialist countries it was a system of all-embracing social support and exchange of basic work/services for basic wage covering basic housing, basic food and basic health care. 

I think that we should analyses what is basic? 

Within welfare state it was pretty clear that bureaucracy has an expert power to calculate how many calories one should consumer a day, how often one need to new underwear, how many sq. meters should be sufficient for one person, what kind of medical services should stay accessible and at which quality level. So, it did not differ much from the situation when one speaks about regulation of prison’ population or orphanages. 

In general we are demanding the return to some bio-political regulations which right now sounds like a golden age of humanity which was later kind of annihilated by the assault of neo-liberalism. 

But we definitely not returning – we reconsider this radical survival strategy in completely new political situation. And we should stay sensitive to this new challenges. 

To recognize them more precisely we suggest to reconsider the BI through the concept of the gift. Right now young generation do not remember that the topic of the gift economy was the most fashionable in artistic and intellectual discourse during the nineties. Jean Baudrillard (after Marcel Mauss and Georges Bataille and some other anthropologists) in his work differentiate between the symbolic realm and the realm of signs and signification. According to his ideas “signs can be exchanged like commodities; symbols, on the other hand, operate quite differently: they are exchanged, like gifts, sometimes violently as a form of potlatch”. And he warns us that contemporary society more and more often converting this “symbolic” element into commodified signs. This we could watch very clearly in the tendencies of art world. 

Anthropologist Marcel Mauss studied the notion of the gift, particularly the notion of the “hau” – the invisible energy emanating from social relations which keeps valuable objects in circulation – to imagine a socialist state or rather commons, based on non-commodified and generalized reciprocity permeating all social relations. 

According to Georges Bataille, there are two types of economies: the general and the restricted one. Restricted economies are human activities subordinated to the production, accumulation, and growth of individuals, households, states, etc. The general, or planetary economy is the one of the non-productive expenditure. In nature, it is presented by the sun which gives light and warmth to all living beings without ever receiving anything back. In case of humanity, the general economy becomes the gift economy. How does the gift economy relate to the contemporary condition of total capitalist alienation of labor, and especially artistic labor? What is the connection between labor as our essential activity, and the gift?

So we would like to suggest to look deeper what the idea of gift means nowadays and see if we could re-approach the BI – as a new form of unconditional gift system. And as we know that any gift is a manifestation of sovereign power it imposes a certain rules of exchange – putting someone into position of debt. Gifts are not innocent and to operate inside gift economy one need to acquire a special knowledge and type of behavior – then we could reclaim a gift – basic income not as a basic compensation to temporary save our life (and as a general recognitions of our humanness) but as a precondition for plenitude of living in commons. 

So we would suggest the basic questions in relation of the transformation of art system in connection with possibility of establish BI 

1) If artists receive BI (in its minimal or utopian version) as a kind of a “gift” should they consider their artistic manifestation as a gift to society and do not demand additional remuneration? How do we combine BI and new market regulations which keeps competition afloat? 

2) With implementation of BI the old dream which haunting art world might come true: everyone becomes an artist and do not need a special institutional recognition. Would BI diminish a professional approach to art and undermine the difference between professional and amateurish approach? 

3) Would artist with BI need art system at all or they manage to establish their own system of the distribution of artistic practice – making it more local, more social and convivial?   

4) The implementation of BI could be hardly imagined practically at global scale. Like industrial revolutions it could start from the most affluent countries and then (hopefully) spread around globe. How could we soften the growing inequalities between the artists with BI and those who do not have any support? What kind of international structures of redistribution we might need? 

5) If we consider BI not just as a gift, but more as a dole could it be particular “poisoned” for the artists which system put in the position of returning gift in a form of “welcomed” withdrawing from work and from any additional responsibility of the cultural institutions?

BIO

Oxana Timofeeva is a Professor of the Centre for Practical Philosophy “Stasis” at the European University at St. Petersburg, leading researcher at Tyumen State University, 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 (Maastricht: Jan van Eyck, 2012; Moscow, 2017; London: Bloomsbury, 2018), and Introduction to the Erotic Philosophy of Georges Bataille (Moscow: New Literary Observer, 2009). She is also author of numerous contributions to e-flux journal and other art magazines.

Recommended readings:

The Case Against a Basic Income by DANIEL ZAMORA

David Graeber on basic income 

Can a Universal Basic Income rid the world of bullshit jobs?

ART FOR UBI (Manifesto) #1 | Open online Assembly


School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration Art for UBI. The online meeting is on Friday July 10th at 18:00 CEST. register here [registration open until Thursday July 9th at 12:00 CEST]

While the art market confirms his status as a safe-haven assets provider for the financial elite, the current pandemic has highlighted the fragility and precarity of art workers around the world, a condition common to a growing portion of humanity. In this situation a UBI (Universal Basic Income) would then represent a solution and indeed an urgent measure to implement. But UBI is not “only” a response to poverty, it is a necessary condition in order to rethink our extractivist ecological model, to correct many race and gender asymmetries and, last but not least, to change the art world’s present neoliberal structure. UBI must be seen as a tool to open up new subjective spaces, alternative to the dominating entrepreneurial individualism and focused instead on commons and care. 

If artists are already creating new collective economy models and alter-institutions, these small scale experiments will be much more valuable when connected with those growing social movements around the world fighting for a Universal Basic Income.

PARTICIPANTS TO THE ASSEMBLY

Wouter Hillart STATE OF THE ARTS (BE): http://state-of-the-arts.net/ State of the Arts (SOTA) is an open platform to reimagine the conditions that shape the art world today, working on art labor and organization will report their recent discussion based on UBI. 

Andrea Fumagalli (Commonfare and BIN – ITA). Andrea is a professor and UBI activist. His intervention will focus on the differences between some of the existing European income tools and the UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME. Also he will focus on the potential of bottom up welfare organisation.

Anna Cerdà i Callís (Murga Cooperative – Barcelona).  Anna is part of a cooperative that launched a manifesto/petition stating the importance of UBI for everybody, art and cultural workers included. Gent que treballa en cultura, per una renda bàsica universal i incondicional

Salvo Torre (POE, Politics, Ontology, Ecology – ITA) Salvo is a researcher in political ecology. His speech will address the ecological implications of UBI.

Marina Donatone (Campo Innocente – ITA) Campo Innocente https://ilcampoinnocente.blogspot.com is an Italian network of performing artists and cultural workers. They recently spoke against corporatism and the drive towards an utter fragmentation into hyper specific professional figures. Instead they see UBI as the unifying goal for all the art and culture workers,

Marco Baravallle (S.a.L.E. Docks – ITA) http://www.saledocks.org/ Marco is a member of S.a.L.E. Doks, a self-managed art space in Venice. His intervention will focus on the importance of UBI and dis-identification in the organization of art and culture living labor.

Anna Rispoli and Christophe Meierhans (Common Wallet- BE) Common Wallet is a community based practice in Brussels created by artists. They are socializing their personal income basing the access to liquidity on mutual aid principles.

Emanuele Braga (Macao – ITA) Emanuele is an activist and artist, member of Macao, center for art and research in Milano (IT). His intervention will describe the self organized Basic Income redistribution within the community of Macao in the last 5 years. http://www.macaomilano.org/IMG/pdf/3_-_commoncoin_basic_income.pdf?1498/0c7e90052d75f199cb712e014f1f8100f3113c3e

Gabriella Riccio (L’Asilo – ITA) is an artist, activist and researcher, member of L’Asilo, art & culture common in Naples IT. L’Asilo elaborated on UBI within the framework of The commons as ecosystems for culture on EU scale.

THE ART CARE AND CARE ABOUT ART | Dmitry Vilensky & Janna Graham

Photo Catastrophes, performance at MUAC by Chto Delat


School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration We have a situation here. The online meeting is on Thursday July 9th at 19:00 CEST. Facilitated and composed by Dmitry Vilensky, with Janna Graham.
register here [registration open until Wednesday July 8th at 12:00 CEST]

The questions for the assembly:

  1. The practices of care do not need a critical apparatus. Aiming for good and wellbeing – they themselves become an unconditional good. Can we care critically, or can we criticize with care?
  2. How can we formulate the good of art and how will it differ from the immediate humanitarian benefit of caring for life in general – the reproductive labor?
  3. How to build relationships of equality in a situation of care?
  4. Your favorite art projects, which is based on the practices of care?
  5. Many art institutions in their recent statements speak about their priority of caring for artists in their programs. What manifestations of institutional care do we need to continue our work in art?
  6. Practices of caring can be considered as part of the practices of the participatory and community based art with their old dilemma – to do “for” or to do “with/together.” Is it possible to combine these positions?
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THE TRANSFORMATION OF MONUMENTALITY THE RISE AND FALLS AND THE DANCE OF MONUMENTS | Dmitry Vilensky & Alexandra Pirici

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images – source online new CNN Channel 3000


We open the first appointment of the School of Mutation with the iteration We have a situation here. The online meeting on Thursday July 2nd at 19:00 CET is facilitated and composed by Dmitry Vilensky with choreographer Alexandra Pirici.
register here [registration open until Wednesday July 1st at 12:00 CEST]

Today all of sudden we happen to live in the moment when the burden of historical injustice become unbearable. These situations usually pop up at the moment of revolution or popular uprising and it demonstrates how the system of power is constructed and still rooted in the old system of oppression. The culture and art always have always been pleading a leading role in forming a historical block and , establishing a certain image of power which could inspire, scare and glorify certain dominant narratives. 

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SCHOOL OF MUTATION | Public Presentation

The Institute of Radical Imagination inaugurates the SCHOOL OF MUTATION with a public presentation online on June 25th 18:00 CET

please register here to join us online!


…on “mutation”…

As pioneered by Deleuze and Guattari, “mutation” has been increasingly used in the social sciences since the 90s to give an account of the complex transformations of global capitalist societies, which defy the epistemological capacities of humanistic disciplines and the axioms of traditional political thought.  

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