Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, is a curator best known as the artistic director of SAVVY—The Laboratory of Form-Ideas, a self-organized art institution located in Berlin. He has recently been appointed as the new director at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Berlin.
We hear from Bonaventure on the importance of positioning oneself, within collaboration but always in response and with response-ability. He is someone who didn’t wait for legitimization and instead went ahead to create a space, and let things emerge from that space and from the people who end up hanging out there.
Episode Notes & Links
This episode was recorded during the Mediterranean wildfires that have taken place in Greece, Turkey, Italy, Algeria and Tunisia.
SAVVY, the laboratory of form and ideas is a public cultural institution located in Berlin. https://savvy-contemporary.com
To go further deep into Bonaventure’s thinking, check out this talk organized by the After the Archive? Initiative. https://open.spotify.com/episode/6SbXJlNDSJjYQPN5tWjM93?si=F0kjcbEERPOIJTQdSmVPqQ&dl_branch=1
To get a better sense of his story of becoming, check out this conversation for the NKATA podcast. He also touches on the impact of the life, work and untimely deaths of two giants of contemporary art: Bisi Silva and Okwui Enwezor. https://nkatapodcast.com/2019/04/05/nkata-with-bonaventure-soh-bejeng-ndikung/
At documenta 14 in Athens and in Kassel, the slogan “Wir (alle) sind das Volk” [We (all) are the people] was displayed on banners and posters in German and Greek and the languages understood by most foreign Documenta visitors, as well as the languages of the migrants and refugees who are exposed to xenophobic aggression in Europe. Among the languages are Arabic, Kurdish, Turkish, Farsi (as spoken in Afghanistan), and the language of refugees from Eritrea.
Curated by Bonaventure, the 13th edition of the Bamako Encounters - African Biennale of Photography will be on view in Bamako, Mali from November 20, 2021–January 20, 2022.
In his essay titled “The Globalized Museum? Decanonization as Method: A Reflection in Three Acts”, Bonaventure proposes to utilize decanonization as method for “what might be a global museum of self-reflexivity, whereby the idea will not be to create new or parallel canons, or place them side by side, or universalize the Western canon, but to decanonize the entire notion of the canon.” https://www.moussemagazine.it/magazine/the-globalized-museum-bonaventure-soh-bejeng-ndikung-documenta-14-2017/
Thomas Mann was a writer known for his highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas which are noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Mann
Henry Louis Gates is a literary critic, teacher, historian and filmmaker that conceptualized Signifyin', a critical approach to context-bound significance of words, which is accessible only to those who share the cultural values of a given speech community. The expression comes from stories about the Signifying Monkey, a trickster figure said to have originated during slavery in the United. States. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Louis_Gates_Jr.
Theaster Gates is a Chicago based artist whose work sources from social practice. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theaster_Gates
The Nettelbeckplatz is a square in the Berlin district of Wedding. https://second.wiki/wiki/nettelbeckplatz
An originally well known Armenian/Greek Christian neighborhood called Tatavla, Kurtuluş is a district of Istanbul. Meaning "liberation", "salvation", "independence" or "deliverance" in Turkish, Kurtuluş’s non muslim population of the neighborhood is greatly diminished. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurtuluş
Sonsbeek is an international exhibition in Arnhem, Netherlands which largely focuses on public works of contemporary art. https://www.sonsbeek20-24.org
“Chercher midi à quatorze heures" is a quirky way of telling someone that it is making an issue more difficult than it needs to be—turning something simple into something complicated in French.
Director Jef Cornelis made an in-situ documentary about the Sonsbeek that had taken place in 1971 titled “Sonsbeek: buiten de perken” for the Belgian TV Channel VRT. His body of work is influential to imagine what television can be and how it can be used to document and represent art. https://vimeo.com/433640306
Known as the founder of the art movement fluxus, Joseph Beuys was an influential teacher and artist who was influential in the latter half of the 20th century. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Beuys
A champion of Africa's oral tradition and traditional knowledge, Amadou Hampâté Bâ was a writer, historian and ethnologist. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amadou_Hampâté_Bâ
Curatorial Statement of Bamako Biennial quotes Amadou Hampâté Bâ’s statement (Aspects de la civilisation africaine, Éditions Présence Africaine, 1972) presiding over the manifestation, Maa ka Maaya ka ca a yere kono, translates to, “the persons of the person are multiple in the person.”
Sun Ra, was a jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, and poet known for his experimental music, "cosmic" philosophy, prolific output, and theatrical performances. For much of his career, Ra led "The Arkestra," an ensemble with an ever-changing name and flexible line-up.
Thelonious Monk was a seminal jazz pianist and composer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thelonious_Monk
Stephen Wright is a writer and gardener based in France. He was the first guest of the previous season of Ahali. Listen at https://www.ahali.space/episodes/episode-1-stephen-wright
Assembled by the king of 6/8, the living legend Brice Wassy
Kelin-Kelin Orchestra is a big band that consists of twelve musicians.
Called the "queen of Taarab and Unyago music, Fatima binti Baraka also known as Bi Kidude, was a Zanzibari-born Tanzanian Taarab singer.
Influenced by the musical traditions of the African Great Lakes, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent. Taarab is a music genre popular in Tanzania and Kenya.
Natasha Ginwala is a curator working in the field of contemporary art.
Ayesha Hameed is a lecturer, writer and practitioner who produces videos, audio essays and performance lectures.
Matana Roberts is a sound experimentalist, visual artist, jazz saxophonist, clarinetist and composer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matana_Roberts
Formed in 1979 by Pierre-Edouard Décimus and Jacob Desvarieux, Kassav’ is a Zouk band that makes Guadeloupean carnival music recording it in a more fully orchestrated yet modern and polished style. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kassav%27
Jacob Desvarieux was a singer, arranger, and music producer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Desvarieux
Jocelyne Béroard is a singer and songwriter. She is one of the lead singers of the Kassav'. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jocelyne_Béroard
Zouk is a musical movement pioneered by the French Antillean band Kassav' in the early 1980s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zouk
Négritude (from French "Nègre" and "-itude" to denote a condition that can be translated as "Blackness") is a framework of critique and literary theory, developed mainly by francophone intellectuals, writers, and politicians of the African diaspora during the 1930s, aimed at raising and cultivating "Black consciousness" across Africa and its diaspora. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Négritude
One of the founders of the Négritude movement, Aimé Césaire was a Martinican poet, author, and politician. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aimé_Césaire
Served as the first president of Senegal from 1960 to 1980, Léopold Sédar Senghor was a poet, politician and cultural theorist. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Léopold_Sédar_Senghor
Episode recorded on Zoom on August 4th, 2021.
Interview by Can Altay. Produced by Aslı Altay & Sarp Renk Özer. Music by Grup Ses.
D'autres épisodes de "Ahali Conversations with Can Altay"
Episode 26: Raqs Media Collective
59:00Our guests are the legendary Raqs Media Collective, formed in New Delhi in 1992, by Monica Narula, Jeebesh Bagchi and Shuddhabrata Sengupta. I like to call them intellectuals-at-large, but their production ranges from artistic to curatorial projects, from theoretical to educational works. The collective also co-founded Sarai—the inter-disciplinary and incubatory space at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.You’ll hear their unique blend of thinking on technologies and media, from surveillance to bureaucratic interfaces as deeply embedded in societal dynamics; and we’ll get to explore together how they have been producing knowledge as artists. The tidal changes in image cultures; how digital technologies are intertwined with urban infrastructures; how the poetic is also the political; and ultimately the significance of languages are a few of the things that are lingering in my mind and provoking further thoughts after this conversation.EPISODE NOTES & LINKSBased in New Delhi, Raqs Media Collective comprises three practitioners: Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta. For the past three decades, the Collective has been concerned with urbanism, epistemology, technology, globalization, and the experience of time. Drawing upon critical theory and political philosophy, their work is marked by active inquiry, double-meanings, pluralism, and entanglement. https://www.raqsmediacollective.net/Sarai is among South Asia’s most prominent and productive platforms for research and reflection on the transformation of urban space and contemporary realities, especially with regard to cities, data and information, law, and media infrastructures. https://sarai.net/about/Initiated by Ankur: Society for Alternatives in Education, Delhi, and Sarai-CSDS, Delhi in the year 2001 Cybermohalla is a network of dispersed labs for experimentation and exploration among young working-class individuals https://sarai.net/projects/cybermohalla/.The first Cybermohalla took place in LNJP (Lok Nayak Jarai Prakash), an informal settlement in Central Delhi.Parda-darii is a noun in Hindu meaning play of the veil, removing the veil, revealing the truth, and revealment of secrets.Can has written on the design of Cybermohalla Hub, in relation to his ‘Setting a Setting’ idea.https://www.academia.edu/5980837/_Setting_and_Remaking_in_Cybermohalla_Hub_eds_Hirsch_N_and_S_Sarda_Berlin_Sternberg_Press_2012Curated by Raqs Media Collective “In the Open or In Stealth” was a group exhibition that has taken place at MACBA in 2018-2019 about the concept of a future in which multiple histories and geographies were placed in dialogue. https://www.macba.cat/en/exhibitions-activities/exhibitions/open-or-stealthThe Walker Art Center is a multidisciplinary contemporary art center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. https://walkerart.org/visitEstablished by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima in Tokyo, Atelier Bow-Wow is an architecture firm. http://www.bow-wow.jp/Taken place in Walker Art center in 2003, How Latitudes Become Forms: Art in a Global Age was an exhibition about ways that globalization, or the “new internationalism in art” is affecting visual culture. https://walkerart.org/calendar/2003/how-latitudes-become-forms-art-in-a-global-agHow Latitudes Become Forms has a vintage website that constitutes substantial archival material about the project. http://latitudes.walkerart.org/overview/index.htmlFatwa is a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized authority.Abhinavagupta (c. 950 – 1016 CE) was a philosopher, mystic, and aesthetician from Kashmir. He was also considered an influential musician, poet, dramatist, exegete, theologian, and logician – a polymathic personality who exercised strong influences on Indian culture. William Shakespeare used more than 20,000 words in his plays and poems, and his works provide the first recorded use of over 1,700 words in the English language. https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/explore-shakespeare/shakespedia/shakespeares-words/Submitted by Rohana Khattak, a sixteen-year-old reader of the New York Times from, Islamabad, Pakistan to the newspaper’s Invent a Word Challenge, “Oblivionnaire” refers to a billionaire who chooses to be blind to the disparity and inequality that his or her wealth is creating.“Khullja Sim Sim” translates as “Open Sesame” in English, and “Açıl Susam Açıl” in Turkish. It is a magical phrase in the story of "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" and in Antoine Galland's version of One Thousand and One Nights. It opens the mouth of a cave in which forty thieves have hidden a treasure.Nishastagah is a Hindu word referring to a place not (yet, ever) inhabited by memory. In response to the passage of the Citizenship Act on 11 December 2019 and the ensuing police intervention against students at Jamia Millia Islamia who were opposing the Amendment, the Shaheen Bagh protest was a peaceful sit-in protest in Delhi, India, that began on 15 December 2019 and lasted until 24 March 2020.The permanently lost 16mm film, “Half the Night left, and the Universe to Comprehend” is Raqs Media Collective’s first work. In the Hindu epic the Mahabharata, Ashwatthama was a Maharathi warrior who became a Chiranjivi (immortal) due to a curse given to him by the god of protection, compassion, tenderness, and love, Krishna.In the essay titled dictionary of war by Raqs Media Collective Ashwatthama is described both as an omnipresent immaterial entity that acts as a propagator of war while tracing his essence within the essence of human subjectivity. http://dictionaryofwar.org/node/894Mahendra Raj (1924 - 2022) was a structural engineer and designer who contributed to the structural design of many buildings in India including the Hall of Nations at the Pragati Maidan in Delhi.Opened in 1972, the Hall of Nations was a building designed by architect Raj Rewal, and structurally engineered by Mahendra Raj. The structure was demolished in April 2017 to make way for a new complex.The essay that Jabeesh mentions while referring to Mahendra Raj is titled Living with the Future in South Asia by Chris Moffat. https://www.publicbooks.org/modernist-architecture-heritage-south-asia-pragati-maidan/This season of Ahali Conversations is supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. The Graham provides project-based grants to foster the development and exchange of diverse and challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture, and society. This episode was also supported by a Moon & Stars Project Grant from the American Turkish Society.This episode was recorded on Zoom on May 17th, 2022. Interview by Can Altay. Produced by Aslı Altay & Sarp Renk Özer. Music by Grup Ses.
Episode 25: Keller Easterling
47:41In this episode, we are in conversation with the architect, writer, and Professor of Architecture at Yale, Keller Easterling. Her books include Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space (Verso, 2014); Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and its Political Masquerades (MIT, 2005); and her latest Medium Design: Knowing How to Work on the World, to which we dedicate special attention to in this episode.I think Easterling’s project boils down to how architecture and design can actually intervene and/or contribute to the cultural change around social justice and ecological crises; through thinking about, and ‘knowing-how’ to work the systems at play. So designing within interplay; rather than the total compliance and submission on behalf of the architectural profession is what she seeks. She redirects our attention to the spatial dimension of how things are arranged, be it politically, financially, or socially. Episode Notes & Linkshttp://kellereasterling.com/ In Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space, Keller Easterling reveals the nexus of emerging governmental and corporate forces buried within the concrete and fiber-optics of our modern habitat. https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/enduring-innocence http://kellereasterling.com/books/extrastatecraft-the-power-of-infrastructure-spaceIn Enduring Innocence, Keller Easterling tells the stories of outlaw "spatial products"—resorts, information technology campuses, retail chains, golf courses, ports, and other hybrid spaces that exist outside normal constituencies and jurisdictions—in difficult political situations around the world. https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/enduring-innocenceMedium Design by Keller Easterling looks not to new technologies for innovation but rather to sophisticated relationships between emergent and incumbent technologies. It does not try to eliminate problems but rather put them together in productive combinations. And it offers forms of activism for modulating power and temperament in organisations of all kinds. https://www.versobooks.com/books/3245-medium-designhttp://kellereasterling.com/books/medium-design-knowing-how-to-work-on-the-worldElements of Architecture was the title of the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale curated by Rem Koolhaas. https://www.labiennale.org/en/architecture/2014/elements-architectureBeatriz Colomina is an architecture historian, theorist, and curator.Mark Wigley is an architect and author. Colomina and Wigley co-curated the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial with the same title in 2016. https://tasarimbienali.iksv.org/en/biennial-archive/3rd-istanbul-design-biennialJames Jerome Gibson (1904-1979) was an American psychologist known as a seminal figure in the field of visual perception. He coined the phrase “affordance” which later became a key concept in the field of design.John Durham Peters is a professor of English and film and media studies. His book The Marvelous Clouds reveals the long prehistory of so-called new media and shows how media lie at the very heart of our interactions with the world around us. https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/M/bo20069392.htmlTim Ingold is an antropologist. This is the text Can is referring to:https://doi.org/10.1017/S1380203807002127Michael Polanyi (1891-1976) was a polymath of the 20th century. He was engaged in many knowledge fields including physical chemistry, economics, and philosophy. Check his thoughts on positivism to provoke your mind.Gilbert Ryle (1900-1976) was a philosopher, principally known for his critique of Cartesian dualism, for which he coined the phrase "ghost in the machine." which of course influenced the legendary Ghost in the Shell manga series by Masamune Shirow.Bruno Latour is a philosopher, anthropologist, and sociologist. He is especially known for his work in the field of science and technology studies. http://www.bruno-latour.fr/Richard III by William Shakespeare is the last in a sequence of four history plays known collectively as the “first tetralogy,” treating major events of English history during the late 14th and early 15th centuries. Lady Anne is a fictional character from Richard IIIhttps://www.britannica.com/topic/Lady-AnneCharles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an author, poet, and mathematician. His most notable works are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass. Jorge Luis Borges (1889-1986) was an essayist, poet, and translator of Carroll’s work to Spanish.Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472) was an Italian Renaissance humanist author, artist, architect, poet, priest, linguist, philosopher, and cryptographer. MarshallAI detects objects and incidents in real-time from any video feed through consistent monitorization and employment of precise artificial intelligence and machine vision. They provide sharp and automatic situational awareness and intelligent automation by gathering relevant data for smart cities, security, and authorities. https://marshallai.com/ J.K Gibson-Graham is the pen-name of Katherine Gibson and the late Julie Graham. As feminist political economists and economic geographers, they have extensively written about diverse economies, urbanism, alternative communities, and regional economic development. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._K._Gibson-GrahamArturo Escobar is an anthropologist whose research interests include political ecology, anthropology of development, social movements, anti-globalization movements, and post-development theory. We suggest Territories of Difference published by Duke University press in 2008 to learn more about his thought. https://www.dukeupress.edu/territories-of-differenceZenzile Miriam Makeba (1932-2008) nicknamed Mama Africa was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, and civil rights, activist. https://www.miriammakeba.co.za/Silvia Federici is an academic and activist particularly influential for radical Marxist feminist theory.McKinsey & Company is a management consulting firm that advises on strategic management to corporations, governments, and other organizations. Deloitte is one of the Big Four accounting organizations and the largest professional services network in the world by revenue and number of professionals, with headquarters in London, England.Vilém Flusser (1920-1991) was a philosopher, writer, and journalist. You can meet fellow flusserians or learn more about his works through https://www.flusserstudies.net/flusserKathrin Böhm is an artist. Listen to Episode 13 to get to know her better. https://www.ahali.space/episodes/episode-13-kathrinbohmThis season of Ahali Conversations is supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. The Graham provides project-based grants to foster the development and exchange of diverse and challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture, and society. This episode was also supported by a Moon & Stars Project Grant from the American Turkish Society.This episode was recorded on Zoom on March 29th, 2022. Interview by Can Altay. Produced by Aslı Altay & Sarp Renk Özer. Music by Grup Ses.
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Episode 24: Design Studio for Social Intervention
1:03:29Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI), is a Boston-based “artistic research and development outfit” that operates in response to social justice and its literal and figurative resonations in public space.Founded by Kenneth Bailey and Lori Lobenstine in 2006, DS4SI invites activists, artists, academics, designers, dreamers, tricksters, organizations, and foundations to respond to critical and urgent social problems in a light and playful manner. Through these encounters, DS4SI questions the impacts of change in social relationships that may affect everyday life and intervenes in the ways of practicing it. In their words, they are “dedicated to changing how social justice is imagined, developed and deployed in the U.S.A”. https://www.ds4si.org/#test-sectionWritten by DS4SI, IDEAS ARRANGEMENTS EFFECTS could be considered a roadmap for using social interventions to invite the larger public into imagining and creating a more just and vibrant world. https://www.ds4si.org/bookshop/ideas-arrangements-effects-systems-design-and-social-justice-paperback-bookSUMMITT undertakes the role of executive dog within the team of DS4SI. https://www.ds4si.org/people/2021/3/1/summitt-executive-dogInspired by the family kitchen as a gathering place, the Public Kitchen invited Upham's Corner and Dudley Street residents to feast, learn, share, imagine, unite and claim public space. https://www.ds4si.org/creativity-labs//public-kitchenAlongside various other academic positions, Ceasar McDowell is a Professor of Civic Design at MIT. He teaches civic and community engagement and the use of social technology to enhance both.The Community Innovators Lab (CoLab) at MIT supports the Department of Urban Studies Program by bringing together the best thinking in planning and information technology with the learned experience of community practitioners. https://dusp.mit.edu/programs/overviewTrickster Makes This World is a book by Lewis Hyde. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56450.Trickster_Makes_This_WorldRazorfish is one of the world’s largest interactive agencies. Created by David Walsh, MONA is a museum in Hobart, Tasmania. https://mona.net.au/museum/aboutInitiated by DS4SI, Black Citizenship Project engaged artists from the Boston area and beyond to provide a public, artistic response to police-sanctioned violence against Black bodies and Black communities. https://www.ds4si.org/interventions/2016/7/25/black-citizenship-project#:~:text=Black%20Citizenship%20Project%20engaged%20artists,Black%20bodies%20and%20Black%20communities.Dating back to 2010, The Church Street Partners’ Gazette by Can Altay was an exhibition and publication that took place in Showroom, London. https://www.theshowroom.org/projects/can-altay-the-church-street-partners-gazetteMÇPS was a work by Can Altay realized in 2017. It was a walk-in jamming/recording studio that popped up in the artist-run space İMÇ 5533, İstanbul.Lagoon is a novel by Nnedi Okorafor. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagoon_(novel)Sun Ra is a god who walked on earth and made music. https://splice.com/blog/who-is-sun-ra/Ezra Collective is a band of extremely skilled, visionary jazz musicians. http://ezracollective.com/Bringing together residents, artists, activists, and passers-by, inPUBLIC highlights the importance of “public-making”—the collective creation of opportunities for interaction, laughter, dialogue, learning, and surprise. https://www.ds4si.org/interventions/inpublicSocial Emergency Response Centers are temporary, emergent, and creative spaces co-led by activists and artists. They pop up in response to a new attack on a population or to a long-standing injustice. Check DS4SI’s detailed manual to learn more or start one in your city! https://static1.squarespace.com/static/53c7166ee4b0e7db2be69480/t/5914a3dd579fb3c20cf4ab9a/1494524919092/DS4SI-SERC-Manual.pdfFerguson riots in Ferguson, Missouri, involved protests and riots which began on August 10, 2014, the day after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson.This season of Ahali Conversations is supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. The Graham provides project-based grants to foster the development and exchange of diverse and challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture, and society. This episode was also supported by a Moon & Stars Project Grant from the American Turkish Society.This episode was recorded on Zoom on March 15th, 2022. Interview by Can Altay. Produced by Aslı Altay & Sarp Renk Özer. Music by Grup Ses.
Episode 23: Marina Otero Verzier
1:11:04Marina Otero Verzier is an architect, researcher and curator, who is also the current Head of the MA in Social Design program at Design Academy Eindhoven. Until very recently, she was the director of research at the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. Her work touches on many socio-political and environmental dimensions of design and cultural production; as well as the emergence of new paradigms for institutions. Together with Marina we unpack what designing the social might mean, and we explore the outer reaches of architectural research; both in the political and ecological realms. I think her particular mix of cautious optimism and her introspective openness allows us to reflect on how culture can be put to work, both in everyday life and in the sites of knowledge production, whether it’s the museum, the school, or the archive.EPISODE NOTES & LINKSMarina Otero Verzier is an architect. She was formerly Director of Research at Het Nieuwe Instituut (HNI), the Dutch Institute for Architecture, Design, and Digital Culture. She is the Department Head of the MA in Social Design at Design Academy Eindhoven. https://www.designacademy.nl/p/about-dae/community/marina-otero-verzierDesign Academy Eindhoven is an interdisciplinary educational institute for art, architecture, and design in Eindhoven, Netherlands. https://www.designacademy.nl/Het Nieuwe Instituut is a cultural centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It focuses on architecture, design, and digital culture.https://hetnieuweinstituut.nl/homeThe term “canon” pops up quite often, it refers to cultural works (books, buildings, etc) that come to be accepted as exceptional and set the criteria for good work. Canon has the same root as Kanun, or Qanun, which means the rule, or the law. So in a way, these works become unquestionable. Cartesian Grid refers to grids often used in architecture as the basis for organizing spatial form, as composed of squares (or cubes) aligned with the Cartesian coordinate axes. Cartesian coordinate axes exist in a coordinate system that specifies each point uniquely by a pair of numerical coordinates, which are the signed distances to the point from two fixed perpendicular oriented lines, measured in the same unit of length. Conceived as a spa resort, the exhibition Lithium took place in 2020 at Het Nieuwe. It delved into the beneficial and destructive aspects of the eternal human search for energy and reflected on the role of the chemical element lithium in powering today’s economy. https://lithium.hetnieuweinstituut.nl/enMore-than-human is an edited volume by Andres Jacque, Marina, and our previous guest Lucia Pietroiusti. https://research-development.hetnieuweinstituut.nl/en/morethanhumanCoauthored by Marina, Drone: Unmanned. Architecture and Security Series investigates the relationship between drone technology, cultural production, and forms of surveillance and violence.“Architecture of Appropriation” was an exhibition developed by Het Nieuwe in 2017 that asked questions about squatting from various perspectives including squatters, artists, and architects. https://hetnieuweinstituut.nl/en/press-releases/architecture-appropriation#:~:text=Architecture%20of%20Appropriation%20is%20designed,Architecture%2C%20Design%20and%20Digital%20Culture.The Dutch Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2018 was titled “Work, Body, Leisure”. The exhibition was about the spatial configurations, living conditions, and notions of the human body engendered by disruptive changes in labor, its ethos, and its conditions. https://work-body-leisure.hetnieuweinstituut.nl/Studio-X is a Columbia University project that appeared in various cities as laboratories for exploring the future of cities—producing events, research projects, pop-up exhibitions, and publications. Marina previously worked as Director of Programming.https://www.arch.columbia.edu/studio-xThe Master Program in Social Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven focuses on new social roles for designers attuned to contemporary ecological and social challenges. https://www.designacademy.nl/p/study-at-dae/masters/social-designCan Altay was the Head of the Industrial Design Department at Istanbul Bilgi University between 2012 -2019. Kombucha is a fermented, lightly effervescent, sweetened black or green tea drink.A biomaterial is a substance that has been engineered to interact with biological systems for a medical purpose, either a therapeutic or a diagnostic one. Stephen Wright is a writer and gardener. His works and thought on artistic activity redefining cultural practices in response to permaculture and ecological thinking are influential for the Ahali Community. https://www.ahali.space/episodes/episode-1-stephen-wrightAna Devic is a curator, writer, and teacher Ana Dević and a member of the curatorial collective What, How and from Whom (WHW). Find more about Ana in Episode 21. https://www.ahali.space/episodes/episode21-ana-devicNato Thompson is a curator and the founder of the Alternative Art School. Head over to Episode 18 to discover more. https://www.ahali.space/episodes/episode-18-nato-thompsonAhali Conversations’ Episode 14 is a great episode to explore his “out of this world” mode of thought. Jerzsy Seymour conceives of design as the creation of situations, such as the relationship we have with the constructed and the natural world, with other people, and with ourselves, and is as much about the inhabitation of the planet as the inhabitation of the mind.Amal Alhaag is a curator and researcher.Vasıf Kortun is a curator, educator and writer. He was the guest of Ahali Conversations Episode 6. https://www.ahali.space/episodes/episode-6-vasif-kortunHeman Chong is an artist, curator, and writer who creates texts, objects, installations, and situations in order to investigate the manner through which individuals form associations between objects in their environments. https://www.hemanchong.com/Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene is a 2016 book by Donna Haraway, published by Duke University Press.Lucia Pietroiusti is a curator whose work intersects art, ecology, and systems in her work. https://www.ahali.space/episodes/episode-16-lucia-pietroiustiKathrin Böhm is an artist whose practice focuses on the collective re-production of public space; on economy as a public realm; and the everyday as a starting point for culture. Episode 13 to get to know her better. https://www.ahali.space/episodes/episode-13-kathrinbohmDoughnut Economics explores the mindset and ways of thinking needed by humanity to thrive in the 21st century. https://doughnuteconomics.org/about-doughnut-economicsACCESS SERVER is a digital tool developed by MELT that addresses the unequal inclusion of disabled people in art institutions. It will be a website that provides email templates and a modest fee per email to support disabled people’s access requests. https://research-development.hetnieuweinstituut.nl/en/het-nieuwe-instituuts-call-fellows-2021-jury-reportAhali Conversations’ Episode 10 featured Chus Martinez. She is a curator and teacher. https://www.ahali.space/episodes/episode-10-chusmartinezEvanescent Institutions is the title of Marina’s PhD. Thesis. This work would be helpful to think about how public cultural institutions should resituate themselves in the 21st century. Misiones Pedagógicas (The Pedagogical Missions) was a socio-pedagogical project committed to social justice. It fostered educational renewal and was active between 1931 - 1936. The Franco dictatorship (dictadura franquista) took place between 1939 and 1975 when Francisco Franco ruled Spain with the title Caudillo. After his death in 1975, Spain transitioned into a democracy. Cátedra Ambulante Francisco Franco was a mobile propaganda project which appropriated Misiones Pedagógicas’ ideas about reaching small towns and villages through on-site activities.This season of Ahali Conversations is supported by the “Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts”. The Graham provides project-based grants to foster the development and exchange of diverse and challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture, and society. This episode was also supported by a Moon & Stars Project Grant from the American Turkish Society.This episode was recorded on Zoom on March 10th, 2022. Interview by Can Altay. Produced by Aslı Altay & Sarp Renk Özer. Music by Grup Ses.
Episode 22: Mike Nelson
1:01:50Mike Nelson is an artist whose influential works oscillate between salvage yards and dreamscapes. He works with things from the present and the just-past, to create these spaces, that ask you to think twice about contemporary culture, and our ways of being. In his words through situations that are on the brink of obsolescence. Mike Nelson’s lessons on the agency and potency of objects, and his take on his own positionality as an artist; through the metaphor of sliders on an equalizer were thought-provoking. On every occasion, an artist has to decide over a multiplicity of issues, over ethics, politics, effects, income, and many other dimensions. These virtual sliders operate as part of a decision-making process, over the give and take, and to decide how to negotiate as well as reconcile our decisions. EPISODE NOTES & LINKSAcclaimed artist Mike Nelson's work stems from a period of living and working in a particular location in the form of large-scale, site-specific sculptural environments. http://mikenelson.org.uk/Protocinema is a cross-cultural art organization that commissions and presents site-aware art around the world. https://www.protocinema.org/aboutPROJEKTÖR was an exhibition organized by Protocinema in 2019. Nelson combined architectural intervention, sculpture, and video across sixteen rooms of the seventh floor of a historic commercial building (Gürün Han) to reflect on the changing landscape of the city, both intimate and global. https://www.protocinema.org/exhibitions/mike-nelson Rip Van Winkle is a short story about nostalgia by Washington Irving, published in 1819. The protagonist of the story falls into a deep slumber for two decades and wakes up to a completely different world.Crystal Palace is a neighborhood in London that takes its name from the exhibition space designed by Joseph Paxton in 1851 to display examples of technology developed in the Industrial Revolution. The United States Capitol attack took place in 2021 by the supporters of Donald Trump to disrupt the joint session of Congress assembled to count electoral votes that would formalize President-elect Joe Biden's victory.Formed in 1968, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY) was a folk-rock supergroup. They were not only known for their tumultuous relationship but also for political activism.Charles Manson is a criminal who led the infamous Manson Family in California, in the late 1960s.Minicab was a precarious taxi service that could be booked in advance but not licensed to pick up passengers who hail it in the street. It predates and was replaced by ride-share apps.Han is the urban version of Caravanserai, a roadside inn where travelers could rest and recover from the day's journey. They could be considered commercial settlements or artisanal facilities.Founded in 1651 by Kösem Valide Sultan, the mother of the Ottoman sultans Murat IV and Ibrahim, Büyük Valide Han is the largest historic han in Istanbul. A darkroom is a completely dark working environment that serves to carry out tasks like processing photographic film or making prints.Duveen (1869-1939), was a British art dealer who was highly active and influential in the 1920’s and 1930’s. His success is famously attributed to his observation that "Europe has a great deal of art, and America has a great deal of money."https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Duveen,_1st_Baron_DuveenHenry Moore (1898-1986) was one of the most important British artists of the twentieth century and arguably the most internationally celebrated sculptor of the period. https://www.henry-moore.org/Asset Stripper is a slang term used in a pejorative sense in the field of finances which refers to the practice of selling off a company's assets to improve returns for equity investors.“Asset Strippers” was the title of the annual Tate Britain commission in 2019 where Mike has transformed the grand spaces of the Duveen Galleries into something between a sculpture court and a salvage yard. https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/mike-nelsonFounded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. V&A Museum is the world's largest museum of applied arts, decorative arts, and design in terms of inventory. https://www.vam.ac.uk/Nelson also has a longstanding interest and knowledge of Middle Eastern art and architecture, a topic we didn’t go much into during this conversation. Assyrian Bowl https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/W_N-94An equalizing deck is a circuit or equipment used to adjust the volume of different frequency bands within an audio signal during the processes of sound recording or reproduction. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equalization_(audio)The Arab Spring (Arabic: الربيع العربي) was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that spread across much of the Arab world in the early 2010s.Edward Kienholz (1927-1994) and Nancy Kienholz (1943-2019) were artists whose work heavily criticized the modern way of living and in particular Americana mostly through installation and sculptural works. Ilya and Emilia Kabakov are artists whose ground (or ceiling) breaking installations were highly influential in defining the Post-Soviet cultural production with their subtle humor and captivating visual language. Paul Thek (1933–1988) is the quintessential “artists’ artist” with his unique materiality and fragile life and oeuvre that ended up being posthumously celebrated by the following generation of artists who emerged in the 90’s.Dieter Roth (1930–1998) was an artist best known for works made of found materials, including rotting food. In the present day, his work is carried out by his son Björn Roth. William Franklin Culbert (1935 – 2019) was an artist who worked with and through painting, photography, sculpture, and installation as well as found and recycled materials.Ron Haselden is an artist who works with light, sound, film, and video, often as part of architectural projects.Richard Wilson is an artist known for his architectural sculptures and large-scale installations.Marc Camille Chaimowicz is an artist whose cross-disciplinary work in painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, installation, furniture, lighting, ceramics, textiles, and wallpaper challenges the categorical divisions between art and design. Robin Klassnik is the founder and director of Matt's Gallery. Founded in 1979, Matt’s Gallery is a contemporary art gallery located in London. https://www.mattsgallery.org/Robert Smithson (1938 - 1973) is another legendary artist who is best known for his artwork Spiral Jetty (1970). Due credit should also be given to Nancy Holt (1938-2014), in creating what is known as Land Art. https://holtsmithsonfoundation.org/ is the custodian of their legacy, until 2038, when the foundation will terminate at the 100th birthday of the couple.Hélio Oiticica (1937 - 1980) is an influential artist from Brazil known for his environments and iconic artworks: such as parangolés, wearable, experiential garments, and penetrables a series of structural works that he considers as “movable frescos on a human scale except that (most importantly) they are penetrable.”Stanislaw Lem (1921 - 2006) was a Soviet writer and thinker whose work on futurology historically stands out because of his influential work titled Solaris (1961) thanks to director Andrei Tarkovsky's movie adaptation of the novel in 1971.A Perfect Vacuum (1971) comprises Stanislav Lem's fictitious criticism of nonexisting books. The texts included reads as drafts of his science fiction novels, philosophical pieces across scientific topics, from cosmology to the pervasiveness of computers while others satirize and parody everything from the nouveau roman to pornography, Ulysses, authorless writing, and Dostoevsky.First published in 1719, Robinson Crusoe is a highly influential and seminal work of literature by William Defoe It tells the story of a castaway who spends 28 years on a remote tropical desert island near the coasts of Venezuela and Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, and mutineers, before ultimately being rescued.
Episode 21: Ana Devic
1:03:04Our guest in this episode is curator, author, and educator Ana Devic. She is best known as a member of the curatorial collective What, How and for Whom (WHW). Formed in 1999, WHW is an exemplary case in the history of curatorial studies.Ana Devic is also in charge of the international study program for young artists called WHW Akademija based in Zagreb. With Ana, we’ll further our exploration into other modes of engaging with artistic practice and hear about other possibilities, within and through art and politics. Her take on collectivity, as a spark rather than a value in and of itself; her emphasis on encounters and accessibility, and formal and informal modes of learning were really thought-provoking.EPISODE NOTES AND LINKSThis episode’s conversation is part of the collaborative project ‘Communities of Learning, Bridging the Gap of Isolation’, initiated by WHW and supported by the Culture of Solidarity Fund of the European Cultural Foundation.Ana Devic is a curator, writer, and teacher Ana Dević and a member of the curatorial collective What, How and from Whom (WHW). https://www.whw.hr/novosti/index.html#Formed in 1999, the curatorial collective What, How and for Whom (WHW) is an exemplary case in the history of curatorial studies. They were one of the pioneer groups who were influential in saving curatorial practice from going obsolete in a moment in which author curators (often white and male) reluctant to operate in plural forms were dominating the field of contemporary art. It’s members are Ivet Ćurlin, Ana Dević, Nataša Ilić, Sabina Sabolović and designer and publicist Dejan Kršić. Based in Zagreb, WHW Academija is an international study program for young artists. The tuition-free academy takes up to 12 fellows per year intending to work on new forms of self-determination based on modes of critical reflection, curiosity, and encounters among artists, artworks, arts professionals, scholars, and practitioners. This program consists of a series of intensives, experimental exercises, workshops, and seminars, as well as a range of exhibitions, performances, and other forms of discursive programs. http://whw-akademija.whw.hr/about-whw/IRWIN is a highly influential artist collective, whose paintings, actions and installations played a crucial role in Balkan and Eastern European conceptual art, especially in the definitive era of 90’s and the Post-Yugoslavian context. They were a part of NSK, along with the legendary band Laibach. https://www.irwin-nsk.org/about/Gezi Park Protests occurred in Turkey in 2013 to contest the urban development plan for Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park. https://creativetimereports.org/2013/06/14/here-we-are-the-imagination-of-public-space-in-gezi-park/Christine Tohme is a curator and the founding director of Ashkal Alwan. The Home Workspace Program is a tuition-free annual arts study program targeting emerging artists and cultural practitioners wishing to develop their critical skills and practice in a supportive environment in Beirut. https://ashkalalwan.org/about.php#Mladen Stilinović (1947-2016) was a conceptual artist and one of the leading figures of the so-called "New Art Practice" in Croatia.Sanja Iveković is a photographer, performer, sculptor and installation artist.Tomislav Gotovac (1937-2010) was a film director, actor, performer, multimedia and conceptual artist.Goran Trbuljak is a cinematographer, photographer and conceptual artist.Decolonizing Architecture Art Research (DAAR) is an artistic practice situated between architecture, art, pedagogy and politics in the struggle for justice and equality http://www.decolonizing.ps/site/about/Alessandro Petti is an architect and researcher. He is one of the cofounders of DAAR.Sandi Hilal is an architect and researcher. She is one of the cofounders of DAAR.Conducted by Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti, The Tree School is a place where people can gather for communal learning and the production of knowledge grounded in lived experience and connected to communities. http://www.decolonizing.ps/site/the-tree-school/The artist group Etcetera Collective, was founded by Loreto Garín Guzmán and Federico Zukerfeld in 1997. In 2005 they founded Fundación del Movimiento Internacional Errorista (International Errorist Movement Foundation) with other artists and activists which seeks to consolidate error as a life philosophy.Known for his seminal pedagogical work Deschooling Society, Ivan Dominic Illich (1926 - 2002) was a priest, theologian, philosopher, and social critic.The Alternative Art School (TAAS) is an affordable learning program run by a stellar faculty offering intimate class sizes. TAAS emphasizes group work, community building, and dynamic modes of socializing and art-making. www.thealternativeartschool.net/how-it-works-1RAW Académie is an experimental residential program for the research and study of artistic and curatorial practice and thought in Dakar. http://www.rawmaterialcompany.org/_RAW_Academy?lang=enDAI ROAMING ACADEMY, is an itinerant program that fosters a variety of praxes at the intersections of art and theory (both seen as un-disciplines), and invigorates (collective) thinking, researching, performing, curating, writing, voicing, making and publishing. https://dutchartinstitute.eu/program/aboutThe Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, "New Academy of Fine Arts", also known as NABA, is a privately run university in Milan.Marco Scotini is a curator, researcher, teacher, and writer.Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) is a type of organization represented by rules encoded as a computer program that is transparent, controlled by the organization members, and not influenced by a central government.Pirate Care is a transnational research project and a network of activists, scholars, and practitioners who stand against the criminalization of solidarity & for a common care infrastructure. https://pirate.care/pages/concept/Memory of the World/Public Library is a case for the institution of public library and its principle of universal access to knowledge. https://www.memoryoftheworld.org/blog/2015/05/27/repertorium_public_library/Curated by WHW in 2014, “Really Useful Knowledge” was an exhibition that had taken place at Reina Sofia, Madrid which sought to highlight the collective utilization of public resources, activities, and experiments, either forgotten or under threat of eradication, taking the museum as a pedagogical site devoted to the analysis of artistic forms interconnected with actual or desired social relations. https://www.museoreinasofia.es/en/exhibitions/really-useful-knowledgeNato Thompson is an author, curator, and self-proclaimed “cultural infrastructure builder”. Nato was also the guest of Ahali Conversations Episode 18: https://www.ahali.space/episodes/episode-18-nato-thompsonSound.xyz is a startup aiming to support recording artists to monetize their projects through NFTs. https://www.sound.xyz/PleasrDAO is a decentralized autonomous organization that purchases and collects work that is relevant to the digital and crypto culture. https://pleasr.org/terra0 is an evolving prototype built on the Ethereum network that aims to provide automated ecosystem resilience frameworks. https://terra0.org/Black Swan is an experimental digital initiative designed to eat the art world by channeling resources from established institutions to cultural practitioners. https://www.goethe.de/ins/gb/en/kul/zut/dao/dab.htmlTor, short for The Onion Router, is free and open-source software for enabling anonymous communication. https://www.torproject.orgPeter Lamborn Wilson aka Hakim Bey is an anarchist author and poet, primarily known for his concept of Temporary Autonomous Zones, short-lived spaces which elude formal structures of control. https://www.amazon.com/TAZ-Temporary-Autonomous-Ontological-Autonomedia/dp/1570271518https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/hakim-bey-t-a-z-the-temporary-autonomous-zone-ontological-anarchy-poetic-terrorismEpisode recorded on Zoom in December 2021. Interview by Can Altay. Produced by Aslı Altay & Sarp Renk Özer. Music by Grup Ses.
Episode 20: Futurefarmers
53:30Amy Franceschini and Lode Vranken represent Futurefarmers, an international group of artists founded in 1995 including anthropologists, farmers, and architects who work together to propose alternatives to the social, political, and environmental organization of space. They are known for long-lived projects such as the flatbread society and the seed journey. There are quite a few gems in this conversation, about making spaces that call for communities; how connections to objects matter; and how to think about the tools we make and use. Futurefarmers invite us to rethink innovation, activism, collaboration. For me, the key takeaway was the correlation between crafting, communities, and form. Hearing about the way they use the material aspects of their work as ‘probes’ to help collectively form communities, and the way this formal dimension or ‘aura’ is key to the process was refreshing.Episode Notes & LinksAmy is an artist and designer whose work with Futurefarmers facilitates encounter, exchange, and tactile forms of inquiry by calling into question the "certainties" of a given time or place where a work is situated. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_FranceschiniLode Vranken is an artist, architect, and philosopher. For more on Futurefarmers visit https://www.futurefarmers.com/Antoine Boute is an experimental writer and poet.Futurefarmers work on a public art program for Bjørvika, Oslo (Norway) named Flatbread Society which examines the interrelationship of food production to realms of knowledge sharing, cultural production, socio-political formations, and everyday life since 2012. http://www.flatbreadsociety.net/Built at Pollinaria in Abruzzo, Italy, "This is not a Trojan horse" is a large, human-powered, wooden horse designed by Futurefarmers with architect Lode Vranken. http://www.futurefarmers.com/thisisnotatrojanhorse/about.htmlThe Canoe Project by Flatbread Society is powered by four human legs and it includes a mobile baking oven within the canoe. Stephen Wright's description of the double ontology is perfectly exemplified in this case as flatbread is a conversation topic that is widely accessible while baking, unlike contemporary art is relatable to anybody regardless of profession or background. http://www.flatbreadsociety.net/actions/39/a-boat-walking-on-landFlatbread Society Bakehouse was built with local boat builders in the form of a vessel. The "ship" hosts three bread ovens for making a variety of bread types. It seeks to point to the past and to the future, extending metaphors of cultivation and sailing to larger ideas of self-reliance and the foregrounding of organic processes in the development of land use, social relations, and cultural forms. https://www.futurefarmers.com/projects/bakehouseStanford University is a private research university located in California which was a key factor in the development of the technology enterprise now known as Silicon Valley. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK158815/Industrial agriculture is the large-scale, intensive production of crops and animals, often involving chemical fertilizers on crops or the routine, harmful use of antibiotics in animals. https://www.nrdc.org/stories/industrial-agriculture-101Rudolph Steiner (1861 - 1925) was a philosopher, social reformer, architect, esotericist. Apart from the scholarly work and metaphysical practice, he was interested in biodynamic agriculture, a practice similar to organic farming.Permaculture is an approach to land management and settlement design that arranges a mutually beneficial relationship for land, resources, people, and the environment and employs multidisciplinary methods that source from the knowhow of agriculture, water harvesting and hydrology, energy, natural building, forestry, waste management, animal systems, aquaculture, appropriate technology, economics, and community development. https://www.permaculturenews.org/what-is-permaculture/Best known as the frontman of the multinational technology corporation Microsoft, Bill Gates is a business magnate and arguably one of the most influential individuals of the 20th century.Donna Haraway is a writer, educator, and academic within the field of science and technology studies. She authored countless seminal texts among these, Cyborg Manifesto, as well as the Companion Species Manifesto are must-reads for any and all of us.Founded by Joan Baez, Struggle Mountain is an international community located in California that evolved out of the sixties' counterculture and, most particularly, nonviolence and the draft resistance movement.Joan Baez is a singer, songwriter, musician, and activist.Amy teaches at the EcoSocial Design master program at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. Can was there for a lecture. https://www.unibz.it/en/faculties/design-art/master-eco-social-design/Co-designed by architects Doğan Tekeli, Sami Sisa ve Metin Hepgüler, İMÇ is an exemplary case within the canon of 20th-century architecture in Turkey as an open-air commercial complex located in the historical center of İstanbul. It was occupied by the record companies, especially during the 1980s upon their booming popularity.Run by artists Nancy Atakan and Volkan Aslan, 5533 is a contemporary art space located in İMÇ.http://imc5533.blogspot.com/Ahali Conversations is the love child of the Ahali Journal and MÇPS, the recording studio Amy mentions. Realized in 2017, MÇPS was an artwork in which Can turned 5533 into a walk-in record studio where local musicians were able to jump in jams and hang around the İMÇ complex once again long after its prime days passed. http://www.local-legends.org/people/2017/11/18/artist-can-altay-on-music-memory-and-imagined-futures-at-istanbuls-mythical-m-buildingRadio Ramona is an internet radio station that deals with strange affairs between bread, astronomy, migration, and gossip about old and forgotten communication gadgets by Future Farmers.Seed Journey is a seafaring voyage connected to a public art project. It occurred in three legs. Set off at Oslo and concluded in İstanbul a rotating crew of artists, anthropologists, biologists, bakers, activists, sailors, and farmers joined the journey and shared their findings at host institutions along the route from small harbors to large ports from barns to museums (contemporary art, natural history and maritime) to social centers. http://futurefarmers.com/seedjourney/Twitter is a social media platform that serves for microblogging where users express opinions within 280 characters.Noah Glass is a technology entrepreneur who launched Twitter in 2006.Episode recorded on Zoom in July 2021. Interview by Can Altay. Produced by Aslı Altay & Sarp Renk Özer. Music by Grup Ses.
Episode 19: Metahaven
56:55Founded by Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden, Metahaven’s body of work encompasses filmmaking, writing, objects, and graphics. Their activities offer a kind of cultural practice that doesn’t shy away from producing knowledge and reflections; as much as the production of affect.We hear Daniel reflecting on their practice, through the notions of interface, agency, distribution, formats, versions, iterations, and many other potentials and obstacles towards making something meaningful and compelling. Episode Notes and LinksMetahaven http://metahaven.net https://mthvn.tumblr.comCentering on children, adults, and parental relationships, the absence of linguistic reference to reality, and the ineffability of the metaphysical, Metahaven’s latest work titled Chaos Theory (2021) is a multi-voice video essay starred by Georgina Dávid and Valentina Di Mondo. It is a sequel of previous films by Metahaven titled Hometown (2018), Information Skies (2016), and The Sprawl (Propaganda About Propaganda) (2015). Excerpt: https://vimeo.com/494444068 https://mthvn.tumblr.com/post/663742206080909312/valentinadimondotalkstometahavenAssembling genres (anime, sci-fi, fantasy role-playing games) and moving beyond the representation of linear time, Metahaven’s Information Skies offers a dreamlike speculation that questions the boundaries between sound and images, reality and fiction, factuality and technology, reflection and embodiment.Citation by Lesia Prokopenko for Vdrome. https://www.vdrome.org/metahaven/Filmed in Beirut and Kyiv, Hometown depicts a fictional city through the perspective of protagonists Lera and Ghina that reveal their attachment to the Hometown which is so familiar yet not what it was once in the past. https://www.e-flux.com/announcements/192165/metahavenhometown/Released in segments on YouTube, Sprawl is Metahaven’s first feature film delving into various geopolitical disturbances that occurred in the last decade.Trailer: https://vimeo.com/152877677 https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5432984/sprawl.space is the online interface for The Sprawl, where the viewer can see the “shards” that make up the full version of the film. The website has been shaped by the interface design of Metahaven and the viewing algorithms of YouTube. https://sprawl.space/about-the-sprawl/Assembling cinematic sequences shot in the Southeastern Urals and Macedonia, archival footage, and animation, Eurasia (Questions on Happiness) sets forth on a journey towards the Eurasian steppe where it meets the New Silk Road. https://vimeo.com/296095100Citation from Metahaven’s exhibition at ICA titled Version History in 2018: https://www.ica.art/exhibitions/metahaven-version-history?fbclid=IwAR3tAJ5TQ2xxzVhItTYW7bx6uJcKBYjgdwBnGkXBgI75nmczpt6yDzcbXCwExpounding the genealogy of viral internet memes and their potential uses within politics as agitprops 2.0 to engineer public opinion, ‘Can Jokes Bring Down Governments’ is a visionary essay on social media warfare by Metahaven. https://strelkamag.com/en/article/memes-design-and-politicsPublished by Sternberg Press in 2015, ‘Black Transparency’ reflected on the changes that are introduced to our life with the fast-paced development of communication technologies and their impact on information democracy by tackling matters such as the conscience of the whistleblower, whose personal politics are now instantly geopolitical. https://www.sternberg-press.com/product/black-transparency-the-right-to-know-in-the-age-of-mass-surveillance/Borrowing its title from the findings of a survey which indicates that an average person in the U.S. spends eight more minutes than the total duration of Stalker (161 minutes) daily, Digital Tarkovsky is a thought-provoking essay investigating the effect of social media platforms on our perception of time. Published by Strelka in 2018. https://strelkamag.com/en/article/digital-tarkovsky-metahaven-excerptFilmed in 1979, Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky is a loose adaptation of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s science fiction novel Roadside Picnic (1972).Netflix is a subscription-based streaming service that offers different catalogs of movies, documentaries, and series internationally.Mubi is a subscription-based streaming service that offers a curated catalog covering a wide range of moving image genres.Short for Internet Movie Database, IMDB is an online database of information related to films, television series, home videos, video games, and streaming content online. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMDb4:3 by Boiler Room is a multifaceted genre-spanning platform for curated and commissioned underground films exploring themes of performance, identity, youth culture, and anti-establishment. https://boilerroom.tvState of Concept Athens is a non-profit contemporary art institution founded by curator iLiana Fokianaki. https://stateofconcept.org/general/Conflict is an anarcho-punk band originally based in London. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_(band)Mike Kelley (1954 – 2012) an influential artist who merged childhood objects with youth culture; personal stories with political histories. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Kelley_(artist)
Episode 18: Nato Thompson
42:51Nato Thompson is a curator and the founder of the Alternative Art School. Before setting up this experimental education project, Nato was the artistic director of Philadelphia Contemporary and a key figure at Creative Time, New York’s influential organization focusing on art in public space.You will listen to Nato reflecting on that shift, from working within institutions to setting up one’s own. His insights on the inner workings of the art industry are totally thought-provoking. And it’s the first time we are talking about NFT’s at Ahali! This conversation really shows the many blind spots, or things we tend to overlook about the status quo.EPISODE NOTES & LINKSNato Thompson is an author, curator, and self-proclaimed “cultural infrastructure builder”. www.natothompson.com/aboutThe Alternative Art School (TAAS) is an affordable learning program run by a stellar faculty offering intimate class sizes. TAAS emphasizes group work, community building, and dynamic modes of socializing and art-making. www.thealternativeartschool.net/how-it-works-1Philadelphia Contemporary is an independent and free-standing venue that celebrates the abundance of genre-bending, multidisciplinary practices that make up the field of contemporary art. www.philadelphiacontemporary.orgOperating since 1974, Creative Time is an influential public arts organization in New York. creativetime.org/about/Growing out of a major exhibition that had occurred in Creative Time, Living as Form contains commissioned essays from noted critics and theorists who look at Socially Engaged Art practiced between the years of 1991-2011. mitpress.mit.edu/books/living-formMASS MoCA is a contemporary art museum located in North Adams, Massachusetts. massmoca.org/about/Seeing Power: Art and Activism in the 21st Century (2015) www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/214258/seeing-power-by-nato-thompson/9781612190440/Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life. www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/545444/culture-as-weapon-by-nato-thompson/Part of the TAAS faculty, Paul Chan is an artist, writer, and publisher. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Chan_(artist)Trevor Paglen is an artist, geographer, and author whose work critically deals with mass surveillance and data collection. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trevor_PaglenA fierce political figure of our time that operates within (but not limited to) the field of contemporary art, Tania Bruguera's work pivots around issues of power and control, and several of her works interrogate and re-present events in Cuban history. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tania_BrugueraSimone Leigh is an artist who reflects on the black female subjectivity through her practice. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simone_LeighBlack Lives Matter (BLM) is a decentralized political and social movement protesting against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Lives_MatterStar Trek is a science fiction media franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_TrekJanine Antoni is an artist who focuses on process and the transitions between the making and finished product, often portraying feminist ideals. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janine_AntoniMiguel López is an artist, researcher, and writer. www.bakonline.org/person/miguel-a-lopez/Yael Bartana is an artist whose work focuses on political or feminist themes. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yael_BartanaMotivated largely by political, cultural, and social circumstances, Mel Chin is an artist. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_ChinHito Steyerl is an artist, theoretician, and educator. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hito_SteyerlMarinella Senatore is an artist. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marinella_SenatoreMia Yu is an independent researcher, curator, and educator. portal.cca.edu/events-calendar/curatorial-practice-lecture-mia-yu/Mario Ybarra Jr. employs his multi-layered artistic practice to e various components of Mexican-American identity. www.otis.edu/faculty/mario-ybarra-jrKathrin Böhm is an artist whose practice focuses on the collective re-production of public space; on the economy as a public realm; and every day as a starting point for culture. Check out Ahali Conversations Episode 13 to get inspired by Kathrin's way to build diverse economies within, out of, and around the field of culture. www.ahali.space/episodes/episode-13-kathrinbohmJ.K Gibson-Graham is the pen-name of Katherine Gibson and the late Julie Graham. As feminist political economists and economic geographers, they have extensively written about diverse economies, urbanism, alternative communities, and regional economic development.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._K._Gibson-GrahamSmashcut is an online learning platform built for real-time, media-based education. www.smashcut.com/aboutPedagogy of the Oppressed is considered one of the foundational texts of critical pedagogy and proposes a pedagogy with a new relationship between teacher, student, and society by Paolo Freire. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedagogy_of_the_OppressedBlack Mountain College was an experimental college founded in 1933.John Cage (1912 – 1992) was a composer, music theorist, artist, and philosopher who was a teacher at BMC."Merce" Cunningham (1919 – 2009) was a dancer and choreographer who was a teacher at BMC.Gezi Park Protests occurred in Turkey in 2013 to contest the urban development plan for Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gezi_Park_protestsThe Arab Spring was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that spread across much of the Arab world in the early 2010s. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_SpringOccupy Wall Street (OWS) was a protest movement against economic inequality and the influence of money in politics that began in New York City's Wall Street financial district, in 2011. It gave rise to the wider Occupy movement in the United States and other countries. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_Wall_StreetSotheby's is a multinational corporation headquartered in New York City. It is one of the world's largest brokers of fine and decorative art, jewelry, and collectibles. www.sothebys.com/en/Christie's is an auction house like Sotheby's known for its involvement in high-profile private transactions. www.christies.com/enSAHA is an association that seeks to support contemporary art from Turkey. www.saha.org.trProtocinema is a cross-cultural art organization that commissions and presents works and exhibitions of contemporary art. www.protocinema.org/aboutFırat Engin is an artist based in İstanbul and Ankara. firatengin.com/cvVahap Avşar is an artist based in New York and İstanbul. vahapavsar.com/bio/DC hardcore, sometimes referred to in writing as harDCore, is the hardcore punk scene of Washington, D.C. Emerging in late 1979, it is considered one of the first and most influential punk scenes in the United States. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington,_D.C._hardcoreBad Brains are a rock band formed in Washington, D.C. in 1977. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_BrainsMinor Threat was a hardcore punk band, formed in 1980 in Washington, D.C. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_ThreatFugazi is a post-hardcore band that formed in Washington, D.C. in 1986. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FugaziThe Nation of Ulysses was a punk rock band from Washington, D.C., formed in spring 1988. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nation_of_UlyssesMinecraft is an influential sandbox video game with a major impact on popular internet culture. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MinecraftRed Dead Redemption is a Western-themed action-adventure game. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Dead_RedemptionGrand Theft Auto (GTA) is a series of action-adventure games. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Theft_AutoThe Sandinista National Liberation Front is a socialist political party in Nicaragua. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandinista_National_Liberation_FrontJust google Google. g.co/kgs/2CdUks
Episode 17: Meriç Öner
52:21Meriç Öner is the current Director of Research and Programs at SALT, a cultural, or rather as Meriç elaborates a research institution in Istanbul. I think Meriç’s proposal boils down to imagining the next art institution as a kind of academy, not only as a site of education, but also as a provider of exchange, a social platform where knowledge intermingles with and through the people.Episode Notes & LinksMeriç Öner is a trained architect and the Director of Research and Programs at SALT since 2017.https://news.artnet.com/art-world/meric-oner-announced-director-turkey-salt-802586SALT is Turkey’s spearheading cultural institution. With a special focus on art, architecture, and social life, It holds a vast archive of the material and visual culture of Turkey. The institution is active with a variety of cultural programs that include exhibitions. www.saltonline.orgİstanbul Technical University is the world's third-oldest technical university dedicated to engineering sciences. https://www.itu.edu.tr/enEstablished in 1996, Bilgi Üniversitesi is a private university located in Istanbul. https://www.bilgi.edu.tr/en/university/about/Pelin Derviş is an architect, researcher, writer, and editor. Her work focuses mainly on 20th-century architecture and design in Turkey. https://www.pelindervis.com/en/aboutThe United Nations Development Programme is a United Nations organization tasked with helping countries eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable economic growth and human development. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Development_ProgrammeThe International Union of Architects (UIA) was founded in 1948 to unite the architects of the world through a federation of their national organizations. They hold an international congress once every three years. https://www.uia-architectes.org/webApi/en/aboutHans Hollein (30 March 1934 – 24 April 2014) was an Austrian architect and designer and key figure of postmodern architecture. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_HolleinSibel Bozdoǧan is an architect and academic whose research/teaching covers trans-national histories of modern architecture and urbanism across the globe, with a specialization on Turkey, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. https://www.bu.edu/haa/profile/sibel-bozdogan/Murat Güvenç is a scholar specializing in urban studies and regional planning.İhsan Bilgin is an architect and academic. https://readingoffice.com/ihsan-bilgin/The contemporary art institution Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center opened in 2001 and was located on the pedestrian Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul, Turkey. It ended its activities under this name in 2010 upon the foundation of SALT. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platform_Garanti_Contemporary_Art_CenterGaranti Gallery (GG) was a cultural institution based in Istanbul, Turkey, specializing in design, architecture, and urbanism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garanti_GalleryFounded in March 1997 by the Ottoman Bank in collaboration with the History Foundation (Turkish: Tarih Vakfi), the Ottoman Bank Archives and Research Centre (OBARC) operated in the former Head Office of the Ottoman Bank in Istanbul, Turkey from 1999 to 2010 till SALT’s foundation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_Bank_Archives_and_Research_CentreVasıf Kortun is a curator, teacher, and writer. He was the guest of Ahali’s sixth episode: https://www.ahali.space/episodes/episode-6-vasif-kortunArte Útil seeks to collect case studies to show how initiatives focusing on social practice are not isolated incidents, but part of a larger historical trajectory. https://www.arte-util.org/about/colophon/Alastair Hudson is the co-director of the Asociación de Arte Útil with Tania Bruguera. https://www.internationaleonline.org/people/alistair_hudson/Aslıhan Demirtaş is an architect. https://aslihan-demirtas.com/aboutHan Tümertekin is an architect http://www.mimarlar.com/en-US/Architect/han-tumertekin/1Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980 is an exhibition that has taken place at MoMa in 2018. https://www.moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/3931?locale=enThomas Krens is the former director and Senior Advisor for International Affairs of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York City. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Krens