Documentation: Collective Conditions

Collective Conditions was a worksession that experimented with the generative potential of codes of conduct, complaints procedures, bug reports and copyleft licenses. We approached these socio-technical protocols as artistic and activist media and explored the role they could play in (different) imaginations of complex collectivities.Description Description

Collective Conditions was part of Iterations, a long-term artistic research into the future of collaborative practice in a digital context. The worksession took place immediately after the opening of the exhibition Operating/Exploitation, a collaborative installation that was exhibited in BozarLab.

References + resources

Participants/contributors

Aay Liparoto, Agustina Andreoletti, Andreas Dzialocha, An Mertens, Areti Gontras, Aymeric Mansoux, Caterina Mora, Cristina Cochior, Donatella Portoghese, Elli Vassalou, Elodie Mugrefya, Enrique Cesar, Femke Snelting, Helen Pritchard, Joana Chicau, Lilia Mestre, Livia Cahn, Loren Britton, Martin Garriga, Martino Morandi, Marzia Matarese, Nina Stuhldreher, Peter Hermans, Peter Westenberg, Pierre Coppens, Raphael Pierquin, Reni Hofmüller, Rica Rickson, Ruth Catlow, Seda Guerses, Sky M. J. Carranza, Tere Badia, Varinia Canto Vila, Verena Hahn, Wendy Van Wynsberghe, Zeljko Blace.

Plus contributions by: Jean-Marc (BXLUG), Tunde Adefioye, Jija Sohn, Délices Afghans à domicile, Les Cocottes de xxx, Myriam Stoffen, Christophe Wullus, Olave Nduwanje, Zoumana Meïté, Mia Melvaer, Jara Rocha.

Ateliers Mommen

The session was hosted by Ateliers Mommen, the last existing 19th century ‘cité des artistes’ that is still active in Brussels. Ateliers Mommen is a collectively run space where artists live and work together, interact and exchange with their public and neighbourhood.

Self-determined objects

The environmental conditions for the worksession were set by artist Loren Britton, who made tables and pillows for the room that we were working in. Loren offered these objects as opportunities to play, create directional flows with the tables and to consider metaphors around way finding and orientation as ways to imagine what collaboration can be.

Loren’s image of the installation Won’t you please write? was used for the communication of the worksession and related Constant_V window exhibition, Collaboration Guidelines.

They also designed a poster that accompanied the session. It was printed on the Rosi risograph in a small and beautiful edition.

Inputs

Participants and invited guests prepared guided tours, presentations, exercises, conversations, cooking sessions, workshops. These inputs functioned as situations to explore the many intersecting issues touched by Collective Conditions.

Operating/Exploitation

A first input was prepared by artists Zoumana Meïté and Mia Melvaer, who welcomed participants with a guided tour through the exhibition in which they participated: Operating/Exploitation in BOZAR.

Translanguaging

An attemptive input improvised with improper translations. We had a live translation kit and everyone was invited to adopt it for an hour to experiment with its short-range radio broadcast capacities. Since translations always are partly interpretation, why not use that property as a feature? One attempt was made by The Dumb Queen, who’s only language is pre-victorian English. She performed a live translation of the guided tour through Mommen by Pierre Coppens.

Other translators stuck to proper translation. Myriam Stoffens’ introduction to Zinneke was for example live translated from French to English by Elodie.

Institutional care

Artist/performer Jija Sohn proposed an input session that involved moving around on the floor of Mommen Salon blindfolded, sensing and touching each other. The exercise was prepared in conversation with stadsdramaturg Tunde Adefioye who connected from Stockholm to speak about institutional care.

Ateliers Mommen

Mommen connaisseur Pierre Coppens gave input through a guided tour and story about the history of Atelier Mommen


History of the urban development threats against the site, and resistance movements against it from the association Ateliers Mommen.
Pierre explains the history of Atteliers Mommen along several axis. From Social to Material to Artistic to Symbolic

Fragile community scores I + II

As part of the score for the week, Lilia Mestre asked all participants to leave an object in the room that was connected to what they brought to the meeting.

  • Notes
    These notes were taken by one of the small groups discussing their motivations for their objects of choice.

Setting the environmental conditions for thinking together

Loren Britton
Connecting across and between levels and experience
Intimacy-generating - sharing knowledge and experience - we are all brought into a limited moment of exchange
We listen with different parts of our bodies - reminds us that our bodies hold knowledge and experience
Challenging and exposing for someone older, with years of experience and accustomed (and incentivised) to position as expert to create a short-form “lecture” of value and quality into this context.

Loren intro

Queering Damage

Helen Pritchard and Jara Rocha

Presentation Queering Damage

Zinneke: Aux Loups ! Wolven!

Zinneke A ‘getting to know Brussels’ input consisted of going with the whole group on a field trip to the ateliers of Zinneke. Myriam Stoffen + Christophe Wullus discussed the concept, history and daily practice of the parade, how Zinnodes are organised, how different communities participate in a collective moment. And Christophe toured is through the fantastic metal workshop.


Presentation Myriam Stoffen
Discussion about conditions of work, diversity and the importance of Zinneke’s work

Bugreporting

Jean-Marc (BXLUG) + Femke (Constant) gave an input on understanding what is a bug in a programme and how to report it.
Notes

Consents

Martino Morandi proposed a session on consent, and how this practice is experienced differently in social and on-line situations.
Notes of discussion
Reference files

Scheduling

Peter Hermans

An input proposal on time management protocols; How much time would be used/spent/invested by each of us on the project/protocol that brought us here ?
Notes

Game of Conducts

Aymeric Mansoux
“A thought experiment and game to think about the impact of code of conducts, web interfaces, how we deal with information and network topologies, and how we present ourselves, and the communities we belong to, to the rest of the world.”
Notes of discussion
Notes on Striking Academics

Should, Could, Can

Varinia Canto Vila
A physical exercise about expectations of behavior in public space, towards each other, rules, laws, the making and breaking of relations past and futures.

Do not share photographs or recordings on proprietary social networks unless explicit consent.

Peter Westenberg
A discussion on why visual documentation and the contradictions in giving freedom to share through capitalist online platforms.
Notes of discussion

Transformative Justice

Enrique Cesar
Notes of discussion

Leading Recipes

Agustina Andreoletti
Notes of discussion

Bots of conduct

Varia Centre for Everyday Technology
Notes of discussion

Writing manifestos of rest/care

Olave Nduwanje + Elodie Mugrefya
Notes of discussion

Collective work

In different constellations, particpants developed proposals, discussions and prototypes that were documented in notes, recordings and images. The materials were shared during a joined brunch on the final day of the worksession. Instead of a linear and frontal presentation, we opted for micro-lectures, a score proposed by Loren Britton which consisted of one-to-one simultanuous communications between participants and visitors.

Social Sculptures

Daily exercises to connect bodies through common objects, conducted by Varinia Canto Vila.

Audio-visual gymnastics

How to stretch routines of photographic documentation away from a book of faces?
Notes of discussion

Bibliotecha

Discussion notes

Listeners in the room

Following a discussion on consent and how to address issues in an affective and effective manner, we experimented with a different xxx. Every day two non-organising volunteers were catching issues in the room, and reporting back the next day.

Compersion

Manifesto of cares

A group gathered to continue writing a Manifesto of cares xxxx

Figures

Unintended figures of speech creep into our languages. A beginning was made to collect them, unfortunately too late, we collected a few. A good exercise to be repeated in another context.
notes

Tango Thermique

Caterina Mora hosted daily tango sessions that gradually allowed us to experience and play with complicated questions of power, tension and interaction.

Queering Damage Manual

How might we extend queer theories that concern personal injury, into more-than-human ensembles, in order to consider the damages shared by humans and nonhumans? How can we generate ways that take us beyond reparative narratives or benevolent utopianism towards more-than-human life?

Notes
Files

Reading sessions

Denise Ferreira Da Silva, 1 (life) ÷ 0(blackness) = ∞− ∞ or ∞ / ∞: OnMatter Beyondthe Equation ofValue

Transgressions and their consequences

Notes

Queering Damage songs

The input on Queering Damage was reworked into an acapella proto-anarcho post-punk operette, performed on the final day of the worksession.

Afterlives

Queering Damage @ Sonic Acts

An ‘underground division’ lecture at Sonic Acts on the ROCK REPO project, which starts from the damage around rocks to reconsider their agency. See article

Bibliostrike

A specific installation of Bibliotecha and etherbox was renamed Bibliostrike and handed to the etherstrike collective, in support of the university strikes that took place in amongst others Goldsmiths, Londen in December 2019.

Manifesto of Cares

After the session, a group of participants continued to work between Brussels and Berlin to edit a version of the Manifesto that was published as part of the Intersections of Care project.

License of these materials (unless mentioned otherwise): FAL

Last edited May 9, 2020, 9:25 a.m.