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Recent years have seen the emergence of a new kind of collective material practices, that transgress the classical opposition between theory and practice, or thinking and making. These practices actively engage with our catastrophic times and generate collaborations that connect cultural, technological and more-than-human concerns. They show a potential to develop a comprehensive approach to art, science and technology, driven by the necessity to fundamentally reimagine the relationship of humans to the world.

In an attempt to map such practices the workgroup Material Practices (formerly known as Critical Making) organises Making Matters, the successor of the symposium in 2019 in West, Den Haag. For this edition, practitioners from various backgrounds and disciplines such as artistic research, publishing, sculpture, business and performance shared their work to help us experience the entanglement of thinking and making, and the critical potential that this entails.

Through online workshops and presentations a broad audience of makers, artists, activists, teachers, theorists, students, designers, etherpads and other non-humans was invited to engage with diverse subjects such as alternative economies, feral ecologies, shared authorship, xeno-biologies, pedagogies, publishing infrastructures and radical collectivities.

Video documentation of the public talks of Collective Material Practices in Critical Times

DAY 1 | Thursday 19 November

Janneke Wesseling and Florian Cramer
Introduction to the symposium Collective Material Paractice in Critical Times

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Thursday 19 november 12.00 - 12.30

Introduction to the set-up of the symposium, to the members of the Workgroup Collective Material Practices and to the Lexicon that facilitates a mode of collective working for the Workgroup and the contributors to both of the Making  Matters symposia.


West Den Haag
Collecting Collectively

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Thursday 19 November, 12:30-13:15

The Alphabetum is an artistic space to explore the formative and formal aspects of written language, aspects which are mostly considered separately. Typographers and type-designers are primarily focused on the letterform and writers mostly do not pay attention to the forms of the letters they form into words. The ambition of the Alpha­betum is to reveal that these two properties of written language are much more interconnected than is commonly acknowledged. A letter is a letter because it resembles a letter; and because it resembles a letter it is a letter. Joseph Beuys said that every human being is an artist. John Cage proposed that everything we do is music. Would it therefore not be acceptable to write that everything is type?

The Alphabetum features exhibition projects produced by a single or collective of makers. Every exhibition is kept present in the space, in this way the presentation is in constant transformation and expansion. In addition, each new project involves the acquisition of books which are integrated in a dialogically manner and at the same time expanding the collection and diversity of the library.

For ‘Collective Material Practices in Critical Times’ we would like to dicuss the theoretical and material consequences of the quickly changing and ever more uncertain role of one of its essential cultural elements we all understand in our own ways: the letter.

Baruch Gottlieb

Baruch Gottlieb is an artist, curator and writer with a focus on technical aesthetics. Author of Digital Materialism (Emerald Group Publishing, 2018) and active member of the Telekommunisten artist collective. He currently lectures in philosophy of digital art at the University of Arts Berlin and curates the travelling exhibition Feedback #5: Marshall McLuhan and the Arts.

Akiem Helmling

Akiem Helmling is partner of the type-collective Underware and founder of the Alphabetum. He regularly lectures about type, design and art at universities and events worldwide. As a critical advisor within the art center West Den Haag and together with Thijs Lijster he initiated the IKK, Instituut voor Kunst en Kritiek in 2016. (Institute for Art and Critique)

The Alphabetum is part of the program of the art center West Den Haag and based in the library space of the former American embassy designed by Marcel Breuer.

Marie-José Sondeijker

Marie-José Sondeijker is co-founder and artistic director West Den Haag. West presents contemporary art in the historic environment of a city palace in the heart of The Hague museum district and in a seventeenth century townhouse. The art centre focuses on the most relevant international developments in the field of visual arts. West offers artists space and opportunities to develop new work, and places it through a broad dialogue, in a social context. West is researching new critical practices spanning design and technology from within the arts.

Klaas Kuitenbrouwer
The Zoöp Project

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Thursday 19 November, 13:15-14:00

Introduction to the development of the zoöp project:  conception and implemention of a new legal entity: the zoöp. This is an organization that has entered a formal collaboration with the local community of nonhuman life.

Workshop The Practice of Zoönomy
Thursday 19 November, 16:00-17:00

The practice of zoönomy is a key element of the zoöp project. A zoöp is an organization that has entered a formal collaboration with the local community of nonhuman life, represented by a zoönomic foundation. By becoming a zoöp, an organization adds to its existing goals the aims the goal to develop its local zoönomy: the quality and density of relations of the local multispecies community, that includes humans. Zoönomy is a material and relational space that includes ecological, political, economic, aesthetic, thermodynamic, symbolic and other relations. Practicing zoönomy requires the combination and hybridisation of very heterogeneous knowledge practices. Zoönomic quality can never be reduced to single numbers, but has to be approached through notions of qualities, forms and patterns.

In this workshop, the practice of zoönomy is considered as a healing practice for collective bodies. Participants work with a method for zoönomic development, applied to a case study, and explore the urgency as well as the possible pitfalls of practicing zoönomy.

Klaas Kuitenbrouwer

Klaas Kuitenbrouwer is researcher at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, primarily in the context of digital culture. He was responsible for – among other projects – the Garden of Machines (2015), 51Sprints (2016) Gardening Mars (2017) and he co-curated the Neuhaus Temporary Academy for more-than-human knowledge (2019) and in that context intiated the zoöp project – the development and implementation of a legal format for collaboration between humans and collective bodies of nonhumans.

Since the late 1990s he works at the intersections of culture, technology and ecology. He researches, curates and moderate at the touch points of these fields. He has been teaching media and other theory at the Rietveld Academy since 2002. A consistent element in his work is the intersection of different knowledge practices: technological, artistic, legal, scientific, and nonhuman.

Eleni Kamma and Anja Groten, Pia Louwerens
Public Time and Etherpad Session I, II, III

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Thursday 19 November, 14.15-15.00

In her presentation Eleni Kamma considers  Etherpad as a tool for co-creating public time. In his 1991 book Philosophy, Politics, Autonomy, philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis argues that “hand-in-hand with the creation of a public space goes the creation of a public time.” By public time he means “the emergence of a dimension where the collectivity can inspect its own past as the result of its own actions.” In her research Kamma explores the notion of parrhesia— the courage to speak one’s mind— from a perspective of laughter and excess. Through looking into antique parrhesiastic practices, she came up with a number of characteristics of and conditions for parrhesia. These include involving more than one person—it takes at least two to parrhesiazesthai. Parrhesia is a dialectical game within which the speaker aims at transforming the ethos of the one who listens. It requires a theatrical space: a physical space where an action can take place in common view, in which the viewer’s agency is consciously enabled and mobilized through the physical relationship of their body to other bodies and the architecture within which the action is taking place.

Thursday 19 November, 16.00-16.30
Friday 20 November, 16.00-16.30
Friday 21 November, 16.00-16.30

The Etherpad sessions are interactive, dynamic meetings in an online collaborative notepad, during which participants get to discuss, digest and exchange on topics breached during the course of the symposium program.

The sessions will be hosted by researchers Anja Groten, Eleni Kamma and Pia Louwerens. Their individual practices will translate to specific protocols, each activating the pad in different ways. While making public time together on the Etherpad platform, participants will be invited to join different collaborative writing exercises, following scores, becoming reading/writing machines and attuning to and intervening in each others thoughts. Following these points of entry, each of the three sessions will experiment with online collaborative engagement, togetherness and separation. 

Anja Groten

Anja Groten is a designer, educator and community organiser. In 2013 she co-founded the initiative Hackers & Designers, attempting to break down the barriers between the two fields by enforcing a common vocabulary through education, hacks and collaboration. Anja is a PhD candidate at PhD Arts, a practice-lead doctoral study at ACPA (Academy of Creative and Performing Arts) Leiden University, and works as an embedded researcher at the consortium Bridging Art, Design and Technology through Critical Making. Since September 2019 Anja heads the Design Department at the Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam, Master of the Rietveld Academie.

Eleni Kamma

Eleni Kamma is a visual artist based in Brussels and Maastricht. She holds an MA from the Chelsea College of Art & Design in London and is a PhD candidate at PhDArts, Leiden University, University of the Arts The Hague. Kamma’s practice moves along a Moebius strip schema, that keeps circulating from her as individual artist (through drawings and objects), to dialectic collaborations (films, performative events, journals) and writing about it. Her work has been presented at various venues world-wide, including, among others, the 10th International Istanbul Biennial; EMST National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens; NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen; the 5th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Wiels, Brussels, Netwerk, Aalst, Museum-M, Leuven; Argos Centre for Audiovisual Arts, Brussels; Casino Luxembourg, Luxembourg; Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht; Deste Foundation, Athens; Salt, Istanbul; Dazibao, Montreal; Transmediale and Rencontres Internationales. Kamma is a member of the Brussels-based artist platform Jubilee

Pia Louwerens

Pia Louwerens (1990, Rotterdam) works as an artist-researcher, based in Brussels. Her performance and writing work revolves around the deconstruction and becoming of the artistic subject, the “I” who writes, speaks and makes.

In 2017-2018 Louwerens participated in the Post-Graduate program of a.pass, an experimental platform for artistic research in Brussels, where she is currently resident as an Associate Researcher. From 2019-2020 Louwerens holds the position of junior Embedded Artistic Researcher at the NWO-funded research project lead by the workgroup Material Practice. As a part of this research she was embedded in West, Den Haag. She has used the notion of embeddedness to further understand how institutions co-write the practice that artists perform; how these institutional ‘scripts’ can be rewritten; and how to imagine the artist as a reading/writing machine in this regard.

Garnet Hertz
Defining Critical Making

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Thursday  19 November, 15.00-15.45 

In this talk, Hertz provides overview of the concept of critical making, a concept where critical thinking is combined with hands-on fabrication to build devices that are designed to encourage discussion around social topics. Hertz provides a history of the term, related concepts, and examples of studio work in the fields of electronic art and industrial design.

Garnet Hertz

Dr. Garnet Hertz is Canada Research Chair in Design and Media Arts and is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Design and Dynamic Media at Emily Carr University. His art and research investigates DIY culture, electronic art and critical design practices. He has shown his work at several notable international venues in fifteen countries including SIGGRAPH, Ars Electronica, and DEAF and was awarded the 2008 Oscar Signorini Award in robotic art. He has worked at Art Center College of Design and University of California Irvine. His research is widely cited in academic publications, and popular press on his work has disseminated through 25 countries including The New York Times, Wired, The Washington Post, NPR, USA Today, NBC, CBS, TV Tokyo and CNN Headline News. More info here.

Kate Rich
Feral Business Coaching


Multiple slots on Thursday 19, Friday 20 and Saturday 21 November

Feral Business Coaching seeks to dislodge the art of business coaching from its suspect associations with workplace efficiency, productivity and growth. Working with an expansive definition of 'business' as 'any productive activity that could bring us sustenance', the interest is to trade out a narrow set of confidant actions and dispositions assumed or reserved for business – including the business of making art– for other modes and moods of relating. Feral Business Coaching is also and explicitly a trojan horse, infected with the radical proposition that rather than the constraining environment, business might in fact be a medium for experiments and an art material in itself.

For Making Matters, Kate will operate a revolving Feral Business Coaching clinic, open for compact (20 minute) 1:1 consultations - or 1:2 if you would like to book in with your small business/livelihood team. Taking up the feminist directive to 'start where you are', these sessions are an opportunity to extend our critical and creative thinking into the blind spots and neglected peripheries of our own economic lives. A means to engage with the furball of business and livelihood, we will sift for glints of insight or just mutual understanding in the 20 minutes assigned. More details upon booking in.

Kate Rich

Trade artist and feral economist, Kate Rich has run Feral Trade, an artist-operated grocery business trading goods across social networks since 2003. The term 'feral' describes an approach that is wilfully wild, as in pigeon, as opposed to romantically or nature-wild, like the wolf. She is also volunteer finance manager at Bristol’s artist run Cube Cinema, system administrator for the art server collective, and is currently establishing the Institute for Experiments with Business as part of the FoAM network of interdisciplinary labs. In 2019 Kate co-convened RADMIN, Britain's first festival of Administration. She is currently trialling the pilot curriculum for the next 20-year project, the Feral MBA, an uncommon training course in business for artists and others.

DAY 2 | Friday 20 November

Aliens in Green
Learning to live in a toxic world: a xenopolitic of your domestic landscape

Friday 20 November, 10:00-12:00, part 1/2
Saturday 21 November, 10:00-12:00, part 2/2

This workshop reinvents our intimate space in the Great confinement. In a world invaded by alien substances and species, we must now learn to recognize them and live with them. First, you will investigate the substances that disrupt your hormonal system on a daily basis in your intimate space. You will try to identify these substances, to recognize the places where they nestle, to find out their qualities, the way they penetrate your body, feminize your forms, make them more masculine or make you enter a new gender. You will find those that make you grow pimples, bumps, redness, hair, tumors. 

Aliens in Green

Aliens in Green (AiG, established in 2016) is a collective that combats the alien agents of anthropogenic xeno-power, which interferes with human and non-human hormonal systems, by using media communication, open-science philosophy and speculative fiction, for critical interventions into the public and private spheres.

Jatiwangi Art Factory
Tanah and Subjectivity

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Friday 20 November, 12:30-13:15

Saturday 21 November, 10:00-12:00

We believe that material contains a cultural aspect that shapes a value on how we build a relationship with our ecosystem. Until then the modernization covers up these cultural aspects and its value in the name of productivity and the idea of progress. So, we saw a material as a commodity or property. It’s happening in Jatiwangi, and we can trace it from the colonial times when the dutch started the liberalization in Java and brought sugar factory investment. All the farming land in Java include in Jatiwangi became a sugar cane under the cultuurstelsel policy. The second wave of modernization has happened during the New Order, when Soeharto made Indonesia on the track with modern development, by having lots of infrastructure project developed. As a roof tile producer, Jatiwangi had an implication from that, which are increasing the demands of roof tile for the various infrastructure project especially, the public house project. Since that making roof tile is like making money for the Jatiwangi people. Rapidly we shifting our cultural relation to our local material which is Tanah (soil, clay, land) into a commodity that accumulates a lot of capital. Fifteen years ago, Jatiwangi art Factory, slowly find out again the cultural aspect from our local material by connecting again the cultural value with various artistic practices. We have been digging again the memories, spiritual value, ritual, proudness, cultivating attitude from our Tanah as local material as a tool of subjectivity. Because recently, along with that, the third wave of modernization came through manufacture industrial development.

Based on that background and context, for this symposium, we are interested to put the material as tools of subjectivity and we imagine to do it in two ways: 1) Performative Presentation about the material (Tanah) as a tool of subjectivity in the context of development 2) Workshop. The premise of the workshop is to exercise and reconnect with Tanah as a tool of subjectivity in the European context or in the particular Netherlands. We imagine to mapping the community land or the private land that should belong to the community around Rotterdam and then choosing one as a location to do a workshop. We can use various artistic translations such as drawing, performance, sculpture, activity, etc.

Jatiwangi art Factory

Jatiwangi art Factory (JaF) is a nonprofit organization that focuses on discourses of local rural life through arts and cultural activities such as festivals, performances, visual art, music, video, ceramics, exhibitions, artist in residencies, monthly discussion, radio broadcast and education.

The Otolith Group
INFINITY minus Infinity, ZONE 2  + How to Build an Interscalar Vehicle

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Friday 20 November, 13.15-14.00

INFINITY minus Infinity (2019)

Infinity minus Infinity draws on several inspirations: the modernist verse of the Jamaican poet Una Marson, the alluvial invocations of the Martinican philosopher and poet Édouard Glissant, the black feminist poetics of the Brazilian philosopher Denise Ferreira da Silva, and the racial formation of geology theorised by British geographer Kathryn Yusoff amongst others in order to envision a black feminist cosmos animated by the principles of mathematical nihilism. Infinity minus Infinity seeks to confront the compounded timelines of the afterlife of slavery enacted by British imperial capitalism with the forces and the fictions of 21st Century black feminist digital cosmology.

INFINITY minus Infinity can be watched here. (password: OTOLITHG)

ZONE 2 (2020)

Living through the compounded catastrophe of the Covid-19 pandemic confronts us with the confusing inexperience of inhabiting a capitalist crisis whose global scale is insensible in its abstraction and painful in its confrontation with mortality. Such is the starting point for Zone 2, 2020, directed by The Otolith Group. Zone 2 composes a portrait of the local gestures, rituals and landscapes of East London as its human and non-human inhabitants struggles to adapt to life under non-local quarantine. It draws together a study of prophylactic practices and ceremonies with passages devoted to the nature reserves of the Walthamstow Wetlands and London’s earliest abolitionist cemetery.

ZONE 2 can be watched here.

Workshop How to Build an Interscalar Vehicle
Friday 20 November, 16.00-17.00

More than the global financial crash of 2008 or the Fukushima meltdown of 2011, life under coronacapitalism differentially confronts humans and non-humans with the existential need for pedagogy. The Department of Xenogenesis or DXG can be understood as a nexus for assembling and articulating the aesthetic, pedagogic and political methods capable of navigating the disproportionate interscalarities of coronocapitalism under the long duree of Racial Capitalocene. DXG understands the politics of scale as a predicament of racial coronacapitalism that requires interscalar methodologies of engagement. Using Zone 2, 2020 and Infinity minus Infinity, 2019, as points of departure, How to Build An Interscalar Vehicle will examine methods for approaching post-cinematic practice as an interscalar vehicle. How and in what ways can post-cinematic practice dramatize the nonlocal scales of global pandemonium at the local scale of the sensorial? What post-cinematic methods are capable of situating the concrete scales of the phenomenal within the abstract scales of the planetary computation? How can the post-cinematic visualise the disproportionate risks of contemporary catastrophe within the ongoing value extracted by the political economies of the Racial Capitalocene?

The Otolith Group

The Otolith Group is an award-winning collaboration founded by artists and theorists Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar in London in 2003. Xenogenesis, their solo exhibition is currently on display at Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge to be followed by Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana and Sharjah Art Foundation in 2021 and 2022. Hydra Decapita, 2010, is on display at Turner’s Modern World, Tate Britain until March 2021.

Jeanne van Heeswijk and The Already Not-Yet Becoming Collective
How we have been preparing for the not-yet + Reading You

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Presentation by Jeanne van Heeswijk How we have been preparing for the not-yet
Friday 20 November, 14.15-15.00 

Workshop Reading You by The Already Not-Yet Becoming Collective
Saturday 21 November, 10:00-12:00

Jeanne van Heeswijk

Jeanne van Heeswijk is a Rotterdam based artist who facilitates the creation of dynamic and diversified public spaces in order to “radicalize the local”. Her long-scale community-embedded projects question art’s autonomy by combining performative actions, discussions, and other forms of organizing and pedagogy in order to assist communities to take control of their own futures. Her ongoing research Training for the “Not Yet” develops a curriculum of community learnings through theoretical frameworks, performative workshops, creating “learning objects,” and developing test sites to enact trainings for the “not yet.”

The Already Not-Yet Becoming Collective

A  exploration on commitment to share other realities in times of breakdown in a collective reading and writing session. The session explores the notion of collectives not as a pre-existing social structure but as actively becoming in context as part of developing and enabling a series of public scenarios to enact and imagine collective futures. Ima Iduozee, Iida Nissinen, Joy Mariama Smith, Vishnu Vardhani, Jeanne van Heeswijk. As part of a durational Project commissioned by PUBLICS, Helsinki.

Feral Atlas Collective
Introduction to Feral Atlas

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Friday 20 November, 15:00-15:45

Introduction to Feral Atlas - The More-than-Human Anthropocene. is now published by Stanford University Press Digital Publications. Feifei Zhou and Lili Carr will present a brief introduction to this open access digital humanities project through three keywords: feral, transdisciplinary and representation.

Friday 20 November, 16:00-16:30, part 1/2
Saturday 21 November, 16:00-12:00, part 2/2

Focusing on the keyword representation, Feifei Zhou and Lili Carr introduce the Feral Atlas concept of Tippers: Modes of Infrastructure-Mediated State Change. This is where ongoing human-made infrastructural processes radically change environments to the point where our social and ecological systems are ‘tipped’ from one state to another. In Feral Atlas, we call these infrastructural processes Tippers. Tippers are a non-exhaustive set of verbs that express the transformative actions of human-made infrastructures.

This workshop is an experiment in noticing, recording and expressing the actions of Tippers in our daily environments. On Friday the Feral Atlas concept of Tippers is introduced and the workshop exercise that each participant will be able to conduct by looking around the area where they live. On Saturday participants reconvene to share with each other their situated observations from the previous day. Can ways be imagined of doing the infrastructural work we observe differently?

Feral Atlas

Feral Atlas is a collective work of more than a hundred scientists, humanists and artists, united in examining the non-designed effects of human-made infrastructures. Feral Atlas is curated and edited by anthropologist Anna Tsing, visual anthropologist Jennifer Deger, environmental anthropologist Alder Keleman Saxena and architect Feifei Zhou. The project is developed in collaboration with architect Lili Carr and an international network of makers; designers, artists, editors, and coders.

DAY 3 | Saturday 21 November

Display Distribute 
Packaging as Propaganda: On circulation, new psychogeographies, and the discursiveness of boxes

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Saturday 21 November, 12.30-13.15

Paperbridgeee and Portable are the courier psyches of Light Logistics, an artist-run delivery unit of Display Distribute. As a support to the sociopolitical engagements of independent publishing from East and Southeast Asia, their dispatches most often contain the counter-hegemonic knowledges and practices carried by the Display Distribute distro. Not independent from the ebbs of the biopolitically diseased era, however, it appears that the books and bodies of Paperbridgeee and Portable will remain quite stationary for some time. To enrich their idleness, they decide to embark upon an internal reflection of their work over the last years by literally opening up boxes, reading together, and allowing the blown waters of inefficiency to reevaluate other forms of movement under the shadows of global infrastructure.

Display Distribute

Display Distribute is a thematic inquiry, distribution service, now and again exhibition space and sometimes shop founded in Kowloon, 2013. Seeping via the capricious circulation patterns of low-end globalisation into other subaltern networks and grammars, recent activities include the experimental infrastructure Light Logistics, poetic research and archival unit Shanzhai Lyric and a peripatetic radio programme of hidden feminist narratives known as Widow Radio Ching. The performance dialogue for Making Matters is carried out by Display Distribute Light Logisticians Sonia Cheng and Elaine W. Ho with the support of Hong Kong Community Radio.

On Scores and Spaces of Performative Publishing

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Saturday 21 November, 13.15-14.00

One of the important questions within the collaborative environment of a.pass has been how to share processes instead of outcomes of research. This led a.pass to look for modes of publication that can be an integral part of the research process.

a.pass works to develop what we call performative publishing. It is a mode of opening up one's process in a collective environment and a modality of contextualising one's research outside of the institutional frame. This concept could contain the multiplicity of publishing practices across disciplines and sharpen the question of the publication's purpose: What does publication do? What are its aims and inner workings?

Performative publishing shares research not via results but as a work in the making, as a process in its unfinished and searching vulnerability. It seeks to enable the public to join the research process with a degree of competence. How can the research be witnessed as processes of simultaneous artistic creation, contextualisation and doubt?

In this conversation Lilia Mestre and Vladimir Miller discuss concrete temporal scores and spatial practices which support performative publishing in the a.pass context.

a.pass (Lilia Mestre and Vladimir Miller)

a.pass is an artistic and educational research environment in Brussels. It welcomes research practitioners into an international collaborative one-year program. The institution has been conceived as a meta-research on community, self-education and institutional permeability. An important part of this conceptual framework is a commitment to an open definition of artistic research and to exploring the paradoxical task of shaping an open space.

As an educational environment, a.pass opens a space for speculative and experimental modes of practice and critical thinking. The content and the practical apparatus of the program are shaped by the a.pass curators, the artistic coordinator and the collaborative and public aspects of the participant's research.

Lilia Mestre is a Portuguese performing artist and researcher based in Brussels. She’s currently the Artistic Coordinator of a.pass. Vladimir Miller is an artist and researcher, based in Vienna. He is a frequent Program Curator at a.pass

Weaving Gardens: a case study in cross-investigations between art and anthropology

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Saturday 21 November, 14.15-15.00

In this intervention Francesca Cozzolino and Sophie Krier will present the "Plateforme art, design and society" anchored at EnsadLab, the research laboratory of the École des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. This programme develops “recherche création”, artistic research projects capable of exploring the social plurality of the contemporary world; it is based on the hypothesis that, in societies today, art and design can make it possible to cultivate embodied and situated knowledge or “savoir sensible’" (trans. sentient knowledge). Cozzolino and Krier will then present a case of artistic research "Weaving Gardens" carried out by Sophie Krier in 2018 as part of School of Verticality (2018-ongoing). This project took the form of an in situ intervention by way of a vertical loom installed in the multi-ethnic community garden Orto Semirurali in Bozen–Bolzano (Südtirol, Italy), home to families from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Serbia, Morocco and southern Italy. The intervention led the inhabitants to voice and share their farming techniques and life experiences; it also allowed the symbolic weaving and recording of the biographical trajectories of the gardeners. This artistic intervention thus enabled the activation of new social links within a little-known space and made visible the social and cultural value of this particular garden for the Semirurali neighbourhood and for the city of Bozen–Bolzano.


The "Plateforme art, design et société", co-founded in 2018 by anthropologist Francesca Cozzolino and artist researcher Sophie Krier, engages in practice-based research projects and ethnographic inquiry to reflect on the social, aesthetic and technical stakes of contemporary creation processes, involving both artistic practitioners, thinkers and citizens / activists. The platform, anchored at EnsadLab-PSL Research University Paris Sciences et Lettres, consists of a continuously evolving multidisciplinary team of artists and social science researchers, themselves engaged in long term field works. It operates along three experimental and transdisciplinary research axes:

I. When the sentient affects society: new forms of social ecologies
II. Producing the sensibilities: materiality and manufacturing process
III. Sensing as a form of knowledge: investigating and publishing other-wise

Francesca Cozzolino

Francesca Cozzolino teaches humanities and social science at École des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, PSL Research University, Paris. She is a research associate at EnsadLab, the research laboratory in art and design at École des Arts Décoratifs and an affiliate member at Laboratoire d’Ethnologie et de Sociologie Comparative (LESC-CNRS) of the Paris West University Nanterre La Défense. Specialised in ethnography of artistic practices, her research studies intertwine visual studies and anthropology of art, and writings, with a special attention to writings displayed in public spaces.

Sophie Krier

Sophie Krier is a relational artist, researcher, educator and editor. Through her work she interweaves biographies of beings and places, and conceives tools and situations for collective narration and reflection. Her practice moves between intense periods of fieldwork with communities, and editorial/ curatorial work (editing books, films, public programs). Currently, Krier is affiliated with the Reflective Interaction group at the EnsadLab PSL-Research University Paris, where she works as a research fellow since 2017. Krier also pursues “place acupuncture” with School of Verticality, a program she developed in 2018-2019 in the context of an artistic research residency hosted by Lungomare.

Garnet Hertz
Defining D.I.Y.

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Saturday 21 November, 15.00-15.45 

In this talk, Hertz will provides overview of the concept of critical making, a concept where critical thinking is combined with hands-on fabrication to build devices that are designed to encourage discussion around social topics. In this lecture, Hertz will provides a history of the term, related concepts, and examples of studio work in the fields of electronic art and industrial design.

Defining D.I.Y. In this talk, Hertz will define D.I.Y., or Do It Yourself, arguing that D.I.Y. is generally a materially-oriented practice that is individually-directed, unprofessional and non-managed. In this talk, D.I.Y. will be explored in three parts - 'Do', 'It', and 'Yourself' - with core concepts pulled out to propose a cohesive definition of D.I.Y. practice.

Garnet Hertz

Dr. Garnet Hertz is Canada Research Chair in Design and Media Arts and is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Design and Dynamic Media at Emily Carr University. His art and research investigates DIY culture, electronic art and critical design practices. He has shown his work at several notable international venues in fifteen countries including SIGGRAPH, Ars Electronica, and DEAF and was awarded the 2008 Oscar Signorini Award in robotic art. He has worked at Art Center College of Design and University of California Irvine. His research is widely cited in academic publications, and popular press on his work has disseminated through 25 countries including The New York Times, Wired, The Washington Post, NPR, USA Today, NBC, CBS, TV Tokyo and CNN Headline News. More info here.

Olu Taiwo
Embodying the Return Beat: An introduction to a metaphysical experience of West African Rhythm

Friday 20 November, 11:00-12:00, part 1/2
Saturday 21 November, 16:00-18:00, part 2/2

This workshop uses a performance-centred approach to look at some implications of rhythm. It draws attention to a particular mode of rhythmic perception which we shall call the ‘return-beat’, and uses it to highlight certain shared experiences in a group. These practices are then taken as a starting point to discuss individual and cultural practices of ‘becoming’. The session includes practical exercises for conducting a situated and embodied experiment. This exploration synthesises theory and practice and uses techniques that I have developed from my experiences as a performer, dancer and teacher, following West African performance practices and the traditions of Rudolf Laban, the pioneering choreographer, practitioner and academic. In Laban’s approach, knowledge is derived from, and is understood to be located in, the dancer’s active ‘centre’ of the body. In exploring the way we share the experience of physical movement, rhythm is used as an organisational focus for what the group shares in space–time.

Olu Taiwo

Dr. Olu Taiwo teaches in acting, immersive and digital performance as well as physical theatre at the University of Winchester. He has a background in Fine Art, Street Dance, African percussion, physical theatre, martial arts, T’ai Chi Ch’uan and Animal spirit movement. He’s performed in national and international contexts pioneering concepts surrounding practice as research. This includes how practice can explore the relationships between ‘effort’, ‘performance’ and ‘performative actions’. Consequently, his aim is to propagate issues concerning the interaction between the body, identity, audience, street and technology in the digital age. His interests include: Visual design, Movement, Theatre, Street Arts, New technology, Trans-cultural studies, Geometry, and Philosophy. He is currently finishing a Spoken word tour with double Grammy award winning percussionist Lekan Babalola and his Jazz ensemble. He is currently Director of Transcultural Studies as part of the newly created institute of the Making of the Actor based in Athens.


Public Presentations will be streamed via Zoom.

Links to access workshop will be sent upon registration.


Public presentations€ 0,00
Workshops€ 2,50

Delany Boutkan, Marten Kuijpers, Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, Setareh Noorani
Alex Walker