By composing a constellation of coincidental events and opportunities, she offered us immersion in a yet-to-be-defined project, everyone at their own pace, desire, and degree of engagement, with the possibility to exit at any point, as did a couple of people in the process. Without a mandatory predetermined deliverable, but only loose conditions of operation, it was then possible for us to freely propose not only situated ›works‹ but also exploratory researches such as half-baked formats, experimental institutional critique or even failed collective experiences. Our intention is not to merge into one identity. The concept of Multitude may describe our approach, being a network structure, a web of relationships, a field of singularities which is neither homogeneous nor identical to itself. As individual experimental practitioners we were somehow already interconnected informally because we share common affinities to places, people and topics that guide our practices. These common affinities became our common ground, and as such do define some sort of boundary. Separating our things, from other things.
»The concept of Multitude may describe our approach, being a network structure, a web of relationships, a field of singularities which is neither homogeneous nor identical to itself.«
»(no)action(no)space« is more a research platform, a lab or workshop, hence it focuses on exchange, experimentation, learning from each other. We gathered in different places over the past year for a few symposia to discuss and try to develop a space (physical and digital) of experimentation investigating the question of space and action. A considerable amount of effort and energy was spent resisting the inclination to organize in a hierarchical structure. This resistance was a bit like a relaxation though. Made possible through trust – a trust that there was involvement, a common willingness to experiment. This act of ›relaxing‹ together into a new space of possibility laid the ground for exploring collaboration that does not comply with (even our own) expectations of what a collaborative project should be. It was an opportunity for something to happen and for trying to make that something different to how we imagine it. It was equally interesting to see how we came together and what works were produced through the collaboration.
CH: You carried out a series of different events at Solitude from playing cards over tech discussions to walks with talks: Can you explain some examples and what you were trying to achieve?
We proposed and offered many kinds of actions during our time in Studio 16. This is because we wanted to see what worked, what elicited a response (either from us or outside), what could build or shift the parameters of the space, what could dissolve into or catalyze other actions. Some of these were parts of pre-existing projects or concerns, and repeated to shape a weekly routing, like Making Time/Making Trouble: The Lively Arts reading group, ohne Geräte-plastische Übungen, or playing cards and walk and talk. Others were one-off planned events, e.g. hands-on conference building structure from materials of value in conjunction with intercessors: people, artefacts and machines transporting us to otherwise separated dimensions.
»We proposed and offered many kinds of actions during our time in Studio 16. This is because we wanted to see what worked, what elicited a response (either from us or outside), what could build or shift the parameters of the space, what could dissolve into or catalyze other actions.«
Some objects accompanied us with their permanent presence, such as a floor mat brought by Demian placed at the entrance of Studio 16 welcoming guests with the words »I haven’t felt this tension between artworks in another show before. It’s like being at a party and wondering how the other people got there. Why was he invited and she wasn’t?«, or Haseeb’s surrogate left hand explored the Studio 16, as well as an open-hardware mini-computer that served as our digital infrastructure and provided space to host the project’s process, and a team of microbes collaborating on a batch of sauerkraut. Then there were those that came up spontaneously as we tried to figure out how to create spaces in/for action, or which actions a specific place required, which were added to the calendar as we went. Working with the mini-computer led to a public tech discussion with a participant in France via Skype; baking pies and cakes in the space and seeing Sunday visitors pass by for walks in the woods prompted Tea and something window, where we offered tea and homemade somethings through the window.