For our weekly chat this Tuesday we will be joined by the Berlin-based group Random Relevance (Susanne Husse, Jana Sotzko and accomplices) to discuss their recent project “37 MANIFESTOS. How to become collective in four easy lessons.”
The exhibition included 15 artists collectives – performances, talks, concerts and video screenings – alongside four workshops where people were asked to create temporary collectives. They presented “More is more. Interviews with artists’ collectives” and discussed with participants the implications of group protocols on art and society. A participatory archive of collective modes of production entitled “collecting collectivity” was recorded by the group manifest, hence the name, throughout the duration of all events. Random Relevance describes the basic premise of 37 as:
Shared knowledge, joint action, networking, self-organization and collaboration have found their way into art, culture, economy and politics. Through a global wave of artist-organized foundations and creative collectives since the mid-90s we’ve experienced collective work and life forms growing importance. While artistic collaboration has opened up new strategies affecting fields in science and society, we can read the latest trends and collectivization as a possible antidote to social patterns of isolation, insecurity and competition.
The exhibition 37 MANIFESTOS asks for current forms and meanings of collectivity in the arts. The idea that collaborative production is a process between utopianism and actions of economic necessity forms a starting point for four interconnected approaches - simple lessons in collectivity:
1 have an idea
2 invite others - share
3 form, storm, norm and perform
4 document - write a manifesto
We wonder to what extent projects like 37 are willing to contribute to an already existing network of people emphatically interested in the potential of critical collective art practices? What are the inherit limitations of such a “manifesto”?
Alan Moore forwarded this project to our discussion list, and suggested:
At this point, it could be really useful to share syllabi on “how to collectivize” – is it “only natural”? case by case? regionally specific? practice-based?
We couldn’t be more interested in that idea! Anyone interested is welcome to join the discussion this Tuesday – on Skype (skypename: ‘basekamp’) – or in person if you happen to be in Philadelphia (this week we’ll be meeting at Capagiro Cafe on 13th & Sansom Streets).