2019-2020 DAI COOP study group: All about my mother

What shall we cook together? With whom shall we share it and how?

The word “cook” from the Latin cocus which comes from coquo [to cook, to think, to be unquiet, to worry (about), to mix], which most probably derives from the Greek verb cycao/cacao [stir up, mix of dissimilar things, confusion, disorder].

The 2019-2020 COOP study group “All about my mother” mixes metaphors of the familial and the institutional to shift our relationships toward societal structures of the matriarchal and patriarchal. Can we find m/other voices that undermine a predetermined way of being? Could there be an institution to nurture and sustain a qualitative relation in which existing binary relations–such as men/women, public/private, nature/culture, production/reproduction, art/life and past/present–are undone and opened up for singularities, pluralities and complexities? Taking ingredients from the slow cooking archive of Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons and elsewhere, this study group will explore the characteristics of the ‘mother’–or others–as a guiding principle in search of answers to the questions above.

In our communal kitchen, we have the following preliminary ingredients, facilities, and cooking methods. More will be added for commonly desired tastes, forms, and textures:


Artworks, Stories, Texts, Books, Projects, Figures, Concepts, Theories, Practices, Relations, Habits, Movements, Affects, Experiences from 30 years of organized and unorganized archives and networks at Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons 

*NB. the list is incomplete and listing is ongoing.

Nina bell F. (Nina Simone, bell hooks, Silvia Federici)

Site for Unlearning (Art Organization)[1] with artist Annette Krauss

All About My Mother (1999), Pedro Almodovor 

Born in Flames, Lizzie Borden

Born in Flames: Meditations on Armed Re_volutions, Ama Josephine Budge

Matriarchal societies, ie., Nagovisi, Bribri, Minangkabau, and Mosuo

Maintenance Manifesto, Mierle Laderman Ukeles

Casco Art Institute archive (e.g. Grand Domestic Revolution, To Become Two, Arts Collaboratory)


Re-enchanting the World: Feminism and the Politics of the Commons, Silvia Federici

The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Studies, Fred Moten & Stefano Harney

Community Economies

Postcapitalist Politics, J. K Gibson-Graham

Audre Lorde (from The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde: Black Mother Woman; Dear Toni; The Woman Thing; Woman; Pathway: From Mother to Mother; Power; But What Can You Teach My Daughter; Sister in Arms; About Dead Women)

Collectective Amnesia, Koleka Putuma

Ursula K. Le Guin (The Carrier Bag of Fiction; Woman / Wilderness; Is Gender Necessary?; Redux)

Home Tactics: Self-Mapping and the Home Question, Marianna Ortega

Greta Thunberg

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Lygia Clark

Epistemologies of the South, Boaventura de Sousa Santos


Angry Letters

Infinite Slippage: nonRepugnant Insolvencies T!-a!-r!-r!-y!-i!-n!-g! as Hand Claps of M’s Hard’Loved’Flesh [I’M irreducibly-undone because] —Quantum Leanage-Complex-Dub, Ima Abasi Okon

A Recipe for Disaster, Carolyn Lazzard

Poetics of Living

Mother Reader: Essential Writings on Motherhood, Moyra Davey

In Search of our Mothers Gardens, Alice Walker

Center for Ecological Unlearning with the Outsiders and many others

Han Kang

Reunion Network: Reimagine Family and Marriage through Blockchain, Yin Aiwen and Jelena Viskovic

Who’s Afraid of Ideology? Ecofeminist Practices Between Internationalism and Globalism, Marwa Arsario

Zapatistas’ First International Gathering of Women Who Struggle

Women’s work

Mother Tongue


Gaia, Mother Earth


Lose Your Mother, Saidaya Hartman

Shades of Intimacy: Women in the Time of Revolution, Hortense Spillers

Who Really Feeds the World?: The Failures of Agribusiness and the Promise of Agroecology,  Vandana Shiva

Chef Mari Pitkänen

Reproducing Autonomy: Work, Money, Crisis and Contemporary Art, Marina Vishmidt & Kerstin Stakemaier

Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines, ed. Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Child’s pose

Attachment trauma

What is the mother wound?

Step in stepmother comes from steop, which indicates loss or bereavement

Cinderella’s Stepsisters, Toni Morrison

Other forms of conviviality, Park McArthur and Constantina Zavitsanos

Home is where the works starts 1988, Georgia Lucas-Going

How To Live / Rest Together, Christian Nyampeta

Bedside scenes on love and grief (from novels like Edwidge Dandicat’s The Art of Dying, Maggie Nelson’s Argonauts, Terese Marie Mailhot’s Heart Berries, Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous)

Queering motherhood

House mothers in ballroom culture


DAI roaming locations

Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons

Respective homes, studios and workplaces

Know-how on cooking methods




Breaking open



Reproduction, cleaning

Unlearning Exercises

Deep listening and witnessing

Observations and interpretations

Discerning, naming and pooling resources


Slow reading, reading out loud together

Slow discussion



Body and mind exercises

Small-group workshopping

Role play

Film viewing, making, and analysis

Exercises and training camp or school

Face to face meetings, check-ins

Song, rhyme

Looking out for each other, in the sense of access intimacy

Collective agreement on ways of working together

Rotational leadership

Ethical principles

Writing letters, scores, auto fiction, scripts, plays, fictional conversations


Weaving, unraveling, undoing


Publishing, distributing





It doesn’t have to taste good to be affective

2020 DAI COOP SUMMIT, 30 September 2020
A collage of photos and a gif. The photo on the left depicts a group of people scattered throughout the medicinal garden of Metaal Katherdraal, some are meandering and some are kneeled down in the dirt. They are surrounded by plants of all kinds and tall trees line the background. In the gif on the right, a large stainless steel slotted spoon ladles through a shimmering pot of frying semolino balls from bird’s eye view. Over the gif are two more photos. Making a triad, text in handwriting reads “spicy” with connecting lines to “pain” and “joy” themselves linked with a double arrow. Above this, “the end of knowledge” is written and presented upside down on a table next to a fermented pepper sauce pot on the pages of an open book.

A constellation of cooking methods; each one dedicated to a score devised together from our collective study over the past year. We have been exploring collective cooking to undo our patriarchal instituting knowledge but also not immediately reach for the binary opposite. What would happen if we would peel off the concept of property from home and family? If we would squeeze the juice out and compost the peel? If our bodies would sweat out salt to mix with the juice and the herstories of our kin? Then stir this bittersweet brew and leave it to infuse.

Will you be there to drink it? Will we be able to share it with you?

Ingredients: distributed care, chamomile/turmeric/anise/mint/salt/cloves, rest, water, bitters, pomegranate, care planning, more bitters, access intimacy, pepper, spice/pleasure/pain/heat/blushing, soda, minor gestures, all about our m/others and their mothers, and more bitters

It doesn’t have to taste good to be affective is a project that manifests from the All about my mother COOP study group in partnership with Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons (Utrecht, NL), co-tutored by Sepake Angiama and Nina bell F. (in this instance Staci Bu Shea, Binna Choi, and Yolande Zola Zoli van der Heide). Guest tutors include Mari Pitkänen, Georgia Lucas-Going, Clare Butcher, Ying Que, Annette Krauss, Aziza Harmel, Elyes Lariani, with contributions by Anastasia McCammon and Pitchaya Ngamcharoen.

1 January 2019 - 31 December, 2020


Student participants:

Mia van den Bos, Saskia Burggraaf, Dayna Casey, Emma de Filippo, Litchi Friedrich, Jiatu Gu, Csilla Klenyanszki, Flávia Palladino, Anakin Xersonsky.

Tutor team:

Sepake Angiama

Nina bell F. (Binna Choi, Yolande Zola Zoli van der Heide, Staci Bu Shea) for Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons

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