We Are the Time Machines Study Program

15 November 2015–13 March 2016 / Casco HQ


“They’re building something in there, something down there, a different kind of speculation, a speculation called ‘study,’ a debt speculation, a speculative mutuality. Mutual debt, unpayable debt, unbounded debt, unconsolidated debt, debt to each other in a study group, to others in a nurses’ room, to others in barbershops, to others in a squat, a dump, the woods, a bed, an embrace.”

– Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study (2013)

In The Undercommons, Stefano Harney and Fred Moten offer a concept of study that refuses to be confined to the increasingly bureaucratic and neoliberal sphere of professionalized education. Study, they argue, is what happens at the margins of these institutions, when classes are over but conversations continue as a certain way of being in the world together. This ongoing exchange open to anyone does not dismiss but rather reinforces the social indebtedness we have to each other.

Our urge for this study has strengthened since 2014, when the Casco team entered into a continuing collaborative project with artist Annette Krauss involving self-reflection on institutional practice entitled Site for Unlearning: Art Organization. Harney’s talk at Casco last June gave a name to this urge. Study informs our current exhibition, We Are the Time Machines: Time and Tools for Commoning (WTM) (till 13 March 2016), wherein it is a way to rethink artworks and objects around us as tools for, about, and of the commons. To “make time” not just for study but by study, an elaborate Study Program runs alongside the exhibition with events organized by Casco, our colleagues, and the various communities with whom we have affinity.


What: Versatile forms of study are (co)organized by Casco as well as a number of our communities. Involving reading groups, discussions, screenings, lectures, etc., topics so far range from migration and labor to alternative economies to revolutionary feminism. Casco itself organizes four forums under the title and subject Commoning, dealing with economy, art organizations, governance, and aesthetics, respectively. The first of these takes place in January 2016.

When: Events are mostly held on weekday evenings or in the daytime on weekends in the WTM exhibition rooms that are for both presentation and inhabitation and available to all to use and occupy. See below for the event timeline so far.

How: Study is an ongoing process, and as different life rhythms are being attuned to, the program might change over the course of its four months. To join, please check our website or social media regularly.

Involvement in any aspect of the program is free. The main language is English but organizing events in other languages is also possible.

Study Group

Furthermore, there is a special We Are the Time Machines Study Group wherein the microcosm/microcommons of Casco is a starting point to explore the concept and relations of the commons. We will look within the institution to evaluate tools of commoning – of which the Casco commons is one. We hope to bring together Casco staff, collaborators, community members, and the public to assess our commoning tools and look to other prefigurative possibilities of the commons in terms of space, aesthetics, labor, and relations.

WTM Study Program Timetable

Sat 14 Nov 2015, 15:00-19:00 hrs

Exhibition opening & A Score for Sharing Negativity, organized by Casco & Mattin

Mon 16 Nov 2015, 17:00-19:30 hrs

Revolutionary Feminism Reading Group, organized by Ask Annabel 2.0 & Perdu

Tue 17 Nov 2015, 19:30-22:00 hrs

The Traffic in Girls: Crisis, Criminality, and Affective Currencies in the Libidinal Economy: Artist Talks by Cassandra Troyan and Maya Gonzalez, organized by Ask Annabel 2.0

Wed 25 Nov 2015, 17:00-19:00 hrs

relationality: envisioning new wor(l)dings, organized by Terra Critica

Wed 9 Dec 2015, 19:30-22:00 hrs

How to Care Together, organized by (Un)usual Business

Sat 12 Dec 2015, 10:00-22:00 hrs

Casco and Cooperativa Cráter Invertido Mirror Each Other, organized by Casco & Cooperativa Cráter Invertido

Sun 13 Dec 2015, 15:00-18:00 hrs

Screening and Talk: Zachary Formwalt & Johan Hartle, organized by Casco

Mon 14 Dec 2015, 19:30-22:00 hrs

Revolutionary Feminism Reading Group, reading group, organized by Ask Annabel 2.0 & Perdu

Sat 19 Dec 2015, 18:00-22:30

Refugees and Migrant Workers Are Here, organized by We Are Here, IMWU & Doorbraak

Sun 10 Jan 2016, 14:00-16:00 hrs

Kids Workshop: Iedereen is kunstenaar, organized by Merel Zwarts

Mon 11 Jan 2016, 17:00-19:30 hrs

Revolutionary Feminism Reading Group, organized by Ask Annabel 2.0 & Perdu

Sun 17 Jan 2016, 14:00-18:00 hrs

Forum I: Commoning Economy, with (Un)usual Business, Katherine Gibson, Martijn Jeroen van der Linden & Philippe Van Parijs, organized by Casco

Wed 20 Jan 2016, 17:00-21:00 hrs

relationality: envisioning new wor(l)dings, with Alex Martinis Roe organized by Terra Critica

Wed 27 Jan 2016, 19:30-22:00 hrs

How to Live Together, organized by (Un)usual Business

Thu 28 Jan 2016, 20:00-22:00 hrs

Mark our Words #1

Sat 30 Jan 2016, 14:00-18 hrs

Forum II: Commoning Art Organization, with Annette Krauss, Andrea Phillips & Nora Sternfeld, organized by Casco

Mon 8 Feb 2016, 17:00-19:30 hrs

Revolutionary Feminism Reading Group, organized by Ask Annabel 2.0 & Perdu

Tue 9 Feb 2016, 19:30-22:00 hrs

Wie betaalt de kunstenaar?, with Ad de Jong, Janneke van der Putten, Ella Derksen, Steven ten Thije & Irene de Craen, organized by Platform BK (in Dutch)

Sat 13 Feb 2016, 14:00-18:00 hrs

Towards a Housing Commons, with Mietshäuser Syndikat, Syndikaat NL & Soweto, organized by Roel Griffioen, Abel Heijkamp & Casco

Mon 15 Feb 2016, 17:00 hrs

ReadingRoom, with Denise Ferreira da Silva and Wendelien van Oldenborgh, organized by Terra Critica

Sun 28 Feb 2016, 14:00-18:00 hrs

Forum III: Commoning Governance with Michel Bauwens, Aetzel Griffioen & Manuela Zechner, organized by Casco

Sat 5 Mar 2016, 14:00-18:00 hrs

Enjoy Precarity, organized by Roel Griffioen, Abel Heijkamp & Casco

Sat 12 Mar 2016, 14:00-20:00 hrs

Forum IV: Commoning Aesthetics with Annie Fletcher, Maria Lind, Stavros Stavrides, Marina Vishmidt, and Arseny Zhilyaev, organized by Casco & Open! Platform for Art, Culture, and the Public Domain

About the communities involved

(Un)usual Business is a long-term collective research project started by Casco and the critical post-graduate students-activists group Kritische Studenten Utrecht in 2013. With publications, events, and their website, (Un)usual Business explores the potential of local community economies, a term coined by JK Gibson-Graham. Through facilitating physical and virtual spaces for fellow commoners, their aim is to produce, collect, and share knowledge about how to support each other and build communities based on the commons.

Ask Annabel 2.0 is the student organization of the Gender Studies Programme at Utrecht University and stimulates critical thought and dialogue across (imaginary) lines of gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, class, education, and capability. They bridge theory and practice, reclaiming “feminism” as a positive concept.

Doorbraak is a Dutch volunteer-run initiative. Many people believe they are alone in this world and that injustice is inevitable. Doorbraak believes that change is definitely possible, which is why they spread their vision and work together with people who are standing up for issues that matter for everyone. In this way, Doorbraak is contributing to successful resistance against capitalism and more justice and freedom in every aspect. Moreover, they understand themselves as part of a broad tradition of bottom up struggle and solidarity, which – in all its diversity – has existed for centuries on all continents.

IMWU NL is a self-organization, established by and for the Indonesian migrant workers in the Netherlands. IMWU NL aims to promote the labor rights for all workers particularly for Indonesian workers, both documented and undocumented, in the Netherlands. We determine to eliminate human trafficking, jobs trade, abuses and various forms of rights violation and discrimination against all workers particularly Indonesian workers in the Netherlands.

Perdu is an Amsterdam-based literary foundation that intends to provoke interest in recent developments in poetry and prose. A volunteer-run organization, they organize weekly evening programs that include poetry recitals and lectures, among other activities.

Platform Beeldende Kunst is a strategic coalition that mobilizes existing networks and maps out new connections in order to develop a foundation for joint action and spokesmanship. Our aim is to positively affect the current perception and public opinion of arts and culture; to influence political decision-making in conjunction with existing interest groups such as De Zaak Nu and Kunsten 92; and to put forward new logics that can (re)define the significance of art.

Terra Critica is an international research network in the humanities, bringing together scholars specializing in critical and cultural theory. Its aim is to reexamine critical theory and critique under the conditions of the 21st century.

We Are Here is a group of undocumented refugees in limbo living in Amsterdam that does not get any housing provided by the government but also is not allowed to work and therefore should live on the street. The group decided to make the inhumane situation that they have to live in visible, by no longer hiding, but showing the situation of refugees that are denied asylum in The Netherlands. Thanks to the power of the refugees and the help of many supporters, the group has existed now for around three years. WAH is currently in different locations.


Casco’s program is made possible with financial support from City Council of Utrecht, Mondriaan Fund, DOEN Foundation, and European Union Culture Programme. We Are the Time Machines: Time and Tools for Commoning is also supported by K.F. Hein Fund.

This activity is part of:

An exhibition and study program to generate “tools” for practicing the commons.

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