Artist-tenant meetings

As part of the Common Grounds temporary studio offer, we asked the artist tenants to look closely at the findings and outcomes of Common Grounds so far, and to imagine together with us the future-use of this place in light of commoning through collective online meetings. This meant thinking of the future of what a building could be for sharing and experiencing art in the post-Covid era, let alone what kind of art we would be desiring. Read more about the contents of these meetings below and have a look at each meeting’s harvest.

Building as a container

23 March 2020, 19.00–21.00

In our first collective study we will explore buildings as containers – containers for our bodies, our things, and the practices we do individually and together. Buildings also protect what’s inside them and provide shelter from the outside elements. They preserve cultural legacies and heritage, and further shape the lives that inhabit them as the cultures and communities change. They also need care as much as we hope they care for us. The cracks and gaps that also tell about a building’s material reality are also symbolic of what the building has difficulty holding, stories, feelings, and the embodiment of languages. With Common Grounds, we’ve actively investigated and partially distilled the past and present of this building with artists and researchers. We invite you to look through our Common Grounds material thus far to get a sense of this survey. Now we want to speculate with you about the future use of the building in light of commoning and how art contributes to this: how could this place be inhabited, shared, and cared for as a resource? In many senses, what will it contain? How will the art leak in and out of the cracks? 

Harvesters for this meeting: Ana and Ariadne

Preparation

Browse material about our location thus far:
Common Grounds: Story / Heritage
Common Grounds: Song / Value (under construction)
Read: Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction” 

Practice:
Take a nap inside of your studio for 30-60 minutes and consider how the building holds you. Once you wake up, write for ten or so minutes. Note any dreams or visions you had during your sleep, as well as any feelings or thoughts that arise. 

Suggested podcast to listen to:
“The Perfect Nap” with Tricia Hersey of The Nap Ministry

Can I borrow some sugar?

14 April 2020, 19.00–21.00 

One of the most challenging aspects in collective practice is caring well for interpersonal relations. We are often not taught strategies for dealing with emotions nor languages to define them for ourselves in order to share them. Even if a group comes together over a common cause, individuals in the group likely have different ways of understanding or approaching, or simply they have different stakes in the goal. Abraham Dolehof is a semi-public space that is cared for and maintained by the neighbors who surround it. Those who spend the most time here (for example, because they live and sleep here) spend the most energy in caring for this space. The relation between those who own property and those who rent also differs in the way caring for the space is maintained. 

During this meeting we want to practice future thinking around mutual aid, housing, spaces and art institutions, bringing the focus towards a localized and contextualized context. Themes at the center of this meeting are relationality, conflict, de-escalation, repair, co-management, and contested realities. 

We want to talk about rituals around sharing and property, and think together of collective rituals and practices that touch upon relations to the place and sense of ownership to the place. Various degrees of investment and different ways of co-ownership come to play here. Could you think of examples coming from your own practice? What are your ways of thinking about sharing? 

Harvesters of this meeting:
Ana and Lux

Preparation

Read: 
How to live together – Christian Nyampeta’s 2013 project at Casco http://www.christiannyampeta.com/documents/ 

Practice: 
How to come to mutual understanding and respect, and practices of care when you’re not part of the same community but due to geographical circumstances bound up in the same place, having to share the same spaces? What kind of collective rituals or practices would you deem appropriate as they relate to your practice in relation to human and non-human beings?

Exercise: 
Take a seat on one of the benches in the garden and try to think of a ritual that would consider the non-human entities living and moving around Casco’s building. Try to meditate in the space for ten minutes. Come think for yourself a ritual for greeting or saying goodbye to this space and then try it out. See if you can keep it up every time you pass the courtyard, keeping in mind the intention (sharing, cooperation, co-ownership?).

Rehearsal is a great name for time* 

29 April 2020, 19.00–21.00 

As the building contains, we are contained by time and experience too. Our relations and rituals have helped us mark this time. Just a short two months ago, you moved into our building and made a space for yourself and your work here. We’re now folded together in the shared past of this location. In this last collective meeting, with the final weekend and departure on the horizon, we’ll talk about time – broadly speaking but more specifically, how was/is your time? 

Harvesters of this meeting:
Julie and Marc

Preparation

Read: 
*UNCOUNTED by Every Ocean Hughes f.k.a Emily Roysdon 

8 March 2021 - 29 April, 2021
Casco HQ / Online

This activity is part of:

A process of commoning the main site and building in Utrecht’s Museum Quarters through different modes of sharing the space, its use values & stories.

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