a practical library is a collection of all sorts of publications dealing with artistic interventions in public space.          it’s purpose is educative          it’s impact is unpredictable          it is only a small portion of a comprehensive concept.          the concept of collaboration as artistic technique.          it is not art, it is information          the technique of spreading information          it is practice, that might result art          it does not want to influence art          intends to influence artists, students and professors.

it is a reaction on the social turn          it is a critique of academic curriculum           but also an alternative to an existing structure.            this is nothing new          nor colonial.          it was born out of necessities          that are very real in the schools’s environment.

it is a narrow segment of an extending archive          about a loose, chaotic phenomenon.that started out with the acknowledgement of the alternative of the well defined physical and political space of the comfortable gallery.

Initially, I assumed to create both a physical and digital platform inside the university, where various mediums could manifest (lectures, independent theatre, cinema, etc) and students would end up with space/place which is in their hands, free of oversight and control by the university’s authorities. This intention is still viable and will be proposed and propagated in a way so that in a future scenario it can be implemented instantly. The concept is to build a framework that eventually auto-regulates and grows organically. Due to the lack of support, understanding, common mentality, carelessness, conservatism, slowness, laziness, creativity and imagination from the authorities’ and students’ association side, I started working towards this through different methods. And so the project turned into a research and action based program, which intends to grow a student community that will back, support and give voice to such demands, in case someone takes up and further the project.

During the residency I started making contacts with individuals and institutions from Moldova and Romania, that were and are engaged and supporting collaborative, participatory projects, asking them to donate publications on the topic of interventions in public space. After the residency, I travelled to Timișoara, Bucharest, Iași, Chișinău and Cluj for collecting the 50+ publications. Parallel to this, I did online research and information structuring.

The following spreadsheet is an incomplete list of links to websites, online articles, individual actions and publications, that deal with or present a provocative or participative or collaborative or engaged practice, coming from the cultural sector and going into public space. Although initially my focus was on artistic practice, during the research it was impossible to leave out a couple of actions, that were initiated and carried out by architects.

Categorisation is the most difficult part (although it might not even be necessary), since every intervention falls into an experimental domain, where one can find characteristics of contemporary dance, critical theory, sociology, architecture, activism and fine art.

This list accompanies a modest collection of Romanian and Moldovan printed publications dealing with artistic interventions in public space. These two (list and books) will be presented to the university’s students at a cultural/culinary event accompanying the main project called neorînduială (wordplay in Romanian, meaning disorder and new order in the same time). In the following few lines, I will briefly highlight the process of neorînduială from it’s start.

Late 2015, I have designed and printed a brochure, that contained an ironic poem, wordplays highlighting specific problems, a dry description of the project, and went around every single class to introduce it and to collect signatures for support. Early January 2016, a temporary info-kiosk was opened, displaying a 3D render of the school and it’s garden, on which students could pin specific pressure points; suggestions were noted and as result, late February,  an open call was launched targeting the university’s students to rethink the school’s environment, inviting them to sketch and show their ideas about how the place/space can be regenerated, arranged and used in a clever way. The results of this call will be collected and displayed in-situ, together with the books and publications of the research. Until now, not one single detailed plan on paper has arrived, although every single student expressed their enthusiasm and support and many new ideas came to light. On one hand, this is the result of a long tradition of discouraging collective manifestations, and laziness on the other. Late April, I have gathered sculptures from a specific space in the garden, put them on euro-pallets in the middle of the parking lot, blocking it for one day, but eventually rearranging the now free space with benches made out of the same pallets, the backs’ of which are now supported by some of the sculptures, as a gesture of giving them meaning. It was an ironic and provocative intervention, that drew the professors’ attention on constructive critique. The project and practice’s concept will be presented for the school’s administration and it’s library, confronting them with a material, that is hard to ignore. The diploma work, dissertation and theoretical approach will be distilled in the form of a printed publication, detailing every single proposal, being prepared for further consultation. It is my intention to spare the brainwork and energy of the exhausted leadership. Although collaboration, participation and engagement is propagated in every single action and suggested among professors as well, students are still uncertain about how to proceed. It means out-of school activity in which they see no direct benefit and the indirect benefits are still very abstract notions. As a consequence, this project means individual work on every level, something that I wished to eliminate, but which is impossible at this moment.

In the near future the list will be transformed into a website, accompanied by an online catalog. The collected books will be donated to the school and I will try to include these on the university’s official website, along with several other suggestions, that provide alternative sources of information to the students and not only.


report of activity for the residency programme of tranzit.org and ERSTE Stiftung at MQ Wien

One thought on “Resident Report

  1. I liked the removal of the old sculptures and the concentration at another place. What if you contact the artists who created them and ask if they are willing to put their sculptures in a new context?

    I also liked the focus on space which was ignored. Taking an old park for reminding the past of Art History could also be an attempt.

    The fading excitement of students might have to do with thoughts about future. May be they are not interested in spending energy on something which they won`t enjoy themselves because they leave the university after some time.

    I just looked through a booklet about GARTEN projects. Some forgotten unused parks (in Germany, Italy, France) where adopted by students and groups. They brought new life into the space by just making paths out of planks. In most cases the planks where placed on a little higher level than the ground. So the feeling by walking along the paths was something special.
    Often they did not change anything. Wild self supporting plants where still there. I believe the main GOAL was to lead attention to WILD LIFE which developed in the past through not CARING.
    The title of the book: LES PIEDS SUR TERRE, from Atelier le Balto,Verlag der Buchhandlung Walter König. I think this book should go into your library. If you want I will order and send to you.

    Hopefully your project continues and you will get support from students and others.
    If I have time I will write more, but for now- all the best from Anke
    PS: Facebook is too much time consuming, so I only read!


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