by Sofia Villena Araya & Amelie Wedel
Open Studio: 03.12.2019, 7pm
For this project, we wanted to reflect on knowledges that strive to travel, be universal, abstract and conceptual – usually put under the umbrella of „theory“. Sharing a background in contemporary art theory, we have often taken part in spaces where there is a strong expectation of accessing and producing theory in a hermetic way; infused with power games that include buzzwords and academic reference battles, praise of the author and the search for the original truth of a text. Common knowledge that this is reductive. Yet, we ourselves yield to these expectations.
During the past two weeks, we have slowly built towards social spaces where multiple knowledges create theory together. We set up a study space at Grimmusem, Berlin; an open structure of dense collaboration that included meeting other artists and writers, whose practices speak to our own interests: the frictions arising from macro cross-cultural dialogues within artistic global networks as much as from the micro conversational spaces (such as positions from where to speak, issues of translation, and discursive commonplaces). In order to continue unpacking these subjects differently – by thinking through dialogues and sensorial experience, for example – we invented daily exercises that considered methods such as mnemonics, emotive responses, intuition games and associative learning.
Throughout this collaboration, the question of how to record ephemeral processes was central, particularly when thinking of how such can be shared with others. We therefore developed a system for annotating our research process, a way of documentation that integrates a level of abstraction – meaning having a certain degree of openness for interpretation and deliberately integrating fictional elements. This ended up being a visual text; a score, usually defined as „series of notes that allow anyone to perform the work“. Now we wonder if our research score can even be translated into a room.
We met with Delfina Cabrera, Jen Rosenblit, Tim Kewwy, Arts of the Working Class, Josh Brook-Lawson.