November 5, 2015 - Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory - We Are the Time Machines: Time and Tools for Commoning
November 5, 2015

Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory

Design: (David Bennewith with Bram van den Berg).

We Are the Time Machines: Time and Tools for Commoning
November 15, 2015–March 13, 2016

Opening: November 14, 3pm

Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory
Lange Nieuwstraat 7
3512 PA Utrecht
The Netherlands
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Dear readers,

Shut down the machines and build new ones for commoning! How can art and art institutions help us do this?

Here at Casco we are beginning to generate “tools” for practicing the commons as part of the exhibition project and study program We Are the Time Machines: Time and Tools for Commoning (November 15, 2015–March 13, 2016) and would like to share the first of these with you. 

Taking part in this process are artists, designers, researchers, collectives, and others including: We Are the Time Machines Study Group, Ruth Buchanan, Cooperativa Cráter Invertido, Annette Krauss, Mattin, Graeme Thomson and Silvia Maglioni, (Un)usual Business, David Bennewith with Bram van den Berg, Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik, and Rigo 23. More information is available here.

Warm fall greetings,
Casco team
Utrecht, the Netherlands

FromSite for Unlearning (Art Organization)”
by Annette Krauss and the Casco team in collaboration with Rosie Eveleigh

unlearning exercise no. 3: "cleaning together"
Description: We clean our office together every Monday morning after the team meeting, dividing tasks and putting on music (sometimes) for around 30 minutes. It’s important to feel we are collectively responsible by cleaning the space and our computer desktops together.

What to unlearn: Undervaluing reproductive labor; hierarchies and unequal division; and reproductive labor being a last priority from which we get no satisfaction.

unlearning exercise no. 4: "reading together" 
Description: Whenever a text appears relevant to our common interest, we propose to read it aloud together in a meeting and discuss and/or analyze the content.

What to unlearn: Individualized research and the division of labor by intellectuals or non-intellectuals in order to practice studying together.

Note: Reading aloud is a gentle way to get to know each other’s differences (accents, pace, rhythm) toward mutual learning. We have been reading Marina Vishmidt’s "All Shall Be Unicorns: About Commons, Aesthetics and Time" (Casco and Open!, 2014), Manuela Zechner’s “Barcelona en Comú: the city as horizon for radical democracy” [ROAR Magazine (or Reflections on a Revolution), 2015], and Mierle Laderman Ukeles’s “Manifesto for Maintenance Art, 1969!” (written in 1969 and reprinted in Grand Domestic Revolution Handbook, Casco and Valiz, 2014).

FromConversation Card for Tooling—User’s Guide”
by Binna Choi and David Bennewith with Bram van den Berg

What? The Conversation Card is an “extended” caption for an object in the exhibition, be it an artwork, documentation or fragment of an artwork, a book, an article, a quotation, and so on. We can make the object a tool for commoning through sharing stories around it, studying it, and through conversations prompted by questions like: How can the object broaden our commons? This “tooling” is based on the idea that tools for commoning are not preexisting—they are made through collective situations and effort.

Why? Press releases, guidebooks, guided tours, captions derived from artworks, and so on are the typical forms of mediation in exhibitions. Whereas they are often written in an objective, descriptive manner by organizers, the Conversation Card spurs experiential stories and subjective writings generated personally and/or collectively. The aim is to make and share tools for commoning, particularly within the context of an art institution and its exhibitions, in order to situate art and other objects within the practice of the commons rather than within artistic discourse. In doing so, we can reconsider how art and other objects speak and relate to us.

We Are the Time Machines: Time and Tools for Commoning is organized by Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory. The exhibition project concludes the Composing the Commons research trajectory for Casco’s 2013–15 program and also marks Casco’s 25th anniversary.

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 is also supported by the K.F. Hein Fund.

Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory
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