The Swamp Pavilion: Commonism

Commonism: On Cohabitation
September 24-29, 2018

Through contributions by theorists, designers and artists this chapter will interrogate the commons as an ideology – an aesthetic of the real – as a way of giving a form to society and our contemporary human condition. With an understanding of aesthetics as ‘the art of thinking beautifully,’ as way of seeing a better, more beautiful world, this chapter will learn from the reciprocating movements for the commons asking questions: how is the commons constituted in society, how does it shape our reality of living together, and what strategies and what aesthetics do artistic commoners follow?

Curated by artists Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas and commissioned by Pippo Ciorra, the Swamp School highlights the vital urgency of human cohabitation with other forms of life. Reproducing the hybrid and inclusive environment of wetlands, the Lithuanian Pavilion functions as a learning lab and an ever-changing and open-ended platform for experimentation and research on the future of living. The Swamp School program was inaugurated by the Swamp Radio workshop (May 23–27, 2018), which was focused on transmitting, and followed by the Futurity Island workshop (June 25–30, 2018) on symbio-poetics and new forms of living.

The investigation of speculative forms of citizenship and cohabitation between people, and between humans and nonhumans, will unfold in a six-day program of events that brings together a radical diversity of viewpoints, from commonism as a new ideology of the real to methodologies of eco-commoning. During the days, contributors and participants will engage in a series of workshops accompanied by lectures, presentations, and book launches. In the evenings, a program of film screenings, lectures, and performances will complement the Swamp Soup Kitchen dinners.


Commonism Program

Monday, September 24
5:00 – 6:00 PM Welcome and Coffee
6:00 – 7:00 PM Evening program:
Noi e L’Albero book launch with Valentina Ivancich, plant neuro-psychologist (Italy)
7:00 – 8:30 PM
Systems Seduction lecture by Gary Zhexi Zhang, artist (UK)
Parasite (物流) film by Gary Zhexi Zhang, 12 min., 2017

Tuesday, September 25
10:30 AM – 13:00 PM Morning program:
Evocation of the Swamp by Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas, artists and curators (Lithuania/US)
Workshop by participants from NABA Milan (Italy):
Swamp Pedagogy. A manual for the drift presentation by Letizia Mari, Matteo Canetta
Ants Soundscape presentation of the sound installation by Chiara Lupi in collaboration with Giorgio Berti and Dario Sposini
Food for Commons, Food for Life workshop by Valentina Avanzini, Laura Colantonio, Benedetta Dosa, Clarissa Falco

2:00 – 4:00 PM Afternoon program:
Workshop by participants from NABA Milan (Italy):
Drum System presentation by Marco Antelmi, NABA student (Italy)
Stakeholders dialogue. Human and Plants presentation by Camilla Alberti and Simona Cioce
Marco Polo Returns through Suez presentation by Matteo Messina in collaboration with Tommaso Pagani and Chiara Lupi

4:00 – 5:00 PM 
The desert in common. In praise of a Nomad Science lecture by Marco Scotini and Andris Brinkmanis, curators, NABA Milan (Italy)

6:00 – 8:00 PM Evening program:
Commonism: Art beyond the Creative City. Art, Politics and Urban Lifelecture by Pascal Gielen
On the commons as a deliberative counter-ideology. Affect, real-time economy, and the design of new spaces for deliberation lecture by Eric Kluitenberg, media theorist (The Netherlands)

8:00 – 9:00 PM
Swamp Soup Kitchen (initiated by Nico Dockx and students and alumni from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp) welcoming dinner for the Swamp School participants:
Recipe 1 by Egon Hanfstingl, artist (The Netherlands)

9:00 – 10:00 PM Film screening:
Flights by Pat McCarthy (US), 45 min., 2018

Wednesday, September 26
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM Morning program:
How to ‘co-‘ design, sustain and defend Urban Commons (in/as the Swamp)? by Doina Petrescu and Constantin Petcou (AAA), architects (Romania/France)
The otherwise heard, that I become lecture by Brandon LaBelle, sound artist (Germany)
Commonism of Arts in the Era of Reactionary Populism presentation by Marco Baravalle, researcher and activist, S.a.L.E. Docks, Venice (Italy)

1:30 – 5:30 PM Afternoon program:
Exploring Assembly a collective research methodology facilitated by Emma Avilés Thurlow, Juliana Simoes and Lara Garcia Diaz and organized by Pascal Gielen
NOTE: All those willing to take part in the Exploring Assembly is prerequisite to read the SAFEGUARDING CREATIVITY: Institutional Insecurities of the Artistic Biotope in a Global Market Orientated Europeby Pascal Gielen.
Click here to download the text as PdF

5:30 – 6:00 PM
No Performance performance by Brandon LaBelle and Lilia Mestre

6:30 – 8:00 PM Evening program:
Commonism: A New Aesthetics of the Real book launch by Nico Dockx and Pascal Gielen, featuring a conversation with Santiago Cirugeda (Recetas Urbanas), architect (Spain) and Antonio Negri, philosopher (Italy), moderated by Pascal Gielen, Guiliana Ciancio, phd researcher (Italy) and Lara Garcia Diaz, phd researcher (Spain)

8:30 – 9:30 PM
Swamp Soup Kitchen dinner: Recipe 2 by Rirkrit Tiravanija, artist (US/ Thailand)

9:30 – 10:30 PM Film screening:
untitled 2014 (curry for the soul of the forgotten) by Rirkrit Tiravanija, artist (US/Thailand), 45 min, 2014

Thursday, September 27
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Morning program:
The Right to Illegality and other collective ideas a workshop by Santiago Cirugeda (Recetas Urbanas)

In parallel with:

10:30 AM – 1:00 PM Morning program:
We Cannot Work Like This: Decolonial Practices and Degrowth a transnational alliance of schools in the frame of the Contour Biennial 9: Coltan As Cotton, organized by Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, curator (France/Slovenia) in collaboration with Adam Kaasa, Merve Bedir, Zheng Bo, Peter Westenberg, Jozefien Mombaerts, Willeke Van Herreweghe, Mathieu Charles, Robin Vanbesien and Petra Van Brabandt, Nico Dockx, Elena Sorokina, Kobe Matthys, Giampiero Caiti, Olivier Marboeuf

2:00 – 5:00 PM Afternoon program:
Turfiction seminar and workshop by Tinna Grétarsdôttir, anthropologist (Iceland), Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson, anthropologist (Iceland), Hildigunnur Sverrisdóttir, architect (Iceland) and Hannes Lárusson, artist (Iceland)

6:00 – 7:30 PM Evening program:
Eco-commoning in the Aftermath: Sundews, Mangroves and Swamp Insurgencies lecture by Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, STS scientist, and Dimitris Papadopoulos, sociologist, (UK)

8:00 – 9:00 PM
Swamp Soup Kitchen dinner: Recipe 3 by Asako Iwama & Sen Uesaki, artists (Japan)

9:00 – 9:30 PM
Seed bombs performance / workshop by Cadine Navarro, artist (Japan/France)
9:30 – 10:00 PM
Blueprint for Revolution lecture performance by Mark Požlep (Slovenia), 45 min., 2017

Friday, September 28
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Morning program:
The School of Love presentation and discussion by Adva Zakai and a.pass/advanced performance and scenography studies (Belgium)
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Visible introduction and Temporary Parliament workshop, part 1 by Matteo Lucchetti & Judith Wielander, Visible co-directors (Italy, Belgium)

2:00 – 5:00 PM Afternoon program:
Temporary Parliament workshop, part 2 by Matteo Lucchetti & Judith Wielander in dialogue with Pelin Tan, sociologist (Turkey), and other guests

6:00 – 8:30 PM Evening program:
A village situated on a stream lecture by Aroon Puritat (The Land Foundation), architect (Thailand)

8:00 – 9:00 PM
Swamp Soup Kitchen dinner: Recipe 4 by studio Olafur Eliasson, artist, (Denmark/Germany)

9:00 – 9:30 PM Film screening:
La Montagne de Venise / The mountain of Venice, film by Jean-Baptiste Decavèle with Yona Friedman. 18 min., 2016

Saturday, September 29 
11:00 – 13:00 Morning program:
Final discussion by all participants

Socialist Bikes Initiative lecture by Leander Schönweger, artist (Italy), 20 min.

1:00 – 2:00 PM Swamp Tea

Full program and participant list can be found at The Swamp Pavilion.


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