COOP ACADEMY ~ AGENCY - Everyday practice and global power from Month to Month

Seminar 6: 15 - 18 April 2019

For DAI week #7 in Epen AGENCY are very fortunate to have as a guest the brilliant writer, curator and critic Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez who will be leading the day’s seminar on Tuesday. The group will be hearing from Nataša about her amazing work on ecologising and decolonial practices and de-growth. The rest of the sessions will be divided between working on the final project for Sardinia and face to face meetings, with a particular focus on final presentations. The schedule is adaptable and Nick is open to suggestions.

Monday evening:      

- 1 hour group chat and update on where we are with final project / finalise agenda for the week. 

For this Nick would like to hear form each of the group - 5 mins each - your summary of where you think things stand with the project and how you think we could best use the time next week to develop it.

- 1 hour screening: Sammy Baloji / Tejal Shah 

Tuesday: Morning / afternoon: 

Seminar led by Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez (see reading below)

Tuesday evening: 

discussion on day with Nataša / carry on work with group project

Wednesday day: 

Face to face meetings with Nick (please come prepared with something specific to discuss/show to Nick that builds form your talks in Feb)

Wednesday evening: 

Carry on work with group project

Thursday morning: 

walk / carry on work with group project

For the seminar with Nataša, please read the following texts:

'For Slow Institutions’:

‘Transforming Whiteness in Institutions’:



Seminar 5: 10-13 March 2019

This month is Dessau, AGENCY will be using the COOP time to bring together the strands of our learning and understanding of this year’s research areas. We will be presenting different personal interpretations of the data we have mutually collected and shared, and use these projects as a basis to workshop what we would like to present in Sardinia in June. These presentations and workshops will be book-ended by a screening of Robinson in Ruins (2010) by Patrick Keiller which looks at landscape, meaning and hidden infrastructure, and a continued reading of The Great Derangement by Amitav Ghosh which we have been working through over the past months as a COOP.

SUN 10

(Evening): Screening of Robinson in Ruins (2010) by Patrick Keiller

MON 11

(Morning): Student presentations of Data Projects

(Afternoon): Final Presentation Workshop

(Evening): Planning and roles for final project

TUE 12

(Morning): Planning Final Presentation (and f2f with James)

(Afternoon): Planning of Final Presentation  (and f2f with James)

(Evening): Final Presentation Rehearsal

WED 13

Day Four (Morning): The Great Derangement by Amitav Ghosh - Reading Group



Seminar 4: 10-17 February 2019

In Epen, AGENCY will be working with artist duo Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen. Their work explores processes of production as cultural, personal and political practices, and covers objects, films and installations. They are particularly known for their work exploring relationships between humans and non-human animals, manufacturing processes and rare earth resources. In Epen, they will be leading a two-day project entitled There Is No Outside (A Workshop Outdoors). The workshop will focus on making and developing work within a situated context, responding to a site and testing work in new contexts.

In the second half of the week for the annual extension, AGENCY will move to the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, where we will be working with curators Nick Aikens and Annie Fletcher, exploring the practices and processes of the institution, focussing on collections, archives, exhibitions, constituents. Tours, discussions and face-to-face meetings will underpin our extension in this key location. We will be further developing our own skills with a day of self-learning around microcomputers and data gathering, storage, and sharing, reviewing publication modes, and working on the group project first articulated in Sardinia.



Seminar 3: 13-16 January 2019

In Sardinia, AGENCY will be working closely with the MEDSEA Foundation to take a closer look at the effects of climate change on the local environment, with particular attention to the important wetlands across the island. Alongside a full day visit to various protected locations on the  western coastline, and discussions with MEDSEA’s founder Alessio Satta, we will partially base ourselves with MEDSEA in their offices during the COOP week to better immerse ourselves in their working environment. To balance these explorations outside, we will also be creating some dedicated time for student-led activities, including sharing our research and thinking about data collection and publication. 



Seminar 2: 9-12 December 2018

In December at PAF, AGENCY will be hosting the artist, Sophia Al Maria as  our guest tutor. 

Born in Tacoma, Washington, in 1983, Sophia Al Maria is a Qatari-American artist, writer, and filmmaker. Traversing video, text and installation, Al-Maria’s work engages with an imminent urgency of wider destructive forces. Ranging from large-scale ecological concerns to cross-cultural identities, Al Maria’s work is underpinned by an intensely personal sentiment. Al Maria’s most recent solo exhibition was presented at Project Native Informant, London (2018).  Her work has also been shown at the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2017), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA (2017), Whitney Museum, New York, USA (2016); New Museum, NY (2015); Serpentine Gallery, London (2014); as well as the Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2013). Al Maria also participated in the 2016 Biennale of moving images (BIM), organized by the centre d’art contemporain in Geneva. Her memoir, The Girl Who Fell to Earth (2012), was published by Harper Perennial.

Our first evening will be a screening of Annihilation, a film chosen by Sophia, who has also chosen the text The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction by Ursula LeGuin to share with the group.

We will be exploring the themes of Sophia’s practice with a presentation of selected works, performance lecture and follow-up discussion about form of scripted narrative, communication and correspondence. These themes will then be explored in a workshop looking at long-distance communication techniques in the possible absence of technology, and increases in anxiety linked to the information age . 

Alongside one-to-one meetings with both Navine and Sophia, we will continue to explore how we build our COOP network using raspberry pi and other hardware and software to explore the role of internet and intranet in our research practices. 

As we will be sharing data together over this year, we also want to explore the possibility of dancing together as a way of sharing, being in the multitude and being alone within a group. 

We will be finishing our December session by continuing to read Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement, framing our work with Sophia and linking it to our wider COOP interests. 



Seminar 1: 12-15 November 2018

During this first week of AGENCY we will be setting out our store for the year ahead. 

As a group we will begin to read The Great Derangement by Amitav Ghosh, which will be a continuous thread throughout the year. We plan to read the whole book as a group over the months ahead, having a thorough understanding of its ideas and implications, and how we can associate this with our own COOP and individual practices. 

This is also a time for introductions and getting to know each other, hence our first full day will be dedicated to group presentations, inc. tutors, and discussions around each practice. In the evening we will meet to look at and and begin to choose the tools we would like to use to collect each month’s data/information/research/interviews and how we intend to publish these aspects of our practice. 

On the second full day we will visit the Waterline Museum just outside Utrecht and think about how this local history of water in the Netherlands has been seen as both a climate-based concern as well as used as a means of defence in wartime. We will use this visit to also workshop ideas around environments, threat models and architectural space. That evening upon our return to Arnhem we will revisit our tools and sure up the choice of systems and methods of collecting and sharing our data. 

On our last morning we will integrate the things we have covered in this first COOP meeting and set our intentions and goals for the month ahead.