COOP ~ Unmapping Eurasia from Month to Month

Seminar 6: 15 - 20 April 2019

Returning to the quiet, earthy setting of Epen, we will distill the saga, myth, nama, songlines of Eurasia and use it to form our Eurasian Underground Library.

Led by Mi You (Epen), Binna Choi (Utrecht)

Guest tutor: Alexander Ugay

Day 1 April 15

Play of Kazakh game Asyk (similar to the ankle bone game in Mongolia) and East Asian game Leanga/Jianzi.

Day 2 April 16


Introduction of his own and others’ artistic practices in Central Asia by Alexander Ugay


Discussion on research methodology, taking the ‘Book of Optics’, ‘more than dreams’ and Obscuration series, as an example, to make a ‘constellation’, with Alexander Ugay


Screening of ‘The Lebanese Rocket Society’ (2014)

Day 3 April 17


Review and dramaturgical consolidation of the Eurasian saga/myth/nama, the textual and material arrangements


"Frontier images in contemporary mythology of Kazakhstan", report by Alexander Ugay

Exercise and discussion on the possible folding of the historical saga (what we discussed last time, and with perhaps Korkyt Ata, Khoja Ahmed Yasawi) and the negative/speculative/futuristic/sci-fi of Eurasia


Artistic references on form and format: how to make things with words & how to make worlds with things & how to make maps with ideas?

Day 4 April 18


Collective planning for June


Transfer to Utrecht


Shared moment with everyone: an unconscious rehearsal of Unmapping Eurasia

Day 5 and 6 April 19 and 20

Extension days at Casco Art Institute and with the team

- Recalling the rehearsal

- Revisiting the plan

- Relating to the Commons and art institutions (including the exhibition visit)

Suggested reading:

‘Exploring Central Asian Identities in Modern Art’ by Alexey Ulko:



Seminar 5: 10 - 13 March 2019

Delving into navigation tools from East Asia and the Pacific, we would navigate across spaces from our own palm to our body, from our body to Eurasia. Eurasian Steps* further and again. (A question always follows, why not earth or world but Eurasia?) The history of Bauhaus and other internationalist or cosmologist transversal practices may echo or inspire in exercises of building one’s own house with “НОВО ПРАКТИКА / NOVO PRAKTIKA”** in a newly recognized coordinate to “Eurasian Underground Library.”

Led by Binna Choi and You Mi

Guest tutors: architect Jeonhwan Cho and artist Anton Karmanov

*- “Eurasian Steps”: Conceptualizations, writery movement, East-West transversal movement, physical journey

** “НОВО ПРАКТИКА / NOVO PRAKTIKA”: Building models and collecting old practices as the new practices of living together (critical anthropology and ethnography?), inspired by historical and field research in the Altai, Siberia, Central Asia, Mongolia, Finland and beyond

[Unmapping Eurasia outline]

DAY 1  (Binna Choi)

(1) 19:00-21:30 Workshop by Jeonhwan Cho

Navigating from one’s palm to body and Eurasia with East Asian compass Paecheol [패철/佩鐵(罗针盘)] and more

DAY 2 (Binna Choi)

(2)10:00-13:00 “Eurasia Neuroscience and "НЭР" (NER: new element of settlement) Presentations by Jeonhwan Cho and Anton Karmanov and discussions

(3) 14:00-18:00 Building workshop

(4) 19:00-22:00 Building workshop (reflection) + story on the trip to Altai and kai Nahon Shumarov

DAY 3 (Binna Choi > You Mi)

(5) 10:00-13:00 Art as Ethical Practice? reading and discussion with Anton Karmonov

(6) 14:00-18:00 Composing the script for Eurasian Underground Library

with reference jam sessions, joined by Jeonhwan Cho and Anton Karmanov

(7) 19:00-22:00 Composing the script for Eurasian Underground Library

with reference jam sessions, joined by Jeonhwan Cho and Anton Karmanov

DAY 4 (Binna Choi and You Mi)

(8) 10:00-13:00 To be defined during the course + collective planning (with guest tutor artist Alexander Ugay and the extension at Casco Art Institute, Utrecht.)



Seminar 4: 10-15 February 2019

Let us start taking sconcrete steps for our own individual and collective Geography and landscape studies (1) , geo-cultural and geo-poetic movements, commons resourcing, managing (2), and planning across Eurasia (3) 

(1) Geography and landscape studies: Cultivating the optics and image-nation of the Eurasian landmass, studying and undoing the existing geographies that draw Eurasia by division, deterritorial connectivity, and territorial conflicts. Producing and collecting the vast arrays landscape-works (from paintings to other multimedia works) and maps

(2) Geo-cultural and geo-poetic movements: Modes of navigation and approaching the commoning practices over Eurasia, namely “nomadology” (in Deleuze and Guattarian sense), mitigating both the concreteness of territorial spaces of geographical, cultural proximity/connectivity, and the abstractness of deterritorial nomadic movements, which, counterintuitively, does not require physical, extensive movement but rather intensive movement. Zooming into a specific area (tentative and provisional boundary making) and doing art and cultural exercises, analysis, and propositions. The current movements evolve around:

- “Eurasian Steps”: Conceptualizations, writery movement, East-West transversal movement, physical journey
- “One Northeast”: Stories and imaging the geopolitical complexity in the Northeastern part of Eurasia where China, Russia, South and North Korea and Japan, and the empires and states that occupied and extended from the space, meet historically and in the present.

- “НОВО ПРАКТИКА / NOVO PRAKTIKA”: Building models and collecting old practices as the new practices of living together (critical anthropology and ethnography?), inspired from historical and field research in the Altai, Siberia, Central Asia, Mongolia, Finland and beyond
- “The Eighth Climate”: Orientalism, other-within-the-self, complex identities, imagination as meditation, linguistic (historical) acts, from Iran, the Caucasus to Hungary.

- “Whereas (Nevertheless)”: Connecting Eurasia to elsewhere, mirroring and observing lost connections through Bering Strait to Vancouver and America, or Africa.

(3) Commons resourcing, managing, planning: Assembling material and non-material resources for and/or by the active travellers and unmappers of Unmapping Eurasia for caring and re-distributing practices. In proximity and negotiation with capital and policy.

Led by Binna Choi

Guest tutor: design and artist collective Metahaven

Visit in Amsterdam and in Utrecht:

- Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam including the meeting with the curator Karen Archy,

- Artist Marjolijn Boterenbrood

- Meeting with architect Jeonhwan Cho

- Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons, including the meeting with the team (Staci Bu Shua, Marianna Takou, Yolande van der Heide)

DAY 1 Sun 10 Feb


Reading & Montage:

Ugo Mattei, “The State, the Market, and some Preliminary Question about the Commons” (2011)

Facilitaed by Lukas Q. Hoffmann

DAY 2 Mon 11 Feb

Reading & Montage:

Kristin Ross, Communal Luxury: The Political Imaginary of the Paris Commune,Verso, 2016

Facilitaed by Giorgos Gripeos

Bruno Latour, “Visualisation and Cognition: Drawing Things Together” (

Facilitaed by Zoe Scoglio


Movement “Eurasian Steps” - writing and walking I – individual

16:00-17:00 face to face meeting: Sepideh Behruzian


Movement “Eurasian Steps” - writing and walking II – individual to collective

DAY 3 Tues 12 Feb

10:00-13:00 / 14:00-18:00 / 19:00-22:00

Geography and landscape studies – collective to individual to plenary

Starting with the film: “A Tale of the Wind” (1988) French film directed by Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan. It is also known as A Wind Story. It stars Ivens as he travels in China and tries to capture winds on film, while he reflects on his life and career. The film blends real and fictional elements; it ranges from documentary footage to fantastical dream sequences and Peking opera

Accompanied by materials and selected library

16:00-17:00 face to face meeting: Zoe Scoglio

17:00-18:00 face to face meeting: Giorgos Gripeos

Possibly: Lav Diaz’ “A Lullaby To The Sorrowful Mystery” (2016) by the Peekaboo study group, starting 7 pm sharp and running till 11 pm

DAY 4 Wed 13 Feb

10:00-13:00 Open session

14:00-18:00 Travel to Amsterdam

19:00-22:00 Open session

DAY 5 Thur 14 Feb

10:00 Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (Museumplein 10)

10:00 Exhibition by Metahaven: EARTH (starting with the film “Eurasia (In Persuit of Happiness)”

11:00 Seminar with Metahaven

13:00 Meeting with Karen Archy


 Exhibition visit continue
(Depart for the next visit at 16:30)

17:00 Visit Marjolijn Boterenbrood (Entrepotdok 73a) around her recent works esp. The Landscape Speaks (

19:00-22:00 Merdian practice with Jeonhwan Cho, day review,and dinner at the apartment of Giorgos Gripeos

DAY 6 Fri 15 Feb

10:00 All arrive at Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons

10:30-15:00 Commons resourcing, managing, planning I: Meeting with the team  (Staci Bu Shua, Marianna Takou, Yolande van der Heide, Rosa Paardenkooper)


15:00-17:00 Commons resourcing, managing, planning II: Study Group Unmapping Eurasia




Seminar 3: 13-16 January 2019 

Travel to deep history of Sardinia and find an unexpected Eurasian connection through its Neolithic culture and beyond; In search of individual pathways.

Day 1 with Mi You

The hitchhiker's guide to Cagliari (or Situationist, Fluxus flavoured experimental travel game)

Day 2 with Mi You and Binna Choi (from 3pm) 


Group reading “Treatise on Nomadology— The War Machine” (A Thousand Plateaus)



Mini lecture series  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

In mini lecture, each one presents their relation or take with regards to the five movements of Unmapping Eurasia by collecting and working with their own materials and present them. “Lecture” here should be regarded performatively and not as a dictation. (Assignment from the previous DAI week)


Group reading of Communal Luxury and discussion on where such politics can possibly seed today, thinking with - for instance -

Day 3 with Binna Choi and Mi You


Mini lecture series  7, 8, 9, 10, 11

In mini lecture, each one presents their relation or take with regards to the five movements of Unmapping Eurasia by collecting and working with their own materials and present them. “Lecture” here should be regarded performatively and not as a dictation.(Assignment from the previous DAI week)


Discussion with Andrea Corsale, geographer, University of Cagliari and researcher on heritage in relation to movements of tourism and diaspora.


Collective composition and re-composition session

(P.S.: what is in Nam June Paik’s Island in Décollage Ocean (1963)

Day 4 with Binna Choi and Mi You


Meeting with Prof. Carlo Lugliè, archeologist on a visit to Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Cagliari 

Reference: Exhibition “Eurasia, fino alle soglie della Storia. Capolavori dal Museo Ermitage e dai Musei di Sardegna” (2016, Palazzo della Città di Cagliari




Seminar 2: 9-12 December 2018

For this seminar in the secluded PAF residency, we will concentrate on our body/mind to tune into Eurasian high and deep places.

Day 1 with Mi You

You will know the territory around PAF enough by now. Is it hilly? Is it generic? How do we distribute ourselves into the space? How do we divide space, but into itself? The game we will play this time is a Mongolia board game called “The Stag” (Buga Jiregee), based on abstracted interaction between spirit-stag and human-nomadic (herding dog) orders.  

A description on the game is provided by Katherine Swancutt(from pp. 247) along with anthropological observations:


Day 2 with Mi You and guest lecturer Lucie Tuma

10:00-13:00 From high places…

A set of somatic practices dealing with mutation and an experience of time as intensity will be held in a number of practical sessions throughout the seminar.

We will engage with theproblems and challenges in both the terminology around as well as the practical aspects of dealing with ecologies in the Arts. We will trace a very old question and figure of thought which asks what it is that humans do, exclusively, opposed to other entities and forms of life and existence. Inevitably, we will follow a certain dethroning of thinking as predicated in the human.

In the morning, Lucie will draw on her choreographic work - Volkskörpertrilogy, in whichsettings have been developed in relation to the experience of different temporalities and their relation to non-human figures: ritualistic and mathematical evocations in the neo-shamanistic #1: solo for every body (Solo, 2012), and the evocation of tectonic dimensions with the help of geology, speculations and science fiction in the context of #2: choreography of tectonics (book and a series of strolls/walking practice – guided walks, 2014). #3, «On the Rocks», launches from the proposal of a future Volkskörper—imagination of a folk yet to come and a corpus of entities not exclusively reserved for humans, while celebrating dance and poetry vis-a-vis the monumentality of the mountain.

Reading suggestion:

Jong-Heon Jin,“Paektudaegn: Science and Colonialism, Memory and Mapping in Korean High Places”, in High Places: Cultural Geographies of Mountains, Ice and Science

14:00-18:00 …to deep places…

We will continue with a group reading of the text “Vampyrotheutis Infernalis”, as concrete figure of the proposition. We will focus on what in an ecology is or isn’t accounted for as thought and also, what is perceived as aesthetic experience and/or practice. We will be discussing questionssuch as the reliance on science/scientism in thinking and the framing of things in human-predicated terms. We will also find it important to ask how perpetuating the same mistakes of hegemony in discussions around ecology and Anthropocene can be avoided, such as in examples of operationalizing “indigenous” thinking systems and reinforcing a binary as nature/culture.

Group reading:

Vilém Flusser & Louis Bec: “Vampyrotheutis Infernalis – a treatise. With a report by the institute scientifique de recherche paranaturaliste” in: Posthumanities 2

19:00-21:00 … and back again

We will be watching films on shamanisms and share “stories before the dawn”.


Day 3 with Mi You and guest lecturer Lucie Tuma (and possible interaction with other COOP groups)


Given the omnipresent attention economy, how could attention ecology look like? We will read Benjamin Lee’s “Token as a Derivative and a Gift” together to question the link between the speculative and the materialist, the primitive gift economy and the debt relation to the future expressed as derivatives under a hypercapitalist condition.

Group reading:


Continuing the practice with heightened attention on ecology, we will realign the relations between commons, in/dividuals, social organization, and the blockchain.


A joint evening workshop between Agency and Unmapping Eurasia, with pyro-octopus-geo dance.


Day 4 with Mi You and Lucie Tuma


Collective composition and re-composition session.




Seminar 1: 12-15 November 2018

For the first time we convene, we will jump off onto Eurasia gently. Departing from our physical anchor points, we will explore the myriad methodologies and thematics, an first act of, as one of you said, touching and carving on earth.


Territory - Mon 12, 19:00 with Binna Choi

How shall we enter the time of Unmapping Eurasia study? Every month when we meet, we propose to start learning and playing with a territorial game. as a way of checking in what territory we are in and exercising about for what and how we are deterritorializing - we create a landscape around, look into the available maps, and attempt at our own mapping to place ourselves. Certainly, the play does not need to take place on the board or in the room only but also extramural. For the beginning, we propose to learn and play Go.

Finally, the space is not at all the same: in chess, it is a question of arranging a closed space for oneself, thus of going from one point to another, of occupying the maximum number of squares with the minimum number of pieces. In Go, it is a question of arraying oneself in an open space, of holding space, of maintaining the possibility of springing up at any point: the movement is not from one point to another, but becomes perpetual, without aim or destination, without departure or arrival.

  • 353, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, University of Minnesota Press: London, 1987 (1980) 

Of course with greetings and introduction to each other.

* Report: who would volunteer?


Eurasia through Art - Tues 13 with Binna Choi

10:00-13:00  Thinking of Art

Before stepping into the subject of Eurasia, let us think of art that we make, look and practice  with an art thesis by Keti Chukhrov in which she lay out the differences in the terrain of contemporary art in terms of social commitment in order to question the actual criticality of art in aesthetics and ethics. This time will include watching her lecture together, individual study time and the discussion, each by one hour.

Keti Chukhrov: No Art, Without Sublation of Art

14:00-18:00 Practicing Art

This will be the time of introducing to each other art that we make and practice, in light of the morning discussion. With what sort of art practice, aesthetics and ethics we would navigate the Eurasian territory?

19:00-21:00 Unmapping Eurasia

Finally time to look at the Unmapping Eurasia trajectories so far and the pathways and movements that we are prefiguring.


Metageography and Eurasianism - Wed 14 with Binna Choi and Mi You | guest lead tutor: Nikolay Smirnov

Time to take steps into the interstices of Eurasian compositions, geographic imaginations, ethnic avant-garde practices, geopolitical games with much reading and much discussions.

10:00-13:00 Metageography

We will study the iterations of Metageography exhibitions curated by Nikolay Smirnov, the most recent version of which shared the same time-space as Unmapping Eurasia exhibition in Vladivostok.

Metageography deals with representations and images of space. It is interdisciplinary field between philosophy, art and science. Control over the space is consists of physical control over space plus control over the images and representations of space.

History of the question. Excursion in the conceptions of Metageography in soviet and post soviet geography and interdisciplinary field: 1) geographical models of ‘high modernism’. 1960-1970-s. Cartoids (mapoids) of Boris Rodoman. Birth of the concept of Metageography. 2) Postmodernist decolonial reconceptualization of Metageography by Dmitry Zamyatin in 1990-2000-s. 3) Critical resumptive approach (meta-metageography) in the exhibitions in 2010-s. Illustrations

Exhibitions ‘Metageography’. - link to the pdf catalog of second iteration of the project in State Tretyakov Gallery in 2015.

 In ‘Metageography’ we combined metageographic optics and critical resumptive approach (meta-metageography), a view from ‘inside’ Metageography  and ‘outside’ Metageography. View from ‘outside’ is an attempt to define Metageography as thought tradition, as discursive tradition, as historical phenomenon. In this sense Metageography is a tradition of critical geography and post/de-colonial discursive activity towards space identity, developed in soviet/post soviet geography and in interdisciplinary field between geography, literature, philosophy and art.

Story about attempts to show/define/gather the representations and images of Russian-Eurasian space in the project. Main features of this space, spatial canon of Russian-Eurasian space feeling, stereotypes, self-exotisation. Some videos from the exhibition

But we can consider Metageography as universal tool that allow to work with representations and images of any space (space of images and images of space)

14:00-18:00 Eurasianism
Space identity is a starting and focal point of Eurasianism (and any other Ideology of space).

Ideology of space was born in XIX century in Germany. Main names were Ritter and Alfred Hettner. They formed chorology as a ‘new geography’, as an ideology of space. The notion of geographical organisms and geographical identities was very important part of it was. Chorology was acted (and still acts in postcolonial optics) as liberal, emancipative ideology of space. ‘New geography’ was an important trend in the 1870-1920-s in Russia. Kraevedenie became one more practical-theoretical embodiment of chorologic ideology. Chorology and Kraevedenie are roots of Eurasianism.

Classic Eurasianism formed in 1920-s was anti-western space-emancipative ideology. We can consider it as a predecessor of postcolonial thought. It was geographic structuralism as well. Here is the scientific meaning of Eurasianism. Nikolai Trubetzkoy, Petr Savitzky, Peter Suvchinsky, Roman Jacobson as main authors of Eurasian ideas. In the end of 1920-s classic Eurasianism splitted in right-wing and left-wing Eurasianism. Talk about the difference. Left-wing Eurasianism became an attempt to return Universalizm into Eurasianism. Their Universalist Ideal can be called ‘Living in the name of the Common’.

Reading for preparing:

Book. Sergey Glebov, From Empire to Eurasia: Politics Scholarship and Ideology in  Russian Eurasianism,1920s-1930s, 2017 DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press 

            Pay attention to especially the following sections:

- Introduction: Eurasia’s Many Meanings. Pp1-9.  General introduction to the movement

- Chapter 1 Exiles from the Silver Age - just look through to know the main persons of  

historical Eurasianism. pp 33-38 read more carefully

-  Chapters 2-3 to look through quite carefully - to understand the main ideas, which you can find in the titles. Special attention to the Chapter 3.4, Chapter 3.5 and 3.7.

- Chapters 4-5 to look through more quickly. Try to understand just main ideas

-  pp 175-188 – Epilogue

Questions while preparing:

What is the connection between Postcolonial Theory and Classic Eurasianism (manifestation of culture diversity and anti-hegemonic claims)? What is geographic structuralism? How can a movement be both progressive and regressive? We will explore differences inside Eurasianism, both the right-wing and left-wing versions of it, attitude towards Universalism in Eurasianism and in Postcolonial Theory and why today Eurasianism became totally right-wing even it was so progressive in 1920s?

19:00-21:00 Cinema and discussions

Dersu Uzala (1975), suggesting an image of  West-East contacts, colonization and possibility of Eurasian commonality



Eurasianism - Thurs 15 with Nikolay Smirnov and Mi You


Collective composition and re-composition of what we discussed, leaving us something for further fermentations.