COOP ~ All About My Mother from Month to Month
Seminar 7: August 2020
Casco Art Institute, Lange Nieuwstraat 7, 3521 PA
Landing together and establishing collective overview and gathering of what we’ll be doing more specifically over the next days
Bringing updates and any new ideas to the table
Clay ceramic making
Rehearsal of scores session #1
Casco Art Institute
Clay bowl making continued
Rehearsal of scores session #2
Metaal Kathedraal, Rijksstraatweg 20, 3545 NA Utrecht
Workshop with Mari Pitkanen to think through ingredients and brewing
Mari: I’ll bring a bottle of vodka, some oranges and a glass jar. If we’re lucky, we can pick some dandelion roots and other bitters and experiment how to infuse foraged stuff to make bitters for drinks.
Cooking together dinner in the outside kitchen in the garden of Metaal Kathedraal. Mari organizes facilities and ingredients for our BBQ.
Eating together, introduction to the restaurant concept kasvio by Mari.
Continuing on the topic of the afternoon
Casco Art Institute, Lange Nieuwstraat 7, 3521 PA
With Yolande, Staci, and Nikos
Rehearsal of scores session #3
Editorial session and workshopping of texts
Lunch through afternoon is self-organized, a bit of chill time
Wrapping up our time together and concluding what else needs to take place before the summit
Honoring Mia’s birthday! Collectively make wonton soup <33333
MONDAY 24th AUGUST
Thank you for your presence and the sweet tender moments of being together. Time is moment is story.
And thanks for finding some dates and times that fit your schedule to meet on zoom next week, seems like Thursday 27th August 20.00-21.30 CEUworks best.
For the meeting, lets check in about the status of the project and tie up loose ends. We want to hear about what you're working on and in general have a clear picture of the final project. This includes how the concept has been developed and actualized since we last met, logistics for the scores, production and handling of materials for each score and for the piece overall, working timeline and budget.
And how is the description and image going? I'm not exactly sure when these need to be with Nikos, but it'll be great that we all have a look at the text beforehand.
Sepake had a really nice idea to invite teacher, curator, and cook Clare Butcher to join us as a respondent, which is a real treat! It'll be nice to have one or more taste tests for her to try, even remotely. And this is kind of dress rehearsal-ish as it's the last time we'll chat together before showtime ;)
Yolande and Binna, it would be wonderful if you can make it but also fine if not, since you both were recently with us in Utrecht. I was hoping we could record this last meeting on zoom to share amongst us if that's ok with all.
Warmest wishes and looking forward!
PS! Chinese protest recipes for Black lives matter from the god of cookery, digital download
THURSDAY 27th AUGUST
Dress rehearsal and taste-testing with Clare Butcher
Dear cooks, brewers, fermenters, m/others and more! Thank you for your time and openness during the session yesterday. It was such an honour to hear from you about your plans for the final gathering around all your research and processes together. Here below are a few notes I took during the sharing as well as some links which might be useful now or also something to marinate with for later:)
- Waiting time - how to set the terms of the space as those engaging with your processes for the first time enter? How to spread out the decision making process prompted by the cloakroom score? Perhaps the time outside is somehow an excess/leftover that could be used over and above the 60mins?
- Context for each station - the tea towel's suggested choreography is very generous and a potentially generative space in terms of creating more narrative or mediational elements for the station. Introducing keywords is one option, and perhaps further sentences or blurbs could increase access to the thinking behind each score.
- "Attention and a-tension" (or focus and floaters) - sharing this phrase from a wonderful artist Luis Jacob, I was hoping to get us to think about how to each go deep into the tender and also potentially tense moments which will emerge within this very short space of time around each station. And also the important question Sepake raised of how to host and mediate the process in the space. It was suggested in the conversation that perhaps you could have a couple people in-between who could help problem solve and support more spontaneously as needed. The water/rest station could be really important in this regard as well, with a fluid material and role if you think that is appropriate.
- Compost (what to do with the leftovers) - would love for you to think about not only the physical leftovers of the ingredients shared, the left behind objects which might not be reclaimed at the end, and other remains, but also what has been lost, what is grieved and the collapsing ruins that are on their way out in this time of paradigmatic shifts. Could this be a final score? Some beautiful thoughts about compost which have been challenging me at this time (particularly point 3), from Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures: https://decolonialfutures.net
That seems like a lot to think through but I have every confidence that you are already and will continue to knead these final aspects of the gathering into shape (even if temporarily!). Here are some further links and in the meantime, sending warmth and strength for the next tastes in the process!
For further digestion:
Yemisi Aribisala, Longthroat Memoirs, 2017.
Follow Merve Bedir's cooking and spatial research: https://www.internationaleonline.org/people/merve_bedir/
Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures, vanessa andreotti . sharon stein . rene susa . cash ahenakew . elwood jimmy . dani d’emilia . tereza cajkova . camilla cardoso . dino siwek . sarah amsler . bill calhoun . lynn mario de souza . sonali sangeeta balajee . jyotsna liyanaratne . tania ramalho . haruko okano : https://decolonialfutures.net
Joshua Sbicca, Food Justice Now! Deepening the Roots of Social Struggle, 2018: https://manifold.umn.edu/read/food-justice-now/section/f88967c1-614f-4a2a-88ef-ca8bf410f0ec
Faber Lab with Ferment TV, “Food Futures”, Aug 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUDugBAhbqU
Breaking Bread interdisciplinary space in Cape Town, South Africa, Follow: @breakingbread_za; https://www.biennaleofsydney.art/artists/breaking-bread/
Food sovereignty - ongoing case raised through Curve Lake First Nation around “mnoomin” or “good grain”, referred to by many as “wild rice”: https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/kawartha-lakes-pigeon-lake-wild-rice-dispute-1.4894495
Savvy Contemporary, “Contemplations on the Notions of Hostipitality”, 2018: https://savvy-contemporary.com/en/events/2018/hostipitality-invocations/
Radiolab on “corn time”, Jan 2020: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/articles/body-count
“The Unlikely Power of Cookbooks”: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p056lfh4
Seminar 6: June & July 2020
Home is where the work starts*
Cooking time: 14 - 17 June
Cooks: Sepake Angiama, Nina bell F. (Staci Bu Shea, Binna Choi, Yolande van der Heide), G Lucas-Going, with Mia van de Bos, Saskia Burggraaf, Emma de Filippo, Litchi Friedrich, Jiatu Gu, Csilla Klenyanszki, Flávia Palladino, Dayna Casey, and Anakin Xersonsky
Cooking method: Mixing, mending, and simmering
We meet again amidst another (but ongoing and building) rupture of enormous awareness and structural change. Jenna Wortham writes in A ‘Glorious Poetic Rage (5 June 2020, NY times, 10 min read) “this is the biggest collective demonstration of civil unrest around state violence in our generation’s memory. The unifying theme, for the first time in America’s history, is at last: Black Lives Matter.” Not only in the United States alone, the surge of solidarity protests and initiatives in The Netherlands and abroad against anti-blackness proves to show this is a global reality. Black liberation movement, leadership and organizing undoubtedly influences our envisioning for the All about my mother study group and the making of our recipe for another kind of institution. In many ways, we already have tools and resources in our kitchen and pantry which informs this. Since we are at a point where the ingredients are being mixed in order to be transformed towards the final presentation, let us take some time together to slow down and study with Black feminist poetic thought and life, transformative justice, grief and healing; decide on our recipe(s) to move forward with; and refine our understanding of the substance that makes an anti-racist, trans-inclusive, accessible, matriarchal institution.
We will meet twice on Zoom (Monday and Tuesday evenings in our schedule) and for the rest of the activities the idea is to engage with them together but separately/remotely. However, shift them around consciously within your schedule if there are other opportunities to participate in direct action and organising at this time.
Check out more information from the organizations and initiatives in The Netherlands:
Black Lives Matter NL
Kick Out Zwart Piet
Control Alt Delete
Nederland wordt Beter
*This title is borrowed from the film HOME IS WHERE THE WORK STARTS 1988 by our guest G Lucas-Going
SUNDAY 13th JUNE
We will all devote 3 hours of our day for the following activities/exercises:
Practice: Hips Yoga with Jessamyn Stanley (24 minutes)
Practice: Reach out to a trusted friend or ally (must be a non Black comrade) to connect with and share your thoughts, feelings, questions, challenges, observations about the recent response to the systemic racism, police brutality, and demand for justice in the US and around the world and scheme up some ideas and actions that the two of you can commit to regarding anti-racism practice and dismantling white supremacy, wherever you are.
Options: 1) Schedule a date and time with this person for this special, generative meeting (approximately an hour) over video or audio call, or safe distance . If conditions permit, go on an hour long walk for this phone conversation. Or 2) Begin correspondence with this friend by writing a letter and invite them to respond back to you. Use the same amount of time (or longer) to write the letter. Take a walk to the maildrop or post office. (1 hour)
Afterwards, summarise some main points from this correspondence and do further research of the numerous resources being compiled right now and accessible online. Map actions, connections to individual and collective artistic practice, the roles of art that would be necessary for a m/other institution to be actively anti-racist. Think of how these could be cooking methods for our recipe(s), no matter what dish we are making. (1 hour)
MONDAY 15th JUNE
Morning: We will all devote 3 hours during the morning for the following activities & readings:
Practice: Yoga Sequence for Total Beginners (30 minutes)
- Zora Neale Hourston, How It Feels to Be Colored Me, 1928
- Angela Davis, “Waters” (excerpt) from An Autobiography, 1974, pp. 115-145
- Gwendolyn Brooks, Riot, 1969, Broadside Press
Afternoon: We will all devote 3 hours to engage on the following exercises and readings:
Practice: meet on video or audio with your recipe proposal group to discuss the presentation for later in the evening. Share about your experience discussing anti-racism the night before and incorporate ingredients/methods to the recipe. (2 hours)
Reading: together with your recipe proposal group, read aloud to each other the text by ME O’Brien, Communizing Care, 15 October 2019, Pinko Magazine (1 hour)
In preparation for the evening, make the recipe that you know by heart. You can either eat before hand or bring it to the meeting, depending on your time.
Evening: 18.30 - 21.30
Group presentations of recipe proposals with Nina and Sepake discussion about how to move forward. During this time, we will touch on matters related to the final presentation, including coming together at some point in August.
JT, Flavia, and Saskia
Mia, Litchi, and Csilla
Anakin, Emma, and Dayna
TUESDAY 16th JUNE
Morning: We will all devote 3 hours during the morning for the following activitie & readings:
Practice: Core Yoga with Jessamyn Stanley (19 min)
Readings: From e-flux journal issue 105: Loophole of Retreat, December 2019:
Listen: Okwui Okpokwasili, of wishing and superheroes (audio at bottom of text)
Afternoon: We will all devote 3 hours to engage on the following exercises and readings:
- 10-Minute Guided Meditation for Beginners to Clear Thoughts with Jessamyn Stanley.
- Sparkle Nation, silent reading hour and poetic dissidence w/lesbian activist and writer, Pat Parker; musician, poet and activist, Jayne Cortez (& The Firespitters), and writer and performer, Trisha Low. sonic fuel for a new world. (45 minutes). View credits.
Sayin’ It Louder: A conversation about “a good death” in a racist society. Online panel with five Black leaders in the death and dying space, including Alua Arthur, Joél Simone Anthony, Alice Forneret, Naomi Edmondson, Oceana Sawyer, Lashanna Williams. (1 hour and 25 minutes) webinar, link tbd
To get ready for the evening session with G Lucas-Going, we will engage with the following activities:
- Watch G Lucas-Going, ‘HOME IS WHERE THE WORK STARTS 1988’ (27 minutes)
- Prepare your own will (what do you consider important now? What do you want to leave behind? What can you leave behind? And has this changed?)
- Since we’ll start with dinner together, cook up a recipe to bring to our meeting. Consider foods and recipes that provide nutrition, comfort, and joy.
Dinner and hangout with G Lucas-Going, artist, currently at Rijksakademie, and end-of-life doula.
During this evening session, we’ll share dinner and conversation together with G Lucas-Going, artist and current resident at Rijksakademie, and burgeoning end-of-life doula. We’ll discuss her artistic and doula practices respectively and the sensitivity to audio and visual material in the experience of dying. Along with our discussion, we’ll listen to a playlist from G, massage ourselves, and dance.
WEDNESDAY 17th JUNE
Morning: We will all devote 1 and a half hour to engage on the following exercises and listenings:
Practice: Hip openers with Jessamyn Stanley (11 minutes)
Listen: Sustaining Ourselves When Confronting Violence (45 minutes)
Practice: Healing in Direct Action (17 minutes)
WEDNESDAY 1st JULY
greetings and brief check-in round
report back from coop meeting on Monday - what did you all decide together in that meeting? how do you see the final manifestation and how would you like to proceed? any taste tests?
open discussion - responses, questions, concerns, further idea sharing - we hope to have a mutual understanding about the final project and way forward by the end of this part
meeting in August - doodle says 16-19 August is when most of us can be together in Utrecht - shall we go with that? and which access means/other engagements for those who can't make it?
brief discussion on homework and prep to be done leading up to August
During July we will all devote time to engage with the following activities (
Watch/listen: Hortense Spillers - Shades of Intimacy: Women in the Time of Revolution (1hour and 15 minutes)
Practice: Pods and Pod Mapping Worksheet by Mia Mingus for Bay Area Transformative Justice (approx. 2 hours)
WEDNESDAY 29th JULY
Arrival and collective check-in with our bodies!
19.00-20.00 Presentation and discussion/responses
- Report back on visit to Radio Kootwijk
- Share and talk about the latest on the project envisioned for the summit?
- What will it be and entail? How are the ingredients activated and shared? What are its objects and material needs? Who is the budget keeper?
- Ideas for title, curatorial blurb, and an image are needed soon
- nb: keeping receipts from gas can be reimbursed from our prod budget. We must keep receipts for all our food related per diems in August. Designated receipt keeper?
- nb: feedback/workshopping with returning guests Annette, Ying, and Georgia for August; Nikos and Gabrielle might visit too
20.00-20.15 break! grab available snack and drink for movie later
20.15-20.30 check-out and house keeping, closing before watching film together
20.30-21.30 Daughters of the Dust, 1991, directed by Julie Dash, cinematography by Arthur Jafa, 1 hr 52 mins
(no worries, people can leave at 21.30 and continue watching later on their own, or continue watching for 50 more min together)
We will watch the film from my share-screen. But in case anyone needs to leave early or who is not present, the film is available within the gdrive folder Spotlight: Black filmmakers among a treasure of works. This is made accessible as part of This Light, a film archive project by Andrew Norman Wilson, which "emerged out of a desire to make private viewing habits public, as common space continued to dissolve into private property, and our attention was pulled towards the monetized distraction of streaming content in solitude."
Seminar 5: May 2020
8 April, 10:00-12:00: check-in after Tunis and at the start of the pandemic
14 May, 10:00-12:00: update on ingredients, lexicon, ideas for moving forward
18 May, 11:00-14:00: further individual research of ingredients - student working time
25 May, 11:00-14:00: group proposals for recipes using current ingredients - student working time
THURSDAY 14th May, 10:00-12:00
“Summoning a different way of being together: What makes these times any different for us?.” 
Cooks: Sepake Angiama, Nina bell F. (Staci Bu Shea, Binna Choi, Yolande van der Heide) with Mia van de Bos, Saskia Burggraaf, Emma de Filippo, Litchi Friedrich, Jiatu Gu, Csilla Klenyanszki, Flávia Palladino, Dayna Casey, and Anakin Xersonsky.
Cooking method: fermentation, brewing
If the coronavirus lockdown calls for a kind of re-envisioning or re-worlding that is informed by structural change rooted in daily practice, how do we take stock of this in All about my mother as we move towards a final presentation? Can we forecast out the possibilities of what’s to come? What in turn is required of us and more to the purpose of the course to self-determine ways of being together in refusal of predetermined modes, how do our respective brewing ingredients and collective cooking practices reflect the already gathered lessons from the pandemic be they care practices (as informed by those whose lives are made even more vulnerable by the crisis); support and solidarity practices, or reflection.
This is not to be abstract, indeed there are tangible examples that most of us are involved in, such as The Post Structural Student Task Force, in a common effort to refigure the school. Our forthcoming gathering thus takes inspiration from such modes of self-organisation and leans on our already identified cooking method of fermentation or brewing as a metaphor in order to pay homage, personalise (make context specific), check in and preserve ingredients in the making as to address:
- Who if anyone are our respective and collective ingredients caring for, which people, neighbours or classmates do we wish to reach and exchange with?
- Who or what are the ingredients in solidarity with?
- And what (institutional) practices are you each reflecting on, if applicable?
10:00-10:10 Landing, check in
10:10-11:10 Briefly sharing ingredients and update with latest reflections
(see Tunis homework*):
- Reflections on the feedback and what if anything has changed in lieu of coronavirus lockdown?
11:10-11:40 Update on lexicon terms gathered in Are.na
- How can this be figured for a publication, is a publication still relevant? If so what could the after or social life of the publication be? Consider the reading / watching list **
11:40-11:50 Define and refine collective presentation
- Ultimately what to cook, what is the recipe, it’s ingredients and method? COOP SUMMIT form (launch, festival or otherwise) tentatively 1August
- Decide on dates for next sessions - early June, July, and score for final presentation on or offline in the flesh in July or August in a yet to be determined “safe” location
11:50-12:00 Homework & close
- What can we read / listen to together in smaller groups until the next collective meeting?
MONDAY 18 May 11:00 - 14:00
11:00-11:30 Hello and landing
- Check-in and update on plan
- Which video platform will we use? Zoom, microsoft teams, jitsi
- Set up doodle for June meeting
11:30-14:00 Further individual research of ingredients - student working time
MONDAY 25 May 11:00 - 14:00
11:00-11:30 Hello and landing
- Check-in and update on plan
- Confirm group arrangement for creating recipe proposals
- Confirm June dates for next meeting
11:30-14:00 Group proposals for recipes using current ingredients - student working time
- Continue with lexicon of terms in groups, (3 words per group, -/+ 150 words per definition)
- Flávia, Litchi, Anakin + Dayna, Saskia + Mia, JT + Cscilla, Emma.
- Be prepared to present defined terms at the next DAI gathering. The terms should be updated here on our Arena page: https://www.are.na/all-about-my-mother
- Think about the purpose and after / social life of this book where one component of it is the lexicon.
Ingredient. Based on the given feedback, research your presented ingredient further.
- Consider: instructions, frame, props, setting, presence etc. (How could this function at a distance in our “1.5 meter society”)
- Be prepared to present your ingredient again and to those that are not yet familiar with it.
- Dayna in charge of organizing Arena (and has done so!!) All to make use of it i.e updating lexicon and ingredients
- Mia, Saskia, Dayna and JT to scout locations in Arnhem for the final presentation. Consider domestic spaces, parks, the school’s amenities *this point is obsolete
- In relation to Budget: think about any props or equipment that you might need for the final presentation
** Reading & listening material
- "Capitalism and Disability”, Marta Russell & Ravi Malhotram, Vol 38: Socialist Register 2002: A World of Contradictions: https://socialistregister.com/index.php/srv/article/view/5784
- "Collaborative Feminist Degrowth: Pandemic as an Opening for a Care-Full Radical Transformation:”https://www.degrowth.info/en/feminisms-and-degrowth-alliance-fada/collective-research-notebook/
- "Movement Building in the Time of the Coronavirus"A Rising Majority Teach-In with Angela Davis & Naomi Klein, with Rising Majority leaders Thenjiwe McHarris (Blackbird), Cindy Wiesner (Grassroots Global Justice), Maurice Mitchell (Working Families Party), and Loan Tran (Southern Vision Alliance): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUP0swVDmtg (transcript is also available, https://bit.ly/TRMTranscript)
- "The year I stopped making art. Why the art world should assist artists beyond representation; in solidarity,” Paul Maheke: https://documentations.art/The-year-I-stopped-making-art
 The title of the session is given to us by artist Ola Hussananin, in her yet unpublished text Promissory Notes, which captures snippets of exchanges with colleagues, friends, and family during COVID in the quest to make sense of and pull from existing knowledges:
A conversation ensued between us in a dim lighted room. We argued over how we can cultivate spaces of self-determination, agency and the places conditions in which such spaces can be identified under the pandemic…. We sit around in a circle,... shoulder to shoulder; the air is heavy, and the scent of fresh brewed tea fills the gaps in between our bodies. I speak so well, and I say:
“This discussion requires that we collectively recognise the dilemma in using contaminated words like ‘solidarity’ and ‘together’ and address the presumed neutrality about the places from which power can collectively form. What makes the current calls for collective movement seem like a promissory note? Maybe because there have been times in our histories where people managed to collectivise, come together only to face the State’s terror as powerless individuals. What makes these times any different for us?...“
Seminar 3 & 4: 10 - 17 March 2020
The shore could have been the embodiment of reception 
For your journey to Tunis, our host Aziza Harmel has selected the following ingredients: two poems, songs concerning Mother-land—a term taken from our common lexicon of ingredients and chosen as the working theme of this gathering—and an audio recording to help prepare for our meetings at the Palazzo (Aziza, Yesmine and Moez’s place). We will question how our ingredients engage with different geographies and localities, so as to address and be conscious of what we are taking when moving from one place to the next.
Ommi (my mother), a poem by Mahmoud Darwich. The song rendition found at the above link is by Marcel Khalife.
Dearly I yearn for my mother’s bread,
My mother’s coffee,
Mother’s brushing touch.
Childhood is raised in me,
Day upon day in me.
And I so cherish life
Because if I died
My mother’s tears would shame me.
Set me, if I return one day,
As a shawl on your eyelashes, let your hand
Spread grass out over my bones,
Christened by your immaculate footsteps
As on holy land.
Fasten us with a lock of hair,
With thread strung from the back of your dress.
I could grow into godhood
Commend my spirit into godhood
If I but touch your heart’s deep breath.
Set me, if ever I return,
In your oven as fuel to help you cook,
On your roof as a clothesline stretched in your hands.
Weak without your daily prayers,
I can no longer stand.
I am old
Give me back the stars of childhood
That I may chart the homeward quest
Back with the migrant birds,
Back to your awaiting nest.
- Sound file sent to you via email: Listen to the description of the Palazzo living room provided by Aziza Harmel.
Takkbbar (pride yourself), a poem by Mahmoud Darwich. Listen to the song rendition by Oumaima El Khalil at the above link.
Pride yourself... Be proud!
Even with your disdain,
You will remain an angel in my eyes and in my flesh.
You will stay as my love has decided that I will see you
Your breath is like amber,
The ground that you lay on is like honey,
And I’ll love you more.
Your hands are trees
But I don’t sing
Like other nightingales
Because the chains
Taught me how to fight
Fight... and fight again,
Because I only love you more
My songs are daggers made out of your roses
My silence is a childhood of thunder
And blood lily.
You are the firmament and the sky
And your heart is green
And the undertow of love is your sea
How, wouldn’t I love you more?
You are just as my love wanted me to see you:
Your breath is amber,
Honey is the ground you lay on
And your heart is green…!
And I am the child of your love
On your soothing lap, I grow
- From the Casco Art Institute archive:
- They Have Thrown the Scouts in the Sea, by Aziza Harmel, published as part of Publishing Class: How to Live Together, 2013
- Reading & listening material:
- Introduction from Lose your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route,Saidiya Harman, 2008
- Namibia Gupta Wiggers in As Radical, As Mother, As Salad, As Shelter: What Should Art Institutions Do Now?
Cooks: Aziza Harmel, Sepake Angiama, Nina bell F. (Yolande van der Heide) with Mia van de Bos, Saskia Burggraaf, Emma de Filippo, Litchi Friedrich, Jiatu Gu, Csilla Klenyanszki, Flávia Palladino, Dayna Casey, and Anakin Xersonsky.
 The title of the session is given to us by Aziza Harmel, through her conversations with Christian Nyampeta (also tutor to the former DAI COOP Publishing Class: How to Live Together). In conversation she shared: “I am thinking about hospitality in a place where mobile people are not welcome… and Tunis is the highest point to Europe so it is where Africans go to in order to cross into Europe, same goes for Libya, Morocco… But North Africa is a very racist place so talking about Pan Africanism here, for example, is tricky because though there is a history of this things are different now.”
Seminar 2: 26 - 29 January 2020
Title: Collective kitchens as common practices
Cooks: Nina bell F. (Annette Krauss, Binna Choi, Ying Que, Yolande van der Heide) and Mari Pitkänen with Mia van de Bos, Saskia Burggraaf, Emma de Filippo, Litchi Friedrich, Jiatu Gu, Csilla Klenyanszki, Flávia Palladino, Dayna, and Anakin Xersonsky
- Politics as Experimentation Practices, an essay by Alana Moraes *(we ask that you read this beforehand), 2019
- Things from the project Site for Unlearning (Art Organizations) (2014-2018): the 2018 publication Unlearning Exercises: Art Organizations as Sites for Unlearning, edited by Binna Choi, Annette Krauss, Yolande van der Heide with Liz Allan; and the 2018 and 2019 Assemblies for Commoning Art Institutions
- Ingredients carried over from the last session including embodied objects or things
- Yet to be defined words from the Commons Lexicon: wisdom, social reproduction, study (collective), m(other), archive, cooking, sharing economy, recipe, neurodiversity, currency, Undercommons and fermentation
The second All about my mother gathering departs from Alana Moraes’ talk entitled “Politics as Experimentation Practices” presented at Casa de Povo’s program Studies of the Commons whereby she expounds upon the notion of the commons with the metaphor of the kitchen as a laboratory for experimentation and knowledge making. She writes: “collective kitchens as common practices continue to defy binarisms, the authorized productions of truth.” In turn, the COOP gathering calls upon its “cooks” to inhabit this notion–including singularities, pluralities and complexities–to add and unpack our developing ingredients list in the shared quest to imagine and actualise transgressive modes that upset existing binaries towards m/other ways of being together.
The gathering is further informed by the Casco Art Institute archive as embodied Nina bell F. Considering the origin of Nina, we’ll draw the ingredients from the long-term project and study trajectory Site for Unlearning (Art Organization) to focus on the two major public moments for commoning art institutions in the project. First, the Elephants in the Room Assembly in 2018 that inaugurated the project’s book Unlearning Exercises: Art Organizations as Sites for Unlearning and questioned how art institutions can relate to the challenge of unlearning, especially where the distribution of power is concerned. And second, Our House is On Fire [has been on fire for over 500 years] Assembly in 2019, which sought to create a climate justice code for art institutions in response to the climate breakdown.
Carrying this further with Moraes’ metaphorical kitchen, we will work through notions of structural habits and unlearning, embodiment and memory, as well as the prompt: Where does your institution’s food come from?
Seminar 1: 1-4 December 2019
1. Recipe : How shall we come together?
Cooking Time: 1-4 December
Ingredients: Alzad - a word of Arabic origin that refers to preparing food for the one who you do not expect to meet on your journey.
Cooks: Sepake Angiama, Nina bell Federici. (Staci Bu Shea), Mia van de Bos, Saskia Burggraaf, Emma de Filippo, Litchi Friedrich, Jiatu Gu, Csilla Klenyanszki, Flávia Palladino, Sophie de Serière, Matthew Wang, Anakin Xersonsky.
Dear All about my mother participants,
We are honoured that you have chosen to be our co-thinkers, collaborators, co-oks, co-operators and co-pilots. For each of our cooking sessions we would like to draw upon the mixture of all of your ingredients. Through the mess, the cooking methods and testing out of different equipment we hope to make a collective study that addresses how we might be able to institute differently, by looking back on the Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons archive, sharing and analysing readings, somatic unlearning exercises and collective forms of knowledge production.
What do we carry with us when we move from one location to another? How can we prepare for these moments of togetherness? How do we prepare for unexpected guests and unknown revelations?
For our first session we would like to ask you to think about how we should come together. Which ingredient will you bring to help us reflect on the conditions that we wish to create for our collective study? You can bring a reading, an object, an activity, a song, an exercise, a film… the possibilities are endless. This ingredient is situated in your practice and will be something you wish to bring to the group that we can experience collectively. Please prepare the introduction of your ingredient and try to think through the ways that we might also be able to understand its characteristic qualities. Further, consider how your ingredient would travel or be introduced when encountering different locations and (guest) tutors.
If your ingredient is immaterial, please consider if you could bring a symbolic representation of your ingredient or whether we could experience the ingredient through an exercise or embodiment. How would you introduce yourself and your interest in this ingredient?
The first seminar of All about my mother will be led by Sepake Angiama and Staci Bu Shea of Nina bell F., who will introduce the outline, background, and intentions to build a recipe together in our COOP. This introductory gathering will set into motion a way of working towards the type of institution at stake in this course: one that transgresses existing binaries towards institutions that allows for m/other ways of being that is with singularities, pluralities and complexities.
We will define key terms in order to form a common lexicon, share initial ingredients, and begin to establish our “pantry and refrigerator” to be used as our nomadic facility. This session will primarily focus on student participant presentations and discussion to learn how our individual practices will inform the collective recipe-making.
Sepake and Staci of Nina bell F.