Workshops

Workshops are focussed explorations of issues that have arisen as part of a participant organisations research, where they engage with the rest of the network to develop their work.


Rural Luxury and Natural Fermentation, Höfen, 10/2014

30 Oct – 1 Nov 2014
CLIC International Workshop
Höfen & Frensdorf, Southern Germany

“Rural Luxury, Höfer Lace and Fermentation”
A mixed package.

This year’s workshop continues with themes and ideas from earlier events in Höfen, such as house-keeping, endowment and food preservation. The two day workshop in late October will look at ‘luxury goods and the countryside’, local lace making and natural fermentation as a way to preserve food. The two days offer a mixed programme for local and international guests and takes place at the Peasant Museum in Frensdorf and the Community Hall in Höfen.

The event is organised within the context of Myvillages’ ongoing action-research into local production within rural communities, and is part of an annual series of workshops and seminars in Höfen which started in 2007, set up by Kathrin Böhm in collaboration with the Höfer Frauen (Women of Höfen). The activities often focus on womens’ traditional and current everyday activities and related economies. One of the aims for this year is to develop a design or message for a new “Höfer Lace” which will be produced in the nearby factory and go on sale in the International Village Shop. Results and themes from this workshop will be presented and featured at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Leipzig from February 2015.

Local Tradition in Action, Brezoi, 07/2014

FCDL (The  Community Foundation for Local Development) aims to develop a pilot project that involves both building a new ODAIE in local traditional style and especially ESTABLISHING A COMMON SPACE  for local people, tourists, scholars etc. Specifically, the new Odaia is a foundation stone for the development of a tourist/economic circuit which offers visualization and involvement in local tradition, such as traditional wood and stone construction, weaving in traditional fashion and zonal cheese manufacture;  activities of “fanarit” (hay making), traditional jams and syrups production; visiting other Odai, meeting local  people and explaining the situation and the customs of the area.

The workshop is aimed at finding the goods, practices and products that can enter into an alternative economic circuit  and their development.

Farm Visit and Launch, Rotterdam, 12/2013

 Myvillages is launching the Dutch Eco Nomadis School activities with an afternoon tour to
Ut Je Eigen Stad in the Port of Rotterdam and an evening event at the Goethe Institut Rotterdam to
mark the start of a series of Dutch Haystacks und new collective production workshops in Friesland.

 

Local Products for a Local Market, Colombes, 11/2013

The partners for the second round of the Eco Nomadic School meet at R-Urban/Colombes to discuss and offer produce and products from their local context. The Turkish women from Stadslandbouw Schiebroek-zuid (Urban farming Schiebroek-zuid) bring all the ingredienst to make Turkish flat bread with fresh veg from their community garden in Rotterdam. Stadslandbouw Schiebroek-zuid sits between small flats in the North of Rotterdam, where habitants grow their own vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruits in small gardens. In the past three years 30 gardens were realised and by now a group of women sell their produce at markets. From their gardens and different cultures they cook delicious dishes and fingerfood as stuffed leaves, salads, pies, soup and stuffed bread. http://stadslandbouwschiebroek.blogspot.nl

 

(Re)Constructing Local Tradition: Strategy Seminar, Brezoi, 10/2012

A civic seminar on issues related to forms of rural economy and ecology in isolated settlements. 

 

Recycling, Reuse and Eco-construction, Colombes, 07/2012

The aim of the workshop is to teach & learn techniques of building with recycled and reused material collected locally, in suburbs close to Colombes.  The workshop is located on the site of the future Agrocite – an agro-cultural Unit within R-Urban (http://r-urban.net/) and concentrates on the construction of outdoor facilities for the cultivated area, including a pedagogic garden, community patches and an agro lab experimenting with different cultivation practices and techniques. These facilities include pathways, sitting platforms, dry toilets, compost boxes, water collection.  The Eco-nomadic School session will consist in hands-on learning and teaching of aspects of recycling, reusing and eco-construction that could be applied in other contexts.

Place: Agrocite ( 4-14 rue Jules Michelet, Colombes 92 ) 

 

(Re)Constructing Local Tradition: Practical Workshop, Brezoi, 01/ 2012

This Workshop is the continuation of the civic workshop held in January, trying to put into practice some of the outcomes of the collective consultation. 

 

Growing (in) Todmorden, 11/2011

Growing (in) Todmorden is a Civic Workshop which took place in Todmorden in 2011. The objective was to discuss the theme of Food Commons.

 

 

Cultural production in rural environments and small towns, Belfast and Ballykinlar, Northern Ireland

This workshop will be a theoretical session based on (all our) practical experiences on issues of cultural re-appropriation of spaces and the barriers between cultural/ artistic intervention and public inclusion.
It focuses on cultural production in rural areas, village contexts and culturally under-resourced locations (cultural production at the fringes).

Overall question: How to bridge the gap between cultural/art projects and the public?

  • ways of engagement, participation and collaboration (equal partner, expert, context pleaser)
  • our individual and collective interests and expectations in public projects (from indicating or provoking alternatives to merely being comforting)
  • our motives/ ideologies/ social interests and ambitions, why we engage with the public in creative ways (from social concern to artistic/ academic profiling)
  • how can the relationship between cultural activist/ artist and community/ audience be analysed, fostered, empowered and equalized
  • what is the balance between creative independence and social/ political commitment (from autonomous work to conspirator and social worker)
  • how to create impulses, stimulate desire and instil a demand for cultural participation and creative DIY

http://www.pssquared.org/workshop.php

Abbey Gardens/International Village Shop Production Workshop

public works and Somewhere are involved in a long term project called the International Village Shop, a platform for the production and distribution of locally informed goods across a network of urban and rural communities. As part of the International Village Shop we are generating new products which directly refer to specific situations and are developed collaboratively with local hosts. The site Abbey Gardens is the site of "What will the Harvest Be?" an ambitious artist's commission initiated by the Friends of Abbey Gardens (FOAG) to revive a neglected piece of land in Newham, East London. The artists - Karen Guthrie & Nina Pope - led the development of a 'harvest garden' that will run for a minimum of 3 seasons at the site. The 80m x 20m garden was launched in spring 2009 as a social and horticultural experiment: its 30 large-scale raised beds are freely accessible for anyone who wants to grow flowers, fruit and vegetables. In 2009 it attracted over 30 regular users as well as many more occasional volunteers and groups of all ages. Members of the public also visit the garden, which is ordinarily open daily, and there are regular events and activities. The 2010 planting scheme has been designed by the artists, and plans for the coming season include the planting of an experimental trained fruit wall, the instigation of an 'honesty stall' to offer produce to the public and wider public engagement in the community. See: www.whatwilltheharvestbe.com and www.abbeygardens.org for more details. Production Workshop The idea for the workshop is to brainstorm and develop new objects/items/goods that derive from the context of Abbey Gardens a collective urban food growing site. The brief is open and will be developed collectively and in reference to specific aspects of Abbey Gardens, such as collective gardening and harvesting, urban food production, social and historical aspects of the site, etc. The aim for the two day workshop is to develop a brief for one or a number of new products, and if possible, to assemble first prototypes. The new items can be anything: from food or tools to plants or processes and of a real or digital nature. The products may later be used at Abbey Gardens and distributed locally through the Abbey Gardens' new honesty box and mobile stall. The honesty box is part of a wider network of cultural trading activities called the International Village Shop, where the new products for Abbey Gardens can become part of a growing collection of locally informed and produced goods.

PUBLICation as agency mode

Together with you as Rhyzome members, our local partners - the community of Gülsuyu/ Gülensu (Istanbul) - as well as Istanbul experts (sociologists, media specialists, artists, activists, etc. we would like to problematize the issue of "publication" in our project and with regard to the Rhyzome network as a whole. We consider this as a chance to rethink the notion of publication as a form of "agency" during the project, rather than simply a final project documentation and deliverable to the EC. The workshop aims to reconsider issues of authorship, ownership, ethical use of material, access, language, format, printing, and publishing.

Urgency

During our work in the neighbourhood and Istanbul as a whole we have realized that it is necessary to bring tangible "interim products" into the public domain in order to show beyond doubt who we are, what the project is and what forms of knowledge are being generated. These can take the form of a neighbourhood magazine, a series of small publications, flyers, etc. in addition to our local currently under construction. Yet, the question remains whether it is possible to productively use the tension between a multiplicity of different "agent" formats and the "institutional" coherence of a book. This tension reflects both the different cultural practices and the diverse audiences in which our project is located. We assume that all of you face similar issues and urgencies in your local projects. It will be interesting to start a genuine conversation, which will help us to consider the possibilities of sharing tools, joint strategies or simply learning from each others experience.

Istanbul context

Those of you who have joint the Field Trip, previous workshop or are otherwise familiar with Istanbul will understand the high degrees of polarization that characterize the spatial, social, political and cultural fabric of the city. "Publishing" particularly in print media is reflecting this polarization. The energy invested in this sector is striking. Istanbul has a wealth of small publishing houses (many exist only for a few months, change names, operate with no or low budgets), political pamphlets, magazines, flyer and poster campaigns which operate on local and city wide levels. Yet most serves a particular target audience, serving already existing prejudices and expected needs. The results are somewhat "predictable" and authors and readers of particular media belong to the same social, political and cultural groupings. What is absent is a language of mediating between the different narratives of the city. Is such a language possible or will one repeat the classic, often described and critizised split between external experts and local informants? What is our position on authorship? Who speaks?

Our project Cultural Agencies sits awkwardly between normally strictly divided ad distant spheres - Istanbul's central cultural bubble and intellectual/ artistic scene - and local post-gecekondu neighbourhoods. We consider the awkwardness of this position its main strength and tool. What publication formats can help us to explore the potentialities of this in-betweenness further and avoid the trap of yet another pleasing art&urbanism documentation sitting comfortably in European bookshops?


Live Project: Remote Control - Reimagining cultural accommodation in rural border regions, Northern Ireland, 2009

The Client for this Live Project was the Rhyzom partner PS2 in Belfast and the project formed part of PS2's work that had already begun to consider the border condition on the Island of Ireland (between North and South), its different cultural policies, regional independence and interdependence, the creative activities in rural landscapes, villages and small towns. The different impact of PEACE III Funding on both sides of the border in relation to cultural activities are exemplified with the border region of Leitrim (Republic of Ireland), the county with the lowest population and Co. Armagh in Northern Ireland (Portadown/Craigavon).

In this context, the Live Project Remote Control (a title that the students  chose after several weeks into the project) was intended to be a cross-border project with a strong visual outcome that would include a comparative study of what appears to be ground-up cultural activity on the southern side of the border and top-down cultural organizational structure in the north. Within this research the students were asked by PS2 “to produce some form of alternative cartography/mapping and analysis of cross border conditions (past-present-future), indicating cultural sites of production/dissemination in a rural context (formal/informal), and rhyzomatic formations of alternative cultural activities (alternative gardening/housing/economy/creative practice/art projects) through distant and at first glance dis-connected locations” . Out of this analysis students were encouraged to come up with propositions for ”temporal cultural centres” (small and large scale) as well as proposals for “housing the fluid'' and “location of new rural sites for cultural production/sharing".

Co-organisers : Agency, PS2

Live Project: Cultural Agencies, Istanbul, 2009

The client for this live project was the Istanbul based Rhyzom partner “Cultural Agencies”, a collaborative project seeking “to develop contemporary models of cultural collaborations and institutional practices” , curated by Nikolaus Hirsch, Philipp Misselwitz and the artist collaborative Oda Projesi. This project had the remit and aspiration to challenge traditional cultural production in Istanbul and, in the context of the Istanbul Art Biennial 2009 and of Istanbul’s award of European Capital of Culture (2010), chose to work outside the ‘cultural bubble’ of the cosmopolitan centre of Istanbul and focus on a heavily politically charged context at the periphery of the city, in the neighbourhoods of Gϋlensϋ and Gϋlsϋyϋ.

Students  were asked by Cultural Agencies to develop an architectural concept for transforming the “Dükkânı“, a former shop turned into project base for Cultural Agencies, into a prototype of a new neighbourhood institution. The initial brief and programme of work given to the students by the client was very structured and determined, hinging on the concepts of ”‘generic institutional programmes” programmes’ as tools for cultural agency: Office, Archive, Communication, Events, Collection and Library. Students initially struggled with a prescriptive brief that seemed to preempt and devalue any research activity and understanding that they would want to develop within the project. Students were also critical of the fact that the brief required predominantly individual work, which was at odds with the ethos of the live projects, conceived as collaborative efforts. Despite their reservations about some of the methods of Cultural Agencies, students agreed to work within the proposed framework of the six ‘generic institutional programmes’ and produce six individual proposals for the Office, Archive,  Communication, Events, Collection and Library aspects of the Cultural Agencies project, suggesting new possible uses, future developments and exit strategies.

Co-organisers :  Agency, Platforma Garanti

EcoRoof

Last October, AAA coordinated a workshop of ecodesign whith a group of architecture students from Sheffield who were conducting a live project for the social and cultural institution "Le 100″ in Paris, within the framework of the Rhyzompartnership.

The ECOROOF prototype is a site specific replicable construction which seeks to demonstrate and test elements of a wider strategy to green roofs, facades and terraces, collect water and produce food and energy. This strategy will be developed participatively on other buildings of the same urban context, as parts of RURBAN project.

Principal aims of the project include growing food on site in as sustainable a way as possible. The prototype is constructed from recycled materials (from the Aligre market which is very close to "Le 100″), is irrigated by rainwater and fed compost produced on site. It will test the suitability of various plant species grown intensively horizontally and vertically. This project also includes the installation of photovoltaic panels in order to supply the future social restaurant developed by "Le 100". It finally tests design solutions and looks to provoke discussion about the wider use of the roof among the building users and transmit the tools for its realization.

The live project group has put together a User Guide for the construction, use and extension of the ECOroof prototype (more info on ECOROOF live project ning) and AAA will continue to implement the project during 2010.

Live Project: EcoRoof, Paris, 2009

The ECOroof Live  Project explored urban food production, ecology, self-managed architecture and collaborative working methods. Part of the RHYZOM network, the ECOroof was developed  by a team of 6 students in collaboration with aaa and in connection with aaa’s Rurban strategy for Paris which is an attempt to sustain local resilience by developing and sometimes connecting existing complementary activities through short ecological cycles. This live projectLive Project was meant to involve students in a collaborative working situation in which they explore issues related to the implementation of such a strategy through the realisation of a prototype for a community which desires to grow food within their own building and distribute it locally. The role of the Rhyzom partner was different here than in the other live projectsLive Projects: aaa was more a collaborator and mediator rather than a client. 

The ECOroof was located on the roof terrace of a building formerly belonging to the French Electric Company (EDF), currently occupied by ‘le Cent’ - a self-managed art centre situated in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, which provides space and support for professional and amateur artists without selection process .  The artists using Le Cent were keen to improve the comfort of their working spaces and the quality of their living conditions and had decided to grow their own food.  They Live Project became as such ‘the client’ of the live project. Part of the live projectbecame as such ‘the client’ of the Live Project. Part of the Live Project brief was to involve students in organising the participation of Le Cent’ s users (artists, public and staff) at the conception and realisation of prototypes of several green devices  such as rainwater collectors, composting facilities, garden modules, etc. The roof facility was  conceived to help closing a number of ecological cycles in the building, mainly related to food, energy and water, and contribute to this self-managed community becoming more ecological.

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