26.11.22, 00:00 – 06.12.22, 00:00

IF IT IS A GARDEN

THAT HAS BECOME A WILDERNESS

on alternative environments for learning

 

Exhibition, Workshops, Performances and Podium

Unveiling the works in progress of the hybrid, multidisciplinary research of SoC’s 2022 fellows and beyond

November 26th – December 6th, 2022
online, on-site and hybrid formats

 

School of Commons’ 2022 fellows warmly welcome you to their collective exhibition, podium and event program: ‘IF IT IS A GARDEN THAT HAS BECOME A WILDERNESS, on alternative environments for learning’, taking place online, on-site at Toni Areal, ZHdK, and across select Satellite locations, from November 26th – December 6th, 2022.

‘IF IT IS A GARDEN THAT HAS BECOME A WILDERNESS’ showcases snapshots, outcomes, reflections, and explorations from a selection of the practice-based research projects that have formed this years’ School of Commons programme. School of Commons (SoC) is a community-based initiative dedicated to the study and development of self-organised knowledge and peer-to-peer learning, representing an international community of artists, designers, musicians and scholars who focus on matters surrounding the production and mediation of knowledge with a common interest in self-organised practices and possible futures for education.

Over the past 10 months, selected School of Commons fellows have conducted research projects as part of self-organised labs and collaborative endeavours, to create a framework for the networking of knowledge exchange amongst participants. ‘IF IT IS A GARDEN THAT HAS BECOME A WILDERNESS’ will be the first collectively organised moment to make this process public, with a programme that weaves between disciplines, practices, ways of working, languages and contexts; from music, to performance, to choreography, to research, to publishing. Whilst each project is idiosyncratic in its form and frame, the work of this years’ fellows is united by a deep curiosity for alternative ways of working, learning, exchanging and being together, as well as a shared ethos of “constant-work-in-progress”.

Over two and a half weeks, a fluid digital and physical programme of performances, panels, installations, readings, talks, games, guided walks, acoustic interventions and film screenings will take place, exploring a spectrum of societally-facing topics, ranging from the relationship between the body and memory, to inclusive attention practices for listening, the perception and exploration of neuroqueerness, the real and fictional, state and societal uses of official language, the constituted sense of collectiveness, the status quo of design as a discipline, the potential of publishing as a commons, the exploration of love in its many forms, and much, much, more.

This exhibition and public programme will be accompanied by the School of Commons Podium, which brings together all of these topics, alongside SoC participants past and present, to facilitate an in-depth exploration into learning environments for the future, and the tools and resilience required for such changes .

Join us from November 26th onwards to celebrate the work and research of the 2022 School of Commons fellows, and to experience, explore, question and reflect on the future of education, and the role of peer-to-peer learning in our ways of working today.

With participation from: Alternative Pedagogy for Arabic Type Design, Cuerpo-Brujula, Doing Neuroqueerness, Eat me eat me not – art games for ‘making kin’, topsoil, Hidden in Plain Sight. Sonata for many voices, “How do we know what we know about hormones?”, How to Love Many in Many Ways, HumDrum Press, Just Listening, officialese, Ongoing Manifesto of Radical Dependency, Panta Rhei CollaborativeThe Listening Tension, The Positive Universal Project, The Street Games Of Our Childhood, UBUNGXENYE (Parthood), Values of Commons and Capital, Warmups and Cooldowns & What does learning look like here?

 

PROGRAM

 

Saturday, November 26th 2022

 

Songs of a Wooden House

7 pm CST (Costa Rica)

with Artists Collective Just Listening

Satellite Location in San José, Costa Rica -Casa de Madera- (Live event)
Audio installation at Toni Areal ZHdK  (audio/ video installation) – Saturday 3rd to Monday 5th of December

A participatory acoustic intervention that will allow the encounter of raw sounds of different origin, time and nature. Live instruments, field recordings and in situ sounds of a wooden house that can produce a collective sound exploration as an act of listening.

 

Sunday, November 27th 2022

 

in here / out there

7-8 pm CET, Online – Register here

 

with Kit Kuksenok and Lili Huston-Herterich and guest artist Emily Fong

Join Kit and Emily in a conversation (co-hosted by Lili) about understanding the body in general – and our own bodies in specific – through our respective art practice. We will talk and draw, and you are invited to draw with us, and to participate in the conversation.

Emily Fong is a medical artist exploring life and death, embodiment and emotion; the experience of existing in a human container. Her artistic practice is underpinned by observation and communication of the life cycles of living things. She seeks to highlight our similarities not only to one another but also to other species that occupy this planet. Her intuition is that, by going deep inside life, turning it inside out, she might discover new ways of observing and re-configuring the outside.

Kit Kuksenok, PhD is a multi-disciplinary artist and researcher interested in the intersection of technology, society, and the body. They use participatory design methods, experimental pedagogy, and data analytics to explore how the unseen internal bodily landscape is rendered understandable. Their art/research practice builds on the study of socio-technical systems, and is grounded in contemplative practice and movement.

 

Thursday, December 1st 2022

 

A Workshop in Doing Neuroqueerness. Practicing Divergent Forms of Thinking, Feeling and Acting

6 – 7.30 pm CET, Online on Zoom and Instagram

Zoom Meeting ID: 772 259 0433 and password: 740584

 

with Dorothea Deli

Autistic ways of doing things are often seen as deficient. In this online workshop, we will get to know the benefits of divergent doings. We will get to know the concept of neuroqueerness and delve into divergent ways of being empathetic, of feeling joy and of making sense of the chaos that is life. You are welcome to join the workshop directly on Zoom or as a live stream on Instagram via the profile @doing.neuroqueerness.

The project Doing Neuroqueerness was initiated by the cultural analyst Dorothea Deli as an artistic research project within the School of Commons curriculum at ZHdK (Zurich University of the Arts). It deals with a more extensive way to understand and to appreciate autistic behaviors. Often there is a narrow focus on a psychiatric definition of deficits. But being autistic is not deficient in itself. It becomes a disability in an environment, that wasn’t built for autistics.

Dorothea Deli is autistic herself and sees a lot of goodness, alternative knowledge and innovative potential in being neurologically divergent. The project Doing Neuroqueerness doesn’t emphasize some autistic ontology. The word „doing“ in the title puts the focus more on an understanding of autistic or neurodivergent behaviors as alternative strategies to act in the world. Thus, everybody can be doing neuroqueerness and learn from divergent behaviors, whether they are neurotypical or neurodivergent. The project aims to show that often, you can accomplish different results by using neuroqueer strategies. Ideally, those different results come closer to what you actually desire from life, from interactions, from the work you do and from making sense of things, than the results you accomplished so far by doing things the way you always did.

 

 

Friday, December 2nd 2022

 

Alternative pedagogy for Arabic type design in the making

4-5 pm CET, Online on Zoom

Zoom Meeting ID: 772 259 0433 and password: 740584

 

Presentation by Naïma Ben Ayed, Khajag Apelian

Arabic type designers Naïma Ben Ayed and Khajag Apelian’s topic of research is driven by their desire as educators to open their discipline. They believe that the access to Arabic type design courses are too constrained and limited. After reflecting on the status quo of Arabic type design education, they imagined non-linear pedagogical paths, independent of design school politics, radically accessible and deeply inspired by the concept of commoning*. This is a presentation of the work they have done so far.

* Commoning: collaborative and contributive practices

 

Saturday, December 3rd 2022

 

Hidden in plain sight: In search of a collective attention practice for classical music

10.30-12 am, at Toni Areal ZHdK, Room ZT 6.F10
and Sunday, December 4th 11-12.30pm, at Toni Areal ZHdK, Room ZT 6.F10

Open research laboratory with 20 min live piano playing and 40 min Discussion, the Audience is invited to participate with Elisa Lemma

What do we hear when we listen to classical music?

Hidden in plain sight is the ongoing research of a common-based and inclusive attention practice for classical music listening. Listeners with all kinds of backgrounds and musical experience (including none) contribute to a collective practice where music is looked at and interpreted with the same undivided attention that it takes to learn a new language.

The project has developed as a series of laboratories, each including a group of people and me (Elisa). After listening to a short piece played live at the piano, we share our different perceptions, thoughts and doubts, finding our way to dive into the piece’s unique musical matter.

Each laboratory is not a concert nor a lecture, it is an open conversation. We look for a common vocabulary to talk about what we hear, looking at music as a spoken language that anyone, and not experienced musicians only, can understand and appreciate.

Sometimes interesting discoveries happen within the silence that falls when we don’t know how to describe something, when we are not even sure of what we are feeling. If we are not afraid, and we rely on each other to know more, then we may notice something that was there for us hiding in plain sight, waiting to be found.

 

how-to-love-many-in-many-ways

1-3 pm, at Toni Areal ZHdK, Room 3.K13

open-edition collection of games with Engy Mohsen / Gabriel Hensche and guest Eleonora Toniolo

2nd Workshop on Tuesday, December 6th, 4-6pm CET (Ingo Niermann – Mohamed Al Bakeri), Toni Areal ZHdK Aktionsraum

How to Love Many in Many Ways is an open-edition collection of games, exercises, and playful texts that depart from expanded notions of “love.” Love is so big a concept that it can be grasped and interpreted in innumerable ways; it frames our relationships and the way we connect with ourselves and everyone and everything in our surroundings. Stemming from a ground belief that this can only be addressed collectively, Engy Mohsen and Gabriel Hensche invited contributors to develop exercises or games responding to the titular question: How to Love Many in Many Ways?

Engy Mohsen and Gabriel Hensche kicked off with the namesake How to Love Many in Many Ways, a set of exercises that invite you to enact many rituals with many options for potential players: Yourself, Other/s, Other Other/s. Eliana Otta responded with Rehearsing Horizontalities, a set of exercises that create scenarios in which players re-examine their relationship with others by playing with their spatial, choreographic, and acoustic awareness, all while maintaining what she calls a “horizontality pact”. Ingo Niermann (The Army of Love) responded with Falling in Love with the World, an exercise that directs a group to overcome aversions and extend notions of love and care to others or objects. Mohamed Al Bakeri responded with The Things You Do for Love, a boardgame that invites players to think of love as a material need and a commodity, drawing from the world of online dating. Petra Mrša responded with Shivering Throats, Breaking

 the Walls, playing with alternative notions of intimacy and encounter, presence and absence, and unconventional modes of communication and exchange. Philip Ullrich responded with Take That Loving Grace, a game in which aspects of love such as the similarities and differences between parties as well as the power struggles that are at play can be explored in pointed ways. Rania Atef responded with Bad Mother, a card game that critically and sarcastically scrutinizes the societal gaze on maternal love, mothers’ domestic performance, and the criteria for a “good mother.” Raúl Hott created Total Body (RADIANCE), an invitation to understand radiance – an experience of new ways of relating to affect and affection by interacting with all living beings and reconnecting with our planet. Shahd Omar responded with Embodied Encounters, a playful attempt to redefine consent as the process of establishing agreements, and how to communicate it beyond verbal exchanges. Through our lab with School of Commons, we discovered a missing position in the nine current proposals, and invited Eleonora Toniolo to propose the tenth position.

www.howtolovemanyinmanyways.com

 

“You: Inside, Outside” The No Way Experience meets School of Commons

3-4 pm CET at Toni Areal, ZHdK Orgelsaal

A multisensory and multidisciplinary concert

with Sofia Goetz and Riccardo Acciarino + Maura Rickenbach (Cellist) and Antonio La Spina (Composer)

THE LISTENING TENSION “When the senses change, perception changes: a performance in which the audience becomes the protagonist of the moment, a world premier composition in a unique, multisensory, multidisciplinary concert in which all preconceptions associated with the very idea of a concert are dispelled.”

 

Introducing the Positive Universal Project: Values, Needs, and Dissolving Double Blackmail

4.30-5.30 pm CET Online on Zoom

Zoom Meeting ID: 772 259 0433 and password: 740584

a video lecture with David Gabbard & Kylie Stedman Gomes with follow up Q&A

This is an introduction to and a formal launch of the Positive Universal Project originally proposed by Slavoj Zizek. We argue that the driving mission of this Project is to seek answers to the question of what should we prefer over global capitalism? We also present an application of ideas toward the dissolution of the “double blackmail” of two worse options regarding refugee resettlement. VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

 

 

Of the echoing hills

6-8 pm CET pm at Toni Areal, Orgelsaal

A performance program of works by Kit Kuksenok & Lili Huston-Herterich, who come together under shared investigations of materiality and considerations of the body. Sirens of the echoing hills.

Kit Kuksenok – SoC Project: How do we know what we know about hormones?

Lili Huston-Herterich – SoC Project: Ongoing Manifesto of Radical Dependency

 

Sunday, December 4th 2022

 

A Name is a Leopard

11 -1 pm CET, Toni Areal –  Room tbc

a sound-and-movement sotrytelling and improvisation workshop

with ߔߎ߯ߟߍ߫ ߞߊ-ߖߊ߬ߣߏ߬ߟߌ߲߯ߗߌ (Pule kaJanolintji)

A person’s name is a leopard. You know how it looks, since they put it everywhere in pictures and use it to talk about an idea of you. But if you ever encounter it in real life, it is a very special day. I don’t know my own name most of the time, because names don’t hang around waiting for you to know them. They float on the wind and are invisible most of the time. They only really exist in the mouths of certain people at certain times. “!Gwē ē ǀeǀeta hi eng-eng” (Letters are inside the flesh). A story is like the wind, it comes from far. The breath originates in the body. Outside presence is surely known from inside. There is a tapping of the flesh. A name is a leopard. It’s rare to know it in real life…

This is a sound-and-movement storytelling presentation and structured improvisation workshop about personal names, based on the MAPP Lab at School of Commons (2021/2022) called UBUNGXENYE: PARTHOOD (https://www.instagram.com/ngxe_parthood/) which was engaged by Chantelle Lue and Pule kaJanolintji (ߔߎ߯ߟߍ߫ ߞߊ-ߖߊ߬ߣߏ߬ߟߌ߲߯ߗߌ). UBUNGXENYE is an experiment in how to organise and programme more fulfilling guided learning, using a principle of wandering (or ukuzula) – how to be confidently unsure.

The workshop is an attempt to put the Ubungxenye Lab in the room, as a possible moment to experience moving/sounding and looking/writing in order to feel relational identity, that is, the embodied meaning of concentrative personhood (Ubuntu / Buntfu / Botho / Vhuthu / Vumunhu / Khoexasib – the Azanian philosophy that persons only exist as parts of a relational whole realised through interaction).

It will include a retelling of the traditional |Xam Cosmology story, as a possible alternative framework for meaning, focusing on the names of the !Xwenǁasʼo !ʼE or “First-Seated People”. Then, through sharing the rhythms of our own names in body sound, speech, and visual representation, we might see how terms can be ordered and embodied in a our own conceptual network, to discover unexpected connections possibly tracing more intuitive instructive paths through an archive (inqolobane yelwati). We will try to use digital performative tools for network ontology mapping as a means of play as study, leading into some gentle, close, group improvisations in sound and contact.

 

Scores for Conviviality

2-4 pm CET, Toni Areal –  Room 3.K13

a workshop with Topsoil

We will conduct a workshop that will allow us to physically enact scores and instructions we have gathered in November by invited collaborators and guests. The instructions will be around conditions of entering into caring and convivial relationships, working environments and encounters. The exercises can take the form of creative writing, bodily movement and mapping.

 

The Learning Commons: Experimental Pedagogies in Practice

5-7.30 pm CET, Hybrid Event: Zoom and at ZHdK Toni Areal

Podium Discussion

We invite you to join us for this podium conversation, bringing together a number of current and former participants of the School of Commons. We will discuss the learning commons; reflecting on how our experiences with the School of Commons influence us, and how we, in turn, influence the School of Commons as a living organism.

Program:
5 – 6 pm: Talk and Q&A with a special guest
6 – 6:15 pm: Break
6:15 – 7:30 pm – Conversation with Mujhan Abdulzade, Marea Hildebrand, Kit Kuksenok, Engy Mohsen, Eleonora Toniolo, Rulla Pascal Sutter; with digital moderation and (poetic) transcription by Lili Huston-Herterich

Location:
Toni Areal, ZHdK – Room ZT 4.T06 Seminarraum NEAR SHIFT

This event will be live-streamed – signup for free here! Zoom link will be emailed to you once you register.

 

 

Monday, December 5th

 

Find the Fog in Uetliberg  

12-3 pm CET, meeting point Zürich Triemli

a guided walk with Lili Huston Herterich

meet at Zürich Triemli train station. We will walk in/around Uetliberg, destination determined by mutual consent. Sustenant snacks (vegetarian and vegan) will be provided. Please bring your own water, an extra layer of clothing, and a pen and notebook.

Find the Fog in Uetliberg is a guided walk in, around, up, or down Uetliberg, a mountain of the Swiss plateau that the city of Zürich shares company with. Your guide has never been there: Lili Huston-Herterich is an artist based in Rotterdam, and has only visited Zürich once before. She heard there was fog up there, and wonders if it’s as thick and as generative as the stuff in her head. Huston-Herterich is interested in cloudiness, in sensing, in silence, in chatter, in edging mountains, in collective mnemonic methods through walking, in consensual destination determination, in breaks, in shared snacks, in reflection, and in poetry. Have you ever edged a mountain? After a weekend of conversation, presentation and stimulation, deny climax and start, or continue, wandering.

www.lilihustonherterich.com

 

Tuesday, December 6th

how-to-love-many-in-many-ways

4-6pm, Toni Areal –  Room 3.K13

with invited guests Ingo Niermann – Mohamed Al Bakeri

How to Love Many in Many Ways is an open-edition collection of games, exercises, and playful texts that depart from expanded notions of “love.” Love is so big a concept that it can be grasped and interpreted in innumerable ways; it frames our relationships and the way we connect with ourselves and everyone and everything in our surroundings. Stemming from a ground belief that this can only be addressed collectively, Engy Mohsen and Gabriel Hensche invited contributors to develop exercises or games responding to the titular question: How to Love Many in Many Ways?

Engy Mohsen and Gabriel Hensche kicked off with the namesake How to Love Many in Many Ways, a set of exercises that invite you to enact many rituals with many options for potential players: Yourself, Other/s, Other Other/s. Eliana Otta responded with Rehearsing Horizontalities, a set of exercises that create scenarios in which players re-examine their relationship with others by playing with their spatial, choreographic, and acoustic awareness, all while maintaining what she calls a “horizontality pact”. Ingo Niermann (The Army of Love) responded with Falling in Love with the World, an exercise that directs a group to overcome aversions and extend notions of love and care to others or objects. Mohamed Al Bakeri responded with The Things You Do for Love, a boardgame that invites players to think of love as a material need and a commodity, drawing from the world of online dating. Petra Mrša responded with Shivering Throats, Breaking

 the Walls, playing with alternative notions of intimacy and encounter, presence and absence, and unconventional modes of communication and exchange. Philip Ullrich responded with Take That Loving Grace, a game in which aspects of love such as the similarities and differences between parties as well as the power struggles that are at play can be explored in pointed ways. Rania Atef responded with Bad Mother, a card game that critically and sarcastically scrutinizes the societal gaze on maternal love, mothers’ domestic performance, and the criteria for a “good mother.” Raúl Hott created Total Body (RADIANCE), an invitation to understand radiance – an experience of new ways of relating to affect and affection by interacting with all living beings and reconnecting with our planet. Shahd Omar responded with Embodied Encounters, a playful attempt to redefine consent as the process of establishing agreements, and how to communicate it beyond verbal exchanges. Through our lab with School of Commons, we discovered a missing position in the nine current proposals, and invited Eleonora Toniolo to propose the tenth position.

www.howtolovemanyinmanyways.com

 

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Exhibitions

 

Saturday 3rd to Monday 5th of December

Toni Areal ZHdK, Kunstraum  

 

Saturday and Sunday 11am-20pm, Monday 11- 5pm

 

Songs of a Wooden House

by Artists Collective Just Listening

Audio installation at Toni Areal ZHdK  (audio/ video installation)

of a participatory acoustic intervention that will allow the encounter of raw sounds of different origin, time and nature. Live instruments, field recordings and in situ sounds of a wooden house that can produce a collective sound exploration as an act of listening.

 

HumDrumPress 

by Amy Gowen, Andy Norstrom, Wibke Bramesfeld

Exhibition – exhibiting our manifesto for publishing the HumDrum way

Over the course of our fellowship as part of School of Commons, we have been working on devising methods for publications to reach and attract interest from broader audiences, and make publishing more of a “communal” and “commons-based” activity by opening up each stage of the publishing process and exploring the role(s) of publishing in society today.

One of the methods we have been using to document this, especially in a way that can be considered as transparent, open, communicable and common-able as possible, is an ongoing manifesto towards our evolving approach to publishing. We chose the manifesto as a form because we consider it an active vehicle to underpin the values, philosophies, missions and visions of a practice, a process or a project, as well as a way of documenting and archiving the more day-to-day maintenance practices that uphold a publishing practice.

Our aim is, through the manifesto, to open up and encourage consideration, conversation, exchange, ideas, agreements, disagreements, and future thinking towards processes of publishing and to invite all those who wish to, to contribute to a more communal, commons-based model they to too are welcome to adopt, share and use.

The result is our “constant-work-in-progress”: a living, breathing manifesto for publishing the HumDrum way. This manifesto began as a shareable, fully transparent explanation and exploration of our internal working methods and ongoing publishing practice. Once we had written the base text, we began sharing it with friends, colleagues, fellow publishers, and our School of Commons community, inviting all to edit, comment, remove, add to and grow the manifesto beyond something that was just “ours” for “our publishing house”, into something that could be useful, and useable for many.

All who wish to, are welcome to interact with the current text in any way they desire, and to add as much or as little as they like. Furthermore, for each iteration of the traveling manifesto exhibition we will directly invite local publishers and those in the publishing community to visit and interact with the manifesto. We will be physically present to host these sessions and engage in conversations around publishing and the commons.

The Manifesto will travel to three locations over the course of three weekends:

    • 18th, 19th, 20th November, 2022 – As a window display and event at KIOSK, Rotterdam
    • 25th, 26th, 27th November, 2022 – As part of the the Volumes Art Book Fair exhibition programme
    • 3rd, 4th, 5th December, 2022 – At the Kunstraum of Toni Areal as part of the School of Commons closing exhibition

 

officialese

by Betül Aksu

officialese is an interactive installation that investigates the ways in which an official language becomes a tool to protect the status quo. The installation presents a work-in-progress research based on real and fictional uses of official languages, both in state and social level, both in and outside the artworlds.

The installation at Kunstraum ZHDK will present notes, readings, annotations, objects and abstract images from the officialese lab and its collaborators. The documentation of the installation and in-situ contributions will be accessible online at betulaksu.com/officialese as they happen. Following the exhibition, there will be a publication about the personal, anonymous and collective stories shared throughout the research.

 

Cuerpo-Brújula  

by Lab Pedagogico. Daniela Mora-Laura Cordero-Vanessa De La O. (Satélite Costa Rica)

Cuerpo Brujula is an installation that includes images and texts produced during three in person, open workshops about the relationship between the body, perception and memory. They took place between June and October in Costa Rica with a total of sixteen participants. Through movement practice, dialogue and individual and collective writing exercises we explored the question of what are the “compasses” that guide these relationships mentioned above.

 

How do we know what we know about hormones?

by Kit Kuksenok

Practice-based research journal and selected readings on the subject of understanding unseen body processes and internal communications

 

What does open learning look like here?

Short Film by Beth Dynowski, Christopher Scanlan

This short film is part of long term research on access to arts education in Scotland for children, young people and adults. Beth Dynowski is an artist and researcher and Christopher Scanlan is an actor, both based in Glasgow. Her research for School of Commons focuses on the complexities of creating a space for open learning in the arts in the East End of Glasgow at Strangefield and The Pipe Factory. In this film, Scanlan performs for the camera, drawing on his experience of accessing education and work in the arts in the local area.

 

The Street Games Of Our Childhood

Maria Combi, Clara Thierry, Rebeka Mondovics, Yusuf Orhan

A video documentation of research in action. The project Street Games of Our Childhood is a research project that examines the capacity of street games to inspire contemporary art practices. While street games are considered a kind of clue to discuss urban development, they are also analyzed in terms of movement, sound, material, body, and spatial relations.

In the performance, which is one of the out comings of the project, artist Yusuf Orhan and dancers Maria Combi, Rebeka Mondovics and Clara Thierry create choreographies by playing four different traditional street games played in Turkey, analyzing their various dimensions and abstracting their physical and emotional layers.