03.02.24, 10:00 – 04.02.24, 23:00

"What Could Possibly Go Right?"   

Exhibition, Performances, and Workshops by the School of Commons 2023 Cohort 

On-Site at Toni Areal, Zurich University of the Arts, at MATERIAL Space for Book Culture, and Online
February 3-4, 2024

All workshops and events are free of charge and open to everyone

Vjosa, one of Europe’s last wild free-flowing rivers found protection by transforming into nature reserves; the first independent newspaper has been printed in Kosovo after all other printed newspapers have ceased. We glean insights about lifelong learning from the German Volkshochschule, we learn to be better hosts, practice curation as community work, share collaboratively developed strategies on how to navigate through challenging funding frameworks and explore a communities’ collective intelligence that emerges in times of collective traumas. These are just a few examples of what the SoC 2023 fellows have been working on to shape this year’s program. We invite you to explore their outcomes, reflections, and explorations through a selection of 25 practice-based projects presented in the form of an exhibition and accompanying performance and workshop program.

The School of Commons’ 10-month peer-led program grants each project the freedom to develop its research in self-directed ways. To be transparent the title “What Could Possibly Go Right?” emerged later and isn’t a strict curatorial concept guiding each contribution. However, upon closer inspection, the common thread among the 25 projects developed in the framework of SoC we observe is that most are making propositions for something they believe in rather than solely pointing fingers at what’s wrong in the world (which is undeniably important). These practices cultivate hope by fostering community, resources, tools, and infrastructures, predominantly as collective efforts bringing together individuals across diverse backgrounds, from the somatic to the scientific, and from the poetic to the political. Instead of adopting a simplistic solutionist approach of attempting to “fix” the problems of our time, they embrace the complexity and interconnectedness of the reality we inhabit and acknowledge that there is no such thing as an idea or an object in isolation. They share the belief that possibility and hope arise from being together, maintaining openness, and sometimes even playfulness.

Visual: Lena Pozdnyakova and Eldar Tagi who run the sub-project of Care(full) spam


Saturday, February 3rd
Workshop and Performance Program
@ Toni-Areal, Viaduktraum 2.A05, Ebene 2, (street entrance), Pfingstweidstrasse 96, Zürich

10:00 Welcome by the SoC Team
10:30 2024 SoC Alumn* Townhall
12:00 Weighing Together – workshop by The Short Big
13:00 – 14.00 Break / Wild River – live installation by Jasmine Alakari & Riccardo Acciarino @ Toni-Areal, Orgelsaal, Ebene 7, Raum K06  
14:00 The Good Enough Host – listening session with Catwings (*hybrid event can be attended via this Zoom link)
15:00 Hybrid tools for transdisciplinaritycollective sharing workshop with Sarah Drapeau
16:00-17.00 Break / Wild River – live installation by Jasmine Alakari & Riccardo Acciarino @ Toni-Areal, Orgelsaal, Ebene 7, Raum K06   
17:00 Eggland – participatory performance by i0 xen0, Elisa Lemma, Dorota Grajewska @ Toni-Areal, Orgelsaal, Ebene 7, Raum K06
17:30 Le Mythe Submerge (The Myth Exceeds) – Performance by Pule kaJanolintji, Richard Welch, Kit Kuksenok, Elisa Lemma @ Toni-Areal, Orgelsaal, Ebene 7, Raum K06
18:00 Break 

@MATERIAL, Klingenstrasse 23, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland

19:00 Between the Fugue and the Origin – talk/discussion with Maxim Spivakov and Egor Rogalev curated by Andrea Liu
20:30 Reading by Jara Nassar
21:00 Decolonial (re)mediators editorial manifesting – book(s) launch with Decolonial (re)mediators by garaje school (María Angélica Madero + Santiago Pinyol) 


Sunday, February 4th
Workshop and Performance Program
@ Toni-Areal, Viaduktraum 2.A05, Ebene 2 (street entrance), Pfingstweidstrasse 96, Zürich 

11:00 Improvising Access, for now – workshop by Freedom Studies (Letitia, Rose and Ella)
12:00 Writing letters to/from choreographical elements – workshop by Lina Zeller
13:00 Break
14:00 In-progress co/living – workshop with yourfriendkas and Agata Guńka (*hybrid event can be attended via this Zoom link)
15:00 Curation as community work in a hostile funding context – exchange by the Oyoun Team (*hybrid event can be attended via this Zoom link)
16:00 Language (as a technology that) re-/animates (dis-/jointed) cartographies – sound walk with Monika Dorniak
17:00 The story of touch – workshop with There, there working group
18:00 Break
19:30 Visitor One Thru Eight – lecture performance by Andrea Liu 
20:00 “Garden Mythtory: Observe Closely, Connect Broadly, Think Critically” – walkthrough of exhibition by Richard Welch, supported by Pule kaJanolintji for Makhandzambili @ Toni Areal, ZT 5.K12 Kunstraum, Pfingstweidstrasse 96, Zürich
20:30 ISSUES 2023 Launch & Party


@ Toni Areal, ZT 5.K12 Kunstraum, Pfingstweidstrasse 96, Zürich 
Opens Saturday, February 3rd (10:00 – 18:00) and Sunday, February 4th (11:00 – 20:00)

With contributions by:

Agata Guńka & yourfriendkas

Andrea Liu

Catwings (Steph Joyce & Theresa Zwerschke)

Decolonial (re)mediators by garaje school (María Angélica Madero + Santiago Pinyol)

Lina Zeller

Makhandzambili (Pule kaJanolintji, Balkind, Elisa Lemma, Kit Kuksenok, Luyolo Lenga, Lizo Sonkwala, Duduzile Mathebula, Richard Welch Mic, Vuyiswa Xeketwane, Wandile Ndlovu & the Sidvwaba Cave)

Miwa Negoro
“living library of becomings is a research and performative library project dedicated to the multiple artistic narrations from intersectional, queer, and decolonial feminist perspectives, with an attempt to create a platform in which such voices and texts are shared in tactile and performative ways. In the SoC Assembly, artistic publications gathered during the SoC, the process of research, and its growing digital platform will be displayed.

Riccardo Acciarino & Jasmine Alakari

Rahel Stange & Sinem Görücü
“Proving the Unprovable” presents a series of documents that interrogate the concept of materializing personal bonds to places in submittable forms. This collection of ‘unofficial official’ documents challenges the notion of quantifying personal connections through standardized evidence. Each piece embodies a satirical exploration of this theme, contrasting subjective experiences of belonging against objective criteria. The work prompts reflection on the nature of attachments and the difficulties in representing these profound, yet intangible ties.

“There, there” working group with sound works “Postcards From The Piano” by Germain Cls, “Elephant in the Room” by Eldar Tagi (w. Lena Pozdnyakova), and “Tashkent on Air” recorded by Isabel Candia (s0.any), Dima Gerasimov, Evgeniy Galochkin, Boris Lesnoy, polycarpicae, Anna Pronina, Sergei Podluzhnyi, Vika Ryskina, Maxim Spivakov, Filiz Suleymanoglu, Sabina Suleymanoglu, Sofia Seitkhalil, Josef Tumari, Denis Volkov, coordinated by Anna Pronina and Julia Polikarpova (polycarpicae) and mixed by Sergei Podluzhnyi. The sculpture pieces are from Lena Pozdnyakova, with contributions from Luise Willer and Anna Kücking.
“Tashkent on Air” is a collection of soundscapes by musicians, artists, cultural workers, and researchers born or based in Tashkent. It includes a huge diversity of sounds recorded through the loving gaze on the city, from the clatter of the wheels of the Tashkent subway, the birdsongs in the parks and the police whistling at rush-hour, to fragments of a lecture on the musical traditions of Uzbekistan, the singing of muezzins and rehearsals at the conservatory. Dozens of fragments were assembled on the initiative of the collectives ‘There there’ and ‘Bahor/Весна’ and carefully edited by the sound engineer Sergei Podluzhnyi. The resulting sonic mosaic is a collective Tashkent soundscape made of personal answers to the question ‘How does my Tashkent sound like?’, fragmentary and by definition unfinished.