Collective Conditions

  • with Constant
  • Brussels, BE
  • (2019)

My contribution to the worksession was: Setting the environmental conditions for thinking together
Including creating self-determined objects, creating varying support structures and offering exercises like intimate micro lectures were the gestures I brought into the worksession

Connecting across and between levels and experience.
Intimacy - generating - sharing knowledge and experience - we are all brought into a limited moment of exchange.
We listen with different parts of our bodies - reminds us that our bodies hold knowledge and experience.
Challenging and exposing for someone older, with years of experience and accustomed (and incentivised) to position as expert to create a short-form “lecture” of value and quality into this context.

Collective Conditions is a Constant work-session which experimented with the generative potential of codes of conduct, complaints procedures, bug reports and copyleft licenses. These socio-technical protocols were understood as artistic and activist media and experimentation and play worked towards imagining complex collectivities.

By ’complex collectivity’ Constant means: non-normative human constellations, or collectives where participants with radically different needs, backgrounds and agencies come together. ’Complex collectivity’ can be self-chosen, or be the result of structural forces such as laws, racism, technology, wars, austerity, queerphobia and ecological conditions.

In Collective Conditions we worked with different modes of ’writing’ that went beyond typing protocols on a keyboard. We experimented with codes, rhythms, frequencies, scripts, scores and non-verbal agreements that regulated, challenged, stumbled and collided; and that posed questions and problems. We articulated conditions using time, material, bodies, spaces, machines, habits, repetition and chance.

The worksession is inspired by trans*feminist collective practices, anti-harassment and allyship-work, non-violent communication, score-making, decolonial and intersectional activism, and by ways of doing developed within Free Culture and Free, Libre and Open Source software. Collective Conditions focuses on a-polarizing methods, affirmative habits that can stretch and reorient frameworks, that represent new vocabulary, gestures and forms of expression.

This session was developed in collaboration with Ateliers Mommen, with contributions by Queering Damage and Loren Britton.