the new local enquires into what a progressive locality could entail in the light of globalism and, more specifically, focuses on the role of spatial practice. It explores conceptions of locality beyond the illusionary attempt to solve global problems on an exclusively local scale, while simultaneously acknowledging that it is necessary to (physically) relate to their abstractness. Is it possible to stretch the notion of “experience” both spatially and temporally?

This exercise is localized through the Muntplein/Place de la Monnaie in the center of Brussels. The public square was designed to serve as a backdrop for events, which resulted in an open, bare place. Sitting at the intersection of two shopping streets, its non-identity was soon filled in by the aura of consumerism. This has recently been reinforced by the arrival of the shopping mall “The Mint,” whose display windows face the square.

Ten artists have been commissioned to each develop an experiment on the Muntplein/Place de la Monnaie. Instead of organizing yet another event on the square, these interventions take place during the day without an audience. The experiments are documented and mapped in different ways, and subsequently presented and discussed by the artists and invited guests during an evening program that takes place in a venue facing the square. The dialectical relationship between the local and the global, and the ways in which this can be experienced on different scales lie at the heart of all the interventions. As such, the project is not designed to seek clear-cut answers or a deployable and hence marketable narrative. On the contrary, the new local emphasizes the need to abandon normalized patterns of relating to “our” world. This, of course, requires time and the acknowledgement that the language, tools, or infrastructure to do so may not yet exist.

the new local takes places from Tuesday October 9 till Saturday October 13, 2018.
Artistic interventions: on and around the Muntplein/Place de la Monnaie, Brussels
Evening program: Prinsenstraat/Rue des Princes 12, 1000 Brussels

the new local is part of the project Precarious Pavilions, curated by Michiel Vandevelde and produced in collaboration with the Kaaitheater and its program CITY:LAND

Tuesday 9.10.2018

Tuesday Evening

Wednesday 10.10.2018

Wednesday Evening

Thursday 11.10.2018

Thursday Evening

Friday 12.10.2018

Friday Evening

Saturday 13.10.2018

Saturday Evening

Ongoing from Tuesday 9.10.2018 till Saturday 13.10.2018

perpetual motion report, by Parasite 2.0

From Oct 9 till Oct 13 2018, Parasite 2.0 will develop the ongoing intervention perpetual motion report of which the result will be displayed in this section of the website. The goal of the report is to provide an audio mapping of the square during the development of the performances. On the timeline of the recorded audio tracks, comments and captions will be uploaded. By clicking on the audio track, through the Soundcloud page, other personal comments may be uploaded.

 

Perpetual motion report_Mixtape #5_Saturday 12.10.2018

Audio mapping of Place de la Monnaie during the performance “so that everything doesn’t happen at once” by Sasha Litvintseva and Beny Wagner.

Coordinates of the microphone 50°50’58.0″N 4°21’12.1″E
Coordinates of the artwork 50°50’57.7″N 4°21’12.9″E

On Saturday the square is almost full of people, thanks also to a series of public events with music, food and dances. It is still difficult to understand what is behind the identity of this space. How can we find a way to live the public spaces in a pure way? In the contemporary city everything looks extremely chained to consume, events, even if cultural, or objects, bodies, and aesthetic.

After one week we are still trying to read the structure and the path underneath the design of this public space. What architectural traces are behind that square? What kind of rules are these temporary structures following to occupy the space? As we already noticed the equilibrium between shade and sunlight is for sure one of the factors. Another one is the design of the pavement, following the rhythm of the columns of the theatre. This architectural composition game creates a series of almost invisible areas on the ground level. But another element we just noticed today was the presence of a series of points with for example the possibility to connect devices to the electricity. All the stands and events are distributed just around these points.

The possibility to access the grid and the energetic/communication network is fundamental to the definition of the relationships of power between the different actors of the contemporary city. This is also visible on the public spaces, especially, in this case, in Place de la Monnaie. The public space and the way we inhabited it isn’t just the image of economic or political power and influence. Bodies, subjects, social and political actors are constantly constrained by spatial design and its possibility to close, open up or negate relationships. If our contemporary metropolis looks more and more open and without boundaries, if we go a bit deeper, we can see exactly the opposite, thus recognising a strong multiplication of boundaries and an extreme categorization of the space, always more shaped by racial, gender and political violence.

In the rules to the use of public space in Brussels, there is a distance that the performers and buskers need to maintain from a commercial activity. As we noticed during this series of reports, rules and norms are actually what is changing more our possibility to use the public spaces, more than architectural drawings and structures. The imposition of a certain distance between buskers and commercial activity tells us clearly how much the city is shaped by following economic reasons. More than focus on architecture itself and on the design of public spaces, today we should try to operate more on the series of legislation, norms and conventions that regulate and shape the space and our way of acting as public political actors in the collective body of the city.

Perpetual motion report is a project by Parasite 2.0 part of “The new local”.
thenewlocal.org/
www.parasiteparasite.com/

 

Perpetual motion report_Mixtape #4_Friday 11.10.2018

Audio mapping of Place de la Monnaie during the performance ” hear me out II” by Ola Hassanain.

Coordinates of the microphone 50°50’59.3″N 4°21’13.7″E
Coordinates of the artwork 50°50’59.5″N 4°21’12.9″E

The performance starts with sounds around the square.

Considering the set of rules about the use of public space in Brussels, a musical performance needs to stay under the 60 decibel.

The performance works on what we can and what we cannot do in a public space.

The hardware for the performance is a set of microphones and speakers, but the central part is composed of three stools and a central element to make the tea. A series of simple elements are enough to transform the empty place de la Monnaie in something else.

In “Modernità debole e diffusa” Andrea Branzi analizes the state of undetermination and ubiquity of contemporary metropolis. Function is not anymore the centre. The more this element is not determined, the more the space gives us possibility. The hardware (Architecture) is ready to hosts more software (use) . Space needs to be more as fuzzy as possible. Fuzzy architecture. If the hardware is really basic, in this case is the set of rules who determinates possible uses. Drinking tea in a public space.

So, in a way, architecture is a set of restrictions. it is a set of rules and possibilities. This is extremely connected with the influence that a system of power can have on the shape of the city. Architecture is exactly the image of this act of governing. The hardware and its set of rules are the results of the tension visible on the public space itself.

How can we build a hardware capable as a fuzzy sets, without boundaries?

 

 

Perpetual motion report is a project by Parasite 2.0 part of “The new local”.
thenewlocal.org/
www.parasiteparasite.com/

Perpetual motion report_Mixtape #3_Thursday 10.10.2018

Audio mapping of Place de la Monnaie during the performance “softwares” by Hana Miletić.

Coordinates of the microphone 50°50’59.8″N 4°21’12.1″E
Coordinates of the artwork 50°50’59.3″N 4°21’13.7″E

During the day, musical performances continuously activate different parts of the square. The buskers are in a way an attractor of public and an alteration of the classic pedestrian flows in the square. This phenomenon tells us something more about the value of events in the use of public space rather to architecture. The Police stop a performer playing in the square and ask for his authorization. On the third day, we notice that all the performers have a precise and fixed point on the square where they always position themselves. We don’t know if those spots are assigned or whether the performers autonomously find them.

Hana Miletić’s installation reminds of a Bedouin tent in the desert, but in this case, it is placed in front of the Theater Royal de La Monnaie. The two different architectures, which belong to different worlds, strongly crash. Despite its magnificence and grandeur, the theatre seems not to have any particular influence on the square. It places also on the least used side of the square. There is a huge disproportion about the influence of the different buildings standing on the perimeter of the square towards the public space. The commercial buildings are attractors of within the urban space, thus creating important polarities.

It is impossible to “record” the smell, but for sure, it influences the use of the public space. On the first day, a public toilette was positioned on one side of the square. No one was sitting in its surrounds. Despite on the second day it was removed, the bad smell still persists. Unlike many other public spaces, Place de la Monnaie is a big empty “tray”. Probably it was designed as a “pause” of the built urban texture in front of the Royal Theater of La Monnaie. The texture of the pavement, completely empty, in fact, follows the cadence of the columns on the facade of the theater. Theater and square are then “connected” by some architectural rules that do not consider the use of the square itself. Paradoxically, because of the absence of structures and infrastructures inside the square itself, it should host infinite activities: playing football, skating… A boy is skating.

The square does not respect classic concepts such as function and form, rather it escapes this taxonomy. It is the contrary, the anti-form, the anti-function. Its possibilities remind of the mathematical concept of the fuzzy sets in which the limits of the sets seem to vanish, thus letting their elements floating and migrating from a set to another.

Follow perpetual motion report and participate with comments on the dedicated Soundcloud profile.
https://soundcloud.com/perpetual-motion-report

Perpetual motion report_Mixtape #2_Wednesday 10.10.2018

Audio mapping of Place de la Monnaie during the installation “self-as-other-trainings” by Vivien Tauchmann.
Coordinates of the microphone 50°51’00″N 4°21’11″E
Coordinates of the artwork 50°50’59.7″N 4°21’11.5″E

The simple physical action of the performer is unusual compared to the habitual actions normally visible within the public space, and it strongly attracts the attention of the pedestrians. Some gestures and moves remind of ancient tribal dances. From the closest benches, some people seat and observe. The gesture is de-contextualized, not only from the space of mass production but also from the objects, tools and machines this gesture links to. Even though the architecture that hosts the moves disappears, thus leaving only sounds and movements, the gestures do not lose their meaning. The physicality of the space does not have any relationship with them. Local and global vanish, they persist as concepts, they correspond with the space itself, or with its absence, into the negative space, into the non-presence of any architecture that could characterize them. The action of a worker of the Chinese Republic echoes into a European square.

What does determine the areas, and their use, of a public square? For sure urban furniture has a strong influence, but also, if not even more, its life connected, for instance, with environmental/climatic factors such as light and shadow. How much do summer and winter influence the life of a public space? Vivien Tauchmann during her performance moved to a point of the square protected from the sun, thus leaving, in fact, her previous sunny place.

Follow perpetual motion report and participate with comments on the dedicated Soundcloud profile.
https://soundcloud.com/perpetual-motion-report

Perpetual motion report_Mixtape #1_Tuesday 9.10.2018

Audio mapping of Place de la Monnaie during the installation “Conference of the Bird” by Martin Belou.
Coordinates of the microphone 50°51’00″N 4°21’13″E
Coordinates of the artwork 50°50’59″N 4°21’12″E

Perpetual motion report is concentrated on the negative space, on the invisible pavilion. What does define the physical existence of an architecture? Starting from the idea of a physical pavilion, the aim to avoid the same logic of the event-oriented public space, drives and drifts us on the limits of architectural definition, to the minimal and minimum, the architecture as it’s own absence. At the same time, if we look at architecture as a constriction rather than a capacity to perform, its absence corresponds to the maximum degree of performability, the totally free and undetermined space, the empty plateau.

The installation present in the space passed almost unnoticed. The square is more inhabited by the flux of pedestrian traffic.

In a certain way, Perpetual motion report is a praise to the absence of character of Place de la Monnaie, the emptiness space. Mapping the space through its sounds, exactly from the opposite position of the “stage of the performances”, can give us an invisible atlas of possible spaces.

As for “Conference of the Birds” by Martin Below, the possible architecture of the public space could be something destinate to be consumed, digested, and to disappear, thus assuming always different configurations.

 

Follow perpetual motion report and participate with comments on the dedicated Soundcloud profile.
https://soundcloud.com/perpetual-motion-report

UNDERLYING, A DÉRIVE-ATIVE: SEA RISE AND SETTLER FUTURITIES

The video and essay Underlying are part of Rozalinda Borcilă’s experimental art research that explores the governance of climate change and rising sea levels in Miami. They are based on a seminar that coupled discursive pathways with field trips or “learning walks”—a situated, embodied, and relational modality—to consider how the financial logic of “climate resiliency” is connected with enduring histories of racialization and the ongoing process of inscribing settler colonial jurisdictions on native (wet)lands. The text describes some of the analytical and theoretical explorations that took place in the seminar, while the video offers a glimpse of the embodied part of the research by documenting a few group field trips charting a pathway from west to east, between the ocean and the hemmed-in wetlands—from the infrastructures of informational networks to hydraulic pumps against saltwater intrusion, sites of public “Indianness,” logistics zones, limestone mines, and prisons. In Underlying, Borcila will interweave the theoretical and embodied modalities to offer a glimpse of an emerging analytics.

underlying, a dérive-ative: sea rise and settler futurities is part of the ongoing interventions which take place from Oct 9 till Oct 13 2018 in the framework of the new local.

Full text PDF

Texts

TEXTUAL (NON-)DOCUMENTATIONS

Different writers have been invited to “write with” the experience of the artistic interventions. Slow Reading Club’s text ‘on’ Helena Dietrich’s 22h reading through the body conference, is as close as possible to experience not occurring. Huib Haye van der Werf writes with Vivien Tauchmann’s self-as-other trainings and Hana Miletic’ Softwares, and Eleanor Ivory Weber approaches Ola Hassanain’s hear me out 2, and so that everything doesn’t happen at once by Sasha Litvintseva and Beny Wagner through ‘sub text labour’ techniques.

 

 

Slow Reading Club_TEXT
PDF
Huibhaye van der Werf_Kinesthetic Understanding²
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Huibhaye van der Werf
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Nor Ivory Weber_Heard, heart, hear, hearts, overhearing, hearing, heartland, disheartened*
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