Parallel Parasite : Timeline Repository

4 June-30 September 2018
Research center 18/II curated by Lilia Mestre
A month residency at ZSenne ArtLab : On Anarchiving > On Love > On Score -ing > On the spot > On presence
“Gatherings of parallel parasite platforms for practice based research in the arts > If you want to know, come!”
From the 4th till the 30th of June 2018 the a.pass Research Centre (RC) was in residency at ZSenne ArtLab and constituted itself as people met, as thematics emerged, as the environment conditioned, as the weather manifested, as the bodies formed, as toxicity persisted, as we drove ourselves towards multiplying perspectives for thinking and experiencing phenomena emerging from artistic research practices.
The RC functioned as a meeting point for the convergence of concerns, interests and the pleasures of learning together. The proposal researched itself and its modus operandi in terms of hospitality, dissensus and criticality through the various research practices proposed.
The propositions consisted in reading groups, activating thinking/doing practices, score -ing, speculative talks, and registration/documentation formats in order to converge multiple insights on reflecting/experiencing in the quasi public environment of the gallery space.
The Research Center in residency invited several guests which were interested in thinking and experiencing ‘gathering’ as a form of knowledge processing bridging theoretical and experiential approaches. These gatherings didn’t depart from personal concerns but aimed to bring to practice inter-subjective frame works to question artistic research as a learning together field.
This approach addressed two main curatorial concerns. The first was about the publicness of a Research Centre for artistic research: what is its visibility, accessibility and share-ability? What are the internal and external demands and needs of such environments? The second came from an observation on what I’m calling parallel-parasite platforms for practice based research in the arts.
a.pass is constantly questioning the positionality and share-ability of what is learned and interrogating the political implications of the research practices. In response to those problematics, the proposition was to dislocate the RC to a semi-public environment and to locate it temporary in a gallery space, one of the per-se spaces for the exhibition. The question that was driving this movement (from the inside to the outside) was: can the a.pass RC in dis-location generate a hub for the study of some of its practices? can this movement instigate other forms of share-ability and access that are informal and porous? We addressed the agency of such public-ness and how it gave perspective to the critical doing and the critical thinking in artistic research and what forms of sociability it generated.
In this movement between having to retreat from the world and then go back to the world as both places to make sense (study) of our relation with things, various questions start to appear: What is the importance and articulation of doing/thinking practices? And what kind of positionality would this create in the semi-academic frame work?
What kind of environments and practices can we envisage to share political/ aesthetic concerns? what kind of ‘library’ would we build to address these concerns?
The three main proposals were: SOL (School of Love) proposed by Adva Zakai, The way of the Anarchive proposed by Erin Manning (SenseLAb) and ScoreScapes proposed by Lilia Mestre (a.pass). These invited quasi – institutional set ups affiliated in one way or another with the academic environment are experimental formats that question learning processes. They are actively and critically challenging modalities of knowledge production in artistic research. All these ‘parallel-parasite platforms’ or ‘ways of doing’ are engaged in thinking-doing practices that converge theoretical and artistic research practice approaches.
Each practice had a specific way of opening to the public. The basic structure was a daily private practice for a group of invited artistic researchers and an open door practice everyday from 17:30 till 20:00 where public conversations and doings welcomed the interested and the passerby.
About this website:
We filmed every public discussion. These had different forms and subjects, from socratic dialogue to classic lecture, recorded interview , mediated discussion passing through a drumming concert with after talk. The videos and sound recordings of all these moments are collected in time line of 20 hours. No editing is added. Sina Seifee created an interface on top of the video which allows to complement it with other materials collected and a-posteriori reflections. As a viewer, one can scroll through and find points of interest. We followed the anarchive* guide lines of SensLab to proceed with our investigation. For more information about the website visit this page.
The RC is mainly working with alumni and associated researchers linked with the a.pass Research Center.
For Parallel Parasite we were:
Alex Arteaga, Silvia Pinto Coelho, Bojana Cvejic, Nikolaus Gansterer, Nicolas Galeazzi, Adrijana Gvozdenovic, Nico Dockx, Steven Jouwersma, Halbe Kuipers, Pia Louwerens, Sara Manente, Marialena Merouda, Erin Manning, Brian Massumi, Lilia Mestre, Martino Morandi, Pierre Rubio, Sina Seifee, Eric Thielemans, Femke Snelting, Eleanor Weber, Adva Zakai, Veridiana Zurita with Petra Van Dyck and Lea Dietschmann.
and the post-master researchers:
Elen Braga, Nasia Fourtouni, Leo Kay, Laura Pante, Geert Vaes, Maurice Meewisse, Caterina Mora, Ezther Nemethi, Hoda Siahtiri, Goda Palekaite, Katinka Van Gorkum.
Immediations project in SenseLab
  1. The anarchive is best defined for the purposes of the Immediations project as a repertory of traces of collaborative research-creation events. The traces are not inert, but are carriers of potential. They are reactivatable, and their reactivation helps trigger a new event which continues the creative process from which they came, but in a new iteration.
  2. Thus the anarchive is not documentation of a past activity. Rather, it is a feed-forward mechanism for lines of creative process, under continuing variation.
  3. The anarchive needs documentation – the archive – from which to depart and through which to pass. It is an excess energy of the archive: a kind of supplement or surplus-value of the archive.

Join the Conversation


  1. ###Introduction to Group Conversation between Lauren Grusenmeyer and School of Love###

    *Heike Langsdorf*

    Taking part in a week-long SOL conference at Buda, Kortrijk in 2017, I witnessed a strong practice of imagining and describing the future and—through this—of designating a ‘reality’ that we can believe in, despite it not being realized. I experienced both the wonder and danger of imagination that works on an object that does not yet want to be realized, just thought.

    When I observed that, apart from gathering on a regular basis, nothing was really done during SOL meetings per se, it confirmed the power and importance of regularity as such when it comes to learning. In SOL, the (non)activity of regularly hanging out, and thus of not planning ahead, does not rely on, make use of, or build any specific practice at all. All there was in the beginning was a sort of score, an invitation to wonder with a given direction:

    Maybe one day, love will no longer be considered a private endeavour or a hippy slogan, but rather a public and a political mode of being. Imagine a time when schools will not merely be a protective incubator that prepares one for life outside of them, but an engaged environment that influences the world…[ “School of Love, on Love Communality and School”, School of Love, accessed February 1, 2019, ]


    SOL has no predetermined curriculum. It avoids defining itself and its goals in order to allow activities to emerge through the presence and interest of its participants, who come from inside KASK as well from outside of the institution. Anyone can be a part of SOL, anything can become a project in it, and it can take place anywhere, as long as it’s stimulated by the will to re-think both school and love as charged with potential for change and engagement in society. It is what we make it to be.[ Ibid.]

    The fact that we all have different experiences ‘meeting ourselves’ in the context of SOL is very comparable to our participation in society at large. Maybe SOL might turn out to be, first and foremost, a place to be imagined, and thus a place in our minds. That said, it is definitely also a concrete place where we encounter how we act in the face of freedom.

    What does this lack of concrete practices then tell us? Might SOL—and here I am not comparing it to society, but embracing it in its small-scale and its fragility—be a drive that brings people together, rather than a group that commits to a certain practice? Maybe SOL is meant to work like a cupid, or like many cupids. After all, these beings do not have to succeed in loving; rather, they create matches and mis-matches, harmonies and dissonances, sympathy and aversion, mutual understanding, or simply irritation. At times there is also celebration, as SOL does organize or participate in public presentations!

    In addition to its many other qualities, love brings people together. It is only through serious relational work, however, that in love we find a way to transform encounters into sustained worlds.

    When I invited Adva Zakai to contribute to this volume by describing the experience of founding SOL and, since, attempting to make it a self-regulative and self-organized group, Lauren Grusenmeyer had just proposed to conduct a group interview with its members (who in SOL are those interested in gathering at a given time). A perfect moment to stop wondering on my own and engage in conversation…

    Heike Langsdorf

  2. ###Introduction to Group Conversation between Lauren Grusenmeyer and School of Love###

    *Lauren Grusenmeyer*

    The following interview was conducted around a research project I carried out at Sint Lucas School of Arts, Antwerp entitled WORKOUT. In that project, my goal was to explore how we set up rules and conditions for our creative processes, and how these conditions shape our work. I believe that, to a large extent, the processes through which things come into being shape their actual outcome. The conditions that shape these processes are thus of importance. How does our work change when we change the conditions under which we work?

    This emphasis on process opposes the idea that the final output is the only valuable object in a research or creation process. It challenges goal-oriented, perfectionist models and offers a broader perspective on modes of production. In my research, I explore practices that are conscious of, and experiment with, this idea. Over the past few years, I have engaged in dialogues with three different collectives: School of Love, End to End–Performing Objects, and Un/Settled. All of these collectives value this belief to the extent that they have built their artistic practices around it; their practices depart from this understanding and subsequently explore the sub-realities it produces. How is our work affected by the understanding that process shapes outcome? How do the environments in which we practice influence our work? How can we set up a creative process with a group of people? How can we develop new methodologies to produce new work? Can a method become the work itself? All of the above questions are explored with varying degrees of intensity in the interviews I conducted.

    The following interview with School of Love took place during a week-long residency in ZSenne ArtLab in the frame of Parallel Parasite—a project initiated by a.pass. The transcript will be republished at a later stage in the context of WORKOUT. I gladly offer this pre-publication to Practicing the Future through Voicing as a grateful nod to the productive dialogue that can emerge from sharing practices.

    Lauren Grusenmeyer

  3. #A Conversation with School of Love#

    With: *Hazal Arda, Lauren Grusenmeyer, Ritam Hazarika, Heike Langsdorf, Lilia Mestre, Stef Meul, Elli Vassalou, Adva Zakai, and Weronika Zalewska*

    **Szenne Gallery, 07/06/2018**

    LG: My interest in School of Love started when I participated in a week-long workshop with the group at Buda, Kortrijk. I was moved by the statement announcing the workshop and had a deep urge to be part of this happening where the relationship between the notions of love and school would be rethought. Although School of Love states that they work without rules or recurring concepts, SOL in itself has a practice, a way of working. Even if that way of working is always negated and reassessed, I do still think there is some kind of structure/basic premise around which you work—i.e. the notions of school and love and reinvention of a new ‘school of love’. With this dialogue, I would like to dive deeper in your habits, your ways of working, your unspoken rules and agreements. I wonder: how do you work? How do you organize your work process? How do you structure yourselves? Who takes the lead in this non-hierarchical setup? Who makes decisions? And how do you distribute your work? If my belief that the process in a which a work is made contributes to the final product, then how does this come about in this group? Of course, I also want to talk about love and how it can become a modus operandi for schools. So, let me start by asking: from where did School of Love originate?

    AZ: I think it came about in two bursts. The first one happened when it was my turn to organize the project week at KASK. I proposed to do a workshop where we would develop models for schools that teach love by investigating the notions of love and school. From there, we would start fantasizing about whether we could consider love as a public and not a personal concern by moving it from the personal domain to the socio-political domain. If love then becomes a public concern, we thought we needed to invent schools that introduce people to this notion by giving them tools that handle this or reflect on that. The conclusion was that love should be one of the concerns thought in schools. However, it is very hard to imagine that most schools, as we know them today, would be able to teach love. Because love is not something you can give a class about. Love is something you do. So, the whole structure, curriculum, and mode of being in a school should be reinvented. That was the original starting point.
    We spent a week together reflecting on all of this. At the end of this week, we developed a few models for schools. But we also realized that while we were developing these models, we actually created a school of love for ourselves. At the end of the week, we felt it could not stop there.

    HA: We all agreed on that. The whole class felt it had to continue. Although it was obligatory to participate in the workshop, it provided a space of togetherness, which was one of the biggest facets in our rethinking of what it means to embed love in a school. We wanted to continue. But from then on, it became more complicated to organize ourselves. We had to structure ourselves, negotiate with the institute about time and regulations, find time to meet, etc. In a meeting, we wrote out a list of core values for School of Love. Then nothing happened for a good while. Suddenly, the institution itself (KASK) took an interest in us. They heard we were willing to engage with the curriculum and they recognized that wish.

    AZ: School of Love started to meet weekly in KASK. Technically, School of Love is not a regular course offered by the department, but it aims to offer a time slot in which students and teachers can meet without any expectations. Except for knowing that we meet every week, we decided not to decide ahead of time what would happen in the meetings. That was the first principle. It gradually became clear to us that the idea of School of Love within KASK is to create a framework in which we can do things that the curriculum does not allow—not because KASK does not welcome certain practices, but rather because something in the structure of the fixed curriculum does not take us there. So, it is not an alternative to the structure we are in, but rather a pocket within it that enables gaps and flexibilities.

    HA: While building of School of Love, we realized that we actually wanted to get away from a lot of the structures we had to engage with. We decided to consciously avoid a definition or timeframe or the declaration of a specific purpose for School of Love. We implemented a flexible nature in which letting things go is an option, and engagement is not an obligation. School of Love does not belong to us. Anyone, at anytime, anywhere can be a school of love. As long as they claim it.

    LG: Would you define this as a ‘doing love’? A leaving space for things to emerge in the absence of rules? Do you believe love can only be experienced when there is unconditionality at its base?

    HL: I think that SOL is rather about finding rules in situ. And that is all but unconditional. It is the very core of making, of sociality, community etc. Rules ‘emerge’ through practice.

    Loving Strangers

    AZ: For me, SOL is first and foremost a school. It is convivial, but it is not just a social gathering. Even if we end up just lying on the cushions and reflecting about KASK for hours and we don’t come up with anything that can be translated into a project, it is still a school because we study and take care of matters that concern us. This mode of intention and attention is primary.

    HA: We managed to come up with a practice of relaxing with such an intensity that you become exhausted.

    EV: We call it “deep hanging out”. This is actually an existing term in anthropology. Instead of interviewing a subject, the anthropologist hangs out with them, and things just happen. They don’t follow a specific time structure or conceptual set up; they just spend time together.

    HA: Some of our works start when we complain about things when we hang out. We often talk about structural changes, but we often also research the emotional reasons behind things. A more intimate mode of being allows a conversation to develop which otherwise would not have happened.

    EV: School of Love is also about reciprocation. We inform the School of Love with our practices and the School of Love informs our practices. My master project was a series of lunches. I started it during School of Love, and then School of Love became a member of my project, and at the end it somehow became a School of Love project. We were making love.

    HA: One of the biggest reasons we were interested in School of Love from the beginning was that it allowed us to work together. The other structures in the school do not really let that happen. However, there are certain types of work that require a group. For me, there is a lot of critical, social importance to this.

    HL: I guess you mean that other structures at school work from within the existing possibilities. Because it actually is possible to work together. But what SOL explicitly claims is a radical autonomy—an autonomy that is problematic and provocative but nonetheless interesting to demand.

    WZ: I think that at some point you realize that the best way to come together is by spending a few days together so that you can really go on a journey as a group. Those are also the times when ideas grow the most. There, you can connect physical practice with discussions, the private with the public, and you can allow people from the outside to join. It is kind of like a family.

    HA: For me, a large part of what I learned at School of Love was how to engage with other people—how to have an intimate, personal, and professional connection with many people at the same time. Often, when you work on a project and meet new people, you don’t know each other, but you aim for something very intimate. That is the kind of ‘loving strangers’ relationship we were formulating in School of Love.

    LG: It seems to me that there are diverse ways of relating to School of Love. For instance, you have more direct ways of participating with it as the core group does and more passive ways such as those that passersby exemplify.

    AZ: Yes, that is something very beautiful about School of Love. There are different kinds of “lovers”. There is a small core group that is almost always present, and then there is a larger group of people who love to be there, but who come when it suits them. And then you also have people who come whenever we do something intensive. Suddenly they pop up again when we propose to do a workshop. Finally, there is also the mailing list! Some people engage only through responding to emails.

    Only once in the history of School of Love was I the only person to show up. Which, if you think about it, is very little given that we meet every week and people can come and go as they wish. But that one time I still stayed because I was there anyway giving class beforehand. I then had a talk with a student who was there but did not consider herself a participant of School of Love despite us being in the same place. We had an amazing talk that about what she was doing in the school and how her personal condition influenced her work. Together, we thought of ideas about how to develop the project she was working on considering this situation. These are things we are usually not able to discuss in the curriculum, but in School of Love it is what we do. In the end, she said: “so you are not going to have School of Love today?” And I said: “well what do you think this was?”

    You cannot plan this kind of conversation. For instance, if I would plan this as a teacher, it might not suit the students to have a very personal interaction about the private, the professional, and the school. If you propose this, it needs to be backed up by a strong reason. Whereas if you just enter this kind of empty mental and physical space together, this happens by itself.

    EV: For me, School of Love is what you do when school is suspended, but you are still in school. It is what you would do in the corridor, or (based on my experience with Greek universities), what you would do when you squat a school or take part in a demonstration. It is the time you have outside of the curriculum. However, with School of Love we do not demonstrate, nor are we against school. Rather, we are in a reclaiming mode. It is the only place in the curriculum (apart from the project week) where you can do something together with students from other years. Since School of Love is open to everyone, you can exchange a lot with a diverse range of students.

    HA: There are also no expectations.

    EV: It is beautiful, but it is also what makes people move away from us. It lacks the neoliberal mode of doing things for a certain purpose, such as doing assignments because you need the mark. At times, people don’t know how to engage with School of Love. They have to be open, they have to leave behind the client vs provider relationship that students and teachers at times share.

    WZ: The meetings also tend to be much more popular when there is a clear agenda, or when we do a presentation, film screening, or reading. It is a matter of being productive with time, otherwise people don’t know what to expect and it becomes too vague.

    HL: It makes me wonder: what is the surplus of the autonomous status of SOL? That imagination starts all over again? For me, that might be its strongest quality. At the same time, it undermines what has already been tried out elsewhere. This attitude does not want to study the world, but to reinvent it. This has both productive and unproductive consequences. 

    HA: If you haven’t experienced different modes of engaging with life, then it becomes a habit to relate to it in such a way. Sometimes it is hard for people to imagine how this can work, since we do not have teachers, students, or any clearly defined roles. We restate this philosophy every meeting, but even then, some people will not speak because they are new and follow our lead as a student would.

    AZ: We also refuse to commit to any outcome. We are very happy when we manage to realize a project, but we avoid having one as a goal. It is very difficult to engage with such a statement, but our commitment is primarily towards a mode of being with each other. However, if a concrete project emerges from this intention, we will welcome it and invest fully in realizing it.

    Unpredictable Love

    LM: It seems to me that School of Love has become an entity in itself—a practice or process which has become the work itself. The act of doing the practice then becomes the work. However, in the past you focused very clearly on developing new modes of schools that have love embedded in them. Is that still a central aim?

    AZ: Developing models of schools is not the aim, but rather a framed practice that enables studying matters of love and school deeper and deeper. I am researching how school structures can be based on improvisation. A model of a school we once developed called The School of Unpredictable Love made its curriculum with the presence of the participants. We recently proposed that the Istanbul Biennale put this model into practice and research it further. What this kind of school can teach is how to develop a kind of attention or attentiveness. It does not, however, provide pre-existing knowledge. The production of knowledge is a byproduct of this mode of attention.

    HA: When we come up with a project, we have no idea what will come up. We are attracted to something for a certain reason, and we have certain ideas about how we want to work with it. We know something will come. Eventually we sit back and reflect on what it gave. But this is never a concrete reflection. Since there are many things happening at the same time, it is constantly changing. Every participant relates very differently to the process. Some just have a good time, while other have ground-breaking ideas.

    AZ: It is very important to say that there is a lot of nothingness present in School of Love, and this is embraced, although we lost many people along the way because of this. The nothingness is connected to the fact that there is never nothing, but always something. And maybe this thing that you are not able to see, or you don’t realize is there, is invisible because we are conditioned to detect importance in other things than the thing which is hidden in nothingness. There are norms and expectations and curriculums that prevent us from connecting to things that are actually full of potential and can really enrich us, but whose presence we are not even able to sense. We translate them into nothing. So, it is important to be in this nothingness in order to develop your sensitivity to what is actually there.

    HA: We know what it is, but we don’t have a name for it. It is not a singular kind of thing we engage in. Even when we meet, we are often engaged in three or four layers and topics at the same time. There is never a topic of the day. School of Love is by nature discursively evasive, which gives us a lot of freedom.

    HL: I always struggled with one thing in regard to School of Love, which is this antagonism towards the school, based on the assumption that we cannot practice from within institutional formats and that we thus need to oppose them. However, for me that was not the strongest aspect. Strongest, for me, was seeing that this radicalization of improvisation—of not planning ahead and just hanging out together—started to create a narrative or the promise of a narrative: “We are the school of love and if we imagine school and love differently, what will it enable?” Even if I did not have time to attend or was not in the mood for “deep hanging out”, I kept myself busy thinking about what kind of practice that would be. What would it mean to really try not to develop anything as an institution does, but to gather and then see what is lingering, unraveling? How can we actually really listen to one another?

    I have no answer at all. But I am looking at practices that try to “do” the future. Not by declaring a big project, but by coming back to one and the same thing. School of Love has become a practice; people have come together—they have wanted to come together again and again. It became a recurring event and it took place between other places. I became really interested in how something starts to take volume. What makes people commit so eagerly is quite clear when we talk about yoga or playing tennis. But an intention for gathering in order to just let happen what needs to happen is less manifest.

    AZ: The regularity is the main thing I learned from the School of Love—how, through regularity, you develop a practice because you always revisit the same thing. And by revisiting, you can compare how it was before and think of how it could be the next time. It becomes a long-term engagement, even if you don’t know what you are engaging in. The regularity generates knowledge and understanding.

    Discursively Evasive

    LM: You have written out a protocol with a set of values that are at the base of School of Love. Why did you write that and how important is it for you?

    HA: Our values were never like principles to us. I feel like we had to write our protocol because we had to hand in applications and we were asked to present ourselves. We had to make ourselves tangible, so we tried our best to formulate what was happening in the moment. But I don’t like particularly like to repeat them constantly so that they become a narrative. Maybe School of Love will become a School of Hate for one year; that should be possible.

    AZ: We always say that nothing is fixed, but there is actually a very strict framework. It is strict, however, in its allowance of different points of engagement.

    LM: Even the fact that you don’t want to focus on an outcome or that you embrace nothingness is a kind of score or rule, one could say.

    HL: I read the statement of School of Love many times and I realized that there is a lot more to it than just being a statement. It conditions my mind. I am asked to imagine something that makes me reflect on what already is. And as soon as I do so, I am already participating in something. I am part of a group of people wondering about things as they are in order to imagine a possible future.

    HA: Yes, but sometimes to imagine you have to stop saying “imagine”. Narratives can be overwhelming as they generate an in-authentic and constraining mode of being. However, at times it is interesting for me to re-read our statement because I forgot where we began. But at other times it becomes too much of a fixed identity or narrative. Creating better and better definitions or more and more interesting texts is not necessarily what we are interested in.

    WZ: The buildup of an identity is troubling, but it is part of the process of presenting ourselves to the world. Some people still really don’t know what we do. Even at KASK, for some it is still a mystery what School of Love is.

    EV: The question also is: what do you do with your history? I think that is what we are struggling with. We are already two years old, so we have a past and we are starting to walk. People tend to look back to see what we have been and understand what we are. But we want to keep on improvising and we try to live in the moment.

    AZ: There is also a very practical problem to deal with. The more projects we have, the more we have to work to produce them. And because School of Love is something we do on top of other things, it becomes a lot. Last year I ended up being completely burned out because of all the love I gave to School of Love. The question arises: what are we creating for ourselves? Out of trying to liberate ourselves from certain patterns, we might actually end up producing even worse ones.

    HA: Earlier, we were talking about the future of School of Love, as we are all burned out and struggling. It was very difficult for me to say I would let School of Love go, as I had invested a lot in it and somehow it is at the center of my life. But at the moment I accepted that thought, I found the energy to come back with a different approach. So, in the future it will become something else. Because if we will continue with it we will have to change our attitude towards it.

    EV: Slowly, we are becoming a family, as we are very familiar with each other. Sometimes we fight, and it is emotionally charged, which is very strange for people who have just joined.

    WZ: Few people are raised in a communal way where the division of tasks is a primary necessity. A lot of people come to School of Love when they can get or experience something interesting. But how can they contribute to School of Love? That is still a learning process.

    HA: For me, School of Love is an interesting playground to research how to do such things. People created very strange ways of relating to one another professionally because of such problems. We are in need of new and different roles, and that is also what we are researching.

    AZ: School of Love definitely meets its own limitations, which makes it very interesting.

    LM: I also think that is what it makes it fascinating. School of Love is a doubly reflective project. On the one hand, you think about how to re-do school, and, on the other hand, you are doing while you are thinking. As such, it becomes a meta-meta-reflection. And by doing the practice, you live through the struggles that need to come up. In that conflicted zone, it becomes research and it has the power to shape something new.

    HA: It is the practice of imagining it and then also doing it. It becomes research by trying to be research. We try to practice what we preach.

    AZ: This is exactly where it becomes research. It confronts the difficulties or the realities it produces. It wants to create certain realities that create sub-realities. All of these realities need to be explored.

    A friendly parasite

    HL: There is another part to School of Love that strikes my interest. When you propose a kind of “wild practice” to a place that handles institutionalized ways of living, it is usually liked by those who make policy. These grassroot initiatives tend to be supported in the beginning without any resistance. But the moment this proposal asks for further steps or implementation, initiators are often asked to be a little less present and to continue in a lighter version.

    I guess a volume always pushes other things—not in the sense of ‘pushing away’, but ‘moving between’. When it is not absolutely clear why that moving is happening, it seems to generate fear, as it creates instability. I wonder why that fear arises. Maybe it has to do with what seems plausible. Big steps seem easy to trigger a vague imagination, but they are impossible to prescribe for the same reason. To the contrary, small steps—sticking radically to what can become possible in the long term—can be realized immediately. Maybe the very breaking down of big step scenarios into many plausibly linked small steps is a new form of art — an art of avoiding fear?

    AZ: We are facing quite a crucial moment. Although KASK was and still is very supportive, they have mentioned that School of Love will probably not last because it is not a part of the curriculum. At the same time, more and more people from the community are interested in School of Love, so it might be a moment of transition. Maybe School of Love can live on without being attached to KASK or any other school.

    SM: I would say that School of Love is a discourse on what it means to be a school and what love means in our society. From within the school, there is a possibility for a person to react to given structures, to be encouraged to think beyond the current settings, and to be the proverbial grain in the machine where critique is harboured to improve an institution’s ways of functioning. Without these structures, the organisation of a school practice needs to source itself from within its own abilities to gather the necessary means for knowledge production, without any guarantee for success.

    LM: Yes, but I believe you can still exist in relation to school. School of Love might expand into a non-disciplinary, non-age restricted, non-professional vs professional organism embedded in a different environment. However, I think School of Love will always stay related to KASK because there are people from KASK in it. But maybe it can function outside of it. This autonomy I find interesting. Is it a project? Is it a pedagogical research? What is it and what can it become?

    AZ: School of Love started by mirroring the institution, or rather by inflating the institution. But when the context in which it operates changes, it certainly will have different concerns.

    HA: Right now, however, how we differ from the institution defines us. In a sense, we can keep ourselves more fluid that way. Schools tend to create laboratories. Since there is an existing mode of approaching things, we try to envision alternative ways. For me it is like a playground where I can reflect on school while being in it. These past two years, I feel like I have developed many ideas or perceptions of my own thanks to School of Love. Maybe one day I would like to do something not in connection to KASK. However, at the moment I would like to remain here. And maybe one day, School of Love can exist further without us.

    AZ: But who is “us”?

    HA: The core group.

    LM: This is exactly the principal of institutionalization in action. You are talking about something as if it does not exist, while it clearly does, even though it is not legal or set in stone. There is a form with rules, a core, a concept, ways of interacting. If these would not be there, it would not exist either. If you do not understand the concept, it is more difficult to attend. The formulation of the school of love is what creates collaborators. You know what you are expecting. And maybe what you expect is no expectations, but it is a clear concept even if its form is always becoming.

    SM: How would you propose to proceed in order to support yourselves financially?

    HA: Such a question does not exist.

    AZ: No, it is a very good question! As we said earlier, we already have some clearly defined projects, which were possible thanks to budgets and favours given to us by institutions.

    EV: We are a bit like a parasite.

    HA: But a friendly parasite. We always give something back in return.

    LM: There is always money, even if it is not directly handed out. There are support structures such as, for instance, time and location which are exchanged. There is actually quiet some money going around.

    HA: However, it is a great thing that we are not a regularly paid group. As long as we are a healthy parasite that not only takes but gives back, we can keep working. Creating this institution-like group calling itself a school has always felt sarcastic to me. Finding resources becomes part of the practice and the adventure. It helps us to keep changing and inventing new modes of working.

    AZ: When you start asking for money, you have to define what you do in a very specific way that fits the logic of a system that for me School of Love is trying to evade and avoid. School of Love allows me to engage with projects and practices that I would otherwise not come up with alone. It takes me to places and projects. I am very tired of always being the artist that initiates and knows how to define a practice so well that nothing is left to emerge. I would never come up with what School of Love comes up with. I need a structure, a non-structure, like this to surprise me. It is about creating an environment that can really surprise you with what you end up doing inside of it. When you need to hand in an application, you have to define your vision beforehand; you have to clarify clearly to what this connects and how this links back to your own trajectory. This is exactly the package we try to avoid.

    WZ: Those collective initiatives are literally what we live by. In Ghent, I can see very well how young artists are like snakes trying to find cracks to pass through. Of course, it is hard in terms of money and legal issues, but there is a community that keeps things alive. We spend our time working on these kinds of projects, and, in a way, they are saving the city. They do that very creatively and determinedly.

    AZ: I was thinking that it could be interesting for School of Love to propose itself to various places (for instance art centres) to host us and give us facilities for half a year in exchange for us holding a School of Love there. This would show how the institution is reflected back through School of Love. Why not go and dwell in different environments?

    LM: I think that might be very interesting because, to me, it feels like School of Love needs an original structure to derive from.

    EV: The desire to be undone has to come from two sides. We have to fall in love with somebody and somebody has to fall in love with us. That way we will both be changed. And I think this is the way School of Love can change. Some ideas will come to meet us, and we will have to find new ways to be together.

    HA: We are professional lovers.

  4. The Meaning Of — an exploration of alternative perspectives
    Experimental Dialogue Setting

    For this afternoon session, we were warmly invited to collectively explore new connotations, meanings and narratives of socio-political terms in a playful and experimental dialogue setting.

    Together we took a close look at the very language we use every day and explored attentive listening, empathic responses and collective thinking processes leaning on the Socratic Method and Bohm Dialogue.

    Simplification is on the rise, and works for political discourses, ideological propaganda, hasty conclusions, and communication via mass media.

    To embrace and sustain complexity, multiplicity and difference and to set social, cultural and political transformation in motion, attention to language and communication is needed.

    Unlike material words, abstract words refer to ideas and concepts. They stay intangible unless they are being filled with narratives and meaning.

    Only with and through each other can we break through existing patterns, engage in other perspectives, resist assimilation, and conjure up visions for the present and the future.

  5. This was on overflow and ecstasy as concepts of getting in touch with both materiality and planetary forces. On attending what appears in the moment with curiosity as a form of learning together. Eric keeps saying he wants to ‘get lost’ in order to make ‘things’ and contexts speak.

  6. Differential > different > absolut difference
    Discord and consent (what protects social subjectivity from fascism)
    The field / the real
    Identity politics
    story telling > what effects does they have
    the dramaturg has the one who is causing problems
    the more than > or the more and the multiple > presence of the virtual
    singularity versus individuality
    situated actualisation
    what is a collective idea of care > how generative becomes a manipulative practice
    emergence of the collectivity > tacit agreement in tolerating Erin Manning > stay in silence > fear of lack of articulation > (another articulation of creating meaning) >

  7. The promiss of sharing > the frustration of not being able to be recognised >
    How to deal of the accusation of being playing the neo-liberal game?
    I what ways is apass resisting?
    exhaustion > hyper productivity > self branding > self producing > participation in the new liberal system

  8. Marialena: the paradox of individualism: ownership of the program of collective pracrice by usually one person
    negation of what one is working on and invested in, in the name of collective spirit

    Pia: square example, respond to the emergent event problem, impersonal stance, it is about the game, ignoring the history of objects,

    Sina: why we are not convinced by some concepts and not others? (does it has to do with the idea? or the way it is brought)

    Lilia: the problem of Manning’s unavailabilty to prepare her for apass

    Adrijana: not knowing us properly before propegating a concept (as neccessary and imperative) on us

    Pia: jan MICHELIN school as a concept where you are suspended –Sina–> how to disagree?

  9. #SCORESCAPES# Thinking Scores as Pedagogical Tool is an ongoing research in the context of a.pass. For this occasion the score will serve the question of ‘being in an (other) place’ which is not home, which is semi-public, which will constitute a composite body and which will be in the ‘here’ of the public space and of the a.pass Research Center. Which tender social formation will take place? What will appear from the rubbing between institutional paradigms and the discourses that resist? The score wants to make appear narratives localized in that time/place frame work. We will work with writing and physical forms of presence and we’ll go in between inside and outside, the individual and the group, in between the here and there, between being part of and being other. #SCORESCAPES# bears witness to affective relationships for understanding the self and the collective through acts of gathering and attending to varied modes of being with their respective backgrounds, moods, sensibilities, political concerns, and theories. Acting as a system that establishes questions and answers set in time and place, the scores propose regular encounters as conditions for intensive exchange. They propose a system of interaction where varied aesthetic experiences coexist, complement, challenge and inspire otherness with the potential to trace it. The Score wishes to underline the importance of the experiential aspect of things as a thinking-partner.

Leave a comment