Jubilee Summer School Brussels: Alternative Learning and Self-organisation 
22 – 26/09/2023

Various locations in and around Brussels

This summer school will bring together a group of artists and researchers associated with Jubilee. The platform has been imagining and inventing an artist-run platform for artistic research since 2012. For this summer school everyone involved presents work, research or processes connected to alternative learning, presents their collective or organisation and its ways of working from which we can learn, or proposes activities framed by ideas of alternative learning, local knowledge, and self-organisation. Jubilee is itself a tool for artistic researchers to develop, produce and present their work. As such, it has developed different tools for artistic research for which this summer school has particular attention.

For the detailed programme, please see further below.

Two moments are fully public:

Monday 25/09, 19:30h
Project(ion) Room – De Praeterestraat 55, 1180 Ukkel
Le balai libéré
Coline Grando, 2023, 88 min.

In the 1970s, the cleaning staff at the Catholic University of Louvain fired their bosses with the help of unions and engaged members of the university staff. They set up their own cleaning cooperative, Le Balai libéré. They ran the operation until in the course of the 1980s, when a new law required public institutions to periodically publish tenders for all ‘commercial’ partners. This inevitably led for-profit companies to promise to have the same work done for less money – by fewer people, higher work pressure, and worse professional relationships. Fifty years later, the cleaning staff at UCLouvain do not remember Le Balai libéré, even if most of them are rehired every time a new company ‘wins’ the cleaning contract with the university, as they are the only ones who are sufficiently knowledgeable and skilled for the task. They meet the self-organised workers of the past and wonderr: is working without a boss still an option?

Tuesday 26/09, 19:30h
Project(ion) Room – De Praeterestraat 55, 1180 Ukkel
Asger Jorn
Per Kirkeby, Denmark, 1977, 62 min.

An artist’s film about Asger Jorn, artistic researcher avant-la-lettre and founding member of the collectives and movements COBRA and the Situationist International.

Painter Per Kirkeby directed the film, about which he wrote: “Fiction. When I made my film about Asger Jorn, that was my starting point. Jorn was dead, I had never met him, but he had been very present in my life as an artist. As repulsion and attraction, a fiction in my life. And there were no other sources than the remains, reportage was out of the question. So the fiction of the film was the reconstruction of a character, a life, determined by the leftovers and my questions. Therefore, it became first and foremost a film about the choices and whys of a life in a time that was perhaps different. About the possible sovereignty of choices and their possible inevitability and melancholy. This fiction, this course of action, had to be experienced as a story in itself, without legitimisation in the fame of the works.”

The projection will feature a live voiceover in English, and a live soundtrack by Justin Bennett.

Complete programme (version 20 September, changes may occur)
Participation is free, but you need to register through info@jubilee-art.org

Friday 22/09_11.30h – 18h
Location: Orangeries de Bierbais: Rue de Bierbais 2 (or the gate in front of rue de Tilleuls 119), 1435 Mont-Saint-Guibert

The Orangeries de Bierbais is a ‘third place‘ situated in a historical English garden and tropical winter garden from 1828. The art and research residency program has a focus on alternative pedagogy, artistic experimentation, permaculture gardening and solidarity. After a walk through the garden, Ivana Momčilović, dramaturge, will introduce PhD In One Night, an international platform for aesthetic experimentation and education of all, and the different participants she invited for the day.

To commemorate the inauguration of the Orangeries de Bierbais (29 September 1828), a public event will be organised this year in solidarity with the present occupation of the Gécamines building (GCM, Société générale des carrières et des mines). Today, Martin van der Belen (Fondation La Nacelle) and Ivana invited Philip Buyck for a short presentation on the Patrice Lumumba Library, currently squatting at La Gécamines with 50 Congolese families.

PhD In One Night invited Axel Pleeck, philosopher, educator and director of Academy for Visual Arts Molenbeek to present several of his own creations of sharing the knowledge, including a fragment of a Chambre d’écoute, a form of collective listening, linking music and philosophy, which responds to Jacques Rancière’s Le Maître ignorant (1987).

Amateur experimental artist, writer and gardener Kaya Erdinc, presents his approach to amateur ways of poetics of knowledge.

Ivan Put, photographer, will show his short film about Orangeries de Bierbais. Xavier Lowenthal, editor and artist will present comics series Tintei akei Kongo that he edits and publishes with La cinquième couche. Using détournement and dérives, Tintin in Congo is reframed though  the tonal Bantu language spoken in Lingala, Congo. 

Finally, PhD In One Night shares the approach of their collaborator, Kurdish philosopher and translator of Rancière into Kurdish, Mansur Teifuri (who unfortunately can’t be present) regarding ‘ignorant knowledge’, ‘lessons of poets’, and their common Guerilla University in collaboration with the self-organised Kurdish Rojava University.

We stroll to the closest river nearby – l’Orne – as Elisée Reclus recommends us to do in his Histoire d’un ruisseau.

Practical: we travel from Brussels North Station 10:12h, arriving at Mont-Saint-Guibert 11:11h. Walk to Orangeries de Bierbais, arriving 11:30h.  Food: from the garden.

Saturday 23/09_10.30h – 13h
Fred Dewey Library (registrations: full)

Fred Dewey had a fierce commitment to creating public spaces for intellectual and political engagement. His home base was Los Angeles. Writer, teacher, publisher, editor extraordinaire, and former director of Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center in Los Angeles, Dewey has been engaged with the creation of plural human, physical, and textual space for a long time. “People are more willing to talk … when they’re sharing something deeply meaningful with each other. That’s why poetry becomes the foundation of a new kind of dialogue.”
Dewey passed away recently. To ensure the continuation of his legacy, the Fred Dewey Legacy Project was initated, aiming to set up initiatives that extend Dewey’s work, as well as preserve his considerable library. For the time being that library is currently installed in the house of artist Filip van Dingenen. Filip intends to make the Dewey legacy public and will invite artists to work with the library. During our visit we will read fragments of Dewey’s book The School of Public Life.

The visit and reading will be followed by a Seaweed footbath hosted by the Platform for Algae Diplomacy, created by the Brussels-based artists Filip Van Dingenen and Hélène Meyer. In a playful way it studies seaweed rights and seaweed spirits…

Saturday 23/09_14h – 18h
workshop – making sourdough
presentation – mapping prototype
(registrations: full)

Collectively making bread starts on Saturday afternoon with making the dough. The whole process will be accompanied by artist Marion Aeby, who also works as a professional baker. We will be making sourdough bread and brioches, a process which takes plenty of time and patience, since the dough needs to rest before it is reworked a couple of times. When the dough is resting we will present a prototype of a mapping tool. We will discuss a process of map making that aims to make the interconnectedness of our practices visible. Opening up this project to all Jubilee members, all current partners of this project will introduce their specific interest in the tool, which is currently still in development.

Sunday 24/09_11h – 17h
Atlas of Ovens – Baking Bread
Meeting point: Bakery Compagnon, Rue Jean Paquotstraat 44, 1050 Ixelles/Elsene
Location of the public oven: Hof Ter Musschen, Avenue E. Mounier 2, 1200 Woluwe-Saint-Lambert
(registrations: full)

Atlas of Ovens is an artistic research on heat practices, through the study and use of the infrastructures that contain and accompany them. In this project Ciel Grommen, Maximiliaan Royakkers and Clémentine Vaultier investigate how thermal infrastructures can transform not only matter, but also our relationships with communities and territories. How and what do we fire, and with whom do we share the resulting heat? Atlas of Ovens investigates how furnaces function not only as containers for physical energy, but also as relational infrastructures.

With this in mind Ciel Grommen, Maximiliaan Royakkers and Clémentine Vaultier wanted to participate in a firing of one of the public bread ovens, the so-called fours banaux, in Brussels. The banal oven is an infrastructure dating from feudal times. Today there is a network of bread ovens in public space in and around Brussels. During the firing of the bread we made the day before, Ciel, Maximiliaan and Clémentine will share elements of their Atlas of Ovens research and discuss with the organisers and bakers of the public oven.

Practical: At 11h we will meet at the Bakery Compagnon, Rue Jean Paquot 44, 1050 Ixelles where we will have a coffee and croissant, before leaving for the public oven, situated at Hof Ter Musschen Avenue E. Mounier 2, 1200 Woluwe-Saint-Lambert.

Monday 25/09_10.30h – 13h
f.eks. / Scott William Raby – The critical, post-, anti-institution
Location: radical_house: Luikenaarstraat/rue des Liégeois 2, 1050 Brussels

John Knight’s Advanced Beef was one of the most fundamental, radical, and experimental yet lesser known higher educational courses that shaped the artistic educational landscape of Southern California for nearly half a century. Michael Asher was a student within the very first Advanced Beef course at UCI Irvine taught by Knight in the late 60’s. The critical thinking course invited those curious in artistic and broader discursive conversations eminating from art to produce the curriculum themselves. As a former student in some of the last Advanced Beef courses (2010-12), Scott William Raby will revisit the course with the primary aim of blending some American and Danish perspectives, relating Knight’s radical interactions to the institutional educational contexts of Jakob Jakobsen and Katrine Dirckinck Holmfeld.

Monday 25/09_14h – 17h
School of Equals & pKp (para institute for art and precarity): Sarah Késenne, Stijn van Dorpe and Zehra Eviz (Belangenbond SAAMO)
Location: radical_house: Luikenaarstraat/rue des Liégeois 2, 1050 Brussels

Sarah Késenne, Stijn van Dorpe and Zehra Eviz introduce the work they are currently doing with the cleaning team that maintains the workrooms and sanitary facilities of the LUCA School of Art in Ghent. Cleaning work is an important task for the good functioning of an art school, yet these people are not employed but outsourced. By organising a joint cleaning session with the cleaning staff and students, having breakfast together and talking to them regularly, they look for ways to give visibility to their work and space to their voice. In this process, many relational and ethical issues emerge related to their different roles and positions. The workshop Sarah, Stijn and Zehra are hosting at radical_house will be a moment of reflection on how to have a conversation and create a framework where different voices can be heard.

Monday 25/09_19.30h
film screening Le Balai Liberé
Location: Project(ion) Room: De Praeterestraat 55, 1180 Ukkel

In the 1970s, the cleaning ladies of the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve fired their boss and created their own cleaning cooperative, Le Balai Libéré. Fifty years later, the cleaning staff of UCLouvain meets the workers of yesterday. In her film Coline Grando zooms in on the question if working without a boss, is still an option?

Tuesday 26/09_10.30h – 17h
Collective research tools
Location: Meyboom, Boulevard Pachécolaan 34, 1000 Brussels

As a platform for artistic research, Jubilee has developed a number of tools for sharing research: the Caveat website, the smartphone app for audiowalks Tracks, and a mapping tool for situated, collective practices (in development, yet to be titled).

Tracks and the mapping tool are collaborations with other artists and organisations. While some of the research presented through these tools are already authored by multiple people, Tracks and the mapping tool themselves are also governed by multiple organisations. Or at least, shared governance is desirable and should be discussed and eventually formalized.

In order to put this in practice while learning from each other, this last day of the Summer School starts with a participative performative walk around the area of Meyboom and Congress, using the narrative context of Jesse van Winden’s project A Spectre is Haunting the Building. Unfolding a short history of local and global capitalism, participants are invited to share their own knowledge, however short, about this epicentre of a number of layers of power. Below the monumental Congress Column, Belgium’s federal administration; the National Bank, as well as the former money printing and coining facilities; the medieval Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral; the colonial Botanique; the Congress park garden designed by René Pechère; towards Nieuwstraat/rue Neuve: school Gatti de Gamond; the concrete bodies of the North-South railway junction and car parking halls; and more recently, successive attempts at developing major real estate projects.

The insights, conversations and experiences provoked by this area will form the basis of an afternoon workshop led by Justin Bennett. We attempt to create a collective sound walk for Tracks, the smartphone app for audiowalks that Jubilee initiated together with a number of other artist-run organisations. With Louise de Bethune, we will take breaks to discuss collaborative artistic practices from governance and legal points of view that can follow from these practices how can such collective tools be governed? How can ownership, authorship and usership be understood as varying degrees of sharing? How can the (collective) intellectual property rights be conceived of?  

Tuesday 26/09_19.30h
Film screening – Asger Jorn, a film by Per Kirkeby, 1977, 62 min, with live performance of the original soundtrack of Jean Dubuffet and Asger Jorn, by Justin Bennett
Live spoken commentary by X; translated from Danish to English by Rikke Ehlers Nilsson
Location: Project(ion) Room – De Praeterestraat 55, 1180 Ukkel

This edition of the summer school closes with a screening event. In 1976 Danish artist Per Kirkeby is commissioned to prepare a portrait-film about Asger Jorn, which is produced in 1977. His film summarizes Asger Jorn’s life and artistic practice, and expresses Kirkeby’s relationship with Jorn. The film gathers around a few episodes in Jorn’s life and takes its point of departure in the desolate, windswept landscapes of West Jutland, where he was born. In jumps linked together by the film’s spoken commentary, which are Jorn’s own words, the film takes us to the Arab quarter in Paris and to his house in Albisola in Italy, where he made the large ceramic relief that was erected in 1959 at the State High School in Aarhus.

In collaboration with radical_house, Orangeries de Bierbais, and Project(ion) Room