Commons to Coop

Jubilee Summer School 2024

 

During a week with workshops, walks and public conversations at Kunsthal Gent, we study local histories of cooperative organisation, and work with the new tool for artistic research and countermapping Eavatea
01/07 – 05/07/2024
 

Kunsthal Gent and various locations around Ghent
Please register: info@jubilee-art.org
 

Currently a working prototype, Eavatea is a digital tool for developing, visualising, archiving and relating practices is specifically designed for sharing practices that do not present themselves easily in conventional exhibition contexts: research-based, often in situ, nomadic, collective, ephemeral, interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary practices.
 

Eavatea has many different authors. Considering the tool a knowledge commons, social researcher Mayo Fuster Morell claims its goal is “to expand resources in quality and over time, with a view to broadening the flow of knowledge to stimulate innovation, where exclusive intellectual property rights have blocked that process.” As a digital commons Eavatea requires regular maintenance and updates.
 

Jubilee’s Summer School 2024 explores the dynamic between a commons and an economic model that operates on the basis of collective ownership: the cooperative. In response to the social urgencies that were caused by the industrialization of Belgium a number of successful cooperatives were initiated in Ghent. In a series of workshops and walks we will explore inspiring models from the past, but also from the present.
 

Commons to Coop is part of Archipelago of Artistic Practices (2024 – 2025), an artistic and discursive program around Eavatea, by Jubilee in collaboration with Atelier Cartographique, Casco Art Institute, CKV, f.eks., Kunsthal Gent, M HKA, and nadine.

 

Programme

 

Monday 1 to Wednesday 3 July, 10–14h (not public)

Eavatea countermapping workshops

 

Monday 1 July, 15–18h
Public excursion

A visit to Gentse Gronden (Ghent’s Lands), an exhibition at STAM that offers a historical picture of public land ownership in and around Ghent. Today, the land owned by the city of Ghent is subject to debate. Should these lands be sold to finance a social policy, or should they remain public property? What role can land play in issues surrounding climate, food security and urban policy?

 

After our visit to Gentse Gronden we will meet Raf Verbeke. Last year, he and his action group Te Duur forced a referendum on affordable housing in Ghent, but Verbeke was also involved in the lawsuit surrounding the sale by the Ghent OCMW of 467 hectares of agricultural land in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen to the Dutch company Bijloke BV, a subsidiary of a Luxembourg company of Fernand Huts (Katoen Natie). After years of legal battle, the Ghent Court of Appeal annulled the sale in November 2022. “Those lands are again in public hands,” says Verbeke. “We call on the OCMW to register these lands as active again and to integrate them into the city’s agricultural policy.”

 

Monday 1 July, 20h
Fermentation and Speculation

Scott William Raby & Tobias Van Royen introduce their research project Bureau of Analogies (BOA), which focuses on fermentation and speculation, and draws parallels between Fermented Wild Ales communities in Belgium and the broader art sector. Due to their long shelf life these beers can be speculated on and along with their uniqueness, and difficulty to produce, make their socio-economic qualities quite similar to the output of the artists and art workers.

 

Tuesday 2 July, 18–21h
Reading Room #33, Fred Dewey and the Brechtian theatre

This Reading Room is the sixth instalment around the library of the American thinker and organiser Fred Dewey. Jubilee member and legal scholar Louise de Bethune has selected a book from the Dewey library. While reading excerpts she will guide us through the complex notion of multiple authorship.

 

Bertold Brecht’s epic theatre on social and political issues aims for critical production and critical audiences.
By breaking the fourth wall Brechtian theatre removes the audience’s static veil and welcomes the public to reflect and shape the play, enabling a process of moral and social education dealing with universal truths.

Fred Dewey had a fierce commitment to creating public spaces for intellectual and political engagement. His home base was Los Angeles, but the last years of his life he spent in Brussels. In 2022 Dewey died unexpectedly. 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. Summer 2023 artists Filip van Dingenen and Hélène Meyer re-installed part of Dewey’s extensive library. They are opening up his collection of books to artists and researchers from their studio home. One way to activate this library is Jubilee’s 2024 Reading Room program.

 

Wednesday 3 July, 15–18h
Public excursion

A walk in collaboration with Katinka de Jonge, which will take us from Kunsthal Gent along various places where the 19th century cooperative Vooruit was active. We will pass by the first coop supermarket modelled on the fashionable Grand Bazars of Paris, as well as the Vooruit printing house and the first workers bank. We will end our excursion in the art center Viernulvier which in a previous life was known as the festive hall of the cooperative Vooruit. In Vooruit we will listen to an excerpt from Kunst Veredelt (Art Enobles), an audio walk by Katinka de Jonge, Adriënne van der Werf, Leonore Spee and Sascha Bornkamp.

 

Wednesday 3 July, 20h
Film screenings

Screening of two short films on the cooperative movement

 

Onze drang naar bevrijding (1960 – Emile Vandervelde Instituut) 25′

Our Urge for Liberation was made on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Belgian Socialist Party. It outlines the misery of the working class in the ‘belle époque’ and the struggle it waged to improve its fate. Images of alleys and slum houses, child labor, the demonstrations for universal suffrage, the strikes of 1932 and 1936, the repression by the police. The film includes fragments from, among others, Henri Storck’s Misère au borinage and Newspaper Vooruit. The second half of the film provides an overview of a number of achievements attributed to the socialist movement.

 

Can We Do It Ourselves (2015 – Ekonomisk Demokrati) 59′

The film focuses on economic philosophy with an emphasis on the concept of economic democracy. It calls into question the fact that democracy prevails in so many models of world politics, yet not in economic spheres. By examining the key differences between market, capitalist and democratic economies, the filmmakers are able to present the many perceived benefits of empowering the working class, re-calibrating the scales of corporate influence and prioritizing the well-being of those providing labor over the maximization of profit.

 

 

Thursday 4 July 2023, 14–18h
Public excursion

A visit to Le jardin des Fraternités ouvrières, a permaculture garden initiated by Josine and Gilbert Cardon. In the course of 50 years they gathered around them a group of gardeners, who became the association Les Fraternités Ouvrières. As volunteers they share their knowledge and the 6,000 varieties of seeds in their grain library with more than 3,000 members. In 2000 Gilbert passed away, and Josine recently went to a retirement home for the elderly. Currently the garden is maintained by the group of volunteers.

 

Thursday 4 July 2023, 19–21h
Live Conversation 1 – nadine on location in Kunsthal

Julie Vanderhaeghen (Atelier Cartographique), Loes Jacobs (nadine), Maximiliaan Royakkers and Ciel Grommen (Atlas of Ovens) introduce Eavatea, and discuss how the partners have developed the mapping prototype both as a curatorial and an artistic practice. This involves archiving, publishing and finally activating, the three basic functions of Eavatea that aim to enable a relational dynamic between the uploaded practices. Eavatea as an agora will be tested, and the new possibilities for conducting collective research will be experimented with in collaboration with the public. Artist duo Vermeir & Heiremans will moderate the conversation.

 

Thursday 4 July 2023, 21h
International folk costume (2016), a performance by Åsa Lie, Kunsthal Gent

Dressed in an outfit made from heat foil, tape and a letter from a friend, Åsa Lie moves between the installations of Kunsthal’s Endless Exhibition. The fragility of the dress and the crisp sounds it produces, provoked by Lie’s movements and gestures, contrast with the actual sensation of warmth that the dress gives her. Presented for the first time at the exhibition Upstairs Basement I & II. Espace at MOSS, Brussels & MOSS Utställningar, Stockholm in May-June 2016, Åsa Lie’s appearance reminds us of the news images of people fleeing a crisis and receiving first aid after arriving on unknown shores. An image that simultaneously embodies human care and deep despair.

 

Friday 5 July 2024, 19–21h
Public Conversation: Commons to Coop

Mutualization of risk has always been an important motivation for establishing Jubilee as an artist-run initiative. In the context of the rollout of the mapping tool Eavatea, we ask ourselves whether membership of a cooperative can lay the foundation for a form of mutualisation that, with a modest individual cost, could still provide a significant collective benefit, namely the long-term continued survival of Eavatea, as a digital commons. In a public conversation with Aline Hernandez and Erik Bordeleau we will be exploring and constructing possible dynamics between a knowledge commons and the cooperative model.

Erik Bordeleau is a philosopher and co-founder of The Sphere DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), a cooperative network on the blockchain that explores forms of co-ownership and self-organization. Aline Hernandez is the artistic director of Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons, Utrecht. Her interests focus on the development of concrete tools that would put to practice some of the ideas the institute has developed in the past years. Artist duo Vermeir & Heiremans will moderate the conversation.

 

Practical

Location of the events and starting point of the walks:
Kunsthal Gent
Lange Steenstraat 14
9000 Ghent

For inquiries and registrations, contact Jubilee: info@jubilee-art.org.
Only in case of urgencies, call: +32 470 653 278

 

Credits

Autumn 2022 a partnership between a number of small artist-run initiatives, including five artist members of Jubilee, the Danish nomadic organisation f.eks. and the Brussels-based laboratory for contemporary transdisciplinary art nadine started working closely with Atelier Cartographique, a cooperative that designs digital maps, on a digital interface that could archive and publish the ephemeral practices of the initiatives and artists involved. The tool would allow the situated knowledge generated by their practices not only to become more visible for the public and colleagues, but it would also visualize possible links between these practices.

 

Archipelago of Artistic Practices is produced by Jubilee, in co-production with Atelier Cartographique (Brussels); Casco Art Institute (Utrecht); Flemish Centre for Art Archives (CKV, Antwerp), f.eks. (Aalborg); Kunsthal Gent; M HKA (Antwerp), nadine (Brussels).

 

 

The program is supported by the Flemish Community (VG) and Flemish Community Brussels (VGC)