Deadline: 30/06/2018

Call for Applications: WHO NEEDS ART ANYWAY? Laboratory of social sensitivity _ Workshop by Zorka Wollny at AFFECT Summer 2018 Berlin

Research residency + Berlin + 4 case studies + collaboration + methodology + exchange + open-to-all.

"Art as contextual art is opposed to multi-meaning and also to relativism. One and only one expression is true in the given pragmatic context. Such expression is expressed with assertion.
August 1976, Jan Świdziński – from 12 Points of Contextual Art.

Testing ideas through the district of Neukölln, in this 7 days intensive workshop Wollny sets on a mission to prove there is no escape from the context, and become aware of the site-specificity of every work, offering her years of experience in performance art, site specific art and socially involved projects designing compositional frames as a base to support residents bringing together people from very varied backgrounds, paying attention to the role of architecture and the ways in which people make use of the urban space to voice their claims, underlining every day iconographies of “the public”.

The main focus is the issue of collaboration, learning to take a closer look on the context in which one plans to present a work. WHERE TO PERFORM? and HOW TO COLLABORATE? -, involving a series of practical exercises and first drafts of performances as an action research on Neukölnischer groups and communities, surveying the question on the utility of art through the district while establishing bounds towards the realization of a collaborative project. And if we'll face the opinion that art is not a first, nor a second need in the district, maybe we'll at least end up with a good discussion about why? Or under what conditions could smaller communities benefit from art, and artist benefit from contact with specific groups? And, "who needs art, anyway"?

During the workshops residents will work on ideas they would like to develop and plan the realisation of an ideal project step by step – from the first idea, through finding the right partner, make a good working schedule, preventing obstacles, targeting the right audience, etc.

MATERIALS will consist of a practice of self examination crossed by 3 major issues:

1. How to think things through: Where shall you work? Why? And with whom? Who is your target group? Who is you main partner? Who is your audience?

2.The organisation of work: How to make it happen? How long can it take? How to get people involved, how to organise the group of co-workers? How to do it with the full respect to the people and contexts within which one wants to work? Who gets the credit?

3. The importance of trials and errors: Possible sources of troubles. From first drafts to the final piece and all the process in between. What is a good contextual work? Shall we ever try again?

GROUP: The workshops are addressed to performers, dancers, sound artists, musicians, choreographers and young artists who like to work in social or political context or with the specific target groups – and all those people who are open for collaborative and contextual projects. We will NOT WORK on pieces planed to be presented in white box of art gallery or black box of stage.

About the facilitator
Zorka Wollny (Krakow, 1980) Lives in Berlin. Zorka Wollny creates acoustic compositions for institutions, factories and empty buildings. Her works inhabit a space between art, theatre and contemporary music, and are always closely connected to the historic and functional context of specific architectural sites. Wollny’s collaborative production style often involves public rehearsals and workshops in which she creates structures of cooperation with individuals as well as groups and communities, such as composers, students, actors and activists. In one of her most recent works, “Unmögliche Oper” (2017), she involved several choirs and citizens of the German town Oldenburg in an exploration of the voice as a tool of expression and public debate. “Order” (2015) was composed for the Teutonic Castle in Swiecie, Poland, a 15-person volunteer choir, three percussionists and electronics. In "Ophelias. Iconography of Madness" (2012), presented at the Museum of Art in Łódź, Wollny staged a performance of eleven actresses, representing the figure of Ophelia as depicted in several historical theater productions of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In "Oratorio for Orchestra and Warsaw Citizens Choir" (2011), developed for the Warsaw Autumn international festival of contemporary music, Wollny devised a concentrated, polyphonic manifestation in the city centre of Warsaw, that was produced in collaboration with NGO’s and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and is based on the political manifestos and agendas of the participating activists..


References for this module: 12 POINTS OF CONTEXTUAL ART

** See a Project example for this workshop: 

AFFECT is a Program for Collaborative Artistic Practices initiated by Agora Collective e.V. in Berlin, currently in its fourth edition. Curated by Paz Ponce.

A hybrid between an educational program and a research-based artist’s residency, the 2018 edition consists this year of a curriculum of 4 modules growing out of the research and practice of 4 Berlin-based international artists under the overarching theme: “Micro-Utopias: Cartographies of Relational Art in Berlin”. 

Each module takes the form of an intensive week-long participatory workshop revolving around a central research question supported by a series of activities proposed by the leading facilitators. Participants will have the opportunity to collectively delve into the proposed research question, bringing in their own sensibilities, practice and experience.

Content wise the modules renew the question about the social function of art, offered as case studies to support residents contextualizing the program’s main question in Berlin, triggering autonomous research strands at AFFECT based on the insights gained through the exchange of practices during their stay.

The residency outcome consist of an e-publication project, with growing contributions by residents issued by topics, shaping a self-styled cartography of subjectivities, encounters and methods within Berlin’s micro-utopias of art+life. 

No previous collaborative experience is required to participate in AFFECT, the unique combination of participatory workshops, studio visits, guided walks, public lectures, open reading groups and series of interventions planned for each module, serve international applicants as a practical research base & capacity network for the implementation of future projects in the city. 

Participation fee is 450€ for each module. A small production budget will be provided for the final event. Our hybrid model between a research and formative type of residency, experimenting with models of art and education, opens up more possibilities to apply for financial support. Previous AFFECT participants have been successfully granted to attend our program by university career departments, academic research fellowships, cross European and overseas mobility funds for artists, etc. Get in touch with coordination and we will provide you a list of funding possibilities. Agora can provide individual acceptance letters with a description of the content and nature of the modules to support grant application processes. Letters can be issued to applicants upon request.

Residents will be assisted by AFFECT Coordination team during their stay, via:

* WEEKLY EDITORIAL MEETINGS / COLLECTIVE EDITING STUDIO: Led by Paz Ponce, AFFECT Project Coordinator / Curator of Education at Agora, the sessions are arranged to support collective and individual research strands along the 8 residency weeks, monitoring and offering curatorial guidance to participants about their contributions to the final publication. 

* DOCUMENTATION: A photographer/videographer with a background in visual anthropology will be engaged in the daily activities of the residency, supporting with tech resources related to research needs.

* AFFECT PUBLIC LAB: A new feature of the 2018 edition. An ongoing mediation lab assisting residents in the involvement of specific communities in Neukölln related to their research along their stay. AFFECT PUBLIC LAB transverses all modules with the aim of extending the discoursive program to local audiences. Directed by Paz Ponce in cooperation with Kulturnetzwerk Neukölln (communication partners for public outreach).

* ADMINISTRATION OF ACTIVITIES & EVENTS BUDGET: every module allocates a budget to cover production costs associated with the organization of public activities, as well as group visits and studio talks with other artists as part of the program of each module.

* RESIDENCY VENUE: AGORA offers seminar rooms for all indoor residency meetings (50% indoor / 50 % outdoor activities), and for the hosting of 4 public activities


The Agora Collective - Berlin-based Center for Contemporary Practices - was originally founded in 2011 by a multidisciplinary team as an independent project space in Berlin. Since then, Agora expands its mission to be a place to conceive and experiment with models of working together; providing stable spaces for artists to engage within collaborative and community-based practices. 

In 2017, the project has been totally relocated to the former Kindl-Brauerei Area in Rollbergstrasse / Am Südhaus, being proudly part of the “Vollgutlage”, a 38.000 sq. meters area acquired by the Swiss Foundation Edith Maryon. This location in the heart of Neukölln, has been secured for initiatives devoted to social, ecological, cultural and artistic projects. 

Under this unique new stage, Agora´s current facilities of 1100 sq. meters basement space are being developed to be an ongoing experimental center for artistic production and presentation.

This includes: exhibition and event programs, month-long workshop projects, a contemporary dance platform, studios for artists, community driven activities and artistic residency opportunities. 

The Agora team is devoted to create cross-disciplinary models of cultural and educational production expressed in a diverse, inclusive program of artistic projects and events that deals with relevant questions of nowadays. Since its beginning, Agora´s focus has ranged from food and hosting practices, co-working spaces, event series, workshops, and programming, as well as with a strong take on visual and performing arts.

Agora means “now”, in Portuguese, language of its Brazilian founders and also coincidentally, in Greek, Agora is the place for encounters and exchange, the assembly and the market-place. 

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Call for Applications: WHO NEEDS ART ANYWAY? Laboratory of social sensitivity _ Workshop by Zorka Wollny at AFFECT Summer 2018 Berlin

Call for Applications: WHO NEEDS ART ANYWAY? Laboratory of social sensitivity _ Workshop by Zorka Wollny at AFFECT Summer 2018 Berlin


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