Institutional Practice: Interview with Peter Westenberg

Peter Westenberg is an artist and a member of Constant, an artist-run organization in Brussels, active in art and technology.

In this interview, Peter discusses the possibilities of licensing in artistic contexts to think about the future context of one’s work. He explains the format of situations, a way of working collaboratively across disciplines Constant has been developing over the years. How do institutional practices like organizing events and developing formats relate to artistic practice and aesthetics? And how can that practice be situated in the discourse about the commons?

Interview conducted by Felix Stalder, 4 March 2018, HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel).

 
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. For any other use please contact us.

Forms of Ongoingness, Interview with Femke Snelting and spideralex

Femke Snelting develops projects at the intersection of design, feminisms and free software. In various constellations, she has been exploring how digital tools and practices might co-construct each other. She is a member of Constant, a non-profit, artist-run association for art and media based in Brussels.

Spideralex is a sociologist and holds a doctorate in social economy. She is the founder of the catalan cyberfeminist collective Donestech that explores the relation between gender and technologies developing action research, documentaries, and training. She was the coordinator of a four-year international program with the title “Gender and Technology Institute”, working with human rights defenders and women’s rights activists around the world on topics of privacy and security online, but also in the physical and psycho-social domain. She has edited two volumes on technical sovereignty initiatives.

In this interview, Femke and Spideralex talk about their shared practice of engaging with what they call feminist technologies. They discuss their understanding of technology as an embodied practice, that bears desired relations as well as terrible connections. How can we live in ungracious times? They explore, how digital infrastructure could work differently with the help of the feminist server, which is both a real server, a need, and at the same time a thinking tool. Within this discussion, they also address questions of autonomy versus ongoingness, the role of language as a tool of investigation, and the cultural dimensions of technology like expectations of servitude behind functionality.

Interview conducted by Cornelia Sollfrank, 16 September 2018, HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel).

 
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. For any other use please contact us.

Experimenting with Institutional Formats, Interview with Laurence Rassel

Laurence Rassel is a cultural worker who can act as a curator, teacher, organizer. She is currently based in Brussels. From 2008 to 2015 she was Director of Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, an institution created in 1984 by the artist Antoni Tàpies to promote the study and knowledge of modern and contemporary art (http://www.fundaciotapies). From 1997 to 2008, Rassel was a founding member of Constant, a non-profit association and interdisciplinary arts-lab based and active in Brussels in the fields of art, media and technology. Currently, she is Director of erg (école de recherche graphique – école supérieure des arts) in Brussels.

In this interview, Laurence Rassel talks about her work with and inside institutions as emerging through continuous communal practice. She discusses the importance of feminist thinking, open-source technology culture, and Institutional Psychotherapy for her work of making an institution a practice of all of those involved, or in her words: instituting.

Interview conducted by Cornelia Sollfrank, 4 March 2018, HeK (House of Electronic Arts Basel).

 
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. For any other use please contact us.

constant, Brussels

Constant is an artist-run organisation founded 1997 in Brussels. It is working in collaborative situations of groups of artists and researchers working together for defined periods of time. Often these settings are collaborations with other institutions, and take part at other places. This is only partly due to the absence of permanent place, but also reflects some of the core practices of the organisation, which could be described in an interest in collaboration, translation, negotiations, explanations and the care of shared resources. Constant is thus not a space, it is an organisation.

It features different formats of working together (cyclic exhibition projects, reading groups, publishing, exploration of open source tools, research, workshop, education and all kind of inventive formats that go between and beyond).

Constant’s program is concerned with media, technology and artistic practice.

self-declaration:
„Constant is a non-profit, artist-run organisation based in Brussels since 1997 and active in the fields of art, media and technology.

Constant develops, investigates and experiments. Constant departs from feminisms, copyleft, Free/Libre + Open Source Software. Constant loves collective digital artistic practices. Constant organises transdisciplinary worksessions. Constant creates installations, publications and exchanges. Constant collaborates with artists, activists, programmers, academics, designers. Constant is active archives, poetic algorithms, body and software, books with an attitude, cqrrelations, counter cartographies, situated publishing, e-traces, extitutional networks, interstitial work, libre graphics, performative protocols, relearning, discursive infrastructures, hackable devices.“

Sources:

Laurence Rassel: Notes from Field-Workers, in: Art & Research, a Journal of Ideas, Contexts and Methods, Vol. 2, Nr. 2, Spring 2009

http://www.constantvzw.org/

Interviews

Experimenting with Institutional Formats. Interview with Laurence Rassel
Conducted by Cornelia Sollfrank, 4 March 2018

Institutional Practice. Interview with Peter Westenberg
Conducted by Felix Stalder, 4 March 2018

Forms of Ongoingness. Interview with Femke Snelting and spideralex
Conducted by Cornelia Sollfrank, 16 September 2018

Ecosystems of Writing. Interview with Michael Murtaugh
Conducted by Shusha Niederberger, 15 September 2018