Reclaim public space now !

While the Ukrainian resistance overthrows in kyiv the statue dedicated to the friendship between the Russian and Ukrainian peoples, Romanian artists and intellectuals are wondering how to radically renew the artistic presence in the public space of Bucharest.

 

Here as elsewhere, the steamroller of the market imaginary dominates the public space, but the city is a complex palimpsest composed by Byzantine then Orthodox imaginaries, Austro-Hungarian then Soviet occupations, the frequency of earthquakes, the state of abandonment of buildings whose owners disappeared during the disasters of the 20th century, and today by the unbridled Eldorado of the globalized economy.

 

In this context, what legitimacy to rely on? How to take in charge without waiting? How to regenerate public space by opening it up to cross-cutting initiatives? How to share the differences of interpretation of the world? How to contribute to the autonomy of individuals? How to revive? How to welcome dissident thoughts, poetics, social innovations?

 

The initiative led by Edmond Niculusca (ARCEN) and supported by the French Institute of Bucharest brings together artists Pisica Patrata, Dan Perjovschi, Cristian Neagoe, architect-urban planner Monica Sebestyen and former Minister of Culture Corina Suteu, expert international in innovative cultural policies.

The work of the place

  • multitudes philosophical artistic political review, publishes this spring 2022 its number 86 entitled The territory, a political affair
  • Territory! The word flaps like a flag, it is adored or suspected. What about this political object? This issue attempts to objectify it, to extract it from categorisations to show its diversity, its interdependencies, its historical depth, its resources. “The spirit of the place” inspires the artist, defines the environments to be preserved, permeates our affects. We all experience “the appalling sweetness of belonging”.
  • In response to this invitation, Philippe Mouillon develops in this issue the idea that the work of the place is simply the work of a smuggler who facilitates resurgences of time and their social acclimatization:

“The poet, the artist, the gardener or the architect (and so many others, inhabited by deep times) can work on a place by carefully assembling a certain quality of air, lights, prevailing winds, by dosing the mineralities, by synchronizing the encounter between individuals, an era, temporalities and the entanglement of terrestrial ecosystems… in order to crystallize a mood, an impalpable atmosphere, a particular intensity that carries us and invites us to live.

From one site to another, but also from one era to another of human societies, from one stage to another of our own existence, places form the matrix of our sensitivity and our behavior. They are places rather than nothing in that they soothe us, console us, consolidate us, bring us together, connect us, grow us. They are part of a break with the simplified uniform of territorial abstraction to open in us a decanted present of the moment, where presences and absences remain, endlessly intertwined”. 

 

The ArTec University Research School

  • The ArTec University Research School aims to promote original links between research and higher education (master’s, doctorate) between artistic creation, cognition and digital technologies, between humanities, engineering, design and social sciences, between university campuses, cultural institutions , associative activism and private companies. It is based on a partnership with a wide range of academic and cultural institutions: BNF, Center Pompidou, National Archives, Gaité-Lyrique…. The field of research concerned is circumscribed by its title: Arts, Technologies, digital, human mediations and Creations. Art, creation and technologies bring a particular dimension of questioning and openness to the fundamental issues of human mediation, on the cultural, social and political level. Artistic creations constitute here both privileged grounds and methods for better understanding the challenges of the changes in progress. This meeting brings together students, teachers, researchers, artists and the curious, to try to project future imaginaries, beyond established forms.
  • The External Council of ArTeC is made up of Maryvonne Arnaud, artist, animator of the Laboratory in Grenoble and of the local.contemporain magazine; Noel Fitzpatrick, Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics and Dean of the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (GradCAM) affiliated with Technological University Dublin, Ireland; Alain Fleischer, artist, director Le Fresnoy, Lille; Benoît Hennaut, Director of the National School of Visual Arts of La Cambre, Brussels, Belgium; Philippe Mouillon, artist, animator of the Laboratory in Grenoble and of the local.contemporain magazine; Marie-Hélène Pereira, Director of Programs at Raw Material Company, Dakar, Senegal; Catherine Quéloz & Liliane Schneiter, professors in art history, former directors of the CCC program of critical cybermedia curatorial studies at HEAD, Geneva and coordinators of the Independent Platform for Research and Doctoral Practice (IRPDP) in Switzerland.Each of them is asked to react, imagine, question, project themselves from the new imaginary forms proposed, more or less emancipated from the dominant references, correct postures, authorized, necessary or sustainable horizons.

Here is an excerpt from Philippe Mouillon’s notes in response to this solicitation:

“Should we take a dog?” wondered Alain Damasio while presenting us the School of the living, this place of “polytic” transformation that he is currently setting up around Sisteron. This is a question that has crossed humanity since the Neolithic era. Should we take a dog? – Yes, if we want to protect the domestic from the wild, No, if we don’t want to upset the ecosystems present beyond the Domus. This scruple for external balances was rare in the history of humanity. We even shamelessly sent dogs into orbit around the Earth, that is to say without agreeing with them on the mission, doubtless believing that they did not have sufficient expertise. However, if we sometimes agreed to let go, then we would not take a dog, but a dog could take us. We could propose to him to associate our horizons, as do the shepherds for whom the dog is like a hybrid extension of the hand, or like these peasant-hunters studied by the ethnologist Charles Stepanoff[1] and who claim to be possessed by the earth, surveying it while trying to place oneself from an escaping point of view, that of the hare or the wild boar, which requires integrating the dog’s perspective into oneself. These blurry zones thwarting the necrotic distinctions between nature and culture, humanity and animality, already intrigued Xenophon[2]. It could be useful to reclaim them to approach our new earthly condition less naively.

Because our common references are, alas, simply, the dominant references. The colonization of imaginations by the stars of finance, whose collections of contemporary art now punctuate the cultural calendars, and by the digital oligopolies, whose infinite financial capitalization has no historical equivalent, requires calling on more incorrect approaches such as the says the philosopher Jaime Vindel[3] when he talks about fossil aesthetics[4] by highlighting the links of dependence and complicity between the imaginaries of industrial progress and the interests of multinational oil and gas extraction companies. We could in this sense speak today of an aesthetics of the click and propose, in response, to begin university training by decarbonizing imaginations in order to achieve a choir, a common song, because there is probably no another sustainable horizon.

But beyond dogs, ecosystems are disrupted by fighter jets, as bioacoustician Bernie Kraus reminds us of how much toads need to sing along, to chorus[5], to escape their predators and seduce their soul mates. This tuning of the Toads’ Chorus takes about 45 minutes, cruelly torn apart by the sound barrier of military planes which ruins unison singing efforts and allows predators to taste them greedily.

Behind its playful appearance, the digital industry is an industry of hunters, particularly hungry for military funding. In his “Bestiary of the Anthropocene”[6], Nicolas Nova tells us that some armies train birds of prey to intercept drones. Others, or the same ones, invite science fiction authors to imagine sneaky because unexpected threats. We could propose, in response, to complete university training with an awareness of threats, of our collective blindness in the face of predators.

But the main lesson of Nicolas Nova’s presentation remains the obstinate search for context. Our new historical condition requires us to leave our air-conditioned and decontextualized sphere, our immense anthropized Domus, by force, to think about and heal the consequences of this new situation. The externalities are no longer where we imagined them and seem to us to have become toxic. We could propose, in response, to continue university training by training in the perception of furtive clues, mainly located outside the academic Domus, then in their amplification and putting into perspective by integrating the perspective of the dog, or that of the smartphone repairer[7] or of any other otherness, that is to say by agreeing to let go of ourselves in order to welcome and meditate on the discreet dynamic divergences.

Finally, I still remember the joy experienced in discovering the “Voices of rain forest” collected by the ethnomusicologist Steven Feld[8], these wonderful songs of birds and various critters which are, for the community of Bosavians living in the tropical forest of Papua -New Guinea, not the expression of ecosystems but the nocturnal songs of the ancestors. And I thought then of the considerable weight of the tradition of the Last Judgment in our backpacks of Europeans steeped in monotheism. How good and soothing it must be to listen to the ancestors twitter those extravagant chirps at night. Not to live in innocence, but to gain intensity. The experiences of disorientation proposed by Yves Citton and the ArTeC team, leaving established programs for the transmission of knowledge, obviously come up against the difficulty of rethinking the legitimacy and accounting methods of this weighing of souls which ends each university year, but they work within us, however, expanding our ability to escape ambient orthodoxies.

Philippe Mouillon

[1] Charles Stépanoff L’animal et la mort. Chasses, modernité et crise du sauvage Ed la Découverte 2021

[2] Xénophon L’Art de la ChasseLes Belles Lettres, 1970

[3] Jaime Vindel  Estética fósil.Imaginarios de la energía y crisis ecosocial Ed Arcadia (Barcelona) 2020

[4] https://modernidadesdescentralizadas.com/projets/esthetique-fossile/

[5] Quoted by Pascale de Senarciens and Ella Gouet, ArTeC master students

[6] Nicolas Nova A Bestiary of the Anthropocene: On Hybrid Minerals, Animals, Plants, Fungi Ed Onomatopee 2021

[7] Nicolas Nova Dr. Smartphones: an ethnography of mobile phone repair shops, 2020

[8] Quoted by Jonhatan Larcher (ArTeC post-doctoral fellow) and Damien Mortier

 

Out of place

We sometimes feel out of place, without however managing to identify what disorients us in what stands before us, irreducible to our previous experiences. New emotions take shape, still wavering, fragmentary, equivocal, which can slowly gain consistency and clarity. This quest for a change of scenery has long been a rare aesthetic experience, a meditative or initiatory search.

But for twelve months, we have lived out of place while remaining on the spot. As if the ground under our feet had lost its usual consistency. Our living environment seems out of tune with its foundations, with our most common uses and with the complicities accumulated over time.

Faced with this alert, it seemed useful to us to invite iconoclastic and playful visions to the rescue during the cycle of artistic and intellectual performances Ça Remue! end of October last.

Our accomplices are bird whistlers, gardeners, architects, anthropologists, shepherdesses, performers, philosophers, physicists, ecologists, echo, dawn or cloud catchers, poets and landscape designers…. They challenge our habitual perceptions of SOIL, BODIES, ATMOSPHERE to bring out more appropriate uses of the world.

Local-contemporain publishes this sum of rare intuitions under the title Dépaysements. We are happy to share a preview with you of these few excerpts:

EXCERPT FROM THE SUMMARY :

Alexandra Engelfriet : HAND TO HAND

Below the dominant layer of thought opens up, layer after layer, a continent which cannot be expressed in words, but only experienced. By penetrating these deep layers, a marvelous phenomenon occurs which, deep inside me, opens me to the world, to a more complete reality. Clay is this primordial reality, prior to language.

Johnny Rasse : BECOME INVISIBLE

Entering into conversation with a bird requires making oneself totally available and shapeable since my body, my voice and my resonators will have to redesign themselves to accommodate this song. But it does provide a deep sense of wholeness and oneness with my surroundings. I think I have sought throughout my life, and especially during my childhood, the intoxication of this moment.

Catherine Grout : BREATHE WITH EARTH AND SKY

If we characterize ourselves as homo sapiens by our verticalization, we do not stand quietly. We are in relation with everything that surrounds us in this gravitational and anti-gravity earth-sky connection with an exchange of forces and energies. Our relationship on the horizon is also not tranquil. Nor to the clouds for that matter.

Maryvonne Arnaud : THE NATIVE LANDSCAPE

Will we ever be able to relive landscapes? Will we be able to survive from landscapes? Will the gestures of welcome, the hospitable voices, the smells, the sweetness of the sun, wake up the landscape? Will the gaze of children born here or there, without soil, born between, born nowhere, revive the taste for landscape? These children who do not know the landscaping, will they become smugglers of landscapes?

Gilles Clément : AN INVERSION OF LANDSCAPES

To reproach a plant or an animal for being there when it comes from elsewhere is to understand nothing of the behavioral reality of the living. We are subject to a compartmentalized cultural model, with a totally blocked fixist vision, where there is no way out. This reflects a misunderstanding of the ordinary mechanisms of life and evolution.

Daniel Bougnoux : DECOINCIDATE

Our lives are played with dice: de-landscape, de-centering, de-localization, departures… We are beings of desire and this desire tears us apart, dislocates us, exiles us from any landscape or country.

Bruno Caraguel : LA REMUE

We will not redo the cities, but we can make them permeable to the living. It is the choice of a wonder that is neither nostalgic nor backward-looking, but forward-looking and innovative.

Pierre Janin / Thomas Mouillon : OBSERVING THE SOILS UNDER OUR FEET

Anchoring and nomadism, rural and urban, local and territorial, intellectuals and manuals, we are part of the agricultural time of the summer pastures, the time of transhumance which remains a formidable model.

Anaïs Tondeur : MISLEADING TRANSPARENCY

The Cloud Parliament transforms the exhibition hall into a courtroom. A silent courtroom, as if awaiting a verdict, where it is the clouds that seem to have become the witnesses for the prosecution, where these transparent entities are recognized for their place at the heart of the balance of the world, guaranteeing the maintenance of the breathing of the bodies.

Henry Torgue: THE GREAT LISTENING OF THE WORLD

The sound bath that immerses our lives cannot be reduced to an acoustic dressing applied to the visual landscape. From the womb of our mother, hearing is one of our active senses to apprehend the world.

Jean-Christophe Bailly : BRIEF BACK ON A TITLE

As soon as we leave the circle of our daily movements, we prepare ourselves to be disoriented, projected into another space and other spacings, in the position of the apprentice that in fact we should never abandon.

Marc Higgins : THE TRAVEL MEMORIES OF DOUGLAS WHITE

The Black Palms of Douglas White are at the crossroads of two twin logics of intensive and blind exploitation of the world. They invite us to lie down in the shadow of the globalization of tourism and the domination of our imaginations. They contain no hope.

Marie Chéné : TOUT AJOUT JOUE

The echo returns to us, totally or in part, what we sent it, and it is as if it gave it back to us brand new, as if it made us truly hear it. We offer him a small germ of language and, with a backhand blow, he gives you the complete sentence.

 

Anne-Laure Amilhat-Szary : DIE OF LANDSCAPE

It is no longer possible to contemplate coastal lights without thinking of the migratory dramas that cross these same landscapes.

Marie-Pascale Dubé : THIS IMMENSITY FELT…

The more I sing, the more I feel like I’m coming back to something that’s already there and that surprises me, that opens up and awakens emotions already present in me. An impulse of joy and suffering. It’s about healing. I am neither a shaman nor a healer, but I feel that within me, singing heals me.

Lora Juodkaite, Rachid Ouramdane : NEXT TO REAL

For me, gyration remains a very simple daily practice. My consciousness surrenders, I bow, and I’m grateful. Maybe that’s why this movement stays with me.

Jean-Pierre Brazs : THE WORLD IS IN DELICATE USE

Nothing can really exist without being said, the words of the landscape have a place to take, including in the landscape itself.

Hervé Frumy : A NIGHT ON THE INACCESSIBLE

A bivouac on Mont Aiguille, defeated on June 26, 1492 by royal will. Accompanied by several trades, Antoine De Ville will stay there for a week, the time to say a mass and lay three crosses.

Ça Remue ! (It stirs!) is a LABORATOIRE initiative carried out with the support of Idex Univ. Grenoble Alpes, the Department of Isère within the framework of paysage>paysages and the Carasso Foundation under the aegis of the Fondation de France.

The edition: landscape-animal

As we witness the collapse of animal populations, it seems urgent and necessary to highlight the animal part of humanity.

The humanization of the world has prospered by enslaving other species, to the point of forgetting the animal roots of our sensations and our emotions, the distant complicity shown by the paintings of the Lascaux or Chauvet caves. Wild or domesticated, animals have broadened our awareness and perceptions, and it would be a terrible regression to accept a shared world between the industrialization of “useful” animals and a generalized ecosystem desert.

So that humanity does not escape from human beings, we must recomposed human societies in order to facilitate the movement, the stay and the blossoming of animality, that is to say, to assemble entanglements of rhythms and trajectories. who do not just bend to human interests and projects. Because animals participate in the balance of our societies by their work, their affection, the irreducibility of their behavior.

By combining the knowledge and sensibilities of shepherds, artists, breeders, philosophers, anthropologists, ethologists, geographers …, landscape-animal draws the contours of a more intense and balanced relationship between living beings sharing the same land.

Dialogue avec un troupeau / Laurent Four dans le cadre de
Ça Remue !

 

Summary :

User manual Alain Faure
Animal landscape Philippe Mouillon
Humus humanity Daniel Bougnoux
Didactics of affective tuning for collapse time Yves Citton
Enchanted by the flock Inge Linder-Gaillard
A flock on campus, what for? Bruno Caranguel
To graze the fields of knowledge Guillaume Lebaudy
Animals at work Jean Estebanez
The integrated university, a pastoral symphony Jean-Charles Froment
Flank the landscape Olivier de Sepibus
A world of insects Laurence Després
Transmitting emotions Katia Després and Gael Sauzeat
Gonepteryx Rhamni Caroline Duchatelet
Attempts to approach a  suspension point Yoann Bourgeois
Spider’s mood Conversation with Abraham Poincheval
The textures of the time Jordi Galí
Places for the living Conversations with Victoria Klotz
Water Memory Conversation with Cyrille André
Animism and wilderness Nastassja Martin
Humanimals landscapes Coralie Mounet
Between dogs and wolves Conversation with Antoine le Menestrel
Migratory Antoine Choplin
The living, the sounds and the territory Henry Torgue
Animal conditions Maryvonne Arnaud
For a city where the walls chirp and sing Milena Stefanova
Atlas of the worlds of each Philippe Mouillon
Lost white pigeon Conversation with Alban de Chateauvieux
Anime Conversation with Alexandra Arènes

Contributed to this issue : Cyrille André, Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary, Alexandra Arènes, Maryvonne Arnaud, Jean Boucault, Daniel Bougnoux, Yoann Bourgeois, Laure Brayer, Bruno Caraguel, Alban de Chateauvieux, Antoine Choplin, Yves Citton, Laurences Després, Katia Després, Caroline Duchatelet, Jean Estebanez, Laurent Four, Jean-Charles Froment, Jordi Galí, Soheil Hajmirbaba, Catherine Hannï, Victoria Klotz, Béatrice Korc, Olivier Labussière, Guillaume Lebaudy, Inge Linder-Gaillard, Nastassjia Martin, Antoine le Menestrel, Jérôme Michalon, Philippe Mouillon, Coralie Mounet, Abraham Poincheval, Johnny Rasse, Gael Sauzeat, Milena Stefanova, Olivier de Sépibus, Henry Torgue.

Original images of : Cyrille André, Jean-Pierre Angei, Alexandra Arènes, Maryvonne Arnaud, Friedrich Böhringer, Marianne Elias, Olivier Garcin, Sonia Levy, Vita Manak, Fred Massé, Stéphanie Nelson, Olivier de Sépibus

More information on: https://local-contemporain.net/opus-11/

 

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Animality / humanities / vernacular knowledge

As we witness the collapse of animal populations, it seems urgent to document and symbolize the contribution of animality in the humanization of humanity.

By observation and imitation, humanity has acceded to an animal intensity of sensations which completes ours. The paintings of the Lascaux or Chauvet caves testify to the distances of this dynamic complicity. Wild or domesticated, animals have broadened the consciousness and perceptions of humanity and it would be a terrible regression to accept the sharing of the world between the industrialization of “useful” animals and a generalized ecosystem desert.

To improve our quality of life, we need to recompose human societies in order to facilitate the stay, development and movement of animality, that is to say, to carefully put together entanglements of spatialities and temporalities that do not bow to human interests and projects. It is not a question of preserving enclaves, zoos or genetic banks, but of reinventing a welcoming society for this reservoir of escaping vivacities, a necessary condition of a vivacious and promising humanity.

Because animals participate in the stability of human societies by their work, their affection, the irreducibility of their behavior. They form the humus necessary for the humanization of humanity.

Our initiative, whose form is still confidential, will involve many authors, crossing the approaches of livestock practitioners, shepherds, trainers, artists and researchers to build publically sharable symbolizations with as many people as possible.