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March 2018: Conference for European Studies, Chicago

May 2018 : Amsterdam City Museum


PAST

September 2017

(IN)COMPETÈNCIA COL·LECTIVA Desaprendre la cultura capitalista/ (IN)COMPÉTENCE COLLECTIVE Désapprendre la culture capitaliste
COLLECTIVE (UN)COMPETENCE Unlearning capitalist culture

During the eighth Jornades Filosòfiques of Barcelona, we explore contemporary social practices that can help us to resist capitalist competence/competition. We examine practices and spaces that are incompatible with the competition mechanism, essential to capitalist subjectivation, and that take the common good as their measure.

In catalan, “competència” is at the same time one of the fundamental concepts of liberalism (competition) and the name of the epistemological condition required and produced by the set of procedures that organize the functioning of the globalized institutions of knowledge (being competent or incompetent). The convergence of the scientific sense and the economic sense of “competència” translates into a complex system of formulation and calculation of the products made within those institutional spaces. The logic of private property is concretely produced in the field of knowledge through this process of objectification. The interpenetration of knowledge and capitalism today is the result. The situation this pairing defines can be extrapolated to our productive system in general: the attempt to build criteria for recognition and universal exchange forms has become the way in which the logic of merchandise and private property has unfolded globally.
Competitiveness is the logic and the dynamic that shapes what, willingly or unwillingly, we allocate from our lives to our own constitution as competent-competitive agents of the capitalist production system. This is not an original thesis it is just a sad fact.

Paradoxically, the central idea of our political system relies on a different logic. Democracy puts an incompetent subject in command. The citizen is politically “incompetent” according to scientific-economic standards of competence. An indeterminate citizen is called upon to decide and to substantiate the legitimacy of political powers. In democracy, political competence is general, and this is why there is still a social lever to combat our subjection to the logic of the market.

Other logics and practices also transcend capitalist accounting and values. In a friendly conversation, for instance, one to shares intelligence that is still incompatible with the thought computation and privatization protocols that is inherent to the operation of global knowledge institutions.

By mapping practices, attitudes and fields of activity that remain refractory to the logics of competence/competition and private property, we engage a process of unlearning capitalist culture.

June 2017
WALLS- Berlin


WALLS/GRENZEN/MAUERN

In Berlin werden die Künstler des Moving Matters Travelling Workshops in und um die Kapelle der Versöhnung und in der Stephanuskirche in Berlin- Wedding arbeiten, um die vielfältigen Bedeutungen von Mauern zu erforschen. Berlin wurde viele Jahre von der Mauer geprägt: 1989 fiel die Berliner Mauer und es begann eine neue Ära, in der die Menschen nicht mehr durch Mauern und die Ideologien, die diese Mauer aufrechterhielt, geteilt wurden. Heute werden auf der Welt neue Mauern errichtet und erweitert: zwischen Mexiko und den USA, Israel und Palästina, um die “Festung Europa” und anderswo. Mauern symbolisieren Teilung, sie können aber auch Zuflucht bieten. Diese Zuflucht wird ebenfalls von (der Stadt) Berlin verkörpert. Die Stadt hat Tausenden von Menschen, die vor den Kriegen im Nahen Osten flohen, Mauern des Schutzes angeboten. Daher können Mauern auch Schutz, Privatsphäre und ein Gefühl von zu Hause vermitteln, und nicht nur Grenzen oder Abtrennungen symbolisieren.

Die Kapelle der Versöhnung befindet sich auf dem ehemaligen Grenzstreifen, wo die Kirche der Versöhnung einmal stand. Die Kirche befand sich im Sperrgebiet und wurde daher nach 1961 nicht genutzt. 1985 sprengte die DDR- Regierung die Kirche, um die Grenzzone erweitern zu können. Die neue Kapelle wurde am 9. November 2000 eingeweiht: Freiwillige aus der ganzen Welt kamen, um die Kapelle der Versöhnung aus Stampflehm zu bauen, die ihr inneres Heiligtum abgrenzt und die Ruinen der ehemaligen Kirche einschließt. Als “serielle Migranten” treten die Künstler des Kollektivs in die Kapelle der Versöhnung ein und bringen ihre eigenen Erfahrungen über Grenzübergänge und Erinnerungen an die Mauern ihrer verschiedenen Häuser mit in dieses Projekt ein. Auch wenn andere sie als Immigranten, Flüchtlinge, Liebesmigranten oder Einheimische wahrgenommen haben, definieren sie sich als serielle Migranten, um sich auf ihren gemeinsamen Weg der Ansiedlung in mehreren Ländern zu konzentrieren. Sie greifen auf diese vielfältige individuelle Erfahrung und die kollektive Dynamik des Moving Matters Travelling Workshop- Projekts seit 2013 zurück, um die politischen und persönlichen Bedeutungen von Mauern in ihren unzähligen materiellen und phantasievollen Dimensionen zu betrachten. In diesem gleichzeitig sehr symbolischen und greifbaren Ort entwickeln die Künstler eine Ausstellung und öffentliche Performances, die sie mit den vielen Gästen teilen möchten.

Kuratiert von Susan Ossman und Lisa Strehmann

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For many years, the Wall defined Berlin. In 1989 the Berlin Wall came down, seemingly heralding a new era when people would no longer be divided by walls and the ideologies that uphold them. Today, however, around the world new walls are being erected and extended: between Mexico and the USA, Israel and Palestine, around “Fortress Europe,” and elsewhere. Walls symbolize division, but they also can provide refuge. This is likewise epitomized by Berlin. The city has offered walls to thousands of people fleeing wars in the Middle East. Hence, walls may also offer protection, privacy and a sense of home, and not only signal borders or divisions.

In Berlin, the artists of The Moving Matters Traveling Workshop will work in and around the Kapelle der Versöhnung (Chapel of Reconciliation) and the Stephanuskirche in Wedding to explore the multiple meanings of walls by developing an exhibition, performance and public interventions. The Chapel is located on the former border strip where the Church of Reconciliation once stood. The church was on the demarcation line and thus was not used after 1961. In 1985 East German government bombed it to enable the extension of the border zone. The new chapel was dedicated in 2000. Volunteers from around the world came to build the rammed-earth wall that delineates its inner sanctuary and which incorporates the ruins of the former church. Coming to the Chapel of Reconciliation as “serial migrants” the MMTW artists bring their own experiences of border crossings and recollections of the walls of their different homes to this project. Even as others perceived them as immigrants, refugees, love migrants or locals, they define themselves as serial migrants to focus on their common path of settling in multiple countries. They draw on this multi-faceted individual experience and the collective dynamic generated by the MMTW project since 2013 to contemplate the political and personal meanings of walls in their myriad material and imaginative dimensions.

Curated by Susan Ossman and Lisa Strehman


Norwegian University Center in Paris, October 2016

The Arts of Migration and Artworks That Travel Across the World  A Performance/Lecture by Blanca Casas Brullet, Susan Ossman and Olga Sezneva   Norwegian University Centre in Paris Fondation (MMTW) is a flexible, synergetic and mobile platform for artistic research into issues of migration. In our contribution to the seminar…

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UC Riverside, California, March 10-11, 2016

Serial Migrants and Identity / The Arts of Migration Conference/ Exhibition/Performance March 10-11 The artists of The Moving Matters Traveling Workshop (MMTW) were born and have lived in different countries. Yet they share a common story of serial migration. While a cosmopolitan may evolve from provincialism toward global consciousness and…

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Galeria Tipografia, Bucharest, Romania, July 2015

In My Memory/Your History the MMTW explored the intersection of individual memories and history. How does memory cross history for people who belong to several nations or transnational communities? What might the serial migrant’s experience tell us about emerging forms of historical experience, narrative and representation?

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