Lecture (12/13) - The commons is a composite term – political, economic, social, cultural – acting for change towards nonbinary, sharing forms of life, which undo the artificial divisions and hierarchies in social domains such as the private (market) and the public (state), the intellectual and the manual, the rich and the poor – or name it! – towards a lively, life affirming ecology of caring, collaborative, and cooperative relations, and the celebration of differences. Art is one of the most open and affective ways of inquiring, imagining, and enacting such a commons; at Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons we call it a study process. In cooperation with artists and communities, especially in the fields of education and social movements, Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons is dedicated to the production and presentation of art as a study process of the commons. In her lecture, Binna Choi will give insight into the practice of the commons within and beyond art: will elaborate on the process of reestablishing Casco from Casco Office for Art, Design and Theory to Casco Art Insti-tute: Working for the Commons, especially by focusing on the longterm project Site for Unlearning: Art Organization, a collaboration between artist Annette Krauss and the Casco team.
Binna Choi (Seoul, South Korea, 1977) practices the curatorial in an expanded sense, by situating art in relation to practices of social change, and by working on art institutions as exemplary institutional sites. Since 2008, Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons has been Binna’s home base for this curatorial practice. There she has curated a number of longterm, collaborative/crossdisciplinary artistic research projects and programs. Currently she’s focusing on the several intersecting study lines – as called at Casco Art Institute – with art on the commons, including Unmapping Eurasia (cocurated with You Mi), Center for Ecological Unlearning (with the Outsiders), and Diverse Economies. In conjunction with her position at Casco Art Institute, Binna also teaches at the Dutch Art Institute masters program, and works for and with the translocal network Arts Collaboratory.
Poster by Dayna Casey
Installation by Natalia Nikoniuk
No Other Future but the Commons (and Art) by Binna Choi
The exploration of the common and the rhizomic.
Taking the definition of the word ‘common’ as a starting point I’ve started to explore the connection between what is ‘occurring, found, or done often; prevalent’ and the non-binary (rhizomic). Rice, as an element of human diet spread across the world; incredibly ‘common’ and accessible came to my mind immediately. I wanted to force the beholder to stumble upon the manifestation of the binary clashed with the commonness of the material. Therefore, I’ve decided to draw a line cutting through the central hall that would underline the artificial divisions still dominant in our world but using rice as a form evoking sense of collectivism and accessibility. It didn’t matter if people would stumble upon the line – it was actually welcome as a metaphorical act symbolising the ‘breaking through the binary’.