+++ Commonism (On Cohabitation) - on the Swamp School YouTube channel +++
The Swamp Pavilion is a networked effort in creating new imaginary hybrid space for exercises in architectural and artistic practices, theory and pedagogy through various forms and formats of public interventions, field trips, workshops, lectures, discussions, chat channels and printed publications.
The grounding workshop of the Swamp Pavilion interrogates the relevance of a single country’s representation in the times of transnational crisis - existential threats of war and mutually assured destruction, of climate change and its enforcement of new global patterns of disaster and migration. Imaginigs of ephemeral architecture suspended between air and water allows one to look for new models for national borders which, rather than create divisions and mark territorial claims, instead propose novel forms of coexistence and interaction.
Throughout the Biennale Architettura 2018, the Swamp School will function as a changing, flexible, open-ended infrastructure that supports experiments in design, pedagogy and artistic intelligence. Invited designers and scholars will conduct performative lectures and lead workshops for participants and visitors to the Biennale.
In exploring the imaginary of a swamp—a living organism in which borders defined by social, political and cultural factors are porous and permeable— the Swamp School will investigate an open artistic/architectural form, effective workshop and publication methodologies. The Swamp School will act as a pilot for future learning environments, informed by and informing the architecture and installations of its own space. Research questions will focus on creating public interfaces and manuals that support adaptation and learning to meet the demands of a changing environment.
Participating institutions: MIT School of Architecture and Planning, Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, University of Antwerp, Università Iuav di Venezia, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti - NABA Milan, The Art Institute at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW Basel, Institute of Aesthetic Practice and Theory IAeP, Academy of Art and Design FHNW Basel, University of Iceland, Vytautas Magnus University Kaunas, a.pass - advanced performance and scenography studies Brussels, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Contour Biennale 9 Mechelen, Design for the Living World Class at HFBK The University of Fine Arts Hamburg, Städelschule Architecture Class – Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Frankfurt
The Biennale’s traditional format of “national pavilions” contradicts the global trend toward mutating geo-politics and uncertain nation-state hegemony. These pavilions contain artists who, themselves, often possess an idiosyncratic national identity, formed from an exciting puzzle of multiple countries. Furthermore, as the number of participant nations increases the fixed number of pavilions turns the desperate rental search by “non-owning pavilion countries” into an astonishing temporary real estate market for Venetians.
In a time marked by existential threats of war and climate change, the Swamp School is a learning environment that sets up a cross-disciplinary dialogue to challenge conventional concepts of territory with aims to reorganize identities and realities and to envision the role of the immaterial in architecture, art, and nature.
Manual functions as pedagogical tool and as a score to support new frameworks for sensorial approaches to environmental crises. Developed with students at MIT, the Swamp School Manual includes texts, photos, instructions, and notes on theory, design, architectural and artistic practices and experimental pedagogy in environmental sound, spatial choreography, and forms of commonism.
Date: May 23-27, 2018
This chapter will engage participants in acoustic space explorations, radio experiments, environmental sound recordings, immersiveness of sound, and data sonification.
Sound is a powerful force in organizing space; it is sound not visuals that mark dramatic shifts from one world to another in non-linear ways. Sound is capable of simultaneity and non-linearity. It surrounds and immerses us, but above all, it resonates, allowing things to respond to each other. Acoustic vibrations resonate inside the body, creating different emotions, pleasures or fears. Sound helps to expand our external world – the urban environment, nature and outer space. Scientists and artists listen to the universe, and radio signals radiate far beyond our planet after transmission.
Swamp Radio contributors
Date: June 26-30, 2018
Inspired by discussions on systemic aesthetics, collective intelligence, and plural ecology (symbio-poesis), this chapter is envisioned as a set of modules, chambers, and portals for design and artistic experiments to test prototype technologies and materials for future sensorial adaptation. The Futurity Island will provide participants a space to speculate on urban and material futures and will probe the usefulness of the concept “sympoiesis” itself as a habit of thought for the current period of environmental crisis, and as an aid toward imagining and working together in radical inter-disciplinarity toward desirable futures.
Futurity Island contributors
Date: September 24-29, 2018
Through contributions by theorists, designers and artists this chapter will interrogate the commons as an ideology - an aesthetic of the real - as a way of giving a form to society and our contemporary human condition. With an understanding of aesthetics as ‘the art of thinking beautifully,’ as way of seeing a better, more beautiful world, this chapter will learn from the reciprocating movements for the commons asking questions: how is the commons constituted in society, how does it shape our reality of living together, and what strategies and what aesthetics do artistic commoners follow?
Here you will find photo and video documentation of the lectures, presentations, performances, interviews, as well as media coverage of the Swamp School. Subscribe to:
Swamp School YouTube channel
Swamp Radio program
Date: May 23-27, 2018
Chapter: Swamp Radio (on transmitting)
The opening week of the Swamp School with the Swamp Radio engaged the audience in acoustic space explorations from radio experiments, to environmental sound recordings, immersiveness of sound, and data sonification.
Futurity Island program
Date: June 25-30, 2018
Chapter: Futurity Island (on sympoietics)
Inspired by discussions on radical imagination, indigenous thought, collective intelligence, and plural ecology, this chapter of the Swamp School invites participants to speculate and develop new habits of thought for the era of environmental crisis. The Futurity Island will provide participants a space to speculate on urban and material futures and will probe the usefulness of the concept “sympoiesis” toward imagining and working together in radical inter-disciplinarity toward desirable futures.
Monday, June 25
1:00 – 2:00 PM Welcome and Coffee
2:00 – 5:00 PM Afternoon program:
Futures, Islands and Symbiotic Imaginations – opening symposium
Evocation of the Swamp by Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, KIT NTNU and ACT MIT (Lithuania / USA)
Swamps and Islands by Kristupas Sabolius, philosopher, associate professor at Vilnius University / MIT research affiliate (Lithuania)
Auto Sym Allo: Poiesis of the Mud Muse by Lars Bang Larsen, curator and art historian, professor at RIA Stockholm (Denmark / Sweden)
5:00 – 6:00 PM Discussion: Building up New Vocabularies
6:00 – 7:00 PM Swamp Tea
7:00 – 8:30 PM Evening program:
Land, Water, Ice, Subsoil and the Submarine, a film program by Ilona Jurkonytė, film critic and curator, PhD candidate at Concordia University in Montreal (Lithuania / Canada) in conversation with Edward Lawrenson, a London-based filmmaker.
Screening of the film Uppland – directed by Edward Lawrenson, research Killian Doherty, 30 min., 2018
Date: September 24-29, 2018
Chapter: Commonism (On Cohabitation)
Interlocutors: Nico Dockx, artist (Belgium) and Pascal Gielen, sociologist (Belgium)
Through contributions by theorists, designers, and artists, this chapter will interrogate the commons as an ideology—an aesthetic of the real—as a way of giving a form to society and our contemporary human condition. With an understanding of aesthetics as ”the art of thinking beautifully,“ as a way of seeing a better, more beautiful world, this chapter will learn from the reciprocating movements for the commons, asking questions: how is the commons constituted in society, how does it shape our reality of living together, and what strategies and what aesthetics do artistic commoners follow?
Monday, September 24
5:00 – 6:00 PM Welcome and Coffee
6:00 – 7:00 PM Evening program:
Noi e L’Albero book launch with Valentina Ivancich, neuropsychiatrist (Italy)
7:00 – 8:30 PM
Systems Seduction lecture by Gary Zhexi Zhang, artist (UK)
Parasite (物流) film by Gary Zhexi Zhang, 12 min., 2017
Manual functions as pedagogical tool and as a score to support new frameworks for sensorial approaches to environmental crises. Developed with students at MIT, the Swamp School Manual includes texts, photos, instructions and notes on theory, design, architectural and artistic practices and experimental pedagogy in environmental sound, spatial choreography, and forms of commonism.
Printed copies of the Manual are distributed during the Swamp School in Venice and by project partners. To download digital copies of .pdfs click links bellow:
Manual 1: Swamp Radio [on Transmitting]
Manual 2: Futurity Island [on Sympoietics]
Manual 3: Commonism [on Cohabitation]
Manual researchers and editors: Kyle Branchesi, Chelsea S. Bruck, Erin Genia, Monica Hutton, Nicolás Kisic Aguirre, Antonio Moya-Latorre, Shane Reiner-Roth, Indrani Saha, Thuy Thanh Le, Gary Zhexi Zhang.
Design: Anna Haas
Swamps and the New Imagination embarks upon a critical examination of the outcomes of today’s rediscovery of matter, which constantly opens up itself through interplay of immateriality. The book intends to set up a discursive scene not only questioning the distribution of territories as a mean organizing identities and realities, but also to envision the role of immaterial in the age of non-human turn and interspecies dialogue. A swamp is both a place for manifold symbiotic relationships, and a locus of imagination, fostering the dialogue with possible futures.
“Hope and the future for me are not in lawns and cultivated fields, not in towns and cities, but in the impervious and quaking swamps”, maintained Henry David Thoreau, who loved to write about wetlands and to be written by them.
Today, revalorising the swamps over the solid ground as well as exploring its complex web of interactions is far from the romantic clichés of ‘Noble Savage’ and ‘Back to Nature’. We cannot get back to the marshes, as there is no objectively fixed environment we are to return to. The instinctive and natural behavior cannot undo our civilization, but rather provokes the conflict and discontent with(in) ourselves derived from social and cultural repression. In a time marked by existential threats of war and climate change, Swamps and the New Imagination is a publication that sets up a cross-disciplinary dialogue to challenge conventional concepts of territory with aims to reorganize identities and realities and to envision the role of the immaterial in architecture, art, and nature.
The reconsideration of wetlands brings a challenge both to material and to mental architecture of the human, reminding us of the danger—present in every formal language—of becoming preoccupied with reductive and pragmatic considerations that preclude the celebration of informality and incompleteness. However, a perspective derived from revalorizing the swamp is inscribed within the tradition of ideas and attempts to redefine architecture by overcoming its materiality and fostering its utopian energy including seminal proposals such as: Juan Downey’s Invisible Architecture, Yves Klein’s Air Architectures, Yona Friedman’s Floating Cities, Archigram’s Walking City and Plug-in City, Superstudio’s Continuous Monument, the aerial and oceanic architectures of the Japanese Metabolists, and Cedric Price Fun Palace, among many others.
Swamps and the New Imagination embarks upon a critical examination of the outcomes of today’s rediscovery of matter which constantly opens up itself through interplay of immateriality. The book intends to set up a discursive space not only questioning the distribution of territories as a means of organizing identities and realities, but also to envision the role of immaterial in the age of non-human turn and interspecies dialogue. A swamp is both a place for manifold symbiotic relationships, and a locus of imagination, fostering the dialogue with possible futures.
Building from the network of institutions behind the Lithuanian participation at the 2018 Biennale di Venezia (Architecture), and MIT’s “future learning environment” model in Venice, this publication pulls together scholars on intersectional topics including transnational and speculative architecture, feminist and queer theory, posthumanism, ecology, materialism, visual studies and imagination, cybernetics, physics, sociology, and the commons to argue for conviviality (living together) and sympoiesis (making together) in imagining the future. Parallel to the pavilion and Biennale activities, this book will cross disciplinary boundaries and present a future learning environment for ongoing development.
Swamps and the New Imagination will feature contributions from Saskia Sassen, Vittoria Di Palma, Sara Marini, Mark Harris, Cristina Ricupero, Giedrė Jankevičiūtė, Lars Bang Larsen, Timothy Morton, Eyal Weizman, Beatriz Colomina, Astrid Neimanis, T.J. Demos, Kate Orff, Pietro Montani , Jennifer Gabrys, Eduardo Kohn, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro among other authors.
The editorial board: Pippo Ciorra, Jonathan Crisman, Kristupas Sabolius, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, and Mariel Villeré.
Publishing and distribution: Sternberg Press.
The Global Expeditions focus on a study of the swamp ecosystem –both material and immaterial– to acquire unique practical and theoretical knowledge to be used in scripting the workshops organized as a part of the Swamp School during summer/fall 2018 in Venice.
Each expedition brings together artists, engineers, philosophers, historians, biologists, and a supporting research group. During the expeditions, collected material and acquired knowledge will be published in manuals and will be used in workshops as inspirational and technical guides. Expeditionary research of terminology, ecosystem, processes, hybridity, modality, social and political aspects found in the swamp, plasticity, slime, and mucus phenomenologies reveals the relationships between humankind, nature, and architecture and creates circumstances to synthesise new architectural materiality.
The lecture series Hello World? takes its name from the basic script that is written as the first foray into programming language. Taking inspiration from Stafford Beer’s cybernetic dream, the program of the lecture series scripts the construction process of the Swamp Pavilion to expand existing and create new perspectives on forms of representation and pedagogy.
Hello World? is the twenty-first event in the series organized by the Architecture Fund that stands for building a new vocabulary across emergent discourses, calling for criticality and ethics in the time of crisis and post-truth. Starting in fall 2017, seven invited speakers engaged the audience at the National Gallery of Art in Lithuania by presenting their research to push boundaries of discipline, interrogate discursive forms of architectural practice, and produce new spaces for alternative imaginaries. The lectures, free and open to public, are organized by a group of volunteers from the field of architecture and art. Each lecture and its corresponding discussion with the public is available online.
Invited speakers: Beatriz Colomina, Kristupas Sabolius, Peter Swinnen, Ann Lui and Mimi Zeiger, Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas.
Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas - SWAMP: our brain, planetary kidney and architecture of cohabitation
Peter Swinnen - The architect as policy whisperer
Kristupas Sabolius - Matter and form of the imagination
Beatriz Colomina - The City of Social Media
Ann Lui and Mimi Zeiger - Approaching Citizenship
Sam Auinger, Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson, Lorena Bello, Nikola Bojić, Kyle Branchesi, Chelsea Bruck, Rasa Chmieliauskaitė, Santiago Cirugeda (Recetas Urbanas), Beatriz Colomina, Aidas Čergelis, Aušra Černiauskienė, Remigijus Daubaras, Nico Dockx, Justinas Dūdėnas, Jennifer Gabrys, Erin Genia, Pascal Gielen, Rania Ghosn (Design Earth), Tinna Grétarsdôttir, Tomas Grunskis, Monica Hutton, Ilona Jurkonytė, Nicolás Kisic Aguirre, Eric Kluitenberg, Jonas Kubilius, Milda Kulvičiūtė, Brandon LaBelle, Hannes Lárusson, Thuy Le, Nicole L’Huillier, Lars Bang Larsen, Donatas Linkus, Francisco López, Asta Malakauskienė, Sara Marini, Chus Martinez, Gintautas Mažeikis, Lilia Mestre, Antonio Moya-Latorre, Toni Negri, Petteri Nisunen & Tommi Grönlund, Kate Orff, John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog (Territorial Agency), Dimitris Papadopoulos, Thomas Pausz, Doina Petrescu and Constantin Petcou (atelier d'architecture autogérée), Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, Armina Pilav, Marjetica Potrč, Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, Tobias Putrih, Aroon Puritat, Shane Reiner-Roth, François Roche (New-Territories), Brent Ryan, Kristupas Sabolius, Indrani Saha, Marco Scotini and Andris Brinkmanis, Laura Serejo Genes, Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits, Sandra Straukaitė, Hildigunnur Sverrisdóttir, Antanas Šarkauskas & Gabrielė Šarkauskienė (ŠA Atelier), Rirkrit Tiravanija, Indrė Umbrasaitė, Kęstutis Vaikšnoras, Jurga Katakinaitė-Jakubauskienė and Reda Valentinavičienė, Aline Veillat, Angela Vettese, Yvonne Volkart, Judith Wielander & Matteo Lucchetti (Visible), Mark Wigley, Jana Winderen, Gary Zhexi Zhang
Commissioner Pippo Ciorra
Curators Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas
Assistant Curators Jautra Bernotaitė, Andrius Ropolas, Kristupas Sabolius, Indrė Umbrasaitė, Paulius Vaitiekūnas
Architects of the Swamp School infrastructure Indrė Umbrasaitė, Adelė Dovydavičiūtė, Rasa Chmieliauskaitė, Aidas Čergelis, Aušra Černiauskienė, Justinas Dūdėnas, Milda Kulvičiūtė, Donatas Linkus, Antanas Šarkauskas & Gabrielė Šarkauskienė, Kęstutis Vaikšnoras
Curatorial advisors Nikola Bojić, Nico Dockx, Tobias Putrih
Project Ambassador Julija Reklaitė
Project Manager Mindaugas Reklaitis
Production Coordinators Adelė Dovydavičiūtė, Indrė Ruseckaitė, Marco Scurati, Alessandro Zorzetto
Editors Jonathan Crisman, Mariel Villere
Proofreading Carolyn Shea
Design NODE Berlin Oslo
Manual design Anna Haas
Web development Marco Land
Communication managers Autoriai / Giedrė Šileikytė, Marta Atzeni
Producer Architektūros Fondas / Sandra Šlepikaitė
Presented by Lithuanian Council for Culture
Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 1814,
30122 Venezia VE, Italy
10:00 AM–6:00 PM
+39 320 2820 794
MIT School of Architecture and Planning, Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, University of Antwerp, Università Iuav di Venezia, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti - NABA Milan, The Art Institute at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW Basel, Institute of Aesthetic Practice and Theory IAeP, Academy of Art and Design FHNW Basel, University of Iceland, Vytautas Magnus University Kaunas, a.pass - advanced performance and scenography studies Brussels, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Contour Biennale 9 Mechelen, Design for the Living World Class at HFBK The University of Fine Arts Hamburg, Städelschule Architecture Class – Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Frankfurt
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, MIT School of Architecture and Planning, MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT), MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST), The Nordic Culture Fund, OCA Office for Contemporary Art Norway, Urbonas Studio, UAB Durpeta
Special thanks to Vaiva Andriušytė, Guoda Bardauskaitė, Judith Barry, Karolina Čiplytė, Embassy Of The Republic Of Lithuania To The Italian Republic, Milda Grabauskaitė, Jeremy Grubman, Stefan Helmreich, Stefanie Hessler, Rūta Kazėnaitė, Julija Kiršienė, Vytas Matrosovas, Lina Mozūraitė, National Gallery Of Art (Lithuania), Liutauras Nekrošius, Nida Art Colony, Romas Pakalnis and Nerijus Zableckis (Lithuanian Fund for Nature), Johan Pas, Kristina Lee Podesva, Gailė Pranckūnaitė, Asta Radzevičienė, Hashim Sarkis, Caroline Schneider, Jūratė Sendžikaitė, Marialuisa Tadei, Daina Urbanavičienė, Melissa Vaughn, Leila Wheatley Kinney, Anne Whiston Spirn, Laimonas Zakas, Ina Žurkuvienė