[artinfo] Release of HOW TO ACT?

e-flux info at mailer.e-flux.com
Wed Sep 17 11:42:39 CEST 2014


edited by La Criée Centre for Contemporary Art


Contemporary art in its ability to think, invent 
and represent the democratic changes of Europe in 
an era of globalisation. This is a joint 
laboratory for inventive and collaborative 
democratic building.

Released via Onomatopee project space and publisher, Eindhoven (NL)
Edited by La Criée Centre for Contemporary Art, Rennes (FR)

September 2014, English
160 x 230 mm, 504 PP, 397 b&w and color, softcover
Design by Pierre Martin Vielcazat

HOW TO ACT? is a dynamic extension of the A.C.T. Democ[k]racy project. 
Via a cross-European exchange of artworks, 
artists, researchers and students, Art 
Cooperation Transmission (A.C.T.) Democ[k]racy 
promotes contemporary art in its ability to 
think, invent and represent the democratic 
changes of Europe in an era of globalisation. It 
is a joint laboratory and a factory for inventive 
and collaborative democratic building.

In France, Romania, Serbia and The Netherlands, 
nine partner institutions organised a 
cross-fertilisation trhough students' and 
artists' residencies, exhibitions and seminars. 
Those engaging explored fields of thought and 
action related to art and democracy with a 
particular focus on education, poetics, urbanism 
and freedom. They experienced the unity and the 
heterogeneity of  "Europe"; they acquired (and 
lost) some certainties about democracy, art, 
European identity and relations. The project 
gathered multifocal contributions by artists, 
philosophers, sociologists, poets, architects, 
urbanists, writers, art critics, historians, etc. 
that they wished to share. 

HOW TO ACT? post-produces this experience: 
building upon the exhibitions, informing in the 
spin-off of the conferences and fostering 
exchange through the dynamics of the residences. 
The result is a set of answers and an impetus to 
act. ACTors' testimonies, critical and poetic 
texts, political cartoons, photography and more 
provide a retrospective/prospective reading of 
all activities that took concrete form during the 
two years of the project. They open up a world of 
possibilities for artistic and civil acts.

Contributors: Dominique Abensour, Maziar 
Afrassiabi, Bearboz, Julien Berthier, Matthijs 
Bosman, Joost de Bloois, Paul de Bruyne, Sylvaine 
Bulle, George Dupin, Larys Frogier, Christophe 
Hanna, Joop Hazenberg, Bogdan Iacob, Ivana 
Ivkoviç,  Charlie Jeffery, Frank Keizer, Sarah 
van Lamsweerde, Paul de Lanzac, Fancois Lombarts, 
Freek Lomme, Aleksandar Maça”ev, Ciprian 
Mures¸an, Tanja Ostojiç, Dan Perjovschi, Darinka 
Pop Mitiç, Mara Ratiu, Tomas Schats, Dubravka 
Sekuliç, Anca Simionca, Biljana Srbljanoviç, 
Marko Stamenkoviç, István Szakáts, Ra”a 
Todosijeviç, Samuel Vriezen, Emmanuel Wallon, 
Jozua Zaagman, Joëlle Zask, etc.

The A.C.T. Democ[k]racy agenda 
Because the withdrawal into separatist identities 
in many European countries is an alarming symptom 
of a crisis of democracy within Europe;
because Europe is now reaching the limits of an 
economic model that is resulting in brutal social 
fragmentation and deepening inequalities among 
individuals and countries;
because the conditions required for the exercise 
of democracy are now being suffocated by 
obsolescent administrative, legislative and 
communicative structures;
because the critical, educational and creative 
dimensions of art are fundamental conditions to 
the exercise of democracy;
because in an era of globalisation, we believe 
that interrelation between the commonplace and 
the singular should cultivate difference, 
discontinuity and contradiction as the basis of 
our representations of reality,
Faced with the separatistism of the various 
European identities, we believe that the ongoing 
progress of European democracies in the era of 
globalisation depends on our ability to cultivate 
a continuous, inter-penetrable, porous dynamic 
with respect to otherness amongst neighbours. In 
the face of critical, educational and creative 
challenges, we believe that art has the capacity 
to bring historic, cultural and social elements 
into relationship with each other in order to 
generate unpredictable representations, 
unexpected encounters and innovative creations. 
Amid an over-administrated and decreasingly 
inventive culture, we believe that the vitality 
of contemporary creativity involves the constant 
cultivation of a dynamic that encompasses 
tension, transformation and the invention of 
cultural and artistic projects.

Through our discussions and the action we took, 
we made our small and bottom-up contribution to 
the building of the Europe of democracies to 
which we are firmly committed. In practical terms 
we offered the chance-locally, multi-nationally 
and internationally-to discover and connect 
artists and artworks. We offered artists, 
students and researchers the chance to address 
new contexts and reflect together on the meaning 
of art and democracy. Our response to the retreat 
into identity was simple: the discovery of Others 
and their art, ideas and ways of working. We 
experienced the feeling of belonging to Europe in 
all its diversity and contradiction, driven by a 
conscious, necessary sense of shared difference. 
In this way we came up with a constructive 
"multifocalism," at once political and poetic, 
utopian and critical, pragmatic and fanciful. 
-Sophie Kaplan, Director, La Criée centre for contemporary art

The A.C.T. project partners
La Criée Centre for Contemporary Art, Rennes, France
AltArt Foundation, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Serbia
Onomatopee project-space, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
École européenne supérieure d'art de Bretagne, Rennes, France
University of Art and Design, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Mains d'‘uvres, Saint-Ouen, France
AKV St. Joost, 's-Hertogenbosch/Breda, The Netherlands
Fabrica de Pensule, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

With the support of the Culture programme of the European Union.

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