Flexible Co-Lab – Temporary Formats

Rewind: We both met when we studied at the University of the Arts Berlin, in the class of Professor Katharina Sieverding. With-in and out-of the Sieverding class and context multiple individual and collective formats of artistic discourse and practice were generating: the radical change of cultural production mirrored a certain trans-disciplinary socio-cultural utopia during the nineties in Berlin – especially by utilizing the freedom and progress of empty spaces in a post-wall situation. Our background and experience influenced our collaborative work to generate con–temporary extensions to the so-called term social sculpture (Beuys). Parallel to our artistic solo position as concept- and media artists, we initiated various collaborative "open-source" projects within independent and institutional contexts, to create temporary platforms for presentation, discussion and cultural exchange.

Review: Working in “flexible collaborations“ became elementary for our common artistic discussion: A starting point of our collaborative work is to be seen in DiaLog-In1, which Angelika conceived and realized at the “Pavillon der Volksbühne” Berlin. DiaLog-In appeared in the format of a temporary office for artistic discussion and presentation about contemporary issues regarding constructions of real&virtual identities. Angelika opened her DiaLog-In to ten different guest artists and theorists, to create a growing forum by Log-In I - X.
The very first collaborative project was realized under the name Introgroup2 in the Hybrid WorkSpace at Documenta X, where we developed a temporary zone-system for public discussion and interaction with the documenta visitors.

Forward: We were developing our flexible collaborations out of a temporary situation or out of a context, either project based, such as within a concrete curatorial concept or theme, like in Levels #1 / P.O.P–Punkt.Ort.Position (point.place.position)3. Or in open fusions, which developed out of a common artistic concept to become an open source project, like the Lecture-Lounge4. In both cases it is a temporary form of co-operation, such as a short-term activity of networks, which in turn results in shows, projects and events, also examplified by the project OneFineDay – in...5. Within our initiatives of open source projects we were defining our function as a nodal point in a decentralized and spread out (artistic) network. We opened the structure, communicated the resources (contents & persons) and created a transparency of the project, and due to the progress it become transparent and the information utilizable for all who were interested. The communication was intended to be a horizontal – non hierarchic – among all participants, in order to make it possible to all interested participants creating new respective individual nodal points of responsibility. For instance, when we were moving the idea and title for a project forward, it has been complemented and confirmed by the people of our first nodal point. The contents of the project has been discussed, developed and elaborated out of a progress of intensification and presentation of our common interests, and has been transferred into an online-onsite format – website, exhibition and event. Within this context we understood ourselves as a motor or a kind of operating system to integrate and to structure the diversity of elements into one event.
The open structure of open source projects provided a constructive basis for a complex exchange and discussion within comprehensive contexts, in which the condition was set for flexible collaborations, to allow a (transnational) communication of different positions, to be presented within an adequate format and to create new networks (network projects). This artistic network organically evolve and grow with increasing activity, like the ongoing project 25sec.6.

Continuum: Before we started the first 25sec.-project in 2003, all our projects were just temporary and focusing mainly the inter-active process. Beside some documentation material there is “only“ the experience and a story left. With 25sec. we started a project format where we are combining research and communication strategies from our previous collaborative practice for to bring the entire production process to a re-presentable result formatted as moving digital video-data. Due to the 25sec.-projects’ ongoing activity in different locations at international destinations we can proceed with a growing 25sec.-network and introduce the realized 25sec.-portraits to the context and art-community, where we realize a new one.

1 DiaLog-In by Angelika Middendorf, took place at the “Pavillon der Volksbühne” Berlin, April 9 -27,1997. It was a temporary office to showcase archival files and correspondence of her global project NETWORK (language transfer - ID transfer, 1993-97) and daily altering presentations about contemporary constructions of identity realized by ten guest artists and theorists (Log-In I – X; Andreas Schimanski/ Log-In VIII). Curated by Rüdiger Lange, artistic director of “Pavillon der Volksbühne” (1997-1998)

2 Introgroup (A part of the group “Pavillon der Volksbühne“) was initiated by Angelika Middendorf, Juliane Duda and Andreas Schimanski. The Documenta X visitors were invited to interview us, the artists, within their different zones and respective contents, i.e. ZONE 1: t/here-global-zone by Angelika Middendorf; ZONE 2: cabin-culture-zone by Juliane Duda; ZONE 3: curator-zone by Rüdiger Lange; ZONE 4: art-mediator-zone Kristin Wergeland-Krog; ZONE 5: image-zone by Andreas Schimanski; plus INFO-zone: Holler Rauser. The Pavilion-Introgroup generated an interactive ZONE-SYSTEM at Hybrid-WorkSpace / Documenta X, Kassel, June 24-27, 1997. Curated by Rüdiger Lange, artistic director of “Pavillon der Volksbühne” (1997-1998)

3 Levels #1/ P.O.P–Punkt.Ort.Position (point.location.position) In 2000 Berlin-based curator Ute Tischler conceived the project Levels #1 - 10: Curatorial Statements on Contemporary Art – a project about curatorial practice and its changing role, which took place as one year-long project at parkHaus Gallery Berlin in 2001. We, together with Katrin Lock, developed the idea of creating the “P.O.P–Punkt.Ort.Position” (point.location.position) as a metaphorical threedimensional format and object-series. The P.O.P-objects represented a flexible presentation architecture, which created in form and aesthetics (nodal)points and implied a side by side position as well as a network of (solo-)positions, and was at least realized and completed by placing our respective individual artistic works - including the curatorial statement - onto it. For the following shows of “Levels #2 – 10“ we left the P.O.P-objects behind as empty platforms and it was at the upcoming curators'/artists' disposal to “re-occupy” and re-structure the P.O.P's. Levels #1: “P.O.P–Punkt.Ort.Position”. Curated by Ute Tischler. parkHaus gallery Berlin, January 17 - February 23, 2001.

4 Lecture-Lounge In the context of the ISP at P.S.1 – Contemporary Arts Center/MoMA we developed the Lecture-Lounge format: “Lecture-Lounge (LL)” was the title and term of a conceived presentation series, which we have initiated and realized to intensify an inter-cultural discussion within the New York art scene. The extensive LL-format included a 12 hour-long presentation marathon, and the LL-website for information, communication, and documentation.
Lecture-Lounge has been realized twice at P.S.1 / Clocktower-Gallery, NYC. The first Lecture-Lounge LL vol.01 was focusing the “artistic and theoretical positions and discourses” on February 20, 2001; the second LL vol.02 was focusing “artistic contexts and networks” on June 19, 2001. All LL vol.01- participants have been invited again for to participate in LL vol.02, but extended: they were asked for inviting someone to take part in LL vol.02, who is representing a satellite of their respective sources of influence, discourse, contexts, et cetera. Participants were appearing in person and via all possible communication devices, i.e. telephone-lectures, electronical transmissions which were unfolded and performed on-site by LL-doubles&-avatars...

5 OneFineDay The“OneFineDay” project was developed out of our international and temporary collaborations in New York, with the intention, to initiate events for to continue the exchange and to extend it to the respective (local) context of the artists, who are involved. The premiere of “OneFineDay - in Berlin” was organized together with Gregor Schmoll, Eoghan McTigue and Susan Philipsz at the artist-run space 34K in Berlin in February 2002. The second “OneFineDay - in Sydney” was organized by Maria Cruz and took place at Block Gallery in Sydney in December 2002, to be continued ...

After our self-organized welcome-back via “OneFineDay – in Berlin” we received an invitation by Rüdiger Lange, artistic director of loop – raum für aktuelle kunst, to conceive a project to re-locate our artistic postion to the city – to conceive a special project for “guestroom, Berlin.

6 25sec. In 2003 we developed the first 25sec.-project for Berlin, commissioned and curated by Rüdiger Lange. 25sec.–BERLIN developed from our interest in researching and contextualizing the art situation in Berlin at that time. We asked art- and culture-mediators to discuss their goals in relation to Berlin, and the art world. In addition, the participants were invited to support their statement by an object with the intention, to make a link to their discourse and context. Each single portrait and statement is formatted in 25second slots. At the premiere exhibition all timebased portraits were screened within a sitespecific duo-channel installation, alternating between two monitors. The monitor switch underlines the shift from one position to the other, and extends it into the gallery space.
Premiere: 25sec.–BERLIN, Guestroom / Loop–Raum für aktuelle Kunst Berlin, May 17 - June 7, 2003. We developed the first international 25sec.-project for Toronto, commissioned and curated by Rhonda Corvese/Toronto (2006-2007). Premiere: 25sec.–TORONTO, PREFIX ICA – Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto, June 21 - Jully 28, 2007.
In 2008 we completed the filming unit for 25sec.–TAIPEI at Taipei Artist Village, commissioned and curated by Esther Lu/Taipei, Taiwan. Premiere: 25sec.–TAIPEI in “Whose Exhibition is This?“, curated by Fang-wei Chang, Taipei Fine Arts MuseumTaipei/Taiwan, September 19 - November 22, 2009.
At CTM.09–Club Transmediale we completed within this mediafestival context a 25sec.-filming unit, becoming an artistic exploration of the festival theme STRUCTURES: Backing-up Independent Audio-Visual Cultures, curated by CTM.09 at Kunstraum Kreuzberg /Bethanien Berlin, January 23 – March 1, 2009. Premiere: 25sec.–STRUCURES in: OVERLAP–Sound & Other Media, Club Transmediale CTM.10 at HBC Berlin, January 28 – February 7, 2010.