Summerschool: 24 - 31 July 2019
Application Deadline (Extended): 7 July 2019

Collectivising Research Study : A performative cohabiting study towards urgent social/critical practice or participation, based on shared values, motivations and urgencies.

Through this co-created intensive workshop-performance nested at a summer school hosted by KHHP, the intention is to study the practice of collectivising, and research modes of collective contemplation, learning and action. A collective performative study where participants inhabit the space and live or camp together at the kunsthalle for the duration of the workshop.

Art practice and social practice can often be isolated and competing journeys that drive us against each other. In a world that continues to drive fissures between us and where we spend more and more of our time away from proximity to bodies and disparate minds, it becomes almost essential to seek for a site for collectivising these disparities of experience and learning from them. Learning about labour and care work among other things. Collective and co created practice becomes a slow but necessary response to respond to conglomerate pillars of power, that manifest in personal, social, physical and digital experiences and systems. While history teaches us time and time again about the failure of multiple efforts of collective work, it also teaches us with fewer but incredibly potent examples of collective efforts that function, that sometimes are sustained, and sometimes are successful even. In order for us to act collectively in a state of constant response, it becomes important for us to study collective practice. To change the world as we desire requires us to sacrifice the duration of our lives towards such sustained practice. How do we meditate on the mistakes we often make, and learn from these mistakes, from our experiences and the experiences of others? Collective social practice in order to be successful and sometimes sustained requires us to think necessarily about shared sets of non-negotiable values and the urgencies which command us. These become the common ground and the lowest common denominator in order for us to act and work together. How do we find and shape such common ground, particularly when we come from such disparate and sometimes opposing journeys and histories of experience? How do we learn to listen and add, as opposed to author and overpower? There are those amongst us that ‘burn’, for whom, to respond and act, in order to confront systems and structures of power is an undeniable necessity, because of personal experiences of violence or alienation or because we represent or care for individuals and communities that continue to experience violence and alienation. Art practice however is vulnerable to appropriating political and social discourse, for social, financial and cultural capital. How can we better share and distribute our agencies and privilege to aid our collective intentions and more importantly the urgencies of others? How do we better live together, learn together, work and act together? How do we build and contribute to a network of solidarities with shared sets of non-negotiable values and urgencies. We study this process and these questions, and others that may emerge in the course of the program. We seek to act. To pick an urgent battle or a set of urgent battles and act towards responding to that within the course of the program. To force ourselves to move from speech to action. The outcomes are bound to be inadequate, but in the process of learning to work together with a collective of unknown persons, acting together for a short intensive period, allows us to reflect on our individual practices through the inputs, practices and perspectives of others.

By Rahul Gudipudi and friends (KAEN Artists Initiative and The Story of Foundation)

To Begin

[Subject to additions and revision by the working groups]

  • collective frameworks and self assigned rules of engagement for working together
  • non-negotiable values and intentions
  • common ground through shared experiences
  • shared urgencies (self, immediate community, society)
  • intellectual property that evolves from this workshop belongs to whom?
  • our practice and contribution in and of economy and capital.
  • how can we learn to be kind to self and kind to others.
  • in search of intersections, understanding and dependence.
  • How do we find productive relationality between those that ‘burn’ and those that don’t ‘burn’ as much.
  • How can the work we do, be shared and carried forward?

Why Collectivise?

[Subject to additions and revision by the working groups]

  • to seek and move towards intersectional participation and radical empathies.
  • to move from speech to collective action
  • because we are already connected & dependent
  • because we are also isolated and distant from each others realities and experiences
  • to make visible and reflect on invisible costs and invisible labour
  • to learn to respond to urgencies through shared sustained practice.
  • to e-learning from the history of previous failures, anti-art and anti-museum
  • studying as political practice
  • teaching, educating, caring, translating, CO-working and communicating as political practice

To Participate

Write to us and answer the following:

  1. Do you work in a network or with a community or do you seek to have a collective practice?
  2. If Yes, kindly expand on this past and (or) expected/intended future practice. If No, please tell us why this summer school or studying forms of collectivising interests you personally. (No more than 250 words)
  3. Please share any formal, informal, professional, non-professional, academic, non academic, personal or collective experience that you would think might be relevant for your participation or contribution to our work together. (No more than 250 words. You may, if you feel the need for it, share specific links in addition to this body of text if you like)
  4. In 3-5 individual words please represent a set of non-negotiable considerations that inform your motivations. and practice. Please elaborate on each of these words in one or two sentences.
  5. In 3-5 individual words please represent a set of connected or disconnected urgencies that occupy (or that you would like to occupy) your mind, time and energy. Please elaborate on each of these words in one or two sentences.
  6. Please share any resources, agency, skills, access or privilege that you are able to share with the group to further our collective work and action together.
  7. Do you represent a marginalised community, if so please let us know how. We seek to create a disparate and inclusive group of persons. And believe that a richness in diversity helps us all grow as individuals and collective practitioners. We also want to be mindful of preventing dominance and asymmetric labour.
  8. The living conditions at Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz are as follows : Open plan hall for work and sleep with some minimal opportunity for segregation if desired. Shared restroom for all participants. Participants will be expected to clean up after themselves. Shared kitchen with all basic appliances present. Participants will have to bring or arrange mattresses, beds, sleeping bags, sleeping mats and whatever they believe they will have access to inhabit the space. Would you be able to live and work with us under these conditions?

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The participation is free of charge.
The main communication language will be English.

Rahul Gudipudi

Rahul Gudipudi (born Jodhpur, 1987) is an independent curator based between Berlin and Bangalore. He is a co-director and co-curator at the Story of Foundation, having worked on The Story of Space 2017, an international transdisciplinary learning festival, and is working towards the upcoming program for The Story of Mind 2019-2021. Gudipudi is a curatorial board member, editorial board member and research fellow at The New Alphabet School Program at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. He (along with Olga Schubert), is co-curating : CODING (January 2020, Delhi), a transdisciplinary unlearning program, that seeks to create dialogue and opportunities for learning between young practitioners, policy makers, government representatives, researchers, industry and artists on the issues of data science, machine learning and digital cultures from a governance, ethics and digital futures perspective. Gudipudi along with Mahmoud Al-Shaer, Gigi Argyropoulou is a curatorial advisor towards 11 other critical programs accompanied by unlearning modules taking place across the cities of Athens, Bubaque, Berlin, Dakar, Gaza, Havana, Hohenlockstedt and Rio de Janeiro in partnership with HKW. He is a founder and co-director at XENO/ANEK publication (December 2020), an annual, dual-publication for polyphonous and critical learning from decentralised global and decentralised South-Asian perspectives. Gudipudi is a curatorial fellow at Khoj International Studios, part of the Curatorial Intensive South Asia program 2017 in collaboration with Goethe Institute, Delhi. In June 2019, Gudipudi curated an exhibition titled ‘The Silence is Still Talking’ of new works by artist Muhannad Shono at Athr Gallery in Jeddah, where together they question and study the history of instrumentalisation of the word towards doctrine and the manipulation of minds across cultures. In December 2017, Gudipudi curated ‘The Unspoken Word’ at Khoj International Artists Association featuring artists, Abdullah Al-Othman, Lara Baladi, Diya Naidu, Manu Ananthanarayanan, Nandini Sundar and Leuli Esraghi on the violence embedded within the silences of erasure, apathy and inefficacy in society. Gudipudi as member of NODI collective has received a public arts grant from India Foundation for the Arts in 2015 for their public art project titled “Myself Mohan 1909”. In 2015, Gudipudi started a shared studio space for learning and practice for artists and practitioners from other disciplines called KAEN Artists Initiative in Bangalore, which now takes the form of a curatorial entity seeking to work on researching collective practice and networks of solidarity.

Rahul Gudipudi graduated as a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering in 2009 from Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur and has a background of research in robotics related sensor design at IIT Madras. In 2009, he received a Masters in Photography at Light and Life Academy, Ooty.