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We have extended the deadline for the application to the TRADERS international Autumn School to the 17th of August.

In this Autumn School we will assume the issues of work and labour as a public debate and field of practice that artists, designers and researchers can work, analyze, critique and / or reflect on. The program offers general perspectives on participatory art and design and on labour and work in post-Fordism, good practices related to such topics, local expertise and non-work-related activities.The confirmed speakers are Pelle EhnCarl DiSalvo Pascal GielenJeanne van HeeswijkRianne MakkinkWim Embrechts (Art2Work)Hilde HeynenFrank Moulaert, and David Hamers.

For application, send expression of interest before the 17th of August 2015 to Evi Donné (evi.donne@luca-arts.be) with CV (including list of relevant work and/or publications) + a letter (max. 500 words) describing the motivation to participate in the Autumn School and how the Autumn School fits your past, current or future research interests (files should not exceed 5MB). We will inform you about your acceptance by the 1st of September 2015.

 

TRADERS Autumn School 2015 – on the role of Participatory Art and Design in the reconfiguration of work (in Genk)

10th – 14th of November 2015. Genk, Belgium.

We would like to invite you to participate in the Autumn School of the TRADERS project (European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme, www.tr-aders.eu), which will take place from Tuesday the 10th to Saturday the 14th of November in Genk (BE). It will be organized by the research groups of LUCA School of Arts (Campus C-mine), KU Leuven/Planning and Development and the Architecture and Culture Theory research units in collaboration with the TRADERS partners (Design Academy Eindhoven/Readership City and Countryside, Chalmers/Department of Architecture, RCA/School of Architecture and University of Gothenburg/HDK).

For further information about the TRADERS Autumn School, see the invitation in attachment: TRADERS_AUTUMNSCHOOL2015

 

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The conference ‘Play Perform Participate’ of the International Society of Intermedial Studies was hosted by the University of Utrecht from 16th – 18th of April 2015. In the panel Performative Cartography (which was chaired by Anne Karin ten Bosch), Naomi Bueno de Mesquita (researcher at Design Academy Eindhoven) together with Sigrid Merx and Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink (both teachers at the Universityy of Utrecht) presented performative mapping as social, educational and aesthetic strategy. In the first part of the lecture they theoretically introduced the notion of performative cartography, addressing the participatory potential of maps and mapping tools as cartographic media. In the second part they discussed the possible meaning and implications of ‘erasing the city’ with the app Wegwandelen.

Performative cartography alludes to the performative turn in cartographic theory, where maps are studied as (interactive) performances and as products of co-creative relationships between maps and users. In this panel Sigrid, Naomi and Liesbeth focused on different uses of maps and practices of mapping: cartography as aesthetic, educational, and social strategy. The panel built on a workshop on collective digital mapping that conference participants could participate in during the conference. Both the output of the workshop and the experiences of the participants would form the material and collective point of reference from which the panelists and their audience started talking about performative cartography.

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“All the world is a stage” is no longer a metaphor, but a reality itself. Today we witness a multiplication of staged realities. We are between realities. How do we cope with this complex reality? What strategies do we use? And how do these play out in urban public space? Within​ ​the context of the theatricalisation of every day life, public space can be observed and studied as scenography. The multiplication of staged and imagined realities can be most intensely felt in urban public space where layers of tourism, entertainment, consumption,​ ​art, work, leisure, history, policies, and politics come together. It is precisely here where we can see how people live between realities and how they cope with its complexity.

The Dutch project (Between Realities) for the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space 2015, distinguishes​ ​between five different coping strategies: sheltering, fleeing, fighting, negotiating, surrendering. Each of these strategies/practices entails a particular attitude towards reality. Either a movement away from reality (hide or shelter), an engagement with​ ​reality (fight or negotiate) or a plunge in reality (surrender). For this Quadrennial, Naomi Bueno de Mesquita (research associate at Design Academy Eindhoven) explored different mapping approaches, with which she represented the Dutch entry for the Spaces exhibition. The approaches were covered by two projects: Collective Mapping of Public Space and Audio Story Mapping. The exploration took place in Prague from 18th until 26th of June 2015 and was presented to the public on the 27th of June at the Clam Gallas Palace lecture hall, both by Naomi Bueno de Mesquita and Sigrid Merx (curator). The Netherlands received the gold medal for best curatorial concept of this quadrennial.

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The third TRADERS TRSW (Training through Research Synergy Week) was meant to familiarise the TRADERS ESR’s with Naomi Bueno de Mesquita’s research in Multiple Performative Mapping. With the research being based at Design Academy Eindhoven, people from DAE with expertise in mapping were invited to contribute to this training week in the form of lectures and workshops. David Hamers (lector City and Countryside and supervisor of Naomi’s research within TRADERS) participated and assisted in the training week and he gave a lecture on the first day, Karianne Rygh (research associate of the former CRISP programme at DAE) participated and assisted in the training week and gave a workshop on the last day, Danielle Arets (lector and research associate of the former CRISP programme at DAE) gave a workshop, Ester van de Wiel (tutor at Public Private department) gave a workshop and Mikaela Steby Stenfalk (student) gave a small presentation of map-use and navigation in the Swedish phenomenon orienteering. External partners were also invited with the aim to extend and strengthen the TRADERS network. Nanna Verhoeff and Michiel de Lange from the Urban Interfaces group of the University of Utrecht and Sybille Lammes and Chris Perkins from the Charting the Digital research programme were invited to give lectures and Jana Wendler (from the university of Manchester and working with Chris Perkins) gave a workshop. The training week took place during the first week of July 2015 at Design Academy Eindhoven and in Eindhoven city and at University of Utrecht and in Utrecht city, with an intermezzo/ barbecue in Hollandsche Rading.

The keywords
The training week commenced on Wednesday 1st of July at Design Academy Eindhoven. While each ESR received a pouch bag with a programme of the week, a logbook and a mobile phone, Naomi explained the overall programme of the week, the content of the pouch bags and how to use the different mapping-apps that were installed on the mobile phones. After this introduction David Hamers gave a lecture “Every map is an argument; Mapping strategies to engage with public space and public issues”, where he explained different traditions to talk about place, space and realm and he specified what a map entails (consisting of a frame, a scale and a legend) by giving different examples of maps and mapping practices at Design Academy Eindhoven. In his lecture David furthermore introduced words (performativity, virtual/ analogue, power relations, temporality and failure) to work with for the continuation of the week via a logbook. Each day of the week a different keyword was to be addressed (in the lectures and workshops) and the ESR’s were asked to elaborate on this word in their logbooks. The aim of this task was to come to a better understanding of the researchers perspective on the same word. 

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For the conference ‘Design, Social Media and Technology to Foster Civic Self-Organisation’, Saba Golchehr (Royal College of Art) and Naomi Bueno de Mesquita (Design Academy Eindhoven) wrote a paper in which they introduce digital methods (data-mining and digital mapping) as potentially valuable approaches for designers to create more sustainable interventions.

The conference is structured by the following tracks:
1. How can design, social media and technology encourage and empower citizens to take part in and/ or start up civic self-organisation practices?
2. How can design, social media and technology sustain civic self-organisation practices over longer time periods, and within a diversity of socio-economic contexts?
3. How can the impact of design, social media and technology on civic self-organisation practices be documented and evaluated?

In the paper they focus on the second track; how design, social media and technology can sustain civic self-organisation practices over longer time periods, and within a diversity of socio-economic contexts. The conference is hosted by the University of Hasselt in collaboration with TRADERS. The paper can be read here.

INTRODUCING DIGITAL METHODS FOR ON-GOING COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION
How social data can help inform designers to develop sustainable design interventions

Keywords: digital methods, geolocated social data, on-going participation

[Abstract]

A growing number of designers adopt digital methods when working in a public space context. While many of them aim to trigger civic self-organisation through their projects, they either fail to sustain civic participation after they leave, or they remain engaged in a project remarkably long to safeguard on-going participation (often turning into social workers). This paper argues that two key features should be addressed in design-projects that aim for on-going community participation: acknowledging existing communities and understanding communities’ interests. We explain how digital methods can be used to explore these features by introducing two approaches. The first approach sets out from established (virtual) communities and explores where those communities are located. The second approach starts from an established location for a planned intervention and explores the communities that are active there. These approaches aim to inform designers in (co-)designing public space interventions that allow communities to identify with, appropriate and maintain the design, in turn allowing designers to leave the scene without jeopardising the sustainability of a project. The paper concludes that contemporary technological advances can play a great role in contributing to new approaches for safeguarding the longevity of users’ engagement in a physical design.

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In a place where tourists make as much as two thirds of the island’s population during summer time I wanted to explore how locals deal with/ demarcate/ protect their public places amongst the violence of tourism. In the three day workshop Co-Creating Realities Through Collaborative Mapping In Realtime, students from Design Academy Eindhoven and Accademia di belle arti Venezia, were asked to map practices of informal use and appropriation of public space in the six Sestieri (the six neighborhoods) of Venice. June 2014

Without giving them a predefined legend the students were not exactly sure about what they had to look for and what could be understood as appropriation practices. By purposely letting them co-create the legend while mapping the students were able to get a grasp on the topic while in action. The students departed from a different point in the city and started walking simultaneously, in which each student was asked to follow the borders of a Sestieri. The idea was to observe and encounter traces or practices of informal use and appropriation of public space en route. When a ‘trace’ or informal practice (such as elephant paths or a street vendors’ selling spot/escape route) was found, an sms was sent to the rest of the group, so that others could add this finding to the legend. It enabled all members of the collective to reflect on their own observations and to co-author the legend. I was interested in the participatory practice of the creation of the legend; the mutual influencing in the making of a physical reality and taxonomy through real-time digital exchange.

streetvendors_escape_routes

student’s walked tracks and in red the streeet vendors escape routes

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The Digital Methods Summer School (June 23rd until July 4th 2014) was hosted by the University of Amsterdam. Naomi Bueno de Mesquita, TRADERS researcher in multiple performative mapping at Design Academy Eindhoven participated in this summer school. Digital Methods Initiative seeks to learn from the methods built into the devices online, by subtracting the data (links, tags, threads, etc) and repurposing them for social and cultural research. In this summer school with the topic ‘on geolocation’ the focal point was to analyse events as they unfold, by subtracting geo-located embedded data.


 

The first project explored how twitter data constructs a narrative of the city of Amsterdam, by analyzing the way people (locals and tourists) tweet about the city. Two data sets (geo-tagged data of Amsterdam and keywords about Amsterdam) of one month were used. Some of the findings: the most frequently used words to describe Amsterdam in Chinese were: creative, incredible and confused. A sudden peek of the word #zwerfie (a selfie taken while picking up trash) emerged in a neighborhood in the west, during the three day strike of garbage services in the city. As for the transportation, some individuals always tweet on the same spot while others commuting. Bus 300 had the most active tweeter. In general the bus or tram stops are more frequently used for tweeting than in the trams or buses. The problems/ limitations of this project: a methodological gap between keyword and geolocation-data analyses and the need to obtain more qualitative data. http://www.slideshare.net/naomibueno/201407-summerschool-dmilivability-in-amsterdam

bus tweets, http://mngroen.nl/dmi/mobility/

heat map of bus tweets, http://mngroen.nl/dmi/mobility/

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Z33 centre for contemporary art, Hasselt, Belgium
June 21st – Oct. 5th, 2014

will participatory art liberate consciousness?

IMG_5717

Everyone loves ‘participation’, right? It aspires to be inclusive and democratic, to grant agency. It absolves. Participatory art and design intends to integrate the public, often those with less exposure to these fields. It aspires to challenge elitist forms of production, demanding artists and designers to step down from their pedestals and speak the language of the people. But, what does this mean for artists, designers and those who participate; can non-conceptual approaches and individual aesthetic intuition exist alongside co-created artefacts and shared processes? For art and design, does this root them too firmly within the realm of the possible, leaving paths to utopian and avant-garde imaginaries out of reach? Does the public become a pawn for creative branding or utilised to legitimise art/ design?

To kick-off a three year research project focusing on participatory art & design in public space, we dedicated our inaugural exhibition to articulate, map and explore the multiplicity of definitions of participation.

The exhibit is based on a sequence of Read-Play-Reflect-Contribute.

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