First TRADERS Training Week: ‘Intervention’ [Results]

The first training week of TRADERS project developed around the approach of intervention as a participatory practice, discussing and exploring the relation and – on the first sight – opposition between the concepts of intervention and participation. This week took place in the area of Hasselt-Genk, with its host institution being LUCA School of Arts (KULeuven) / KHLim. Throughout five days, we attempted to deconstruct and evaluate the process of producing a ‘participatory’ intervention.

For doing this, we used the expertise of different partners of LUCA through different steps in the process. First, we collected sounds and audio samples from different sites around Genk (Sept 26-27), which we used to produce an audio track with Jeroen D’Hoe (Sept 28), music composer and part of the research unit of the Lemmensinstituut in Leuven. The day after (Sept 29),  we had the visit of Sarah Késene, Filip van Dingenen and Roel Kerkhofs, of the research group “Art, Space and Context” of Sint-Lucas Gent, with whom we discussed the way in which ‘artists’ (and designers and researchers) present themselves to the public, and applied it to our ongoing work. The last day (Sept 30), we had with us Annelies Kums, one of the researchers of pyblik, a research unit of Sint-Lucas Brussel, with whom we defined latest details of our interventions.

During these days, besides approaching ‘intervention’ as a topic and exploring its potential for participatory practices, we also worked on ways in which these interventions could be documented and represented. Aware of the fact that a site and time-specific intervention might  only take place during several minutes (or hours, at most), documentation becomes a key aspect to generate a longer-lasting effect in the context wherein an intervention takes place. Documentation allows to communicate the project and its backstories to others (e.g. inhabitants of a context or other designers), who can further reflect on it or even elaborate on it. For this, we had the input from the researcher Jessica Schoffelen and used the framework of her project Backstories.

The participants worked on two groups, each producing an intervention and a vídeo documenting it: