Casco Art Institute Working for the Commons

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= “working for the commons” as the guiding imperative for all Casco operations".



Binna Choi:

"After more than twenty-five years as Casco, Casco Projects, and finally Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, we are changing our name to Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons. The title heralds our new modus operandi, presented initially in the form of an exhibition that opens on 26 May 2017. With this change we aim to act on our political-aesthetical intentions and face their urgencies with “working for the commons” as the guiding imperative for all Casco operations. The commons, as we mean it here, refers to more than a common resource pool—it is rather a value system and general governing principle, a way of living and working, an alternative to capitalist modes wherein the mutual blindness of the private and the public lead to one dominating another. The exhibition offers aesthetic experiences and shares the conceptual toolbox used in its making, specifically involving ideas and practices relating to institutions of the commons in the art field. As such, the exhibition is a beta version for Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons, and a platform for your appreciated feedback, which will be integral to building the institute. Let us also note that central to making the newness of our name and our modus operandi is what we call “re-structuring and re-articulating” as opposed to working on a new building or form of production. We re-structure and re-articulate our practices through various activities and in different media via three major forms: Action, Body and Kirakira.

With Action we manifest art as a set of experimental proposals and as a means for social and political change, or more specifically, we use commoning as a verb. Action requires durational development sustained by organizational strength and collaboration with other bodies, along with strategic planning and speculation.

Through Body we highlight organizational forms and processes such as labor, while making sure to attend to economies of energy and resources that extend beyond wage-based relations and institutionalized territories. Despite the discourse of crisis, if not of urgency, in organizing (and collectivizing), practices of organizing have been left invisible and treated as non-artistic matters devoid of forms and aesthetics. Instead, we consider these practices to comprise an indispensable arena of aesthetic and artistic concern in engaging with the commons.

We use Kirakira (“twinkle twinkle” in Japanese), to infer the practice of fragile yet persistent forms of “study” and improvisation, which situate the objects one encounters. Kirakira embraces the critical appreciation of aesthetics, poetry and myth. It’s a practice of un-doing while doing, to see the uncommon — differences and openness — as the condition of the commons. Action, Body and Kirakira are three forms of practice that intersect and feed into each other; we consider them an ontological basis for art and art institutions working for the commons." (