The Small Projects for Coming Communities wants to explore questions of how and where forms of communities can develop in unforeseeable ways and tries to shape communities exceeding boundaries of regionalism. We are interested in communities’ ephemeral structures and transversal framework conditions, in the changing desires but also reflect on the limits and the dangers of utilization of these fragile formations.
On a theoretical level, the project refers to discussions about possible communities after the end of the great utopias. The main contributors to this are the efforts to deconstruct the concept of community (Jean-Luc Nancy, Maurice Blanchot, Giorgio Agamben, Roberto Esposito, Slavoj Zizek, Judith Butler and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak from a feminist and post-colonial perspective).
The discussion about communities in recent years questioned the notion under specific conditions, as the Unavowable Community (Maurice Blanchot) the Inoperative Community (Jean-Luc Nancy) or the Coming Community (Giorgio Agamben). Longing and skeptical analyses is coming together in these concepts.
What are its framework conditions and desires and where does it end, where are its limits? And how can the concept of community kept permeable. The Oncurating Journal published Issue 7 on these topics (see here.)
“Efforts to deconstruct the concept of community, which, based on a discussion between Jean-Luc Nancy and Maurice Blanchot, continued beyond France into the Italian-speaking world, especially with Giorgio Agamben and Roberto Esposito. At the latest with the translation of “singular plural sein” (to be singularly plural), Nancy’s actual main thematic work, the discussions about the concept of community in the German-speaking world have been reopened, albeit under different auspices and with different connotations. Beyond this field, however, another strand of discussion can be discerned that has recently approached phenomena of community. In particular, the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek has contributed to linking the debate on community with psychoanalytical and cultural-theoretical reflections on the figure of the imaginary and has endeavoured to re-describe the characteristics of community-building on the basis of a constitutive moment of the imaginary or the phantasmatic.”
(Excerpt from a text by Dorothee Richter and Lars Gertenbach.)
The project suggests a direct and concrete contact through the means of the contemporary art practice of so-called Scores. Scores are known in music as basically a written notation for the interpreter to perform or realize a music piece (sometimes with help of graphical elements, e.g. Cornelius Cardew). Fluxus artists like George Brecht created something they called event scores. An event score can be described as a notation (poetry or instruction) to perform/realize/enact any activity. Our vision builds on that.
We see this project therefore as an activation of political awareness on many levels. To enact a score is for us a political form of thinking, one that is not related to representational power, but one of activation and reflection. It thrives to create empathy, cultural exchange and relations. Change is one thought away. Scores might help envision change.
The scores you will find on this website can range in their scope: some might evoke thoughts, others ask for performative, literary, musical and artistic action, some give instructions on exercises and group activities, and the boldest come up with collaborative projects on a bigger scale.
The first scores displayed on this website were developed in the initial series of workshops over the course from November 2018 until March 2019 in Stuttgart and Zurich.
We encourage everyone to realize these scores. You can easily upload your realizations directly through the website. For that you can go to the Scores section, pick a score you want to realize and use the upload function at the bottom of each score.
The Small Project for Coming Communities also intent to travel. We might use different scores for exhibitions and workshops and like to expand the pool of scores on our travel as we make new acquaintances and find other perspectives.
Small Projects for Coming Communities is an ongoing research, workshop and exhibition project on the topic of community. It was initiated by Dorothee Richter and Ronald Kolb in March 2018 in connection with a cooperation of the Katholisches Bildungswerk in Stuttgart. In several workshops with artists Jeanne von Heeswijk, Discoteca Flaming Star, Bill Dietz, Florian Model (anorak e.V.), Sabrina Karl, Eva Dörr and Anike Joyce Sadiq and artists and curators from Zurich (students of the Postgraduate Programme in Curating, Zurich University of the Arts and students of Fine Arts, Zurich University of the Arts), lectures and presentations were organized and an intensive discussion led on the questions of community. A knowledge and action community was created with the aim of influencing existing communities.
The Small Project for Coming Communities intends to travel. We will use different scores for exhibitions and workshops and like to expand the pool of scores on our travel as we make new acquaintances and find other perspectives.