Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne and Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf jointly announce the launch of reboot: – a collaborative, multi-cycle, anti-racist, and queer-feminist dialogue encompassing performance and research based practices.
The first cycle, reboot: responsiveness, departs from desires, anxieties and hopes amplified by the current pandemic. Hosted in two different yet aligned sites that mutually interact with one another as much as they support, complement and challenge each other, reboot: responsiveness provides infrastructures for provisional stagings, rehearsals, processual choreographies, and encounters around notions of presence, intimacy, care, and responsibility. reboot: responsiveness develops activities together with a core collective comprised of Alex Baczynski-Jenkins, Gürsoy Doğtaş, Klara Lidén, Ewa Majewska, Rory Pilgrim, Cally Spooner, and Mariana Valencia. Embracing diverse formats, and working together with further invited guests and audiences in Cologne and Düsseldorf, these artists and thinkers will explore ways to dedicate time to one another and to perform in time, to develop alternative vocabularies, archives, gestures, movements, and translations, to share and transmit resources and ideas, and to find modes of resistance and togetherness in response to the current situation we are living in.
Conceived by Eva Birkenstock, Nikola Dietrich, and Viktor Neumann
Core Collective comprised of Alex Baczynski-Jenkins, Gürsoy Doğtaş, Klara Lidén, Ewa Majewska, Rory Pilgrim, Cally Spooner, and Mariana Valencia.
Graphic design by Sean Yendrys
Coronaseminar – reboot: edition
First session on May 12, 2021, 6-8 pm CET
The Coronaseminar by Dr. Ewa Majewska marks the first public meeting of reboot: responsiveness and will unfold over five sessions of reflexive being together in the second year of the pandemic:
For many of us, the last months have been those of fear, pandemic, danger, precarity and insecurity. The oppressive presence of the life-threatening virus changed our lives in every possible way, by means of fear most of us experienced, changes in the everyday routines, work, kinship and intimacy. Everything is different now, and yet – many things stayed intact. Solidarity networks still form, there is some hope for better addressing the ecological dangers, online formats have successfully replaced the in-situ presence in so many contexts that it might reshape our habits of traveling and consumption. However – distinctions, marginalization and exclusions not only stay with us throughout the pandemic, but also sharpen, at least in some important contexts.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic many theorists immediately jumped to their computers, ready to offer what Donna Haraway rightly qualified as “easy techno-fixes”, on the level of thinking. In Warsaw, we decided to open an online-space for thinking the pandemic together, and thus the first edition of the Coronaseminars opened in April 2020 already, conducted with the generous support of the MoMA Warsaw and the curator Natalia Sielewicz. In this online-space, we could be together in what proved to be one of the most stressful times, we were reading theory together, discussing it, sharing our strategies to survive the health risks, precarization and panic. It felt both comforting and strange to find such loads of intimacy and closeness in this highly-mediatized format (Zoom + Fb stream). Yet – for many of us this was not just a seminar, but also a safe space.
Now – opening the new series of the Coronaseminar – reboot: edition, we would like to open our space, support and need to connect with those who want to be together in the moment of the (hopefully) ending time of the pandemic. With this year’s main reboot: theme of responsiveness, we want to discuss the post-pandemic future, as in: a life we will be living, work-related changes, shifts and transitions of intimacy and kinship, new formats and distributions of care, and the questions of equality and redistribution. We would like to see to what extent the art institutions and culture producers can involve in such problems and whether we can bring some solidarity and change.
We invite everyone interested in such online-discussion format, with some prospects of meeting offline, if the situation allows. We will be reading some texts, usually available online, sharing our solidarity practices and solutions from the time of pandemic, challenging our assumptions, as well as practicing being together – despite the alienating modes of contemporary culture. Staying with the trouble – Haraway’s book title – is a motto of these sessions. Ewa Majewska’s concept of the weak resistance will be our welcoming context, then we will move further in the post-pandemic thinking and practice. We invite anyone who can join us.
—Dr. Ewa Majewska
Preliminary calendar of the Coronaseminars – reboot: edition #1-5
Coronaseminar #1. How do we reboot?
May 12, 2021
Online-Zoom, 18:00–20:00h (6-8 pm) CET (in English)
Co-hosts: Ewa Majewska, Eva Birkenstock, Nikola Dietrich, Viktor Neumann
Guest: Natalia Sielewicz, MoMA Warsaw.
Texts: Tithi Bhattacharia, Social Reproduction Theory And Why We Need it to Make Sense of the Corona Virus Crisis [Link]
RSVP to register, before May 10: firstname.lastname@example.org
Coronaseminar #2. Pandemic intimacies.
June 9, 2021
Online-Zoom, 18:00–20:00h (6–8 pm) CET (in English)
Guest: Alex Baczynski-Jenkins, artist and choreographer.
Meeting ID: 896 6602 6766
ID Code: 462096
In this Coronaseminar we will discuss the basics of the pandemic being together – universality, breathing, intimacy, sex and the means of production and representation. Our Guest’s contribution, by the artist and choreographer Alex Baczynski-Jenkins, will focus on mediating intimacies, suspended time and foregrounding infrastructures. We will also discuss the following texts:
Achille Mbembe, The Universal Right to Breathe, in: Critical Inquiry, 2020.[Link]
Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner, Sex in Public, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 24, No. 2[Link]
Eng-Beng Lim, “Queer Coronasutra, or, How to have promiscuity in a Pandemic”, 2020[Link]
Coronaseminar #3. On Motherhood. Bring your kids!
June 30, 2021
Online-Zoom, 18:00–20:00h (6–8 pm) CET (in English)
With: Nikola Dietrich, director of Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne
Meeting ID: 874 9862 7975
ID Code: 275976
What can we become together? How and why do we care in the pandemic conditions? We will experiment with the children-on-zoom situation, as well as feminist views on the pandemic and precarization. The perspectives on care, affect and mothering have changed, over the years and with the pandemic, too. The gender divisions have also changed, as today more and more people declare they are non-binary, transgender or otherwise realize much more diverse gender identities than “man/woman”. This means it is necessary to discuss the gender division of labour in a broader sense of these identity transitions. Care is also racialized, class-wise divided and gendered, a flexible, intersectional approach would very much be needed. For some of us – the quarantine was an exposure to pain and loss, for some – to a more convenient, fulfilling life not scattered by travels and rush, for some other again – a painful reminder of the patriarchal and racialized distribution of obligations and inequalities. We all – while rebooting – want to take a break from what was problematic, at the same time – we might want to reflect on what the embodied, affective experience is today.
Catherine Malabou, “To Quarantine from Quarantine: Rousseau, Robinson Crusoe, and “I””, 2020. [Link]
Silvia Federici, Precarious Labor: A Feminist Viewpoint, 2008. [Link]
Coronaseminar #4. How do we stay with the trouble?
September 29, 2021
Coronaseminar #5. Reboot solidarity together.
October 20, 2021
Compiled by Ewa Majewska