21-22 July, 2022, documenta fifteen, Kassel

The climate change crisis has become part of both aesthetic discourses and critical research perspectives in culture and the arts. Until recently, the focus has mainly been on the representation of the prevalent ecological relationships and cycles or on the impacts on the environment and contemporary society. Increasingly, however, future-oriented, ecologically conceived possibilities for action are being explored by emergent artists, curators, and critical scholars. In addition to the need for global and local (co)operations, new technologies present both challenges and opportunities for shaping a sustainable future.

We will explore eco-operations and e-cooperations that address both the ecologies and technologies of cooperation (artistic, activist, curatorial, etc.). The concepts of “flow” and “network” that are central in globalization studies are relevant for our perspective and, as the hyphen suggests, for the discussion of interruptions, ruptures, disconnections, dissonances, exclusions, and allochronism. The project critically distances itself from notions of a single, coherent (eco- or techno-) system and emphasizes instead frictions within asynchronously running systems. We aim thus to form a working group that addresses curatorial and artistic practices of cooperation (including structurally or institutionally supported or ‘enforced’ cooperations in the field of "global art"), in order to critically reframe them. Media formats and infrastructures play here a central role, as they enable and regulate processes of sharing and exchange. In this context, artists and activists depend on the same media ecological environments into which they simultaneously intervene. This points to a field of tension between global and local ecologies, where dissonances can be identified and, accordingly, signify both creative potential and political challenges.

From an interdisciplinary approach (film, literature, media studies, art history, philosophy, political theory, and cultural analysis), we aim to inquire into these questions and speculations. As a group of researchers, thinkers, curators and artists, we are aware of existing contradictions as part of the collaborative effort of a “working group,” we plan to form and initiate. Rather than striving towards a coherent product, we aim to elaborate and present fragments of thought in public discussions, exhibitions, authors' workshops, and essays that will be published in collective formats.

The first series of planned activities will take place in Kassel on 21 and 22 July 2022 on the occasion of documenta fifteen. The project is supported by the University of Kassel and the newly founded documenta Institut, the University of Zurich and Zentrum Künste und Kulturtheorie. ecooperations is jointly organized by Liliana Gómez (University of Kassel) and Fabienne Liptay (University of Zurich).

21 July, 2022, 6-8 pm, UK14, Kassel

Artist Talk
with Ursula Biemann, Alexandra Gelis and Uriel Orlow

22 July, 2022, 9 am until 4 pm, TRACES Forschungsstation, Kassel

Authors' Workshop of the Working Group (not public)
with the participation of Dalida María Benfield, Ursula Biemann, Lisa Blackmore, Lukas Brasiskis, Mateo Chacón Pino, T. J. Demos, Sandra Frimmel, Alexandra Gelis, Liliana Gómez, Fabienne Liptay, Uriel Orlow, Dorota Sajewska, Àngels Miralda Tena

22 July, 2022, 6-8 pm, UK14, Kassel

"Eco-operations as Class War"
Talk and Round Table Discussion
with T. J. Demos

Liliana Gómez and Fabienne Liptay

videos: © documenta Institut