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by Ronald Kolb and Dorothee Richter

Scores – From Situated Knowledges to Shared Action

The workshop entitled "Scores – From Situated Knowledges to Shared Action" is based on Small Projects for Coming Communities (https://www.comingcommunities.org/) and has further developed this project and specifically adapted it to the digital space, after the first editions in Stuttgart, Zurich, and Tel Aviv having taken place in real space. This platform was initiated in March 2018 by us to playfully formulate communities based on knowledge-sharing and collective action, with the goal of translocally impacting existing communities. It is an ongoing research, workshop and exhibition project on the theme of community, implemented through the means of the contemporary art practice of so-called “scores.”

For this workshop within the conference and the workshop "Situated Knowledges – Art and Curating on the Move"—which was organized entirely online—we wanted to look at the realization of scores formed from the position of the specific situated knowledges of the different participants—who came together online via Zoom—to the embodied realizations in their own contexts, most of the time in their homes in front of our camera screens. With the workshop participants, we engaged in a discussion about the multiple perceptions that unfold around a written context-sensitive score and its various and specific outcomes and realizations.

The Small Projects for Coming Communities seeks 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 amid changing desires but also want to reflect on the limits and the dangers of utilizing these fragile formations.

Coming Communities
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 Žižek, Judith Butler and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak from a feminist and postcolonial perspective).

In recent years, the discussion about communities has questioned the notion under specific conditions, such as the Unavowable Community (Maurice Blanchot), the Inoperative Community (Jean-Luc Nancy), or the Coming Community (Giorgio Agamben). Longing and skeptical analyses come 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 stay permeable?[i]

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 ‘being singular 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 Žižek 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.
(Lars Gertenbach, Dorothee Richter)

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 piece of music (sometimes with help of graphic 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 we have collected so far can be found on the website https://www.comingcommunities.org and 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.

We encourage everyone to enact these scores and upload realizations directly through the website. Pick up a score you want to realize and use the upload function at the bottom of each score. Thought of as a travelling exhibitionary project and constantly expanding, we use scores for exhibitions and workshops and would like to expand the pool of scores on our travels as we make new acquaintances and find other perspectives. We welcome you to use these scores for your own projects.

Scores – From Situated Knowledges to Shared Action
The workshop for “Situated Knowledges” contained scores we adjusted for the digital space, but we also wanted to create new scores by working together in small groups online. We want to publish the scores that emerge in our joyful, trusting, and open discussion here.

Score “Barefoot for a Minute”
by Kimberley Cunningham, Sevgi Aka, Jasmin Kolkwitz

Be barefoot and walk through your current space for 60 seconds.
Stand still and be grounded for an additional 30 seconds.



Score “Holding Hands”
by Lauren O’Neal, Federica Cologna

Try to hold hands with the person next to you (even on Zoom).



Window Score
by Lauren O’Neal, Federica Cologna

1. Get up from your computer.
2. Take a photo of a window where you are (if you have one), or take a photo of a place in your room where you would like to have a window.
3. Come back to your computer.
4. Hold up the screen of your mobile device toward the camera and share it with others.
5. Take a minute to look at each person’s window.
6. Look at the mosaic of views we have created.

2_Window Score Screen Shot



Useless Object Score
by Lorenzo Morganti

1. Draw a simple useless object.
2. Write a short sentence how you could turn it into a useful object for your community.
3. Swap drawings, and give another drawing a new meaning.





A Score for a Fold
by Susan Sentler, Be van Vark, Verena Kuni

1. Allow your gaze to drift finding ‘folds’, in your space/place/site.
2. Find one fold, close enough to touch.
3. Draw the fold via sight, no more than 2 minutes.
4. Draw the same fold via touch, eyes closed, no more than 2 minutes.
5. Notice the two drawings.
6. What are the differences?

Dorothee Richter is Professor in Contemporary Curating at the University of Reading, UK, and head of the Postgraduate Programme in Curating, CAS/MAS Curating at the Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland; She is director of the PhD in Practice in Curating Programme, a cooperation of the Zurich University of the Arts and the University of Reading. Richter has worked extensively as a curator: she was initiator of Curating Degree Zero Archive, Curator of Kuenstlerhaus Bremen, at which she curated different symposia on feminist issues in contemporary arts and an archive on feminist practices, Materialien/Materials; recently she directed, together with Ronald Kolb, a film on Fluxus: Flux Us Now, Fluxus Explored with a Camera. She is executive editor of OnCurating.org.

Ronald Kolb is a researcher, lecturer, curator, designer and filmmaker, based between Stuttgart and Zurich. Co-Head of the Postgraduate Programme in Curating, ZHdK and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal On-Curating.org. PHD candidate in the Practice-Based Doctoral Programme in Curating, University of Reading/ZHdK. The PhD research deals with curatorial practices in global/situated contexts in light of governmentality – its entanglements in representational power and self-organized modes of participatory practices in the arts.



[1] On these topics, see: OnCurating Issue 7: Being-With: Community – Ontological and Political Perspectives, eds. Elke Bippus, Joerg Huber, Dorothee Richter, Institute for Critical Theory, Zurich University of the Arts (Zurich: OnCurating.org, 2011).


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Issue 53

Situated Knowledges – Curating and Art on the Move

by Ronald Kolb and Dorothee Richter

by Jeanne van Heeswijk and Whitney Stark

by Lee Weinberg and Alison Green

by Basia Sliwinska and Caroline Stevenson

by Debe Sham and Georgia Kennedy

by Bo Choy and Chloe Ting

Nadim Abbas, Rose Li, Edward Sanderson (with Fiona Lee Wing-shan), Lang Tu (with Anouchka van Driel)

by Noit Banai and Dani Gal

by Ronald Kolb and Dorothee Richter