Our fragile sense of self needs support, and this we get by having and possessing things because, to a large degree, we are what we have and possess.
(Tuan, Yi-Fu , 1980, “The Significance of the Artifact,” Geo-graphical Review, 70 (4), 462-472.)
We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art…
(Le Guin, Ursula K., Speech at the National Book Awards, 2014)
Present-day systems of consumption emphasise the construction of the sense of self through acquisition – having. They present the act of buying a house or upgrading to the latest tech innovation as a kind of “self-improvement”; and in some ways, it may be simpler and easier to have than to be or become. However, satisfying the individual desire to have drives ever-increasing wealth inequality, labour exploitation and environmental devastation, and within all this, “cultural producers” play a precarious and contradictory role.
What functions do art, fashion and design serve beyond consumerism? Perhaps we can loosen capitalism’s ideological hold on the concept of exchange? Human beings intrinsically have much more than their accumulations of objects: ideas, bodies, and ways of relating to both human and non-human others that are not predetermined by economic transactionality. On both a macro- and a micro-scale, there is great scope for cultural producers to re-think ecologies of consumption.
Residency 16: Live or Buy has been developed with artist Nina Sarnelle, clothing designer Ida Falck Øien and clothing label HAiKw/. It will offer participants the opportunity to explore these critical questions in intimate, personal and physical ways. Sarnelle and Falck Øien plan to test the potential of dematerialised, interactive techniques (borrowed from areas such as live action role play, therapy, improvisation and social practice), to escape the pervasive logic of the free market and – through fantasy, allegory or live experiment – propose alternative forms of social or economic organization. Their goal is not to arrive at a grand solution but rather (in Donna Haraway’s phrase) to stay with the trouble, embracing doubt and working with failure and intuition to develop new practices of research, inquiry and “dirty hybrids” of resistance.
Residents are warmly encouraged to bring their own specialisms to bear in the course of the residency. When applying, please articulate (a) the relevant background knowledge and experience you will bring to the residency, (b) the particular interests or topic you plan to explore during your stay, and (c) its relationship to the agendas above. Applications are welcomed from cultural producers working at any point along the theory-practice spectrum.
Nina Sarnelle and Ida Falck Øien use both theory and art/design practice to look at issues of consumer power and sustainability. Their work has focused on the clothing industry; on- and offline scams; the politics of “economic development”, and labour infrastructures in the digital economy.
ABOUT SARNELLE AND FALCK ØIEN //
Nina Sarnelle is an artist and musician living in Los Angeles, with a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, and additional training in vocal performance and movement improvisation. She is co-founder of two artist collectives, the Institute for New Feeling and dadpranks, Her work includes intimate participatory performances, large public events, music composition, video, text and sculpture. her practice thrives on the energy of collaboration. Driven by an intuitive style of research, Sarnelle’s projects attempt to reconcile powerful abstract systems with the most personal or mundane parts of everyday life. Her work has been shown at Whitechapel Gallery (London), Hammer Museum (LA), Getty Center (LA), Ballroom Marfa (TX), MoMA (NY), Istanbul Modern (Turkey), Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (Berlin), NADA (Miami), Museum of Art, Architecture & Technology (Lisbon), Fundacion PROA (Buenos Aires), Black Cube (Denver), Southern Exposure (San Francisco), Recess (NY), Akademie Schloss Solitude (Germany), Jardin Essential (Brussels), UNSW Galleries (Sydney), Project 88 (Mumbai), Kevin Space (Vienna), Villa Croce Contemporary Art Museum (Genova), Center for Contemporary Arts (Santa Fe), Mwoods (Beijing), MoCA Cleveland, Human Resources (LA), Borscht Festival (Miami), SPACES (Cleveland), Threewalls (Chicago), Vox Populi (Philadelphia), Miller Gallery (Pittsburgh), and featured in Frieze, Art in America, Vogue Italy, Huffington Post, SFMoMA, Creators Project, FlashArt, and Hyperallergic. More information available at www.ninasarnelle.com.
Ida Falck Øien is a designer and researcher based in Oslo, with educational background in fine arts and fashion from respectively The National Academy of the Arts in Bergen (2005) and The National Academy of the Arts in Oslo (2007). After working in fashion internationally for years she costarted the collaborative fashion platform and label HAiKw/ in 2012 and continues to work with collaborative and interdisciplinary research, on and through clothing in and beyond the fashion realm. Currently, Falck Øien is enrolled in the artistic research programme at The National Academy of the Arts in Oslo, department of design. Her PhD project, called Transactional Aesthetics explores the agency of and critical potential in consumption centres and transition points and their mechanics. Haikw/ is a collaborator to her PhD project due for delivery 2021.
ABOUT HAIKW/ //
HAiKw/ (est. 2012) is an Oslo based clothing label operating as a collaborative platform working through/with/around clothing. Their name reflects their working method; the Norwegian word haik means to hitch hike. They work mainly through collaborative practices and ethnographic research to investigate thematics relating to the human psyche as approached through clothing as a carrier of stories, dreams and communication. They have held artists residencies at Rogaland Center for Contemporary Art and Bergen Kunsthall Upstairs in Norway. They were Bik Bok prize winner 2018, Söderberg prize 2017 nominee, and have been collected by the National Museum of Art and Design in Oslo, have exhibited and performed their collaborations at Rod Bianco Gallery, Galleri Golsa, Kunstnernes Hus, Format Gallery in Oslo and Bergen Kunsthall, Wiels Museum, Brussels, F15 in Moss. HAiKw/ is run by Harald Lunde Helgesen and Ida Falck Øien. Their website is: www.haikwithus.com.
THE RESIDENCY STRUCTURE //
PRAKSIS residencies are intensive and structured around the interests and needs of their participants. The particular form that each residency takes is developed collectively through discussion once the group comes together. At the start of the residency, group members are encouraged to share their reasons for applying and what they hope to get out of their time with PRAKSIS.
Early in the residency each participant is expected to give a brief introduction to their practice. Self-led activity will be supplemented by collective activity including, but not limited to visits, meals, discussions and a series of public events that aim to further group research and practice while opening dialogues to wider publics. Proposed areas of research and discussion in relation to the topic of Live or Buy include but are not limited to: ownership, modelling/worlding, thinking with things, privilege, empathy, therapy, irony, protest.
Further activity will be developed collectively through discussion once the group comes together. Group members are encouraged to share their reasons for applying and what they hope to get out of their time with PRAKSIS.
Conveners Ida Falk Oeien and Nina Sarnelle hope to facilitate a non-hierarchical residency featuring a mixture of self-led/independent and planned group activities. Residents are welcome to suggest or lead a group activity, event or workshop around their own research interests and methods. Participants are also encouraged to contribute towards a shared resource list in advance of the residency, including readings, podcasts, films, music, or other materials for consideration during the residency.
Duration of residency
Disciplines, work equipment and assistance
Studio / Workspace
Desk space at PRAKSIS office
Fees and support
Stipend of 3000 NOK
Expectations towards the artist
Residents are expected to involve themselves fully in the work of the residency: joining meals, participating in events and engaging with the resident community.