2009 : 2008 : 2007 : 2006 : 2005 : 2004 : 2003 : 2002 : 2001 : 2000 : 1999 : 1998 : 1997 : 1996 : 1995 : 1994

programon the spotcollaborative practice

introduction : temporary lounge : academy on the spot : collaborative practice : jump into cold water

PUBLIC WORKSHOP: 23 APRIL 2005 : 14.00 - 19.00

Polyphony - Collaborative Practices, Part 2, is a research and exhibition project realized within the framework of the project series entitled On the Spot - Investigation of Artistic Practice. Polyphony explores collaborative practices at the intersection between art and politics.

Fotos: Nicola Nielsen

Artist teams and temporary collaborative initiatives are emerging with increasing frequency throughout Europe. Although groups working in collaboration are by no means a new phenomenon, we recognize a need to examine their diverse manifestations more closely. Many of these collectives develop from individual initiatives, without government funding, as autonomous structures. They respond to both local and international social and political contexts and employ a wide range of different distribution channels and media. Operating in this way, many such projects position themselves at the fringes of the art system and relate by virtue of their interdisciplinary approach more closely to other, non-art contexts. Polyphony focuses on concrete, project-specific contexts while examining the fundamental motivations and conditions of collaborate practice at the same time.

A further objective is an analysis of different collaborative working structures in which emphasis is placed on their contribution to knowledge-production of a different kind. Aspects of organization and efforts to create space for processes of identification cannot be separated from the discussion of political issues as they relate to collaborative practice. Indeed, the identification space that emerges compels those involved to invent forms of language that must be continuously re-evaluated and re-activated. The question of how this polyphony is communicated, of how its forms or media are manifested, is of considerable importance in this context. In order to pursue these themes beyond the level of discussion, Polyphony seeks to explore several aspects in actual practice in co-operation with the invited co-curators and partners in dialogue.

This project pursues the theme of a colloquium held at the Kunstverein Munich in the summer of 2004. In a kind of "snowball" system, we invited collaborative projects and networks from Switzerland to participate, asking them in turn to invite partners from Eastern Europe to join them in dialogue focused on collaborative working methods and a search for new interfaces and possibilities for new, dialogue-based projects. Within the framework of this project, the Shedhalle hopes to promote the investigation of collaborative team structures that are inscribed artistically and otherwise socio-political contexts and to provide a forum for dialogue among them. Altogether, these ongoing production processes will create a spatial setting at the Shedhalle through collaboration among the participating groups.

An archive documenting networks and collaborative projects devoted to interaction between artistic and activist practice has been expanded since the colloquium in Munich. The archive in its present form will be presented to the public during the exhibition Polyphony at the Shedhalle and will travel from time to time to other institutions as well.

A workshop on April 23 involving project participants will be devoted to discussion and exploration of the motivations and organizational structures of collaborative projects as well as of the thematic, political and aesthetic implications of this working approach. Discussion will also focus on the importance of internet-based works, the function of communication platforms and aspects of geo-political contexts, with particular emphasis on the situation in Eastern Europe.

The following dialogue-based projects and structures shape the display and the concept of Polyphony:

Cicero Egli/Geneva with Adla Isanovic/Sarajevo, Yves Degoyon/Barcelona, Marta Paz/Barcelona, Rama/Buenos Aires:
Collaborative subversive production in the Information Society
Yves Degoyon, Marta Paz and Rama work in the area of "free software" and regard themselves as "media hacktivists". Adla Isanovic is an artist and culture producer. In her artistic and activist work, she focuses on the themes of identity and cultural difference. Adla Isanovic links the political motive of overcoming boundaries and making them more permeable to the production of open-source applications for video streams via the Internet and to the process-oriented use of hybrid communication resources. Cicero Egli is an artist and "subversive culture producer". Within the context of Polyphony, Cicero Egli, Yves Degoyon, Marta Paz, Rama and Adla Isanovic join together in exploring the potentials and the political relevance of contemporary information and communication technologies in collaborative structures.

code flow/Zurich with the Art Today Association/Plovdiv:
code flow is a collective devoted to the investigation and production of contemporary media art and theory on the basis of cultural practices that resist the market-orientation and the permanence of modern institutions. To paraphrase Roland Barthes, the goal of code flow is to make codes "dance" rather than attempting to destroy them. The Art Today Association emerged from the Ryb (edge) group, one of the first such collectives that broke away from the framework imposed by the socialist canon in Bulgaria in the mid-1980s. Die Art Today Association occupied the old Turkish baths in the city of Plovdiv and established a centre of contemporary art there.

Les Complices*/Zurich (Jean-Claude Freymond-Guth, Andrea Thal) with platforma 9,81/Zagreb:
Les Complices*, Espace Libre & Édition is a non-commercial gallery whose programme is dedicated to a critical approach to contemporary art and art presentation. Les Complices* invited the Croatian architects’ group platforma 9,81 to work as a dialogue partner for Polyphony. platforma 9,81 is involved in various interdisciplinary projects relating to issues of urban culture, digitization, the influences of globalization and alternative approaches to architectural education. The working methods employed by platforma 9,81 are closely related to the project-based model of temporary alliances and networks used by Les Complices*.

meate/Geneva (Paulo Alcântara, Nathalie Perrin, Stéphanie Prizreni) with Tester:
meate is a Web-interface devoted to critical thought and the development of group projects and interactive processes. meate approaches the Internet as a virtual, interconnected public space. meate’s dialogue partner for Polyphony is Tester, a network collective founded by five artists/activists/theorists in 2003. Tester will select and invite additional participants for the "open text and Web banners" project initiated by meate. Texts and statements can be exchanged on an online platform created for Polyphony for the purpose of generating Web banners which can then be placed as posters in public places. The Web banners can be linked to Websites, and the posters can be downloaded and printed. This project is covered by the CopyLeft license.

version/Cluj (Mircea Cantor, Gabriela Vanga Cantor, Ciprian Muresan), invited by Shedhalle:
The magazine project version Magazin was launched by the Romanian artists Gabriela Vanga, Mircea Cantor and Ciprian Muresan. version Magazin provides an experimental platform outside the institutional framework. The goal of version is to present different social and political realities as well as geographic and historical contexts in juxtaposition. A PDF version of each issue can be downloaded at The Shedhalle curatorium invited the collective to present the current issue of version Magazin and their new film entitled Our Playground.

Cicero Egli/Geneva with Adla Isanovic/Sarajevo, Yves Degoyon/Barcelona, Marta Paz/Barcelona, Rama/Buenos Aires

code flow with Art Today Association/Plovdiv

Les Complices*/Zurich (Jean-Claude Freymond-Guth, Andrea Thal) with PLATFORMA 9,81/Zagreb
meate/Geneva (Paulo Alcântara, Nathalie Perrin, Stéphanie Prizreni) with Tester

Shedhalle with version/Cluj (Mircea Cantor, Gabriela Vanga Cantor, Ciprian Muresan)

WORKSHOP: 23 APRIL 2005: 14.00 - 19.00

with the co-curators and dialogue partners. The different thematic workshops are introduced and moderated by Miklos Erhardt (Budapest), Annette Schindler (Basel) and Judith Schwarzbart (Edinburgh)

Workshop Timetable:
Introduction: 14.00

1. Workshop: 14.15 - 15.30
Motivations and structures of collaborative work
This workshop questions the organisational formats and aesthetic strategies in relation to the different concepts of identity raised through collaborative approaches. Introduced by Judith Schwarzbart

The first workshop questions the meaning of the way of working collaboratively?
Walter Benjamin suggested that we look at the "author (artist) as producer". What does this mean if we look at the practice of contemporary artist collectives? Which structures are created through collective work? And what emerges through the process due to the structures used? How does the way groups work together relate to ideas promoted by the groups?

Judith Schwarzbart is currently working as a curator at The Fruitmarket Gallery (Edinburgh) and as a researcher at the Institute for Curatorship and Education, Edinburgh College of Art. She also works on independent projects and writes about contemporary art practice. Judith Schwarzbart has co-curated the first part of Collaborative Practices at Kunstverein München.

- Coffee break -

2. Workshop: 16.00 - 17.15
Medial collaborative platforms
The second workshop we would like to discuss aspects of distribution and communication of information in regard to activist internet-based projects, networks and platforms. What sort of political and strategic significance does the concept of Open Source and Copyleft have? Introduced by Villö Huszai

So far the visibility and mediation of collaborative net.projects to a broader public, like non-expert press or the more conventional art system, have not been persued. Does this have to be changed, and if so how? What does this question signify for the internal structure of net platforms? How has the central cultural net platform of the nineties The Thing or, or developed. What could be possible in the future?

Since the mid nineties, Villö Huszai (PHD Literature), has published and worked academically as a media theorist (Assistance at the Institute of Bale for media sciences) on net culture and its art forms. Huszai has written for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung about net platforms like www.namespace, or and has edited the Du issue, Rebellen im Internet ( rebels in the internet). Her approach of mediation between a broader public and is essentially based on an exchange with Barbara Srebel who has founded the Basler Knoten (node of Bale) of the Bulletin Board System The Thing in 1994.

- Coffee break -

3. Workshop: 17.45 - 19.00
Geo-political contexts of collaborative practices
The third workshop will focus on the operating geo-political contexts. As most of the dialogue projects of Polyphony are initiated between Swiss and South-Easteuropean networks, this section suggests to look at the similarities and differences of production processes, the economic and the political situation. Introduced by Miklos Erhardt

Miklos Erhardt would like to discuss what factors of collective art practice can be perceived as specific to East-Europeans, and, if any are found, how they relate to the regime before and after it changed. To what extent does the general crisis of identity in Eastern Europe countries motivate the need for group identity? To what extent does an outdated art-institution system motivate the formation of artist groups as alternative institutional formats? Further, to what extent is group-work in Eastern Europe motivated by marketing and/or anti-marketing concerns? How strong is the presence of Eastern Europe artist groups in their home countries compared with their presence and visibility in the international art-scene (and what is behind the difference)?

Miklos Erhardt`s, mainly collaboration-based, artistic work, publications and network activity, primarily deals with issues raised by the social, political and economic projections of contemporary art. Recently he has done research on the Situationist Internationale (S.I.), and is translating various texts from the S.I. related literature into Hungarian. Since 1998 he has been a member of the Big Hope artist group (with Dominic Hislop and, since 2003, Elske Rosenfeld). The group has widely exhibited its collaborative, social documentation-based art projects all over Europe ( Since 2004, has been a D.L.A. (doctor of liberal arts) student and lecturer at the Intermedia department at the Hungarian Art Academy.



Alex Farquharson

Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt

Stefan Römer

Katya Sander

Presenters Part 2

Erhardt Miklos

Dominic Hislop

Villö Huzsai

Judith Schwarzbart


a room of ones own


Adla Isanovic

Art Today Association


Chto Delat? “What is to be Done?”

Cicero Egli




D.A.E. (Donostiako Arte Ekinbideak)


Doris Mampe

Dou van der Mixt (Cluj)

Freie Klasse Berlin – Haus Selba Projekt


Funky Projects

Hints Institute

Hewitt + Jordan


Jay Koh and Chu Chu Yuan

Karin Bergdolt/ P.L.A.N

Kim Nekarda


Klub 2

Konst 2


L/B Lang und Baumann

Les Complices* Espace Libre et Edition

Love and Devotion
(Ingrid Eriksson, Carina Gunnars, Karin Johnsson and Anna Kindgren)

Marta Paz

Freie Klasse München

Marysia Lewandowska and Neil Cummings



Oda Projesi

Platforma 9.81


- open streaming platform
- media-hacklab in barcelona
- global communication platform

Freie Klasse München

School of Missing Studies

Tirdad Zolghardr


Stefanie Trojan


The Yes Men




“Sto, kako I za koga/WHW”
What, How and for Whom/WHW


Yves Degoyon

2020 Home Gallery

Since 2009 the Collaborative Practice Archive is based for further research at the Bard College Library, New York