Pilot Encounter


How do institutions think?

October 23, 2015 — October 23, 2015

Encounters is an on-going research and exchange platform concerned with institutions and their way of thinking. It is organised within the frame of the Curatorial Programme 15/16 at de Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam. The first Encounter is organised at De PUNT, hosted by TAAK

Pilot Encounter:
Institution - Between Body and Machine or Art and Management
An encounter on institutional language, its consequences and power relations

23rd of October
Starting at 19h30
@ De PUNT, Frans de Wollantstraat 84, Amsterdam

Institution - Between Body and Machine
or Art and Management

About Encounters
In examining the current situation in The Netherlands where the public funding of institutions has been reduced, institutions have been faced with a demand to change, adjust and rethink their modes of operation and existence. These challenges are often evoked by confrontations between the administrative and creative side of cultural institutions. How can these shifts be reconciled with underlying philosophies? Who has the power over and within an institution and has the understanding of power changed?

Conceptualised in a time of upheaval at de Appel, the pilot Encounter premises a discussion that looks into language and power in relation to the current paradigms of institutions.   When talking about an institution one often resorts to metaphors comparing it to the body or to a machine. Both metaphors were expounded upon centuries ago by Thomas Hobbes and La Mettrie respectively. These thinkers pursued a goal of demystification, disenchantment and the eventual instrumentalisation of the language used to describe such entities as the state or the human body.

Since the introduction of these metaphors they were widely adopted in the humanities. However, the question arises as to what their purpose is now. Are they merely figures of speech? If so, does using them lead to obscuration rather than illumination? How does the language that is used to describe the ontology of an institution, form the conditions in which they work?

At the Pilot Encounter, Nico Feragnoli (1646, The Hague), Huib Haye van der Werf (Jan Van Eyck, Maastricht) and Maria Hlavajova (BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht) are invited to present their positions in relation to their varying practices and to discuss the issues at hand with Laura Amann, Kateryna Filyuk as well as the public. This first Encounter takes place at De PUNT, hosted by TAAK, from 19:30 until 21:30 on the 23rd of October.

By introducing this series the de Appel Curatorial Programme 15/16 is seeking to open up the necessary space to discuss the state of institutions and to transform the findings, thoughts and criticism into the following Encounters. It is an evolving format initiated by Laura Amann, Kateryna Filyuk, Jussi Koitela, Renée Mboya, Asep Topan and Alessandra Troncone.

  • Pilot Encounter
  • 23 October, 19.30-21.30
  • at De PUNT: Frans de Wollantstraat 84, 1018 SC Amsterdam
  • No entrance fee
  • No sign up
  • Drinks afterwards

For more information, contact cpdeappel@gmail.com