During the fourth public gathering of Collecting Otherwise, the audience is invited to join the conversation as we softly close the first iteration, Seen/Unseen, and look forward to what the new year will bring.
The fourth public gathering of Collecting Otherwise anticipates 2022's new iteration, Post/De/Colonial: strategies for reclaiming and retooling colonial heritage in the National Collection housed at Het Nieuwe Instituut. Collecting Otherwise proposes alternative methodologies to read the collection and to collect 'otherwise', in an attempt to reflect and even ameliorate the historical gaps in the collection and to acknowledge those actors and practices that were excluded by historical and traditional collecting policies and practices. With the introduction of next year's cases, participants further investigate and enact the possibilities of decolonising an archive and the collection.
In this soft closing and reopening, we take time to reflect on the tools and methodologies developed and their process, from redressing archival practices with the Archival Care Rider, to artistic research projects that inform and speculate on new ways of seeing the archive. With a short introduction of next year’s case studies, we ask ourselves: how do we collect otherwise to decolonise the archive?
Floating between past, present, and future endeavours, this event will feature researchers Federica Notari (HNI) on practices of care in the archive, Robin Hartanto Honggare (Columbia GSAPP) on landscapes of colonial production, and a 'seance online channelled performance' by Working Group Cell TBD-THC (Clara Balaguer, Czar Kristoff, Alfred Marasigan, and Isola Tong).
Federica Notari is a multimedia transdisciplinary researcher. For her MA in African Studies, she explored how young women in Dakar make space for themselves in the male-dominated hip-hop scene through kinship and sisterhood, resulting in a co-creative video thesis produced with a Senegalese photographer. Through her methodologies, she aims to demystify the role of the researcher and question the hegemonic structures that define knowledge. Her practice focuses on questioning how we navigate space, how it informs us, and how we belong to space. She recently obtained her second MA in Media Studies, using visual and written research to explore how family archives inform one's sense of belonging: seeing archives as mobile flexible bodies that can be reimagined, remobilised, and reanimated. Her practice focuses on notions of belonging to space. Space is not static and neither are we. It is this flexibility and ever-shifting emotional tie with which we have with space and belonging that particularly interests Federica’s research practice.
Robin Hartanto Honggare is a writer and curator, and, presently, a PhD candidate at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. He is a visiting member of Het Nieuwe Instituut’s research team for 2021-2022. He curated the Indonesia Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice (2014). His articles have been published in the Southeast of Now, Planning Perspectives, Avery Review, and Jakarta Post. His current research, rooted in his interest in the architectures of cultivation and the histories of colonial modernities in Southeast Asia, seeks to uncover how buildings and landscapes shaped, and were shaped by, commodity productions.
Isola Tong (Pasay City, Libra Fire Rabbit) is an artist and practicing architect, interested in queer and trans theories that cut across folk magic and geo-hydro-solar-bio-techno-politics. She is currently investigating the interconnection of the human and nonhuman systems and their entanglement with colonial history and the built environment. Her work spans across a variety of media, portraying a divergence from anthropocentrism towards interconnected biologies. She graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas (BS architecture). She also studied and worked in Osaka, Japan for four years. She has shown work in Korea, Slovenia, Serbia, and the United Kingdom. She currently teaches architectural design, theory, and history at the De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde School of Design and the Arts in Manila.
Czar Kristoff (Camarines Sur, Capricorn Earth Snake) is an artist, designer, and publisher, interested in (re)construction of space and memory, through concepts of nesting and temporary architecture, for (pedagogical) occupation, using cottage industry publishing—blueprints, xerox, and other low-fidelity printing methods—as his current media of interest. He has exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Showroom MAMA Rotterdam, Jogja National Museum, C3 Artspace Melbourne, Bangkok Arts and Culture Center, De Appel Amsterdam, Dansehallerne Copenhagen and Vargas Museum Manila. Kristoff runs Temporary UnReLearning (URL) Academy, a school with no permanent address, interested in queering art and cultural production in the Philippines.
Alfred Marasigan (Batangas, Libra Water Monkey) is an artist and educator who conducts serendipitous research and transmedial practices primarily through livestreaming, heavily inspired by emotional geography, Norwegian slow TV, and magic realism. Such format, often via social media, anchors his current explorations on simultaneity, sustainability, solidarity, and sexuality. Marasigan graduated in 2019 with an MA in Contemporary Art from UiT Arctic University of Norway’s Kunstakademiet i Tromsø and is a Norwegian Council of the Arts Grantee for Newly Graduated Artists. His work has been exhibited, screened, and published by Asia Art Activism (WWW/UK/PH), Tromsø Kunstforening (NO/PH), Goldsmiths' EnclaveLab (UK/PH), Further Reading (ID), Meinblau Projektraum (DE/PH), M:ST Performative Art (WWW/CA/PH), Arctic Moving Image & Film Festival (NO), C3 Contemp orary Art Space (AU) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (PH). Currently based in Manila, he is a faculty member of Ateneo de Manila University’s Department of Fine Arts since 2013.
Clara Balaguer (Makati City, Pisces Metal Monkey) is a cultural worker and grey literature circulator. From 2010 to 2018, she articulated cultural programming with rural, peri-urban, and diasporic communities from the Philippines through the OCD, a residency space and social practice platform. In 2013, she co- founded Hardworking Goodlooking, a cottage industry publishing house interested in the material vernacular, collectivising authorship, and the value of the error. Currently, she heads the Social Practices bachelor's department at Willem de Kooning Academy and teaches at master's level at the Piet Zwart Institute (Experimental Publishing) and Sandberg Institute (Dirty Art Department). Frequently, she operates under collective or individual aliases that intimate her stewardship in a given project, the latest of which is To Be Determined: a transitional, migratory, neighbourly structure of sleeper cells (Trojan horse networks) that activate–deactivate for leaking access to cultural capital.