Building a commons of knowledge: tensions and methods // facilitator: Relais Culture Europe

A trans-making experience

One of the questions of the « Public in the Making » is the question of Public Spheres of knowledge and information. It is questioning the knowledge itself, its ways of production, its accessibility and openness, etc. What kind of knowledge environment do we need in a time of transformation? How this Public Sphere can be the building block of a critical space and basis for action and transformation? Can we see it as a commons, based on the work of different kinds of commoners? Since 2017, more than 100 people, academic and non-academic, from criminology to art production, are engaged in the trans-making project dealing with new narratives for economic, social and democratic renewal. One of the main questions is to support a common European and global space of research. From this experience, collective issues and challenges are emerging. How to find entry points into the urgencies of the day? How mapping back into the field of perception silent or un-addressed issues? How to generate new ideas and perspectives from different fields and perspectives? How to speculate in order to produce new forms and ideas and open wild research territories? How to enunciate? Following a discussion open in Valencia last spring, we would like to share and open this conversation between the participants of trans-making and those of « Public in the Making » workshop.

Facilitator: Relais Culture Europe

A French national public structure, Relais Culture Europe is an innovation platform on Europe and culture. Its mission is to support the European cultural innovation practices of cultural and creative actors by supporting the development of capacities and projects, networks of cooperation and European communities of exchange and research. Relais Culture Europe promotes the animation of European research and cultural innovation issues. It is the coordinator of the trans-making project funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

Contemplating food issues in public spaces moderated by Ezgi Tuncer

The panel addresses the various ways in which food is being shared across diverse urban settings. All the panelists deal with creating communities/ practices of socialization in an attempt to organize events in public spaces or spaces open to everyone by means of food sharing and cooking.

Ezgi Tuncer

Kadın Kadına Mülteci Mutfagı |Woman to Woman Refugee Kitchen,
Komsu Kafe Kolektifi | Neighbourhood Cafe Collective,
Bombalara Karsı Sofralar | Food not Bombs,
Kadıköy Kooperatifi

Reclaiming the City

As daily life’s flow changed our perception of space, human relationship with built environment was transformed – and, at times deformed. Following fierce arguments on social space and the right to the city, it is argued that urban space can be hacked, opening up novel ways of producing space. Yet, in the connected world of today, with the ubiquitousness of many services and a lesser obligation for the labour to stay in the cities, a multi-dimensional conversation is needed to understand the new urban. While some cities develop more democratic platforms that allow all the different voices to be heard; for some other cities, the lack of participation causes more alternative searches. This leads to different situations in terms of possibilities and impossibilities rather than a better or worse condition. On extreme dystopic circumstances, lies the complete destruction of the urban memory/space, as in various cities around the world, the power struggle readily reflects on to the built environment, with the State encouraging the erasing/eradicating/scratching/straining of the space and even re-inventing of the memories. This session wants to initiate a broad dialogue followed by an open-format forum with on the struggle to reclaim the city, physically or mnemonically, ranging from the artworks as part of our urban memory or getting our right of way on the metropolitan pavements.

moderated by:  
Herkes için Mimarlık (Architecture For All)
Yaygara Güncel Sanat İnisiyatifi
Sokak Bizim
Cluster Cairo
Workshops of Culture
Ha Za Vu Zu

Herkes İçin Mimarlık Derneği (HiM) (Architecture for All Association), (2011, İstanbul); is a platform where student volunteers and professionals can come together and bring social problems encountered in the country and the world in a creative way to the agenda, raise awareness about these problems and act to produce solutions from the fields of architecture and design. In urban and rural areas, it wants to increase the awareness of architecture in society by encouraging participatory mechanisms that are lacking in the design, planning and construction processes of the projects.

Established in Istanbul in 2005, collective Ha Za Vu Zu creates a simple and practical working model around artistic disciplines including music, video, performance and design. Ha Za Vu Zu’s past solo exhibitions include Masa Project (2009); Gymnastic: collective and rhythmic, Hafriyat Karaköy (2008); Lokaal01, Antwerp (2008); and We Are Getting Vocalized, Galerist, Istanbul (2007). They have also participated in various performances and group exhibitions including What a Loop, Münchner Kammerspiele, Germany (2010); When Ideas Become Crime, Depo, Istanbul (2010); 10th International Baltic Art Triennial, Vilnius (2009); Different Similarity / End Game, 10th Lyon Biennial, Lyon (2009); Gallery Loop, Seoul (2009); Kaserne Basel (2008); Mercy, Liverpool (2008); Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Rotterdam (2008); Triennale Bovisa, Milan (2008); and the 10th International Istanbul Biennial.
Yaygara kaçamak tartışmaların yaşandığı ve yaşanacağı gezgin bir kulübedir. Henüz bir adresi yoktur. Ama bu bir olumsuzluk değil bir talihtir. Her yer ‘Yaygara’ mekanı, her şey ‘Yaygara’ konusu ve her an, kopmaya hazır bir ‘Yaygara’dır. Elbette ki her oluşum da olduğu gibi ‘Yaygara’nın da gerekçeleri ve bileşenleri bulunmaktadır. Bu gerekçeler öncelikle bir yere ait olma, o yerin içini doldurma ve bu tortuyu görünür kılmak olarak ta özetlenebilir. Bu anlamda ‘Yaygara’ yaşadığı kentle ilişkilerini sanat üzerinden kurmayı amaçlayan bir paylaşım ortamıdır.
CLUSTER — Cairo Lab for Urban Studies, Training and Environmental Research aims at establishing a critical space for urban discourse. CLUSTER engages critical theorization while being grounded in professional practice, negotiating the blurred boundaries between formal/institutional regulations and everyday urban informality

Workshops of Culture  We are a municipal cultural institution of Lublin that was created through the division of the Centre for Culture in Lublin. Between 2009-2012  we were a branch of  the Centre for Culture. Today we are a completely autonomous cultural institution of Lublin.  We operate under the name Workshops of Culture, which determines the very goals we aim to achieve. On principle, our programming focuses on promoting the practice of “active culture”.  To do so, we intend to create a cultural offer that is tailored to individual recipients, to residents wishing to participate actively in the cultural life of the city and to broaden their knowledge at the same time. We keenly endorse and eagerly implement long-term development plans based on the sense of community shared by Lublin’s cultural operators and recipients of culture alike, acting together and supporting each other. Liaising and networking with Polish and international partners, we become exposed to already established and highly efficient methods of cultural education, management, and animation. In addition, through extensive analysis of local needs we thoughtfully transplant and introduce the most reliable, sustainable, and fitting models to Lublin. Furthermore, we are committed to sharing our experience and expertise with other communities, both at home and abroad, in particular with Eastern Europe. Everyday application of modern technologies in cultural education and in promotion of cultural heritage constitutes the core of our mission. We strive to maintain the highest level of professionalism, ensuring that our activities are interactive, interdisciplinary, innovative, constantly evolving, and always partnership-centred.

Sokak Bizim Association is a non governmental organisation aims to reach more livable cities through developing alternative solutions to urban problems. In order to reach this aim Sokak Bizim considers streets, which are the smallest units of the city, as a starting point and believes that change starts from the streets. In order to make change, SokakBizim uses creative and participatory methods. First creates awareness on people, than
makes people act. For this purpose, the association organises events, develops campaigns and projects. The primarily fields of activity of Sokak Bizim are public spaces, streets, street culture, pedestrian&bicycle transportation.

KABA HAT is a formation of handful artists who come together for making exhibitions or events as such without the presence of a gallery, a curator or any form of an agent.

Public Space and Design moderated by Çiğdem Kaya

The relationship of public space and design can be explored in various dimensions. Design criteria varies when public is regarded as a large group of users. Hence, participative methods can be used while raising complex questions about leisure, habitation and material culture. These questions form a ground of discussion of changing design principles and values. In this regard, public space is a source of multilayered design problems.

Çiğdem Kaya
Mehmet Erkök
Nilüfer Kozikoğlu
Ebru Erdönmez
Alexis Şanal

Çiğdem Kaya lives and works in Istanbul where she was born and raised. Trained as an industrial designer, she completed graduate program in fine arts in San Francisco Art Institute in the US. After her PhD, Kaya has been a full time assistant and associate professor at Istanbul Technical University (ITU) Department of Industrial Design (ID) since 2011 where she teaches interaction between art and design in the undergraduate ID program as well as product design studio; practice-led research methods and design for social innovation in the graduate ID program. Her experience as an artist enriches her teaching in the design programs. Kaya received BSc in ID from ITU, MFA in New Genres from SFAI and PhD in ID from ITU. Kaya has been a visiting researcher at Sheffield Hallam University and she is a Fulbright alumna.

Ebru Erdönmez graduated from Yıldız Technical University Faculty of Architecture in 1995. She started her academic career in 1996 as a research assistant, and became an assistant professor in 2006 and an associate professor in 2011. She was a visiting lecturer in Siegen University’s Department of Architecture between years 2006-2007. Ebru Erdönmez has authored and edited several books, conference proceedings and papers. She received several awards in national and international architectural competitions, and currently continues her career as an associate professor in Yıldız Technical University Faculty of Architecture.

Born in 1963 in Zurich, Switzerland. Graduated fom Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul with a major of industrial Design in 1988. Lecturer at İTU İndustrial Design Dept. since 1994. Proffessional experiences in many types of modelmaking, illustration-airbrush, product-object design and production, kinetic sculpture, automobile customization, photography.

Alexıs’ vision of a streamlined relationship between people and the design of their environment reflected in her academic and professional pursuits. She has received awards for her architectural/urban design contributions to the community which reflect her passion is learning, cultural and civic environments that serve living culture embracing technologies and ecologies intelligently with the physical and natural environment. She currently leading research in Istanbul street markets structure, the Pazar, launching the Wedgetopia initiative for transforming residual land into vibrant urban places, and a member of Bomontiada’s creative board for a district wide public realm realization. MIT, MCP 2002, SCI-Arc, BArch, 1995.  (1974, Los Angeles)

Istanbul-based, London-trained architect and designer Nilüfer Kozikoğlu’s work is focused on material properties, organic compositions and their variable states, and she is best known for her work in concrete, including design and furniture production. Kozikoğlu is interested in peculiarities of form and design that evoke the animated properties of space, especially with materials such as concrete and cement. Her interest in dynamic forms is reflected in her installations and designs, which weave together digital technologies and handcrafted processes as on-site and workshop experiments. Nilüfer runs her practice as partner at the Tuşpa NK agency for architecture, and the urban material workshop Urban Atolye.

Green Commons moderated by Zeynep Kadirbeyoğlu

Gardens, parks agricultural areas and plants are reduced sharply, especially in big cities such as Istanbul, due to expanding constructions and urban settlements although we still need oxygen to live and the agricultural products are still the basic needs of our kitchens. This reduction of green areas and growing air pollution are the important reasons of ruining quality of life due to increasing diseases desperately besides the aesthetic and architectural concerns.

Citizens, civil platforms and academics, still spend their time and energy for more planting separately. As the awareness and interest to the organic life, perm culture and planting is growing within some parts of the community, we are asking whether it is possible or not to combine the energies and interests of different stakeholders who are working on this issue.Through this panel, we would like to talk about city gardens, their structures and history and the possibilities of public space and common thinking through planting in the city.

Zeynep Kadirbeyoğlu (Boğaziçi University)

Sevil Baştürk (Roma Garden)
Yiğit Ozar (Archeologists Association; Yedikule Garden)
Boğaçhan Dündaralp (ddrlp, Kuzguncuk Garden)
Aslıhan Demirtaş (LEED AP, KHORA Office, Kadir Has University)

Zeynep Kadirbeyoglu (MA in Economics at Boğaziçi University; MPhil in Social and Political Sciences at University of Cambridge) who is Associate Professor at the department of Political Science and International Relations at Bogazici University in Istanbul, holds a PhD in Political Science from McGill University. Her research interests include globalization, transnational networks, democratization, decentralization, citizenship, local government and participation. She previously worked on two international comparative projects: one on dual citizenship and the other on environmental change and forced migration. Her previous works have been published in Environmental Politics and Mediterranean Politics.

Archaeologist Yiğit Ozar graduated from Istanbul University, Department of Archeology in 2008. Istanbul University, Department of Classical Archeology. He works on various conservation, restoration, planning and urban archeology projects. Focused on urban archeology, conservation and archeology policies, Ozar, has been working in this scope in the Archaeologists Association Istanbul Branch since 2012. He is contributing to the studies related to the preservation of Historic Yedikule Gardens and Piyalepaşa Gardens.

Boğaçhan Dündaralp Architect, Designer, Writer, Educationist. He won numerous awards since his college years such as Archiprix(1997), Arkitera Young Architect Award(2004), two National Architecture Awards(1998, 2006) and YEM(The Building Information Centre) Award(2008). A selection of his works has been published in a book entitled “Genç Çizgiler/Young lines”(2004). In 2009, by The Architecture Foundation/London, he has been assigned as one of three architects who will represent the city of Istanbul for London-Istanbul International Exchange Programme which is finalized with a book called “Istanbul Para-doxa”. As a part of 1st Istanbul Design Biennial(2012), he was invited to “Adhocracy” exhibition curated by Joseph Grima and took place in “Intervention” about Yona Friedman’s “Haliç Centre” project. Since 2005, Dündaralp has been directing the architecture office called ddrlp. With his multi-positioned stance within the area of architectural knowledge, he is researching and developing solution strategies for multilayered architectural problems related to the city, the metropolis and different architectural scales. ;

Aslihan Demirtas, is an architect and the principal of the interdisciplinary studios Aslihan Demirtas Architecture & Research Office and KHORA (founded with Ali Cindoruk) based in Istanbul and New York. Her practice purposefully crosses territories and boundaries of disciplines in the forms of building, landscape, installation projects, and exhibitions, as well as research. Her work threads through subjects and places such as urban agriculture, infrastructure, landscape, architectural knitting/weaving, activism through design, and any other coincidental commissions of architecture, landscape, and design. 
Demirtaş holds a SMarchs from MIT, Cambridge, MA, and a BArch from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara. She is currently working on her upcoming e-book Graft to be published by SALT in 2018 with the support of Graham Foundation Grant she received in 2013, and on the strategic renovation of the Lumbardhi Cinema in Prizren. She is an active member of the Initiative for the Protection of the Historical Yedikule Urban Gardens, working to keep the 1,500 year old urban agriculture heritage and landscape of Istanbul. Demirtaş is full-time faculty at Kadir Has University, Faculty of Arts and Design, Department of Architecture.

Sevil Baştürk, permaculture designer, graduated from İstanbul University Philosophy. She is defender of life, one of the people of Roma Community Park which was organized with the principles of permaculture.

Artistic Interventions moderated by Esra Yıldız

“Artistic Interventions”  panel will discuss institutional sponsored and anti-institutional art works  realized  in and for public space and the possibilities of  transformation of public space/debates through those artworks  from the 1990s  to the present  with the participation of academicians, artists, art initiatives and video collectives.
Esra Yıldız

Emek Bizim, İstanbul Bizim
Asi Keçi
Nesli Gül Durukan
Nazlı Tümerdem

Esra Yıldız studied environmental engineering (BSc) and received her Phd in Art History from Istanbul Technical University. She was a visiting Scholar at the Department of History and Art History, TU, Berlin and was Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute of Cultural History and Theory, Humboldt University, Berlin. She is currently teaching at Istanbul Bilgi University.

Emek is Ours, Istanbul is Ours is an initiative that was formed in 2009 to organize demonstrations and events against the demolition of Emek Movie Theater in Beyoglu, Istanbul. Since 2013, the initiative collected video and sound recordings of the demonstrations, made by activists, spectators and various filmmakers, which then turned into the documentary Audience Emancipated: The Struggle for the Emek Movie Theater (2016).

AsiKeçi (Ankara Art Initiative) is a civil art initiative established by a group of people coming out of the Solfasol Newspaper, gathered together with the desire to move towards to the goal of nourishing the art scene, which is lost in Ankara’s barren soul. Initially, gathered with the question of “Why isn’t there any art biennals established in Ankara?”, this establishment actually considered that the desire was actually to be a kind of other / counter / biennial event while it was in the process of establishing an art biennal. ​Today, we agree that contemporary / current art is used as a tool for some implicit purposes by the political and private sectors and by the biennials. When we read the international art activities in the framework of new world order and new world cities, biennal events and AsiKeçi differenciates in means of their ideas. As biennal formations enhances the economical and political powers in cultural means. AsiKeçi (Ankara Art Initiative) is a partnership that has reached consensus on that the artistic events should be independent, insurgent, contradictory, and disjointed.

artıkişler [leftoverworks] is a video collective tries to create collective production and distribution spaces in the fields of contemporary visual culture and arts. Follows the principles of collective working, exhibition and screening strategies in collaboration with other groups that have similar orientations on the breaking point issues of Turkey’s near social history such as; urban transformation, gentrification, forced migration, refugees, labor in urban space, archiving and collective social memory.

Avareler // “Ramblers” is an art initiative, which was established in Ankara at the end of 2010. Their working area is generally on the streets. Their first work which was written on one of the wooden front of construction side as a “listen to The Doors, drink alchol Ankara” is 14 metres long and located in Ankara-Eskişehir road. After that, they have continued their art works as making smaller stickers and stencils on the streets for 7-8 months. Then, Avareler initiative decided to continue to produce their works as a 5 person. “I am not saying you not to listen blues, first listen a stringed instrument then also listen blues”, back-goal, all skycraper are sticked up thier owners ass, pink series, love safety first, forty thieves and honey badger party are some main examples of works of Avareler initiative. Nowadays, Avareler Initiative still keeps on to produce art works. They are not only on the streets but also they conduct a series of activies with other collectives, galleries and art plaforms. Their object is to be triggering for a collective guerilla street art movement rather than just a street artist. It could be said “from snowball to snowslip”. Their target is to give damage to the Istanbul art monopoly which holds the art market. Besides Ankara, they would like to get off the ground this movement to other cities around Turkey.

Nesli Gül is a researcher, curator and an art writer. She is currently visiting scholar in Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture at the University of Amsterdam under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Mia Lerm Hayes and Ph.D. candidate under the guidance of  Asst. Prof. Dr. Kadriye T. Akmehmet at the Yildiz Technical University in Art and Design Department, where her study is on “Memory and Archives of Contemporary Art Institutions and Actors in the Context of Contemporary Art Practices in Turkey”. She graduated her Bachelor’s degree in Art Management Programme in 2009 with the 1st class honor and Master’s degree in Museum Studies in 2014 from the YTU in Istanbul, Turkey. She completed her MA thesis “Interactive Spaces in Art Museums”. During her undergraduate education period, she worked as a curator’s assistant, researcher, an intern at the curatorial department at the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, BM Suma Contemporary Art Center and at the editorial department at the RH+ Art Magazine. During her graduate education period, she worked as Project assistant for Foto-Galatasaray (open archive) at the SALT (Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center) for one year. She continues her academic works as a research assistant in the field of Art Management Department at the YTU since 2012. She has been a curator of several exhibitions since her graduate education period and has been a researcher in scientific research projects. “Fictional Narratives”, “Hidden Screenplays” and “Point Counter Point” are some of her art exhibitions as curator. She has various articles on art museums, exhibition methods and techniques, contemporary art and public art. She is a member of The International Council of Museums (ICOM), (2014-…), International Committee for Exhibitions and Exchange (ICEE), (2014-…) and Association of Art Historians (AAH), London, UK, (2017-…).

Nazlı Tümerdem is an architect based in Istanbul and Ljubljana. She received her B.Arch degree from Istanbul Technical University (2008) and M.Arch degree from Istanbul Bilgi University (2011). She has worked as a research assistant and as an architect between 2011 and 2016. She was part of the project team of Turkish Pavilion in 2016 Architectural Biennale of Venice. Currently, she is continuing her PhD at Istanbul Technical University.

Participatory Practices moderated by Yeliz Kahya

One of the spheres of sociality that is directly connected to the urban milieu of modern and contemporary cities appears in the spaces of contemporary arts. This situation is closely linked with the capabilities of people to constitute bottom-up and self-organized formations and to come up with new forms of spaces providing various lanes that people establish informal interactions with each other. Within this context, Istanbul and some other cities appear as interesting settings, in which bottom-up and self-organized initiatives have established in the spheres of contemporary arts. This new ways of operations in arts does not only form communities of art practices, they also lead to develop a structured serendipity in the city that enables people to connect in ways they hadn’t before, inspiring new cross disciplinary collaborations, community engagements and modes of working. The question, whether these micro-spaces of contemporary arts can act as means of mobilizing and constructing social co-presences, and thereby, contribute to recreation of the public and public spaces in cities deserves an attempt to explore. In this panel, it is aimed to create a platform to explore the capacity of these arts organizations to meet artistic, creative energy with local contexts of cities while using participatory strategies to involve different actors in place making and planning practices alongside contributing to the urban everyday life in their localities.

Yeliz Kahya

PASAJ // Seçil Yaylalı § Elif Bursalı 
Oda Projesi // Seçil Yersel & Özge Açıkkol
RACINES // Mehdi Azdem § Rajae Hammadi
CRVENA // Danijela Dugandžić
BUNKER // Nevenka Koprivsek
Ceren Yartan
Merve Ünsal