Think of society as a complex structure of rules, where some rules are hidden and not spoken off, while other rules are on full display and in the open, through our daily life we navigate this web of rules, more or less intuitive, not aware of how they operate. This deep web of rules is the agreement that we all subscribe to while participating in society. These rules define both what’s allowed and what’s not allowed. On general terms the net consists both on super levels, but also fragmented into different sub-structures, these sub-structures could be called discourses.
To allow things to change, society needs transformational functions to bind different threads together and make the web ever-growing and ever reform into new shapes.
This transformational function is the author-function. The author-position is charged with a certain sovereign authority to act inside and outside of the structures. To disturb or disrupt the rules of the game. These author-functions may be shaped in different contexts, where art is one.
Artistic practices balance on the border between being inside and outside of given rules and acts by this, trans-discursive. Somewhere there are other powers, that may hide on the super levels that hand out this authority. The artistic authority to declare a state of exception, and to seek to define what’s necessary and urgent. But the sovereign position is never given from above, but always empowered from below. Those who empower the sovereign position are also those who allow the offset to slide outside of the rules. It’s a critical position that needs to be scrutinized and inspected.
We’re happy to have Rabota in residency September 2022. Rabota was founded in 2014 by artists Marika Krasina and Anton Kryvulia. Relying on the practice of dialogues, they have defined a concept of non-knowledge. This theme unfolds into the idea of «Human as an Arch»: arch is a contour, filled with different content (sky, trees, other arches) that makes it arch visible. Rabota strive to interpret nonknowledge as an incompleteness, unheld, something that didn’t occur, as an incognito companion of human: a trace of the absent.
”We plan to introduce our personal belongings as a material for the construction. The recordings that we collect in our expeditions will become the sound basis for the creation of interactive musical objects, managed in the performative act process. We consider opening our developments for discussion with specialists, colleagues, and an audience is required. For this purpose, we developed media-rave-conference, the format of performative lectures using multimedia technologies. Along with the performative installation, we are going to operate with this format in our future works.”
The result of the project will be public performative and lecture events, theoretical materials and other documentation rendered in a book and art objects created in the process.
WHEN RABOTA CAME HERE; TIMES HAD CHANGED AND THEY WANTED TO MAKE A PUBLIC STATEMENT AS FOLLOWS:
NON-KNOWLEDGE NO NO
Vi är stolta att presentera RABOTA på GYLLEBOVERKET som den avslutande kvällen i föreläsningsserien Tankarnas trädgård. Välkommen Tisdag 6 September 18:30, soppa serveras i pausen. Föreläsningen sker som ett media rave, därefter samlas de som vill till ett samtal om kunskap, konstens betydelse och frivillig liksom påtvingad transformation.
OSA OCH SPRID INBJUDAN
We are proud to present RABOTA at GYLLEBOVERKET holding the the last night in the lecture serie The Garden of the Mind. Welcome Tuesday Sep. 6th, 6.30PM. There is soup served during the break. The lecture will be presented as a media rave, whereafter those who want gather for a conversation on the reliance of knowledge, art, and voluntary as well as involuntary transformation.
JOIN AND SHARE EVENT !
We assume our work as the practices of resistance and overcoming; we are developing a model of action. We are testing the strategies to face impassable circumstances in our living and working experience. We accepted the current universal threats as a professional challenge with which we operate by employing particular artistic practices.z
genre: Permanent Practice
duration: Since 2014
tags: Open, General Domain, General Audience, Art, Artist, Art and Labour, Politics of Autonomy, Media-Asceticism, Whatever, Globality, Art-in-Itself
To Be With Art Is All We Ask. GILBERT & GEORGE
Our work is indistinguishable from daily life, it has neither an art product nor any material result, only the experience. In that experience we endeavor to revise the concepts of art and the artist, submitting our human destiny to this particular task.
A R T – I N – I T S E L F
Our mode means the refusal of production, institutional autonomy, and real constant risk. The work occurs along the way; its basis is our dialogues revealed in the space of leisure (σχολή).
S U B J E C T
Our job is not to work. This outwardly simple definition is revealed by our name in translation from Russian: Rabota (Работа) means at least three things simultaneously: labor, the object created as a result of production, and also profession. An artist’s labor in current social conditions stands at the lowest level of the social ladder. Artist in his situation of total precariousness and constant risk transforms, according to Marx, into a revolutionary class. Our revolution declares itself in the termination of art production in favor of contemplation and thinking. We assume our work as a daily, constant will for creatively recollecting and re-creating the world and ourselves, such as daily unproductive work similar to the job of a chimney sweeper or dishwasher. Society captures the space of politics, turning art into an object of consumption, we, in response to this, come to the territory of labor and make an artistic act (ποίησις) the subject of unproductive work.
W O R K F L O W
If one in his solitude drops out of the political world, then two, being together, always carry it with them. We met in Venice at the end of 2014, having arrived from various places. We threw all our swag into the Venetian lagoon and set out to explore the New World, with a notion not to come back anywhere.
We discover the weak traces of a new planetary unit in which there are no more borders, no nations, parties, no more governments, and war. In search of planetary politics, we drifted around, trying not to bind with national institutions, avoiding social infrastructures. We do not have a home anywhere; we conceive the world as our global apartment. Rooted in autonomy, our political attitude is exposed by our life. We have to balance not to fall into a cleft in the changing world. Our art, the choice of means, and subjects come from this voluntary precariousness. We chose autonomy and pay for it the price.
We stopped enclosing ourselves in flats with a world beyond. We are detecting the world inside any room so often as we can converse and think. We no longer live in one place, and not because we lack one. Rather, the opposite — everywhere is the same spot, same capacity. We work everywhere, in the forest, in the city, on the fields, in the cabins, in the boats, on the night road, wherever we could talk.
We are on a permanent journey since we met; the list of personal possessions has been reduced to the required minimum, and now it can always be rapidly packed and taken as hand luggage. This limited bunch of items becomes our constant companion, forming something like a common body, over which we observe with interest; from the very beginning, the life of our things becomes a matter of our artistic practice. We turn our belongings into art objects and then return them to everyday use. Their life as art objects is instant and solemn; they do not become a product awaiting its fate in the dark warehouse. They return to their source, revealing its flickering imprint on themselves. The spectators can witness these metamorphoses, synchronizing with us in time and space.
O U T P U T
We have been working in this mode for six years. We have visited more than 40 countries; in places that seem tempting to us, we stay as long as the visa regime allows. Sometimes we interrupt our autonomous migration for a short while to take part in exhibitions, AiR projects, and festivals.
Art is not a public activity addressed to the market and the entertainment industry; not so much objects and stories for experiencing but the daily and invisible work of recreating, recollecting, and reinventing the world and the artist himself. This work is impossible without free time, and leisure, which the ancient Greeks called σχολή. Being the most fragile state of a human, it currently occurs as a victim of anxiety, poverty, and despair, leisure must be specially maintained. Even though such an unproductive understanding of the artist’s work was already relevant for Plato, we have to introduce it as such again.
Our work is indistinguishable from our daily life. Our way of action means the refusal of production. We assume artistic work as a daily, constant will for creatively recollecting and re-creating the world and ourselves, such as daily unproductive work similar to the job of a taxi driver or window washer. If society captures the space of politics, turning art into an object of consumption, we, in response to this, enter the territory of labor and make an invisible, existing-in-itself artistic act the subject of social relation.
Johannes Cladders, the curator, noticed once: “I have always believed that it is the artist who creates a work, but a society that turns it into a work of art”.
To turn such an unproductive practice into a condition of art and make the artist with his work-in-itself visible a witness is needed. It requires the observer’s appearance, carrying out the practice of materialization, in which a hidden and aimless process renders into the matter. As a result of such materialization, the artist’s unproductive practice acquires material qualities, which at a specific moment can be installed, stored, and transmitted.
Like the Labridae fish, which can change sex in extreme circumstances, we had set up such outer observers from ourselves. This alien, curatorial mode of action allows combining synthetically unproductive practices with materialization, communication, and presentation. The material achieved resulted from the fixation of such unproductive artwork: documentary video and photography, audio recordings, notebooks, index of things, maps, and the things themselves act as a source for materialization and re-materialization of artwork without direct production.
Artistic practice, engaged in the constant recollection of its origins, and curatorial practice following the unproductive artistic process and materializing it, together constitute our work.
A brief path of migration and significant topics of interest:
Venice, It / Nepal
Field recordings, developing the main concept, Himalayan drift
Karnataka, In / Lviv, Ua / Montenegro / Serbia / Dresden, De / Paris, Fr / Catalonia / Minsk, By / Moscow, Ru
Common things as a medium, field studies
Armenia / Georgia / Istanbul, Tu / Budapest, Hu / Crimea, Ua / Moscow, Ru / Milano, It / Vienna, At
Caucasus drift, phenomenological studies, White Mold painting theory, meta-collage
Sri Lanka / Karlsruhe, De / Catalonia / France / Karlsruhe, De
Bubble book, Media Ecology theory, Media studies
Porto, Pt / Andorra / Karlsruhe, De / Turkey / Greece / Mannheim, De / Novgorod, Ru / Rome, Napoli, Cicily, It / Vietnam / Laos
Interventions in ZKM museum, Media Theory, Nonknowledge drift, path to Mannheim, Ancient Russian architectural studies, Roman studies, Indochina drift
Thailand / South Korea / Moscow, Ru / Helsinki, Fi / Kuban, Ru / Thessaloniki, Gr / Toskana, Venice, It
Aesthetics of Nonknowledge, art theory, Politics of Nonknowledge
Mänttä, Fi / Durykino, Ru / Novy Svit, Ua
Managing our archive, scanning notepads, transcripts from dictaphone, Art and Labour theory, Corona and biopolitics
Moscow, Ru / Cesis, Lv / Děčín, Cz
MUSEUM, struggle, Academy research
Our practice is purely provided by autonomy, which is the essence and single purpose. Its exclusive result is an experience, one way or another expressed in Rabota’s documentation, exhibitions, and theoretical works. Since 2014, Rabota has been publishing an annual report with photos and verbatim reports of artists’ conversations.
There are a lot of definitions for the notion of art, one of them says that art is a constant redefinition of this notion. There’s speculation that art as a reliable thing does not exist, that it is actually just a word; distinct things could be mentioned by it. But art could hardly have been a mediator of human understanding if it wouldn’t have any general significance. There is something that connects us through an object of art with other people from different cultures and times. This something goes beyond the limits of a particular definition and correlates with the being of a human in general. The human being, in general, might be even defined as a one who is connected to this commonality, transmitted through art. What exactly is the universal meaning of art? How to denote its essence? If we don’t raise such a formulated question for ourselves, we are losing art as a subject; and after the subject, we may lose the word.
Art is what the artist creates; an artist is the one who creates art. Art subjectifies both the artist and the spectator: therefore it could be considered the source of the human World as such.
We define an artist and art one through the other; in this joint definition, the most essential is the Act of Creation itself, in which the artist and art are realized one through another. Grasping artwork, the viewer himself inevitably performs the same symbolic act as the artist, thereby actualizing his subjectivity and autonomy.
2. Artistic act
Subject-object relationship (who/artist — what/art) is revealed in the artistic act. The artistic act establishes the space of autonomy. The artist has a conventional symbolic power to produce an artistic act.
Art can be created anywhere, from whatever, and anytime: only an artist is required. By creating the Ready Made, Marcel Duchamp pointed out the essence of an artistic act as a mechanism endowing any object with a special ontological status. By this act, an artist constitutes a general blank space (place for being) that can be occupied by any object. In addition to the fact that the object becomes a simple manifestation of blank space, its own qualities are not erased but become universal signs — the content of an empty medium, which is the art object essentially.
3. Art object
An Artistic Act can be performed on any object. All kinds of values are applied to the art object from the outside.
A work of art is an object that, through its perceptive configuration, ensures the preservation of its own idea for comprehension. The universal idea of any artwork is the Artistic Act establishing this very space and time of being.
4. Contemporary Art
Applied values define art forms. One of these forms is contemporary art. Contemporary art is the artist’s work, determined by the tasks of creating, developing and redefining the image of Contemporary as an ersatz space for human life in the conditions of ontological deprivation of the present tense.
The image of a suspended person, groundlessness, autonomous through being alien to everything, remains relevant from the first days of the existence of humans until now. “Time either does not exist at all, or is obscure and hardly exists”: this thought of Aristotle defines contemporary art in the sense that the concept of Contemporary is intended to compensate for this deprivation of tense, and Contemporary Art fills this concept with constantly updated fluid content. It is impossible to settle down in the present, it is slipping away, and Contemporary, as an illusion of the expanded space through which you can take a walk, makes you feel right at home.
Politics is a constant effort of the autonomous subject to restore the present time, recollect himself, and reassemble the World.
In addition to the gap between the whistling infinity of the past and the whistling infinity of the future, the Contemporary is also opposed to the World existing in the present. Contemporary obscures the World and “removes politics” as an act of an autonomous subject. Any statement drowns in the dialectic of Contemporary and turns into a product of consumption. Therefore, the emancipatory role of Contemporary Art exclusively is in the termination of Contemporary as an illusion.
To stop Contemporary as an illusion means to get out of the infinity of production and consumption, opposing it with attention to things as they are, thereby turning to the depth of time and World.
World of human existence unfolds in the space of autonomy, arising interdependently along with human subjectivity in the present.
“In the work of art man risks losing not simply a piece of cultural wealth, however precious, and not even the privileged expression of his creative energy: it is the very space of his world, in which and only in which he can find himself as man and as being capable of action and knowledge.” Giorgio Agamben. THE MAN WITHOUT CONTENT.
“The man-made world of things, the human artifice erected by homo faber, becomes a home for mortal men, whose stability will endure and outlast the ever-changing movement of their lives and actions, only insomuch as it transcends both the sheer functionalism of things produced for consumption and the sheer utility of objects produced for use.” Hannah Arendt. HUMAN CONDITION.