The World Disintegrates Around Me
Cookies and Shimmer, online and in Rotterdam.Speakers include Bettina Korintenberg, Nico Dockx, Aude Christel Mgba, Fiontan Moran, Raqs Media Collective, Nick Axel, Bart Van de Heide, Laurel Schwulst, Alessandro Bava, Nick Korody, Yehwan Song and moreThe wet mind enjoys “pools and stains” of paint. “Paint” itself appears to be a kind of liquefaction. Such wet eyes love to look on melting, dissolving, soaking surfaces that give the illusion at times of tending toward a gaseousness, atomization or fogginess. This watery syntax is at times related to the “canvas support.” "The world disintegrates around me" (Yvonne Rainer) —Robert Smithson, 1968, A sedimentation of the mind: Earth Projects
Contemporary art is good at disintegrating into everyday life, even in a global pandemic. From the largest museums to the smallest artist-run spaces, we have all had to adapt quickly—going online, going outside, or finding new structures. Yet larger institutions are struggling to respond to the temporary restrictions brought on by the pandemic, as well as the inevitable changes brought on by the acceleration of digital culture. The promise of vaccines has reinforced the hope that things will go back to how they were before, a return to normality as our post-COVID future. The plastered-over cracks of our past-normal, however, are now structural issues.
The World Disintegrates Around Me will imagine new museum structures to run alongside analogue and digital cultural spaces. We are not suggesting that museums should dismantle, but instead invest in exploring how they can continue to exist through new architectures. There is a need for proposals that acknowledge (post-)COVID spatial limitations, modes of production, and distribution of art: We would like to ask how we, as artists and architects, can critically support museums display and conserve artworks today and in the future.
The World Disintegrates Around Me is a project being developed by Cookies and Shimmer with support from the Creative Industries Fund NL (Stimuleringsfonds). The goal is to ultimately develop prototype structures and exhibitions that respond to the questions outlined above. The first phase of the project will consist of three, online, expert roundtables discussing the way forward for museum architecture.
The invited experts – architects, artists, coders, directors, technicians and theorists – will speculate on what it means to disintegrate the museum into everyday life: How can we work together with and in the digital realm to think of museums differently? How are practitioners already transcending the confines of the museum walls? Can we embrace the new needs and supporting infrastructures of art while creating a radically different experience for the viewer? Does the museum need to be disintegrated into new shapes? Is the context of the museum only given by its physical presence? What spaces are required, recycled, needed?
The present moment of institutional crisis presents an opportunity to change the way one can view, share, and distribute art, opening up new possibilities of access and participation for groups of people that were previously excluded. Over the course of three sessions, we will explore a new type of architecture that contributes to redefining our new proximities and realities.
Cookies is a design and architecture studio founded in 2015 by Antonio Barone, Alice Grégoire, Federico Martelli and Clément Périssé. Cookies works as a platform and catalyst for art and architecture, and their practice is a dialogue between research and production. Using exhibition-making as a medium, Cookies explores the relation between art, display, curation and space, focusing on projects that require a critical approach and multidisciplinary collaboration. Cookies is based in Rotterdam, Rome and Milan. For more information click here.
On the edge of Rotterdam’s port, Shimmer is an exhibition space that operates with an ever-changing studio-like mentality, where knowledge arises through participation and experimentation. Alongside the expanded exhibition World as Lover, World as Self, their platforms include the events program Sunday Mornings With, the online reading-aloud program Across The Way With, and the online mixtape series On the Waves With. Shimmer was co-initiated by Eloise Sweetman and Jason Hendrik Hansma in February 2018.