Images, descriptions and documents from the workshop Lexicon for Marvels and Catastrophes at Färgfabriken
Lexicon project coordinators: Ana Barata and Anna Asplind. Lexicon workshop team: Ana Barata, Anna Asplind, Gustav Karlsson, Anna Risell, Gerda Persson, Lea Vene, Bo Pilo, Andres Villarreal, Florence Taché, Justinas Dudenas, Åsa Agerstam, Jerome Malpel, and Emre Aydilek. contributing advise from Veronica Skeppe and Carlota Mir, and additional support from Vesna Salamon and Matthew Ashton. Färgfabriken curator in charge Daniel Urey with Karin Englund.
This was the first “Open Studio” experiment to be hosted at Färgfabriken and conducted by the team from R-Lab Marvels and Catastrophes. Staged on a frozen but sunny Saturday afternoon on the 26 of January, the Lexicon workshop’s main objective was relatively straightforward, to invite the public to bring with them:
“objects, things or ideas that you want to take with you into the ever changing present! The R-Lab group will sort out your stuff and categorise, document and then will arrange it with all the other creations.”
Of course there would be questions about the nature of the ever changing present–clearly there was this premonition hanging over everyone’s heads about an unpredictable transformation already in the making, not just the mounting number of climatic threats adding to one’s list of uncertainties, but also the standard unpredictables, the earthquakes, fires and meteorite showers that follow no rational or universal script, but that edge one towards accepting the practice of superstitions, rituals and any of the plethora of Gods that might provide some other kind of salvation.
The Lexicon then, is just this sort of start-up list of things and ideas that could offer comfort or sustenance when we find ourselves under these impending forms of stress..
“we hope to create a real-time live Lexicon on Marvels and Disasters that will grow bigger and bigger with each successive event. and the R-Lab team hopes to understand how your things fit together with other peoples’ things, whether they can coexist with each other, cooperate with each or otherwise cancel each other out.”
And in fact, over the afternoon, the Lexicon team began to observe a unexpected pattern among the public’s contributions and conversations, an amalgam of considerations on predictable predictables, unpredictable predictables, and unpredictable unpredictables, to play loosely with the well known Donald Rumsfeld principle. We were not only beginning to assemble a Lexicon of objects and ideas, but we were witnessing a Lexicon of an entirely new kind in the making…
LEXICON OF MARVELS AND DISASTERS THE MOVIE:
Selection of Questionnaires filled out by the public participating in the Workshop
THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE LEXICON OF MARVELS AND CATASTROPHES AT FÄRGFABRIKEN ON SATURDAY 26 JANUARY 14:00 TO 16:00. THE LEXICON OF MARVELS AND CATASTROPHES PROVIDES A SAFE SPACE TO GATHER, UNDERSTAND AND CATALOG THE THINGS WE MIGHT NEED TO HAVE ON HAND IN THE NOT TOO DISTANT FUTURE.
THE LEXICON OF MARVELS AND CATASTROPHES is a joint production between R-Lab RIA and Färgfabriken OPEN STUDIOS and is meant to bring together visual artists, architects, designers and other experts with people committed to exploring the kind of surprises we can expect if and when the unpredictable happens. Not a guide to disaster survival, but a manual for creativity and poetry in the face of uncertain odds.
THE LEXICON OF MARVELS AND CATASTROPHES is the second public project run by R-Lab in a series that began with the program THE ART OF DISASTER at the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial in October 2018. MARVELS AND CATASTROPHES is a production of R-Lab, an advanced post-graduate educational program based at the Royal Institute of Art Stockholm. This year’s project focuses on human ingenuity when confronting natural disasters, unpredictable climatic events, and human-made calamities.
>What is Marvels and Catastrophes? Disasters expose human helplessness in confronting the full force of nature, but these tragic events can also bring out the best in human compassion and collective action. Marvels and Catastrophes moves through historic and contemporary landscapes, reflects on societies past and present and engages with the people who are or will be most affected by the forces of nature, and climatic reversals.
>How does the afternoon workshop work?
you are kindly asked to bring with you– objects, things or ideas that you want to take with you into the ever changing present! The R-Lab group will sort out your stuff and categorise, document and then will arrange it with all the other creations.
>What does this all have to to do with the ever changing present?
we hope to create a real-time live Lexicon on Marvels and Disasters that will grow bigger and bigger with each successive event. and the R-Lab team hopes to understand how your things fit together with other peoples’ things, whether they can coexist with each other, cooperate with each or otherwise cancel each other out.
>What kinds of objects, things or ideas are you thinking we should bring with us?
We imagine you might already have something perfect in your living room or closet. An amulet to keep away evil spirits, a horse-shoe to bring good luck, a flashlight that works on human power, a chunk of clay you want to mould, or maybe an idea you have that you would want to make with the help of the R-Lab team.
>What do i personally get out of all this?
It’s a chance to share something you have had in your possession for some time, or maybe an idea sitting in your head. when you introduce it into our Lexicon-o-sphere, something magical will happen. when you bring it back home with you it might be the start of something new and life changing.
R-Lab is an ongoing critical research platform directed by Peter Lang focusing on architecture, design, visual arts and urban culture for the Royal Institute of Art Stockholm.