Author Archives: admin

Project Abstract

Nefeli Oikonomou: Pracrising Transitions (Practicing for Crisis Art Initiatives)

‘Pracrising Transitions’ raises questions about ways of dealing with crises and it amplifies itself through “pracrising”-­‐ Collaborative, discursive practicing for crisis. The research expanded through 4 locations: Sweden, Greece, Uruguay and Argentina and it will be exhibited as a mini-­‐Festival inviting different artists, disciplines and audiences.

Nefeli Oikonomou is working as a performer and has also been creating her own choreographic work since 2006. After her education in Greece and Sweden (BA in Dance, Design Diploma and MA in Choreography, Doch) she is searching for challenging ways to integrate knowledge from different fields and facilitate exploration for democratic choreographic processes. Her experience on both presenting in various theaters and teaching in different professional schools feed her need to exchange, research and display. She creates by questioning, re-orienting or dis-orienting norms and her work is characterized with endless curiosity for critical thinking and innovative approaches to movement.

Project description PDF: Nefeli project 1

Interview (with Joanna van der Zanden)

Questions for interview round-up session ‘Repair Society Ringfägen’

This interview will function as a kind of report on our workshop, with links to relevant images and articles.


With regards to the meaning of repair, one of the issues that were frequently discussed was the need for a kind of social repair and the lack of a ‘neutral’ public space for genuine encounters. You investigated the topic of repair ‘en public’ and invited the neighbours in our studio. The door was open and you welcomed passers by in with coffee and cake. Some neighbours came in to ask questions on our research. Some contributed by sharing knowledge or an opinion. Others also attended the lectures or interviews. And many people stopped by the window and started to read the information on Repair Society really carefully. Most encounters were unprepared end spontaneous, but it felt like our space kind of belonged in this neighbourhood. At least no one was offended.

[question to all students participated]:

What do you think the impact of the Repair Society space (discursive platform?) – as you programmed it – could have been if we could have had more time? And how did you experience the encounters, and what kind of reactions did you receive back?

Johanna & Jonatan: If we had more time, then we could have possibly established a steady group of neighbors to collaborate with and deepen our research. We could have facilitated and enhanced their collaboration with each other, for example working together with Återvinnarna and/or Dynamo to offer more skill-sharing workshops. This way, we could have strengthened the local network of repair skills and needs, and maybe assisted in facilitating connections to establish a more permanent space for the ideas and activities that were initiated during our work, to live on.

From the gentrification perspective, our research also could have assisted in strengthening the local community identity, starting from the already existing structures, network and values connected to repair. These include for instance the informal network and support system connecting shop owners, landlords and tenants around the block where we did our research, as well as a general high interest and knowledge around repair in the neighborhood. By highlighting community structures and values in connection to these topics, we could have assisted in building a stronger resilience against the forces of gentrification, and allow the change that the neighborhood is going through to happen in a way that has more respect for the existing identity and history of the place.

We experienced the encounters we had with the local community as positive and relaxed. Many were positive to the initiative, and we seemed to fill a function in terms of offering a space for spontaneous interactions with “strangers” and no need for commercial transaction. People enjoyed reflecting on repair, it seems it was a good way to enter a conversation on larger societal issues that people see and feel passionately about. Many expressed that they would have liked for an initiative like this to have a more permanent presence in the neighborhood.

 [Question to Johanna and Jonathan]

You organised the dialogues with three locally social network organisations: Kupun, Democratic Pilotilla and Äter Vinnara. What are your conclusions in how their work is related to repair? What kind of methods, tools, or services do they use?

Johanna & Jonatan: All three organizations work materially with repair; repairing and reselling textiles, furniture, porcelain etc. They also have a social mission connected to “repair”, by putting much focus on building self-esteem and self worth in those who have a history of unemployment and/or drug abuse. Their methods include offering spaces designed to make people feel welcome regardless of who they are, provide work training, let people teach each other, as well as offer a wide variety of social activities.

 [Question to Iris:]

In your conversation with researcher Helen Runting (link to the interview) you mention repair in relation to architecture. One of the current issues in Ringfägen is gentrification, rising rentals and the lack of transparency in decision-making processes concerning public space. As Helen Runting is pointing out, we need to ask the question: “What needs to be repaired?”. And who decides upon what to repair. From your conversations with locals what needs to be repaired? And what is your personal opinion as an architect on issues like gentrification and repair?

 [Question to Nefeli]

You invited the Argentinean architect Mauricio Corbalan for a skype interview whom you met because of your personal research on crisis. Mauricio has seen the effects of the crisis in Argentina, up till today, and mentioned the lost opportunity of left wing politics by creating consumers instead of pro-sumers. Another concern he mentioned was that we have lost our relationship with nature (theory of good living). And in order to be able to survive we should all ‘learn how to be Indians again’. In relation to repair, could you explain what he means by this and from your own research practice on crisis what is your personal view on repair?

[Question to all students whom like to say something about this topic]

One of the ideas to develop within our studio space was to open a museum of repair. Do you think showing broken and repaired objects had a function within our search for the meaning of repair? And if so, in what way? Could you imagine a bigger project, travelling maybe, with the title The museum of repair? Is museum maybe not to inactive word?

Johanna & Jonatan: Yes, the word museum is perhaps too connected with past tense to work as inspiration for repair.  We do believe however that including and building  a collection of repaired objects in an open research context such as ours, is a good idea, adding to the overall concept and providing examples, inspiration, validation of people´s craft and skills, and a good point of entry into the project for uninitiated visitors.

Nefeli: I think  the museum’s of repair most interesting function(s) was the “building” of a more intimate threshold of experiences around repair,  gathering personal perspectives on how people have been engaging with the matter of Repair. I believe that objects have a very high expressive capacity and can tell many versatile stories so i believe that presenting broken objects can start a lot of discussions, ideas and reflections giving also the opportunity to meet the visitors in a more relaxed setting. I can very easily imagine a “touring” museum within which a wide spectrum of people contribute with entries and continue the dialogue.

In my perspective the word museum is not inactive, on the contrary, I believe it adds a playful “controversy ”to the proposal. While many times you would expect to go to a museum to see a refined piece of art in a “contained” environment here the two words game (museum-repair) is used to signify something else. Instead of concentrating in something very well prepared and polished, the focus now is on what has been broken and into the ways it has been repaired. It gives an emphasis on those special objects and entries that people contributed with and “calls” for a shifting of attention towards. Also it indicates that the process will be more interactive. As indeed it happened- in the Museum of Repair the entries were collected with a sense of intimacy and personal engagement. A nice way I think to connote that we don’t have to search all the time for the innovative, the new, the glamorous but we could invest energy and care to what matter to us.

[Question to Magnus and or others?]

The challenge in relation to repair is to relate to what has been done in other times. In other words to relate to history. You invited Gunilla Lundahl, journalist and activist to reflect on what we were doing. In the end of the ‘60s she was an important ‘cultural’ activist who opened the doors of the Modernat Museem for utopian thinking by inviting children. The project was called Modellen, turning the museum into a playground (maybe more info here), a neutral space to discover. In her talk Gunilla asked the question: “Did our action had more meaning because the museum was involved?”. What is your opinion and do you see a relation with our loose way of programming the Repair Society space and opening the doors to anyone interested? Is there a broader future for this?

Johanna & Jonatan: The art world definitely has the power of elevating projects into a different dimension, where the art context can amplify the importance of a project with ambitions of changing society. The question is of course if this also increases the impact of the project, for example in comparison to working towards similar goals in a grass roots political manner. We believe that the best “results” come when the art world works in collaboration with grassroots organizations (and/or other actors engaged in the same issues), drawing the best of strategies, processes and methods from both spheres.