The Gathering

Building Conversation encourages participants to adopt an artist’s mindset to explore how we talk and could talk to each other. But even at Building Conversation we have blind spots and persistent patterns that need to be examined. Where do we reinforce and confirm ways of thinking that we actually want to change?

We invite you to join us in The Gathering from 20 to 23 October!

How do we handle sources of knowledge and inspiration? Researcher and conversation facilitator Obiozo Ukpabi asked us this important question in 2020. ‘As artists, performers, conversation builders, we are also – perhaps foremost – storytellers. We believe in the free access to, and flow of stories, ideas and information. We want to contribute to a democratised, global knowledge space where the lines between (academic) research, arts and society are not sharply drawn. Where everyone feels empowered to think creatively, experiment and innovate about how we live together in this world and as part of it. But by saying that we are all equal in the global knowledge space you really say that you are ‘difference blind’, i.e. colour blind, gender blind or ability blind. […] As storytellers we need ask ourselves: whose stories do we tell, how do we do it and why? And who are we referring to (and excluding) when we say ‘we’? Obiozo Ukpabi.

During The Gathering we turn our gaze inwards to question ourselves. Whose stories are we telling and how do we tell them? How do we acknowledge the fact that the ‘global knowledge space’ is not neutral terrain in which we are all equal? How do we truly create space and a practice to change structural, systemic inequalities that affect not only how we engage with each other but also how we make, talk about, and share our work?

The programme of The Gathering is inspired by a text written by Obiozo Ukpabi at the invitation of Building Conversation. The text is both an introspection and an appeal. How can we, as Building Conversation, engage in a more reciprocal dialogue with communities, practices and knowledge centres that inspired us? How do we connect the work we created years ago and continue to perform to today’s needs and demands? Based on this text, we identify two issues that we will engage with during The Gathering. We look at the fine line between inspiration and appropriation and explore the relationship between the free conversation spaces we developed earlier and the current need for safe spaces.


THE GATHERING: PROGRAMME
The Gathering consists of four days during which we will work with international guests and artists and hopefully you too! During the first two days, we will shed new light on existing work in two different in-depth working groups. This is followed by a two-day public program with performance and debate. You can participate in the in-depth working groups and/or the public programme.

* The Gathering – in-depth working groups | Thursday 20 & Friday 21 October *
In in-depth working groups, with a diverse group of participants, we shed new light on existing work. TICKETS

Drawing on the performative conversations previously developed by Building Conversation Thinking Together – an experiment (2014) and Time Loop (2016), we engage with issues and topics relevant today. What is our relationship to our inspiration sources? Where does the responsibility of a maker begin and end? What is (still) possible in the public debate? Where do the sensitivities lie and what forms of conversation do we need now? Together with invited guests and participants who applied through the open call, we will look back at a variety of experiences gained and, together, think about which adjustments are needed and what new forms can emerge. We invite you to share knowledge and strengths and explore these issues together, both for Building Conversation and for your own practice.

Click on one of the working groups for more information about the topics.

Working group Inspiration or appropriation? – Time Loop Revisited
Working group Safe or brave? – Thinking Together Revisited

Practical information in-depth working groups
A working group consists of two days. You can register for just 1 working group.
We work from 10am till 8pm. Lunch and dinner included
If you wish to attend a working group, we also ask you to be present during the two-day public programme at the weekend, so that we can share findings with the public.

The costs for the four-day programme are 200/140 (regular/student discount). TICKETS
If you would like to participate, but the fee raises a problem for you, please send us an e-mail at info@buildingconversation.nl so we can work this out with you.

 

* The Gathering – public programme | Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 October *
By revisiting and sharing old work we shed new light on the times we live in and the changes that are needed. TICKETS

We invite you to participate in a rich and full programme of performance and debate. Each day we will focus on a current issue from our own practice, which we will share with you in an open and honest way, so that we can learn from it together. You get the opportunity to participate and jointly reflect on the experience gained. Through shared experience, critical reflection, concrete action and the necessary serenity, can we take the necessary (thinking) steps together?
You will participate in one of the conversations – Time Loop Revisited, the Agonistic Conversation or Thinking Together Revisited – and you can stay for a debate in which we talk about the relationship between inspiration and appropriation (Saturday) and the relationship between free space and safe space (Sunday).

Saturday 22 October | Inspiration or appropriation? TICKETS
A public programme around the fine line between inspiration and appropriation.

Time Loop Revisited or Agonistic Conversation (choose on the day itself)| 10am – 2pm  | lunch included
Debate | 2am-5pm

Sunday 23 October | Safe or brave? TICKETS
A public programme on the question of whether or not we should adapt works of art to the (spirit of) the times.

Thinking Together Revisited | 10am-2pm | lunch included
Debate | 2pm-5pm

Practical information public programe
You can choose to join the full program on both days. Or opt for a single day or a separate conversation.

c: First deep field, James Webb Space Telescope, galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, 2022 © NASA ESA CSA STScI

The Gathering is an annual international gathering for people involved and interested in conversation and dialogical art and the work of Building Conversation in particular.

The Gathering is a programme with international invitees, with English as the working language.

Thu 20 October 2022
10:00
Venue tbc

The Gathering – working groups consist of four days during which we will work with international guests and artists and hopefully you too! During the first two days, we will shed new light on existing work in two different in-depth working groups. This is followed by a two-day public program with performance and debate. Read more.

 

Fri 21 October 2022
10:00
Venue tbc

The Gathering – working groups consist of four days during which we will work with international guests and artists and hopefully you too! During the first two days, we will shed new light on existing work in two different in-depth working groups. This is followed by a two-day public program with performance and debate. Read more.

 

Sat 22 October 2022
10:00
Venue tbc

The Gathering – public programme is a rich and full programme of performance and debate:

Saturday 22 October | Inspiration or appropriation?
Time Loop Revisited | 10am – 2pm  | lunch included
Agonistic Conversation | 10am – 2pm | lunch included
Debate | 2am-5pm

Sunday 23 October | Safe or brave?
Thinking Together Revisited – 10am-2pm | lunch included
Debate | 2pm-5pm

You can choose to join the full program on both days. Or opt for a single day or a separate conversation. More information.

Sun 23 October 2022
10:00
Venue tbc

The Gathering – public programme is a rich and full programme of performance and debate:

Saturday 22 October | Inspiration or appropriation?
Time Loop Revisited | 10am – 2pm  | lunch included
Agonistic Conversation | 10am – 2pm | lunch included
Debate | 2am-5pm

Sunday 23 October | Safe or brave?
Thinking Together Revisited – 10am-2pm | lunch included
Debate | 2pm-5pm

You can choose to join the full program on both days. Or opt for a single day or a separate conversation. More information.


‘That’s what the problem is, I think, there’s a kind of paucity of discourse around the way that white artists in particular, in their encounters with Indigenous cultures, exert or act from a place of privilege and I think that that’s a really big and really complicated conversation that needs to be happening. [..] In other words: she [Abramović] is a white person who has the privilege of skimming our culture for the parts that are useful or interesting to her, whilst failing completely to engage with the muck and pain of dispossession and coloniality and her own complicit position as its beneficiary.’

Sarah Jane Norman, a cross-disciplinary artist and writer of mixed British and Indigenous Australian heritage in an interview about the Marina Abramović controversy.