Space for Networks and Solidarity

Dinner, screening, working groups

1  – 31 October 2020
Haus der Statistik, Karl-Marx-Allee 1, 10178 Berlin

In October, anorak was invited to take part in Raum für Netzwerke und Solidarität (Space for networks and solidarity), a project initiated by Sarie Nijboer and Vincent Schier at Haus der Statistik in Berlin.

The abandoned former seat of the State Central Administration of Statistics (SZS) of the GDR, a massive building block at Alexanderplatz, has been taken over and activated by various cultural communities since 2015 who self-organised as the Initiative Haus der Statistik, an alliance of social and cultural institutions and associations, artist collectives, architects, foundations and associations.

This setting inspired Nijboer and Schier to set up the space for networks and solidarity on the ground floor of Haus der Statistik and invite various collectives to occupy the space and reflect on collective making and forms of organisation:

Raum für Netzwerke und Solidarität arises from our need for more solidarity, exchange and cooperation in the arts. Based on our experience in collective contexts and our interest in alternative formats of cooperation, we want to develop a space in which we invite networks to reflect on their organisational structures through meetings, workshops and discussions.

“We believe that such an explicit discourse of networks on a theoretical and practical level is an urgent discussion in the context of “art production” now that current global issues require finding alternative forms of working and being together. The space thus gives the opportunity to discuss and create new foundations in which the concept of usage, knowledge exchange and inclusivity is in the foreground, without having to pursue commercial goals.”

Anorak used the space for weekly gatherings of its members to reflect on the foundational structures and needs of the Kunstverein. The first meeting took the form of a dinner where ideas for the coming dates were discussed. In the following weeks, a working group was instigated to search for an anorak studio which was set up two months later in Berlin Wedding as a shared work space and meeting point. We screened the film Terror 2000 (1992) from Christoph Schlingensief’s infamous Germany trilogy, and started a reading group around cultural theorist and music journalist Mark Fisher’s book The Weird and the Eerie (2000).