I N F R A

I N F R A is a node of Vision Forum an international organization which initiates contemporary art events that transgress the boundaries between performance, exhibition, workshops and education. It grew from a series of events organised by Curatorial Mutiny in collaboration with KSM at Campus Norrköping, Linköpings Universitet in Sweden 2005-2007. Vision Forum took its present form in 2008, it does not have a physical location or a program, but responds to the needs of the group of artists and curators that are part of the network any given moment.
The project is initiated by Anna Gritz and Fatos Ustek, realised with Aura Satz, Sidsel M. Hansen, Ian Wittlesea, John Cussans, Karin Kihlberg & Reuben Henry through a series of monthly encounters that make use of the surplus produced by the current academic and educational landscape. Through sitting in existing courses at Universities, Colleges and other models of experience and knowledge generation we are looking to study the INFRA through a determined glance and extreme interdisciplinarity. The project lives quite comfortably in the folds of the academy nourished by the crumbs and leftovers of its efficiency driven mannerisms. During the course of the project we aim to treat our heads as vessels to be filled with an eclectic accumulation of matter to stir things up and to explore the effects that such a diet of interrelated activities can have on each of our individual practice.

Inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s observations on the infra-mince we are approaching the INFRA as something that cannot be captured through definition, but solely through examples, such as Duchamp’s memorably description of the infra-mince as the difference in weight between a clean and a worn shirt or the lint that accumulates in ourpockets. The lint or similarly the dirt underneath our fingers are the traces of our daily encounters and in many ways, a particularly Pyncheon way of recording the world.[1]

The project aims to alter our set of encounters through introducing prior unfamiliar subjects and activities to evaluate how, if at all, subjects foreign to our initial research interest can be informative nevertheless. INFRA sets out to allow apparently unrelated subjects to rub shoulders through the determined gaze and unwavering attention of the participants of the course. The course inquires how much one can gather about a foreign discipline from a one time sit in and what overarching patterns can be recognized between the various fields and methodologies encountered throughout the course.

INFRA tampers with historic experiments such as Dali’s paranoiac-critical method, surrealist chance techniques and is constantly threatened by a tendency towards narcissistic referentialmania, or the urge for obsessive reduction of the things in this world to one’s own existence and purpose. However, we will have each other to shield us from these professional hazards.
Next to the thematic inquiry INFRA is also concerned with the concept of the sit in as a critical method as such. A strategy stemming from the civil rights movement and other occurrences of civil disobedience that function as a stumbling stone, a disruption in the flow of a given scenario. As a strategy of claiming space and access to otherwise exclusive environments we see it as an adequate method for knowledge generation in times where the university, and other facilities for learning are becoming increasingly unattainable and highly isolated. Through sitting in, the project argues for accessibility in the educational sector. The methodology introduces an accessibility that generates an interdisciplinary exchange and that slows down the accelerated mode of academic production prevalent today. Further, it aims to allow for investigations on the margins of the beaten academic track and to promote an integral approach to research and browsing that opens wide the possibility of discovery and the unexpected aside from the professional development.
[1]  Did Pynchon not have his heroine Oedipa Mass discover a mattress in the The Crying of Lot 49, as a place full of the “secret salts held all those years by the insatiable stuffing of a mattress that could keep vestiges of every nightmare sweat, helpless overflowing bladder, viciously tearfully consummated wet dream, like the memory bank to a computer of the lost”.

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