residency / exhibition

research / writing

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Putting the cat on the table

To put “the cat on the table” is a Finnish expression that means broaching a somewhat difficult or awkward topic, something that might make one feel vulnerable or even excited (such as telling someone you are in love with them).

That’s what an artist’s table often looks like, a place of half-formed but thrilling ideas, of odds and ends, and mistakes that perhaps lead to new possibilities. For the final presentation together, AdMa 2020-21 participants brought artifacts related to their artistic research to literally put on the table as an invitation to guests and participants to engage in a lively and frank discussion on among other things the various “cats” that are at the heart of our practices.

The collective presentation included individual works from the AdMa 2020-21 participants, as well collaborative work made during a residency research week. All works were presented to the public on 8 October, 18:00-20:00 at Studio Start.

Research residency
4.10.21 – 10.10.21
Studio Start, Extra City, Antwerp

Public event
Studio Start, Antwerp

With contributions from
Amelie Jakubek, Chris Rotsaert & Elien Ronse, Hiroko Tsuchimoto, Jen Clarke, Kaisa Karvinen & Tommi Vasko, Martina Petrovic, Mona Hedayati, Nohad Elhajj, Rachel Bacon, Vicky De Visser

Putting the cat on the table, installation view, 2021

Going on & off the grid

In 2017, Hackers & Designers investigated forms of dependence and obedience to technologies embedded in our daily working and living environments.

In developing an elaborate hands-on program throughout the year, which peaks around July and August during the H&D Summer Academy (HDSA2017), we posed questions such as: How can we, as modern nomadic workers who often do not differentiate between work and private life, look critically at infrastructure, networks, and systems that we rely on? Are we, as steadily connected (net)workers, capable of disconnecting from existing grids? Can we rethink and build self-sustaining environments that shape our future practices in unexpected ways?

Hackers & Designers reflected on their activities in 2017 in this publication. In particular, the learnings and questions raised during the investigation of processes of going on and off the grid are raised. Taking this publication as an opportunity to reach out to the amazing beings who have collaborated with H&D in 2017, self-initiation and hands-on and self-directed approaches to research are encouraged. 

For this contribution Vicky De Visser wrote an article that gives insights into an experiment for which she lived one year ‘off the grid’ in a 10 meter long motorboat on the Amsterdam canals. 

Going On & Off the Grid, gif by Hachers & Designers - print publication

Vicky De Visser (1991) is a Belgian multidisciplinary artist, based between Amsterdam and Rome.

Her making practice is anchored in socio-political contexts, embraces ecological thinking and dives into object oriented ontology. She combines her visual and sonic research with a deep interest in the formation and decline of communitas during public presentations.

She actively engages in codependent research and making  methodologies. Preferred media are moving image, sound, photography and print.

Vicky is currently experimenting with critical fabulation to weave different epistemologies together in her ongoing artistic research on monoculture plantations.

She also operates under the moniker Paroah, as DJ and musician.