Humans of the Institution available now

The publication following the conference ‘Humans of the Institution’, organised by Anne Szefer-Karlssen and Vivian Ziherl is now available for download here.

In November 2017, over 150 curators, artists, thinkers and students gathered in Amsterdam for a symposium and working session that asked ‘who makes the present’ by foregrounding the freelancer in the arts and within globalising dynamics more broadly. Having been a freelancer for over thirty years, a topic close to my heart!

The gathering was grounded in the figure of the freelance curator and the multi-vocal setting produced a series of statements with concrete proposals and in-depth analyses, resulting in the book Towards an Infrastructure of Humans. For videos of the various talks and workshops, see the project website.The ‘journal’ compiles the written record of Humans of the Institution and is co-published by the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, and the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen.

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Humans of the Institution

CaptureHaving been a freelancer for the last thirty odd years – starting out as such by choice, rather than influenced by more recent notion associated with ‘the gig economy’ – I would have loved to have attended and participated in the Humans of the Institution events, which took place in Amsterdam in November 2017. Organised by Anne Szefer Karlsen (Head of Curatorial Practice, Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design at the University of Bergen) and Vivian Ziherl (founder of Frontier Imaginaries), it promised to be a thought-provoking couple of days, with talks and workshops. Luckily there will be an e-publication, co-produced with L’Internationale Online. And even better, I am proofing it.

The workshops in Amsterdam tackled subjects ranging from  Archives & Individuals, to Biennials and Guest Work, Boycott and Mobilisation, Censorship & Strategy, Critical Regionalism, Fees & Conditions, while affiliated events engaged with Art Education & Romance of the Studio, Curating & Ethics, Institutional Negotiations and Practices & Infrastructure. It will be a pleasure to read the statements, advice, suggestions, manifestos and other pieces of writing that have been generated collectively, or distilled from discussions, or written by individuals.

Once the publication is online, I will post the link.

Dublett # 4 – Elsebeth Jørgensen

Completing the series of Dublett publications, initiated by series editor Anne Szefer Karlsen, published by Hordaland Art Centre in Bergen, Norway, and edited by project editor Eva Rem Hansen, the last one has just arrived in the mail, on and with artist Elsebeth Jørgensen.

Like all the others in the Dublett series the book contains two parts: one with critical reflections on the artist’s practice by a range of very diverse writers, the other more of an artist’s book, held together in a shared cover. It’s been fascinating to work on copy-editing and proofing the texts for all of them, as – although the approach was the same in the way they look and are presented – each artist has taken ownership of the artist’s book aspect in a different way, which has for me underlined the notion of the artist’s book being a multi-faceted thing. This one was particularly interesting, as Elsebeth Jørgensen engages with the notion of archives – how they function and how they have been put together, as well as how they can be ‘read’. While the commissioned texts deal with historical and ontological aspects of the archive, the artist’s book, which is titled Ways of Losing Oneself in an Image, embodies Elsebeth’s exploration as a work in its own right.


Anne proudly posted an image of all four issues in the series, their colours working very well together too. The book were designed by Anti Grandpeople.