Category Archives: process + art

action process + art process + design workshop

Out of Soil continues in India

The Out of Soil project started as a playful action in Berlin in April 2015. The project and its different parts have taken their cues from the ambiguous meaning of the words ‘out of soil’ as in ‘made out of soil’ or ‘running out of soil’.

We are happy to announce that the project Out of Soil will be happening in New Delhi, India end of this month. New to the project are Soil Speaks stickers which give wearers a chance to give soil a voice. We have been invited by Dr Vandana Shiva and Navdanya
to perform the Out of Soil action at the Bhoomi: Maati Ma – The Festival of Soil on October 1.

As a new extension to the Out of Soil project, we will run a 3-day Soil Games workshop with high-school students in New Delhi. Soil is much more than just a matter of economic and existential value, but the way we perceive and use it is deeply rooted in our cultures. The workshop brings up the culturally different concepts and personal stories connected to soil and transforms them into games.

Together with the students we will develop and play games that relate to the themes of soil and land use. We will introduce various game mechanics and talk about typical local games. Moreover, participants will learn about soil and land issues in the world, about the composition of soil as well as plants and life underground. Also traditional and cultural meanings of soil will be looked at: what role does soil play in myths and religious beliefs? We will discuss the economic and social meanings of land, land use, ownership and agriculture and their ramifications on the life of each of us. Based on these introductions, games will be developed and tested in small groups, and eventually presented at the Festival of Soil.

Out of Soil in India is supported by IFA, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen.


process + art

Out of Soil: How much land is in your food?


Out of Soil is a performative project by Myriel Milicevic and prozessagenten and brings to attention the correlation of land use, farmers’ rights and the question ‘How much land is in your food?’.

Our soil is under pressure. Growing consumption and demand for resources take a toll on the soil — urbanisation, intensive farming, erosion and land grabbing are only some of the manifold consequences. Soil as matter is as much affected as the lives of people who have farmed for generations. Out of Soil examines these different aspects in a playful action.
Out of Soil: made from soil / not having soil.

Out of Soil Stamps
Each visitor gets Soils Stamps, which are printed at the Soil Press Station with self-made soil paint. The Soil Stamps resemble food stamps, thus reminding us that food can only be produced in exchange for other resources. When a visitor consumes food or beverages, we stamp the Soil Stamps accordingly.

Out of Soil Map
The Out of Soil Map illustrates the issue of large-scale land acquisitions: the buying of large pieces of land in developing countries, by domestic and transnational companies and governments. These transactions have long-lasting consequences for the local and regional agriculture and ecosystems, for farmers and the provision of the local population. We will stamp the Out of Soil Map, depending on what the visitors consume.

Soil Profile
Upon entrance the visitors are questioned regarding their relation to soil. Thereupon each visitor gets a sticker that displays his or her personal Soil Profile. The stickers are to be worn on the clothing. They might serve as a starting point for conversations among the visitors.

The project was developed for the International Week of Justice 2015 at Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. The project takes place at Haus 2 on April 21 – 23 from 17:30 to the end of the talks. Program flyer

About the artist:
Myriel Milicevic explores the hidden connections between people and their natural, social, and technical environments. These explorations are mostly of a participatory and playful nature and stimulate thinking about possible alternative systems.

book process + art

Autopsy of an Island Currency published and available online


Autopsy of an Island Currency was launched last weekend at Camp Pixelache in Helsinki. The book documents and reflects on the Suomenlinna Money Lab project — an artistic research project that tried to create an experimental local currency for the small island of Suomenlinna near Helsinki.

You can download the free PDF of the book here.

The general aim of the Money Lab was to engage with the specifics of a local setting by working with local people and creating a project that would generate interesting research and be beneficial to local dynamics. It was an ambitious attempt to explore and affect a unique place and its social dynamics through participatory art and design practice. The project was initiated by Susanne Jaschko / prozessagenten and produced by Pixelache, a cultural organisation in Helsinki, who together invited artist Christian Nold to develop a project for Helsinki.

The book describes the project’s process in detail trough a combination of first-person narration and ‘artefacts’, a wide selection of documented materials in the form of emails, notes, sketches, announcements and reflections. The publication also analyses the project’s challenges, such as the internal social dynamics and power structures of the island, which the Suomenlinna Money Lab project rendered visible. In addition, commissioned essays by authors Jaromil, Chris Lee, Pekko Koskinen, Antti Jauhiainen and Suzana Milevska contextualise the project and discuss subjects such as the challenges of participatory art, the value and hybrid nature of participatory projects, and the potentials of alternative money systems. The book is aimed at practitioners who work at the intersection of art, research and social action. It should be particularly useful for people working on alternative money models or on participatory projects that request a high degree of people’s commitment.

process + architecture process + art

Almost a prozessagenten manifesto

When visiting Zurich, Switzerland last week, I met Adrian Notz, the director of Cabaret Voltaire.

Cabaret Voltaire was founded 1911 by Hugo Ball und Emmy Hennings, Hans Arp, Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco and became quickly the home of DADA. Today, the place hosts one of the few really nice little cafés in Zurich, a shop and most importantly, an exhibition and event space. Cabaret Voltaire produces a program that explores notions of contemporary DADA and I was impressed by the degree of well-ordered chaos and spontaneity that characterized the current show Al Dadaida: The Revolution to Smash Global Capitalism.

At the end of our meeting, Adrian gave me some gifts, items available at the shop, which I only took a closer look at when having returned to Berlin. Among them was a little book that I started reading immediately, since I found the title extremely promising –Merz World: Processing the complicated order. In it is an interview of Yona Friedman whose work I appreciate a lot and Hans-Ulrich Obrist. I was fascinated by Friedman’s perspective on Kurt Schwitters’ Merzbau–a work of art I was deeply impressed by already when I studied art history. Now that I am occupied with processes of art and design, this early fascination of mine makes total sense.

If permitted, I would just copy the whole interview and make it available completely. But you know how it is, and so I decided to make available a couple of quotes that i found most inspiring with regard to the work and conceptual basis of prozessagenten. In some instances it really comes close to a potential prozessagenten manifesto.

Yona Friedman:

What is most interesting for me in the Merzbau is what I would call a ‘Merz Principle.’ The Merz Principle means a random agglomeration of things that form a whole. I think this Merz Pinciple exists in everything. But first I have to clarify certain basic concepts:

Reality around us is not isolated facts, but rather processes. It is very important that is is not one part of the process that is interesting for us, but the process as a whole. The problem in particle physics is mathematical models. Mathematical models are absolutely perfect, except that they are unable to describe a process. They are conceived in order to get results. Now, in reality we are not really curious about the results except in engineering, for approximations, but we are interested in processes. A process can be described only and exclusively by its history, by a linear presentation. It means that we can have a different, less mathematical, and more precise presentation of the world around us by sequential description.(…)

The second term that I use differently to the term of ‘complexity’ is the term ‘complicated order.’ In complexity, extreme complexity, you have for example, a finite number of elements; where there is a direct relation between all of them, there will be only a finite complexity, a finite number of elements. In complicated order it is different. The complicated order is not a graph but a funny curve, which can go any way. Again: it is a one-dimensional relation, but for a finite number of elements I have infinite possible complicated orders. This is a very big difference. And what we meet is the complicated order.(…)

This complicated order is more far more general than we think. My dog is a very intelligent being. He lives in a world where he is not using mathematical formulas at all, but he completely understands the world and shows absolutely healthy reactions. What I want to say is that you cannot describe behavior by mathematical formulae, except as sequences.

The difficulty with the city, with architectural products, is that they are based on behavior. Without the behavior of the user they are not complete. The only thing that completes them is that they are used. A building that has no users is not a building. It is a ruin. This shows that in architectural cities the planners are supposed to do something to satisfy the complicated order of behavior. But this is impossible because (…) It is erratic. That means one step of somebody’s behavior does not give us the slightest information about what will be his next step. It can be anything.

Intelligence starts with improvisation an this is true in every field.(…) A good example is science: Newton and Einstein were improvisers. They had ideas born through improvisation. Only then was their work to find mathematical justification. So in this kind of work we improvise inside an erratic world and then, after that, we try to rationalize. And I think this is important as a principle because in classical architecture, in functionalist architecture, everywhere, it is first presented by the rational aspect. But it is in fact the rational aspect that should come afterwards.

First of all, it is an image–i don’t like the word ‘vision’–that creative people build. They build this image and they rationalize after. Very often the poverty of architecture is based on the fact hat we start with words, with theory, with the paper. We have to have the image in our head before putting it on paper.(…) In addition to this, again, the image is a continuous process. I am sure that Schwitters didn’t see in advance what he was going to do. It developed step by step. It was a sequence, and it is a pity that it couldn’t be recorded as a sequence. And I think, evidently, that the city is like this: it is a process, it is not a product. Architecture is this way. Science is also this way, and so on. And now another factor comes in: the process is emotional. It is not rational. We rationalize art. And it may be that I am not right.(…)There is no final state, it is a long, ongoing process. In this ongoing process everybody is participating, not only the architect.(…)

My personal experience is that the most one can do is trigger a process. The process goes its own way, but you have to start it.(…)

Also, I don’t talk about works of art, I talk about processes of art. We know that the public completes the work of art with its associations. I find it almost more reasonable that you make a work of art, and somebody adds something to it. From your point of view this might be an error of aesthetics. But it is not an error from the human point of view.


exhibition process + art symposium workshop

Der Garten als riskanter Raum für ineffiziente Forschung

1861 erbautes Palmenhaus des Botanischen Gartens Schöneberg

prozessagenten planen für April/Mai 2013 das Projekt ‘THE GARDEN LABORATORY. Temporäres Gartenlabor für ineffiziente Forschung’ in Kooperation mit der Berliner Kunst- und Kulturförderung District. District hat ihren Sitz in der ehemaligen Mälzerei in Tempelhof, einem Industriegelände am gefühlten Stadtrand Berlins. Das besondere Interesse Districts gilt künstlerischen Ideen, die sich mit dem urbanen Raum sowie Formen seiner Aneignung beschäftigen und das Soziale neuartig begreifen.

THE GARDEN LABORATORY bietet Künstlerinnen und Künstlern eine lebendige Plattform für aktuelle künstlerische Forschungsprojekte, die den Garten als einen riskanten, provokanten, imaginativen und politischen Raum in den Fokus nehmen. In dem temporären Gartenlabor begegnen sich Künstler/innen, Wissenschaftler/innen und Besucher/innen, tauschen sich aus und von lernen einander. Mit seinem Schwerpunkt auf „ineffizienter“ Forschung, also einer Forschung, die nicht den Anspruch wissenschaftlicher Effizienz oder unmittelbarer Nützlichkeit folgt, ergänzt THE GARDEN LABORATORY den aktuellen Diskurs zu Nachhaltigkeit, Urbanität und Krisenbewältigung um eine eigenständige Position.

 Das Gartenlabor macht künstlerische Forschungs- und Produktionsprozesse transparent sowie Prozesse in der Natur unmittelbar erlebbar und ermöglicht so die Bildung eines differenzierten Verständnisses von Natur. Partizipation und Wissensvermittlung über Seminare, DIY-Workshops und eine Blog sind wichtige Bestandteile des Projektes.

Mit dem Thema Garten hoffen wir nicht nur ein kunstinteressiertes Publikum anziehen zu können, sondern auch ein Publikum, das sonst eher nicht Ausstellung zeitgenössischer Kunst besucht. Der Standort von DISTRICT im Bezirk Tempelhof mit seinen vielen Gartenkolonien und dem Gemeinschaftsgarten auf dem Tempelhofer Feld ist hierfür ideal.


prozessagenten are planning the project ‘THE GARDEN LABORATORY’ in cooperation with District. The District Arts and Cultural Promotion is located on the grounds of a former malthouse in Berlin Schöneberg/ Tempelhof. The aim of the platform is to promote art and culture, in particular artists and artist collectives that reflect contemporary issues from a critical position. The focus of District’s interest rests on artistic ideas that deal with urban space and forms of its appropriation as well as a new understanding of social issues.

THE GARDEN LABORATORY offers artists a platform for their current artistic research projects that explore the garden as a risky, provoking, imaginative and political space. Artists will meet artists, scientists and visitors at the temporary garden lab and will exchange ideas, knowledge and perspectives. With its focus on ‘inefficient’ research, i.e. research that neither meets the standarts of scientific research nor the requirement of immediate usability, THE GARDEN LABORATORY complements the current discourse on sustainability, urbanity and crisis.

The garden lab elucidates artistic research and production processes and translates natural processes into sensual experiences. It promotes a differentiated understanding of nature and invites visitor participation in DIY workshops, seminars and a blog.