Activism, Conceptual, Photography, Project Organizing
ArtSourceLab is a continual art project based in Berlin. Since the start in 2001 we have launched a number of activities, all concerned with using art and the attitude of the artist as a catalyst establishing sustainability in societal scenarios. Beside our 3 long term developing projects: The price winning project TeenKom (community building through youth, its spin-off project THE FLASH JOB CAMPAIGN is run from the Wooloo platform), 1001 Doors (for the prison sector) and Show Your Language (for traumatized refugees), our membership in BBE (www.b-b-e.de) and other networks has established ArtSourceLab as an expert partner of innovation in the civil society sector in Germany.ArtSourceLab is committed to the task of asking, what happens when we intervene into the core of societal decision-making; and then to model virtual scenarios, in which we can anticipate how interventions are likely to develop on a long term basis. While societal decision-making processes in a country like Germany are sadly separated between the theoretical domains of politicians and scientists and praxis-professions, each operating within their own tradition of attitudes and terminology, ArtSourceLab activities are evenly considering those areas. In a multitude of perspectives, theoretically, in terms of management, in daily praxis among target groups and in partnerships with experienced organizations, we re-search the languages and methodologies on site and conceive new procedures and formalities. Mostly such work takes a lot of learning, for us as catalysts as well as for all partakers.Sustainability is a term which is mostly used in connection with long term planning. The problem here is that societal agencies in the private as well as the public sector can rarely plan beyond the financial boundaries of 2 or max 5 years. Consequently, a lot of fiction is necessary, if one wants to plan for 10 or 30 years. With such long perspectives (which for nature are still a split second) even the most technical planning is a result of fictional thought or software programmes. The surprise in our work, the reason why we kept digging deeper into the core of societal decision-making and started to believe, that the most hard and secluded systems can be changed by artists is, that the deeper we went, the closer to actual power circles, the more we found, that trouble shooting has much more to do with the discussion and cooperation around common sense topics than with exclusive knowledge.The special role of the artist acting as a catalyst in society is constituted out of the circumstance, that the artist has no given place within the hierarchies of social organisation. He or she can meet all actors in social systems - from scientists or top managers to street workers or citizens - on eye level. For the artist, language - including the system terminology with which social systems are powered - is always a matter of diversity and play. The field of communication is always relative to the resources and interests of the partakers. Once the artist intervenes the realm of meanings and their linked functions, instability is disclosed and the actors of the system are inclined to act. The artist anticipates this and tried to be one step ahead, to prepare for the kind of structure, which finally not the artist, but all the conventional stakeholders in a social scenario want to feel good about.