‘The Grand Domestic Revolution—User’s Manual’ (GDR) investigates the domestic space and its (changing) use through a variety of methods and disciplines, traversing the fields of art, design, architecture, urban planning, activism and theory. A number of artists and other practitioners contribute to this endeavour. Residents from 2009-2011 include Sepake Angiama, Paul Elliman, and Doris Denekamp who utilized neighbourhood and online research to create prototypes and interventions around the theme of (Green) Cooperativsm. Wietske Maas and Travis Meinolf experimented with Home Production; while 'interor' infrastuctural interventions for the furniture, library and hallways were created by ifau & Jesko Fezer, Mirjam Thomann and Graziela Kunsch. Current themes and residents from February–October 2011 include Kyohei Sakaguchi and Kateřina Šedá who will each investigate forms of usership in architectures; home and housing rights with Maria Pask and Nazima Kadir; the question of invisible and domestic labour taken up by Werker Magazine; Agency will continue its deliberations on copyright issues of domestic THINGS (gardens and textiles); and keywords in relations to food service work will be workshopped with Xu Tan. Parallel to this, the Read-in activity continues. Initiated by artist Annette Krauss and theatre maker, Read-in is an open reading group inhabiting a different neighbour’s home for every session.



The GDR library constitutes the backbone of our ongoing ‘living research’ and thus grows over time. The library offers points of engagement with the project and consists of different research materials such as books, articles, images and DVDs (artist’s video, films) that are available for viewing when visiting the apartment. The first installment was done by the GDR team and was later adapted by Sao Paulo-based artist Graziela Kunsch who suggested that the GDR team create thematic selections.



'The Grand Domestic Revolution-User's Manual' is a long-term project developed as Casco’s contribution to 'Utrecht Manifest: Biennial for Social Design'. The project deals with the evolutionary and collaborative process of “living” research in the contemporary domestic and private sphere – particularly in relation to the spatial imagining (or the built environment). It aims at re-articulating while exercising the notions of the social, the public and, eventually, the commons.




Since August 2010, the GDR team have undertaken research in order to connect with the local neighbourhood on questions relating to peoples’ social conditions and material environments. Questionnaires, interviews, and conversations are the methods used to explore the themes and problems addressed in GDR, such as self-organised governance, co-operative living, and spatial organisation in and from the domestic sphere.

'Assembly (The Grand Domestic Revolution)'

By Agency
Saturday 25 June 2011 11.00-13.00h
Huis a/d Werf dressing room
Boorstraat 107, Utrecht map

‘Thing 001062 (children’s costumes)’, Rubie’s Costume

Whilst cultural values in the Netherlands are being measured by free market ideology under the current national government, GDR considers its consequences in relation to our upcoming TOWN MEETING, where we invite you to participate in a field of argumentation over the intellectual property of a popular domestic item, children’s costumes.


For TOWN MEETING JUNE Agency speculates around the question:

"How can textiles be included within art practices?"

11:00 Agency will call forth 'Thing 001062 (children's costumes)' in order to bear witness. 'Thing 001062 (children's costumes)' concerns a conflict between Whimsicality and Rubie's Costume around a series of children's costumes. During a 1993 U.S. court case, Judge Dearie hesitated if the costumes were functional clothing exempt of copyright protection or "soft sculptures" within the scope of copyright protection.Agency invites a diverse group of concerned guests to "respond" on the witnessing of 'Thing 001062 (children's costumes)'.

13:00 Closing refreshments at Casco

This is the third event in a series called ‘Assembly (The Grand Domestic Revolution)’, after “How can inhabiting be included within art practices?”, “How can cooking be included within art practices?”. This third Assembly will be followed by “How can gardening be included within art practices?” at the final GDR exhibition in Fall 2011.

Agency is the generic name of a Brussels-based agency established in 1992 by Kobe Matthys. Agency constitutes a growing list of things that resist the split between culture and nature. These things are mostly derived from juridical processes, lawsuits, controversies and affairs around intellectual property (copyrights, patents, trade marks, etc. ) Intellectual property relies on the division between culture and nature. Each thing on Agency’s list invokes a moment of hesitation in terms of this division. Agency calls things forth from its list via varying assemblies inside exhibitions, performances, publications, etc. Each assembly speculates on a different question on the consequences of intellectual property for an ecology of art practices, paying attention to other types of agencies.

Addendum Additional questions posed by GDR:

  • Do textiles such as 'Thing 001062 (children's costumes)' carry special status regarding its connections between the domestic sphere, performance and play?
  • What kind of agency can be imagined for clothing beyond the separation between nature and culture, private and public, domestic and productive?

Through responding to cases brought forward by Agency, where the benefits and protection afforded by artistic legitimation rely on rational juridicial processes, how might we reflect critically on today’s funding cuts in ways that could also expand conceptions of agency in artistic practice?

25 JUNE IN UTRECHT Schedule Overview

11.00-13.00 GDR TOWN MEETING JUNE with Agency
14.00-16.00 ‘COHAB’ second assembly with Can Altay, Jeremiah Day
16.00-18.00 Book launch at Expodium with Marcus Miessen, Nikos Doulos and Joao Evangelista

The two events following GDR are organised as part of Day of Architecture 2011 under the theme of “self made architecture”. More information on Casco's website here.

The events are all free and welcome for anyone to join.

To receive more information about this and future TOWN MEETINGs, please email us at


Floating Permaculture

Floating Permaculture is a polemical utopian statement that proposes creating a system in the North Sea which avoids any exploitation of natural resources. As an answer to overpopulation, it proposes a closesd system of combined energy and food production. on cybernetics:

Cybernetics deals with “control and communication in animal and machine” as Norbert Wiener describes it. It is “the science of effective management and defensible metaphor” (S.Beer and G. Pask). The science works by setting errors in the frame of evaluation and time. The term cybernetics comes from the Greek word “Kubernetes”, which means: steersman.

The research proposal “Floating Permaculture” deals with the fact, that errors where made already and to embody the cybernetic process into a closed feedback loop to create autonomous “green” machines. It deals with the processing of the language of food and energy. One early cybernetic device was the “Gubernator” designed by James Watt. This “Gubernator” is replaced nowadays in the machine by its pre-programmed computer chip, which inhabits regulations. This research tries to adapt this method for a theoretical working system.

Floating Permaculture only focuses on the 2nd order of cybernetics. The first order of cybernetics deals with the observation of the system, while the 2nd order observes the system, were the observer is part of the system. If we create this autonomous system, we have to be aware, that human being is always part of this new feedback loop. It is only possible to find a solution if mankind understands, that we are in the system.

3 February 2011, 15.21 — posted by Doris