THE GRAND
DOMESTIC REVOLUTION

THE GRAND
DOMESTIC REVOLUTION

USER'S MANUAL

‘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.

LIBRARY

LIBRARY

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.

APARTMENT 18B

APARTMENT 18B

'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.

TOWN MEETINGS

TOWN MEETINGS

IN AFFINITY

IN AFFINITY

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.

RADIO 18B



Real estate agents ignore the adage “a house is not a home” and persistently advertise “lovely homes” as though a home could be found ready-made. For many, the domestic landscape is formed not by family activities or by the trees or buildings  visible from the window but by familiar cartoon shows or MTV or the Internet or the “local” shopping mall, which has taken the place of mysterious small-town vacant lots or creeks or woods to explore. After only a few centuries, if that, domesticity has become as specialized and alienated as the rest of modern life, fragmented along cultural and class lines.

Lippard, L. (1997) The Lure of the Local: Sense of Place in a Multicentered Society. The New. Press, New York, USA, pp.29


The excerpt above translates what somehow has becoming more and more central to the project I am currently developing in the framework of the User’s Manual: The Grand Domestic Revolution. The several representations generated by media and mass culture as the ‘perfect model’ for living constitute, in my perspective, a direct influence on this ‘fragmentation’ of domesticity to which Lucy Lippard refers to. In order to consume a certain dream or a fetishized lifestyle, it feels necessary to postpone or even to exclude a collective consciousness that is kept away by an individualistic position that projects itself in the domestic realm.

Being in a living space that is affected by these representations, it seems striking to me to try and  understand the effect of these idealisations by  making these ‘ideal models’ and their power strategies visable. More than a reflection on these issues I would like to draw a proposal; a slight turn in the way these aspects are considered and even empowered.

This proposal will adopt the form of a radio program which will be part of an online platform for archiving different sound files, podcasts and eventually some text. The website is still in development as are some of the sound pieces but for the present moment and as the result of a short staying at the Casco house on the 23 rd and 24th of November I leave here a preview of what I collected during these days: Dream House

6 December 2010, 18.05 — posted by Patricia

NOTES

The well-experienced housekeeper of Utrecht: jam maker and house doctoress

Manual for house keeping and domestic pharmacy


The new, well-experienced housekeeper of Utrecht: jam (confiture) maker and house doctores shares her knowledge of all kinds of preparations of healthy dishes, desserts, sauces, jellies and confitures and at the same time the simplest and best medicines (De nieuwe welervarene Utrechtsche keuken-meid, confituurmaakster en huis-doctores: mededeelende eene menigte bereidingen van velerlei gezonde en smakelijke spijsen, nagerechte, saussen, geleijen, confituuren en tegelijk van de eenvoudigste en beste geneesmiddelen). This is the full title of a cookbook and a collection of domestic ‘remedies’ published in Utrecht in the 1769. What immediately came to my attention was that aside from the fact that this must be a very extensive manual for housekeeping, is the combination of cooking and home pharmacy. Domestic knowledge of medicines had a value that lost its ground with the dawn of the industrial age, before urban epidemics (as in the cholera epidemics of 19th century) gave rise to public health organisations and institutionalisation of power and knowledge. I’ve ordered a facsimile for the GDR library not out of sentimental nostalgia of pre-industrial housekeeping, but to understand a bit more the everyday knowledge that this user’s manual advocated about making dishes, jams and medical prescriptions.

28 June 2010, 20.18 — posted by Wietske

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