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.

WE WERE HERE

Back balcony view sketch, 2010


During his 2010 residency, in conjunction with his Casco exhibition exploring the remaining wildlife of an abandoned Detroit Zoo, Future Park: Teach Me to Disappear, London-based artist and researcher Paul Elliman proposed the design and installation of ‘standard’ public information panels, to map the plant matter seen from the front and balcony views respectively. Collaborating with Utrecht-based artist and botanist Hans van Lunteren, ecologist and gardener Rob van de Steen and Amsterdam-based graphic designer Na Kim, Paul’s gesture activates the proximal environment into the scope of the apartment whilst simultaneously extending the balcony garden into its surrounding communities by means of our cognitive and imaginative faculties. The ‘public’ form of the information panel is also a support structure that enables strangers to more actively occupy and inhabit the apartment, inviting new actors into the local network of knowledge of common visible spaces of plant matter.

The installation of the panels, newly titled, We Were Here, was inaugurated at GDR's 2011 January Town Meeting to coincide with The Expanding Balcony Project: MEAL MACHINE.

Front and back balcony views, 2011


NOTES

Cup of tea no. #4 Floris Brekelmans, city ecologist

Perhaps cute cartoon rabbits are not so innocent after all.

Unlikely supply of 'morphine' on Nijntje square.


Well, we almost had a cup of tea if it weren’t for the sudden idea to cycle through inner city public spaces of Utrecht past some of the most wicked plant substances unbeknownst to the untrained passer-by.

Floris Brekelmans is urban ecologist and knows the vegetative and animal life of the city like the back of his hand. His research has focused on, but not limited to bats, grasshoppers, dragonflies, and the terrestrial ecology of the city and beyond. Floris lives in the neighbourhood. He stopped by the Grand Domestic Revolution and almost as soon as he had we got on our bicycles with Floris leading the way to show some of the special plant species that do well in Utrecht.

Nijntje Pleintje, down the street from GDR


We sniffed plants that smelled intensely of honey (yellow honey clover) to plants that smell on first whiff like coca-cola to the less appreciable smell of old goat-socks (sorry, I’ve forgotten their names already); to the opium poppies growing abundantly on Nijntje plein (the Dick Bruna Rabbit) and a prolific belladonna plant growing in an alleyway. Floris tells many things about the intelligence and spontaneous life of plants, the way plants cleverly manage to spread themselves beyond the borders of a cultivated garden or dropped from above in a fertile package of bird poo.

Somniferum sap (latex)


Floris will share some of his expertise on a medicinal plant tour of the Bemuurde weerd neighbourhood next Saturday 3 July. More will be posted about times and details of tour very soon.

Atropa belladonna flower. The highly toxic plant said to have been mixed with opium by witches to induce (visions of) flight


26 June 2010, 09.43 — posted by Wietske

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