Other People, common ground

Edition #2 - The Noise Edition
Leuven / Cas-Co - 7 december - 20 december 2020

Edition #2 took place in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, in December 2020 in Leuven, Belgium. For the first week, we were more or less quarantined together in a fancy but not very well designed apartment. At the same time, we were able to work in Cas-Co, the art centre in Leuven that invited us for the residency.

We got invited to Cas-Co after we had written an application to their Open Call for residency opportunities. Cas-Co is an art center and offers workspaces for artists as well as residencies for guest artists. It is situated in a former industrial area of Leuven, that in recent  years has been transforming into a new area, both spacing workplaces for artists, as well as apartments and commercial areas. The apartment where we stayed was also situated in this area, in a building housing temporary and other office spaces, as well as a restaurant and event area.

Due to restrictions like the need to quarantine and other measures taken in connection to Covid-19, we were unable to invite people to come work with us or have a public showing, which was the initial idea for sharing the work in Leuven. The regulations also implied that Menzo had to go back to The Netherlands before the start of the second week to be there another week in quarantine, as not to spend Christmas in quarantine. Mirte stayed behind in Leuven and continued working from Cas-Co.


Because of this, the second week of the residency became a week during which we worked together, but geographically distanced. We decide to take the challenge to work in different ways than by relying on the digital platforms so often used nowadays. We basically worked with simultaneous timing, starting and finishing workdays at the same time, as well as agreeing on specific moments in time for doing specific activities together. We mainly communicated through/in a google drive document and did not use zoom or other live digital communication means. At the end of the residency we called by phone.


In an attempt to share the work with other people, we decided for this residency to write letters to the audiences. Beside the planned simultaneous activities, we used our time to write letters, 21 in total, to the people who reacted on an invitation, send out by Cas-Co.


Personal context

Menzo realized that December was a challenging time for him to think in a creative way. He always feels like there is too much time left at the end of the year. More time than he has energy for. He felt it was nice to spend this time together but very hard to be productive or focussed. At the same time, he felt that this project should not be about productivity. Or at least not in the way that we usually use the word in performative arts. Not to produce a new thing. He got in trouble trying to be unproductive in a relevant way. He probably needed a break. 


Mirte came to Leuven after an intensive period of work that was spread over the whole autumn season. For her it felt like a restpoint, to be working abroad on a project that does challenge the idea of productivity.

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