And if… Just if… (why the alternative Y did not take place)

Workshop at Fondazione Pistoletto
9. - 11. 10. 2017
Workshop Hosts: Patricio Gil Flood, Petra Köhle & Federica Martini 

The workshop And if… Just if… (why the alternative Y did not take place) is based on the Art Work(ers) research project developed in the framework of the ECAV - Ecole Cantonale d’Art du Valais by Robert Ireland, Petra Köhle and Federica Martini together with invited guests. 
The research investigates modes of productivity in the arts and industrial contexts, in resonance with the sites and working situations engaged by Unidee in Biella. The other site is the city of Ivrea, around the Olivetti typing machine industry. Editorial (Edizioni di Comunità) and educational processes were at the centre of the production mode. Books such as La condition ouvrière by Simone Weil were translated, not only for the sake of patronage or pedagogical emancipation of the workers, but rather to support the reflection on labour and production in social and cultural terms. Already in the 1950s workers were offered a variety of night classes including History of the Workers’ Movement, conducted by the antifascist and anarchist Ugo Fedeli. In this respect, the educational system functioned both as a mediator of historic facts and as an agent to imagine a future. 

Considering the Unidee and Olivetti scenarios as an archive of narratives, questions and voices, the methodological starting point of the workshop at Fondazione Pistoletto is to shift from the question of « why x took place » to the question of « why the alternative Y did not ». It implies imagination and the consideration of what we don’t know as being constitutive for experimenting history in order to create alternative narrations for the future. 
The workshop will shared research materials, offer screenings, discussions and writing sessions in order to create a platform to experiment together in different formats and to create speculative findings and narrations during the workshop.


The programme is based on a series of workshop sessions which include screenings, readings, discussions, presentations and writing.
October 9th: as an introduction to the site we will visit the Cittadellarte, including the Pistoletto, Arte Povera collections and temporary exhibitions curated by Elena Rosina. Cecilia Guida, Head of the Unidee Programs, will introduce the Unidee project.
Followed by a workshop session in the afternoon: A left production site
What happens when a production site is left? Where are the bodies? What is preserved? What is not? Where does the knowledge goes to? How does it look like? What are the relations to art production? 

October 10th: workshop session: Educational and production
What role does the offer of education play within a system of production? What is the productivity of education? What aesthetical impact does it have? What role can art play?
October 11th: Workshop session. Art and work
What do we consider to be work and how does it differ from what we do not consider to be work? What is the role of a product? What does dematerialization mean in this context? What role does money play, or a salary? What is the relation to time? Does work need a specific place, space, site? 


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