Summerschool 2023

Tuesday 26 September: Collective research tools

Location: Meyboom, Boulevard Pachécolaan 34, 1000 Brussels

As a platform for artistic research, Jubilee has developed a number of tools for sharing research: the Caveat website, the smartphone app for audiowalks Tracks, and a mapping tool for situated, collective practices (in development, yet to be titled).

Tracks and the mapping tool are collaborations with other artists and organisations. While some of the research presented through these tools are already authored by multiple people, Tracks and the mapping tool themselves are also governed by multiple organisations. Or at least, shared governance is desirable and should be discussed and eventually formalized.

In order to put this in practice while learning from each other, this last day of the Summer School starts with a participative performative walk around the area of Meyboom and Congress, using the narrative context of Jesse van Winden’s project A Spectre is Haunting the Building. Unfolding a short history of local and global capitalism, participants are invited to share their own knowledge, however short, about this epicentre of a number of layers of power. Below the monumental Congress Column, Belgium's federal administration; the National Bank, as well as the former money printing and coining facilities; the medieval Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral; the colonial Botanique; the Congress park garden designed by René Pechère; towards Nieuwstraat: school Gatti de Gamond; the concrete bodies of the North-South railway junction and car parking halls; and more recently, successive attempts at developing major real estate projects. The insights, conversations and experiences provoked by this area will form the basis of an afternoon workshop led by Justin Bennett. We attempt to create a collective sound walk for Tracks, the smartphone app for audiowalks that Jubilee initiated together with a number of other artist-run organisations. With Louise de Bethune, we will take breaks to discuss collaborative artistic practices from governance and legal points of view that can follow from these practices: how can such collective tools be governed? How can usership be understood as varying degrees of sharing? How can the (collective) intellectual property rights be conceived of?

Important questions: -how should the co-producing organisations contribute (financially, management & decision making, curatorial...) -how to assign & provide fees to the contributors of the presented research -if these tools can be considered as commons, how can the ownership relationships be formalized? (Tracks is formally 'owned' by Jubilee at the moment...I believe? How is this formally visible? Funding body Visit Brussels imposed this somehow...?) -...

Proposed programme:

Perhaps we can begin by making a short walk from Meyboom up to the Congresplein above, looking at the locations mentioned in Jesse's text.

-Workshop to create a collective audio walk for Tracks -Jesse has a basis: A Spectre is Haunting the Building, project on Meyboom in its Congress environment and its links to capitalism: Sound (20 min): Text and credits:

We can do this walk together, creating space for contributions that can be integrated.

-Collective authorship: 
The Congress area is a layered and rich geography that invites our collective knowlegde to contribute to the conversation:
federal adminstration; National Bank; real estate (Panorama project, maybe invite urban planners of the area or AWB?); middle ages (Meiboomstraat, Cathedral); Botanique - Bièrbais (same architect, and Vincent knows landscape designers of renewed Botanique plan, Carbonifère,, orchids); Congress park 
garden Pechère ; towards Nieuwstraat: school Gatti de Gamond (VH). Justin's existing audio walk Multiplicities passes by - how much has the area changed in a couple of years? Justin also has other recordings made in the area that go in dialogue with the motive of the ventilation hum from Jesse's audio piece.

Contributions can be prepared or spontaneous, and recorded on the spot. A basic edit and programming, positioning on the map (Tracks back end): inside part of the workshop, at Meyboom.

I will give an introduction to the tracks backend, we can place some sounds / texts at certain places and then go and test it.

I will also bring microphones so that if we get into some discussion outside or someone wants to contribute something we can quickly record.

Considering ways of connecting Tracks and Mapping tool. The collective walk as a case study: how could that work?

-Governance of a collectively used tool: Tracks, Tupaia mapping tool

Louise works on a thesis around legal underpinning of intangible art forms (collaborative, open ended). Can Tracks and Tupaia be case studies?
Reflection moment to question the governing strategies that could guide these platforms to become relational instruments.

How do we deal with the payment of artists whose work is on Tracks?

Up until now (presumably) the artists have been paid a fixed fee to compose the pieces. The use of the app is free. There is no record kept of use as far as I know, although its possible that Echoes does this (although they shouldn't!) - we might have to come up with a licence model. I know that there are different licences for music streaming and music downloads, - a download is considered a posession, a stream is not. I also remember that copyright issues were strangely different for audio walks (in 2001 or so) - they weren't considered to be a public presentation of music. Perhaps now with the ubiquity of headphone listening this has changed.

Anyway - it will be something to consider in the future- whether it is necessary to monetise an individual user's listening. Or whether the artists should permanently licences their work for inclusion in the platform.

How can we conceive an agreement between the Tracks partners to recast the ownership of the app (now exclusively Jubilee) - how can it be collectively owned/paid for? How can its management be arranged? 
Prepare a conversation with the Tracks partners by investigating the possiblities.

Invite TWIIID or Sari as external consultants to enter into dialogue  (<-> Fostering Agreement, among other projects)