The tool is a construction instrument, a mechanism, a means, thus the name alludes to the act of both building and re-shaping, in which doing and knowing shape one another.
The Studio for Arousing Tools was created from the desire and necessity to open a (nonmaterial) space in which to share differences, experiences, opinions and desires, a space in which to make the link between cultural production and the political and social dimension.
Acknowledging the Bauhaus and its transdisciplinary educational approach, which is based on the exchange between visual and applied arts, The Studio for Arousing Tools is an immaterial and migratorial space for production that remains in constant construction. It is structured around intimate, public assemblies that materialise on varying scales in places permanently or temporarily inhabited by its contributors. It responds to the precarious life-work balance of artists and cultural actors and a perceived need for alternative temporalities of art production and experience in an oversaturated information culture, where attention itself is increasingly commodified and under pressure. To this end, The Studio for Arousing Tools outlines a model for a slowing down, so as to enable alternative time frames and relational economies. Connected by friendships and bridging the fields of observation, inquiry and making, the actors in the studio share a common approach to making work and living their lives, digging into spaces created by popular culture and contemporary society to reveal new meanings.
Initially developed for and during a curatorial residency at M HKA Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, the participants and contributors to The Studio for Arousing Tools were drawn together through existing friendships with Sam Watson–mostly stemming from collaborations over the previous 7 years working as a curator and designer–and those new relationships which naturally formed during the course of the initial programme and residency in Antwerp during Summer and Autumn 2017.
The Studio for Arousing Tools represents a desire of Watson’s to formulate, with others, a growing set of questions and interests developed during an extended period of nomadic working and a career built upon an autodidactic, intuitive approach to collaborating with artists and publics on the production of new work and curatorial programmes.
The Studio for Arousing Tools began to form on the occasion of ‘Drop City, Antwerp’, a temporary public programme and residency produced by Drop City (Sam Watson and Eleanor Wright) at the invitation of M HKA Museum of Contemporary Art and AIR Antwerpen as part of their collaborative programme LODGERS: welcoming imaginative artistic initiatives from the “Eurocore” – the combined region of Benelux and the Rheinland – who focus specifically on producing and commissioning.
Jani Ruscica: Felt the Moonlight of My FeetThe Studio for Arousing Tools will release its first publication in collaboration with Apparent Extent, Cologne. Gatefold 12" LP with booklet featuring a new text written by Angus Carlyle. The LP Publication will be released in Helsinki in December 2018
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