Commoning Collective Care
Curating on the Move – International curatorial and artistic workshop
June 14 – June 17, 2023

"Commoning Collective Care", 2023. Design: Oficina de Disseny, TBA21.
C3A Córdoba


Note: the program is subject to change

“Where the commons give refuge; where refuge gives the commons.” —Fred Moten
The idea of the commons is an old, even archaic political concept that today serves an important reparative and redistributive function. The commons are practiced by many different people, from rural and Indigenous communities, anarchists, ecologists, to knowledge and artistic collectives. Although the commons have come to mean many things, they are most simply defined by a common vision of care and sharing access to material and immaterial resources across differences, based on collective decision-making, solidarity, and responsibility for what is being held and cared for together. Rather than offering a stable ground for political action, they are constantly being reimagined, reclaimed, and renegotiated by practitioners.
Commoning Collective Care is a four-day intense seminar/workshop convened to collectively explore the different implications, practices, and artistic explorations of the ethics of commoning in a fragile and fractured world. Relying on dialogue, conversation, and embodied engagement, it proposes a multi-sensorial pedagogy of learning to live collectively with the exhausting environmental and social threats and the ongoing violence in times of planetary transformations. Focusing on issues such as Building Caring Infrastructures; Gendered Landscapes and Queered Nature; the rights of nature in the form of legal personhood, an example of which was announced in October 2022, when Spain’s Mar Menor, a coastal saltwater lagoon in Murcia, was recognized as such; the larger analytics of the so-called Hydrocommons; and the safeguarding of ancestral plant knowledge, the participatory workshops and presentations foreground how the commons are a site of struggle, a political position that strengthens the capacities of collective doing and transformative thinking against hyper-individualism, extractive neoliberalism, and the destruction of more-than-human life.
Commoning Collective Care is organized in conversation with the exhibition Remedios: Where new land might grow at C3A Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía, Córdoba, presenting works from the TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection. In this setting, the gathering will engage with the practices of healing, reparation, and restitution as means to counter the forces of displacement, ruination, and deprivation built into the logic of growth, progress, and accumulation. Ancestral technologies, sounds, and rituals of collective care, seen by Western modernism as wild, mythical, and primitive, provide communities with a refuge from the extractive contingencies of contemporary existence. They are possible conduits for converting violently unequal historical pasts and experiences to a curative and reparative space of reconstitution and attunement. And they offer a bi-cognitive lens through which to reshape ways of knowing and being that strive to create alternatives and multiply perspectives on living in a more-than-human world.

Commoning Collective Care is curated by Ronald Kolb, Dorothee Richter, and Daniela Zyman.

Full program here. Registration for morning workshops and conferences via open call. Find the registration form here. Application period: May 3 — 24, 2023, applications received will be processed on an ongoing basis.

All afternoon and evening events are free and open to the public.
* Unless specified otherwise, all events will take place at C3A Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía, Córdoba. 

Alongside the exhibition
Remedios: Where new land might grow
Works from the TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection
Curated by Daniela Zyman
At C3A Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía, Córdoba
April 14, 2023 — March 31, 2024 

Wednesday, June 14, 2023
* Unless specified otherwise, all events will take place at C3A Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía, Córdoba.

7 pm
Dorothee Richter and Ronald Kolb
An introduction to the themes and structure of the four-days conference/workshop and the main questions around care and the commons, in relation to the artistic practices presented in Remedios. This four-day program is an occasion to reflect together on projects and tools for addressing and acting upon ecological devastation, and for thinking about the idea of commons and commoning within curating, exhibition making, and institutional practices. How can we make sure that the commons do not just stay as an image, but as a living entity and ongoing process?

7:30 pm
Ursula Biemann, Forest Mind: Cognitive Territories and Sacred Plants
Public talk
The talk will be held in English with facilitation for Spanish speakers

In this artist talk, Ursula Biemann discusses her work collaborating with Inga Indigenous leaders and educators, co-creating the project Devenir Universidad—a platform for biocultural education in the Putumayo region of Colombia. Devenir Universidad engages with the living cognitive territory of the Amazonian rainforest and the ways in which Indigenous communities can protect and transmit knowledge generated over millennia. The talk will be followed by a screening of Biemann’s recent film, Forest Mind (2021). 

8 pm
Ursula Biemann, Forest Mind, 2021
Film screening and discussion, 30’
Set in the Amazonian forests of Colombia, Forest Mind unites diverse strands of knowledge on the metaphysics of plants, on plant-human relationships, and on the coding of life with its form of storing information. Drawing on scientific as well as shamanic perspectives of engaging with the world, the video takes an ecocentric worldview in search for the intelligence of nature. With modern science adopting a predominantly mechanistic take on the living world, and Indigenous peoples experiencing an animate natural territory imbued with a spiritual dimension, for a long time these distinct cosmologies were considered vastly incompatible. Forest Mind locates itself at the convergence of scientific and colonial histories in view of decolonizing Indigenous knowledge and bringing it into a common reading with modern science, as for instance plant neurobiology quantum biology, the anthropology of science, ethnobotany, and philosophies engaging with the life of plants.
Thursday, June 15, 2023
9 pm
Azahara Ubera Biedma, Dance for Plants
Workshop and Performance presentation at the The Royal Botanical Garden of Córdoba
(Bring comfortable clothing for movement exercises)
Open to public participation
Dance for Plants is both a methodology and a collective movement research dedicated to the creation, articulation, and propagation of a situated practice. It is an invitation to give a gift to a plant and aspires to facilitate a guided exploration to slowly dive into research, exploring questions such as: What can be the different ways of addressing a dance? How to create intimacy with plants? What kind of attunement would allow the plants to lure us into dancing for them? When dancing for plants, we collaborate with artists, activists, institutions, scholars, witches, gardeners, dead people, pets, bodies of water, and many other humans and nonhumans in order to proliferate experiences, scores, texts, frameworks, movements, affects, thoughts, stories, images, intimacies, ethics, gatherings, and myriad wiggling materials as companions to conspire accountable ways of relating and belonging.
Friday, June 16, 2023
8 pm
Hydrocommons: Re-imaging and empowering watery worlds
Led by Mekhala Dave
With: Teresa Vicente Giménez, Professor of Philosophy of Law; Rosela Del Bosque, Postgraduate Student MAS Curating.
Centro de Recepción de Visitantes, Córdoba
In English 
The water crisis is the legacy of our environmental violence and extractivist tendencies. Pollution, choking, and droughts—the watery worlds that we are historically and culturally entangled with have been showing tidal signs of deep concern. Inspired by the case of Spain’s Mar Menor, the biggest saltwater lagoon in the EU, that recently attained a legal personhood, how do we seek to feel a water crisis at a planetary level that inscribes and connects us all? A growing global movement around the legal concepts of the “rights of nature” and “ecocide” for water is expanding, but is also limited in conceptual interpretations and strategies of implementation. Where do we begin to reflect on such modes of legal inquiry? How do we design alternative practices and tools to inspire care from situated knowledge and practices, Indigenous perspectives and sustainability narratives? How do we take into account these lingering questions, the flow of language and visualization with the rhizome of critical thinking to act as a united and collective front? From enacting our agency and as an embodied inquiry from the weave of our collective thought, dialogue, and action, we will experience hints of empowering our watery worlds from the flows of care and fluid connections.

9:30 pm
Parallel program
Tarek Atoui, Susie Ibarra, Nancy Mounir, and Ziúr, Al Qabali
Public performance adjacent to Torre de la Calahorra, near Roman Bridge
Al Qabali, literally meaning “the primitive” or “tribal,” is a new research and performance project by Tarek Atoui. Over the course of three years, Atoui is collecting and experimenting with sounds and musical forms most closely associated with Tarab—a trance-inducing Arabic musical tradition—drawing on a collection of musical recordings from tribes and villages from across the Atlas to the Persian Gulf that follow the path of the Tuareg. The ancient rural tribal music traditions of Qabali are raw and earthy, and based on choral improvisation and complex cross-rhythmic patterns while yielding distinctive microtonal melodies. In his exploration of this material, Atoui overlays recordings of souks and
stores in Ouarzazate, Essaouira, and Marrakesh, weddings in Bahrain, and music salons and diwan majlis in Kuwait, Sharjah, and Oman with contemporary electronic amplification and improvisation or analogue material generated by his self-developed computer software and large collection of instruments. He works together with musicians and artisans to revive the layered context of craft production and economy, ranging from instrument building to pottery, leather work, and weaving, making imaginative use of the scarce materials found in the arid landscapes of the Atlas. He explores tribal music at the root of urban musical forms such as Andalusi, gitano music, and flamenco, deeply concerned with un-bordering the one-way route through contemporary Euro-African border spaces.
As part of his research, Atoui will host a week-long research retreat in Córdoba with percussionist Susie Ibarra (New York) and musicians Nancy Mounir (Cairo) and Ziúr (Berlin) to create new compositions departing from the Al Qabali compilation. The participants will host a series of sessions with musicians from Andalusia and meet researchers from various disciplines in search of Al Qabali
As part of his research, Atoui will host a week-long research retreat in Córdoba with percussionist Susie Ibarra (Philippines and New York), musicians Nancy Mounir (Cairo) and Ziúr (Berlin) to create new compositions departing from the Al Qabali compilation.
Saturday, June 17, 2023
7:00 pm
Tarek Atoui, Al Qabali
Workshop at the Molino de Martos, Córdoba
In this workshop-demonstration, Tarek Atoui introduces his long-term research project Al Qabali. Since 2022, Atoui has been collecting and experimenting with sounds and musical forms most closely associated with Tarab—a trance-inducing Arabic musical tradition—drawing on a collection of musical recordings from tribes and villages from across the Atlas to the Persian Gulf that follow the path of the Tuareg. Atoui’s interest in these traditions grew with his research project Re-visiting Tarab on Arabic music of the Renaissance and Classical periods. At that time, he worked closely with the collections of the AMAR Foundation in Lebanon, which holds the world’s largest collection of recordings of Arabic music from the early twentieth century. Through AMAR, Atoui observed the importance of rural traditions and their influence on religious, urban, and classical repertoires and how they were preserved while most coastal and urban practices evolved, dissolved, or disappeared with the political, technological, and social changes that swept across the Arab world since the 1940s. Atoui will contextualize and present Al Qabali for the first time in public, weaving sounds with narratives and demonstrations with research. 

9 pm
Sonia Fernández Pan, Moving the World of Words with Gestures
Talk at the Molino de Martos, Córdoba 
 The talk will be held in Spanish

There are ways of being together that happen mainly through our bodies, by moving between gestures, feelings, and borrowed ideas. Perhaps they are not forms, but events. However, their transience does not make them less important. They also suggest directions for a common life, among them that of relating beyond language and coming into contact with the uneasiness of difference.
Driven by intimacy and the desire to think with others, Sonia Fernandez Pan’s research on dancing cultures—as a study and as an embodied knowledge—is part of a multi-year project that entails writing, encounters, conversations, and dance in the anonymity of the dance floor, which led her to think with the many dancefloor communities that gather around the sharing, repetition, invention, and propagation of gestures, rhythms, and sensitivities.
Ronald Kolb, Dorothee Richter and Daniela Zyman
- Registration for of morning workshops and conferences via an open call. Find the registration form here. Application period: May 3–24, 2023, applications received will be processed on an ongoing basis

- All afternoon and evening events are free and open to the public

Tarek Atoui is a French-Lebanese artist and electroacoustic composer working within the realm of sound performance and composition. He engineers complex and inventive instruments as well as arranges and curates interventions, concerts, performances, and workshops. His work often revolves around large-scale, collaborative performances that develop from extensive research into music history and instrumentation, while exploring new methods of production. Using custom-built electronic instruments and computers, Atoui references current social and political realities, revealing music and new technologies as powerful aspects of expression and identity. Education and social connection are integral aspects of Atoui’s practice.
Ursula Biemann is an artist, author, and video essayist. Her artistic practice is strongly research-oriented and involves fieldwork in remote locations from Greenland to Amazonia, where she investigates climate change and the ecologies of oil, ice, forests, and water. In her multi-layered videos, the artist interweaves vast cinematic landscapes with documentary footage, science fiction poetry, and academic findings to narrate a changing planetary reality. Biemann’s pluralistic practice spans a range of media including experimental video, interview, text, performance, photography, cartography, props, and materials, which converge in formalized spatial installations. Her work also adopts the form of publications, lectures, and curatorial as well as collaborative research projects. 

Mekhala Dave is a lawyer and art academic based in Vienna. She is the ocean law and policy analyst/legal researcher at TBA21–Academy and a doctoral researcher in contemporary art history and theory at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. In her past and current work in legal practice, as well as in her PhD research, she advocates for a social turn in artistic practices and explores encounters located across knowledge spheres and communities in the Global South at the intersection of activism and newly shaping ocean policy. From her lived experiences across borders, she draws inspiration and spiritual guidance from water to the questions of historicity and the search for emerging “new” relations of identity and belonging.
Rosela del Bosque is a curator and researcher from Mexicali, Mexico, currently based in Zurich. Her practice has focused mainly on the specific context of Baja California, Mexico, and works with art education, curatorial practice and research-led methodologies. On a larger scope, her ongoing project and curatorial research with Archivo Familiar del Río Colorado focuses on overcoming the flat and instrumental notions of the Colorado River as a provider of ecosystem services and of water as a resource to delve into the experiences of the tangible, embodied research tactics and non-extractivist relations with water and land. 
Sonia Fernández Pan is a writer, (in)dependent curator, and podcast host. Conversation and entropy are part of her research methodology, thanks to the ongoing exchange of gestures and ideas with other people. She understands dancing as an experience of radical listening not only to music but also to the environments in which it happens. Co-curator of You Got To Get In To Get Out, a long-running project from and into techno with La Casa Encendida (Madrid), she is also the host of several podcast series for Promise no Promises! at/with the Institute Art Gender Nature, HGK Basel FHNW. She recently published Edit with Caniche Editorial, a book that draws on her personal experience on the dancefloor to produce a remix of texts mirroring each other. Her perception of art and dance culture keeps shifting, looking for experiences of contact between the two scenes.
Teresa Vicente Giménez is professor of the philosophy of law and deputy director of the Center for Cooperation and Development Studies (CECODE) at the University of Murcia. She is also director of the Chair of Human Rights and Rights of Nature of the same university. Her teaching and research profile focuses on theory of justice and human rights. In this area, she has researched the new paradigm of ecological justice and the rights of nature and has participated as a speaker in international and national congresses, conferences, and seminars as well as international meetings. She is the author of numerous publications addressing ecological justice, the rights of children, social rights, and the rights of nature, among many other subjects. Giménez has been the leader of the Iniciativa Legislativa Popular (ILP) or popular legislative initiative in Murcia that seeks to give legal personality to the Mar Menor lagoon and basin.

Susie Ibarra is a Filipinx composer, percussionist, and sound artist. She is the founder of Susie Ibarra Studio and Sound, Health & Habitat, a cultural studio and journal that focuses on sharing and supporting listening health practices, global soundwalks, acoustic ecology focused on climate and eco-friendly and sustainable global music practices. She created Drum Labs: Rhythm in Nature, a course and e-book through her studio that demonstrates her six part analysis of rhythms in nature. Many of Ibarra’s projects are based in cultural and environmental preservation: she has worked to support Indigenous and traditional music cultures; her sound research advocates for the stewardship of glaciers and freshwaters; and she collaborates with The Joudour Sahara Music Program in Morocco on initiatives that preserve sound-based heritage with sustainable music practices and support the participation of women and girls in traditional music communities.
Ronald Kolb is a researcher, lecturer, curator, designer, and filmmaker based between Stuttgart and Zurich. Co-head of the postgraduate program in curating at ZHdK and co-editor-in-chief of the journal, he is also a PhD candidate in the practice-based doctoral program in curating at Zurich University of the Arts and the University of Reading. His PhD research deals with curatorial practices in global/situated contexts in light of governmentality, its entanglements in representational power, and self-organized modes of participatory practices in the arts.
Nancy Mounir is a versatile multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and composer. Mounir is a key member of Egypt’s alternative music scene. She contributes original music to theatre productions, films, and international art installations. Mounir plays a range of instruments—including violin, piano, bass, Theremin, and the traditional Egyptian bamboo flute called the kawala—and in the process she has explored both the harmonic principles of the Western canon and the microtonal
foundations of Arabic maqam (musical modes). Lately she has stepped further into the limelight with her solo debut album (3 June 2022, Simsara Records), Nozhet El Nofous — a transcendent exploration of musical freedom through the lens of century-old archival recordings. She was born in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and now lives in Egypt’s capital, Cairo.
Dorothee Richter is professor in contemporary curating at the University of Reading, and head of the postgraduate program in curating, CAS/MAS Curating, at the Zurich University of the Arts, She is director of the practice-based doctoral program in curating, PhD in Practice in Curating, University of Reading. Richter has worked extensively as a curator: she was initiator of Curating Degree Zero Archive, curator of Künstlerhaus Bremen, where she curated different symposia on feminist issues in contemporary arts, and an archive on feminist practices, Materialien/Materials; recently she directed, together with Ronald Kolb, a film on Fluxus: Flux Us Now! Fluxus Explored with a Camera.  She is executive editor of and she is also the initiator and head of the OnCurating Project Space in Zürich. Together with Ronald Kolb she also launched the platform Small Projects for Coming Communities.

Azahara Ubera Biedma is an artist, dancer, and researcher based in Brussels. Their practice is situated at the intersection of dance, choreography, experimental pedagogy, artistic creation, and how to translate philosophical ideas around feminism and queer culture into somatic practices. They teach these pedagogies at the postmaster program in art in social political context at Sint Lucas in Antwerp. Through performances, installations, workshops, and social situations they create spaces for humans and nonhumans, for being together, intimate encounters to connect with otherness through movement, language games, and sound.
Azahara also develops their work and practices along with several collectives and organizations and thanks to all the learnings with Somatecx, research group initiated by philosopher Paul B. Preciado, after his advance program on queer and gender studies at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid.
Ziúr is an experimental producer/musician and a fixture in Berlin’s rich musical topography. It seems as though she produces her releases in the way someone scoring a television series does, gathering and arranging their selections for each episode…isolating and apprehending definitive scenes and memorializing their ethos in song. Soundtracks, like her release Antifate, guide the listener through radically different emotional states, yet somehow still offer an idea of what underpins a show’s (or in this case an album’s) particular hues. Ziúr produces music within a scope that is expansive, rich, and diverse in texture. The sounds are simultaneously machinic and deeply anthropomorphic, toying with mechanical isolation and the chaotic spectrum of human emotion. Unlike a soundtrack or score, there is no film to which one can turn to narrativize the music, there is only evocative sounds reaching from each song toward the cybernetic sublime.
Daniela Zyman is artistic director of TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary. She joined TBA21 in 2003 and has been instrumental in co-shaping its exhibitions and commissions program. Between 1995 and 2001 Zyman was chief curator of the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art in Vienna, which included the founding and programming of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles. From 2000 to 2003 she worked as the artistic director of the Künstlerhaus, Vienna, and as director of A9 Forum Transeuropa. Zyman is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Art and Industrial Design in Linz, and regularly writes essays for art publications. Her many years of research into forms of artistic “counter-research” led to a doctoral thesis in 2020. Since 2022 she has been curating on behalf of TBA21 a series of exhibitions at C3A Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía, including the exhibitions Abundant Futures and Remedios: Where new land might grow, and co-curating of the performance assembly The Journeying Stream together with Sofia Lemos.
How to get to Córdoba

From abroad

Plane+train: best options are to fly to either Madrid (Aeropuerto Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas), Sevilla (Aeropuerto Internacional de Sevilla-San Pablo) or Malaga (Aeropuerto de Malaga-Costa del Sol). All three cities are connected by high speed trains with Cordoba: 1 hour and 50 minutes from Madrid, 50 minutes from Sevilla, 1 hour from Malaga.

Transfers: for transfers from/to the airport/train station, we suggest getting a taxi (in Spain they have fixed rates to/from airports).
Weather Conditions
Córdoba has extreme weather conditions during the summer season, with temperatures above 40 degrees and an almost desert-like climate. During the day, we strongly advise you to walk in the shade (and whenever possible, try to avoid the sun between 12 and 3 pm), to always carry some water with you, and to wear light-coloured, loose clothing. Wearing a hat, cap, or any other sort of head covering is always a good idea while in Córdoba.
In case of emergency call 061.