Lopud Seminar – Black Swans: Producing the Improbable
October 6–8, 2011 | Lopud Island, Croatia

TBA21—A Laboratory for New Ideas: The New Project Space 
TBA21 took this opportunity to discuss the notion of the laboratory in relation to its own position as an institution which navigates between being a site of production, an art collection and a space for exhibiting contemporary artistic practices. How can the Laboratorium survive its institutionalization and how can experimentation be maintained within the logic of today's architectural exhibitionism? Addressing the context of architecture, design and academia in general, the discussion centered around questions of non-institutionalized forms of collaborations and formations of networks emerging within institutional settings – in particular academic environments – based on the overlapping of experimental research areas within various disciplines. Notions of scaling, contingency and speculation within architectural, computational and design practices were discussed in relation to models of collaboration between academia, practice and industry as well as between artistic practices and scientific research. Technology emerged as intrinsic to the development of ideas as well as a non-linear thinking (“imaginative leaps”) as being essential to remain experimental and vibrant as an institution.

Participants: Bruce Ferguson (moderator), Alisa Andrasek, Skylar Tibbits, Moritz Stipsicz, Tony Myatt

Commissioning Art—Producing the Improbable 
Having realized more than fifty commissions and co-commissions in the past eight years, TBA21 has gradually mutated from being an archive of contemporary art to becoming a production office. This new agency reflects fundamental changes in the art world—for instance, the current focus on biennial and art fair productions, the sustained geographic expansion of a type of modernism that calls for a rather unified system of dissemination and discourse, and the definition of artistic practice as a body of expression rather than the creation of individual works. Reaching out to protagonists—artists and curators—who have realized projects defying centrifugal forces and markets and sought out remote places of engagement and activity, the panel discussed and questioned the nature of such artistic production—between ethnography, archaeology, and exploration—its challenges and unpredictable nature, and the role of institutions in supporting and promoting such commissions. 

Participants: Daniela Zyman (moderator), Dan Cameron, Mario Garcia Torres, Marko Peljhan, Florian Reither (Gelitin)

Dardanella: A Living Archive 
TBA21’s research vessel Dardanella embodies a new form of "project space" responding to the needs of artistic practices based on research and investigation of natural and scientific phenomena as well as the cultural diversity of the American continent. The project, named TBA21 – A Living Archive: The Diversity Project, revives the discussion of the interrelationships of the arts and sciences in that both disciplines rely on investigative practices. Along the route which the TBA21 – A Living Archive travels, we will work together with local partners to select hubs where projects can be instigated in order to develop a network of parallel thinking and creativity. Apart from looking into the premises of the project and its implementation, the panel shared and discussed issues related to integrative practices across fields of knowledge, the challenges of overcoming metaphoric uses of scientific concepts and methods in the arts, and the understanding of science as a “crossover concept,” in that it always operates within society, the natural world, and the objects of its obsessive investigation.

Introduction: Stewart Richardson, Circumnavigating the Americas 
Participants: Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza (moderator), Tony Myatt, Jana Winderen, Fionn Meade, Stewart Richardson, Adam Bly

Slaven Tolj, Untitled (2003/2011)
Jana Winderen, The Unseen Realm (2011) - A live audio installation in two parts for Lopud
Tommi Grönlund, A Report (2011) - A brief review on the status of sorrow

Mediatic Production and Dissemination of the Living Archive 
The T-B A21 Living Archive is a critical mass of mediatic material and data that is accumulated intelligently during the Dardanella's journey. Along with the production of artworks and the research and symposia of the Diversity Project, it is an independent archive that is constantly growing with every day of the journey. It will be fed by all the fellows and passengers on board and will contain visuals, sound recordings, recordings of conversations, photos and videos, texts, empirical facts, and samples of all sorts that will be published on the Dardanella's data-(b)log-site. The panel discussed issues regarding the accumulation and processing of large amounts of data referring to participants’ own projects as well as the development of A Living Archive. The panel also addressed different research methodologies in relation to collecting data, whereby two opposing formats emerged, one being the comprehensive survey, the other one focusing on research being conducted through the construction of a specific initial argument. Notions of collaborative practices as well as copyright issues were subjects the panelists touched upon, as well as leading the discussion to questions of data visualization, emphasized through a presentation on the topic by Adam Bly, CEO of SEED Media Group and a specialist in this area. 

Introduction: Tony Myatt, Neuroscience, Ecology and Other Music Production Techniques 
Participants: Tony Myatt (moderator), Markus Reymann, Marko Peljhan, Adrian Lahoud, Petteri Nisunen

Performance and the Performative 
Performance as an artistic practice is localized between disciplines, media, and formats. It is realized and produced in theater, museums, opera settings, literary presentations, dance and music venues, and alternative sites of production. Each format redefines performance’s space of production, distribution, and reception and its economy in unique ways. Each space has its own “pièce de résistance.” The discussion initially addressed issues concerning collaborations between institutions working within different cultural fields in particular dance, theater and visual arts. Walid Raad’s project Scratching on Things I Could Disavow: A History of Art in the Arab World, a co-commission by TBA21 and Wiener Festwochen, re-emerged as a point of reference within the discussion, leading to subjects such as repetition, embodiment and institutional critique. The historicity of performance art and the notion of ‘life as performance’ were addressed as well as the problematic attempt to construct a homogenized notion of performance art through the institutionalization of performance practices within museological contexts and their incorporation within museum collections from medium-specific viewpoints. The question of authorship was addressed in relation to controversies surrounding re-enactments of performance works as well as in the context of the notion of authenticity in relation to the body, a figure of thought emerging strongly throughout the 20th century. 

Introduction: Fionn Meade, Question the Wall Itself 
Participants: Matthias von Hartz (moderator), Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Sandra Noeth, Markus Reymann, Fionn Meade, Tommi Grönlund

Gelitin, let's talk about something real, let's talk about love (2011) 
Carl Michael von Hausswolff with the assistance of Michael Esposito, A concert/presentation of utterly strange and nearly impossible occurances that would be called electronic voice phenomena in Borgvattnet (Sweden), 122 Calle Monterrey (Mexico City) and Lopud (Croatia), (2011)


October 6–8, 2011
Lopud Island, Croatia