Out of Control

portada-flyer-baja-717573TSCI is participating in KRAX Meeting 2009
power to transform, power to create
3rd meeting of urban creativity in response to the city’s transformation
Initiated by City Mine(d) Barcelona
:: 20 – 23 May 2009 ::

The KRAX Meeting is an international meeting of creative initiatives. The Krax Meeting visualizes and connects different independent initiatives who develop new forms of political, cultural and economic organisation and participation in the city. During the 4 days of the Jornadas, groups from 7 different cities meet in Barcelona to share creative experiences of political thought and action.

Invited Guests:
Iconoclasistas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Not an Alternative, New York, U.S.A.
AulAbierta, Granada, Spain
Nosotros Free Social Space, Athens, Greece
Toronto School of Creativity and Inquiry, Toronto, Canada
CSA Atreu!, A Coruña, Galicia
The Commoner, London – Bologna

The KRAX Meeting 2009 program includes workshops, presentations by guest initiatives, guided tours, meetings with local initiatives and a Documentation Centre (KRAX Cargo) with the material compiled through the research process. The Meeting is guided by several concepts of social processes such as autonomy, power-to, self-institution, commons

For an extended description and the Meeting program, see KRAX – City Mine(d).

Inventing Institutions

A TSCI workshop with Ned Rossiter
within Adrian Blackwell’s Model for a Public Space [Speaker]


4:00 – 7:00 (BBQ 7:00- 8:00) 

Mon. 4 August 2008

The Art Gallery of Mississauga
(300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga Civic Centre, Ground Floor.
For directions from Toronto, see map)

*BBQ to follow
**A free shuttle bus will depart at 3:00 from the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West) and return at 8:00.

A Potential Toronto” is the title of a TSCI series of public conversations that took place over several weeks in the Fall of 2007. This project engaged questions of organizing strategies, minor spaces, and alternative economies by spotlighting living local experiments: youth-run cultural spaces, worker co-operatives, accessible housing policy proposals, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell campaigns self-organized with non-status residents… Participants shared experiences, discussed strategies, introduced political concepts, and presented counter-proposals. The series confirmed the existence of a wealth of metropolitan social potential–activities that operate within, against, and beyond the protocols of wage labour, heteronormativity, representative politics, commodified sociality… But A Potential Toronto equally confirmed persistent challenges. Three of these challenges–translation, organization, sustainability–are points of departure for “Inventing Institutions.”

This collaborative workshop with Ned Rossiter will approach the question of the work of political transformation via a discussion of institutional innovation in the context of our contemporary network milieu. It proposes that the current crisis of neoliberal capital, of the traditional institutions of the left, and of widespread social precarity make the question of new institutions urgent. For Rossiter, social-technical network cultures are constitutive sites of new institutional forms, or what he terms “organized networks.” One vibrant area of experimentation on this terrain is autonomous education. At this workshop Ned will propose some theoretical concepts around the theme of inventing institutions, and will speak to his involvement in developing autonomous education institutions specifically. The workshop will unfold as a collective conversation responding to, and further developing, issues raised in Ned’s working paper, “Autonomous Education, New Institutions, and the Experimental Economy of Network Cultures.” The paper can be downloaded from here.

Ned Rossiter is currently an independent researcher based in Beijing and an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney. He is author of Organized Networks: Media Theory, Creative Labour, New Institutions (2006).

Inventing Institutions will take place within Adrian Blackwell‘s installation Model for a Public Space [Speaker], a non-hierarchical circular seating structure built to facilitate conversation between large numbers of people sitting in close proximity to one another. On the outside it slopes upwards along a spiral ramp until it reaches a height of two meters and from there it slopes down until it touches the ground again at the center. Through this simple diagram it is possible to sit looking inward towards one another or outward to the surrounding city. The installation is part of Models for Public Spaces curated by Suzanne Carte-Blanchenot at the Art Gallery of Mississauga.

A Potential Toronto

A Potential Toronto (APT) was an event series and exhibition spotlighting alternative economies, minor spaces, and organizing strategies. It was a preliminary step in a longer-term counter-cartography project which aims to render currents of radical energy visible, audible, and tactile.

APT’s full project description can be read here.

For APT’s launch event, go here.

For APT’s October 2007 events and exhibition, go here.

For APT’s November 2007 events and exhibition, go here.

For APT’s reading group on the commons, go here.

A Potential Toronto │November Event Schedule

Toronto Free Gallery
660 Queen Street East
(w. of Broadview)

Thursday, Nov. 1, 7:30pm
Organizing Strategies

Actualizing potential requires practicing the art of organization. How do we do what needs to get done? What strategies for mobilization and community involvement work? What blocks the flows of these strategies and diminishes the potential to get things done? Anarchist Free University, Multistory Complex, and Planning Action talk about how they organize and why they do it the way they do it.

Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30pm
Queer Publics

What creative potentials for redefining intersubjectivity emerge through the formation of queer publics, and counter-publics? How does the production of minor spaces and practices change the life of the city? And when these spaces are subsumed by dominant practices and politics, how can queer publics re-politicize themselves? Local curators, artists and educators Paul Couillard, Deirdre Logue, John Paul Ricco and Jason St-Laurent talk about the erotic, aesthetic, ethical, and political potential of queer publics.

Thursday, Nov. 15
A Conversation About Worker Co-operatives
, 7:30pm
A Potential
Toronto Exhibition and Event Series Closing Party, 9:30pm
Music, a website, a vibrator, a bicycle and coffee: these are just a few essentials that can be bought in Toronto at a worker co-op—a worker-owned and democratically controlled organization. How are worker co-ops different from traditional workplaces? To what extent does this alternative business model escape, subvert, or resist capitalist conventions of competition, hierarchy, and growth? Join co-op activist and academic J.J. McMurtry and members of Blocks Recording Club, Come as You Are, The Big Carrot, and Planet Bean in a conversation about the possibilities and challenges of the worker co-op as an alternative to conventional business models and workplaces. A closing party will follow!

Thursday, Nov. 29, 7:30pm
Tools for Transversality w/ Gary Genosko
Room 103, Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design [Building], U of T

230 College Street
Democratizing space, cracking constraints, and co-operating differently involves producing situations, tools and modes of operation. The APT event series and exhibition brought different people together to begin to make visible, audible and tactile the forces at work in creating A Potential Toronto. But what connects them? How can these heterogeneous practices, fields, and organisations be held together without either homogenising them or randomly stringing them together? In this talk, Gary Genosko revisits the concept of transversality developed by Félix Guattari. Transversality insists on the “trans” (across, or dynamic movement of crossing). A transversal is a line that cuts across other lines or fields to create new fields. Guattari developed the term transversal to introduce open collective practices that work across the hierarchies of the psychiatric institution, creatively producing new forms of collective subjectivity. Genosko will map the development of the term from Guattari’s clinical work to its subsequent deployments as a force of resistance in other aspects of society.

IN THE GALLERY – October 27 – November 17

24 Hour Gallery (window):
‘Common Sense Revolution’ – Scott Sorli

Lower Level:
‘Toronto’s Urban Unconscious’ – Adrian Blackwell, Tina Chung, Andrea Gaus, Davide Gianforcaro, Kim Ligers, Andrea Macecek, Graeme Stewart, and Geoffrey Thun. Projects from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design.

Upper Level:
A Potential Toronto info-shop and library.

A Potential Toronto │October Event Schedule

Toronto Free Gallery
660 Queen Street East (w. of Broadview)

Thurs., Oct., 11, 7:30pm
Housing Rights, Safe Spaces, Creative Actions
Exposing the connections between poverty, violence and homelessness in women’s lives, Shiri Pasternak talks with Jennifer Plyler (Women Against Poverty Collective) about their campaigns and direct actions to create safe, controlled housing for women at risk in Toronto. WAPC believe that in order for housing to be sustainable, it must be safe, and in order for housing to be safe, it must be controlled by women for women. WAPC will screen their film “Women’s Housing Takeover,” which documents the June 3rd 2007 takeover of a long-abandoned downtown house by WAPC members and allies.

Thurs., Oct., 18, 7:30pm
Youth Generated Autonomous Spaces

Catch da Flava Youth Magazine, E.Y.E. Video, Transmission Zine, and Handy Trans are just a few of the creative projects, programs and services created by and for youth at Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre and Trans_Fusion Crew (Supporting Our Youth). These youth-driven centres are autonomous spaces for racialized and marginalized youth to explore their identities, voice their experiences and create their own narratives of self. Coordinators and participants of these programs will join Sue Ruddick (University of Toronto) to talk about the possibilities and challenges youth encounter in acts of self-representation. Catch da Flava will launch the September/October Election’s Issue of their Youth Magazine.

Tues. Oct. 23, 7:30pm
Migrants, Borders, Citizenship

How are politicized groups of non-status migrants transforming established norms of citizenship? How are regularization campaigns addressing human rights and migrant safety? What networks of affinity are emerging between self-organising non-status migrants? How are municipal legalization campaigns like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell contributing to a new security for Toronto’s non-status residents? Peter Nyers (McMaster University, Citizenship Studies Media Lab), Cynthia Wright (York University), Patricia Díaz Barrero (Colombian Forced Migration Project), and members of No One Is Illegal (Toronto) open a collective conversation about how citizenship is being rethought.

Mon. Oct. 29, 7:00pm
Abandonment Issues

Join a group of Toronto activists in a panel discussion about mapping the wasted and abandoned buildings, lots, and spaces in the city. Their maps and research support a campaign for a ‘Use It or Lose It’ bylaw that would push for abandoned buildings and underutilized public spaces to be expropriated by the City and redeveloped as badly needed affordable housing and social centres. For more information see Abandonment Issues.

IN THE GALLERY – October 27 – November 10, 12-5pm Wednesday to Saturday

24 Hour Gallery (window):
‘Common Sense Revolution’ – Scott Sorli

Lower Level:
‘Toronto’s Urban Unconscious’ – Adrian Blackwell, Tina Chung, Andrea Gaus, – Davide Gianforcaro, Kim Ligers, Andrea Macecek, Graeme Stewart, and Geoffrey Thun. Projects from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design.

Upper Level:
A Potential
Toronto info-shop and library.

A Potential Toronto [CFC]

A Potential Toronto (working title)
Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry series


14 September – 27 October, 2007
Toronto Free Gallery and various sites throughout the city.

Another city is possible. But what is to be done? Better, what is being done? How are individuals and groups organizing themselves to do it?

A Potential Toronto is the working title of a 6-week event series. We invite you to join us in conceiving, refining, organizing, and animating the series. It is a preliminary step in what we hope will be a more long-term counter-cartography initiative. Researching and mapping some of the city’s alternative economies and minor spaces is the substance of this project: wild spaces, free services, co-operatives, community currencies, off-grid housing, informal systems of mutual aid… Where are they? How do they work? Do they connect? How might we map them as a local area network?

In order to map sites and tactics of difference, dissent, deviance, and refusal it is necessary to invent concepts and create ways of working. This requires cooperation of minds and bodies engaged in the self-organization of a collective event. The process of mapping, or of cartography, we are proposing to mobilize does not just mean surveying a territory from above, or representing a process that has unfolded in the past, but instead, effectively fleshing out the contours of a living social dynamic, of an event which bears the future, of potential.

Each of the six weeks will traverse a series of shared concerns: work, housing, ecology, health, sexuality, creativity, mobility, space, history… Every Friday evening we will gather at Toronto Free Gallery for a collaboratively generated event. Event formats could range from walking tours to collective dinners to informal conversations. Gatherings will involve participants in and theorists of alternative economies and minor spaces.

At each event we invite participants and guests to leave behind a trace—an image, a tip, a guide, directions, a piece of writing, a web link, a recommended resource… These will be added in the gallery to a collaborative emergent map of another Toronto.

Every Monday night throughout the series there will be concurrent reading groups addressing the commons, migration, counter-cartography, dynamic networks, and the art of organization.

A Potential Toronto is motivated by our desire to learn more about and raise the profile of various alternative social, economic, and subjective experiments underway locally. Our practical hope is to increase the use of these alternatives so that in our everyday lives more of us might reproduce what we value rather than what we oppose. From this, a counter-network may become visible, and, we hope, lay some groundwork for next steps towards a counter-cartography of Toronto.