THE GRAND
DOMESTIC REVOLUTION

THE GRAND
DOMESTIC REVOLUTION

USER'S MANUAL

‘The Grand Domestic Revolution—User’s Manual’ (GDR) investigates the domestic space and its (changing) use through a variety of methods and disciplines, traversing the fields of art, design, architecture, urban planning, activism and theory. A number of artists and other practitioners contribute to this endeavour. Residents from 2009-2011 include Sepake Angiama, Paul Elliman, and Doris Denekamp who utilized neighbourhood and online research to create prototypes and interventions around the theme of (Green) Cooperativsm. Wietske Maas and Travis Meinolf experimented with Home Production; while 'interor' infrastuctural interventions for the furniture, library and hallways were created by ifau & Jesko Fezer, Mirjam Thomann and Graziela Kunsch. Current themes and residents from February–October 2011 include Kyohei Sakaguchi and Kateřina Šedá who will each investigate forms of usership in architectures; home and housing rights with Maria Pask and Nazima Kadir; the question of invisible and domestic labour taken up by Werker Magazine; Agency will continue its deliberations on copyright issues of domestic THINGS (gardens and textiles); and keywords in relations to food service work will be workshopped with Xu Tan. Parallel to this, the Read-in activity continues. Initiated by artist Annette Krauss and theatre maker, Read-in is an open reading group inhabiting a different neighbour’s home for every session.

LIBRARY

LIBRARY

The GDR library constitutes the backbone of our ongoing ‘living research’ and thus grows over time. The library offers points of engagement with the project and consists of different research materials such as books, articles, images and DVDs (artist’s video, films) that are available for viewing when visiting the apartment. The first installment was done by the GDR team and was later adapted by Sao Paulo-based artist Graziela Kunsch who suggested that the GDR team create thematic selections.

APARTMENT 18B

APARTMENT 18B

'The Grand Domestic Revolution-User's Manual' is a long-term project developed as Casco’s contribution to 'Utrecht Manifest: Biennial for Social Design'. The project deals with the evolutionary and collaborative process of “living” research in the contemporary domestic and private sphere – particularly in relation to the spatial imagining (or the built environment). It aims at re-articulating while exercising the notions of the social, the public and, eventually, the commons.

TOWN MEETINGS

TOWN MEETINGS

IN AFFINITY

IN AFFINITY

Since August 2010, the GDR team have undertaken research in order to connect with the local neighbourhood on questions relating to peoples’ social conditions and material environments. Questionnaires, interviews, and conversations are the methods used to explore the themes and problems addressed in GDR, such as self-organised governance, co-operative living, and spatial organisation in and from the domestic sphere.

'IF YOU LIVED HERE STILL'

Forum participants: Binna Choi, Graziela Kunsch, Andreas Muller, Martha Rosler, Lukasz Stanek, Wendelien van Oldenburg, Anton Vidokle
2010
open forum audio recording (edited), ca. 2hrs

‘If You Lived Here…’ was a seminal project that artist Martha Rosler organised and exhibited at the Dia Art Foundation in New York City between 1989 and 1991. The exhibition addressed the issues of housing and homelessness and their underlying systems and conditions such as gentrification, bureaucratic complicity and the increasing privatisation of the public sector. The project brought together diverse groups of concerned people beyond the usual art public: artists, advocacy groups, activists, homeless people, community groups, school children, architects, urban planners and journalists. In defiance of the territorial distinction between art versus non-art, a number of visual materials, ranging from painting, photography, videos, newspapers, advertisements and data graphs to architectural models, temporary offices and library spaces, filled the exhibition hall.

In terms of the working methods and the subject of the project, ‘If You Lived Here…’ is an inspiring reference for the GDR project that led us to create an occasion where we reviewed the exhibition through archival materials gathered in early 2010 at Casco. Next to this, we also held an open forum with contemporary and local stakeholders, including Martha Rosler. The audio recording of the forum is presented here in its edited form.


More information on the 2010 exhibition project can be found on Casco's website here.


Locations: Casco
Themes: Domestic Properties


All photos by Emilio Moreno unless stated otherwise


NOTES

The well-experienced housekeeper of Utrecht: jam maker and house doctoress

Manual for house keeping and domestic pharmacy


The new, well-experienced housekeeper of Utrecht: jam (confiture) maker and house doctores shares her knowledge of all kinds of preparations of healthy dishes, desserts, sauces, jellies and confitures and at the same time the simplest and best medicines (De nieuwe welervarene Utrechtsche keuken-meid, confituurmaakster en huis-doctores: mededeelende eene menigte bereidingen van velerlei gezonde en smakelijke spijsen, nagerechte, saussen, geleijen, confituuren en tegelijk van de eenvoudigste en beste geneesmiddelen). This is the full title of a cookbook and a collection of domestic ‘remedies’ published in Utrecht in the 1769. What immediately came to my attention was that aside from the fact that this must be a very extensive manual for housekeeping, is the combination of cooking and home pharmacy. Domestic knowledge of medicines had a value that lost its ground with the dawn of the industrial age, before urban epidemics (as in the cholera epidemics of 19th century) gave rise to public health organisations and institutionalisation of power and knowledge. I’ve ordered a facsimile for the GDR library not out of sentimental nostalgia of pre-industrial housekeeping, but to understand a bit more the everyday knowledge that this user’s manual advocated about making dishes, jams and medical prescriptions.

28 June 2010, 20.18 — posted by Wietske

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