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.

'MEAL MACHINE'

Doris Denekamp & Arend Groosman
2011
mechanised greenhouse

Responding to the problem of the work required to keep up a garden at one’s home, Rotterdam-based artist and Dutch Art Institute graduate Doris Denekamp and Rotterdam-based artist and architect Arend Groosman constructed the MEAL MACHINE, a hi-tech greenhouse designed to automate care, optimise plant growth and minimise waste.

installation view inside Volksbuurt Museum with other 18B objects


Situated between the bedroom and the balcony, the machine parasited off of the economy of the GDR apartment, and the growth stimulated by LED lights and watered by a drip emitting system. The multi-shelf device grows crops for different parts of a meal (roots, herbs, salads), coordinating new social rituals around its harvest cycles. The machine works in other ways too: as a satire of contemporary life torn between the rise of urban farming movements and increasing work pressures, whilst also triggering discussions around contemporary food production and the deterministic rhetoric of the ‘sustainability’ canon.

original Meal Machine installation in GDR apartment


Meal Machine harvest, 2011 from GDR archives


Locations: Volksbuurt Museum, 18B Pavilion
Themes: Domestic Work


All photos by Emilio Moreno unless stated otherwise


NOTES

Philanthropic Pharmacy

Pharmacopoea Ultrajectina. The first Utrecht pharmacist User's Manual printed in 1656


Pharmacopoea (spelling variation: pharmacopoiea) is a pharmaceutical manual listing medicinal drugs with their effects and directions for use. Today I looked at several very old copies of pharmacist manuals made and published in Utrecht in one of the Utrecht city archives holdings. The first Pharmacopoea ever to be made in Utrecht the Pharmacopoea Ultrajectina is a very small pocket sized booklet (entirely in Latin) published in 1656. Most of the ‘drug’ sources come directly from plants (roots, leaves, sap, flowers, bark and seed), animal parts, extracts or faeces (among some of the ingredients are crayfish eyes, honey, cow stomach bile, or jaws of a snook), minerals,  flours, and sea vegetables (sponges).

A much later version, ‘Pharmacopoea Pauperum’ (Armen Apotheek, Pharmacy for the Poor), published in 1830, was written as a kind of welfare pharmaceutical production manual for pharmacists to make and sell medicines at a minimum cost so poor people could also be properly treated.

‘Armen Apotheek’ Utrecht Pharmacy manual for making economical prescriptions for those who could not easily afford medicines


Pharmacopoea Pauperum. Another edition of the Utrecht Pharmacist’s manual for making inexpensive medicine


24 June 2010, 23.30 — posted by Wietske

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