37 MANIFESTOS—How to become a collective in four easy lessons.

Curated by Susanne Husse and Jana Sotzko

Shared knowledge, joint action, networking, self-organization, and collaboration have found their way into art, culture, economy, and politics. Through a global wave of artist-organized foundations and creative collectives since the mid-90s, we’ve experienced collective work and life forms growing in importance. While artistic collaboration has opened up new strategies affecting fields in science and society, we can read the latest trends and collectivization as a possible antidote to social patterns of isolation, insecurity, and competition.

37 Manifestos, Berlin 2011 – The YKON Game presented within an exhibition format with 4 interactive play stations. Visitors can interact with these and experience elements from the Game individually

The exhibition 37 MANIFESTOS asked for current forms and meanings of collectivity in the arts. The idea that collaborative production is a process between utopianism and actions of economic necessity formed a starting point for four interconnected approaches - simple lessons in collectivity:

  1. Have an idea
  2. Invite others - share
  3. Form, storm, norm, and perform
  4. Document - write a manifesto

The exhibition included 15 artist collectives – performances, talks, concerts, and video screenings – alongside four workshops where people were asked to create temporary collectives. They discussed with participants the implications of group protocols on art and society.

Together with YKON*, I  was invited to install The YKON Game as an exhibition that would be played at certain times.

Personality Modification Device – first step towards change is the experience of its possibilit

Players use images spread across the floor to introduce themselves  

Mela, the curator’s dog

Initial thought exchange and discussion of how could you change the world

These are the results from the contributions of our 4th play station compiled in a small publication

Watching the Game trailer to get into the mood for changing the future

Instant visualisation of ideas

*The YKON Game was originally developed in 2009 and is a collective attempt to alter the world. Its development was inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s World Game, but instead of focusing on known problems, the YKON Game seeks to uncover novel scenarios, ideas, problems and solutions that have not yet been considered.

The game has evolved and changed over time, and applied to different situations and conditions. It has been played at art festivals, as an interactive exhibtion, as a summit, and within educational contexts.