There was a wide range of discursive events forming part of the Understanding Territoriality programme, helping us to develop our ideas around territoriality and its sub-themes of Power and Boundaries and Home Range.
The first of these events was the Understanding Territoriality and Cooperation Conference, 26 May 2015, organised by Fabrica and hosted at Sussex University. This event was designed to launch the project through an examination of different aspects and manifestations of territoriality from an intimate to a global scale. The intention was that ideas raised during this conference would inform the development of the project as it progressed. For full details and to watch the speaker presentations go to the conference information page.
Cittadellarte hosted two discussion events, one at the end of each of the residencies that they organised. Their first discussion event took place at Fondazione Pistoletto – Cittadellarte in Biella on 6 November 2015, following a presentation by the Creating Territorialities artists in residence. The subject of the discussion was the potential for promoting connection between people working in localities on community engaged projects, socially engaged art practices and activism. It asked the questions, by hopping between different international residencies, do artists ever belong? And how does this movement from place to place impact upon the territories in which the artists are working? Does it create tensions between the artists and the territories? The discussion was chaired by Paolo Naldini, director of Cittadellarte, with contributions from the artists in residence, the Understanding Territorialty partners and members of local associations, including the co-founder of Transition Town Italy a board member of Transition Network.
The debate at the end of the second residency was attended by participants from the Geographies of Change network as well as artists and others interested in the project themes. Challenging and critical reflections on the projects produced collaboratively by the artists in residence opened up a wider discussion on the impact of globalisation, and how the move from materiality to immateriality and an increased mobility have changed everyday life.
On 21 April 2016 Netwerk hosted Creating Europe: The Arts as Architect? a one-day event that introduced the public to four activities developed in the configuration of the project: the solo exhibition of Philip Metten, the residency and the exhibition of Christian Nyampeta, the audience development programme in collaboration with Babbelonië Aalst & Vormingplus, and an online broadcast discussion platform UTalk with Giusy Checola, Wouter Davidts, Philip Metten and Christian Nyampeta, who helped to shape the structure of the UTalk. This debate took place in his free-form radio station, the core of his exhibition and was streamed live during the event. You can listen to the UTalk here: soundcloud.com/netwerk-art/talk-the-art-as-architect
During Skopje Design Week 2016, Otvorena Soba hosted a discussion that presented the experience of the Understanding Territoriality residency for young designers from three different perspectives – the experience of the designers themselves, the experience of the companies who participated by hosting and working with the designers and the experience of Otvorena Soba as a mediator of this process. The discussion included designers, artists and members of the business sector. Much of the discussion focused on how artists and designers could increase their productivity by working with companies.