Networks of Care

1 January–31 December 2021

Event Series


Project group

Nanne Buurman, Friederike Schäfer, Anna Schäffler, Cornelia Sollfrank, Antje Weitzel

The event series Networks of Care creates a platform for the exchange of ideas on how to preserve temporary, ephemeral, project-based or collective practices. What strategies can transmit embodied knowledge? This will be discussed specifically in regard to political, ethical and economic implications of different forms of preservation beyond the standardization through existing preservation conventions. The goal is to develop models for the institutional and cultural-political handling of im/material cultural artifacts, based on a needs analysis, among other things.


Friday, 23 April 2021, 18:00
Online talk »How can we maintain what we care about? Collaborative archiving strategies for the Old Boys Network« (en)

Inputs and subsequent discussion with Cornelia Sollfrank, Laurence Rassel, Dušan Barok et al.

The Old Boys Network described itself as »the first international cyberfeminist alliance.« Founded in 1997, the connecting element of the network was the term ›cyberfeminism‹. The formulated concern of the organization was »to create spaces in which cyberfeminists can research, experiment, communicate and act. Such spaces include virtual ones such as the cyberfeminist server and the mailing list as well as temporary meetings such as workshops and international conferences. All the activities have the purpose of providing a contextualized presence for different artistic, theoretical and political formulations related to cyberfeminism. At times mysterious, at times transparent, OBN is setting an agenda for communication, intervention and production«. ( A group of enthusiasts is currently working to create a living archive of this self-organization work, making its experiences accessible to subsequent groups.

Thursday, 10 June 2021, 18:00 – 20:00
Online talk »Preserving Artists’ Legacies through Collaborative Archival Practices« (en)

Networks of Care is a serial events platform for the exchange of ideas on how to preserve temporary, ephemeral, project-based, and/or collective artistic practices. The guests of our next event have many years of experience in making artistic legacies accessible: we welcome artistic researcher Amalia Calderón and curator Megan Hoetger from the Amsterdam-based performance art production house »If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution« and Mark Waugh, Co-Artistic Director of the UK charity Art360 Foundation that advises artists’ estates. Together, we will discuss the potential of collaborative archival practices, as well as the challenges of sharing responsibilities. The conversation will be moderated by Vivian van Saaze (Maastricht University/Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation and Heritage).

Amalia Calderón and Megan Hoetger will share insights into Gift Science Archive, a monumental 18-month collaborative performance of archiving – or archive performance – initiated by the Dutch American artist Sands Murray-Wassink, which was commissioned by »If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution« as part of their Edition VIII - Ritual and Display biennial program. The performance — and, with it, the production of an inventoried and preserved archive — has foregrounded the intergenerational processes of remembering involved in the act(s) of cataloging, placing emphasis on the webs of social relations holding objects together in affective fields. As such, it has been an experiment in re-thinking value production through »documentation.«

Mark Waugh will present the work of Art360 Foundation, an independent charity providing artists and estates with consultation and practical support towards archiving and legacy planning. The Art360 Foundation aims to empower artists and their representatives to preserve a life’s work through archival and legacy support. It wants to preserve and make visible previously unseen aspects of the UK’s cultural heritage for present and future generations through a bursary program, public events and learning opportunities. The Art360 Foundation program promotes the diverse contributions of visual artists to society and the expertise of freelancers who are critical in supporting the preservation of artists’ archives.

This Networks of Care event marks the launch of the newly established collaborative research network »LACUNAE - Contemporary Artists´ Estates between Public Heritage and Private Inheritance.« LACUNAE brings together public institutions, non-governmental organizations and private actors to pursue three main aims: 1) taking stock of the current connections and disconnections in networks of care around contemporary artists’ estates and how they serve to include and exclude certain artistic practices and marginalized groups; 2) advancing and advocating for current networks of care and the management of marginalised artists’ estates; and 3) developing possible new connections in networks of care that will allow for greater collaboration between public and private actors in the future.
»Networks of Care« takes place in cooperation with CoCooN, dedicated to the preservation of urban, collective and artistic practices.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021, 13:00–16:30
Online workshop »Caring for the Network: decentral knowledge preservation at nGbK« (de)
For and with members and other networkers

»Caring for the Network« is a workshop for nGbK members and others that aims to launch a long-term discussion on the theme of decentral knowledge preservation.
The first part of the workshop will explore practices of preservation deployed by the participants individually and how they relate to the collective practices of nGbK working groups. The nGbK itself acts as a network, since its collective projects are always temporary. What does the »archived« material reveal about such collective processes? What new approaches are opened up by looking closely at the »in-between«, at individual relationships, conditions and actions? Which forms and formats can decentral preservation take?

The second part of the workshop will discuss transformation as a fundamental issue for the self-image of nGbK in view of current developments. Before moving into a new permanent location on Karl-Marx-Allee (KMA), the transformation phase offers an opportunity to re-evaluate, focussing attention on questions of knowledge preservation (from analogue materials to ephemeral events) and historical perspective. What happens to operative knowledge that cannot be captured by existing preservation conventions? What are the consequences of decentral knowledge production for the accessibility of the resulting knowledge? Which alternative forms and structures of preservation are needed in order to safeguard diverse scenes and practices outside existing public museums, archives and libraries in the long term?

The workshop will develop a questionnaire that serves as basis for a survey addressing all members of nGbK to gather a comprehensive overview on individual techniques of preservation. Based on analysis of the results, long-term strategies can then be structured, as well as steps for their implementation. This will in turn facilitate the development of a potential scenario for sustainable knowledge preservation at nGbK in connection with the new location on KMA.