Valentina Karga

PROJECTS

artist’s statement

2014-07-11

Saturnalia

2014-07-07

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 6.32.30 PM   \ Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 6.34.06 PM

Temple of Holy Shit Usine u Trésor Noir is a public compost toilet and terra-preta sanitation system at Parckdesign 2014 in Brussels, whose purpose is to convert the bio-waste and bodily wasteproduced by the park and its visitors into a rich type of soil (terra-preta) for the gardens in and around the area.

One of the events we organized in the  around Usine du Trésor Noir was SATURNALIA, a revival of an ancient Roman pagan feast dedicated to Saturn, the god of agriculture and toilets. Saturnalia was celebrated in ancient Rome with a public banquet, followed by gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere in a state of social egalitarianism. On the 5th of July 2014, during Ramadan (there is a big muslim population in the neighborhood), we started the ritual with a series of creative expression exercises lead by Sonia Saurer, where we became a bit more comfortable with getting to know each other by looking people at the eyes, and with touch. One of the most exciting moments was the spontaneous free styling rap session with OPEN Kitchen manager Ane San Miguel and the Belgian beat boxing champion Big Ben (Click more to see the video!). Then we transformed the stage to a football cafe; the football match Belgium vs Argentina was a historical moment, even if it left Belgians with a sad feeling. Tcharmela, a cultural youth association from the neighborhood presented Jammin Taxi, a percussionist workshop for youngsters, while vegan chef Sandra Guimaraes was cooking for the feast around the Farm-truck together with the guests and people from the neighborhood. At 22.00, just after we listened to the imam’s prayer through the radio, we shared a Ramadan dinner at Mohamed’s bistro. (more…)

Exercises in Walking and Talking

2014-06-04

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 6.16.32 PM

A THOUSAND DOORS

MAY 4  – JUNE 30 2014

Gennadius Library, American School of Classical Studies

Valentina Karga

Exercises in Walking and Talking, 2014

Participatory performance

Courtesy the artist and NEON

‘A THOUSAND DOORS’ was an initiative of NEON Foundation in cooperation with the Whitechapel Gallery and has been curated by Iwona Blazwick.

On May 3rd 2014, during the opening of the exhibition, I released the following Open Call. For the following four weeks, I engaged in ‘walking and talking’ on the theme of education every afternoon with visitors of the exhibition and the library, or people that work for the participating institutions and some of the participating artists, around the library’s gardens. The engagement of walking as a meditative act, one that will help us focus on our real time communication and also on our inner knowledge, was precisely the essence of the exercise, which was performed freely and was every time unique. To complete the exercise, we revisited our conversation, by recalling and synthesizing key points discussed in a typewritten transcription of the dialogue. Using carbon paper, the typewriter can produce two copies of the transcriptions; the original and its imprint. The original scripts of the conversation are with the participants; scattered among the homes of the ones that participated, becoming their personal, co-authored proof of the work of art, which exists solely in their memory and my memory. The duplicate copies of the transcriptions are gathered in a second work of art. The publication has entered the library’s collection indefinitely for people to find it there, among the over 120,000 books and rare bindings, archives, manuscripts, and works of art.

Photo: ©NataliaTsoukala

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 12.04.19 PM

Installation view of ‘A Thousand Doors’ exhibition at The Gennadius Library, American School of Classical Studies in Athens, 2014

Courtesy NEON and Whitechapel Gallery. Photo credit: Nikos Markou

(more…)

Temple of Holy Shit

2014-02-27

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 10.12.34 AM

 

Temple of Holy Shit is a public waste installation with dry toilet, whose purpose is to convert the bio-waste produced by the park and its visitors into rich terra-preta soil for the gardens in and around the area. During the festival, a series of ‘rituals’ will take place that will initiate the participants to the miracle of life-making.

Temple of Holy Shit has been selected for Parckdesign2014 which is a biennial dedicated to public space planning initiated by Brussels Environment and the Brussels Ministry for Environment, Energy and Urban Renovation. Parckdesign2014 will take place near Thurn&Taxi transforming urban wasteland into a temporary Farmparck creating an opportunity to test another method of citymaking.

Temple of Holy Shit is a project by Collective Disaster.

Valentina and Pieter invest in themselves

2013-11-15

coin-gif

 

“Homo oeconomicus is an entrepreneur, an entrepreneur of himself [...] being for himself his own capital, being for himself his own producer, being for himself the source of [his] earnings”.

Foucault, The birth of Biopolitics.

“Valentina and Pieter invest in themselves” is a piece by Valentina Karga and Pieterjan Grandry in which they question the future of their own art practice. Inspired by Valentina’s mother who converted her life savings into gold,  the dialog extends into the idea of self-investment and the act of transforming a golden coin into an art object, obeying in this way capitalism’s frantic mania to subsume everything, also aesthetics. With a relaxed and humorous attitude, the two artists give in to the exploitation which they put on display. The resulting coin is seen as an investment in the market value of the material as well as in its own artistic value.

presented at the Athens Biennial: AGORA

(more…)

Summer school for applied Autonomy

2013-09-04

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 1.23.27 PM

The Summer school for Applied Autonomy is a research initiative interested in capturing the complexity of the technical know-how but also the social, political and affective aspects involved in autonomous living. Its functioning is largely self-sufficient, tending towards environmental sustainability, and it is based on feedback loop circuits where its different outputs (from garbage to words) become inputs that refeed the social and material body of the garden. Exploration of thematic fields such as self-sufficiency, open source knowledge, collaboration, self-reflection, exchange and gift economy is at the very base of this project.

The school welcomes everyone, but its capacity is small; it can support only two residents per rotation. Residents must engage for a stay of one or two weeks. After the end of each rotation and the beginning of the other, the two groups overlap for one day, so that the first group transfers their knowledge to the next one. The days are structured via tasks and lessons, while each person is free to propose his own topic of research.

(more…)

Self-sufficiency in the era of the new Commons

2013-09-03

Screen Shot 2013-08-26 at 2.28.55 PM

Semester Seminar at Studium Generale, Universität der Kunste, Berlin

(more…)

30 days in the garden/ 15 days on Mars : the publication

2013-02-22

3015-Days-0-600x564

The artist Valentina Karga shares her diaries from her adventures in search of self-sufficiency:

What does an urban garden in a European metropolis have to do with a Mars simulation base in the desert in the USA? The two stories recounted in this book unfold in antipodal places and contexts. They have, however, something in common.
Self-sufficiency is a field of various interests, from individuals or small communities wanting to be autonomous for economical, ecological or political motives to the military and its desire to conquer new extra-terrestrial territories.

With contributions from Joseph Redwood-Martinez and Sandra Teitge.

Published by Crap is good publications

Order here

(more…)

this ever-whirling engine

2012-10-26

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 2.54.26 PM

This ever-whirling engine is a lecture-performance and workshop presented at  Graduale 12.

“With an interest in self-sufficiency, DIY and biochemistry, Valentina Karga constructs low-tech “machines” that transform matter. Together with solar engineer Brian Edlefsen Lasch she will explain how to produce solar energy in a workshop.  Together with the participants they will build a small mobile unit for urban applications and will create a step-by-step tutorial to contribute to open source knowledge. The second event questions the existence of of waste and how contemporary society deals with it’s own organic waste. Attendants will learn how to built a simple biogas digestor and will detect processes of recycling.”

A very big thank you to Pieterjan Grandry for the making of the installation, Brian Edlefsen Lasch for teaching the workshop as well as all the enthusiastic workshop participants.

All pictures by Sven Hagolani.

(more…)

The super rocket-stove cook off

2012-09-14

the super rocket stove cook off from Berlin Farm Lab on Vimeo.

the institute of placemaking

2012-05-12

tumblr_m5b9x6fkrV1rxpci8o1_r3_1280

The Institute of Placemaking is knowledge exchange center and a public institution that gives spatial possibilities to people who desire a place for new ideas and new encounters within the city.

An office-cabin and a table are the simple architectural elements around which workshops, dinners and collective gatherings happen. The Institute acts as an infrastructure that ‘grows’ through a series of curated workshops dealing with public action, knowledge exchange and experimentation with do-it-yourself methods of production, which extends to building, making, cooking, using and re-using. Workshops are focused around the looped system of resources, and particular attention is paid to what is commonly neglected in the production cycle of materials or goods: waste. The Institute proposes a 6 workshops that begin to treat the city and its byproducts as a resource.

The Institute of Placemaking took place at Eme3 international architecture festival, Barcelona, 2012, and it was a collaboration between Valentina Karga, Jia Gu, Pieterjan Grandry and Rosario Talevi. More info at: http://the-institute-of.com

(more…)

Eme3_2011 catalog

2012-01-04
Last summer I participated at Eme3, an international architecture festival in Barcelona. The topic was Work in progress: Global problems Local solutions.

machine for sustainable living

2011-06-02

1295294324-kit-extented

The project “Greenwasher, active sustainable chamber” is a research on a DIY contemporary lifestyle.   The first part is a manual of “how to make yourself” a complete system to produce at home all goods for contemporary living, such as electricity, biogas, food and biodiesel while collecting heat from the sun and rainwater. The following characteristics make the system the perfect solution for global sustainability: low-budget for broad application, local production and reuse of materials and therefore less energy required in the process, biologic food production and green energy production. The second part is an application of the manual in a one person’s habitat. The aim is to minimize use of natural resources and co2 emissions during the building and living process. The idea for creating the manual began with the collection of systems aimed at an ecologically bearable conscious contemporary lifestyle. Next step was the restriction of the system to “do it yourself” version. For this reason we studied «how to» and «Do It yourself» youtube videos and websites that offer such expertise to ease of manufacture and low cost.  Adaptations were made in the way of building the systems with emphasis on the implementation of used items. Changes or adjustments of the use of objects are possible. Finally, we combined all segments in a single system in a “nothing is wasted” concept. Special feature is the excessive economy. In other case would be characterized meanness. With neurotic patience, the user utilizes the water through a hierarchy system of value, until that evaporates. Moreover, by simple chemical processes, produces useful goods from useless garbage, while producing no waste, since he re-uses everything. One could describe the model as a concentrated version of the complexity of gathering the goods of modern life. As regard the aesthetic issue, we can talk about a new species of architecture that is free of the question about form; the appearance is simply what derives from the collection and assemblage of existing systems and elements. The project seems to be the perfect sustainable solution on building and living. However, the personal motivation, time and effort required, opens the discussion about changes that could be done in the society, political and economic system to make this lifestyle possible for everyone. (more…)

small catastrophe enchiridion

2010-11-19

1

5

Real time and representation time

The initial intention of the research was the creation of an archive/ catalog about fire. Archives are evolvable and can possibly refresh themselves persistently. Thus, the archive´s concept can possibly be redefined.

This should have happened, in a manner of speaking, simultaneously with some representation of the same process, the one we call file-lodgment. The lodgment’s order is not the same with the chronic order that the files had emerged at the time of investigation. Besides, representation does not happen in autonomic real time, but invokes observer’s time. Thus, the distortion of the chronic relations facilitates some kind of “distortion” of the accuracy of the file lodgment procedure. In addition, this is not that important. What is important is the transmission of some, not-that-clear yet, sensation that fire and architecture are related to each other. Finally, the selection and lodgment of the “fire fragments” request to reveal some abstract relation to architecture.

(more…)