Valentina Karga

about

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The Institute for Spontaneous Generation. (photo by Eoin Carey)

Valentina Karga, born in Chalkidiki, Greece, is an artist and architect based in Berlin. Valentina’s projects encourage engagement and participation, facilitate practices of commoning and are concerned with sustainability. Working across different media and inviting the public or community groups to complete the work, one can say that Valentina’s work lays somewhere between conceptual art, architecture and socially engaged practice. Sometimes, through dialogue and building prototypes in a DIY manner, they end up imagining alternatives for societal structures, such as economic and pedagogic institutions. This is what she calls ‘Art as Simulation’. She is a founding member of Collective Disaster, an interdisciplinary group that works in the interstices of art, architecture and the social realm. She has been a fellow at the Graduate school, University of the Arts Berlin and she has been awarded the Vilém Flusser Residency for Artistic Research. Among others, her work has been shown at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens, the transmediale festival, the Athens Biennial, Kiasma museum and a major exhibition curated by Whitechapel Gallery.

hello[at]valentinakarga.com

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Athens University of Agriculture (photo by Marjetica Potrč)

My projects encourage engagement and participation, facilitate practices of commoning and are concerned with sustainability. Because simulation can be used to show the eventual real effects of alternative conditions and courses of action, I consider my artworks as simulations of societal and economic institutions, constructed out of self-made infrastructures and semiotic tools. Together with the participants, through dialogue and building prototypes in a DIY manner, we often end up imagining alternatives for societal structures, such as economic and pedagogic institutions. Can we, through art, create a narrative and vocabulary for a different understanding of the world?

For several years I have worked on constructing lived experiences of practical self-sufficiency in the urban realm with connections to critical theory and in particular from the autonomist movement.  Among my projects, there is the Summer school for Applied Autonomy, a research initiative interested in capturing 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. My subsequent work shifted from an economy of applied (self)sustainability in terms of food and energy, to the quest of an economy with more agency and resilience for myself, my partner and people alike us, in the speculative financial realm. Market For Immaterial Value is an investigation on creating, validating and disseminating art in the era of immaterial economy. What is the role of the artist in a financialized (art)world? In this case, simulation applies to the creation of an alternative art market, where the art value is determined by the audience’s participation. This practical gesture is supported by a research-through-discussion practice, which moves along the lines of demystifying financial magic and becomes an open-source tool, shared freely online.

The Gigantic Jelly-Blob is an alternative form of collective therapy on the traumas of late capitalism. It is a collaborative lecture-performance which I start and then I invite people in the room to continue it, by giving them roles. Finally, Our Coming Community works in a more symbolic level. Made collaboratively with a group of participants, it is a conceptual pillar, constructed out of a multitude of values, that, together, come to support Our Coming Community.