INTRODUCTION TO ‘THE COMMON PROJECT’ AND ‘GET RID OF
a. "the common project"
An ongoing project by 16Beaver Group
For four years, 16 Beaver Group has been experimenting with a variety
of open social formats. These have included regular discussions, readings,
presentations, actions, correspondence, e-mail lists, meals, collaborative
projects, interviews, etc.
In our recent Open Interview and Lunch (in collaboration with FUSE Magazine)
a simple game structure replaced the conventional I You-interviewer-interviewee
relationship by the less rigid multiplicity of voices characteristic of
Now, instead of inviting each other to ask and answer questions and circulate
them through separate or overlapping social networks, we are sending out
the idea and structure of the open list, based on the rather arbitrary
The participants in this ongoing project -be they individuals or groups-
elaborate an incomplete list of 16 things, which can be gradually completed,
derived, delivered, linked, subdivided, expanded, put into action or activities
or related to other lists of 16 things.
Many of the lists will remain open or incomplete, others will have to
wait to be linked with others. They might be lists or collections of texts,
sounds, images, videos, photographs, objects, concepts, or anything else.
They might be of formal, political, aesthetic, economic, or any other
interest. They might be strategies, tactics, plans or they may describe
processes, historical, revolutionary, utopian, unknown.
Everyone is invited to participate, so if you have a list(s) or wish to
help us complete one, please send a message to:
To view the development of this web of lists, visit
Where and when:
This project comes as a response to our being invited to "represent" or
"do" what we do within a variety of contexts or events outside of the
Like the open interview with FUSE or the Operation How, Now, Wow the International
Festival of Dissent we coordinated in the Spring, we wanted to create
a project that could grow and create further links and connections, remain
porous, inclusive, open. The Common Project attempts to create a
structure whereby we can work together while working separately, maintaining
an certain autonomy within our areas of research and exploration, while
also finding a way to formally tie things together, into a fixed and playfully
In addition to the current shows in Leipzig and Weimar, this project will
also be shown in the “24/7” exhibition at the Contemporary
Art Center in Vilnius, Lithuania this Fall.
b. About ‘get rid of yourself’
ACC WEIMAR, STIFTUNG FEDERKIEL LEIPZIG, GERMANY
Artist Collectives and Collaborating Artists in the USA -- 7/26 - 10/12/03
We are pleased to announce the 13th joint summer exhibition between ACC
Weimar and Stiftung Federkiel (previously a cotton mill), Leipzig, Germany
from July 26th until October 12th, 2003. The two concurrent exhibitions,
jointly named "Get Rid Of Yourself" will introduce ten contemporary activist
artist collectives consisting of independent art publications, artist
cooperatives, fictitious artist enterprises, self organized discussion
and presentation platforms as well as contemporary artist networks, from
New York, Chicago and San Francisco.
Opening receptions: ACC Weimar: July 26th August 9th August 23rd, 2003
Halle 14, Leipzig: August 2nd, August 16th August 30th, 2003 The participating
artists will make presentations in the afternoons of these days, interaction
is encouraged and entry is free. The participating artists include Matthew
Buckingham, Bernadette Corporation, Cabinet Magazine, eteam, NYC Surveillance
Camera Players, Michael Rakowitz, Anne-Marie Schleier, 16Beaver Group,
Temporary Services and The 360degrees Team.
In contrast to the ever decreasing social services in the US, artist collectives
are thus on the rise. Artist collectives and initiatives are becoming
more and more part of the art production in the United States, where tendencies
towards a so called “police state” and hegemony are so very
apparent and topical after 9/11 and the Iraq war. Several questions are
posed within these concurrent exhibitions: -
How much are artist collectives able to affect their immediate community
locally and globally and on what scale?
Do artist collectives/collaboratives practice and hold any manner of
social responsibility and if so to what extent?
Get Rid Of Yourself is also the title of a new film by the Bernadette
corporation. It embodies a state of worthlessness, cynicism, depression
and faintheartedness, yet also a feeling of a strongly increasing protest
and critical stance. The art is placed outside of the traditional art
venue, for example the Museum and exists as intervention in a non-traditional
framework, such as in the street (Michael Rakowitz's 'gestures' for example),
collaborations with non-art initiatives or under cover interventions in
public spaces that cut short the conventional patterns of art in the art
market. They utilize the internet (or sometimes even pirate radio stations)
as a communications tool operating both on a local and global level. The
exhibited artists and artist collectives are united in that their actions
are utterly autonomous in their approach to different facets of society,
which they often critique.
Themes such as public surveillance, homelessness, anti-globalization,
anti -warfare and real estate speculation are addressed.