Mycelial Networks – organising through crisis

Publicerad: 16 september, 2020
Mycelial Networks – organising through crisis

Designed by Asger Behcke Jacobsen

25–26/9 2020 i Köpenhamn på The Danish Art Workshops – SVFK.

Art Lab Gnesta (SE) Culture Art Society – CAS (DK/UK) Sebastian Dahlqvist (SE) Terrassen (DK) Den Kollektiva Hjärnan (SE) Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology (DK) Jakob Jakobsen (DK) The Union (DK) Staying With The Struggle (DK/DRC)

UKK and AOOO invite you to Mycelial Networks, a two-day public programme of talks, discussions and film screenings, which will explore how artists and arts organisations can share knowledge, networks and resistance strategies responding to crisis in general as well as the current COVID-19 pandemic. The programme is hosted by UKK – Organisation for Artists, Curators and Art Mediators as part of the Nordic network of arts organisations AOOO – Art Organisations Out of Office and in partnership with the Alt_Cph biennial 2020: Patterns in Resistance curated by the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology. AOOO was established in 2018 by Art Lab Gnesta (SE) and Konstframjandet (SE).

During Mycelial Networks artists, collectives and organisations will reflect on: The skills, relationships and tools necessary in order to survive current and future consequences of the pandemic; how to organise and strengthen each other across national borders; how a revelation of arts institutions’ fragility could lead to a more solidaric (post-)pandemic future.

Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus, consisting of a network of fine white filaments. The mycelial threads act as an underground network, linking the roots of different plants, making it possible for plants to share nutrients and information. Thus the mycelium functions as an interspecies knowledge sharing network and facilitates mutually beneficial relationships of care and maintenance.

Mycelial Networks programme (pdf)

Friday 25 September 2020
Throughout the day we will explore different strategies and methodologies of practicing collaboration, care, and solidarity, seeking strings of relations, networks, and strategies for obtaining a collective voice. We will consider ways of working across borders, community building and organising between activism and art. As well as what organising today means for the production of social and political relations.

14.30 Doors open
14.45 Welcome and introduction by UKK and AOOO — Art Organisations Out of Office
15.15 Talk by Sebastian Dahlqvist, Art Lab Gnesta, Den kollektiva hjärnan: A call for an art field we do not yet inhabit but continue to dream about.
16.00 Break
16.15 Talk by Jakob Jakobsen: Social Crisis Mental Crisis
17.00 Break
17.15–18.00 Panel: Sebastian Dahlqvist, Jakob Jakobsen, UKK

Saturday 26 September 2020
With today’s program we will consider ways of working and organising across different intertwined oppressive structures. The presentations and panel will discuss some challenges with building new organisations; maintenance and sustainability, the role of an organisation in terms of solving conflicts, and ways in which to acknowledge and work with internal and external power structures.

13.45 Doors open
14.00 Presentation by Miriam Wistreich, Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology:
Patterns in Resistance: Attempts at a Curatorial Strategy of Care
14.30 Talk by Staying With The Struggle: Asking not only how we are working
together, but what we are working together to do. Or how to de-individualise questions
of privilege. Or how to take the trouble beyond art.
15.30 Break
15.45 Presentation by Culture and Art Society (CAS)
16.00 Presentation of The Union by Anita Beikpour and Claudine Zia
16.15 Panel: Staying With The Struggle, Culture and Art Society, The Union, UKK and AOOO
17.15 Break
17.30–20.00 Film programme curated by Terrassen. (Offline)

The programme is organised and hosted by UKK – Organisation for Artists, Curators and Art Mediators as part of the Nordic network of arts organisations AOOO – Art Organisations Out of Office. The programme is made in partnership with the Alt_Cph biennial 2020: Patterns in Resistance curated by the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology and hosted by SVFK – The Danish Art Workshops. AOOO was established in 2018 by Art Lab Gnesta and Konstfrämjandet.


Sebastian Dahlqvist (SE) works as an artist and curator, based in Stockholm and Malmö. His practice is often based on collaborations and discusses issues of self-organisation, collective memory, ways of reading and writing history and the production of social and political relations in place. Over the years he has been part of initiating and running numerous collectives and organisations, including Den kollektiva hjärnan, a network which brings together self-organizing art initiatives all over Sweden, and Art Lab Gnesta, a place for experimental connections between art and society in an old brewery in Gnesta.

Jakob Jakobsen (DK) is a visual artist and writer. Self-organisation has driven his practice throughout, and over the years he has built a number of autonomous institutions such as the Copenhagen Free University, the Hospital Prison University Archive and most recently the Hospital for Self Medication. He has shown extensively internationally including the 31st Sao Paulo Biennale and at Documenta 13. He lives and works in Copenhagen and Berlin.

Miriam Wistreich (DK) is a curator, researcher, educator and occasional writer. She is part of the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology and Creative Director at Hotel Maria Kapel, an artist-in-residence in Hoorn, the Netherlands. The Laboratory for Aesthetics and ecology a curatorial is a platform for planetary becomings. They work with the embodied, theoretical and political implications of global, but unequally distributed environmental breakdown in response to multispecies worlds in urgent need of regeneration and care.

Staying With The Struggle (DRC/DK) (represented by Barly Tshibos, Nanna Katrine Hansen and Nanna K. Dahler) is a collective of activists, artists, and asylum seekers, who have come together out of the need to think about to work against the hierarchies that surround us. Their work is based on the groups experience of working together in the Bridge Radio and other migration political organisations.

The Union (DK) is a labor union for BIPOC artists and cultural workers in Denmark, which was established in 2018 by a group of BIPOC artists and cultural workers who saw a need to organize and address the racism they experienced on the Danish art scene. The purpose of The Union is to address structural racism, make demands of institutions and to improve the working conditions of its members. The current board consists of: Tanja Wol, Lydia Diakité, Anita Beikpour and Claudine Zia.

Culture Art Society – CAS (DK/UK) is an interdisciplinary research platform that intersects critical studies and art theory to research the cultural economy of African archives (continental + diaspora). The platform’s multidisciplinary approach spans literature, the moving image and visual arts to form a critical curatorial praxis called memory work. The platform was founded in 2013 by Awa Konaté, a London and Copenhagen based Danish-Ivorian writer/researcher and curator.

Terrassen (DK) is a roving cinema in Copenhagen that engages with the social life of film.

UKK — Organisation for Artists, Curators and Art Mediators (DK) is an independent, professional organisation working for equal, democratic and sustainable conditions in the co temporary arts in Denmark. The organisation represents artists, curators and art workers. UKK was founded in 2002, and has approx. 400 members (2020). UKK’s board has 17 members and two student representatives. Since 2019, Gro Sarauw and Maj Horn has shared the chair position.

From 2018–19, UKK held three international symposia entitled Mourning Money, dealing with the complex economy of the visual arts. Live documentation and further information can be found on UKK’s website incl. the recording of Mycelial Networks: organising through crisis (

AOOO — Arts Organisations Out of Office is a nordic network initiated by Konstfrämjandet and Art Lab Gnesta. It brings together self-organised and small-scale organizations and collectives within the field of contemporary art in the Nordic region. By meeting, exchanging experiences and knowledge, the network is trying to find new strategies, create resilience and work proactively against the abstract and concrete threats our organisations are facing.

Kindly supported by: Bikubenfonden, Agency of Culture and Palaces, Nordisk Kulturkontakt, Svensk-danska kulturfonden, and Nordisk Kulturfond.