Salon Material is an initiative by artists Johanna Gustafsson Fürst and Liv Strand. Its a collaborative praxis, a gestaltnung-aerobics, and an exploration in methods in creating common knowledge and develope pedagogical processes. Salon Material, comes out of the desire to create another type of dialogue by re-building the bridges and throw more mental ropes across the gap between word –spoken or written– AND space, things, material and bodies.
The format for Salon Material is a long evening of discussions and other actions. Theoretical texts are read in advance or we collect knowledge from presentations delivered by all participants on a given subject. Accumulation of information and associations leads into workshops. Depending on how many that joins we work both all together and in smaller groups. Out of the workshops very different things can emerge.
The first four salons operated in combining a text with a work or a body of the work of. We passed through philosopher Spinoza, artist Sturtevant, philosopher and sociologist Henri Lefebvre, artist Ursula Biemann. Departing from this the social space was materialized. This was followed by a salon with a co-creation of topic that led us to writer Lucy Lippard, supplemented by a text Solfrid Söderlind by Lisa Torell, and photos from the Polytechnical University, a legal area of asylum in Athens. Then reading Bruno Latour and an interview with artist Falke Pisano the participants was asked to bring Latourian or / and Pisanian images for a joint slide show that the conversation built out of. We took on the four elements as material: AIR in varied perspectives: in the social space, as absenteeism and air provided for respiration and a photo-tour from Turin looking for air in art and the city. FIRE showed ways to care about space, of heat and cold. WATER culminated in Flow Manifests who ridiculed the concept of flow as a theoretical flow as well as the neoliberal market phenomenon. One session took place in the Riksarkivet (The National Archive) where we perceived archive as information gathered and as traces and search paths. EARTH organic as soil between the toes and in the rubbish heap of the TV show Fraggle Rocks as ultimate oracle. Experts as subject concurrent with digging, an act that strengthened or disturbed the concentration of participants. Simultaneity as topic. A duo-topic combined materials as communication, other than language, with language as material. First part triggered by sound-precision, dance and speech and hands in clay and a body connected to objects and textures, second part held in Berlin created a focus on the material of social relations. Later in the spring we walked an evening, spreading as virus, in mind and body, in Treptower Park, Berlin. 2 salons liberated materials. In October text was liberated from paper, fonts and the individual’s solitary reading. The following liberated the room from being a place between four walls, floor and ceiling.