Tools of Relations

naira nigrelli & lila bullen-smith

the last few years have seen art academies across the netherlands lurch from one crisis to another, suspended in a constant state of crisis-management. the responses have varied across, and within, academies, but a closer look reveals a number of root causes that contribute to the issues rife within our art academies. these issues are difficult to address on a micro, per-academy level, through short-lived instagram accounts, or in moments of rupture and crisis. they need to be addressed through sustained, ongoing efforts - in alliance, together. this is already happening in a myriad of ways, and our project - ‘tools of relation’ - seeks to create a commons of these efforts. to create a living archive of these conversations, actions, interventions, conflicts, resolutions, and alliances.

‘tools of relations’ is an interactive project, part maintenance art/part mutual aid: an archive, a network, a database, a navigational map in potential. the collaboration aims to provide a physical and digital archive that unites members of the academy - an open-source, hybrid environment dedicated to contextualising various materials related to the social-political life of the gerrit rietveld and sandberg instituut. it is a project supported by the extra intra fund to develop the nitty gritty with a programmer. thus far, a database where people can contribute to the extent they desire with their activations in the school - beyond institutional framing. so far it has shown that the sandberg and rietveld is more than its formal institutional set-up, but an expansive network of activities, engagement, and institutional maneuvering.

during the sandberg graduation we showed the first steps we had taken in developing this project, opening up space for conversation, feedback, and input from those interested. looking forward, we are hoping to create more moments of engagement that will allow opportunity to collaboratively create, build-upon and critique this tool, as well as to further develop the broader archival project this web is an ingredient of.

contact us if you would like to get involved: lilabullens@gmail.com & naira.nigrelli@gmail.com

photographs by tom janssen

This publication is commissioned by the Editorial Board as part of the series 'Future Practices'

'Future Practices' is the framework for a series of publications on current topics that stimulate or question intercurricular education at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. Various interdepartmental or interdisciplinary duos and teams have been asked to create a contribution in a format of their choice, such as a podcast, a text, a workshop or an audiopiece. These collaborations originate in the two Open Calls of the Editorial Board through 2020 & 2021. Because of the many promising proposals, the editorial board decided to select an handful of collaborations that didn't become an educational platforms, and asked these to publish their research via extraintra.nl

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