Urban Commons:
Surplus of
Collective Action

Intro

Spatial practices in disputed territorial spaces have prompted society to invent a new collective dictionary not only for the restricted environment of the recent socio-political and economic crisis, but also in order to rebuild a collective consciousness that can refer to our communal co-existence. This project aims to be a think tank, a collective that the participants would not only arrange as a prelude to their projects but in which they would also collaborate with each other so as to foster thinking on further methodologies of artistic research on urban praxis. Currently, a deeper transformation in the creation of modalities is taking place, especially within neighbouring territories and cities in the context of practices of “commons”.

PARTICIPANTS

Ahmet Öğüt

Ahmet Öğüt

Actopolis-City: Ankara / Mardin

Ahmet Öğüt was born in 1981 in Diyarbakır, Turkey. He is a socio-cultural initiator, artist and lecturer who lives and works in Berlin and Amsterdam. Öğüt has written articles about art, activism, collaboration and autonomy for e-flux journal and other publications.

Working across a variety of media, Öğüt's institutional solo exhibitions include Forward!, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2015); Happy Together: Collaborators Collaborating, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2015); Apparatuses of Subversion, Horst-Janssen-Museum, Oldenburg (2014); Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina (2013); Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2012); SALT Beyoglu, Istanbul (2011); The MATRIX Program at the UC Berkeley Art Museum (2010); Künstlerhaus Bremen (2009); and Kunsthalle Basel (2008). He has also participated in numerous group exhibitions, including the 13th Biennale de Lyon (2015); 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale (2014); Performa 13, the Fifth Biennial of Visual Art Performance, New York (2013); the 7th Liverpool Biennial (2012); the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011); Trickster Makes This World, Nam June Paik Art Center (2010); the New Museum Triennial, New York (2009); and the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (2008). Ögüt has completed several residency programs, including at the Delfina Foundation and Tate Modern (2012); IASPIS, Sweden (2011); and Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (2007–2008). He has taught at the Dutch Art Institute, Netherlands (2012); the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Finland (2011–ongoing); and Yildiz Teknik University, Turkey (2004–2006), among others. Öğüt was awarded the Visible Award for the Silent University (2013); the special prize of the Future Generation Art Prize, Pinchuk Art Centre, Ukraine (2012); the De Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs 2011, Netherlands; and the Kunstpreis Europas Zukunft, Museum of Contemporary Art, Germany (2010). He co-represented Turkey at the 53rd Venice Biennale together with Banu Cennetoğlu (2009).
www.ahmetogut.com
Alper Şen

Alper Şen

Actopolis-City: Ankara / Mardin

Since 2000, Alper Şen has been working with various video collectives in Turkey and Europe including VideA, Cinema for Peace, Film Collective, KozaVisual, NisaMasa and Karahaber. He is a co-founder and member of the Artıkişler and Videoccupy Collectives. He initiated Surplus of Istanbul (2014), a video research project on urban transformation, waste and minorities.
Seçkin Aydin

Seçkin Aydin

Actopolis-City: Ankara / Mardin

Seçkin Aydın, (1980) is a Kurdish artist and academic. He studied B.C. Painting, B.C. Sociology. MA: Art Educ., MFA: Costume and Textile Design. He has a Ph.D in Art, and he is studying for a PhD. in Media, Culture and Urban Studies. Seçkin Aydın works at Batman University as the head of the painting department. He is the President of the Mesopotamia Culture, Art and Thinking Association in Diyarbakir, and he directs Bat Art Lab in Batman.

In his works he mostly focuses on urbanism, disCommunication, collective memories, stories of civilians' survival strategies during the wars. He has participated in and curated many exhibitions, workshops, residencies and biennials in different countries. Some of his solo and curated exhibitions are about urbanism;

Solo exhibitions:
- 10/2012 "RE-RE-RE-RE-RE-RE-RE-RELOCALIZATION", Diyarbakir, Turkey.
- 04/2012 "Masters of Home, Masters of Exile", Berlin Germany.
- 06/2013 "Inspired By The City", Terni Italy.


Curated exhibitions:
- 09/2014 "Anonymous Lives", Batman, Turkey.
- 08/2012 "City as a Home", Polymer Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
- 112/2011 "In The Homy Space; Relocalization", Czech Republic.
- 05/2011 "Take Care of You", Diyarbakir, Turkey
- 01/2011 "Once Upon a Time At Home" Curator's Home. Diyarbakir, Turkey
Eda Soyal

Eda Soyal

Actopolis-City: Ankara / Mardin

Eda Soyal (Turkey) is teaching as a research assistant at the Architecture Faculty of Artuklu University. She holds a BA in Architecture from Karadeniz Technical University and an MA in Architectural History and Theory from The Bartlett School of Architecture with a scholarship from Turkish Education Ministry. Eda is now a PhD candidate at Artuklu University.

Her master’s studies explore the possibilities and resistance of hybridity as a critical practice through the writings of Homi Bhabha with the samples of the early period of modern Turkey’s urban spaces. She criticises the role of institutional and governmental unilateral literature on the configuration of urban spaces. Eda participated in the “Cities Methodologies” 2013 exhibition at UCL Urban Lab with the project named Object Stories, which traces the everyday habits of an immigrant woman in London. The project was exhibited as a folded comic book and included voice records of dialogues and mapping of the woman’s daily urban network in London.

Eda Soyal has been teaching at a first-year design studio. She has recently begun to examine the idea of the commons, their contemporary relevance as spatial practices and the relation between the commons and public space.
Sevgi Ortaç

Sevgi Ortaç

Actopolis-City: Ankara / Mardin

Sevgi Ortaç, born in Istanbul in 1984, is a visual artist living in Istanbul. She studied film and photography in Istanbul and Fine Arts(MFA) at the Dutch Art Institute in the Netherlands. Her work derives from specific localities and long-term engagements and is motivated by the possibilities of collective production, mobilisation and commoning.

She works with photography and video as forms of essay and enjoys printed matter.
In 2010 she produced the books The Monument Upside Down focusing on the ancient city walls of Istanbul and House with a View on the newly constructed mass demonstration area in Yenikapı, Istanbul in 2014. Both publications investigate spatial narratives and conflicts on the production of heritage and current use.
She has been collaborating with architect Aslı Kıyak for the project "Made in Şişhane" on crafts heritage and neighbourhood networks in Istanbul. She initiates multimedia workshops in response to the urgent need for public response and discussion, creating web or paper-based platforms.
Önder Özengi

Önder Özengi

Actopolis-City: Ankara / Mardin

Önder Özengi (1978) is a curator, researcher and critic based in Istanbul. He studied Anthropology at Ankara University from 1996 to 2000 and Art Management at the Yıldız Technical University (İstanbul) from 2003 to 2008. He wrote his MA thesis about institutional critique after the 1960s and alternative institutional practices.

Önder Özengi has curated various exhibitions including “Relative Position and Conclusions”, Suriye Arcade, Istanbul, 2009; “There is Nothing to Lose”, Stærekassen, Copenhagen, 2010; “Between Imaginaries & Encounters”, Hamursuz Fırını, Istanbul, 2012; “Never Again” Depo, Istanbul, 2013. He co-runs a research project on labour in contemporary art. He also writes critical reviews for various magazines, exhibition catalogues and books.
Özge Çelikaslan

Özge Çelikaslan

Actopolis-City: Ankara / Mardin

Özge Çelikaslan is a visual researcher and media activist.

She is a co-founder and member of the video artist, activist collectives Artıkişler/Wastedworks, Videoccupy and Vidyokolektif as well as the co-founder of Koza Visual Culture and Arts Association, which was established as a platform for discussions on contemporary visual arts, politics and media archives. Currently she is working on an open digital media archive of a political movements project called "bak.ma".
Pelin Tan

Pelin Tan

Actopolis-City: Ankara / Mardin

Tan trained in sociology and art history. She concluded her PhD on socially engaged art in the urban space (ITU - Istanbul Technical University) and her post-doctorate studies on the methodology of artistic research at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Tan has received several research grants and residencies including DAAD (2006-07), The Japan Foundation (2012), IASPIS curatorial (2008) and Kitakyushu Contemporary Art Inst. (2015). Tan is an Associate Professor at the Architecture Faculty, Mardin Artuklu University. In Spring 2016 she will hold the position of Research Professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic, Urban Environment Lab.
Yelta Köm

Yelta Köm

Actopolis-City: Ankara / Mardin

Yelta Köm was born in Istanbul in 1986 and is an architect, writer and curator based in Istanbul. He practises as a partner in KOTUstudio and is the co-founder of (Herkes Icin Mimarlik) Architecture For All. He studied architecture at Yildiz Technical University Istanbul, and also studied as an exchange student at Aristotle University Thessaloniki. He completed his post-graduate degree at Staedelschule Architecture Class, Frankfurt. He is a graduate student at Mardin Artuklu University,  Department of Architecture. www.yeltakom.com

Yelta Köm 's works focused on the theoretical discussion about architectural interventions in common spaces, geo-politics, architecture theory and contemporary urban problems related to communities. He is the coordinator and editor of the "#occupygezi architecture" project by Herkes Icin Mimarlik, which exhibited at the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial, Salt Istanbul, V&A Museum London, Adhocracy in Athens and ngbk Berlin. He curated the "Caution! Slippery Ground" exhibition about architectural culture, which was held in Istanbul Modern Art Museum. He organizes workshops with various communities and is currently coordinating the project in Diyarbakir, Narlica village. In 2014, his article "Taksim Square: A Spatial Narrative of the Perpetual Reconquista" was published in Urbane Interventionen Istanbul by Merve Verlag. Recently he has been the guest editor of Betonart Magazine for the summer 2015, which focused on contemporary architectural problems.