Things We Do Together. The Post-Reader is a collection of essays and honest conversations with practitioners. It is based on experiences and observations of long-term processes taking place at the intersection of art, education, and activism.
Collaboration is more than simply a mechanism for the collective management of resources. It can be a way of disrupting existing systems both in the art world and in everyday life, where capitalism and extreme individualism lead to the collapse of communities and the deepening of social inequalities.
Artists, activists, researchers, and educators initiate social situations all over the world; in places where institutions fail them, they establish their own. They work collectively for the benefit of the community and in cooperation with the community. The scope of influence of their practices is more often located outside the gallery than inside. They treat art as a tool for building community, not for producing sellable goods. Their research, processes, and long-term collaborations involve exchange, generosity, and trust. They are willing to bear the associated risks. They oppose the laws of the market and focus on teamwork, solidarity, and the gift economy. They redefine the concept of art and help to hack systems. They produce alternative teaching and unlearning systems, and new economies and spaces of imagination.
In their varied practices, the authors and protagonists featured in this post-reader use skills from across a number of fields. They support and create communities around the world—in Ursus, Poland; in the Amazon; in a village in Java; in the suburbs of New Orleans. The reports collected here come from many years of experience in Ukraine, Poland, Indonesia, Mexico, the United States, and Brazil, and can be treated as a road map, as a compendium of approaches and recommendations, and as inspiration for action.
The publication’s starting point was the exhibition-meeting Gotong Royong Things We Do Together at Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, at the end of 2017.