PSR Berlin#2 "How Do we Work It" – Meeting about work and production in the arts

PSR Berlin#2 "How Do we Work It" – Meeting about work and production in the arts

Concept and lectures by Clement Layes, Juli Reinartz, Kai Simon Stoeger, Zeina Hanna, Ayara Hernández, Uri Turkenich and Barbara Friedrich

Organization by Kai Simon Stoeger, Zeina Hanna, Ayara Hernández, Uri Turkenich and Barbara Friedrich



Juli Reinartz (Choreographer), Sonja Augart (Choreographer, Curator), Kai Simon Stoeger (Choreographer), Zeina Hanna (Chorographer), Clement Layes (Choreographer), Inge Koks (Creative Producer), Daniel Almgren Récen (Choreographer, Researcher), Barbara Friedrich (General Manager Uferstudios), Uri Turkenich (Choreographer), Ayara Hernández (Choreographer), Felix Marchand (Choreographer), Akiles Mohhammad Al Agili (Choreographer, Graphic Designer), Barbara Greiner (Producer), Lucie Tumova (Choreographer), Margret Sara Gudjonsdottir (Choreographer),  Till Rothemund and Jill Emmerson (Social Muscle Club Berlin), Ana Trincao (Portugal), Martina Ruhsam (Writer), Sonja Heller (Choreographer), Jasmin Ihrac (Choreographer), Juan Gabriel Harcha (Choreographer), Miriam Jakob (Choreographer), Nina Berclaz (Choreographer), Veronika Bökelmann (Choreographer, Researcher), Richard Aslan (Writer, Scenographer), Chris Gylee (Writer, Performance Artist) and guests: Jette Schneider (Netherlands, Choreographer), Biljana Tanurovska (Macedonia, Director Lokomotiva), Tea Tupajic (Croatia, researcher, writer, performance artist), Eduard Gabia (Romania, choreographer, sound artist)


« How-Do-We-Work-It », is an initiative of Berlin based choreographers to meet and reflect on working conditions. The initiative started in June 2014 during Performance Situation Room #1 after Daniel Almgren Recén’s invitation to share working methodologies. Because of the interest and the urgency to continue the discussion, meetings took place every first weekend of the month since then. Rather than a group, How-Do-We-Work-It, is a chance of finding continuity for anyone interested in sharing experiences, knowledge, ideas in monthly meetings. Sparked by the desire to meet and to support each other in fantasizing about the future, we spend time to talk, reflect, celebrate continuity and recognize the possibilities we have at our disposal.

July 3 - "Put your topics, needs and skills on the table"

After visiting a lecture "Economies of Performance" II & III: Bojana Kunst und Sergei Pristas, the presentation of How-We-Work-It by people who have been participating in the meetings during the last year and an introduction of the guests from Romania, Croatia, Macedonia, The Netherlands everyone is asked to propose a topics they are interested to discuss. “What is your concern?”



We gather many topics to be discussed more in depth later. This is a selection of issues that people wanted to work on:

1. Precarity and working conditions.

2. Social isolation in production of art in Berlin.

3. Entrepreneurial / Ensemble / Collective

4. What are the possible extension of identification and solidarity?

5. In which way what an artist produce differ from what s/he wants to produce?

6. How to create continuation of work in a project oriented system?

7. What kind of other working conditions can we imagine for ourselves while not having a conservative pushback?

8. Fantastic institution.

9. Database of successful applications.

10. Sharing budgets.


July 4 – “Discussions in smaller groups”

The morning started with sorting the topics to discuss and on this base dividing into three working groups depending on the topics, in the afternoon results were presented to all participants and we sharpened the questions together and went back to the working groups. After a common cooking we continued with lectures during a long evening with the slogan “slow food fast lectures”.



After sorting the topics to be discussed into groups, each participant chose a group of topics s/he wanted to speak about. In this way the larger group divided into smaller groups. These were some of the topics the three groups discussed:

1. Writing an application signed by 100 artists from Berlin with the purpose to provide a “basic income” to 20 people of this group for one year. The questions discussed were – How to write applications collectively? How to escape project-oriented income and create continuity in work? How to allow artists to work freely without the constant pressure to produce? Is it possible or needed to restructure the funding system in Berlin?


2. Producing each other – this group raised a concern that on the one hand people don't know so many good producers for their artistic work and on the other hand the need to work in extra non-art jobs as a source of income. The idea is to create a project of artists producing, managing and making public relations for each other instead of hiring professionals or just not being able to pay for these things. The questions discussed were – How could we more efficiently use the resources and skills that we have? How can we have solidarity and help in each other’s work? What skills do we have that we don't use?


3. “Fantastic institution” - This topic was discussed during the monthly meeting in the last year. Realizing fully that there is no perfect institution for the performing arts, the idea behind such a challenging concept was to go beyond the existing modes of production and avoiding sticking too much to the reality of our times and the conditions we come to know. The questions were – What can be the functions of art institutions? What would we like them to be? What kind of structures for art production can we imagine? What society do we imagine can exist that would need an institution like that?


July 5 - “Sum up”


Sum up of the discussion, continued discussion in the large group about the consequence of previous proposals. Interviews with the guests for the next edition of the `Choreographic Radio`, photo documentation.


In a large group we discussed:

1. How to make the idea “producing for each other” happen. How to collect a list of skills of people in relation to what needs people have. I.e. - website, facebook group, a person taking care of it, etc.'.

2. A request from ZTB Berlin of Berlin artist to be involved in the needs and discussion of the art scene in Berlin. For example, ZTB can bring up demands reduced ticket sales.
3. Discussion about self-organization by Jette Schneider from her experience with the group CLOUD.
4. “Fantastic institution” - Associations game what is the fantastic institution?
5. Discussion regarding the future of the initiative How-Do-We-Work-It – What changed during the last year? How do we want to continue?

6.Creating additionally to the online-radio an initiative for peer-reviews


Documentation: Kai Simon Stoeger, Martina Ruhsam, Sonja Augart (recording) Secretaries: Uri Turkenich, Daniel AlmgrenRécen, Juli Reinartz, Clement Layes Food, drinks: Felix Marchand, Barbara Friedrich, Zeina Hanna, Uri Turkenich, Ayara Hernández, Kai Simon Stoeger, Sonja Heller, Juan Gabriel Harcha Music, Film: Zeina Hanna Space: Daniel AlmgrenRécen

03.07.15 - 05.07.15

Berlin (DE)

supported/organized by Uferstudios