The project Soft Logics was planned regarding the 25th anniversary of Künstlerhaus. It contains an exhibition and a number of events that present updates of concepts from the founding period as well as they pose the question if there is a creative practice that is inclusive and open.
The notion “interdisciplinarity” precisely nails down the founding idea of Künstlerhaus. Interdisciplinary work is based on the realization that discipline borders are just a question of definition and therefore flexible. Soft Logics goes beyond interdisciplinarity by demanding an even more radical openness in creative work. While interdisciplinarity requires one common research question, that is elaborated by different disciplines, “soft logics” allow a more open approach. In this approach, all results are valued even if they point in a total different direction and can’t be subsumed under the initial research question.
„Interdisciplinary is increasingly regarded as essential critical practice, for a discipline that builds walls around itself (…) is likely to stagnate. Here the Philosopher Michel Serres offers a pertinent image: I believe that there is box-thought, the thought we call rigorous, like rigid, inflexible boxes, and sack-thought, like systems of fabric. Our philosophy lacks a good organum of fabrics.‘ (Michel Serres: Rome. The Book of Foundations. Stanford 1991) (…) Serres also argues for ‚soft logics‘ – modes of thought that are open and inclusive.“ (Barnett, Penina; Jeffries, Janis; Ross, Doran: Letters of the editors. In: Textile. The Journal of Cloth and Culture. Vol. I, Issue 1, London, Spring 2003)
Firstly introduced by the French philosopher Michel Serres, the notion “soft logics” recently appears in many culture-contexts. The notion is a counter model to “hard logics”, it is a model that is more inclusive and open. To illustrate his idea, Serres uses a metaphor from the textile industry: He draws a comparison between a sack and a box – both serve the same purpose. However, the sack offers a different form of precision, it is more flexible and less controllable. That way, surprising new points of view arise and initial questions and interests shift.
Applying the notion „soft logics“ to the field of art, it establishes new connections that counter traditional structures and hierarchies, question forms of inclusion and exclusion and dismisses separations between so-called “established” and “unestablished” forms of work, discourses or subjects. Soft Logics challenge sharp definitions and enables projects that ignore common dichotomies such as art vs. education, art vs. craft, art vs. social work, etc. By that, Soft Logics represents an interplay between different ways of thinking, action and communication, that generates complex ideas and puts them into shape.
Soft Logics combines several aspects: The exhibition, opening event and film program raise questions about dealing with history. How does history manifest, how is it narrated? The event Geführte Labyrinthe deals with the archive as interspace between remembering and forgetting. The film program Archive & Positionen deals with aspects of narrated history, so-called oral history.
The roundtable Selbstgemachte Mikroutopien invites players from Stuttgart’s art scene to discuss self-organization.
The event Style Politics brings together players from the fashion industry, music production and cultural theory to discuss policies of identity.
A workshop for artists, art communicators and others rounds off the event series. The workshop will be about the question if art and education can work together.
Soft Logics presents three archives, that respresent three different approaches to cultural practice. The remodeling of Künstlerhaus’ house archive is an ongoing process that is open to the public. Weekly interventions (Das Archiv verrichten – Performing the Archiv) offer insight to the archive.
The B+B Archive is a mobile collection of materials on participative and social practices. The curators Sophie Hope and Sarah Cattington (B+B) have compiled it over the last three years. B+B will give a talk about their project and present materials from their collection.
The archive Kontext/Kunst/Vermittlung contains projects that are located within the intersection of art and art communication. On occasion of Soft Logics, the archive, that is located at Institute for Art in Context at University of the Arts Berlin, will be updated.