“This is the last monthly report before the summer holidays. The project term ends on August 31st; still, my mind is drawn to summarizing the year that’s gone by.”

June 2023

Read Process Leader and Curator Macarena Dusant’s Monthly Report #11 here.

Collecting Thoughts/Samlande tankar is a project by Grafikens Hus with a three-year support from Swedish Arts Council.

Moving through the archive: Johnny Chang & MayDay Rooms

–> A Look at Critical Archiving and Organizing Access <–

Welcome to an evening, 8/6 5-8 PM, of thinking together on the possibilities of organizing archives and libraries from multiple perspectives. This program examines how different forms of gathering, especially from and for movements as well as marginalized communities generate various forms of agency, resistance, and collective un/learning processes. What are the various approaches, possibilities, and limitations of these practices?

Moving through the archive_ invites Johnny Chang and MayDay Rooms to discuss how knowledge can be collected from informal, critical, dissident perspectives. Through a lecture performance by Johnny Chang, and a public presentation by MayDay Rooms, we invite the public to reflect on the possibilities and limitations of collective, interdependent forms of gathering.

Elof Hellström, from Hägerstensåsens Medborgarhus, will moderate an open conversation after the presentations.

_ JOHNNY CHANG is a Taiwanese-American multidisciplinary designer and artist based in Stockholm. Moving between visual communication, writing, and artistic inquiry, his practice is concerned with circumstances of distance and diaspora, the politics of voice and listening, and processes of sense-making. His work inquires into conditions and entanglements of contemporary everyday life toward cultivating resilient capacities for sensing, feeling, and being in the present. His current residency research with Grafikens Hus is engaged with differently situated archives and libraries to investigate aesthetics of gathering, and terms and methods of access from urgent perspectives.

_ MAYDAY ROOMS aims to safeguard histories and documents of radicalism and resistance by connecting them with contemporary struggle and protest, and by developing new free forms of dissemination and collective self-education. Our building contains an archive of historical material linked to radical history. Alongside our material archives, we create and maintain digital archives and databases of these histories, with the hope that these traces of the past might freely be taken up and put to use in present struggles. As well as housing an archive, our building functions as an organizing space for activists, social movements, troublemakers and radicals. We also run a full programme of events including film screenings, poetry readings, archiving workshops, historical talks, discussions, reading groups and social nights.

_ ELOF HELLSTRÖM‘s work addresses issues of socio-political injustice in the contemporary city. He has initiated and is a member of various art collectives and self-organized initiatives such as the cultural house Cyklopen in Stockholm. Elof is one of the artistic directors at Hägerstensåsens Medborgarhus.

–> The program is a collaboration between Collecting Thoughts/Grafikens Hus, A Movement to Hold and Hägerstensåsens Medborgarhus. Curated by Macarena Dusant/Grafikens Hus and Alba Folgado/A Movement to Hold. In collaboration with IASPIS. With support from Kulturrådet.

–> Accessibility

The event will take place in the library room on the ground floor of Hägerstensåsens Medborgarhuset. Medborgarhuset has a lift which makes the upper floor accessible as well. There are no obstructive steps on the ground floor of the building. There are larger wheelchair-accessible and gender-neutral toilets on both the ground floor and the upper floor. There will be other occasional visitors to other events in the house at the same time.

The event will be in English.
Keywords and translations will be available in Swedish.

If you would like to speak to someone prior to your visit to discuss your access needs, please contact: info@medborgarhuset.se

Find your way there:
Hägerstensåsens Medborgarhus
Riksdalervägen 2, 129 32 Hägersten
Subway station: Hägerstensåsen

Johnny Chang

Our working expert council is made up of eight members who will together guide Collecting Thoughts philosophically, theoretically and practically and engaging artists through Artist-in-Residence. Now we introduce Johnny Chang.

He is a Taiwanese-American multidisciplinary designer and artist based in Stockholm. Moving between visual communication, writing, and artistic research, his practice is concerned with circumstances of distance and diaspora, the politics of voice and listening, and processes of sense-making. Through visual culture, publication making, and collaborative and performative methods of reading, he investigates ways of listening and voicing toward cultivating resilient capacities for sensing, feeling, and being in the present. He studied at ArtCenter College of Design (BFA, US) and Konstfack (MFA, SE). Occasionally teaches at Konstfack and Stockholm University.

Johnny will also be Artist-in-Residence as part of Collecting Thoughts.

“To build a collection is to be in a constant (re)formulation work”

Macarena Dusant is the new process leader and curator. She is an independent art historian, editor and writer with focus on power structures, the public realm and exclusion mechanisms within the western art field. Grafikens Hus would like to thank the former process leader and curator Mmabatho Thobejane for her great work during the project’s first year.

Grafikens hus would like to welcome you with joy as the new process leader and curator in Collecting Thoughts/Samlande tankar! What made you take on the project? 

Thank you! It’s an exciting project that discuss the present and understands that a collection structures history and organizes possible futures. The project gives space to think about collections and that they can start from different perspectives, from selection to illuminate. How do we approach a collection? What is a collection? Why a collection? Holding collections within the museum has a colonial background and this makes the project important as it wants to ask questions about the structures that collections and archives carry. In this way, Collecting Thoughts/Samlande tankar is a unique project where Grafikens Hus strives to develop a method for the construction and handle of a collection, and which will be part of our new museum building. I think that the project takes care of collecting as a state of becoming, where there is an insight that collecting is to be in constant (re)formulation. Yet, in Collecting Thoughts/Samlande tankar we do it in a process-based method together with an expert council group and artists in residency which provides the project with academic, philosophical, artistic and practical input. We could see the project as a collective effort because it is conceived together.  

Can you reveal something about what you have planed ahead for our audience? 

Not quite yet. The project is currently in the beginning of year two (of three) and I am getting familiar with the former process leader and curator Mmabatho Thobejane’s work. She har really built a fantastic knowledge base foundation in the project which I will try to take care of in the best possible way. One thing I will continue with is the monthly letters so that our followers can continue to be updated about the process.   

Do you have any book recommendations for those whoa wants to read more about what it means to collect and archive today?  

I would like to recommend the publication by Mmabatho Thobejane and that compile the first year of Collecting Thoughts/Samlande tankar. It under production at the moment. Keep an eye for it!  

Collecting Thougts/Samlande tankar is a project by Grafikens Hus with the aim to look at graphic print collections in Sweden and abroad from a intersectional and post colonial perspective. The project is funded with a three-year support from Swedish Arts Council.