Meeting Grounds is an ongoing artistic project that seeks to explore ideas of publicness and public space within contemporary society. With current global phenomena limiting our access to certain spaces and ultimately confining us to our private spheres, we are urged to rethink our relationship to space, place and community; alongside the values that we place upon them.
Join us for our weekly Meeting Grounds programme of online, participatory events to explore the new digital realms of public space and community that are coming as a result of such restrictions.
We host four cycles, each spanning one particular topic, that last for three weeks per cycle. All of these will be archived below.
Cycle one: public space and the body (April 6 - April 26)
Cycle two: the colonisation of the rural(April 27 - 17 May)
Cycle three: public space in private arenas (18 May -June 7)
Cycle four: TBC (June 8 - June 28)
Within each cycle we host the following program events: The Common Room, Reading Group, Writing Workout, Zine Workshop and finally the Talkshow Podcast. For more info see below!
* Cycle one: public space and the body
During a time where we find our access to public space increasingly limited, we begin to look at the body politics involved in such restrictions and regulations. How are the ways in which we engage with and place value on public space now altered, how do strict bodily rules influence our relationship to citizenship, space and place.
Cycle 1 of Meeting Grounds Online seeks to understand how semi-public places such as balconies and windows are being used as sites of liminality for community and as arenas for spectatorship and the gaze. Alongside deconstructing the act of walking in this current time and how this is influencing the ways we engage with certain spaces. To understand how movement, the body and the mind form a huge part of our perceptions of place.
* Cycle two: the colonisation of the rural
In an effort to escape the over-crowded urban environments of major cities, the more affluent sections of society have been retreating to their second homes, which are, more often than not, situated in rural outposts.
The result of such retreats and, essentially, colonization, lead to increased populations in smaller areas and a higher risk of the spread of covid in the rural locations that already face limited resources and less funded healthcare facilities. Even everyday activities and places such as supermarkets have seen an influx of not-so-local shoppers, taking over their smallholdings. All to the extent that permanent residents now feel scared to leave their homes and to visit their local public spaces in fear of excessive use and overcrowdedness.
This second cycle of the Meeting Grounds Goes Online programme will be working with artist Amy Pekal to investigate the relationship between the rural and urban in these current times - two sites that are so often spoken of in terms of binaries and dualisms. Collectively we want to examine the values we place on such spaces and of our habits of usership and care.
* Cycle 3: Codes of Community, Intimacy and Care in Digital Space
At a time when we desperately lack physical contact and connectivity yet our online, collective presences continue to expand and inflate, Meeting Grounds asks how we recognise codes of community in the digital sphere? And in doing so, how spaces of care and intimacy look and behave on the internet?
Our series of upcoming events seek to explore ideas of online community and social solidarity, to think about how the forms in which we communicate and exchange are changing and evolving, with particular attention to the role the digital sphere plays within this.
How can written and verbal cues, body language, visible and invisible community symbols, the gaze and acts of silence we are accustomed to in the physical sphere translate over to the digital sphere? How do we individually and collectively hold ourselves in these digital public spaces and communities we forge? How is intimacy and care navigated and maintained in such spaces?
Join us for Cycle 3 of the ongoing Meeting Grounds Online program for our discussion group, reading group, writing workout, zine open call and Club Silencio to collectively explore our current codes of community, intimacy and care in the digital sphere.
* The Common Room
Every three weeks we will dedicate an hour to discussing a different topic related to the changing nature of public space within our current times. A text will be selected as a departure point for our discussion, however reading is not essential for participation. We invite you to join in the conversation, to share anecdotes, experiences, theories, questions and ideas so we can collectively explore the changing nature of the spaces that form our daily lives. All events will be recorded unless otherwise requested and for archival purposes on the Onomatopee website Meeting Grounds page.
Discussion Group 1: Tuesday 7 April - 17.30-18.30*
“Liminal Spaces”. Balconies and windows as semi-public spaces and sites for community
Discussion Group 2: Tuesday 28 April - 17.30-18.30* “Escape to the Countryside” the colonization of the rural
Discussion Group 3: Tuesday 19 May - 17.30-18.30* Topic TBC Discussion Group 4: Tuesday 9 June - 17.30-18.30 Topic TBC
All held via Zoom
* Reading Group
The Reading Room reading group will discuss a selected chapter from one of the featured titles in the Meeting Grounds online library, to look at particular issues, topics and questions regarding public space in our current times. Join the Meeting Grounds Slack group to access a selection of titles that each work with ideas around public space and to download the reading for each Reading Room. All events will be recorded unless otherwise requested and for archival purposes on the Onomatopee website Meeting Grounds page.
Reading Room One: Thursday 9 April 17.30-18.30*
Rebecca Solnit Wanderlust: A History of Walking looking at walking as an act of citizenship
Reading Room Two: Thursday 30 April 17.30-18.30* Olga Tokarczuk Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead looking at the relationship between the urban and the rural
Reading Room Three: Thursday 21 May 17.30-18.30 Reading and topic TBC Reading Room Four: Thursday 11 June 17.30-18.30* Reading and topic TBC
All held via Zoom
* Writing Workout
Join us for our writing workout series that will flex your fingers and get those creative juices flowing. We will look at different forms and techniques of writing and that relate specifically to using and thinking about space and movement. Feel free to share your writing at the end of the workout via our organised and secure pad, or keep it to work on further at a later date. All writing workouts will be archived and can be found on the Meeting Grounds SoundCloud page: https://bit.ly/3bjbnMZ
Writing Workout One: Flaneurism and Poetics of Place
Wednesday 15 April 17.30-18.30 *via Instagram Live @onomatopeenet
Writing Workout Two: Rewriting the Rural Wednesday 6 May 17.30-18.30 *via Instagram Live @onomatopeenet
Writing Workout Three: Topic TBC Wednesday 27 May 17.30-18.30 *via Instagram Live @onomatopeenet
Writing Workout Four: Topic TBC Wednesday 17 June 17.30-18.30 *via Instagram Live @onomatopeenet
* Netherlands time
* Zine Workshop
Meeting Grounds works on a programme and publication basis.
To celebrate the influx of community spaces being created in response to current restricted social and physical measures, the Meeting Grounds Online programme wants to produce a publication that s community-led and horizontal in approach.⠀
The Meeting Grounds Goes Online publication will therefore consist of a total of four Cahiers created over a period of two months, that each respond to a different set of themes. Every three weeks we will announce the themes for each Cahier and contributors will have one week to create and send their responses to amy@onomatopee.
We are encouraging and accepting a range of responses, from all forms, styles and disciplines.
Once all four zine cahier open calls have ended we will compile all contributions and print the zine at the Onomatopee Space at the end of June. The publication will be distributed for free.
Cahier 1 Open Call Announcement: Friday 17 April 18:00 via Instagram live @onomatopeenet
Deadline: Friday 24 April
Public Space and
Cahier 2 Open Call Announcement: Friday 8 May 18:00* via Instagram live @onomatopeenet
Deadline: Friday 15 May
Cahier 3 Open Call Announcement: Friday 29 May 18:00* via Instagram live @onomatopeenet
Deadline: Friday 5 June
Cahier 4 Open Call Announcement: Friday 19 June 18:00* via Instagram live @onomatopeenet
Deadline: 26 June
*All Netherlands time
Episode 3: Robin Barry and Public Space in Fiction and Storytelling (Sun. May 3rd)