Ambassade de dandelion

Robert Walser Sculpture by Thomas Hirschhorn
Bahnhofplatz. Bienne, Switzerland
June 15th, 2019 to September 8th, 2019



Dandelion was a collective of five artists based in Switzerland, born from reflections upon critical pedagogy, inspired by the likes of Janus Korczak and Paulo Freire.  The participatory action research methodology implemented by the collective collaborated with children as co-authors of research in an exploration of urban space, examining the city in reminiscence of the dandelion; efflorescent and rhizomatic. Employing the walk as its primary medium, the collective rendered movement as a tool for sketching sensorial cartographies during exercises with the children of Bienne. Drawing reference from the Debord’s derives and Colin Ward’s Child in The City, the collective walked as a tool to activate the child’s place in the city. At the fulcrum of the inquiry resided the relationship between children and urban contexts, constituting research that cited Ward’s question of “whether the city, as a human institution, adopts a helping mode towards its young citizens, or whether Paul Goodman was right when he declared years ago that ‘the city, under inevitable modern conditions, can no longer be dealt with practically by children’ because ‘concealed technology, family mobility, loss of the country, loss of neighbourhood tradition, and eating up of the play space have taken away the real environment’.”


A series of kits designed by the collective facilitated various modes of sensorial engagement during the expeditions; each kit was fabricated with the intention of amplifying particular sensorial observations, serving as a lens that invited participants to commence a sensorial cartography of their city. The kits were subject to the modifications of future participations, perpetuating an open-ended body of research, called the “anarchive.” The anarchive consisted of a compilation of traces of previous excursions; a continuously expanding directory of objects and documents, re-activatable with each future expedition. The work that emerged from this methodology was a constantly evolving map of Bienne, housing an accumulation of subjective maps contributed by the participants and their interpretation of the city.

Collectif Dandelion presented their daily research in the context of the Robert Walser Sculpture Project by Thomas Hirschhorn from June 15th to September 8th 2019 in Bienne, Switzerland. The project paid homage to the work of Swiss writer Robert Walser, and took place in the Bahnhofplatz of Bienne, constituting the Stiftung Schweizerische Plastikausstellung SPA Biel's 13th edition. The collective published a book of reflections from the project, available per request.

www.robertwalser-sculpture.com



[1] Ward, Colin. (1978). The Child in the City.


THE PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH METHODOLOGY IMPLEMENTED BY THE COLLECTIVE COLLABORATED WITH CHILDREN AS CO-AUTHORS OF RESEARCH IN AN EXPLORATION OF URBAN SPACE, EXAMINING THE CITY IN REMINISCENCE OF THE DANDELION; EFFLORESCENT AND RHIZOMATIC. EMPLOYING THE WALK AS ITS PRIMARY MEDIUM, THE COLLECTIVE RENDERED MOVEMENT AS A TOOL FOR SKETCHING SENSORIAL CARTOGRAPHIES.