Online only Published: 21-05-2019 // Written by: TAAK

Social Capital Round Table

What if...
Artists around the table for area development

24 May 2019, 16:30
@ LIMA / Lab111

It's broadly agreed upon that artists are important players in urban development. Artists create monuments to what once was, and they create a bridge between an area's original residents and its newcomers. They observe changes critically and poetically. For example, the artist, whether intentionally or unintentionally, can fulfill the role of neighborhood coach, place-maker, connector, and driver of social cohesion for a greater quality of life in new and old neighborhoods. These 'soft values' are difficult to measure, yet ultimately materialize into a tangible increase in the real estate market. But where are artists when negotiations take place, plans are drawn up, decisions are made, and contracts are signed? Do they have influence once the neighborhood has become polished and lifeless? To what extent are they victims of, or on the contrary complicit in, the gentrification of neighborhoods to the tipping point on which consumerism and capitalism reign?

Much has been argued about this topic in the art world, and we are therefore using the Round Table on 24 May at LIMA / LAB111 as part of Social Capital for a thought experiment. We propose the question: What if, for one year, the subsidies for art in the public spaces of the Amsterdam-West district are not spent on art projects, but instead on compensation for artists and local residents involved in sitting down at the negotiating table? Not as a sponge to be squeezed dry, but as a recognized participant in the decision-making processes of the municipality and project developers.

During the Round Table we discuss the pros and cons, challenges and pitfalls of this plan together with the artists participating in Social Capital #2 in Amsterdam-West: Julika Rudelius, Lyubov Matyunina, bart & klaar, and Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec. Also attending is senior urban planner Julian Jansen from the municipality of Amsterdam.

Prior to the Round Table is the soft launch of the collective blog We> Me.Me. Despite the emphasis on individuality in our time, bart & klaar are curious about 'we'. Their We> Me.Me app offers a daily screen full of images, texts and art works about ‘we’. During the launch, writer Fiep van Bodegom will also recite from a we-column.

Round table language: (mostly) English
Location: LIMA / LAB111, Arie Biemondstraat 111, Amsterdam
Entrance: free
Start: 16:30

Afterwards we cordially invite everyone to come to the Pesthuislaan on the WG-Terrein (a five-minute walk from LIMA), where at 19:00 Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec presents Tuning In - the neighborhood, in collaboration with DNK Ensemble and the residents of Woon- en Werkvereniging WG-Terrein. During this intervention musicians, the public, and residents from their home on the street level of the WG-Terrein jointly intone the musical note 'A', blurring the boundaries between private and public, listener and performer. Until 20:00, followed by drinks, soup and bread at Bar Budapest (cash only).

Social Capital
The Social Capital Round Table is part of the multi-year art programme Social Capital by TAAK. Amsterdam is expanding rapidly because of economic and social forces. As a result, the public domain is under increasing pressure. Despite regulations, monoculture and commodification, how can we continue to see public space as a place for imagination and adventure? To address this question, TAAK launched Social Capital in september 2018, a programme consisting of interventions, presentations, workshops, performances, videos and installations at unexpected locations in various Amsterdam neighbourhoods. 

The second edition of Social Capital starts on 23 May 2019 in Amsterdam-West. Developed by TAAK and LIMA, the programme includes the following participants: Lyubov Matyunina, Julika Rudelius, Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec in collaboration with DNK Ensemble, and Bart and Klaar. These artists respond to changes in their immediate surroundings with (sound) performances and video installations at various sites in West.

Have a look at for the full programme.