From the outset, I wanted the exhibition to “read” as a long-term project. I knew that a website would be central to this, so I made sure that the budget for the exhibition made room for an independent website, to launch in tandem with the physical exhibition. I used the following language on the website, to help visitors imagine a long-term project:
WOUND, adj. /wand/ mending time and attention
WOUND is a study center for practices of listening and collaboration. The study center offers free trainings in listening, attention, and collaboration, all of which foreground the relationship between capitalism and time, practice and temporality. Trainings are led by UltraRed, Shaun Leonardo, the Order of the Third Bird, Project 404, the Canaries, the Design Studio for Social Intervention, Generative Somatics (Alta Starr and RJ Maccani), and the Extrapolation Factory. WOUND displays a collection of sculptural tools which can be used by visitors who have been trained. Outside of training hours, the study center is a quiet place to sit, read, and contemplate conceptions of time as articulated by Yoko Ono, taisha paggett and Ashley Hunt, Dave McKenzie, Judith Leeman, Adelheid Mers, Chloe Bass, Linda Montano, Danica Phelps, the New York Horological Society, and the National Watch and Clock Museum.
STAFF Interim Director: Caroline Woolard
Art Historian: Stamatina Gregory
Assistants: to be announced soon
Facilitators: (link to facilitators)
Trainings: (link to trainings)
Tools: (link to tools)
MEMBERSHIP To support WOUND, please become a member. Membership is offered at a sliding scale, from $20–$200, based on what you can afford. Members are notified of trainings before the general public, and enable us to continue our work.
THANKS Special thanks to Stamatina Gregory and Cooper Union for making this project possible. Thanks also to Jennifer Monson, Aaron Landsman, Risa Shoup, Abigail Statinksy, Alicia Boone Jean-Noel, Robert Sember, and
for introducing Stamatina Gregory and Caroline Woolard to artists, designers, dancers, and facilitators. This project would not be possible without ongoing conversations with Leigh Claire La Berge, Louise Ma,
Emilio Martínez Poppe,
and Pedagogy Group members. WOUND is supported by a generous grant from the Rubin Foundation and from Cooper Union.
HOURS: Wednesday through Sunday from 1–8 p.m. from October 12–November 11
GRAND OPENING PARTY: October 13, 6–8 p.m.
LOCATION: 41 Cooper Gallery, 41 Cooper Square, on Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets
If you would like to host WOUND, please contact <email>. WOUND is currently seeking spaces that can host facilitation and training.
Curator Stamatina Gregory allowed me to add the following text to the curatorial statement that a viewer would read when entering the gallery, as a wall text in vinyl:
WOUND is a study center for practices of listening, attention, and collaboration. In its month-long installment at The Cooper Union, WOUND director Caroline Woolard worked with curator Stamatina Gregory to select tools from artists and collectives whose multi-year practices register in the visual arts. In its online archive, WOUND will present a full spectrum of tools, facilitators, and practices from the performing arts, speculative design, community organizing, geography, and engineer- ing. Director Caroline Woolard calls WOUND, “a study center for the mending of time and attention”...
By writing a “month-long installment at The Cooper Union,” and “director Caroline Woolard,” rather than “this exhibition,” and “artist Caroline Woolard,” I convinced more than a few people that the center had been open for years, and was on its way to other locations. By writing this on the wall, and online, in many ways, it became true. I was approached by Malick Kane, a curator from Dakar, about bringing the center there, at the opening. The center traveled to Glasgow, to Oslo, and to the Free Library of Philadelphia.
In addition to the wall text, I wanted to make sure that I hired people to engage visitors in the space in ways that created an atmosphere of “study” and welcome. For the first installment of The Study Center, in the gallery space at Cooper Union, I knew that I needed to train facilitators. I hired people who had been students of mine at the New School and at Cooper Union, and recent graduates that Stamatina Gregory recommended, to work in the space: Emilio Martínez Poppe, Jordan Delzell, Anna Vila, Anna Zinovieff Papadimitriou, and Samantha Rosner. I held a training for them, and I also created a printed PDF for the facilitators to review, at work, so that they would be prepared to answer questions that visitors might ask.
“As someone who has spent the last decade in a lot of meetings with groups, I have realised that to organize new projects you essentially spend your life either sitting at a table in a meeting or typing on a computer. I’m hoping that we can move from sitting in spaces that feel very allergic to imagination, the formica table and fluorescent lights that you imagine at most organising spaces — to spaces that are exciting that are developed with artists and organisers so that the furniture itself reminds us of the vision of the world we want to see.”
— Caroline Woolard, 2016
WELCOME! Welcome to The Study Center. We call the objects here “tools,” because they are used to facilitate listening, attention, or collaboration. The Study Center is dedicated to mending time and attention, which means that we aim to offer experiences of collaborative time: time which is specifically marked by our engagement with one another.You can use a few of the “tools” right now, if you like. If you are interested in trying out any of the “text tools” over here, you are welcome to check one out and work with it anywhere in The Study Center. We have two practice spaces in the back and many places to sit. Or, if you would like to practice using Judith Leemann’s tools for non-verbal communication, taisha paggett and Ashley Hunt’s par course mirror, or the Extrapolation Factory’s speculative design tools, I can show you how to use any of these.Many of the “tools” are activated in events—which we call “trainings”— where the artists who have created certain tools will demonstrate their use. If you are interested in coming to a training, please see the flyer and be sure to RSVP online. I can RSVP for you, right now, if you prefer.
You can use a few of the “tools” right now, if you like. If you are interested in trying out any of the “text tools” over here, you are welcome to check one out and work with it anywhere in The Study Center.Some of the tools in The Study Center are on view only. These tools cannot be used either because there are no trainings scheduled at this time or because the tools are too precious to be used by the general public. For example, we have one of the only prototypes of Paul Ryan’s Threeing rugs, called Rose Window. This was created by Paul Ryan (1943–2013) and Luis Berríos-Negrón (b. 1971) as a 1:3 scale-model for dOCUMENTA 13 (2010–12) in hand-spun alpaca which was hand-dyed and woven in Peru. This work comes to us from the collection of Jean Gardner, Paul Ryan’s widow, who teaches at the New School.Q&AHOW DO YOU “MEND TIME AND ATTENTION”?WOUND aims to mend time and attention by providing: (1) Practice Spaces for groups(2) a study center for practice-related readings and sculptural tools(3) Trainings in practices of listening, attention, and collaboration.WHY DO VISUAL ARTISTS NEED PRACTICE SPACES?Just as dancers take classes throughout their lives, WOUND aims to become a permanent practice space for group work in the visual arts. Practice requires duration. Art departments and art institutions have increased funding for social practice since the early 2000s, but the communities that are rewarded within academic and non-profit spaces tend to be short-lived and outcome-oriented. Transformative practices cannot be developed or contained in a month-long exhibition, a four-year or two-year degree, or a year-long grant. To move toward an aesthetic of practice, further study is required.
WOUND aims to become a permanent practice space for group work in the visual arts.WHAT “TOOLS” DOES THE STUDY CENTER COLLECT AND STUDY?The Study Center holds a collection of small objects, writing, and ephemera used in group work. This Study Center makes impossible the fantasy of an autonomous object, one removed from collective practice and historical context. Every object in the Study Center is called a “tool” and is either “on view” or “in use” in trainings by collectives and politically engaged artists. WOUND links a wide range of collaborative and participatory practices, from the so-called 1960s dematerialization of the art object (tool on view: Yoko Ono), to 1970s cybernetic systems (tool on view: Paul Ryan), to 1980s feminist durational performances (Linda Montano). The study center places practices of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s in conversation with artists and collectives of the 2000s who continue to emphasize collective practice by distributing texts, prototypes, and tools.WHY DO WE NEED TO BE TRAINED?If most New Yorkers have no experiences of democracy at work, at home, in school, or online, how will we learn to work together? This study center provides a practice space for joint work and joint decision-making.
Every object in the Study Center is called a “tool” and is either “on view” or “in use” in trainings by collectives and politically engaged artists.If democracy is “an endless meeting” and socialism “requires too many evenings,” then WOUND cultivates behaviors that might allow groups to gather together more carefully. WOUND director Caroline Woolard says, “I see this study center as a demonstration of the future of art school. Art departments will be the places where interdisciplinary teams are formed, utilizing practices of listening, attention, and collaboration that this study center honors.”IS IT WOOOND OR WAAAAUND?You decide. We say waaaund, to remind ourselves that time-keeping devices are always time-producing devices. As the past participle of the verb to wind, “wound” reaches back to a past that has seemingly been set in motion. And yet, as a present participle of the same verb, as seen, for example, in the phrase “the clock is wound,” the verb indicates a potentiality that can be altered, it indexes a conclusion that is not foregone. Nonetheless, when most visitors first see the word W-O-U-N-D, they will make an association to the much more common noun form: a wound, as in a harm or an injury.Perhaps the current injury on view at WOUND is in thinking that time has been wound against our desires: there is “too little time,” time moves “too quickly,” our time has been attenuated. WOUND asks: How, through collaboration, can we unwind time in order to render it open, unspecified, and inviting? How can we recognize the nature of our seemingly dwindling attention not as the result of being “wound up,” but as the result of being hurt or injured, an emotional claim which, necessarily, implies the ability to be healed? Can these practices render time a qualitative not quantitative phenomenon, something that is marked and construed for groups through mutuality rather than received through authority?WHO MADE THIS SPACE?WOUND director Caroline Woolard worked with curator Stamatina Gregory to select tools from artists and collectives whose multi-year practices register in the visual arts. Caroline Woolard is the creative director and exhibition designer for the space, and the “tools” in use and on view come from 19 artists and collectives: Ultra-red, Shaun Leonardo, the Order of the Third Bird, Project 404, Sick Time with Canaries, the Design Studio for Social Intervention, the Extrapolation Factory, Yoko Ono, taisha paggett and Ashley Hunt, Paul Ryan, Dave McKenzie, Judith Leemann, Adelheid Mers, Chloe Bass, Linda Montano, Danica Phelps, Matthew Buckingham, Nightwood, the New York Horological Society, and the National Watch and Clock Museum. Caroline Woolard makes art and institutions for the solidarity economy. Her method enjoins objects to their contexts of circulation. Woolard builds sculptures for barter only as she also co-creates international barter networks; she fabricates model Shaker housing as she also co-convenes organizers of community land trusts. WOUND, the study center launched here at 41 Cooper Gallery, is a continuation of Woolard’s dedication to art and also to the institutions which enable these objects to circulate. In its online archive, WOUND will present a full spectrum of tools, facilitators, and practices from the performing arts, speculative design, community organizing, geography,and engineering.
Can these practices render time a qualitative not quantitative phenomenon?WHERE WILL THE STUDY CENTER GO NEXT?WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?Go to http://woundstudycenter.com and read more about the artists and collectives in the show from this binder here.HOW CAN I SUPPORT WOUND?Please become a member. Yearly membership is offered at a sliding scale, from $20–$200, based on what you can afford. Members are notified of trainings before the general public, have access to tools on member-only days, and enable us to continue to provide trainings to the public. Please write to [email protected] woundstudycenter.com if you would like to become a member.
When the Glasgow School of Art invited me to give a lecture in Glasgow, I convinced them to commission a video so that I would not need to travel, and the video would honor the practices of a wide range of people in the Study Center. This way, the $1000 could be used to pay filmmakers and go online, visible to thousands of people. I wrote an email, asking members of the Study Center to participate, and explaining the overall budget. Many people agreed to be involved, so I went ahead and hired Herman Jean-Noel, a filmmaker who I met at TradeSchool, and who made a film about my work at Cornell.
I wrote Herman an email to see if he would be able to do this job.
SUBJECT: job? ...study center video update for $1k by March 10th (shooting video Feb 16th)
February 3, 2019 Good morning dear Herman,
I hope you are loving CA! I just got an invitation to make an updated video of the Study Center to be shown at the Glasgow School of Art (in place of me going there, as this way other groups can use it). I want it to be like the beautiful one you made two whole years ago, but updated as I will describe below.
Questions: - Do you have time/interest to do this? (see below for project scope) - Are you free on Saturday Feb 16th to shoot video for it (location TBA, but someplace with good light/sound that isn't too far from us) - Can you do this for $1k? That’s what they are giving me, so I would have them send it to you directly, or I can Venmo you if that’s better for tax reasons.
Scope: You would be doing the audio, titles, a bit more video shooting, and editing. I would use the intro audio in your video ( https://vimeo.com/198242353 starting at 00:11 and going to 00:42 ... possibly until 01:18 or even 01:47 ) From there, it could move into more of a tutorial where I teach people how to do
(I can explain) while these objects are in the background, on a meeting table, to hint at all the things we could get help with in groups:
It needs to be done by March 10th.
Let me know what’s possible, and if you can do it, or not. No hard feelings if the budget is too small, or if you are too busy. I wish it were a bigger budget, but here we go. I’m giving the whole budget to you (or to another person, if you can’t do it). Just let me know, when you can, or perhaps we can talk later today.
Sending light and appreciation, Caroline
Herman said yes, so I coordinated with the artists from the Study Center who were open to doing this shoot and sharing their existing footage with us. To orient Herman as the film-maker and editor, I created a document that outlined the plan for the day of shooting and that outlined the clips to use from existing footage artists had sent me.
THIS Sunday: 567 Carlton Ave Brooklyn NY (not the best light)
10–11:00 Set up 45 mins—Herman 11–11:30 Chloe
11:30–12:00 Caroline misc objects video shoot (see below)
12 or 12:30 Sal around noon
/ misc objects video shoot (see below)
1:30–2:00 Pack up / leave
Here is the link to the videos. http://www.mediafire.com/file/gvhw5eciuyqhf0t/ Archive.zip/file
VIDEO SCRIPT / CUTS / SHOT LIST: Use old Intro https://vimeo.com/198242353 ( 00:12 — 00:42 ... possibly until 01:18 or even 01:47 )Record new audio: Hello, my name is Caroline Woolard. I am the interim Director of the Study Center for Group Work. Today I want to introduce you to some of the practices that you might want to try out in your own self-organized groups. Self-organized means that you are doing this without a boss.I started this center because I spend half of my time thinking about art, and the other half of my time thinking about how people can work together to effect social change. I love making objects, and yet, I am often in ugly meeting spaces with formica and horrible lighting.I wondered: what if the objects in our meetings were as beautiful as the conversations we were having?I realized that a lot of artists have been working on this—creating ways for groups to gather together and often using objects to do so—so I started this Study Center to share what I was learning about all of the artists who want to facilitate group work, dialog, and transformation.---I like to say: What if the tables and objects in our spaces were as imaginative as the conversations we were having? I have found that by bringing sculptural objects to community gatherings, I make tangible the slow temporality of community-building; people sense the care that has gone into the facilitation practices I bring to group work.The reason I am so excited about making objects for facilitation is that it solves two deep desires I have: (1) to make beautiful objects and also (2) remain in facilitation settings, meetings, and group settings where I can offer my skills as an artist and honor existing, slowly-developed, community-generated facilitation skills without trying to author them.
(1) to make beautiful objects and also (2) remain in facilitation settings, meetings, and group settings where I can offer my skills as an artist and honor existing, slowly-developed, community-generated facilitation skills without trying to author them.Think of the last time you were trying to get people together to do something... maybe you wanted to ask for a pay raise, for better working conditions, or to create a project together.What is so difficult about people coming together, on their own terms, without a boss?Have you ever tried to get together with a group of people, outside of work, and had a horrible time getting things done?Most people have very little experience with group work. They might come together and wonder: Who is going to send out invitations to gather together? How can we make decisions once we are together? Can we trust one another to do what we say we are going to do, without a boss?It turns out that visual artists have been thinking about how to collaborate, and developing collaborative methods that they want to share. Today, I want to describe a few of the collaborative methods that artists have developed to help us work on:– group roles (threeing),– the politics of the space between us (field guide to spatial intimacy),– non-verbal communication (Preposition and Prosthesis)– attention as a medium (the Protocol of Attention and Adaptation, the Birds)– theater games to explore structural violence / social identity (mirror/echo/tilt)---Threeing: Starting in the 1970s, the video artist (not politician) Paul Ryan developed a method for collaboration called Threeing. Ryan described Threeing in this way: “Just as training wheels help one learn to ride a bicycle, so the [threeing method] helps people to learn Threeing. Once people learn to change roles without confusion, the training wheels come off, the [facilitation objects can be] discarded.”– Smithsonian Video to useHere is how to practice Threeing: Exercise # 1 Drawing Give each participant a drawing pad and a drawing pencil or marker. Each person is asked to draw one spontaneous line on the paper, all at the same time (First Skill Set).Team rotates the pad to the other members of the team. Now each member of the team reacts to the line in front of them with another single line that indicates their reaction (Second Skill Set). Rotate pads again.Each team member takes their time and adds an- other line to the drawing that seeks to balance or mediate between the two lines in front of them (Third Skill Set).Show each other the final compositions. Repeat procedure for as much time as you have.The Field Guide to Spatial Intimacy is.... (Chloe audio recording on Sunday) Chloe Bass videoPropositions and Prosthesis is... (audio from Judith???)The Braid is... (audio coming from Adelheid by Monday) Olivia Junell and Asha Iman Veal video to useI condensed The Braid template from a large number of conversations with artists whom I asked: How do you work? It became very clear that nothing can be considered external to doing cultural work. Because of that, The Braid is visualized as a continuum that is traversed by a path. I think of it as a topology. It can stretch, but not tear.The Braid template was made as an invitation. You are invited to unfold it into the present moment, your present moment, to inscribe your own practice as a unique path within a continuum that is both personal and shared. This works really well in pairs, with each person appreciatively inquiring about how the conversation partner works.We made videos of artists and other cultural workers using the template to share how we inhabit these spaces differently, and to give examples how The Braid template can be used.The Birds are... (video with Sal on Sunday) – attention as a medium (the Protocol of Attention and Adaptation, the Birds)Mirror / Echo Tilt is... (video coming from Melanie / Shaun) – waiting...Project 404 is... (audio coming from Len by Monday) – the theater of social identity (mirror/echo/tilt)Water Clocks... to record Sunday – to think about time in groups, to mark it unconventionally – include the video of the hour glass that never runs out – include video of the net and the ceiling? – include video of the aqueous event object?
This project continues today, as it is core to my interest in making objects for groups, and in continuing to learn how to transform myself in relationship to other people, through collaboration. See The Meeting, chapter 1, for more.