Wrap-Up Meeting: Senova discussed the exhibition and presentation options for the Angewandte Festival 2021 with Férielle Doulain-Zouari (FR/TU), Julia Stern (AT), Marwa Manai (TU), Sophia Bellouhassi (DE/AT), and Younes Ben Slimane (TU).


Senova conducted one hour peer to peer sessions with all the participants.

Meeting with Lina Lazaar: Presentation/Lecture on Kamel Lazaar Foundation

Lina Lazaar gave an insight information about the development of the art scene in the MENA region for the last two decades by also navigating through Kamel Lazaar Foundation’s projects. KLF has initiated a number of cultural and artistic actions and projects whose local and regional effects put forward the vitality of the cultural scene in the MENA region. As part of its cultural policy which aims to support artistic creation and culture in the MENA region, KLF also supports a number of projects by providing grants. She also talked about B7L9’s annual programme of artistic and cultural events. B7LG is the first art station in Tunis located in a rural suburb. Finally, she introduced and talked about the KLF’s collection, which encompasses over 1000 works of Arab art across all mediums.


Presentations of the artists and the discussion on the projects. Discussing the exhibition and presentation options for the Angewandte Festival 2021.

Meeting with Jonatan Habib Engqvist: Presentation/Lecture and Peer to peer Tutorial

He shared some thoughts from inside the process of working with Marrakesh-based artist Éric Van Hove and the Fenduq workshop over several years within the framework of the international and interregional project New Småland (2015-2020), where the one-year-long exhibition Fenduq in Vandalorum in Southern Sweden (2020-2021) serves as a platform in the development of the Mahjouba Initiative and a subsequent think tank. Here, traditional Moroccan craftsmanship meets state of the art app development, 3D printing, and industrial production to result in the first Moroccan-made moped.

During the past year they have been struggling to complete the fourth prototype in collaboration with Moroccan, international and Småland craftsmen in dialogue with local businesses. Their hope is that the project can inspire similar initiatives around the world and further a debate around the idea that the end products of the future to a greater extent not only can, but indeed need to be manufactured locally, on a small scale and with fewer intermediaries.


Senova conducted one hour peer to peer sessions with all the participants.

Virtual visit to Ebru Kurbak’s studio

We had a virtual visit to Ebru Kurbak’s studio at the Angewandte. By navigating through her current FWF Elise Richter PEEK project “The Museum of Lost Technology”, Ebru elaborated on a wide range of possible modes of production between research-led art practice and practice-led research. We also discussed the funding frameworks and she gave tips on outlining proposals to us.


Meeting with Ekaterina Degot

We had a meeting with Ekaterina Degot, Director and Chief Curator of steirischerherbst Festival in Graz. She talked about her curatorial line, her observations about Graz and Austria, steirischerherbst Festival and her views about the audience It was a timely, sharp, and very informative meeting for us


Meeting with Angelika Fitz

Today we had a very productive and inspiring meeting with Angelika Fitz, the director of Architekturzentrum Wien. We digitally visited the Az W Architekturzentrum Wien and learned a lot about their programme and the urban development of Vienna.


Meeting with Aaron Cezar

The lecture navigated through the programmes of the Delfina Foundation, which is an independent, non-profit foundation dedicated to facilitating artistic exchange and developing creative practice through residencies, partnerships and public programming in London. Especially tackling on the “science_technology_society” and
“The Politics of Food” programmes of Delfina Studios, he explained the operation logic and curatorial line of the foundation through artistic projects and further examples.


After reviewing the lectures of Charles Esche and Lisl Ponger, we discussed some topics hovering around the “decolonisation” processes and societal challenges through art .


Lecture by Charles Esche

Charles Esche: The lecture looks at what it means to demodernise a modern art museum, focusing on examples from the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. The idea of demodernising in this context is understood as an appropraite response to decolonial thinking from within the core of western colonising culture. What does it mean to steo away from the “modern matrix of thought” in art and to look back at the very partial (though universalized) archive of modernist art and artists to experience them anew today. The lecture will look at specific examples of exhibitions that have attempted to demodernise art within the overall ideas of decoloniality and also at how museums might chart a demodern practice into the present.


Senova conducted one hour peer to peer sessions with all the participants.


Lecture by Lisl Ponger: The Making Off…

Lisl Ponger: The lecture took my last two staged photographs (Dancing on Thin Ice and India(er) Jones V- Free Trade: a Pipe Dream) as the starting point to describe my method of working. What I call associative research is based on lateral thinking and factual research. In contrast with lateral thinking, linear thinking encourages a movement from known ideas to new ones, is intended to break routine patterns of thought or the status quo and is based on associative and non-deductive reasoning.

All my staged photographs start with a basic idea that requires verification by research (books, internet, search for objects, interaction with specialists).The shooting of my analogue photographs needs performers/actors, location, lighting, make up, costume, props and catering which are almost all elements of standard (Hollywood) feature film productions, but they can be shot in only two days.


Lecture and discussion: The colonial, postcolonial, and today, Part II

We started the session with Sarat Maharaj‘s talk (Sharjah Biennial Closing Keynote) – 2013. Then we also went through Antonio Negri‘s “The Political Monster.” Multitudes 2 (2008): 37-52 and Badiou’s Logics of worlds. Being and event, (2009). 2. London: Continuum. https://firewords.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/logics_of_worlds.pdf


We continued with the discussions on the projects and started the first part of the lecture and discussion: The colonial, postcolonial, and today, Part I with Said’s Orientalism. Said, Edward .W., 1979. Orientalism. Vintage. https://monoskop.org/images/4/4e/Said_Edward_Orientalism_1979.pdf

We also watched and reviewed some projects by Akram Zaatari, Walid Raad, and Larissa Sansour, and Heba Amin.


Due to the second lockdown in Austria which started on Tuesday, November 3,  the Austria agenda of the Octopus Programme postponed to January 2021. Therefore, we continued with peer to peer tutorials and case studies. For instance, today we watched Ahmet Öğüt‘s film “Artworks Made at Home” (2020), followed by his in conversation with Ekaterina Degot for the Paranoia TV, steirischer herbst ’20.

Besprechungsraum 11, the Angewandte, Vienna and Zoom

Lecture and discussion: Thinking Through/about/over/beyond the COVID-19, Part II The lecture and discussion was followed by peer to peer tutorials (by Senova).

William Kentridge on the Pandemic and Post-Pandemic Theatre

Home Cooking


Senova conducted one hour peer to peer sessions with all the participants.

Besprechungsraum 11, the Angewandte, Vienna and Zoom

Lecture and discussion: Thinking Through/about/over/beyond the COVID-19, Part I The lecture and discussion was followed by peer to peer tutorials (by Senova).

McCormack, Donna and Suvi Salmenniemi “The biopolitics of precarity and the self” May 2015 European Journal of Cultural Studies 19(1) Follow journal.

Bezio, Kelly. Collection of primary sources for nineteenth-century quarantine narratives.
Founders Online: From Alexander Hamilton to the College of Physicians. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1oimw6pAwws3cqJkktRMO0IsuSGl2HxlX?fbclid=IwAR0pEhT_ DHOv-fgpTohvOmnXkxOQblIVA-iUQWcMz3CkQ90c8yKZA3HgqfQ

Jones, David S. “History in Crisis–Lessons for Covid-19.” New England Journal of Medicine. (March 12, 2020)

Besprechungsraum 11, the Angewandte, Vienna and Zoom

The second semester’s programme was introduced. Then we discussed the subject matters of the feedback of the participants, provided by KLF as the outcome of Lina Lazaar’s interview with the participants in September 2020. We reviewed the requirements of the Special Programme (03-13 November 2020, Vienna) and the projects; and finally, we went through the Reading List.



The Octopus Programme hosted the first workshop of The Geometry of Trespassing project.

The workshop was organised and moderated by Basak Senova and Margarethe Makovec / <rotor> Association for Contemporary Art, Graz and accompanied by Barbara Putz-Plecko and brought 6 artists together: Bronwyn Lace , Lana Cmajcanin, Lisl Ponger, Marcus Neustetter, Nisrine Boukhari, and Oliver Ressler. The workshop addressed and discussed the following questions: Can we create an articulated “terminology” and develop strategies of resistance and reflections  with our current perspectives and stand points?How can we transform and propose “new” forms to discuss these notions? How can we react to the collective silence? Aside from the art context, is it possible to activate other domains with/through art practices? (How can we trespass the borders of the art context?) How can we link the outcome of our research with other disciplines? How can we link today’s “urgencies” (and also current art practices) with old projects from the last 3 decades? The project will continue through a sequence of workshops, organised by <rotor> Association for Contemporary Art in collaboration with the Octopus Programme.

The Angewandte Festival

As the first outcome of the project, two publications was in circulation during the Angewandte Festival.

The first publication “The Rehearsal” is a collaborative artist book that has been assembled and produced by the applicants of the Octopus Program 2020: Julia Stern (DAE / TEX), Sophia Bellouhassi Widmann (DEX / KKP) from University of Applied Arts Vienna and Marwa Manai and Younes Ben Slimane from Tunis. It was produced as part of the Spectral Encounters course that took place both at Department of Art and Communication Practices (KKP), Institute For Art Sciences And Art Education, the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and B7L9, Kamel Lazaar Foundation in Tunis as a pilot application of the Octopus Programme. I contributed to the production phase through the conceptual design debates, as well as undertaking the graphic design and image processing of the book.

The second publication that I edited gathers the process of the “Spectral Encounters” course with the contributions of Anne Klontz, Olfa Feki, Bronwyn Lace, Marcus Neustetter, and Nadia Ayari . During and after the duration of the festival, the publication will be available and downloadable both from the programme’s website and also from the Angewandte Festival 2020’s Archive.


We met a few times (both as a group and through peer to peer Zoom meetings) this week to complete the final design of the artist book. I also uploaded images and some information to the Angewandte Festival Website about the programme and the these publications.


We continued working on and designing the collaborative artist book. It is important to show individual voices in this collaborative book. Sample page from Marwa Manai’s and Julia Stern’s dossiers in the book:

These collaborative working sessions created another form of communication that enabled us to review the projects in comparison with each other. Hence, all the design decisions—from the selection of the fonts to the layout, to the colours, to the order…etc.—were all discussed in details.


Today we hosted Nadia Ayari who is a Tunisian artist, based in New York, had an amazing and inspiring session with us.

She went through her venture with the contemporary art by explaining how her artistic identity evolved in New York along with many aspects of identity politics, art market, and production processes. Ayari was born and raised in Tunisia, then she moved to the United States in 2000 and received a B.A. in art history from Boston University, an M.F.A. in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. She began exhibiting her work internationally in 2008.



We worked on the collaborative artist book and also discussed some points with the idea-logs.


First, we shortly discussed the points Anne Klontz raised a week earlier, we continued working on the conceptual design of the book. The participants continued to meet after the class.

Zoom – Presentation/Lecture and Peer to peer Tutorials

Today, our guest was Anne Klontz from Konstfack, Stockholm, who gave a thought-provoking lecture on “Identity in a Globalized World”.

Prior to her lecture, she asked the participants to read the following text by Homi K. Bhabha (b 1949) on ‘hybridity and ‘moving beyond’ (pages 1110-1116) and she explained to us that she chose this text because there are several interesting aspects about identity and its connection to culture and globalization, specifically how cultural differences can be site for developing new meanings for identity. Then, she used some themes from the text as discussion points.

She emphasized how Bhabha illustrates how identity is a ‘hybridity’ and composed of many elements, and this is especially true in our globalized world. Then she posed a set of questions:

How would you describe your hybrid identity?

Does this identity play a role in your practice?

Then, she moved to Bhabha’s references of the notion of ‘beyond’ in his text. On page 1113 he describes the ‘beyond’ as a spatial distance, that it marks progress and promises the future, and on page 1114, he describes the notion of ‘beyond’ as a space for intervention.

She found connections to this ‘beyond’ space of intervention in each of the participants’ proposals to the Octopus programme. She asked the participants to reflect on their practice or a project they think contributes to this realm to share with the group.

We also watched two small clips together. The first one was an interview with the British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare, whose work explores cultural identity, colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalization.

Yinka Shonibare’s Interview

And the second one was a short statement by Daniel Birnbaum, the artistic director for Venice Biennale in 2009, on the perception of contemporary art in the age of globalization.

As a final conclusion to the discussion, Anne Klontz shared her experiences working with Momentum  and the biennial’s history as a case study about how globalization has affected artists in the Nordic region.


Discussions on the parts of the book continued with the input accumulated with the participants working sessions. Apart from the “dossiers” of each —that manifests their individual project—, there will be the into part: speculation of the name of the Octopus programme; letters among the participants; and a conversation (either in written form or as visuals) through some questions that they would pose to each other. Basak Senova would be gathering all of these components in A5 formatted book through a collaborative design process.


The discussion on the collaborative project concluded with the idea to produce a collaborative artist book. A supplementary publication will be added by Basak Senova that would gather the notes on the process along with the texts written by the guest lecturers. The process of working on the book started. The participants scheduled to have four extra gatherings apart from the class hours for the coming two weeks.

Zoom – Presentation/Lecture and Peer to peer Tutorials

Today we had the Tunisian curator Olfa Feki as our guest lecturer.

Olfa Feki first presented International Festival of Photography, Videography and Digital Arts in Kerkennah and talked about how the island created a social environment for the participating artists and the audience. She also talked about the visibility of the photography works.

Festival of Photography, Videography and Digital Arts in Kerkennah


After her presentation, we had discussions on the interdisciplinary collaborations and the segregations. She gave us an insight view of the Tunisian contemporary art scene. Marwa and Younes added their views. Finally, she gave tutorials to the participants through peer to peer sessions, while the others continued with discussing the collaborative project and their individual projects.


The discussion on a collaborative project continued, hence, we decided to omit the idea of using an online platform to make a public discussion but to use the Octopus Programme website as a”venue” to present a collaborative project. The brainstorming sessions lead to produce an umbrella project to depict the dialogue among the participants, while keeping and presenting the individual projects. Each participant also updated the lecturer and the other participants with the latest developments and current situation of their artistic research.


With an extra class, we started to discuss our possible contribution to the Angewandte Festival. A few ideas about using the online platforms came into surface, nevertheless, we need to think more about a collaborative production process. The participants decided to have further communication and meetings after the classes for the coming 3 weeks.


First, we discussed the topics that Bronwyn and Marcus raised 2 weeks ago (before the Easter holiday), then we talked about each project by taking the suggestions and critiques of Bronwyn and Marcus into consideration.

Zoom – Presentation/Lecture and Peer to peer Tutorials

Bronwyn Lace and Marcus Neustetter were the first guest lecturers of the Spectral Encounters course. They are both artists from South Africa, currently moved to Vienna. As artists and cultural workers, they have an immense experience with developing cross-cultural collaborative projects, hence they generously shared valuable information and insights from those experiences with us.

Bronwyn Lace presented her work and process as co-founder and director of the Centre for the Less Good Idea, an interdisciplinary incubator space for the arts. Founded by South African artist William Kentridge, the Centre creates and supports experimental, collaborative and cross-disciplinary arts projects. The Centre is a physical and immaterial space to pursue incidental discoveries made in the process of producing work.

Some documentary videos from the Centre: https://vimeo.com/lessgoodidea

The Centre is a space that allows for impulses, connections and revelations. It’s a physical performance space for artists to come together and for curators to bring together combinations of text, movement, sound and image.The Centre believes an ensemble sees the world differently to how one individual does. It is a safe space for failure, for projects to be tried and discarded because they do not work. It’s a space for short-form work which doesn’t have a natural home in a theatre or gallery.


Lace spoke to her interests in site specificity and responsiveness and her focus on the relationships between art and other fields, including physics, museum practice, philosophy, performance and education.


Marcus Neustetter presented case studies, collaborations, methodologies and processes of his 20 year project The Trinity Session with the intention of illustrating relevant conceptual, cross-disciplinary and alternative approaches that could stimulate the program participants.

Since 2001 The Trinity Session has been concerned with the logics of art-making in complex, social-public situations; where the dynamics of context, site, available resources, and creative solutions converge to create unique artistic conditions and opportunities.

On the activities of The Trinity Session: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXOm3i-qeRyQfs4VNMp-EWA

As global practicing artists, born and bred in Johannesburg. The politics of change in South Africa have motivated and inspired Stephen Hobbs and Marcus Neustetter to create partnerships and unique moments of collective practice in order to respond to and create positive change.

Having worked in many countries abroad, Johannesburg has always served as a catalytic reference point for how to think beyond the often-elitist structures of the art world, with a view to cultural production found in the public domain. To this extent The Trinity Session has co-produced numerous multi-media projects and events around the country and on the continent, with the objective of bringing knowledge back home.


Their inspiring presentations followed by discussions especially focusing on the public domain and the work with the communities. After this long discussion both Bronwyn and Marcus gave peer to peer tutorials to all the participants. So each participant had the opportunity to present her/his project twice by getting different feedbacks.

Zoom – Peer to peer

Today’s peer to peer sessions were first dedicated to some of the structural implementations of the website as the part of the process. Then, each participant discussed the content and progression of her/his research and the project with the lecturer. Each session was lasted from 1 to 2 hours.


This session was dedicated to create a network map of the keywords that the participants process in their projects. The participants and the lecturer worked on it manually. The lecturer will integrate this map by using a network mapping applications to the website, so that it will allow the participants to add further data in future. Each project was discussed one by one by while having discussions on the keywords and intersecting points of the on-going researches. In the mean time, each participant briefly presented their idea-logs along with the developments with their research.

Some suggestions regarding the participation to the Angewandte Festival 2020 and some further physical activities in both cities in Autumn were also discussed.


Due to the fact that the positive coronavirus cases rapidly increased in Austria, on 10 March 2020, the government announced that all universities would close their classes at the latest by 16 March. Travel restrictions followed that decision. All of these developments dictated drastic changes with the calendar and the structure of the Spectral Encounters Course.

Senova conducted peer to peer sessions with all the participants. The conceptual framework of the projects, working methodologies, and timeline of the programme were discussed. She also introduced and suggested some other writers and some references to the participants.

As one of the “distant learning” tools, Senova asked the participants to develop individual idea-logs and to share them weekly with the class. Extending the course to the next semester was also taken into consideration.

Besprechungsraum 13, the Angewandte, Vienna & Skype – KLF Office, Tunis

Each participant gave a brief and introductory presentation of her/his project. Each project was discussed by underlying the common reference points among the research strains and the fields of interest. Senova introduced some theoretical texts and terms, such as Deleuze and Guattari’s ideas about rhizomatic thinking and then the terms “Smooth and Striated Space” were discussed, or some examples of Vilém Flusser’s analysis on apparatus (in his book Towards a Philosophy of Photography) and Susan Sontag’s emphasis on context (in her book On Photography)…etc. Plenty of connections were made among the works and these references.

The class continued about the Vienna special programme and they started to propose additional venues and activities. Anne Klontz’s—of Konstfack (Stockholm)—lecture and workshop was confirmed for the 23rd of March. An assignment about “keywords” was given to the participants.

Besprechungsraum 13, the Angewandte, Vienna & Skype – KLF Office, Tunis

It was the first day of the class and it was used as an opportunity to present each participant’s visions and expectations, projected to the programme. The session provided insight into course expectations and requirements along with the Octopus Programme’s future goals. Then, each participant introduced her/himself and summarized their research and project proposals.

Both participants’ and instructor’s responsibilities were set. The class started to talk about the Tunis and Vienna special programmes that will be realized in April and May. In the meantime, requirements (such as Visa procedures, booking of flights..etc.) for these travels were also discussed.


initial meetings
The Angewandte, Vienna & Skype/Zoom

A set of meetings with the participants about the Octopus Programme and Spectral Encounter’s syllabus took place at Senova’s office or via Skype.