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Report from the TACK Talks 2021

The second round of the TACK Talks entitled “How to? A guide through knowing” took place online between 11 March 2021 and 08 April 2021. Three ESRs have written brief reports on the talks.

Report by Anna Livia Vørsel on TACK talk #1:

In the first talk in the TACK talks series 2021, architectural historian Monika Platzer, curator and head of collections at Architekturzentrum Wien and graphic designer Maureen Mooren, art director at Het Nieuwe Instituut joined Claudia Mainardi, Hamish Lonergan and Anna Livia Vørsel at a digital roundtable to discuss ‘how to choose the expert?´ Starting with presentations of work from and at Architekturzentrum Wien and Het Nieuwe Instituut, the discussion centered around the notion of expertise and expert knowledge: in archives and collections, in objects, in architecture, in practices of curating, designing, commissioning and writing history, and within the cultural institution itself. Through stories of exhibitions being put together, the talk touched upon; a woman who had ‘expert eyes’ of the work of her husband; an exhibition on exhibiting; the re-enactments of objects on display; the joys and difficulties in working within teams of different practitioners; and how exhibitions are always contemporary. The talk opened up for questions on how we think about different forms of (expert) knowledge, how we mediate it, share it and put it on display. We look forward to continuing the conversation. 

Report by Ionas Sklavounos on TACK talk #2:

The second TACK Talk discussed how the concept of ‘embodied knowledge’ works (or not) with the idea of the archive. Architectural historians Monika Platzer, curator and head of collections at Architekturzentrum Wien and Sofie de Caigny, Director of the Flanders Institute of Architecture, opened the discussion by presenting selected projects that disclosed different aspects of embodied knowledge in the work of their institutions. Responding to these presentations, TACK researchers Eric Crevels, Paula Strunden and Mara Trubenbach, posed questions with a focus on the topics of craftsmanship, materiality and digitization. During the discussion, examples of oral history projects and film-making revealed how embodied knowledge also implies an emphasis on narration, rather than documentation; thus providing a starting point to explore critical understandings of memory, that are perhaps also friendly to the idea of embodied knowledge. In a similar manner, the concept of (intangible) heritage in combination with ‘hands-on’ pedagogical approaches and participatory work led us to reflect on the relation between embodied knowledge and collective memory, and how archives and collections are presented as a key-agents in this interplay.

Report by Filippo Cattapan on TACK talk #3:

The third TACK talk focused on the different geographical scales at which the cultural institutions operate, the multiple communities which are addressed by their activities, the influence that they have on these contexts and communities, whether local, national, or international. We discussed these topics together with Hülya Ertas, coordinator of exhibitions and publications at the Flanders Architecture Institute of Antwerp, and with Marten Kuijpers and Ludo Groen, both architects and researchers at the New Institute of Rotterdam. They presented two emblematic projects, almost coeval, which proved to be specifically relevant in relation to these issues and which worked as a meaningful starting point for a wider reflection: the exhibition on Léon Stynen at the VAi, and the research on automated landscape promoted by the HNI. In different ways, they both demonstrate how the traditional categories of geographical proximity are not anymore enough to describe the continuous exchange between multiple places and people which characterizes the contemporary architectural culture as a dense network of interconnected local specificities.