After two editions of our curatorial school (2018 and 2019), this fall we return with the launch of CENTER FOR SOCIAL VISION – a research platform meant to bring together a working group and to provide a space for lectures, workshops, discussions, and publications.
With the CENTER FOR SOCIAL VISION, we have the long-term goal to create a field for the exchange of experience, politics, and action as they relate to the spaces and things we all share – that is how we define the public infrastructure that encompasses diverse resources and spaces, structures and raw materials. In the frame of this project, we will pay special attention to the potential of that which we share as a community, and how we could further facilitate interconnection, care, invention, and attentiveness upon its use.
The program involves a series of (online and in-person) working sessions between eight selected participants. These meetings are complemented by workshops, lectures, and consultations with invited mentors. In 2021, the program's mentors include Ivan Bonev (architect and architectural researcher, member of Transformatori Association), Dessislava Dimova (independent curator, co-founder of Art Affairs and Documents Foundation and co-curator of Sofia Art Projects), Emanuele Guidi (writer, curator and artistic director of ar/ge kunst, Kunstverein of Bolzano), Users’ Manual (Filip Boyadjiev, Ivelina Gadjeva & Dima Stefanova; a newly established independent educational platform for social impact through design), and Valentinas Klimašauskas (independent curator and writer, co-curator of this year’s 14th Baltic Triennial and the Latvian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019), and others. The program is conceived and led by Viktoria Draganova, founder and director of Swimming Pool.
The main activity of the CENTER FOR SOCIAL VISION is dedicated to projects focused on public infrastructure, which includes spaces as diverse as the meadows around Sofia Ring Road and empty public pools, public institutions and coastlines, archives and open spaces between residential buildings. It is impacted by processes of material, ecological, and social interaction (entropy, repair, mutation, digitalization, public discussion, literary fiction, remediation, transformation, cultural heritage). Only through complex research of such processes in relation to their cultural, economic, and political implications can solutions emerge – that not only involve private and public figures in common projects, but are also environmentally sustainable.
At Swimming Pool, we have previously initiated a series of research projects and publications on institutionality and instituting processes. By creating the CENTER FOR SOCIAL VISION, we wish to further emphasize an idea of art that contains not only a critical, but also a generative impulse necessary for rethinking and transforming the environment we inhabit. We will also continue to re-think and reconsider the role of the art institution today, especially in regards to its ability to facilitate and provoke art’s interaction with public fields, research initiatives, and business innovations (research & development), where an art institution could contribute to the further development of initiative and a complex, collaborating environment.