Vittorio Iervese at Verein zur Förderung von Kunst und Kultur am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz e.V.

Secondment dates
27/01/2023 – 28/02/2023

NABLA – An interdisciplinary art project that performatively narrates the different layers of the Rosa-Luxemburg Platz in Berlin. (29/01/2023)

Based on the experience of the first lockdown in 2020, a narrative was created in which the Rosa-luxemburg Platz is seen as hermetically sealed from the rest of the world. It thus becomes the ultimate setting in a future in which humanity no longer leaves its homes and can only remember a past civilization that still had a public sphere based on information about its immediate living space.

The NABLA performance/tour takes place live on site and is a kind of “Performative Introduction” to the discourse surrounding the area, the Podcast tells a different story with a real background in videos with audio plays in each episode, and the Fandom, in turn, represents an online encyclopedia with space for all facts about the area written from the perspective of the future. This is an excellent example of how performance art, storytelling, archives and urban exploration can not only co-exist but also reinforce each other.

Kevin Walker at Festival dei Popoli, IT

My objective in this secondment was to initiate some practical experiments in ‘ethnographic AI’, which I define as an investigation into whether artificial intelligence can gain specific cultural understandings. Engaging with Festival dei Popoli’s ethnographic film archive online and on-site, I used ml5.js to create experiments in AI image classification, image and video generation, pose tracking, and object identification.

I also included experiments in creating randomised compositions, using the Festival’s archive of posters and programme leaflets. Alan Turing, in his 1950 paper ‘Computing machinery and intelligence’, proposes that randomness might be an important element of creativity.

In using the coding environment ml5.js, I uses small, portable datasets for two reasons: (1) to explore whether small, highly curated datasets could facilitate specific cultural understandings; and (2) to mitigate the high environmental cost of AI by minimising processing and network operations.

The work raises questions about AI in terms of identifying, classifying and describing humans in terms of what and who is seen, and what can be inferred from individual and collective actions. Also, the training datasets used in many existing AI systems (including the ones I used) are very limited and culturally-specific, for example in the objects they are capable of recognising. This relates to the programmer’s expression ‘Garbage In Garbage Out’ which describes how the outputs of a system depend on the quality of its inputs. I found that the ‘seams’ in AI systems – for example the unnatural joins between surfaces in images, or the artificial ways Large Language Models attempt to replicate human writing – expose the artificiality of such systems, yet perhaps keeping these seams visible is important for maintaining transparent AI systems.

I made all my code freely available – the code and the experiments can be viewed at

Carmen Mariscal at Kunstverein am Rosa-Luxemburg Platz, Berlin, Germany

Secondment dates
1st part: 21st July– 3rd August 2023 (13 days)
2nd part: July 2024 (18 days)

Berlin Maps of the Tiergarten area, 19th and 20th Centuries, Cartography Library, Staatsbibliothek, Berlin

The project for this secondment consists of carrying out research on the geographical site that the Mexican Embassy in Berlin occupies today, its transformation over the years, especially during the 20th century and its probable problematic history. I am interested in researching urban palimpsests and the layers of memory of places, whether present or destroyed.

As a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art, a British institution, I am interested in investigating this area of Berlin, since the land that I am studying belonged to the British Sector in the years following the Second World War (1945-1949). I will look at events that took place at that time and in that specific site, linking it later with the events that took place before and during the war, the History of West Germany, Unified Germany, and the origins of the Mexican Embassy there in 2001, the construction of the building, its symbols, and its relationship with the architecture of the Bauhaus.

In this research, I will experiment with the methods that I am applying for my doctoral thesis. The methodologies used are critical, empirical, and embodied.

From this transdisciplinary investigation that is taking place over two summers, (13 days in July 2023 and 18 days in July 2024), I will create sculptures, videos, and texts that will be included in my thesis, in publishable articles and an exhibition.

This research questions erasure and oblivion in the history of Mexican diplomacy in Berlin. My aim is to create visibility to the layers of memory contained in the space that the Mexican Embassy in Berlin occupies today, opening doors to stories that include Germany, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and perhaps other countries.

My Space X secondment in Berlin is taking place with the Kunstverein am Rosa Luxemburg Platz with the additional support of the Mexican Embassy in Berlin. The research will culminate with an exhibition presented at one or both spaces.

Socrates Stratis at Transparadiso, Vienna

The Minister of Radish

He shows us around the garden. I see vegetables, and I hear about the governance of the commons. He is one of the community gardeners at a new subsidised housing project in Vienna called Inner Wiesen Ost Erlaeer Housing. Community gardens are part of the urban mediators for living together that I am investigating in Vienna. 30 families are members of the community garden. They need to spend two weeks per year caring for the garden. They dispatch the everyday garden tasks in work groups: vegetables, trees, tools, kids-play, etc. A minister is responsible for each work group. However, the members are not so many, considering the density of the new project. Most residents prefer waiting to get assigned their own small garden plot since each urban block has its designated area for such activity. He is perplexed since he understands that the residents are tuned by society to consume the collective uses rather than co-constituting them. We get a lovely radish as a souvenir of our visit. Utterly delicious.

Giorgia Rizzioli at Festival dei Popoli, Florence

I conducted my secondment at Festival dei Popoli in Florence from the 14th of October to the 15th of November 2022. Festival dei Popoli is an esteemed international film festival that annually showcases a wide range of documentary films across various locations in Florence. While the festival format follows a traditional approach, what sets it apart is the choice of unconventional venues for film screenings, often unrelated to the cinematic world. Throughout the event, documentary films are curated and exhibited not only in traditional movie theatres such as Cinema Stensen and Spazio Alfieri but also in unique locations like Teatro La Compagnia, a former theatre, the Murate Art District, a vibrant cultural hub, and even the 25h Hotel, one of the hotels in Florence. I was lucky to be in Florence during the festival and therefore I had the chance to attend the film projections.

I participated in the SPACEX project as a film scholar and curator with an interest in the relationship between film projections and placemaking. My doctoral research investigates the extent to which outdoor film projections can reconfigure and even create alternative urban setting. I propose this practice as ‘cinematic placemaking’. I immediately realised that the Festival – and its unconventional places – was carrying out a similar approach even if with different aims.

During my collaboration with the curatorial team and certain members of the Festival programming, I gained a valuable opportunity to delve into the intricate workings of a film festival. Additionally, during my secondment, I seized the chance to develop a SPACEX project that harmoniously combines my curatorial approach to cinema as place-maker with the Festival’s more socio-oriented perspective.

The key to the development of the project was the walks through Florence and the Festival locations, as well as the conversations with Vittorio Iervese, the Festival director, and his fantastic team. Living in Florence for a month and understanding how the city could interact with a potential outdoor film event laid the foundation upon which we later formulated a project together. The project proposal was presented at the SPACEX Trianing Event in Florence in November. We hope to bring it to fruition in the near future.

Film projection ‘The Movements of Things’ (1985) by Manuela Serra – reflecting on the unnoticed, blurred confines of the screen.

Georgia Perkins at Coventry University

My SPACEX secondment took place from January – March 2023. Over the course of 31 days, I investigated how artists and curators re-imagine the future of liquid urban areas in response to the historical and contemporary climate concerns of rising sea levels and invisible pollutants in the water. This constitutes part of my wider research on the water’s edge as an intertidal space where toxicities circulate in more-than-human bodies.

During my secondment, I met with SPACEX researchers Frances Yeung, Marley Treloar, Alex Parry, Giorgia Rizzioli, lecturers Mel Jordan, Carolina Rito, Gary Hall, and artists attached to Coventry Biennale, such as Dion Ellis-Taylor. I gave a presentation on my research, called ‘At the Water’s Edge – response to the molecular biopolitics and the polluted aquatic context’ for the Centre for Postdigital Cultures. The event also included a presentation by fellow Spacex-rise researcher, Andri Christofides from Home 4 Cooperation.

I visited the neighbouring city Northampton, and attended the NN Contemporary’s event ‘When I image the earth, I imagine another’ by Open-weather. I also participated in the Civic Reading Room event with NN Contemporary, which included visits to Vulcan Works, Guildhall, 78 Derngate, Civic Reading Room Spaces.

After my secondment, I joined the Postdigital Intimacies reading group with Adrienne Evans, Lindsay Balfour and Marcus Maloney.

Georgia Perkins at the Royal College of Art, England

The SPACEX secondment took place in August – November 2022. During this period, I focused on my current research on the watery molecular biopolitics of mass toxicity. My research investigates the site specificity of galleries located next to a river, canal or seaport, which leaks into the conceptual underpinnings of their exhibitions and the material conditions of their buildings.

At the RCA, I was involved in meetings with artists and researchers, working in the library and Sculpture department at the Battersea and South Kensington campus. I joined MA Sculpture students on a walking tour of Battersea Park to visit a temporary work called ‘Making Marks’ installed on the site of Barbara Hepworth’s Single Form, which is currently on loan.

The secondment at the RCA has allowed me to become an active member of the ‘Planetary’ group organised by Josephine Berry and Catherine Ferguson for the RCA Earthwise Project. This involved site visits to the Phytology Nature Reserve and Community Project and Eduardo Padhila/ Balin House Projects. The Planetary cohort contributed to the ‘Earthwise’ Pamphlet publication, where I included a chapter on ‘Toxicity.’ This was based on research I had developed over the course of the secondment. I also presented a text panel called ‘The Gallery Holds the Politics of Mass Toxicity at the Molecular Scale’ for the exhibition component of the ‘Earthwise’ project at Beaconsfield Gallery, London.

Concurrently, I am part of the ‘Spaces of Coalescence’ Project which brings together RCA lecturers and post-graduate students, as well as external researchers attached to SPACEX-Rise, including Jaspar Joseph-Lester, Melanie Jackson, Simon King, K. Yoland, Osman Yousefzada, Carmen Maria Mascal, Marisa Ferreira, Ludovica Fales, Ahuvia Kahane and Vittorio Lervese. During the SPACEX-Rise training event in Dublin, we met as a group to discuss plans for the project.

Ryan Hughes at the University of Amsterdam

I was wonderfully hosted by the University of Amsterdam, was provided with a generous space to work from and made to feel very welcome by research colleagues enabling me to participate in research group meetings and to get a real understanding for the academic and creative work being undertaken from the university.

I used a significant period of time during the secondment meeting artists, curators and funders of contemporary art across the Netherlands and have continued conversations with at least two of these artists around the possibilities of commissioning new work for exhibition in the UK.

I also visited each of the cultural partners’ venues across the Netherlands, seeing an inspiring range of exhibitions, events and public artworks as well as innovative systems designed to support artistic practice.

While visiting these spaces I was able to reflect on public infrastructure, transport, health, wellbeing and public space and observed how cycling is a pivotal feature of Dutch life. This is something that I will continue reflecting on in relation to the UK.

I have continued conversations with academics, artists, curators and funders that I met during the secondment and are planning projects, pieces of work and developing applications for activities that will take place both in the UK and in the Netherlands supporting and continuing significant international, cross-sector exchange.

Sirius Front view

Andy Hewitt & Mel Jordan at Sirius Arts Centre

Andy Hewitt / Mel Jordan

Sirius Arts Centre, County Cork, Ireland, April 2022.

We are making three visits to Sirius in 2022 to complete a 31-day secondment. Our SPACEX research project is centred around ideas of commoning and the function of art as a politicizing tool. See our forthcoming essay, ‘Relational associations and critical deliberative processes as a politicalising force in social art practice’, 2022, Art & The Public Sphere, 11.1.


Our project for Sirius takes up a particular history of land ownership, focusing on the writing of Cork born, philosopher William Thompson. It is entitled, Talk to the Land and will include the development of participatory art project and an exhibition in one of the gallery spaces at Sirius. We are also planning more visits in order to develop our work on Thompson via public events and discussions. 


William Thompson’s An Inquiry into the Principles of the Distribution of Wealth Most Conducive to Human Happiness; applied to the Newly Proposed System of Voluntary Equality of Wealth, was first published in 1824. It was Thompson’s first major work in political economy, and it contains his most comprehensive critique of capitalism as well as his proposals for a co-operative society as an alternative to the existing state of affairs, which saw acute poverty amongst the lower classes in Ireland and the UK. Thompson identified many of the themes and analysis Marx and Engels would tackle half a century later. Common to them both is the use of the labour theory of value and of exploitation in understanding the creation of surplus value, wealth, and consequently inequality and mass unhappiness. It is claimed that Thompson popularised the word ‘competitive’ as a description of capitalism and also the word ‘socialism’ in debates in London with such notable political economists as John Stuart Mill. 


While on secondment at Sirius we visited Thompson’s old estate at Carhoogarriff, it was here that he proposed experiments for commoning. He willed the land to the cooperative movement although this was overturned and his sisters finally inherited the land. There is no evidence of the tower that he built as part of his experiment, no buildings remain. There is a plague memorising Thompson, (see image) but there is little more to acknowledge Thompson’s place in the history of socialism. 


Our work for, Talk to the Land, will see us engaging with his book, Practical Directions for the Speedy and Economical Establishment of Communities on the Principles of Mutual Co-operation, United Possessions and Equality of Exertions and the Means of Enjoyments, (Strange and E. Wilson: London), 1830. We are working on a new film, a collaborative leaflet and a series of text works.

Andy and Mel in conversation with Miguel and Ardeen at Sirius
Andy and Mel in conversation with Miguel and Ardeen at Sirius
Plague for Thompson at Carhoogarriff
Plague for Thompson at Carhoogarriff
Sirius from Gallery – Sea view
Sirius from Gallery – Sea view
Thompson’s book in the landscape at Carhoogarriff
Thompson’s book in the landscape at Carhoogarriff