2. The Temporary Autonomous Bureau

A three months research project and installation in TENT Rotterdam,
part of Rotterdam Cultural Histories #13, in collaboration with
Angeliki Diakrousi, Naomi De Wit, Alice Strete, Philippa Driest
and Thanos Kaltsamis

            Rotterdam Cultural Histories #13: The Temporary Autonomous Bureau is a space for researching and discussing interpretations of autonomy in cultural or social projects within Rotterdam. We have converted a space at TENT into a temporary office. The group consist of both students of Experimental Publishing Master at Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, and inhabitants of the Vereniging Poortgebouw,a 37-year-old organisation that hosts cultural activities, as well as a community of 30 people.
            During this presentation’s three-month time- frame, we used the space to organise a series of public talks, workshops and performances that map and tell stories about the independent strategies of self-organisation in Rotterdam.

            At the same time, the public had access to the fragmented Poortgebouw archive. The Temporary Autonomous Bureau serves as meeting point where experiences with how to navigate between autonomy and institutionalisation can be shared.

            How can independent organisations maintain agency in a city where the institutionalisation of cultural and residential spaces is the norm?
            Is it possible to establish sustainable, non-hierarchical, socio-cultural projects through collaborative, bottom-up practices?
            Can a degree of openness and autonomy be maintained in the management of a self-organised social and cultural project?