As part of the Biennial Lab, The Mechanics Institute will be convening a series of workshops that allow visitors to examine the values placed on trade within the market, the art market and the trading of knowledges.There are two daily workshops during market hours: 10am–12pm and 1pm–3pm. Please arrive 10 minutes prior to the workshop at the Biennial Lab Hub, 145 Victoria St, Melbourne. View the map here. Note: these workshops are free but bookings are essential.
Tuesday 18 October, 10am-12pmAnastasia Klose, While walking down the street, I was thinking… The Artist’s Manifesto BOOK NOW This workshop invites artists to distill their ambitions for art. Through conversation, drawings and writings, participants can discuss what they really love and believe.
Tuesday 18 October, 1pm-3pmBurke & Lavarack, Loose ChangeBOOK NOWHave you ever found money in the street?What did you do with it?Take a risk. Question your assumptions about art.Join us in a social experiment designed to morph your understanding of money and its real value in the world.
Thursday 20 October, 10am-12pm Make or Break, Radicalising the artist biography BOOK NOWEver struggled to put together a ‘brief artist bio’, or wondered why these texts are so formulaic and uninspiring? Work with artists Connie Anthes and Rebecca Gallo to re-imagine these small but important declarations. By rewriting (or drawing, or filming…) ourselves, we can reshape what we do and how we value it. Thursday 20 October, 1pm-3pmFrank Giorlando & Lauren Ferris, The Non-Profit Double Bind: Do the work of running a business with none of the profits?**SOLD OUT** but feel free to come along and watch the Trade School in progress.This workshop focuses on challenges that arise from keeping a community not-for-profit in business, in particular when running activities that require financial diligence and proficiency, yet are not directed at profit. Lauren and Frank are board members for an organisation called The Yarra Link Project, a unique startup focused on building a creative, Indigenous urban garden along the Yarra River.
Friday 21 October, 10am-12pmTao Wells, Unemployed New Zealander on Welfare in Melbourne, with $500 Arts Grant Artist, Education, Institute and Conflict.BOOK NOWThis workshop explores how to compete and beat art that perpetuates capitalism. It offers a sales pitch at artists who work for universities to visibly tag themselves with their public sponsorship and accept this role, protected by law, so we can see evidence of a level playing field. In this workshop participants will collaborate on, buy or make for themselves, works whose economics are visible.
Friday 21 October, 1pm-3pmNatalie Thomas aka nattysolo.com, Artworld SurvivorBOOK NOWArtworld Survivor is an artist-led workshop that addresses the cultural sector as a field of exploitation. How can artists best survive and achieve career sustainability when the systems set up to offer support are just as likely exploit them? The workshop will analyse how artists’ dreams of fame and fortune are used to take advantage of their labour and undermine artistic power and value bases. Together, participants will identify common problems confronting artists and workshop strategies to best get what they want without having a nervous breakdown.Saturday 22 October, 10am-12pmOliver Watts, Watercolour WatermelonBOOK NOWThe watercolour medium is the traditional medium of sailors, naturalists, aristocrats, ladies and other amateurs. In this watercolour painting workshop participants will learn to un-self themselves in the presence of a watermelon. How does the watermelon want to be seen? How can we let the watermelon speak? The class will tap into the humility of careful observation and real amateurism: the idea of loving a thing, without the pressures of professional value. A collaborative painting will be the outcome of the workshop.Saturday 22 October, 1pm-3pmBetra Fraval with Dr Joeri Mol, Dr Antonia Pont, Professor Graham Sewell, AKA ‘DJ Buddy Love’ (PBS Radio), Dr Miya Tokumitsu, Dr Gerhard, Beyond the Market: Alternate Possibilities for Valuing ArtBOOK NOW In this creative workshop, participants will recreate three 'types' of society by enacting a society in which one particular mode of evaluation is dominant and subsequently enact another society based on another mode of evaluation. Participants will experience how different types of evaluation affect how we assemble ourselves as a society. We will make use of artworks that are representative of the three different eras as sense-making devices of how societies have been ordered through different modes of evaluation. This will be accompanied by music stemming from each era that will be indicative of each mode of evaluation and this music will be played by DJ Buddy Love (PBS Radio).
Sunday 23 October, 10am-12pmKym Maxwell, Cultural Capital and the contactBOOK NOWTaking Alan Kaprow’s ‘Yard’ (1961) as inspiration, this workshop invites participants to play with selected ‘building’ materials in the small space of Trade School. The workshop questions the ‘role’ of participation (and the photographic afterlife) or of socially engaged projects, and questions how ‘value’ can be inscribed into an essentially immaterial practice. With imagery from projects throughout the ages (from Kaprow, Nielsen and Shaw in the ‘60s and, more recently, Hirshhorn) utilising charcoal dust and ink, together we will collaboratively map out a response.Sunday 23 October, 1pm-3pmKhairuddin Hori, The lab incubatorBOOK NOWKhairuddin Hori (artist and former Deputy Director of Artistic Programming, Palais de Tokyo, Paris). Khairuddin is an International Affiliate associated with Biennial Lab curatorium. Khai’s workshop will address creative questions including: how can a lab incubator generate new experimental modes of working in the public realm; how can we use local space as a site for interrogation; and what the Biennial Lab means for Melbourne.