Get a Grip! – Two-part interactive reportage and book release

The Big Road Blues Band

LIVE MUSIC! The Big Road Blues Band presents and plays songs by Joe Hill /

Joel Emanuel Hägglund at 16 Beaver group

Get a Grip! – Two-part interactive reportage and book release

02.14.12 6-9 pm & 02.18.12 5.30-8.30 pm


1. Introduction

2. Feb 14 – The Psychologist, the Psychoanalyst, the Psychiatrist, the

Interpreter/Guide, the Architect, the Urbanist, the Curator, the

Coordinator, Joe Hill, the Rebel Girl and the Artists.

3. Feb 18 – a strategic meeting dressed up as a pot-luck.

4. Suggested reading / extract from the book



The book is donated to OWS library

1. Introduction

What: A two-day interactive reportage and book release: An interview as

presentation, a dialog between participants, ongoing discussion, a Joe

Hill sing-a-long with The Big Road Blues Band, a strategic meeting dressed

up as a pot-luck dinner and a reading in three different languages.

Where: 16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor

When: Tuesday 14 February 6-9 pm and Saturday 18 February 5.30 – 8.30 pm

Who: Free and open to all

Get a grip! – a book release and two-day interactive reportage from inner

landscapes and cityscapes that exceed our ability to grasp the big


This is a two-parter, with the second night responding in some ways to the

first, so the hope is that people could be able to come to both sessions

(but of course anyone is welcome to either meeting, so don’t worry). In

the simplest terms, two artists (ackg) conducted research and interviews

that then became a book, then invited two other artists to facilitate a

workshop as collaborative method of presenting this book.

The second set of artists, who once worked as Malmoe Free University for Women—

they return together but no longer as the same institution— formulated some

plans and responses based on their prior experiences participating in

events at Beaver and organizing a day-long workshop here in 2009 (”We Won!

A Feminist Utopia”–we hope we are still winning). So both evenings

promise to be a structured experiment in using this text as a starting

place to report from and then initiate further group dialogue and

questioning, more of a ”book becoming” in the time and space of these

meetings than a normal book launch.

The intersecting trajectories of inquiry between ongoing conversations at

Beaver and in ackg’s research is obvious; we appreciate their extensive

project exploring the economization of culture and social relations.

Questioning the relationship between neoliberalism, the built environment,

spatial practices, the demise of social democracy, professionalization,

etc. is, in part, an effort to explore the sameness and dissonance between

geographic, cultural, and disciplinary contexts in their specificity. We

are happy that a similar attention to specificity brings to us in New York

an intense situation of sharing, singing, and strategizing over two


These meetings are organized and facilitated by four Swedish artists from

two different generations: Anna Kindgren and Carina Gunnars (akcg), and

Lisa Nyberg and Johanna Gustavsson.

Feb 18th – workshop

We invited Rachel Schragis who is a 25-year-old New York City-based artist, educator and activist who created a flow-chart visualization of the Declaration of the OWS to come and talk about how the flow-chart is beeing used

They take as a starting point akcg’s trilingual book-as-art-project in Swedish,

Brazilian Portuguese and English, “agorafobi/agorafobia/agoraphobia”. In

their book, akcg use a series of interviews–with a psychologist, a psychoanalyst,

a psychiatrist an interpreter/guide, a coordinator, an architect, an urbanist and

two curators —to trace how an emphasis on economics over other fields has

changed who we are on a deeper level. The book is a journey through an

inner landscape and a cityscape that has gone beyond the horizon of our

ability to grasp the ”big picture”. In a world that is called global, with

an endless stream of so-called information, many of us feel that we have

lost the ground on which we stand. The financial quake is cracking up both

souls and bonds. The book is an attempt to get a grip again by asking

people questions, listening to their answers and to find new alliances and

connections over the seas and up the mountains; Sweden, Chile, Norway,


For this situation, ackg asked artists Johanna Gustavsson and Lisa Nyberg

to respond to the book. Gustavsson and Nyberg ran the collaborative

pedagogical project ”Malmö Free University for Women” between 2006-2011

and are now working on the subject of radical pedagogy.

anna kindgren and carina gunnars have collaborated in various

constellations for many years. Between 2000–2006 in the project love and

devotion with artists Ingrid Eriksson and Karin Johnson and since 2006 in

a duo as ”akcg”. They are investigating how inner and outer landcapes and

structures correspond.

Made possible with the support of IASPIS.
2. Feb 14, 6-9 pm, – The Psychologist, the Psychoanalyst, the

Psychiatrist, the Interpreter/Guide, the Coordinator, the Architect, the

Urbanist, the Curators, Joe Hill, the Rebel Girl and the Artists.

A short welcome and introduction by the four artist-initiators.

akcg about the book, why it was written and how they as artists have taken

an interest in the power of words. How they resisted television and faced

the dismantling of the welfare state. Looking back is not always

nostalgia. Here Joe Hill plays an important role.

A dialog between Gustavsson & Nyberg and akcg(anna kindgren och carina

gunnars), starting around some key terms in the book: ambivalence and

confusion. From dialog to discussion.

We will collect questions and statements to use as the base for next meeting.

LIVE MUSIC! The Big Road Blues Band presents and plays songs by Joe Hill.

3. Feb 18, 5.30-8.30 pm – A strategic meeting dressed up as a pot-luck

dinner. Talk, listen, cry and laugh at the same time!

Pot-luck dinner, please bring food to share.

Invited guests read sections of the book in three languages.

Discussion, dissecting the questions, singing and eating.

4. Suggested reading / extract from the book


The Psychologist

Excerpt from the book agorafobi/agorafobia/agoraphobia p 209 – 224, by

akcg(anna kindgren and carina gunnars), 2011, Grus förlag

For formatting reasons this text is best read as a pdf:
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