Topic: An atmosphere of usership
Experts loathe them, spectators oppose them, owners belittle them, yet users abide… though not by the rules. Users and the use that they make — which together we refer to as usership — form a kind of atmosphere, in both the most literal and most figurative sense. Unlike ownership, usership is not a fiction bolstered and legitimated by institutions, but a collective subjectivity comprised of all the agents — human and other-than-human — who make use of a given territory or environment, ensuring the oxygen exchange of the atmosphere. Indeed, as users they are the artisans of that environment, the landscapers and artists of the atmosphere that sustains it. What would it mean, though, for public institutions to foster an atmosphere of usership?
About the guests:
Tamarind Rossetti and Stephen Wright are Usership Coordinators (artistic directors) of the Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, where their artistic programme, One Usership: agriculture is the future of art, is based on an integrated, eco-systemic vision of human and other-than-human artistic and aesthetic agency. This approach draws directly on their experience on a 1:1 scale agroecological test site in the Corrèze called Ferme au Sauvage, growing organic fruits and vegetables, offering farm-to-table meals and farm-to-panel ‘ideaseeding’ workshops, all documented through art. As usership coordinators, they see their role as an opportunity to implement ideas gleaned over the years from usology and permaculture within an art institution, making way for usership in the broadest sense.
Tamarind Rossetti, an artist from Ojai, California, teaches art at the École Supérieure d'Art et de Design TALM-Angers. Her work centers on transformational experiences usually documented through painting. These time-based explorations coalesce in a visual-linguistic testimony.
Stephen Wright, an art theorist from Vancouver, teaches the practice of theory at the École Européenne Supérieure de l’Image (Poitiers/Angoulême). From 2017 to 2021, he co-directed the postgraduate art-research programme, Document & Contemporary Art. He is the author of Toward a Lexicon for Usership.