Expanderrr was an international collective formed by individuals coming from different fields of practice who were united by the common goal of open information and creation. The collective focused on adapting public spaces that had been abandoned of human activity to host an array of public open culture events and provide settings for projects to be realized.
Expanderrr Collective respected the various forms of organizing and disseminating creativity but saw itself as a proponent of an open production and distribution model, akin to the principles of a scientific laboratory. It viewed culture as a dynamic, integral part of its environment, and its project embodied not just openness but a commitment to undefined outcomes that would emerge through processes rooted in openness, sharing, and collaboration.
To translate this vision into reality, the structural framework of Expanderrr Collective was designed to create spaces that were not tied to individuals (studios, exhibitions, stages) but to creative practices (workshops, performances, experiments, lectures). This approach enabled the spatial and temporal distribution of their shared space, providing opportunities for diverse artistic practices to coexist, share resources, and engage in meaningful discussions.
Bomi Ahn (KO), Michael Schweiger (AT), Ioan-Ovidio Cernei (RO), Julia Hartig (AT), Christa Wall (AT), Dominik Leitner (AT), Katharina Mayrhofer (AT), Pantelis Yiannakis (GR), Alex de las Heras (ES).
Relational art and Open Space
3th Dec to 21st 2012, Promenade Linz, Austria.
Relational art, or relational (and open space) aesthetics, served as the foundation of Expanderrr Collective’s immersive art exhibition and pop up laboratory, «Contianerrr.» Nicolas Bourriaud’s groundbreaking definition, highlighting that art emerges from the interactions of human relationships and their social context rather than individualistic, private spaces, is at the core of our endeavor.
«Contianerrr» invited our local community to embark on a journey that transcends the confines of traditional art exhibitions. We aimed to blur the lines between artists and viewers, exploring the profound essence of relational art. Our exhibition was a gateway into the collective experience of open spaces, where art and human connection intertwine. Within the pop-up laboratory of «Contianerrr,» we emphasized the human connection as the focal point of artistic expression. Visitors were met with interactive installations and engaging artwork, inviting them to engage, participate, and contribute. As they interacted with the pieces, they experienced a genuine emotional connection, highlighting the power of art to inspire connections and bridge differences.
Artists were invited to participate in «Contianerrr» embracing the challenge to redefine art’s spatial boundaries. The conventional gallery setting was abandoned in favor of unconventional locations, such as open city squares and remote natural landscapes. This transformation extended art beyond traditional confines, encouraging viewers to perceive the environment, the audience, and the art as a single, evolving entity. We transformed art into a collaborative endeavor, where artists and viewers co-created ever-changing artworks in an open space. Visitors were not just spectators; they were active participants in the creative process. In this open and shared environment, the lines between artist and spectator were blurred, highlighting the collective experience as the true masterpiece.
«Contianerrr» was guided by a powerful statement rather than rigid rules:
«Whoever comes is the right people«: It reminded participants that passion and care matter more than a CEO and a hundred people. In the absence of traditional direction or control, it’s those who truly care that shape the open-space meeting’s breakout sessions.
«Whenever it starts, the right time«: This statement underscored the idea that spirit and creativity cannot be constrained by the clock. The exhibition unfolded at its own rhythm.
«Wherever it happens is the right place«: «Expanderrr» acknowledged that creative spaces are boundless and ever-present. It encouraged attendees to remain conscious and aware, even in unconventional settings, similar to the famous example of Tahrir Square.
«Whatever happens is the only thing that could have«: This principle reminded everyone that once an event occurs, it’s a part of history. No amount of fretting or rehashing can alter the past. The focus should be on moving forward.
«When it’s over, it’s over«: In the spirit of open space, this statement encouraged participants to recognize that issue resolution doesn’t adhere to a strict timeline. When a matter, task, or conversation concludes, it’s time to embrace what comes next, prioritizing work over time constraints.
The OPEN CONTAINERRR project was grounded in the praxis of Relational Art and Open Space, where the conventional roles of artist, artwork, and audience dissolve, giving way to unpredictable happenings. It went beyond traditional art and openness, embracing a fluid and undefined outcome that would emerge through processes guided by sharing and collaboration. The project transformed human interaction into a canvas where workshops and lectures became artworks themselves, sparking dialogues and discussions that reflected our contemporary sociocultural environment.
What gave value and purpose to the project was the organic growth that sprang from these practices, enriching the proposal.
Key Aspects of the Project:
Free Participation: All activities were offered for free, with only material costs for external participants in workshops, covering expenses directly linked to their involvement.
Open Licensing: All production was created under free licenses, emphasizing the open and collaborative nature of the endeavor.
Active Participation: Engaging in the project as a whole required regular participation in various work schedules, public interaction, and maintenance.
Responsibility: Participants were encouraged to find situations where they could learn or contribute actively. If not, they were encouraged to take initiative, use their agency, and find meaningful ways to contribute.
OPEN CONTAINERRR wasn’t just an art project; it was a living experiment in openness, collaboration, and collective creation.
Art exhibition and pop up laboratory at Tabakfabrik Linz
In the heart of Linz, Austria, during the vibrant Musenspiele Festival of 2011, we embarked on an unconventional artistic journey. The neglected spaces of our bustling city, particularly the Bauhaus-style Tobacco Factory, became the focal point of our artistic revival. Instead of traditional art exhibitions, our goal was to adapt these forgotten spaces for public open culture events and collaborative projects.
Our concept was elegantly simple yet profoundly transformative: to breathe new life into these urban voids and convert them into dynamic canvases for cultural exchange and creativity. The Expanderrr Collective set out to rejuvenate these abandoned warehouses, derelict factories, and forgotten alleyways, aiming to infuse them with the spirit of artistic interventions, community building, and the potential of adaptive urban design.