Member of Ohio University School of Art Critical Regionalism Initiative
spurse is an open-ended group of individuals and organizations that work together as a type of experimental consultation service towards the development of new forms of engagement, practices and knowledges.
We believe that there is a necessity today of working collectively to rethink all of the givens of our modes of being in the world so to develop new forms of practices and knowledges. We are creatures who are not alone -- and we, as creatures, are a type of collective -- a complex entanglement of many other creatures (bacteria, fungi, protocistae etc.), systems, habits, matters of concern and forces at varying scales. This world, is a world that we are not simply in but we are, rather, an intra-actively co-emerging part of this dynamic world. It is a world of irreducible messiness, complexity and open-ended multiplicity.
It is from this perspective that we come up with forms of interdisciplinary research methods and practices. Much of our work involves the setting up of various types of methodologies to first consult/probe/problematize the given and then collectively develop, with communities (both human and nonhuman), new practices and systems of engagement which can allow for new forms of knowledge production and systems of engagement. These endeavors often take on the form of a temporary research institute/laboratory or consultation service. What this might mean in actuality can vary quite broadly. We have opened restaurants, installed archives in government buildings, built microbiological laboratories for museums, developed housing and clothing systems for migration, conducted urban research with collaborators on a global level, collaborated with dance companies, prepared musical performances, worked with communities to record oral histories, hosted symposia on various topics, organized community soccer games, and published books and DVDs etc. We have been working this way for the last ten years in various locations and situations internationally. In our collaborations each of us brings many differing sets of skills -- some of us are computer scientists, urbanists, geographers, philosophers, artists, architects, designers, microbiologists, skateboarders etc. We see our skills not as forms of elite expertise but as composing an open tool kit that allows us, as engaged participants in the unfolding of the world, to act towards the development of new modes of doing, acting, thinking, and building with others.