Projects

Casco, Coffee and Communication

Casco, Utrecht, Jan 2001

presentation \'Secondhand Plant\' by Rolf Engelen
presentation \'Secondhand Plant\' by Rolf Engelen
Duration: 2001 - 2002
Location: Casco Projects & public space, Utrecht
Participants: 25
Visitors: people on the street
Number of Events: 7
Additional presentations: Liste 01, Basel (06.2001); Z33, Hasselt (11.2004 - 02.2005); Oncheoncheon stream, Bushan Biennale (09.2006-11.2006)

Every morning from 5 to 11 o'clock, the streets of New York are taken over by donut carts selling coffee and donuts to people rushing to work. These carts are self-contained workspaces that combine displaying donuts and bagels, making coffee and selling these in less than 2 m2. The character of the cart is that of a portable presentation stand and a window to deal from. For Van Heeswijk they combine two essential elements for communicating art, namely showing (making it visible) and negotiating. They form the basis of what she thinks could be a battle cart for dialogue.

Casco, Coffee and Communication (2001) set out to nurture a relationship between the Utrecht exhibition space Casco Projects, a production space for contemporary art, and the rest of the city. The Cascomobile connected Casco Projects programme on Democratic Design with what was happening on the streets of the city, simply by going out there. Artists served up topics such as local versus global economy, private versus public use, fashion versus subculture along with a cup of coffee. The Casco Projects space was remodelled, adding a larger exterior door to allow the Cascomobile to drive in and out and become a portable extension.

Almost every day for a year, the Cascomobile was out on the streets in a different part of Utrecht, not only serving coffee and tea but also displaying small presentations by artists and designers on Democratic Design and engaging passers-by in a dialogue. The artist presenting also operated the Cascomobile, thereby presenting, serving drinks and discussing his or her work with a broader audience. The programme choice was closely linked to what was happening in the specific area of the city. In Utrecht, among other things, the Cascomobile was taken on a journey by artist Thomas S�ckl, presenting 'Anti Gay Spray', designer Cindy van den Bremen presented specially designed Hijabs to enable Muslim girls to take part in gym classes at school and other sport activities, and 'cultural hacker' Wilfried Hou je bek served 'zines and anarchist magazines. It also served Casco Projects at Liste 01, the young art fair running parallel to Art Basel.

In October 2003, the experiences of a year working with the Cascomobile were the subject of a workshop by Dennis Kaspori and Van Heeswijk at the RAM Foundation in Rotterdam on 'Strategies for Urban Interaction' and the importance of mobile small-scale economic structures in the city. It also continued to travel as a presentation and discussion space, such as at the exhibition 'Living in Motion' at Z33 in Hasselt, Belgium and the Bushan Biennale, Korea.

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