The Freiraum Online Summit is part of the Freiraum Festival 2020, a collaborative, decentralized, democratized festival taking place simultaneously in the physical and the digital worlds. Freiraum is a project of the Goethe Instituts in Europe.

The festival has been developed jointly by more than 40 organizations spread around Europe, and includes more than 20 Local Events, dealing with issues that have been accelerated by the recent pandemic crisis: the “State of Freedom in Europe today: the ongoing biopolitical crisis and emerging social movements", and the “State of the Arts: new formats and audiences”. During the three days at the end of October (30/10-1/11), established thinkers and audiences around Europe gather to discuss these issues, online and offline, in specially conceived events that transform the local into a subjective center. 

The Online Summit was organized by ArtBOX. It combines a studio and teleconferencing platform (zoom). It includes talks, discussions, artistic interventions especially made for the online format, and live connection with the local events held by the Freiraum partners. The “State of the Arts: new formats and audiences” was organised in partnership with the Common Lab project by Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki & ArtBOX, in the framework of Goethe-Institut's Excellency Initiatives 2020-21, in collaboration with TIF-Helexpo (GR).



Since the beginning of the European idea, Athens has been an exoticized utopia. Recently, as a result of the 2009 worldwide financial crisis, Athens has become the exotic scene of a global drama that has attracted many, including the curators of the recent documenta14.
The exhibition HOMEMADE EXOTICA, at FREIRAUM in der Box in Berlin Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg presents 16 contemporary Greek artists. What can "learning from Athens" mean in a time of upheaval for Europe, in which all values rooted in European soil that underpin our cultural heritage are questioned? What is left after the demystification of a country, which has been subject to stereotyping since 18th-century philhellenism, labeled a tourist paradise, and imprinted with the stigma of the crisis? Why are these questions essential for our coexistence in an ethically corroded system?
Some artworks tend to surround every day, mundane and almost invisible with mystique, fantasy, and grace. This exotic re-enchantment of our world is often done by paying particular attention to the small details of private interiors or personal mementos. Other works apply the visual rhetoric of the past, that being the techniques of Renaissance-like, chiaroscuro painting, the detailed observation of society, or even the dismantling of abstract painting in the painterly installations. Hidden facets of Athenian life are uncovered as well as unveils aspects of characters shaping the intellectual life of the city. Cultural stereotypes and biased points of view are discussed; as well as cultural cross-overs and entanglements.
The artworks of the exhibition Homemade Exotica induce an almost experiential immersion and invite viewers to become participant in the artworks’ area of research, the Athenian life and its fragile poetics - while at the same time inviting the viewer to dismantle narratives around a mythical place of ancient and contemporary times. Athens acts as a prime example of stereotyping images and utopias of "the other" which tend to get in the way of essential communication and exchange, no matter which whom or what.



The School of Everything, was a symposion presented in context of Documenta 14 in Kassel (11.-13.6.2017) and Athens (6.-7.7.2017) and bringing together participants from scholarly, artistic and activist backgrounds. The participants act within education and invent new educational formats understood as research-based activist works of art. They develop anti-border, open source and horizontal knowledge-sharing platforms. They engage either as practitioners and reformers or theoreticians with radical pedagogy from a historical and philosophical point of view. Participants from various initiatives and institutions are invited to fantasize and share their ground-breaking visions on a future planetary education while working together for the formation of a new collective curriculum. The School of Everything is a model for the university of the Twenty-first Century, for which universal learning is a mode of existence and the core of emancipation. The Kantian „dare to know“ can only mean a „know to dare.“ The School of Everything becomes the School of Everyone.
The symposion focuses on contemplative and generalized explanations on art-as-education, which enables an enfolding of systemically hidden complexities. It relates to concrete examples of alternative educational formats or sudden dynamics and unexpected proposals while discussing and creating a common curriculum to be proposed to educational institutions in our reach. Participants of the symposion will debate on newly developed formats of art-as-education aiming at the distribution of new fields of discourse, which replace the Empire's patterns of thought and its established academic disciplines. The symposion adheres to compassion, ethical responsibility, transdisciplinarity, gender neutrality, subaltern discourses and creative figuration, as well as a double conjoining: on the one hand, the merging of scientific knowledge with the humanities, on the other, the merging of theory with practice. The symposion focuses on creating future art schools, which may function as the grounding force and a new educational paradigm.
The School of Everything was organised by Autonomi Akadimia and AthenSYN.


UNIVERSITAS at Trii Art Hub (2017)

In the face of over 60 million people migrating today and given the current political situation in Europe with the rising of xenophobia and populist political movements, it becomes imperative to invent new means of bringing people together in a society, without however homogenising them or subjecting them to class hierarchies, social stereotypes and identity politics of all kind. In her essay "We Refugees," (1943) philosopher Hannah Arendt argues for the right of migrants to be politically active and to participate in social practices while acknowledging in them “the vanguard of their peoples.” When we see the migrant as “the political subject of the 21st century” we necessarily call into question established political principles while challenging notions such as global citizenship, democratic way of living and collective self-mastery. How are we all in Europe to learn and develop from this novel situation?
The exhibition is based on the belief that culture and education through shared knowledge are the best means to achieve this goal. With the present artistic research project, we want to create a practice- based model of a “community of teachers and learners" (universitas magistrorum et scolarium), to develop a new form of shared knowledge, which remembers its origin as a "community," the literal meaning of the word “Universitas". We want to set a new paradigm by developing a place of study and horizontal transmission of knowledge for the less privileged that demonstrates the cancellation of existing biopolitical exclusion of migrants. “Learning by doing" is what we aim for in the experiment, the means of which will be a collective writing of a history of the current situation.
The UNIVERSITAS exhibition follows a series of workshops offered by artists from Syrian, Greece and Germany in the Eleusis camp, the Skaramangas camp, the Chora community center in Exarxia and at the premises of Athens Biennale at Varvakeios and at Bageion.



Goethe’s Dream is the first large-scale project by the ARTECITYA AGENCY. It includes three works – commissions to artists Giorgos Gyparakis, Alexandros Psychoulis and Theodoros Zafeiropoulos, who were invited to re-design the outdoors, public spaces of Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki’s building complex. The artists propose three contemporary artistic practices that, based on a critical appropriation of artistic traditions, establish models of reaction against the social stagnation of art. The three works –which, to a greater or lesser extent, reference the arcadian utopia, a popular theme in art since antiquity and a source of inspiration for literary, philosophical and artistic movements– do not only address the aesthetics of self-reflection, but also create ways of wide social interaction and practices of everyday human life.


BEAUTY IS THE METHOD Art Gallery of DEREE The American College of Greece (2015)

The exhibition showcases works, which appear to be poetic images of pure beauty, or conceptual-formal abstractions. Understanding a work of art as a beautiful, mathematical formalization (Badiou), or as an ‘affective hardware’ (Kittler), means to oppose art to the powerful industries of the Imaginary, making poiesis the proper ideological counterbalance to current aestheticized, relativist and historizing notion of culture. In this regard works of art offer subtle, rebellious and in the same time truthful dispositivs of art (formulae, metaphors, poetic imagery, figures of speech).
The heuristic devise of an exhibition, which tries to bring people together and inspire them to act, wants to set a mark towards this goal, while presenting works of art in an idiosyncratic way. It aims at making a step forward towards establishing a manifesto on dispositivs of truth in the art of today.


SELFCONSCIOUS Art Gallery of DEREE The American College of Greece (2014)

Advertising media, Broadcast media, Digital media, Electronic media, Hypermedia, Mass media, Multimedia, New media, Social media … the catalog is prolific. Divergent, but all have something in common: technological media are not tools as much as they are a significant part of our social and psychological lives, intervening not only in what we do but in how we think and feel. Computer, network and digitally generated “new” images, constitute not just another type of representing, but of perceiving. These images manufacture and articulate lived experience. In this respect, media participate actively in social processes creating a novel human condition. Affect and identity are constructed around vast digital archives that are able to impact how people think of themselves. Information technologies are becoming our second nature. This novel “genealogy of the sensible” requires one to rethink the actuality and historicity of human desire and aesthetics. Are there consequences for one’s psychic and collective individuation?
The exhibiton, SelfConscious, asked artists to re-think the notion of contemporary identity—both collective and singular—by expressing themselves using a variety of technological media. Questions for the viewer to entertain include:How does novel audio and/or visual technologies construct a culture or counter-culture of affect, emotion, memory, desire? Do the installations propose a reconceptualized society?