Learning Through the Soles of our Feet is a multi-day Summer School program focusing on collective research and public events that aim to strengthen and explore “an ecology of artistic practices”. By taking inspiration from the convivial history of Asger Jorn’s rural studio and the unique natural, cultural, and social resources on Læsø, the project serves as a launching point for fostering new artistic collaborations. Through collective performances, walks, talks, screenings, concerts, and events, the summer school will aim to connect ideas around artistic self-organization, alternative pedagogies, and commoning to broader discursive issues related to changing ecological, social, and economic conditions in daily life and across society.
In the spirit of Asger Jorn’s practice, the summer school invited organizations and artists from different countries emanating from the historic movements Situationist International, CoBrA, etc. and follow in Jorn’s footsteps by also reaching out to other Nordic, European, and global practitioners from Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, USA, Great Britain, Italy, and others. This international group of artists and thinkers will work in close collaboration on Læsø with natural experts, regional artist groups, local communities, historians, curators, organizers, and researchers. In doing so, aiming to explore dehierarchicalized artistic and ecological approaches toward “sustainable practices” across cultural and natural commons. Ranging from strategies for artistic organization to new forms of conviviality to experimenting with unique resources of Læsø’s landscape - e.g. its seaweed harvesting and salt production.
The project is co-organized by Skal Contemporary, f.eks., and Jubilee and the program is co-curated by the Vermeir & Heiremans. The project is kindly supported by The Danish Arts Foundation, Region Nordjylland, Kulturkanten, Ny Carlsbergfondet, and 15. Juni Fonden.
We met with a local seaweed enthusiast and farmer Henning Johansen at Storhaven who helped artists Clémentine Vaultier and Filip Van Dingenen lead a gathering of both clay and a discarded seaweed rooftop for use in upcoming collective workshops at the Asger Jorn house.
photos by Rikke Ehlers Nilsson and Noah Holtegaard
With collectively gathered clay from Læsø, Clémentine Vaultier led a workshop taking clay as a point of departure for an introduction to working with natural commons. Other local resources such as salt, seaweed, and sand were added into clay as an experimental process. Afterward, the Summer School visited the Læsø Saltsyderi, where Flemming Larsen explained how the ovens and the salt making process works.
At Læsø Saltsyderi Clémentine Vaultier used the opportunity of the presence of continuously burning salt ovens to fire a series of clay sculptures with the assistance of salt maker Flemming Larsen. The results are artifacts of this collective process.