WEDNESDAY 08.07.2020. at 7PM CET

Collectivity beyond Art Collectives

Cassie Thornton (USA/CA) and Tomislav Medak (HR/UK)

Moderator: Ana Vilenica and Darija Medić


The conversation series Vectors of Collective Imagination in Arts will be conducted through the Zoom platform, within which the audience will have the opportunity to actively participate through a chat discussion.

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Meeting ID: 892 4533 9583


The conversation series Vectors of Collective Imagination in Art is a space for discussion about self-organised art groups, ad-hoc and mythical-real collectives, as well as artistic infrastructures for the collective production of knowledge and the struggle for commons. The series consists of three conversations that will deal with the political economy of art collectives, socio-political engagement of art groups, as well as imagining the anti-systemic collective practices in the period before World War II, during the socialist experiment in Yugoslavia, the anti-Yugoslav period of the 1990s. and the present situation.

In the first discussion, Collectivity outside Art Collectives, we will discuss the (newly) established links between social movements and the arts, which are being articulated in the struggle against the financialisaton and privatisation of everyday life. Cassie Thornton, an activist and artist based in Canada, will talk about her artistic practice derived from experience with the Strike Debt (USA) and from Wiindo Debwe Mosewin - a feminist indigenous patrol in Thunder Bay, as well as about her new project Hologram which tries to organise sick (artists) into a healthcare support network. Tomislav Medak, a researcher and artist from Zagreb, will propose a different genealogy of the free culture movement, with references to the Pirate Care Syllabus project - a space for collective production, exchange and distribution of knowledge about (re)organising social reproduction.


Cassie Thornton is an artist and activist from the US, currently living in Canada. She refers to herself as a feminist economist, a title that frames her work as that of a social scientist actively preparing for the economics of a future society that produces health and life without the tools that reproduce oppression— like money, police or prisons. She is currently the co-director of the Re-Imagining Value Action Lab in Thunder Bay, an art and social centre at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada. Her forthcoming book, The Hologram: Feminist, Peer-to-Peer Health for a Post-Pandemic Future, will be available this summer from Pluto Press.

Tomislav Medak is a doctoral student at the Coventry University’s Centre for Postdigital Cultures. His PhD is on political economy of technology and the planetary ecological crisis. He is also a member of the theory and publishing team of the Multimedia Institute/MAMA in Zagreb, a co-initiator of the Pirate Care project, and an artist in the performing arts collective BADco. With his colleagues at the Multimedia Institute/MAMA, since 2000 he has organised talks, conferences and exhibitions, and edited publications in the fields of political economy, tactical media and the commons. His own research interests are in technology, capitalist development and post-capitalist transition, with a particular focus on environmental crisis, political economy of intellectual property and unevenness of techno-science. At times, he also writes on theatre, dance and politics. You can find more about his writing and work at:

Concept and moderation: Ana Vilenica is a housing activist, a researcher and theoretician of social movements, urban changes, housing and art.

Chat moderation and technical support: Darija Medić is a digital practitioner and educator, researching the field of identity correction//building and labyrinths of contemporary technical practices through the poetics of language, technology and art.


Conversations Vectors of collective imagination in art are part of the project Art Organisation - a long-term international research project that deals with the analysis of artistic (self)organisation in the (post)Yugoslav region. The focus of this project is on self-organised art initiatives outside the mainstream. The project covers a wide historical field from Surrealism in the 1930s to the present day. During 2017, our work on the project began with interviewing participants and protagonists of the contemporary art scene in Yugoslavia. This work continues in 2018 and 2019, when interviewees were theoreticians and art historians, as well as artists who had realised their practice through group art work. The result of this research is an archive consisting of interviews, documentation of works of art and critical texts written during the project trough the program Fragments for studies on art organisations. In July, simultaneously with the series of talks, a collaborative research working group will meet online to analyse and review the materials created during the project. This working group will create a space for collective critical rewriting of the art history of the (post)Yugoslav cultural space and critical work with the generated archive. The online format of the upcoming events and sessions was selected due to the changed circumstances that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic and represents a kind of a challenge for all those involved in this process.