Sign up for ASSEMBLIES: Quarter 1

11:59PM

NAVEL is proud to announce receipt of 18 proposals for our first ASSEMBLIES quarter. ASSEMBLIES are community initiated and led learning groups that form around a theme, practice or experiment. ASSEMBLIES will gather, on average, twice a month from March–May. ALL are welcome to participate free of charge.

Sign-ups run online from Monday, Feb 25–Sunday, Mar 10. Select the ASSEMBLIES you are interested in and committed to join here

NOTE: Because we received so many proposals, the 10 groups with the largest number of interested participants will be selected as ASSEMBLIES at the end of the sign-up period. If more people have expressed interest in an Assembly than the group leader(s) can accommodate, the final working group will be selected at random. If an Assembly you sign-up for is not selected, we’ll encourage the group leader(s) to propose again in a future term. We’re really excited by all of these ideas, and hope to find space to accommodate them moving forward.

Learn more about each proposed Assembly by clicking its name and navigating to Vimeo to see a recording of the group leader’s presentation at our first Quarterly meeting. In alphabetical order, proposed ASSEMBLIES include:

Practicing Collectivity and Reclaiming the Commons
Led by NAVEL

(em)POWERing the rEVOLUTION: DIY Solar Power Technology
Led by #SNATCHPOWER (Uhuru Moore and Jordi Phillips)

A Neighborhood Lab
Led by Alex Borinsky

Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory
Led by Brandon Avery Joyce & Stefan Siegel

Black Ethics in Rap
Led by Sarah Pitan

Dismantling White Supremacy
Led by Svenja Wichmann

Ecstatic Pose Performance
Led by Jason Jenn

Faction 3 of The Revolution: Redistribute Wealth
Led by Jennifer Moon

Human Connection and Sustainability
Led by Emma Sutton

Improvising Ecosystems
Led by Reb L Limerick

Internet Self-Defense
Led by Juli Odomo

Let’s Make Time! And a Movie!
Led by Natalie Slater & Celia Eydeland

Los Angeles Artist Census
Led by Tatiana Vahan

New LA Futures: Reenvisioning the Structure of the LA Government
Led by Matthew Donovan, Paige Emery, Francecso Canas, Olive Kimoto, & others

Poetry and Experimental Writing Circle
Led by Sophia Aira & Billie Soo Hoo

SISTERS WITH INVOICES // RECLAIMING MEDIA AS REPARATIONS AND REPAIR
Led by AMELIAN KASHIRO HAMILTON

The Art of 21st Century Noises
Led by Celia Eydeland

un·in·hab·it·a·ble
Led by Dany Naierman & Daniel Gower


Practicing Collectivity and Reclaiming the Commons
Led by NAVEL

A reading group lead by the NAVEL team exploring collective thinking and actions that reclaim the Commons. We will discuss NAVEL’s role as a catalyst for cooperatively or collectively-organized projects and initiatives. We will brainstorm what steps NAVEL can take to be more collectively-run by taking an audit of each area of operation.

GOAL: A collectively-written manifesto.

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 15-20


(em)POWERing the rEVOLUTION: DIY Solar Power Technology
Led by #SNATCHPOWER (Uhuru Moore & Jordi Phillips)

Black Queer Artist Collective, #SNATCHPOWER, would like the avengers to assemble to DIY install solar power into their collective safe space, a short school bus called The Black Magic School Bus. Over the course of our Assembly we will learn together how to convert energy from the sun to electricity and install it to (em)power a functional object, in this case, a magical school bus which acts as a tour bus carrying Black queer and trans artists, allies, and their gear throughout Los Angeles. Eventually the electricity will (em)power a mobile recording studio and public art space.

GOAL: To electrify The Black Magic School Bus with solar energy.

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 5-8


A Neighborhood Lab
Led by Alex Borinsky

I’d like to create a short, exploratory pilot of something I’m calling a Neighborhood Lab. A Neighborhood Lab allows people to come together to learn about a neighborhood, and to explore new possibilities for how to be-in-neighbor-hood, there and elsewhere in a city. It operates on multiple levels — materialist, economic, demographic, historical, ecological, mythological, etc. Over the course of several months, participants would learn with experts (in urbanism, community organizing, permaculture design, ecology, labor theory, city history, economics, etc), do their own research, and work in groups to propose projects that enrich the city on a local scale, encourage neighborhood resilience, and fight displacement. Storytelling will be central to this work. I’d like to elaborate a mythology around the tensions inherent in how urban neighborhoods evolve and their relationship to histories of colonialism and occupation. Key assumptions: Enter humbly. We all stand to learn a lot. Be clear about guiding values.

GOAL: The goal is to better understand the potential scope of a full Neighborhood Lab, with an eye to launching one sometime in 2019. The pilot won’t be able to do everything the full Lab might eventually propose to do, but will use the neighborhood around NAVEL as a way of testing out possible Lab methodologies. We’d hope to create: A cursory survey of neighborhood resources. A design for a possible collaborative neighborhood project, that would activate those resources and also keep them circulating within the neighborhood, rather than flowing away to elsewhere. A set of proposals for a future, more extensive neighborhood lab. A series of narrative possibilities. Elements of a mythology.

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 5-15


Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory
Led by Brandon Avery Joyce & Stefan Siegel

This will be an Assembly on Theodor Adorno’s criminally-overlooked Aesthetic Theory. Although members are of course welcome to read the work, this is not a reading group. Instead, we’re taking shorter passages from the work and bringing them to bear on very current cultural forms and practices. Rather than textual analysis, the overall aim is to expose members to Adorno’s kind of critical, dialectical approach to culture and cultural production, and his defense of uncooperative, truthful, “emphatic” art and culture. The Assembly will also be used as a chance to revive Brandon’s campaign to get Adorno a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A longer explanation is available here.

GOAL: At minimum, there will be three text-and-image PDFs (easily presented, possibly made into videos) exploring a central idea of Adorno’s (like “immanent necessity” or mimesis) in the context of a contemporary cultural practice or form.

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 10-15 at any one meeting, subsections may be created


Black Ethics in Rap
Led by Sarah Pitan

I hope to host a collective analysis of the ethics of the black male body, epitomized in the rap villain. I would like to lead an open-ended discussion that analyzes black self-performance in rap music—that text which records the black body. An analysis of the black body as such can prompt a construction of a modified ethical model that can then be applied in the realm of the political. I plan to prepare a short playlist that I’ll use to focus each meeting, one track at a time, as well as short excerpts of critical texts (optional reading) that I’ll use to guide a discussion of the music. But the structure of the Assembly is open. Some artists of interest: Cella Dwellas, Notorious BIG, Earl Sweatshirt, ONYX, Method Man, etc.

GOAL: To refine discussion as a mode of critical collective activity. To study music as a text. To connect the political to the ethical. To study blackness. Final project (flexible, depending on group): a collectively-made blog or some online resource that both documents our findings and activates new engagements with the Assembly, effectively furthering its lifespan and opening up access to a greater public.

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 3 people minimum


Dismantling White Supremacy
Led by Svenja Wichmann

The Assembly will start with Layla F. Saads Me & White Supremacy Workbook and then continue to deepen the topic with further research and texts as well as developing practical actions in everyday life. The Workbook is a personal anti-racism tool that has been designed by Layla F. Saad to help People who hold White Privilege to take responsibility for dismantling the ways that the system of white supremacy manifests both within them and their communities.

Every participant of the group will independently do the 28 days work with the workbook and journaling questions and the group will meet weekly to share their discoveries, thoughts, problems and experiences. The Meetings and the Assembly in general are NOT about making white people feel good but to help and encourage them to be honest, get uncomfortable and to keep working on dismantling their personal whiteness. Although aimed at people who hold white privilege, all interested human beings can participate in this Assembly.

GOAL: The Goal of this Assembly is to challenge white peoples’ complicity in the system of white supremacy and work towards dismantling it within themselves and the world. For the final outcome I’d like to propose an evening with a 5-course menu, hosted by the participants of the Assembly that works a bit like speed dating and creates a space that enables personal conversations about race and white supremacy. This proposal would be further shaped and discussed by all participants of the Assembly.

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 5-10


Ecstatic Pose Performance
Led by Jason Jenn

Specialized body postures are frequently featured in art and artifacts from various world cultures and researchers have discovered that, by taking on these strange postures ourselves, we can experience meditative and visionary experiences. I have participated in performance art troupes using these body postures and the visions we have as a result of maintaining them to create theatrical creations. The Assembly would meet several times to explore these body postures and record the resulting visions. Over the months we would then explore as a group using the visions as a basis for creating props and costumes to use in a performance art piece.

GOAL: A performance by the group based on the various visions experienced during the workshops.

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 7-15


Faction 3 of The Revolution: Redistribute Wealth
Led by Jennifer Moon

How can we infuse money-making practices with the two principles of The Revolution, abundance and expansiveness, to dismantle capitalism? Faction 3 of The Revolution is committed to the redistribution of wealth through a socialist-based conduit corporation (Conduit Corp) working in tandem with a nonprofit that supplies Free Means of Production (FMP Nonprofit) to the public. The FMP Nonprofit provides communities with free means of production to produce goods that are sold through the Conduit Corp, using a Robin Hood model of selling to the rich and redistributing the profits to marginalized communities until everyone’s survival needs are taken care of: free food, clothing, shelter, health care for all on this earth and beyond. Ideally, the Conduit Corp will eventually create a monopoly of sorts, like Amazon, providing all forms of goods and services (even credit unions); HOWEVER, the important distinction is that the sole purpose of this “monopoly” is strictly to redistribute wealth and not for profit. Everyone working for the Conduit Corp and FMP Nonprofit gets paid the same no matter what position they hold. The Conduit Corp can also function as an umbrella corporation for already established small businesses. The businesses under the umbrella of the Conduit Corp are free to function just as any other business functions today while receiving the added benefit of access to the FMP Nonprofit to help produce their goods. The only condition is that a portion of their profits go to the Conduit Corp to help in the redistribution of wealth.

GOAL: The goal of this Assembly is to research past and current models similar to this to help us draw up a comprehensive and detailed plan of how all this will work. Another goal is to come up with branding (e.g., W.A.G.E.) for Faction 3 of The Revolution to then approach existing small business to get them to join in this network.

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 5-10?


Human Connection and Sustainability
Led by Emma Sutton

This Assembly will take a look at Human Connection, Empathy and Care in 2019. What it means to take care of each other, ourselves and the earth. Moving beyond the self care movement and examining how a depth of human connection is inextricably linked to deeper connection to the planet. Understanding that Sustainability of Self means Sustainability of Planet.

With the rise of anxiety and depression caused by social media and device addiction, there is a growing feeling of disconnection in Western society. This Assembly will explore how experiences can generate collective awareness, optimism and empowered hope. Celebrating collaboration and the collective over individuation.

The format will be a series of workshops, research, and one field trip (a philosophical dinner party experience at a private home) with the theme of “Self Sustainability” for 8-12 people.

Each NAVEL session would include bringing in external experts in somatics, immersive theatre, human design, choreography, reiki, empathy. We’ll also use a variety of proven ways to connect, from teaching yin yoga and/or yoga nidra meditations, facilitation of empowerment talking circles to dance/movement and dinner.

GOAL: The end goal is two-tiered: 1) A Human Connection and Sustainability Manifesto, 2) that this manifesto is embodied (so it’s a collectively felt sense) backed up by intellectual theory. We as a group will have facilitated something that has generated a stronger awareness of Self and deeper inner connection to Self, the planet and each other. Cultivating a more conscious and empathetic collective of humans. Ultimately the end goal is greater Human Connection that leads to a sense of optimism in Humanity. Because it’s only when we have a felt sense of optimism, we can begin to move past our trauma, be strong enough to do and see things differently, and be actively empathetic. The Manifesto can then be used as springboard into a Salon, further workshops and perhaps either a published trend report with a partner akin to *Protein**, perhaps one that’s deeply community spirited. Example of their reports can be found here.

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 12-30


Improvising Ecosystems
Led by Reb L Limerick

Improvising Ecosystems is an ongoing, evolving, practice that aims to cultivate a diverse cohort of improvisors and deepen relationships to local ecosystems. This is a new iteration of a project seeded in Minneapolis in 2014, inspired and guided by many including Deep Listening founder Pauline Oliveros. This Assembly hopes to gather an interdisciplinary group of scientists, musicians, visual artists, performance artists, dancers, experimental media artists, composers, activists, humans and nonhumans. Together, we will meet at ecological reserves and urban nature sites to engage in collaborative, experimental research that will shape our participatory Performed Installations staged at NAVEL. We will offer active reflections on the ecosystems we visit by exploring, absorbing, synthesizing, and sharing multiple ways of generating embodied knowledge informed by our direct experiences and our varied disciplines.

GOAL: This Assembly will culminate in a cumulative Performed Installation through which we will create new modalities for activating aesthetic, empathetic, and inquiring relationships with changing ecosystems. Our improvisational, transdisciplinary, and collaborative approach to climate change investigation aims to be in contrast to contemporary data display and interpretative forms of artistic engagement with ecosystem research. Our performed installation will serve as an invitation to the audience to participate, interact, and reflect on local ecosystems with us. I imagine that we will meet 8 times in the 3-month period: 3 times for “field trips” to places of collective curiosity (possibilities include the Bowtie Parcel of the LA River, Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, Angeles National Forest, Griffith Park) and 5 times at NAVEL (once after each of the outings to reflect and improvise in a controlled environment, one synthesis meeting/“dress rehearsal,” and one final participatory Performed Installation for the public.) I deeply hope that this Assembly will catalyze a committed group practice of improvising with ecosystems that will continue beyond the 3-month timeframe.

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 7-15


Internet Self-Defense
Led by Juli Odomo

Learn fundamental self-defense techniques for privacy and security!

GOAL: Learning!

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 16


Let’s Make Time! And a Movie!
Led by Natalie Slater & Celia Eydeland

In this Assembly, we aim to disrupt notions of time that draw a line between subjective, personal time and objective, public time. Capitalist societies have long pushed its inhabitants to comply to notions of rigid yet simultaneously intangible public time as mechanisms of social organization. However, in the face of impending, dramatic environment disaster/change, unclear what the “timeline” of earth was or will be, the materiality and malleability of time is clearer than ever. This existential panic provides provides fertile ground to see the ways in which communities are attempting to build time together. Inspired by posthumanist theorists such as Karen Barad, we embrace time as a material, resource, and object that comes to be, as all objects do, through intra-acting agencies. We would like to explore time in the Anthropocene together through discussion and through filmmaking. We believe that collaboratively using analog film as a group will be exciting and appropriate, as it will force us to reckon with time in its most material art form-film: as a finite, collaborative, and imaginative resource. We hope to explore many pockets of Los Angeles, filming and tying together subjects such as environment change, astrology, tarot, diverse futurologies, science fiction, and speculations all together through this very open-ended project.

GOAL: Create a 5-10 minute analog film.

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 10-15


Los Angeles Artist Census
Led by Tatiana Vahan

Los Angeles Artist Census addresses the lack of knowledge of the life of working artists in Los Angeles. This research project involves collecting basic financial data on LA-based artists to gain a better understanding of need versus resources-available to artists in the city. The data will include information like total debt, debt from student loans, monthly income and expenses, housing, and employment information. Statistics and data that are collected will be compiled, published, and made available as a public resource. This Spring, a census questionnaire that is co-authored by local artists will be drafted, and the census will be implemented in the Fall. I am proposing a series of public programs and closed discussions at NAVEL that will lead to drafting the LA Artist Census questionnaire.

GOAL: To draft an artist census questionnaire.

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: Open


New LA Futures: Reenvisioning the Structure of the LA Government
Led by Matthew Donovan, Paige Emery, Francecso Canas, Olive Kimoto & others

Moving into 2019, we propose to focus on the futurity of the city of Los Angeles and its police. The project we are proposing to NAVEL includes a research group focused on creating a new Charter to reform the governmental structure of Los Angeles. A charter is a legal document, like the constitution, that formulates the foundational laws of the local government system (Ballotopia). In our charter, we hope to address issues of gentrification, police brutality, public banking, etc… These would be the principal subjects on which our commission would focus at the local level.

We will not, in fact, be creating the charter in this Assembly, but will instead use the three months to research the feasability of the project within in the next year. By month two, we plan to make a decision and move on to proposing what our next steps will be for the year ahead.

We acknowledge that an exhaustive and ambitious project like this will only be possible with a dedicated and extremely organized group of individuals, so we are open to the option of finding that it is not, in fact, possible. For more information, please see our extended proposal.

GOAL: We have two potential goals: the first, to assess how realistic the goal of creating a new charter for the city of Los Angeles actually is. The second, in case the first is not possible: to form a progressive citizen oversight committee to keep tabs on the LAPD. The current LA Police Commission works as a superficial committee of players appointed by Mayor Garcetti, even though the LAPD leads the US for charges brought against officer-related shootings. In either case, we hope to create more power for citizen committees and to decrease the amount of power city council and the mayor have over the direction of the city’s future.

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 5-40


Poetry and Experimental Writing Circle
Led by Sophia Aira & Billie Soo Hoo

We propose to use ASSEMBLIES to create a supportive network for folks interested in poetry and experimental writing. The purpose of the group is to invigorate solitary writing practices by providing a platform for members to share their work and open themselves up to response and critique, ultimately working towards diversifying each other’s work and worlds by collectively thinking through technique. We propose to keep the format of the group somewhat malleable, but at this time we imagine that in addition to focusing on peer review, a portion of the meeting time will be devoted to reading and discussing work from writers that have shaped various group members practices. Some writers we are interested in exploring are Fred Moten, Hoa Nguyen, Mel Y Chen, Gertrude Stein, Lewis Carroll, and CA Conrad.

GOAL: Our proposed final project would take the form of a published collection of written works by members of the group, accompanied by a reading.

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 4-15


SISTERS WITH INVOICES // RECLAIMING MEDIA AS REPARATIONS AND REPAIR
Led by AMELIAN KASHIRO HAMILTON

exploration into media oppression, set culture/production toxicity, fighting capitalism by learning to navigate through capitalism, healing through retelling history. this would include creating and repackaging the image, messages and educate POC folx on how to better navigate through the creative world

GOAL: a television show, zine, tangible and accessible references, live and in person themed meetings

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 50 (if community)


The Art of 21st Century Noises
Led by Celia Eydeland

In this Assembly, we will discuss the status and future of music/sound as we approach the second decade of the 21st century. Approximately a century ago, Futurist manifesto The Art of Noises observed that the 20th century human is so accustomed to machinery and urban landscapes that traditional music and “pure sound, with its littleness and its monotony, now fails to arouse any emotion.” Futurists encouraged musicians to embrace noise inspired by the sounds of machinery, war, cities, and even humans sobbing and yelling. Though in some ways inspiring in their anarchy and embrace of future, the Futurists glorified violence, virility and misogyny, and racism in ways that predicted much of Western history in the 20th century. The clear correlation between the development of sound, music, and politics asks for a 21st century reevaluation in times where old institutions, politics, and environments prove themselves tenuous in simultaneously promising, terrifying, and unpredictable ways. As a group, we will explore the nature of sound in the 21st century by discussing trends in music, music-listening, and 21st century sound, much of which is technically silent but chaotic in the endless stream of information and connections which define the modern age.

GOAL: Collectively compose a modern manifesto that confidently proposes ways music could and should carry us to the future. Unlike the Futurists, we hope our manifesto addresses present political, environmental, and social changes and instability without glorifying violence, but rather attempting to dismantle vestiges of dangerous and bigoted institutions with promising futures.

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 15-20


un·in·hab·it·a·ble
Led by Dany Naierman & Daniel Gower

This Assembly will develop a new work by MOVING ASSEMBLAGES, a collaborative art and performance group founded on a narrative integrated by three segments: creation, inhabitancy and elimination. The ambiance of the piece, constructed within the choreography of the performance, is both content and form of this endurance experience. As an Assembly, the elements of the piece will continue to feed exploration, and allow us to show work-in-progress ahead of a site-responsive performance in late 2019. Senses, the aesthetics vocabulary of the /inhabitancy/ section of this process, will be the main element explored through this Assembly.

GOAL: A 3-hour midnight performance at NAVEL.

IDEAL NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 6