HOWTOLOGY writing masterclass by Olga Drenda with Red Cell / Ben Eastham / Calla Henkel / Steph Kretowicz
Olga Drenda, Polish author and culture writer, invites you to join the creative and critical writing online class.
How can the written word be an ally for visual arts, often layered with dense contextual information? Is the fact based approach engaging for a reader, or rather a personal perspective? What is the collective authorship leverage? How to write insightfully about art in an online milieu?We offer an unique opportunity to ask bestseller authors on their process, as well as discuss and argue with them - regarding both art criticism and writing as an artistic practice.
When? Mondays: October 11th and 25th, November 15th and December 6th; from 7pm to 9pm o'clock (CEST).
How to join? Send us a short text explaining why you want to take part in the workshop. 1000 words tops. We are waiting for your email at: firstname.lastname@example.org Selected participants will be asked to pay a fee of 50 zlotys via https://bilety.msl.org.pl/
The deadline for submitting applications is October 4th.
Who are you going to meet?
Olga Drenda - The Howtology host
I'm an author, culture writer and translator. As an anthropology graduate, I apply an interdisciplinary, holistic approach to my research and writing by default; this equips me with versatile strategies and tools which help me understand and analyse various areas of knowledge. I have been interested in particular in the aesthetic of the transformation era in Poland and Central-Eastern Europe, vernacular design and engineering, local hauntologies, as well as the anthropology of everyday life (which I explored extensively in my books, Duchologia polska. Rzeczy i ludzie w latach transformacji (Polish Ghostology. Things and people in the years of transformation, Karakter, 2016), Wyroby. Pomysłowość wokół nas (Products. Ingenuity around us, Karakter, 2018) - but in practice, the fields of research continue to expand and grow in both more general as well as more detailed ways. This resulted in writing on music and visual arts, but also in my private research: the Facebook page I have been running since 2013, Duchologia (facebook.com/duchologia), dedicated to the spectres of the late 1980s and early 1990s and comprising found images and footage as well as my own photographs, became a starting point for a more extensive
archaelogy of recent times project, followed by a book and a number of smaller publications. The project continues.
I have been working freelance since 2009, with focus initially on photography as my main subject of interest; I still engage in photography criticism occasionally (such as in the case of an essay in Łukasz Rusznica's critically acclaimed book, Subterranean River, or writing for the Łódź Fotofestiwal). Gradually, I have developed a more multidisciplinary approach, which resulted in publications in Polish and international magazines in print and offline (such as Dwutygodnik, Szum, Glissando, AQNB, Polityka, Slanted and many others), as well as essays accompanying exhibitions and artbooks (such as Marzenia wiosenne / Spring dreams in Galeria Biała in Lublin, Unsound Festival's Intermission anthology, 2020) and Polish/English translations (ART BREAKS FREE. Art in the PRL, CSRS and WRL in the 1980s, OKIS, Wrocław 2021; Ultra Sounds. The Sonic Art of Polish Radio Experimental Studio, ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Muzeum Sztuki w Łodzi, 2018; The procedures of 1970s art, Fundacja Profile, 2016). My book Duchologia polska was also published in Russian.
Whilst writing remains my main area of expertise, I enjoy interaction in particular. I had an opportunity to work as a guest lecturer and workshop host (at the University of Gdansk, School of Forms in Warsaw and Poznan, University of Vienna and others). I look forward to a hopefully very creative and fruitful exchange during our classes.
I am a curator, writer, and artist with 25+ years of experience in contemporary arts and music. This love of the arts has led me to partner with and establish numerous non-profits and art-centric organizations attempting to build the systems and strategies needed to create culture, not follow it. As an artist liaison for the immersive experience company Meow Wolf, I researched and acquired emerging talent for permanent exhibitions and events, always with a focus on radical inclusion and equitability.
I founded and directed the alternative culture website, The End of Being, a site devoted to unusual, unique, and difficult art. As a curator, I founded The Process, an alternative arts and music non-profit which brought many well-known artists and performers to Santa Fe, New Mexico, many for the first time. In 2011, I co-founded The AHA Festival of Progressive Arts, the largest alternative arts festival in the southwest United States in its duration. Previously, I served as Director and Curator of the MOV-iN Gallery, the only New Media and time-based art gallery in the southwest USA. In this role, I engaged artists, both recognized and emerging, to create new works devised specifically for the gallery. I also co-founded the Asia Now Film Series with Tetsuki Ijichi of Tidepoint Pictures, bringing many contemporary and cutting–edge Asian films to North American audiences, most for the first and often only time.
Lastly, along with artist JC Gonzo, I formed the conceptual art duo, The Product Division, who enjoyed the distinction of being the first Artists-in-Residence for the William S. Burroughs Estate. Currently, I split my time between Santa Fe, NM, and Istanbul, Turkey, where I am always seeking out unusual and unknown music and art.
I am the editor-in-chief of art-agenda, the division of e-flux dedicated to contemporary art criticism, and a founding editor of The White Review. I am the editor of books including The White Review Anthology (Fitzcarraldo, 2017), Before or After, at the Same Time (Hauser & Wirth, 2019), and Luis Camnitzer: One Number Is Worth One Word (Sternberg/e-flux, 2020). My writing has been published in ArtReview, frieze, the London Review of Books, the New York Times, Mousse, The Times Literary Supplement, Acne Paper, and the Financial Times, among other publications. I have written catalogue essays for artists including Ed Ruscha, Camille Henrot, Kati Heck and Monir Farmanfarmaian. I was previously editor at ArtReview and associate editor at documenta 14.
My second book, The Imaginary Museum, was published in August 2020. As I explain in the introduction:
This short essay is an exercise in trying to construct a story from the materials available to me, which is to say the works of art at the top of my head. It hopes to demonstrate that the history of art is not a long line of masterpieces stretching back hundreds of years but an evolving dialogue - with other works of art, with society, with the history of ideas, with other people - in which everyone should feel able to participate. you a story that I hope you'll contest.
I am a playwright, director and artist living in Berlin. My art writing has been published in periodicals such as Texte zur Kunst, Spike, Mousse, and others.
I have staged plays at Volksbühne Berlin, The Whitney Museum of Art, as well as at New Theater, the experimental theatre space I co-founded and programmed with Max Pitegoff in Berlin from 2013-2015. Dramas were collectively written and staged with set design, soundtrack, and costumes created by a community around the project. The majority of the scripts thus developed were devoted to being together, frequently in the realm of toxic relationships. The protagonists were usually people who had gone through a transformation: former revolutionaries now running a noodle shop out of their shared apartment, artists and curators active in agriculture and gastronomy, or orphaned siblings who transform an inherited bookshop into a nightclub. Two of the scripts were included in the exhibition Peer-to-Peer. Collective Practices in the New Art presented at the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź in 2018. The Apartment play written by my and Max, set in a New York apartment shared by five flatmates in which they set up a ramen restaurant, was performed by the Dom Mody Limanka collective (https://zasoby.msl.org.pl/mobjects/view/2807)
My debut novel, Other People's Clothes, was published this summer by Sceptre. It is a story of two art students arriving in Berlin from New York, both desperate for the city to solve their problems. Zoe is grieving for her high school best friend, murdered months before in her hometown in Florida. Hailey is rich, obsessed with the exploits of Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears and wants to be a Warholian legend. Together they rent a once-magnificent apartment from eccentric crime writer Beatrice Becks. With little to fill their time, they spend their nights twisting through Berlin's club scene and their days hungover. Soon inexplicable things start happening in the apartment and the two friends suspect they are being watched by Beatrice. Convinced that their landlord is using their lives as inspiration for her next thriller novel, they decide to beat her at her own game. The girls start hosting wild parties in the flat and quickly gain notoriety, with everyone clamouring for an invite to
Beatrice's. But ultimately they find themselves unable to control the narrative and it spirals into much darker territory ...
I am a writer, editor and journalist specialising in music, contemporary art and online culture. My writing appears in Flash Art, Dazed & Confused, Resident Advisor, The Fader and The Wire, as well as The Guardian, Somesuch Stories, and Oxford Artistic and Practice Based Research Platform, among others. A number of my interdisciplinary pieces and commissions around new media and distributed storytelling appear via London's Opening Times and Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA), as well as 3hd Festival, Montez Press Radio, Yleisradio Oy, CURL, NTS Radio, and more.
I am co-founder and editor of London-based arts publication AQNB.com - also hosting its Artist Statement podcast. I am writer and editor at Berlin interdisciplinary platform Creamcake, and author of novel and cross-media narrative Somewhere I've Never Been, published by TLTRPreß and Pool in 2017.
I also presented workshops, panels, screening presentations and performative multimedia readings at independent art spaces and institutions in London, Berlin, Tallinn, Helsinki, Los Angeles, New York, and elsewhere.