Seminar Discussion Group 6


In this project a jig – a simple tool for producing Enzo Mari inspired market stalls – represented a kind of interface, enabling different actors to come together into multiple and overlapping assemblies; into temporary communities. Those actors were represented both by individuals, materials, processes, resources and small creative communities, mostly coming from outside the neighbourhood of Pimlico in London where #TransActing; a market of values was to be held, and where the stalls were being assembled. Pimlico is a strange part of London, a rather difficult context, where interactions between local people are not always easy.

For a self-determined period of time (spanning a few hours or a maximum 10 days) individuals volunteered, they came together, some spontaneously, to assemble what they perceived as “something bigger than themselves”. The jig coordinated actions: it enabled actors to construct something together that would be impossible to build alone. Often they did not know exactly what their contribution was contributing too, but rather were moved by curiosity and perceived the whole experience as a positive one, feeling they could trust the jig, process, people and context around them. One of the things that they were sharing, is the positive feeling of doing things with others, learning from each other and daring to ask for help or guidance in understanding how to contribute, and construct the stalls to host #TransActing.

The jig facilitated and coordinated work amongst disparate people, and enabled powerful relational qualities to emerge. Volunteers also experienced the enormous satisfaction of making things together, of being productive. They experienced the satisfaction of working through ‘using their hands’, and to construct things well (see: quality of good work), by using manual skills, sometimes they never knew they had. People felt free to learn, to teach others in the use of the jig, and they in turn could instruct others; peer exchange at its best. Through using the jig with others, they also (re)discovered something about themselves.

To sum up, the jig was a medium – Neil would say a protocol – enabling values, meanings and desires to be articulated, represented, acknowledged and shared. Through the jig, individuals assembled into communities, worked together and, by doing so, experienced an intimate encounter. Communities were assembled, even fleeting ones, the jig articulated the possibility for the creation of new communities.

Weaving People and Places Seminar
Central Saint Martins, 1 July 2016