press to exit project space


The three-day meeting was held in Amsterdam and Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The program was consisted of visiting the Amsterdam based artists and investigating subjectivity and alternative use of the mind’s power, visit to the Donders Center for Cognitive Neuroimaging and exploring the wet human brain with the Professor of neuroanatomy, scanning the working brain of an

OuUnPo member and exploring his brain’s response to art in the Magnetic Resonance Imaging lab. The last experiment was in the Magnetoencephalography operator room where one of the members was seated in a cage of Faraday where his brainwaves, heartbeat, eye-movements and pupil-dilation were continuously recorded and instantly projected into the meeting space. Her brain participated through the streaming of audiovisual data from the meeting projected back on her retina and fed into her ears. In this “neurotheater” was explored the topic of “The End of Intimacy”.

OuUnPo is a play upon OuLiPo: Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle (“workshop of potential literature»), a loose gathering of (mainly) French-speaking writers and mathematicians which seeks to create works using constrained writing techniques. It was founded in 1960 by Raymond Queneau and François Le Lionnais, while other notable members including novelists Georges Perec, Italo Calvino and Hervé Le Tellier, poet Oskar Pastior and poet/mathematician Jacques Roubaud. The group defines the term ‘littérature potentielle’ as: «the seeking of new structures and patterns which may be used by writers in any way they enjoy.» Constraints are used as a means of triggering ideas and inspiration. As well as established techniques, such as lipograms and palindromes, the group devises new techniques, often based on mathematical problems such as the Knight’s Tour of the chessboard and permutations. OuUnPo works in the same way, though its primary concern is visual art.

Creation is the first and most important section. New methods of experimentation are discussed, with descriptions and examples, and OuUnPo members will talk about new ideas for projects. A constraint can be presented by one or more OuUnpo members. Many constraints can also generate complements, variations, renovations. Rumination is the section in which possible, “not yet worked out‟ projects are examined. Here, ideas of new constraints are discussed, though they are still not developed enough to produce a work and, consequently, to be part of the previous section.

A part of the ruminations are also reflections on fundamental oulipian notions: constraint, potential, etc.

Erudition is a conversation about works by non OuUnPo members. In this section works that were created before the existence of OuUnPo are presented. The authors of these works are called “plagiarizers by anticipation”. It is not unusual that erudition, after discussion and adaptation, leads the workshop towards one or more creations.

Action, Past and Future features OuUnPo activities around the globe. All actions that have been staged outside of the workshop (public lectures, commissions, etc) are recalled and discussed in order to be evaluated and to list the next scheduled or interventions.