R-Lab Fall Workshop: the Magic Circle @ INDEX


The two-day conference, summarising Index’s program dedicated to Oskar Hansen’s pedagogy of Open Form, explores the notion of space in the context of experimental art and architecture education. Considering space both as a learning environment and a teaching tool, the seminar gathers postwar and contemporary examples of pedagogical practices that question and reshape established sites and modes of creative education. 25–26 February 2016

IMG_4274 Alberto Iacovoni, Assistant Professor, VCU Doha.

R-lab participants re-enacting their workshop during the second day of Pedagogies of Space.

This year’s Royal Institute of the Arts architectural theory and history course,  R-Lab, contributed to Index gallery’s exhibition Oskar Hansen with a series of studies about games and game theory culminating in a two day workshop. The workshop–“Game Time” was held on the 10th and 11th November, and was principally intended to reflect on the controversy over immigration, by playing through issues of human rights, restrictions on personal movement and expulsion. Participants in the workshop established 3 particular game situations that would confront each visitor to Index. These themes will be presented for the upcoming seminar Pedagogies of Space, providing considerations on how game play can deal with some of the more protracted issues of our time.


R-Lab provides each academic year opportunities for course participants to pursue advanced individual research projects on subjects ranging from architecture, the city, and design with an emphasis on engaging the broader public though the use of alternative media. This year’s participants in the workshop were Anna-Maria Furuland, Marta Gil, Eva Larsson, Liere Mesa, Valentina Santi Löw, Teres Selberg, Rebecka Engvall.


Day 1 Game Time at the Index Foundation/ DOCUMENTATION

The two day workshop confronted the controversy over immigration, by playing through issues of human rights, restrictions on personal movement and expulsion. Participants in the workshop established 3 particular game situations that would confront each visitor to INDEX. The common theme was the arbitrary nature of nationality, and persecution.

As visitors entered the gallery, they picked a “passport” printed with one of three colors, green, red and yellow, and marked with a series of letters and numbers. They would then be blindfolded, and led into the space blindfolded accompanied by two guides. Unbeknownst to each visitor, the color coded passport would determine whether they were led to a room filled with flowers or the storage room. The visitors would be given earphones and listen to a single song.  Then they would be brought out to the Simone Forti’s Sloped Wall with ropes, and still blindfolded they would be accompanied up the ramp by the guides and fetch a colored ribbon. From there they would have the blindfolds removed, and proceed to the Squares, 60cm x 60cm rectangles mimicking the limits homeless people in Malmo are allowed to occupy. The master of ceremonies would then start a musical track, and the visitors would have to move from square to square until the music abruptly stopped. those not on an empty square would be ‘deported’ from the playground, while the person who remained in an empty square would be given a prize: a tourist postcard with an image of Stockholm, with a welcoming note on the back. The difficulty to this playground game is that the squares were filled with red markers, representing other occupants, thus reducing the space each player could jump into.

Below are some videos and images from the two days at the INDEX.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 15.14.19  Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 17.06.01Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 17.20.49

  • – – – – – – – – – – – –
















postcards IMG_6507







. —————————-

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 14.10.13

Ugo La Pietra, La riappropriazione della città, (the re-appropriation of the city) 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

flyer game time A

Game Time: a play on the work of Oskar Hansen, is part of a three day play event held from the 10 to the 12 of November produced by the participants of this year’s R-Lab, at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm.  Game Time partners are Index the Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation and the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. The event is supported by the Polska Institute in Stockholm, and the Polish Presidency in the Council of Baltic Sea States.

The public is invited to join the Opening Talk “Exhibition Play” by Aleksandra Kędziorek, from the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. Kędziorek, a member of the Polish curatorial team that developed the Oskar Hansen exhibition program,  will speak at Hus 28 about the use of game play in contemporary exhibitions.  

The premier event Game Time: Play Time begins on Wednesday 11 November  at 18:00 at the Index Gallery, Kungsbro Strand 19. R-Lab participants have created a unique play situation within Index’s exhibition space that currently is displaying the work of Simone Forti. All are welcome. The event will be followed by a screening of the film “Reappropriation of the City” 1977, by Ugo La Pietra, the Milanese Radical architect, designer and publisher at the Index Front Space.

On 12 November beginning at 18:00, the final edition of Game Time will feature Play Ground, the second play situation developed by the participants of R-Lab specifically for Index and will also be held at the Index Gallery. Special prizes will be awarded to all the winners, and everyone is again welcome to join!


TUESDAY 10 NOVEMBER 18:00 19:00: Opening Talk  “Exhibition Play Aleksandra Kędziorek, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw,  at the Royal Institute of Art at Hus 28, Holmamiralens Torg.

WEDNESDAY 11 NOVEMBER, 18:00- 19:00: at Index Gallery, Kungsbro Strand 19–Game Time: “Play Time,”  and later at Index Gallery Front Space: 19:00-22:00 pm the screening of Ugo La Pietra’s “La riappropriazione della città,” (“Reappropriation of the City”) 1977.

THURSDAY 12 NOVEMBER, 18:00-19:00 —at Index Gallery. Kungsbro Strand 19. Game Time: “Play Ground.” 

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

first group experiment in gameplaying: Exquisite Corpse September 29.

R-lab Exquisite Corpse 1sR-lab Exquisite Corpse 2sR-lab Exquisite Corpse s

Peter Lang in a conversation with Igor Hansen at the family house in Szumin, Poland. 22 August 2015.

igor hansen intvew

The exhibition at the INDEX Foundation:                                                    Pedagogies of Space: Oskar Hansen and Open Form http://indexfoundation.se/

The Magic Circle:  A Workshop on Oskar Hansen developed together with Axel Wieder, director of the INDEX gallery, Stockholm and Aleksandra Kedziorek, project coordinator and curator at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.


One of the several collectively organised R-Lab Workshops developed over the Fall and Spring semesters  will serve as examples of how research engages the public realm. The first workshop “the Magic Circle,” will be on the Polish architect, urban planner, teacher and theorist Oskar Hansen (1922-2005) organised in conjunction with INDEX Gallery Stockholm under the direction of Axel Wieder, and the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, with Aleksandra Kędiorek project coordinator and curator. To initiate our class involvement, course participants will be asked to identify a particular set of ‘challenges’ related  to the following assignment the Magic Circle, on the forthcoming Oskar Hansen exhibition.

oskar hansen rhythm


Students at Oskar Hansen’s Studio with apparatuses for the “Rhythm” Exercise. “the apparatus for “Rhythms,” .. where the students created “see-through clearances,” framing the images of surroundings by shifting black and white slabs, was meant to demonstrate the possibility of environmentally integrated compositions. The “keyboard device” Hansen wrote, was: “easily operated, permitting this student to emotionally create uni- and multisequential rhythms and their variants, and then to document photographically the successive phases, facilitating more detailed problematisation. Excerpted from the essay by Jola Gola, “the Didactics of Oskar Hansen, in Oskar Hansen, Opening Modernity, An Open Form Architecture, Art and Didactics. (Warsaw, Museum of Modern Art, 2013.) VISUAL GAMES: An excerpt from Łukasz Ronduda, describing Hansen’s gaming techniques for students:  as part of a visual game, the participating artists in turn produced successive “moves.” Every move required relating to existing facts (the predecessors move)  developing one’s own “statement” and remembering that it was creating a context for the next player’s move. The artists communicated (played) using both visual (plastic) forms as well as all kinds of actions. in Oskar Hansen, Opening Modernity, An Open Form Architecture, Art and Didactics. (Warsaw, Museum of Modern Art, 2013.) ——  The  Assignment for the Workshop on Oskar Hansen is based on the reading of Johan Huizinga’s ground breaking book, Homo Ludens originally published in 1944. Before engaging in the “game” aspects of Hansen’s work, course participants will be asked to conduct individual investigations on “play,” and on “games.” For the purposes of this project, the choice of examples could be wide ranging, including familiar to alternative forms of gameplay, historically significant or contemporary, or related to spatial -temporal contexts, such as games ruled by fixed times, games without limited time,  games with fixed spatial properties or not. More recently game theory has transgressed virtual and digital environments, fundamentally altering perceptions on numbers of participants, inclusionary or exclusionary memberships, and most interestingly inside or outside, if one returns to the precepts of Huizinga’s “Magic Circle.” Initially course participants will be asked to provide a blog based  scrap-book of ideas, references, and links.


:homo ludens huizinga

Play begins, and then at a certain moment it is “over.” It plays itself to an end. (…) it is “played out” within certain limits of time and place it contains it’s own course and meaning. p 15

More striking even then the limitation as to time is the limitation as to space. All play moves and has its being within a playground marked off before and materially or ideally, deliberately or as a matter of course. Just as there is no formal difference between play and ritual, so the “consecrated spot” cannot be formally distinguished from the playground. The arena, the card table, the magic circle, the temple, this stage, the screen, the tennis court, the court of justice, etc., are all in form and function playgrounds, i.e., forbidden spots, isolated, hedged round, hallowed, within which special rules obtain. All are temporary worlds within the ordinary world, and dedicated to the performance of an act apart. P 16

Johan Huizinga Homo Ludens, A Study of the Play Element in Culture. (London, Routledge, 1949)

AN EXCERPT FROM PLAYING AND REALITY, Donald Winnicott:   donald winnicott 1

1. The place where cultural experience is located is in the potential space between the individual and the environment (originally the object). The same can be said of playing. Cultural experience begins with creative living first manifested in play.
2. For every individual the use of this space is determined by life experiences that take place at the early stages of the individual’ s existence.


PLAYING & REALITY by D. W. Winnicott Tavistock Publications ©1971 Chapter 7 The Location of Cultural Experience1


georges perec w-1

W, or the Memory of Childhood
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
W, or the Memory of Childhood
English edition cover
Author Georges Perec
Original title W ou le souvenir d’enfance
Translator David Bellos
Country France
Language French
Genre Semi-autobiographical novel
Publisher Denöel (Original French), The Harvill Press (English Translation)
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover, Paperback)
W, or the Memory of Childhood (French: W ou le souvenir d’enfance), is a semi-autobiographical work of fiction by Georges Perec, published in 1975. Perec’s novel consists of alternating chapters of autobiography and of a fictional story, divided into two parts.[1] The autobiographical thread is a collection of uncertain memories, as well as descriptions of photos which preserve moments from Perec’s childhood.[2] The memories in the first part of the book lead up to Perec’s separation from his mother when he was evacuated in the Second World War. The second part recollects his life as an evacuee. The adult narrator sometimes provides interpretations of the childhood memories, and often comments on details of the memories which his research has showed to be false or borrowed.

Contents [hide]
1 Plot
2 Publishing history
3 References
4 External links
In the first part, the fictional narrator is contacted by a mysterious individual, who informs him of the disappearance of a deaf and dumb boy in a shipwreck. The boy is also called Gaspard Winkler—the adult narrator of the story discovers that he took on the boy’s identity after deserting the army, although at that time he believed he had been given forged identity papers.

In the second part, the fictional narrative (apparently based on a story written by Perec at the age of thirteen) recounts the organisation of an Olympian Island called W, in which life revolves around sport and competition. While the island might at first seem a Utopia, successive chapters reveal the arbitrary and cruel rules that govern the lives of the athletes.

The final autobiographical chapter links back to the fictional narrative by a quotation from David Rousset about the Nazi concentration camps, where Perec’s mother died: by now the reader has discovered that the story of the island is an allegory of life in the camps.

The title W is a pun on “double vé/vie”, referring to the two lives and two stories narrated in the text.[3]

SOURCE: https://wordpress.com/page/93917789/11/


The Magic Circle Game, “who is the player anyway?”

magic circle

Published on May 13, 2015


Workshop Dates:

  • Wednesday October 8. WORKSHOP OSKAR HANSEN at Konstfack. afternoon.
  • Wednesday November 11. WORKSHOP OSKAR HANSEN at INDEX Gallery. afternoon.
  • Thursday November 12. WORKSHOP OSKAR HANSEN at INDEX Gallery. afternoon.


Oskar Hansen during Open Air Exercises in Skoki, 1972. © Wiktor Gutt

01.-HANSEN-Portrait-01 diagram Oskar Hansen Lesson. WORKSHOP READING LIST: Axel Wieder, Florian Zeyfang, ed.s, Open Form Space, Interaction, and the Tradition of Oskar Hansen, Berlin, Sternberg Press, 2014. Alexksandra Kedziorek, Lukasz Ronduda ed.s, Oskar Hansen, Opening Modernism, Warsaw, Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, 2014.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s