lumbung Kios and lumbung Gallery: Models of lumbung economy

documenta fifteen is the trigger to building a long term lumbung: a barn of collective resources that are shared to enhance the sustainability of artists collectives all around the world. Resources range from art, knowledge, networks and care, to space, equipment and money. Economic experimentation is at the heart of the documenta fifteen process, building a collective art economy based on lumbung values such as generosity, regeneration, local anchoring and humor. lumbung Kios and lumbung Gallery are examples of models of lumbung economy in that sense.

lumbung Kios

lumbung Kios is a network of decentralized and self-run Kios (Indonesian for kiosk), in order to sell products at different locations. Its mission is to create a sustaining model to raise an income through the sales of goods produced by the lumbung members, lumbung artists, and their local ekosistems. lumbung Kios is an attempt to decentralize distribution mechanisms and to explore alternative, sustainable economies. The aim is to keep the environmental impact as low as possible.

For this reason, lumbung Kios partly tries to experiment with the Feral Trade model as a mechanism to distribute the products. Feral Trade is a slow trade mechanism invented by the artist Kate Rich. In this process, goods pass from hand to hand determined by the routes individuals travel. This way of trading suggests a way for distributing products by using the already existing mobility network.

The contribution gathered through lumbung Kios is imagined to be spent on long term projects among the lumbung ekosistem and to sustain collaborations, such as further learning sessions about sustainable distribution models. A part of the profit of lumbung Kios will be put into a collective pot. This is a way to share resources amongst the lumbung artists and lumbung members. The distribution is regulated collectively through a majelis mechanism.

The sale of the goods produced by the lumbung members, the lumbung artists, and their local ekosistems is a way to ensure the sustainability of their initiatives, ideas, and ethics. There will be two physical lumbung Kios during documenta fifteen: One at ruruHaus in cooperation with Buchhandlung Walther König and lumbung Kios & Friends at Hübner areal. In addition there is going to be a network of local shop partners spread throughout the city of Kassel.

In parallel with its physical presence in Kassel, there will be a product catalogue available on lumbung.space. After the 100 day runtime of documenta fifteen, lumbung Kios persists as a network of small Kios located all over the world.

lumbung Kios collaborators are (list to be continued): Colorlabor, Film Shop, Galerie auf Zeit (GaZ), KMMN, Lost and Found, Rotopol, Stadtliebe, Wildwood, WIKULLiL at Lemon House, and ZweiPunktNull.

lumbung Gallery

lumbung Gallery takes the practice of lumbung as a network and the economic model at documenta fifteen as a starting point to create a collectively governed, non speculative, and regenerative gallery model. Using the parameters of existing art economies it aims to “transvest” resources towards a more commons based economy following the lumbung values. The longer term aim is to rethink ownership, collecting, exhibiting, and authorship in the frame of the gallery. lumbung Gallery is also considered a tool and learning program enabling similar initiatives around the globe.

During and after the 100 days of documenta fifteen, many artworks by the lumbung members and lumbung artists can be supported front stage in Kassel at ruruHaus and online. The gallery space during documenta is documenta itself. The gallery is guided by the practice and the values of lumbung.

The pricing of the artworks will be based on the collective’s basic needs and the artists’ basic income in addition to production costs and other material condition variables rather than speculative market prices. There will also be non-monetary exchange, as well as affordable artworks.

The non profit art platform TheArtists was invited to collaborate with the lumbung Gallery working group on developing and managing the lumbung Gallery. TheArtists support artists by exhibiting their work, coaching, mentoring, giving legal advice, and selling while maintaining transparency. Additionally, artworks will be available for viewing on the online platform of the lumbung Gallery in collaboration with TheArtists at www.lumbunggallery.theartists.net.

Governed by the lumbung Gallery working group and TheArtists, lumbung Gallery is registered as a “Verein” and is planned to continue existing beyond documenta fifteen.

Longterm processes of building lumbung economy

Since October 2020 an economy working group consisting of lumbung inter-lokal members, ruangrupa and the Artistic Team, has discussed what this collective economy entails. What are the shared values between the different practices and cosmologies, how are they governed, which structures can be built to support the economy and distribute and exchange value and how to fill the common pot of resources.

From these discussions several working groups evolved. Two of them, lumbung Land and lumbung Currency, are working on long term processes that are the lumbung economy. lumbung Land is based on the work that several lumbung members, such as Jatiwangi art Factory, INLAND and Más Arte Más Acción, do experimenting with land development models that are inclusive to human and non-human, regenerative, community owned and from a holistic approach, combining culture, agriculture and ecology. lumbung Currency looks into strengthening and connecting the various community currencies that are being built by lumbung members, such as the BeeCoin (ZK/U – Center for Art and Urbanistics), Cheesecoin (INLAND), Jalar (Gudskul) and the Dayra (The Question of Funding).

lumbung Gallery and lumbung Kios develop models for so-called transvestment of resources from the capitalist arts market to an economy based on lumbung values, and to free the resources in the common pot from the restrictions put to them by market, government or funders.

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