Agency is an international initiative that was founded in 1992 and is a registered association in Brussels.
In collaboration with researchers it constitutes a cooperatively owned growing “list of boundary things” that resist the radical split between the classifications of nature and culture.
This list is mostly derived from controversies and juridical cases involving property from the start of the enclosures of the commons around the 17th century until today and from various territories of world integrated capitalism.
The world’s ecological crisis has rekindled a growing interest in interdependencies and the milieus we all depend upon. Every milieu has properties. To inhabit a milieu means to reciprocally adapt to its properties. This ressurgence of properties stands in sharp contrast with the current definition of property in law as exclusive ownership.
The colonial concept of ownership relies upon the fundamental assumption of the split between culture and nature and consequently between: expressions and ideas, creations and facts, subjects and objects, humans and non-humans, originality and tradition, individuals and collectives, mind and body, etc… Each controversy, included on the list, witnesses a resistance in terms of these divisions.
Agency calls these boundary things forth from its list in varying “assemblies”, which combine the formats of exhibitions, performances and publications. Each assembly speculates around possible inclusions.
All of agency’s assemblies look at the operative consequences of the apparatus of (intellectual) property for an ecology of diverse art practices and aim at caring for practices their singular modes of existence.
The archive of the list of boundary things may be visited by appointment at Agency, r. Theodore Verhaegenstr. 18, 1060 Brussels, +32-2-5386023