A workshop series on the role of art institutions in socio-ecological processes of transformation

Against the background of multiple social and ecological crises, the workshop series Towards Permacultural Institutions: Curating Transformation reflects on the application of permacultural principles in the cultural sector as the starting point for a three-part workshop series. The central question is what role art institutions can play in urgent transformation processes towards an ecologically just society and what possibilities they have for action. The workshop series is a cooperation between Temporary Gallery – Centre for Contemporary Art in Cologne and the Office

The term permaculture is made up of the words “permanent” and “(agri-)culture” and brings different types of knowledge and practices together. Permaculture combines methods from organic cultivation as well as principles for designing social processes that aim for holism, regeneration, horizontality and reciprocity. The design of permaculture processes and systems is based on a cycle of observation, experimentation and adaptation. It is built on three ethical principles: 1) Earth Care: Care for the planet and all more-than-humans. 2) People Care: Care for people and equitable access to all the basics of life. 3) Fair Share: Fair distribution of limited resources.

Based on the ethical principles Towards Permacultural Institutions: Curating Transformation addresses three specific topics:

In the spirit of People Care, the workshop on the topic of “Allyship” deepens the question of ways to support local environmental groups and climate justice activists and asks about ways to build solidarity and reciprocal relationships between actors and communities in the so-called Global South and North.

In the spirit of Fair Share, the “Degrowth” workshop looks critically and constructively at the approaches of the post-growth movement, especially education for sustainable development, and questions central strategies regarding their transferability to the cultural sector.

In the spirit of Earth Care, the “Grounding” workshop is dedicated to curatorial and institutional practices that aim at ecological regeneration and asks about the interaction between ecology, pedagogy and physical-mental care.

The workshops aim to transfer the content into your own institutional practice and offer the opportunity to analyze the institutional/individual status quo, outline visions and strategies and identify first steps for action.

Following the summer seminar Towards Permacultural Institutions: Exercises in Collective Thinking (organised by the Stiftung Künstlerdorf Schöppingen in cooperation with the Temporary Gallery), the Curating Transformation series creates space to critically question permaculture and think about a translation of its ethics, principles and methods into the art field. What could a permacultural  (= socially and ecologically just) art institution look like?

Curated by Aneta Rostkowska and Nada Rosa Schroer


Block 1 – People Care: Allyship and Climate Justice
Friday, 20 October 2023, 2 – 8:30 pm
Saturday, 21 October 2023, 10:30 am – 7 pm

Public lecture: Friday, 20 October, 7:30 pm, Antonia Alampi (no registration necessary).

With: Antonia Alampi, Artistic Director Spore Initiative, Berlin; Jakeline Romero, Environmental Activist, Colombia and Camilo Pachón, Artist, Colombia; Ela Spalding, Artist, Berlin; Angela Serino, Artist Residency Research Collective, Amsterdam; ama.twi, Cologne and more.

Block 2 – Fair Share: Degrowth
Friday, 3 November 2023, 2 – 8:30 pm
Saturday, 4 November 2023, 10:30 am – 7 pm

Public lecture: Friday, 3 November, 7:30 pm (no registration necessary)

With: Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie, Leipzig; Łukasz Jastrubczak & Małgorzata Mazur, CentrumCentrum, Szczecin; Beni Tonka, Cologne and more.

Block 3 – Earth Care: Grounding Practices and Care
Friday, 1 December 2023, 2 – 8:30 pm
Saturday, 2 December, 10 am 7 pm

Public lecture: Friday, 2 December, 7:30 pm, Lucia Pietroiusti (no registration necessary)

With: Lucia Pietroiusti, Curator of Ecology, Serpentine Gallery, London; Biljana Ćirić & Madeleine Collie, Study Pattern Collective, Australia/Serbia; Giulia Bellinetti, Director Future Materials Lab, Jan Van Eyck, Maastricht; Paula Erstmann, Artist, Berlin; iSaAc Espinoza Hidrobo & Darya Myasnikova, maiskind, Cologne and more.

Location: Temporary Gallery, Centre for Contemporary Art, Mauritiuswall 35, 50676 Cologne, Language: English, Registration via:

Please register for the weekends by
– 17 October (Block 1)
– 1 November (Block 2)
– 29 November (Block 3)

Registration for all three workshops together is possible and welcome. No registration is necessary for the public lectures.

The workshop series is a cooperation between Büro and the Temporary Gallery, Center for Contemporary Art, Cologne.