Bains Connective is an art laboratory with a multidisciplinary residency program. In 1997 a group of artists from different backgrounds invested in the renovation of the former swimming pool of Vorst/Forest in Brussels, to create a space for experimentation. The project was mainly driven by the desire to share, exchange and sustain alternative artistic practices in an autonomous environment.
In 2006 Bains Connective received funding to continue creating contexts for experiment, exchange and collaboration between artists. The workspace hosts residencies for national and international artists, organizes research groups around given themes and curates public events in relation to those programs.
In June 2009 Bains Connective moved out of the former swimming pool and is now based on the first floor of GC Ten Weyngaert in the same commune.
Artistic research / alternative practices / multidisciplinary environment
Since 2009 artistic research has been the major focus of the artistic laboratory. Beside the regular residency program, we develop the “Thematics” program with the aim of giving context and visibility to the diversity of different artists’ approaches in relation to a specific theme. These themes emerge from the projects described in the applications for residencies that we receive and are used as tools to begin dialogues. This bottom up procedure ensures we engage in artistic and discursive practices based on the work of the participants.
As a workspace we consider it important to create an environment where different artistic practices can question their relation to contemporary art and society by bringing people together to discuss and confront their ideas and the application of those practices.
We bring space, artists, theoreticians and other concern practitioners together and we favour collaborations between BC artists and other institutions in order to open up our network and facilitate connections that enrich and broaden the parameters of the artists, works and concerns.
We believe that the critical presence of art has a positive impact on society. The connective aspect of our practices and the dynamic relation established with those outside our organization embrace the political, economic and societal principals that keep humanity human. For the past years, we’ve seen the transformation of a collective of artists into an institution that strives to empower diversity, trans-disciplinary or post-disciplinary practices, encounters and dialogue. We aim to give perspective and frame not just to artistic forms and discourses but also to the way they are expressed and communicated to the audience or broader outside worlds. BC gives as much freedom and responsibility as possible to the residents with the aim of nurturing autonomy and self-awareness in art making.
Bains Connective gives great importance to the working process, the way different works relate to each other, to different disciplines and contexts, to what kind of knowledge constellations they produce and what kind of traces they can leave. The practice of sharing the process and engaging with the viewer in a critical way brings another attitude to the giving and receiving of an art project. The mutual engagement and participation of both the viewer and the artists in shaping the artwork ensures art is not a commodity but a tool that inspires, is creative and thoughtful.
To support the necessity of public and professional interaction in artistic practice, BC organizes Lab Out (showings of work in progress), Plankton (public artistic interventions) and Thematics (intensive research periods).
Since January 2013, BC and other vzw’s such as Nadine, arpia, a.pass, real futures and r-ohm have been exploring possibilities for affecting futures in the realm of experimental artistic practices. We will meet throughout the year to discuss ways to maintain alternative research practices. We are interested in processing knowledge and developing new economies for curatorial practice. ‘Affecting the future’ is a think tank that challenges the generalized cultural protocol. Its aim is to reflect, create exchange, develop autonomy, support experiments, think about criticality and exercise the unknown as a potential for change. We intend to develop a series of strategies that will be shared and discussed throughout 2013.