Cascoland is an international network of artists, architects, designers and performers initiating interdisciplinary interventions in public space to create awareness about the use and design of public space in a positive and creative framework. In the process Cascoland promotes international networking through exchange and collaboration.
Cascoland activates public space through artistic interventions, construction of architectural structures/objects, the use of performance and new media, and most essential, audience participation. Artists, audiences, residents, local initiatives and organisations are being mobilized to participate in the shaping of their public space and to make it a reflection of their identity. These interventions, unexpected events/objects in striking locations, are addressing and challenging behavioural patterns and conventions.
The Cascoland projects/artwork can be seen as tools to be used by participants and audiences rather than artworks to be exhibited. The aim is to change and challenge perceptions, empowerment of individuals and communities and the creating of awareness, not only with audiences and residents, but also with planners, designers, organisations and authorities.
Cascoland started in 2004 with a pilot project in the Netherlands. From 2006 till 2008 Cascoland initiated three projects in big cities in South Africa, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. The laboratory phases of the three projects ran for 2 months in which a wide range of projects was launched. All these projects were presented during 10 day manifestations, sometimes taking the form of a festival/exhibition or, as was the case in Durban, of a daily street parade, mobilizing audiences to become part of the intervention.
October 2008: Cascoland participates in the Boom Boom exhibition in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, one of the Central Asian Republics.
November and December 2008: Artists from the Cascoland network participate in ‘Desierto’, a cultural manifestation in the desert of south Peru.
June 2009: Cascoland Castaways at Zuidas
July and August 2009: Cascoland travels the highlands of Kyrgyzstan researching nomadic archictecture. This is linked to a the ArtEast summerschool with 15 Kyrgyz students.
August 2009: Trailerpark zomeracademy with 12 students and artists in Fort Vijfhuizen, The Netherlands.
Results of the Kyrgyz trip were presented as ‘Nomadicity’ at the Trailerpark exhibition at Kunstfort Vijfhuizen.
March 2010 Cascoland launches the Mobile Gardens in Amsterdam New West, an initiative to promote vertical gardening with citizens of New West.
In April 2010 Cascoland participates in the Public Design festival in Milano, Italy, during the design week.
Cascoland gives workshops and masterclasses both abroad and in the Netherlands. A typical workshop would start with a theoretical introduction/presentation to the workmethod, stemming from a tradition of activating public space through art, followed by the development of interventions on location in public space, with audience participation.
During Cascoland eNewXds 2006 in Cape Town Cascoland worked with 3rd year students of the Stellenbosch Photography and Graphic Design School. During the Joburg 2007 and Durban 2008 projects Cascoland worked with students from Vega, the Brand Communication School, future designers of whom most had never even visited the kind of surroundings we were working in, usually out of fear or sheer ignorance. After some initial hesitation these students became very enthousiastic and their participation in Cascoland became a valuable contribution to their curriculum.
Roel Schoenmakers en Fiona de Bell
p/a Villa Beehive
Willem Roelofsstraat 5
1062 JX Amsterdam