96 Extraordinary Cockroaches

Assemble (Amica Dall in collaboration with John Bingham-Hall)
Efrosini Protopapa
06 Nov / 10 Nov, 2017
Cittadellarte, Biella
TOPICS/TAGS: Game, mediation, translation, revolution, manipulation, cannibalism, city, cultural practices, creativity, new forms, aesthetics, society, politics, economics.

"96 Extraordinary Cockroaches" is a module in the form of a week-long game – a mix of Chinese Whispers and the surrealist parlour game, Exquisite Corpses. Starting with a single set of source materials, the players will work together in shifting groups to create new forms through repeated acts of synthesis and translation, each day starting by cannibalising the previous day’s work.

Cities are complex acts of social and material collage, which produce an excess of meaning through overlay, irresolution and the ongoing negotiation of conflicting interests. To act in and on cities competently and humanely requires the ability to navigate a complicated and shifting set of factors, from the legislative and financial to the ideological and aesthetic.

Cultural practices make meaning through the manipulation or extension of existing forms, and in many fields the myth of the lone visionary has given way to an idea of the cultural practitioner as an editor, operator or negotiator; someone who can find and exploit opportunity, coral resources, synthesise different kinds of knowledge, mediate between conflicting ideas and interests.

"96 Extraordinary Cockroaches" takes these two, connected ideas about the nature of the city and the nature of creative practice as basis for thinking about UNIDEE’s 2017 themes of Revolution, Mediation and Desire, particularly the assertion that underneath the modern use of the word revolution, to mean a break with the past, lies an older set of meanings: to revolve, to come back around, to revisit and repeat.

We will use the game to explore a proposition that our best chance at creating genuinely new forms and meanings (whether aesthetic, social, political or economic) lies not in the ripping down of the old to create a pristine space for the new, but in the diligent, concerted searching for and worrying at pressure cracks in the world-as-it-is, and that much opportunity for invention lies in the negative space between intended and the received, in mishap, accident and mistranslation. The week will end with the attempt to synthesise an as-yet-to-be-determined group of outputs into a single piece, which we will attempt to record beautifully, whether drawn, written, scored or performed.



November 6th

Guided tour to Cittadellarte (Curated by Elena Rosina), including the Pistoletto, Arte Povera collections and temporary exhibitions.
Stage n. 1 of the game.
Presentation of outcomes from stage n. 1.
Writing game.

November 7th
Warm up exercise.
Re-combination of teams and materials.
Stage n. 2 of the game.
Short reading break.
Cont. stage n. 2 of the game.
Presentation of outcomes of stage n. 2.
Drawing games.

November 8th
Warm up exercise
Re-combination of teams and materials.
Stage n. 3 of the game.
Short reading break.
Cont. stage n. 3 of the game.
Presentation of outcomes of stage n. 3.
Music game.

November 9th
Warm up exercise
Re-combination of teams and materials.
Preparation of materials to take to stage n. 4 of the game.
Workshop with the choreographer Efrosini Protopapa.
Presentation of first drafts of stage n. 4, developed with Efrosini.

November 10th
Presentation of the first drafts of stage n. 4, from memory.
Development of stage n. 5.
Finalisation of stage n. 5.
Performance and discussion.


The mentors will prepare a reader for participants, which will be circulated one month before the course start dates. The reader will span art history, critical theory, urbanism, alongside some approachable economics and linguistics. The reader will not be approached as set material to be discussed, but as means to create a shared vocabulary and frame of reference between mentors and participants.



L'iniziativa è accreditata dall'Ordine degli Architetti di Biella che riconoscerà agli architetti che parteciperanno all'80% (minimo) della residenza 20 CFP.
Codice: ARBI09102017190737T01CFP02000





John Bingham-Hall is the researcher for Theatrum Mundi, a network based at LSE Cities of artists and urbanists addressing questions in the production of urban cultures, and a postdoctoral fellow in Global Cities at the FMSH in Paris. Through an academic background in both music (BMus, Goldsmiths) and urban theory (MSc & PhD, UCL), John’s research addresses the relationship between material infrastructures and the production of the public sphere of culture and communication.
His PhD, completed in 2016, synthesises theories of the public sphere from communication and urban perspectives through novel techniques combining geographical and network mapping of hyperlocal information information flows in a London neighbourhood. Recent publications include articles for the journals Architectural Design, Big Data & Society, Visual Communication, a chapter in the 2015 Routledge book The Everyday Practice of Public Art. John was also a Critical Context tutor for BA and MA Communication Design at CSM from 2014-16, and has curated and advised on cultural programmes in the context of urban regeneration and meanwhile use strategies for developers, creative agencies, and local communities.

Amica Dall is a founding director of Assemble, an interdisciplinary collective whose work focuses on the social and material processes through which cities are made. Assemble were awarded the 2014 Bauwelt Best First Project Prize and 2015 Turner Prize for their collaboration with a Community Land Trust in Liverpool. They have exhibited around the world and a monographic exhibition of their work to date is opening at AZW in Vienna in June this year.
Amica is a founding trustee Baltic Street Adventure Playground, a democratic child-lead space in Glasgow and a visiting lecturer on the MArch and MA Urban Design programmes at the Bartlett, London. In 2016 Amica sat on the jury for the RIBA President’s Medal for Research, lectured and guest tutored at Y-GSA Yokohama, H-DK Gothenburg, KADK Copenhagen, TU Berlin, HEAD Geneva, EPFL Lausanne and ETH Zurich, and presented work in the Venice Architecture Biennale and Colombo Art Biennial. With an academic background in literature and anthropology, and continuing professional work in urban design, Amica’s on-going interests are in children in the city, and the relationship between culture and built form.



Efrosini Protopapa is a London-based choreographer and scholar interested in experimental and conceptual practices across dance, theatre and performance. Her most recent work focuses on notions of negotiation, thinking and encounter in/as performance.
Having presented choreographic work across the UK, The Netherlands, Germany and Greece, she has also collaborated with artists such as Siobhan Davies, Ivana Müller, Tino Sehgal, Frank Bock, Carol Brown and Gill Clarke. I was awarded the Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award (2008), and I have been Artist in Residence at Dance4 (2008-09) and a participating artist in the Sadler's Wells Summer University (2011-14).
Her practice-led PhD from Roehampton proposed the notion of 'possibilising dance' through the re-imagining of the theatre stage as a space for thinking in choreography. Prior to joining Roehampton as a Senior Lecturer in 2013, She taught at Laban, the Central School of Speech and Drama, the University of Surrey, Goldsmiths and Coventry University, as well as internationally. She publishes in journals, arts publications and catalogues for performance festivals. 

The residency fee includes accomodation, half-board and Arci's Annual Pass Membership.

Participation fee
580.00 €