NETworkers was an interactive workshop given by Hannah Kindler and Nika Timashkova which was based on the exchange of skills and knowledges. The participants could learn how to make a shopping net bag from an old t-shirt. In return, they were asked to share their thoughts about topics related to the gathering.
NETworkers was realised in the framework of the INLAND NETHERLAND Gathering "on un/common ground", organised by DAI Art Praxis and Casco Art Institute during the SONSBEEK '16: transACTION, the 11th edition of the international contemporary art exhibition in Sonsbeek Park, Arnhem.
The INLAND NETHERLAND gathering circled around topics which emphasised the need for cooperation, questioning the ecological and territorial dynamics between the urban and rural. A particular focus on agroecological knowledge, farmer struggles, and art practices contextualise the locality of these discourses.The workshop was an answer to the current discourses around sustainability and the reduction of plastic waste in the Netherlands where a new law has been implemented obliging shops to let the customers pay for plastic bags. NETworkers, a project approving of this initiative, offers participants the possibility to learn how to make their own net bags in return for a conversation. With this gesture, NETworkers not only seeks to support the approach of exchanging knowledge, but it also emphasises the value of embodied knowledge which is often underestimated. The question how knowledge is owned and transmitted is put into practice.
Even if the project focuses on human interaction, it wants to stress the interconnectivity of various agents. As Gayatri Chakravarti Spivak said:
“If we imagine ourselves as planetary accidents rather than global agents, planetary creatures than global entities, alterity remains underived from us, it is not our dialectical negation, it contains us as much as it flings us away - and thus to think of it is already to transgress, for, in spite of our forays into what we metaphorize, differently, as outer and inner space, what is above and beyond our own reach is not continuous with us as it is not, specifically discontinuous.“
Spivak is highlighting that human beings are not the central agent but one among many and that we have to share agency.