Alserkal Programming Fall Programme | Preventative Maintenance

Alserkal Programming 2018-2019 Thematic | Maintenance

The new season of Alserkal Programming continues to build on our previous thematic, which explored artistic work and the mechanics of art production through industry. Cultural practitioners and arts organisations are increasingly called on to investigate ways through which technology and innovation will shape our future. How do we plan to adapt to the changing landscape? Is it necessary to innovate in order to thrive? Could shifting our focus instead to discourses around ‘maintenance’, within and beyond the realm of infrastructure, urge us to reconsider our present moment? Over the 2018-2019 Fall, Spring, and Summer seasons, Alserkal Programming will invite a multi-disciplinary selection of practices and voices to explore three definitions of maintenance taken from the technical realm; preventative, corrective and predictive.

Fall 2018: Preventative Maintenance

Spring 2019: Corrective Maintenance

Summer 2019: Predictive Maintenance

The Maintenance thematic will be explored throughout the 2018-2019 Fall, Spring, and Summer seasons through a series of workshops, lectures, performances, and seminars. All events are open to the public. Prior registration is necessary, as spaces are limited. To register, email with the name of the event you’d like to take part in in the subject.


Programme | Fall 2018: Preventative Maintenance


Protective Wear by Charicycles

Dates: Throughout November & December

Location: Al Quoz

A big part of Charicycles’ ethos is to give more people access to a healthier life through cycling - but we also want them to have access to doing so in a safe way. By law, cyclists in Dubai should wear a helmet and reflective garments to keep them safe while riding in public spaces. Many workers in Al Quoz and other industrial areas cannot usually afford this added cost and end up riding unprotected, and face having their bicycles confiscated. In a bid to prevent accidents and fines, we’ll be riding around Al Quoz and providing helmets and customised vests for riders that do not have one.


Bicycle Maintenance

Dates: Fridays, 26 October, 2, 23, & 30 November

Time: 4-6PM

Location: Warehouse 61

As part of Alserkal Programming’s exploration of Preventative Maintenance, Charicycles will run services and checks for those who use their bicycles as a commuting vehicle.


Pause Session

Date: Saturday, 27 October

Time: 11AM

Location: CHI-KA | Warehouse 69

Slow down to speed up. The human body and mind were never designed to withstand relentless engagement without rest. This session by PAUSE (think: meditation, breath work, deep relaxation) is a curated experience of ‘pause’ where you can slow down and recalibrate. A great beginners’ session, which also welcomes intermediate/advanced meditation practitioners. Limited to 20 people. Email to register.


PechaKucha Night | Prevention + Sustainability

Date: Saturday, 27 October

Time: 6PM

Location: Nadi Al Quoz

The first PechaKucha Night by Alserkal Avenue explores the theme of ‘Prevention + Sustainability’ through creative, inspiring, and concise presentations. Each speaker will present 20 slides, for 20 seconds each. The lineup of presenters and topics includes:

- Marie-Claire Bakker - Instructor College of Arts and Creative Enterprises, Zayed University: 'Integrating sustainability awareness into design education in the UAE.'

- Karishma Asarpota - Urbanist and researcher: 'What is the link between urban planning and sustainable energy systems in Dubai?'

- Tammam Yamout - General Manager PenguinCube: 'Preventive maintenance in packaging.'

- Dr. Neyra Manoubi - Medical Affairs Director: 'How to prevent diseases and take care of our health.'

More speakers include:

- Sara M. Anwar - Founder and director of Architectem

- Rami Farook - Artist and founder of Satellite

- Patrick Lichty - Assistant Professor of Animation/Multimedia at Zayed University


Reading group | The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, with Kevin Jones

Date: October-December

(Re)-discover The Fountainhead, the 1943 novel by Ayn Rand in which we meet Howard Roark, an uncompromising and visionary young architect who struggles to maintain his integrity and individualism despite pressures to conform to popular standards. Join this reading group, moderated by Kevin Jones, throughout the Fall to reflect on the book and its theme of memory and the passage of time. The reading group is designed to be a forum of open conversation and debate, a collective means of supporting readers through books that might be too daunting to tackle alone.

Session 1: Contextualising The Fountainhead

Date: Tuesday, 30 October

Time: 6.30-8.30PM

Location: Cinema Room, A4 Space

Get your hands on the book in this introductory session, which will place the novel in its social and literary contexts, provide broad biographical brushstrokes of the author including her rise to fame, and will frame the debate pitting the work's artistic worth vs calculated hype, its potential philosophical value of crackpot philosophy. Moderated by Kevin Jones. Limited to 10 participants. Email to register.


Session 2: Character archetypes

Date: 19 November

Time: 6.30-8.30PM

Location: Concrete

While the group is working its way through the book linearly, we will hone in on certain characters to highlight techniques of development and consider various tropes (the individualist, the sell-out, the opportunist) and how the dynamics that unite/divide them. How is their interiority expressed? How is empathy cultivated, or not? Why is Howard Roark a problematic hero? Moderated by Kevin Jones. Limited to 10 participants. Email to register. 


Session 3: Self-interest as survival

Date: 4 December

Time: 6.30-8.30PM

Location: TBC

Having soldiered through most of the book, by this point, we should be ready to discuss the concept of ‘rational selfishness’ and how it is manifested in the novel. How does the narrative propose this as an acceptable world-view? What resistance does it meet? How do we read Rand’s ‘objectivism’ today? Moderated by Kevin Jones. Limited to 10 participants. Email to register.


Session 4: The architecture idiom

Date: 19 December

Time: 6.30-8.30PM

Location: TBC

This is one of the most famous portrayals of an architect in a novel. How does the realm of architecture function as a meaningful backdrop to arguments of creative development, independence, modernity? Moderated by Kevin Jones. Limited to 10 participants. Email to register.


Workshop | Chemical free

Date: Saturday, 3 November

Time: 11AM - 1PM

Location: Warehouse 61

Learn how to prevent allergies and diseases by living a chemical-free life in this workshop with healer and a natural lifestyle advocate Melany Oliver. Make cleaning detergents, shampoo, and makeup products from natural, chemical-free ingredients, leaving your body free of radical allergens. Limited to 20 people. Email to register.


Balance Workout with Tracy Harmoush

Date: Saturday, 3 November

Time: 1-2PM

Location: Sima Performing Arts, Warehouse 38

Find your balance in this training session with Tracy Harmoush. Explore your flow of movement, play with inversions, and discuss how to lead a balanced life with Tracy, an athlete and entrepreneur who gave up a 10-year career in Investment Banking to set up a business in sports & adventure, pursuing her passion. Limited to 25 people. Email to register.


Workshop | Intro to illumination

Date: Saturday, 10 November

Time: 2-4PM

Location: d.Academy, Warehouse 44

Explore the delicate art of manuscript illumination in this session focusing on colouring and gold leaf with Negin Fallah. A meditative workshop that encourages us to slow down, the traditional Middle Eastern skill of illumination attunes us to the infinite details of the world. Email to register.


Panel Discussion | WISHFUL TROPICS

Date: Friday, 16 November

Time: 5PM

Location: Majlis | The Yard

Wishful Tropics brings architecture collectives Civil Architecture, founded by Hamed Bukhamseen and Ali Ismail Karimi, MILLIØNS Architecture, and Common Accounts together to investigate hedonism/luxury and the role it plays in the branding of cities today.


Dance Workshop | 5Rhythms Movement Meditation

Date: Saturday, 24 November

Time: 11AM - 1PM

Location: TBC

The 5Rhythms is a movement meditation practice devised in the late 1970s, which draws from indigenous and world traditions using tenets of mystical and Eastern philosophy. In this class lead by Lina Nahhas, the objective of the dance is to detox your mind and body from everyday stresses, releasing their negative energy fields, and to maintain a healing state of energy. Limited to 30 people. Email to register.


Writing workshop | Walking as Maintenance with Kevin Jones

Date: Saturday, 24 November & Saturday, 1 December

Time: 4-6PM

Location: TBC

Riffing off artists’ practices in which the act of walking has been critical at times, (think Francis Alÿs, Vito Acconci, or Gabriel Orozco), Kevin Jones will explore how walking can be generative for writers - and essentially, a maintenance of balance.  In this introductory session, explore writings by Michel de Certeau, Cole Swensen, Jon Cotner, and Andy Fitch. Then go out into the city on foot to engage with it as part of a writing prompt.

We recommend you attend both sessions, as this workshop is split into two parts. Limited to 15 people. Email to register.


Children’s workshop | National Day sandscapes

Date: Saturday, 1 December

Time: 3-4PM

Location: thejamjar | Warehouse 74

On the occasion of the UAE National Day, little ones can focus on representing their surrounding while reflecting about the wealth of the UAE landscape, and how to maintain its resources for future generations. Children will paint with Tempera and use glue and sand to create a textured relief in the style of Canadian artist Ted Harrison. For children aged 3 and above.


Writing workshop | Diaries as Maintenance with Kevin Jones

Date: Saturday, 8 December & Tuesday, 11 December

Time: 4-6PM & 6.30-8.30PM

Location: TBC

Diaries are therapeutic. They help us manage anger, overcome grief, articulate insight or re-frame issues. As such, they are largely private, rarely shared and adhere to purely personal stylistic rules. But what if the diary were a site of purposeful stylistic construction? What if it were intended to be public without diminishing its private therapeutic merit? This workshop examines participants’ experience of the diary as a cathartic or introspective tool. We then move to generating ‘public’ diaries to explore the dynamics of a private text and how it is modified when intended to be shared.

We recommend you attend both sessions, as this workshop is split into two parts. Limited to 15 people. Email to register.


Introduction to Ayurveda

Date: Saturday, 15 December

Time: 11AM - 1PM

Location: TBC

Learn the basics of Ayurveda, the most ancient form of herbal and holistic Eastern medicine known to man. This session will cover basics, how to incorporate Ayurveda into our daily lives, and how food choices can prevent disease of the body and mind. Email to register.