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: Salsali Private Museum, Warehouse 14

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.


Yard Screening | The Taste of Cement

Date: Tuesday, 20 November

Time: 7.30 PM

Location: The Yard

Alserkal Programming and Cinema Akil are pleased to present a programme of public, open-air, film screenings at The Yard at Alserkal Avenue, exploring the theme of Maintenance. Curated with varied audiences in mind, the film programme by Cinema Akil explores Alserkal Programming's Fall Programme thematic, Maintenance, which over the 2018-2019 Fall, Spring, and Summer seasons, 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.

The first film in a series of monthly presentations is Ziad Kalthoum's 'Taste of Cement' (2017), a documentary which tells the story of Syrian construction workers in Beirut, who are building a skyscraper as their own houses in their homeland are being shelled. The workers are locked in the building site and are not allowed to leave it after sunset as the Lebanese government has imposed night-time curfews on the refugees. Cut off from their homeland, they gather at night around a small TV set for news about Syria. Tormented by anguish and anxiety, while suffering the deprivation of the most basic human and workers right, they keep hoping for a different life.

Free and open to all.

Directed by: Ziad Kalthoum
2017 | Syria, Lebanon | 12+ | Documentary | Arabic | 85 min


Dance Workshop | 5Rhythms Movement Meditation

Date: Saturday, 24 November

Time: 11AM - 1PM

Location: Nadi Al Quoz, Warehouse 90

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, 8 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 also engage with the idea of walking as a form of social criticism. In this introductory session, examine writings by authors and philosophers Michel de Certeau, HD Thoreau, and Guy Debord, and look back on how they used writing as a form of maintenance, but also as one of potential disruption. 

After the first session, participants will return for the second session having gone on a walk, and produced a piece of writing around it. 

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

Celebrate National Day at thejamjar, where little ones can create sandscapes inspired by the UAE landscape, and explore 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.

This workshop is free and open to children aged 3+.


Talk | Floating Architecture: A Sustainable Future

Date: Monday, 10 December

Time: 6.30PM

Location: Techarc | Warehouse 38

Alserkal Programming is pleased to present 'Floating Architecture: A Sustainable Future', a talk by American University of Sharjah professor Camilo Cerro on 10 December, exploring research into developing adaptable dwelling typologies for the immediate future. 

In 2017, Tokyo was the world’s largest city with a population of 38 million inhabitants, followed by Delhi with 25 million, Shanghai with 23 million, and Mexico City, Mumbai and São Paulo, each with around 21 million inhabitants. Osaka has just over 20 million, followed by Beijing with slightly less. The New York-Newark area and Cairo complete the top ten most populated urban areas with around 18.5 million inhabitants each.

According to the United Nations, about 54% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, with the number expected to increase to 66% by 2050. Those urban areas are ill prepared to deal with their present population needs, and will have to develop and manage housing, healthcare, education, transportation, infrastructure and food production for an additional 2.5 billion people. 

Because of this, managing urban areas has become one of the most important development challenges of the 21st century. Add climate change and shortage of land produced by the increase in the sea level to this equation, and we end up with large populations and nowhere to put them. 

Communities near the water will have to start developing new typologies for program, designed to float, and to adapt to the changes in sea level produced by global warming. 

Presenting a series proposals for floating infrastructure developed by AUS students, Cerro aims to produce a series of sustainable ideas for a new typology of live/work/farm programmes that floats, designed for transformational adaptability, reuse and filtration of water, generation of energy, composting, urban farming, and the capacity to sustain a live/work/farm environment in an affordable way to appeal to the middle class. 

 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.


Yard Screening | Wild Relatives

Date: Tuesday, 18 December

Time: 7.30 PM

Location: The Yard

Alserkal Programming and Cinema Akil are pleased to present a programme of public, open-air, film screenings at The Yard at Alserkal Avenue, exploring the theme of Maintenance. Curated with varied audiences in mind, the film programme by Cinema Akil explores Alserkal Programming's Fall Programme thematic, Maintenance, which over the 2018-2019 Fall, Spring, and Summer seasons, 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.

The second film in a series of monthly presentations is 'Wild Relatives', directed by Jumana Manna. Deep in the earth beneath Arctic permafrost, seeds from all over the world are stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to provide a backup should disaster strike. 'Wild Relatives' starts from an event that has sparked media interest worldwide: in 2012, an international agricultural research center was forced to relocate from Aleppo to Lebanon due to the Syrian Revolution turned war, and began a laborious process of planting their seed collection from the Svalbard back-ups.

Following the path of this transaction of seeds between the Arctic and Lebanon, a series of encounters unfold a matrix of human and non-human lives between these two distant spots of the earth. It captures the articulation between this large-scale international initiative and its local implementation in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, carried out primarily by young migrant women. The meditative pace patiently teases out tensions between state and individual, industrial and organic approaches to seed saving, climate change and biodiversity, witnessed through the journey of these seeds.

Free and open to all.

Directed by: Jumana Manna
2018 | Lebanon, Norway, Germany | PG | Documentary | Arabic, Norwegian, English | 66 min