PRAGMA Festival is an event-based platform for exchange between different practices. It is open to people from across a wide range of fields: arts, music, crafts, business, politics, law, science, engineering, etc.
The participants are invited to formulate and present their practices, as well as to get influenced and changed by the practices of others. It’s a festival of cultivation, exchange, and alterity, with a particular focus on concrete actions (PRAGMA), which inscribe imaginary into the real.
It’s not so much about the artists learning how to do accounting or politicians learning how to cook (although this may also happen). The main focus is on bringing something back into your practice from another practice. An artist may learn something about accounting, which may inspire their own artistic practice and compel them to do a totally different piece of art. A politician may learning something about cooking, which will completely change their way of doing politics. Imagine watching a passionate cook making a beautiful dish full of love: you don’t need to learn how to cook to understand the underlying approach and to get inspired to bring that same attitude into anything that you do…
PRAGMA Festival is not a shopping mall of workshops. It’s not a setting for businesses to get more efficient at what they do. Rather, it’s an organized time and space for people to get inspired by each other. To come in contact with something different and to see how this difference can influence them, leading to a transformative experience.
The participants are invited to present their practice in any shape that seems fit: a live show, a presentation, a talk, a workshop, an immersive experience, a walk through the city – as long as it brings the audience into direct relation to the practice and lets them experience (with their own bodies and minds) the concrete implications of the approach. And not only to experience it, but to be able to bring the method back into life through what they do, later.
PRAGMA festival will last continuously from the moment it starts and will be re-activated through several event series, reiterated every year:
1) One-to-one discussions facilitated via email / skype and physical encounters with the purpose of people sharing each other’s practices and learning about each other’s methodologies and approaches.
2) Peer-to-peer exchange events in small groups organized locally around the globe (Berlin, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Moscow), where the participants share and present each other’s practices in a small circle, following the Durational Conference format hosted by the Special Agency since 2011.
3) One-to-may mini conferences, following the model of Popup Practice Exchange events and the Waiting Room format where the participants share their ideas with a limited group of outside audience, in order to be able to present their work in a more intimate context, giving it the time and space it needs.
4) PRAGMA festival main event where the participants who organized their local peer-to-peer exchange events and the local mini-conferences are invited to come together for a week-long session exchange, a playground for mutual influences and therefore a framework where multiple heterogeneous practices seem to say: in this other way it is also possible. And to what extent are we willing to let that other change our lives?
Every step of the process will be documented in order to keep track of the narrative, which is being produced during the festival. A special online archive and platform will be created, which will enable the participants to quickly understand something about each other’s practices, find connections, and engage into real projects, whether it’s in the area of art, activism, research, business or self-evolutionary adventure.
Dmitry Paranyushkin, Maru Mushtrieva, Diego Agullo, Till Gerstenberger, Felix Ott
smaller events throughout 2018, main event September 2018