The Foundry, year two: status update and call for proposals

In March 2018, we first moved to the Foundry. Since then, we’ve had around 50 people, working on the space as well as on their own projects. We have undone some of the damage done by decades of abandonment, and while much remains to be done, by next summer the space will be ready for events. The bathrooms will be finished, and depending on our progress, there will be 10 to 15 usable bedrooms. If some people camp, share a room, or sleep in the church, we will be able to host at least 20 people (this number will double in the coming years).

For 2019, we are planning the following activities (not all of them are confirmed yet):
-April and May are building months: everyone who wants to help can stay for free, and food will be provided. In April, we will build a greenhouse and prepare our vegetable garden. In May, we will build a kitchen and prepare several bedrooms. Throughout the year construction will continue in a less intense way.
-In late July / early August, Joshua Fineberg and Jared Redmond will help lead a week-long exploration of new musical art as a collective activity. Structured discussions, “happenings”, and group creation will explore the way collaboration and action affect our modes of listening, possibilities for sonic creativity, and feelings of artistic ownership.
-In August we’ll do one or two weeks filled with more academic seminars and discussions. Hansun Hsiung has proposed leading a workshop titled “The Scientific Image: Epistemologies and Ontologies,” but other than that, the contents are still unclear, and suggestions are welcome. Part of the academic program can also be improvised with reading groups and discussions that are organized on the spot.
-Hilan Bensusan is preparing a cycle to explore the future of capital in the context of artificial intelligences, the saga of nihilism, the pitfalls of prometheism and the prospects for the commons. It will bring together artists, philosophers, activists and victims of the pace of capital to reflect on how the present is being shaped. The first event will probably take place in July or September.
-From 22 to 24 August there will be a three day electronic music festival. A field across the river will serve as a campsite, everyone who volunteered can come for free, and 200 tickets will be sold for 50 to 80 euros each (we are still calculating the costs). If you want to DJ, please let us know.

A more concrete schedule with dates and contents will follow in the coming months. But in line with the communal nature of the project, we also want to call upon those interested in organizing or hosting an event to reach out to us. We are working hard to make the Foundry inhabitable again, operating on the premise that there is a need for a space that operates outside the university and art schools, that it is possible to run this space without the bureaucracy and institutionalization linked to state funding, and that situating this space in the countryside will facilitate an intellectual and creative intensity that is different from what one finds in the city. Now, it is time to test this premise. So if you have suggestions for the academic weeks, if you want to propose an event – workshop, reading group, performance, whatever – or even if you just need a place to work on your own project: please get in touch.

Finally, a note on costs. The Foundry will always be non-profit, but we do want to transition to a model in which operating costs are covered by accommodation fees. To begin that transition, from April onwards, we will charge the following fees:
If you come to help with the site or are organizing an event: free.
If you come to work on your own project or to attend an event: 6e per night, or 150e per month.
If your stay is paid for by a grant, institution or company: 15e per night, or 400e per month.
Accommodation fees do not include food. Generally we organize food together; 3 to 5 euros per day is reasonable, depending on diet and harvest. We want to keep the Foundry as cheap as possible, so we have no staff; guests are expected to take care of the space together.

Ni dieu ni maître!

Brief update (4)

This summer, we stayed at the Foundry with up to twelve people; the space handled that number without problems. It will be permanently inhabited throughout the winter. Next year it will be ready for events.

By late spring or early summer we can probably host 15 to 20 people if some are ok sharing a room; many more if people camp. It would be great to do a thematic summer school or some workshops. If people have suggestions or want to organize something, please get in touch.

We might also end next summer with a larger festival. More info in the next few months.

Thanks to everyone for an amazing summer, and especially to the MamaSoil people for the terraces!

Brief update (3)

In May, we have:

-Made the big house rudimentarily inhabitable (about six rooms now have light and an electricity outlet, although the floor plan will change in the future).
-Isolated the floor in what was a kitchen and will be a library / working space.
-Cleaned up some walls (got rid of plaster to expose the stone).
-Started repairing the wood in one large room on the first floor.
-Made an outside kitchen, sink and hot shower.
-Worked on the garden.
-Gotten a bunch of matresses, washing machine, dishwasher.
-Navigated bureaucracies.
-Celebrated San Isidro with the local population.

Comfort and capacity are quickly increasing, though the focus is still on building and starting some sort of community rather than organizing events. Next construction push: July / August. Get in touch if you want to come; we can comfortably host about 10 people now, 15 if some share a room or sleep in the church (and of course way more if people sleep in tents).

Thanks to everyone who was there in May.

Getting to Bravos foundry

Please use comments to add relevant information.
On the whole, unless coming with your own motorised transport, it’s Viveiro that you want to get to 1st.
While galicia has 1 train operator, there are a few intercity bus/coach companies. Whichever public transport you might fancy using, please note:
Some routes do not mention Viveiro, despite going through and stopping at the town.
e.g.
The train from Ferrol to Viveiro, doesn’t show up unless the website is asked about the train between Ferrol and Oviedo.

Trains from Coruña to Viveiro go about thrice a day. If you do not have an excellent connection or a passion for train travel, we are happy to pick you up from Coruña or Santiago airport by car.

Planning for Bravos

At the bottom of a valley, full of dew and long shadows, the rain collects from the region and rushes by, enclosing the site with the noise of moving water. The buildings’ thick stone walls pull heat from the body, they pull weight like a cellar pulls mystery. I feel compelled to praise darkness, imagined reflections, hints of texture. To bring my face close and taste the quartz and slate.
The sky pushes lightness and darkness across itself, releasing water into lines, gullies, and black mud filled puddles. Clean light saunters across our faces as we shovel and rake, laying down gravel paths, our first marks on the site. The first intended choreography. The crunch underfoot, almost like a burst forward from here to there. A first draft: shockingly different from the great presence of buildings left for the inhabitation of bats and swallows.
A woman wields a pickaxe, a copper tube painted black collects heat for the shower, the palm tree stands tall and overlooks a parade of orchard saplings. Plans and sections are tacked to the chapel wall. Conversations mingle languages. Jamon and honey, wine, tortilla, fresh bread and nettle pesto reassure. Work gloves become as familiar as rolled-up sleeves.

Brief update (2)

In March, we have:

-Cleaned up the site.
-Made paths.
-Set up a workshop.
-Built infrastructure (toilet, shower, barbecue).
-Planted fruit trees.
-Burned wood.
-Turned a church into a bedroom / pantry.

For now, the site is permanently inhabited. We warmly invite you to go and take a look. The next semi-organized construction push is scheduled for May, when we hope to start on the big house. There will be sleeping places for eight to ten people – get in touch if you want to be one of them.

Thanks to everyone who was there in March. It was amazing.