Talent S p a c e is an initiative taking its point of departure at the intersection of artistic production and social engagement, bringing together people from different ethnic, geographical and professional backgrounds and engaging with them in the realization of collectively developed projects. Based on the ideas of communal productivity, shared effort and collaborative learning, Talent S p a c e focuses its practices on individual and group related talents, their unfolding, activation and refinement. ‘Talent’ in this context forms a common denominator beyond nationality or social status, referring to a complex configuration of interest, skill and the means to develop them. To achieve these goals, Talent S p a c e draws from a combination of both existing institutional capacities* and the voluntary efforts of artists, students, scientists, migrants and social workers, facilitating an open space dedicated to collaborative learning and unlearning.
Talent S p a c e started in the summer 2016, when Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary in collaboration with Studio Olafur Eliasson initiated the Green light project and workshop at the Augarten exhibition space. As a response to the relocation of a large number of asylum seekers to Europe and specifically to Austria in 2015 and 2016, the Green light project saw both TBA21 and Studio Olafur Eliasson opening up their institutional resources and infrastructures to the reintroduction of agency and collaborative engagement into the very fabric of civic life. Green light encourages asylum seekers and refugees to act as autonomous members of a productive community by participating in an artistic workshop. As part of the Shared learning program that was aligned with the daily rhythms of production, artist and activist Ahmet Ögut presented his concept of The Silent University–an autonomous organization of migrants offering academic knowledge to each other based on trust. This model formed a platform to weave the project’s social fabric beyond the initial duration and was activated as a way to continue the work based on the principles of Green light.
With Green light participants combining various social and professional backgrounds, the founding team of Talent S p a c e – Andreas Kattner, Ana Jelenkovic and Clemens Rettenbacher – decided to open up the basic idea of The Silent University to the general idea of Talent and its integration into a new social and professional context. Since then, Talent S p a c e was able to grow beyond its original context and gave rise to the many extraordinary talents present within our community.
• Non-commercial, educational and inclusive platform valuing individuals according to their
respective talents, not their social or legal status.
• Helping to assemble the necessary means for social, lingual, technical or budgetary infrastructure.
• Providing the physical and mental space empowering refugees and volunteers to join talents and develop ideas within a social and professional context.
• Supporting research, shared learning, communication, cooperation, innovation, networking and integration.
• Transdisciplinary project-hive that has been initiated by artists and established with
support of the TBA21 Vienna over the last several months.
• Engaging former migrants, students and experts from the fields of art,
communication, social science and activism in regular collaborative relations.
• Within these relations, participants develop projects based on their personal talents
in order to show the application, development and integration of the latter.