October 22 – December 12 2021

At the Art Gallery of York University
Organized by Callum Schuster

Gudskul Art Collective and Ecosystem Studies (or Gudskul for short, pronounced “good school” in English) is a collective of collectives based in Jakarta, Indonesia, comprised of Grafis Huru Hara, ruangrupa, and Serrum. Since 2018, Gudskul, has focused on working with art collectives to study and teach collaborative and sustainable practices through experimental dialogue and experience-based learning.

Knowledge Garden Festival puts on display Gudskul’s playful and collaborative way of working, their process of engaging with creative communities across Toronto, and invites audiences to join-in through art-making activities, workshops, and social gatherings. The physical display of the Knowledge Garden Festival and its events will cumulatively emphasize sharing and the exchange of knowledge, resources, and artworks — making visible the principles for generating and sustaining collective existence. 
For our contribution, the plumb hosted The Knowledge Garden Bokashi Composting System with Younger Than Beyoncé. The aim was to process the leftovers of our collective comings-together into a microbe-rich mulch that will become fertile ground for collaborations to come. Bokashi is an odorless fermented composting system which speeds up the pace of the decay, turning waste into compost in a matter of weeks. To create the most compost over the course of the festival, this project offers a challenge and an opportunity to participating collectives and audience members to rethink the waste cycle of their materials and use as many biodegradable materials in their activities as possible. Compost is a living thing: the more we feed it, the healthier soil we will have for our next phase of growth.

After the festival, the compost was  donated to the York University’s Maloca community garden, where we will use it to plant a bed of garlic and onions to be harvested next summer. Each collective will have their own bokashi composting system to take with them after the festival and continue the process of making healthy soil for their own plantings.

AGYU commissioned the Knowledge Garden Festival led by Gudskul and supported by Younger Than Beyoncé, who collectively liaised and hosted the majelis. The art collectives and individuals who collaboratively produced this exhibition include Diasporic African Womyn Art collective (DAWA), Department of Public Memory, Jane Street Speaks, LAL and Unit 2, The Pavilion, Reuben ‘Beny’ Esguerra and New Tradition Music, and the plumb; artists and curators Golboo Amani, Barbara Balfour, Emelie Chhangur, Abidin Kusno, Lisa Myers, and Joel Ong; and various York University student groups and Organised Research Units such as the York Centre for Asian Research and Sensorium: Centre for Digital Art and Technology (AMPD). Curatorial and artist collectives Teabase, Aisle 4, Gentrification Tax Action, and Sister Co-Resister participated in the workbook and preliminary meetings. Gudskul’s Knowledge Garden Festival is collectively curated by AGYU curatorial.

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