Flatbread Society is a growing constellation of farmers, oven builders, astronomers, artists, soil scientists and bakers aligned through a common interest in the long and complex relation we have to grain.
Flatbread Society Bakehouse is a public baking facility housed within an experimental architectural structure in Oslo, Norway. A multi-functional oven and glass house facilitates various types of bread baking, public programs and magic.
A demonstration grain field cultivating seeds that have been “rescued” from various locations in the Northern Hemisphere. Planted in the "commons" these seeds display thousands of years of a complex hand-to hand network of knowledge and genetic resources.
Since 2012, we have been working in a permanent “common” area amidst the waterfront development of Bjørvika in Olso, Norway. We formed Flatbread Society as a proposition for working with local people to establish an aligned vision for the use of this land. Flatbread Society uses grain as a prismatic impetus to consider the interrelationship of food production to realms of knowledge sharing, cultural production, socio-political formations and everyday life. Flatbread Society’s dynamic activation of the site through public programs, a bake house and a cultivated grain field has attracted the imagination of farmers, bakers, oven builders, artists, activists, soil scientists and city officials; while simultaneously resulting in the formation of an urban gardening community called Herligheten and a full time farmer hired in collaboration with the Norwegian Farmers Union. In 2014, an official renaming of the site was established. The collectively coined name “Losæter” draws from the Norwegian words “Loallmenning” and “sæter”. “Allmenning” defines an area of land that is put aside by the state for recreational activities; it also defines an area that is in private or official ownership, where others than the owner have rights to use the area, for example, traditionally allowing livestock to graze on the land. And “sæter“ refers to one house or a collection of houses traditionally used as a summer dairy farm in the high mountains. A right to sæter implies the right to put animals to pasture and to put up a mountain pasture house. “Losæter” combines these two terms to connect Norway’s agricultural heritage to the present, extending the metaphor of cultivation to larger ideas of self-determination and the foregrounding of organic processes in the development of land use, social relations, and cultural forms. The openness and fluidity of the projects evolving at Losæter stand in stark contrast to the rational logic of development in the surrounding areas of Bjørvika. Situated amongst the National Opera, the Munch Museum, Deichmanske Library and the National Stock Exchange, Losæter is charged with questioning our relationship with the land, namely cultivation of land as a relevant, cultural endeavor that includes the production and management of common resources.
Flatbread Society is a project initiated and rooted in Oslo by Futurefarmers as a public art programme for Bjørvika harbour. The project is curated by Situations, and commissioned and produced by Bjørvika Utvikling in collaboration with the artists.
Futurefarmers is a group of diverse practitioners aligned through an open
practice of making work that is relevant to the time and place surrounding
them. Founded in 1995, their design studio serves as a platform to support
art projects, an artist in residence program and their research interests. Futurefarmers create frameworks for exchange and tactile forms of inquiry
that manifest as tools for participants to gain insight into deeper fields of inquiry — not only to imagine, but to participate in and initiate change in the places we live.
Slow Space Bjørvika
Slow Space is a curatorial vision conceived by Claire Doherty of Situations. Situations selected artists to create permanent, durational public art works. Slow Space is commissioned and produced by Bjørvika Utvikling in collaboration with the artists.
A permanent heritage grain field, a bakehouse and ongoing public programming at Losæter in Bjørvika, Oslo, Norway.
Flatbread Society assembles in various locations. See Calendar for locations/situations.
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Amy Franceschini constructs formats of exchange and production, many times in collaboration with other practitioners. An overarching theme in her work is a perceived conflict between social and material culture. Her projects reveal the history and currents of contradictions that emerge relating to this divide, collectively challenging systems of exchange and the tools we use to “hunt” and “gather”. Her work often provides a playful entry point and tools for an audience to gain insight into deeper fields of inquiry – not only to imagine, but to participate in and initiate change in the places we live.
Lode Vranken has been practicing architecture internationally since 1993. IN 1993, he received his masters in a UN Course on Human Settlements + Architectural Philosophy. He has been teaching since 2005 as a Ned delegate at The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain and from 1993-94 a the Asian Institute for Technology in Bangkok, Thailand.Lode co-founded DeBouwerij architects in Belgium, known for their research on socially tuned creative building processes. He also started a research coalition, that focuses on social living structures for Passive Houses, Cradle 2 Cradle Buildings and Zero Energy Constructions. Lode Vranken’s research is focused on new concepts for small, self-sufficient living units; folding buildings, kinetic structures, rolling shelters all with zero carbon dioxide emission. Lode has been collaborating with San Francisco based art collective, Futurefarmers since 2005.
Marthe Van Dessel lives and works in Antwerp. She graduated Political and Social Sciences at the University of Antwerp (1998) and Graphic Design (2002) in St-Lukas. She was a researcher at the Jan Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht in 2005, a UNIDEE resident in 2007 and has been a guest lecturer at St-Lukas in Antwerp, the Royal Academy of Ghent and the Higher Institute of Fine Art. In 1998, Marthe initiated bolwerK, a non-exclusive temporal constellation which curates, mediates, facilitates and appropriates local and international projects, abducting thought and reflection on relevant issues. Together with bolwerK, she hacks, cuts and pastes; shares, engages, transforms and nestles in urban and institutional hardware. Social environments are created, not for streamlining ideas, but in order to formulate shared/common questions and hence feed a sense of communality.
Stijn Schiffeleers was born in Belgium where he studied at the Royal Academy and the University of Ghent. Currently he lives and works in San Francisco, USA. In 2000, he co-founded the Belgian art collective Boutique Vizique, which after ten years turned into a non-profit organization in support of the media arts. As an artist he has presented his media and technology based work at various locations in Europe, North-America and Australia. Between 2004 and 2009 he was part of Free Soil, an international hybrid collaboration of artists, activists, researchers and gardeners. Since 2003 he has been part of Futurefarmers. As an independent contractor he has been producing media within the cultural sector since 2000 and in 2009 he became an employee at the Oakland Museum of California. Here he worked as a digital media specialist for their art galleries renovation project and later as a new media producer for an Irvine grant funded initiative called the Oakland Standard. Besides that he has independently been curating small media projects, including one in collaboration with the Berkeley Center for New Media.
A diverse group of people have collaborated to design, facilitate an ecology of creative platforms that make up Flatbread Society; oven building workshop, astronomy lessons, seaweed fertilizers, soil science, baking, basic woodworking, urban design, composting, sound festival, Full Moon Gatherings, fire making and expanded public programs.
Flatbread Society can be seen as an ongoing group residency and public programming series with the bakehouse and surrounding area serving as a center for artistic exchange.
Agnieszka Golaszewska • Alex Asensi • Anders Næss • Anne Beate Hovind • Åpent Bakeri • Audrey Snyder • Audun Engh • Axel Dalberg Poulsen • Bioforsk • Bjørn Eggen • Bjørvika Utvikling / Infrastruktur • Bogstad gård • Boris Portnoy • Botanical Garden • BYBI • Byfabrikken • Bygdøy Kongsgård • Caroline Vincart • Cecile Dawes • Charlotte-Blanche Myrvold • Christoffer Evju • Cultura Bank • Daniel Tucker • De Bouwerij • Einar Goksøyr Åsen • Elizabeth Thomas • Emmanuel Rang • Eric Brinkhof • Erik Joner • Erik Sjödin • Eva Bakkeslet • Eva De Moor • Fellesverkstedet • Food Studio • FRANK • Frank Lønberg • Geir Tore Holm • Geitmyra Skolehage • Growlab • Hanan Benammar • Hans Jørgen Hamre • Hendrik Leper • Henie Onstad • Henning Linaker • Herligheten • IKM • Jantje Vøgele • Jarl Solberg • Joe Riley • Johan and Kristin Swärd • Johanna Zweig • Kenneth Korstad • Kooperativet • Kristin Bergaust • KUL / Oslo city archive • Kurt Oppodøl • Lars Hektoen • Liv Bugge • Loallmenningen • Mads Pålsrud • MAJOBO • Marius Grønning • Marius Notvik • Marius Presterud • Martin Lundberg • Martin Musto • Michael Swaine • Mikkel Dagestad • Monica Løvdahl • Nina Vesby • Niogførrfemten • Norges Bonde- og småbrukariag • Pucho • Oikos • Økologisk spesialkorn • Oslo Byrøkt • Sarin Nhek • Siri Mittet • Søssa Jørgensen • Sten Sjöstrand • Svein Kjøde • Tabea Glahs • Tara McDowell • Tenthaus • Tone Hansen • Tuva Langfeldt • Tuva Myklestad • UKS • Vibeke Hermanrud • 31B