Occupation does not only refer to the usage of physical space. It means using space for protest or as an instrument for activism and change on a personal and societal level. One might also say “I am occupied”, which either refers to an activity like work and leisure or can also mean being occupied by thinking about something. No matter if we talk about physical space, headspace or availability, we are constantly the occupier and the occupied, consciously and unconsciously.
We have been calling out to individuals from a range of backgrounds to confront Baltan Laboratories with their occupation. On a regular basis, occupants approach Baltan (no saxon genitive is fine with an institution name) community manager to negotiate for the use of space, but also network and knowledge. What can Baltan, as a cross-disciplinary research space, gain in exchange for what it offers?
By now, the initiative Occupy Baltan has grown into an organic word-of-mouth community, where we explore and challenge each other to discuss and organise ideas based on current occupations.
In this Article you can get an overview of the individuals that have been occupying and the ones that are still occupying Baltan.
Currently actively occupying are:
Meredith Degyanski / The Work Intern (USA)
Meredith is a thinker, writer, educator, artist, student debtor, precarious laborer, and counselor. Her artwork explores alternatives to capitalism by suggesting and enacting economies that aren't based in current mainstream economic structures. Past projects include attempting to barter down her student loan debt with Sallie Mae; successfully exchanging her labor for rent payments to her landlord; creating a currency, monies, that represents unpaid and under recognized labor; and one-on-one conversations with the public to discuss how we can renegotiate our relationship to work, wage, debt, time, and education. At times she creates situations for free learning in urban environments for high school youth through her project, thinkerspace, and for adults, through Mapping Your Free Education. She is currently in school (again) in order to think more about and embody non-capitalist futures and possibilities toward building relational, interdependent worlds.
Cécile Espinasse (FR)
Cécile is a Design Academy Eindhoven graduate (2019). She is developing a research-based practice that is contextualized and embodied, as if she was on an on-going artistic residence. She is very curious and likes to engage with people she has little in common with; she developed her own tools to get included, while remaining foreign. Food is one of these tools. You could call her a kind-hearted disturber. In her current project at Ergon she researches how to reconnect urban citizens with urban nature via the service of the public gardeners. She is using drawing and printing techniques to reflect and interact with her research.
Sunjoo Lee (KR)
Sunjoo Lee is a filmmaker and visual artist. Sunjoo was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea and currently based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Sunjoo Lee enjoys working with various media such as film, installation and drawing. In her projects she unfolds how technology occupies our behaviour and understanding through the stories we create around man-made objects, systems and environments.
She is currently conducting a research project about myths on electronics/technology, with the use of creative storytelling from different cultural backgrounds.
Francesca Tambussi (IT)
Francesca is navigating since 15 years the osmotic fields of advertising and branding, internet and books, art and photography, architecture and city making. Her collaborations scope high-end and start-up clients, institutions and brands, studios and entrepreneurs. The work she does today consists in defining messages and tools of a wide variety, for both the physical and digital realm. In this regard, she is both a perfectionist and a generalist, a problem-solver and a brain-stormer, a team-worker and a one-man-band.
In the past Baltan Laboratories has been occupied by the following individuals. Some of them simply became active community members or are ready to intervene when they as a person are needed.
Luis Ferrera (PT)
Luis is using technology to build memorable experiences. His focus is on software development but doesn't want his projects to be confined to a screen, he prefers if they live in the real world and interact with our senses. Simultaneously Luis is developing his creative coding skills, and he wants to help other designers achieve their ideas without compromising. His own projects range from colour-generating wearables, speaker design, interpretation of programming concepts through generative art, to community activation through a physical and online public whiteboard.
Stéphane LAB (FR/GP)
Stéphane is a future oriented designer who aims to works across various disciplines such as product design, interaction design, architecture and emerging technologies. He considers design as a medium for materializing innovative ways to act and experience the world. He designed a fictional sustainable city based on the idea of transience. He went from low-key material experiments, social experiments, film-making, vr-experience design, costume design to prop design. In addition to that, he also developed a functional writing system specifically designed for the pursuit movement of the eyes. He partnered with a researcher and used eye-tracking technologies.
Piet de Koning (NL)
Piet states that abstraction connects us to a reality beyond language. He explores abstraction in his design, wherein a unified aesthetic gives handles to different types of users, from kids to designers, to talk about the same abstract concepts. As a designer, he sees himself as one of the engineers, not directly present in intention. `I know not what will happen between user, design and environment. In creating open-ended systems I acknowledge and exploit this unknowability as the core of the design process; the lack of definition requires user and design as extensions of each other. The user is the architect, host and visitor.´
Keep up to date of the Occupants' activities through our social media channels, and don't hesitate to contact us to get in touch with them or join with your occupation!