Beyond Repair began in the spring of 2014 as a neighborhood-centered, expanded publication project. A “long now” series of actions excited by the prospect of the continuing formation of a public, one interested in the politics around non-hierarchical co-education, below politics, cooperation, and the right to the imagination as a politics of the everyday. An artist project, Beyond Repair is conceived and facilitated by Tools in Common, with Sam Gould as lead editor.
In the winter of 2015 the project found form in the creation of a shop (Transmission), located within a marketplace, to ask questions of one another, and move those shared questions out into the neighborhood to see if they transform into shared desires to act on. Upon first appearance Transmission looked very much like a book shop. And that’s good, as we love books and the power and vitality of the book in creating bonds between people. But the concept of the project moves well beyond the physical boundaries of the page. Beyond Repair sees publication as the act of public-making. An act which highlights distance, and in some fashion, makes an attempt to bridge that distance. Publication doesn’t begin with an object, a noun, but with the space in-between bodies, between people. Publication is a verb, an action.
In the fall of 2017 the social landscape of Beyond Repair expanded to include Assembly, a site of gathering and social production wherein the thoughts and ideas that find form there can move down the street for transmission and distribution in the market, further out into the neighborhood and back again around and around.
With the name Beyond Repair our desire is to move far past the dominant, condescending, top-down narrative foisted upon neighborhoods such as our own within the 9th Ward of Minneapolis. A narrative centered on the notion of people and places that need “fixing.” Apart from the obvious hierarchies that such rhetoric creates, why would we want to fix something that was broken when we bought it? On the other hand, we find much excitement at the idea of building something new within the cast off parts of a broken machine.
Rather than constantly feeling the need to respond to those in power who do not live in the neighborhood, Beyond Repair invites neighbors to work with neighbors, using an expanded notion of what publication can be, to formulate our own questions, our own desires for what we need, and how we want to live together in the future. Beyond Repair exists in a constant state of becoming; discord, listening, transformation residing within its core.
How does it sustain itself?
Beyond Repair is NOT a non-profit, it is not funded by some big grant (but we’re happy to receive one), it is not part of a public program. Beyond Repair is a self-initiated artist project that looks towards a diverse system of funding and support strategies, with a core interest in maintaining conceptual and political autonomy over its purpose.
That means we’ll make this thing work by hook or by crook, but our surest form of support will be an interested public finding value in the complexity of the work Beyond Repair helps to energize.
Time and questioning…
Beyond Repair will not be around forever. This impermanence is a core conceptual underpinning. A value which we hope neighbors will come to see as a one of our strengths. The project is a space for questioning, and any public that questions itself needs to evolve through its questioning and reflection. The project is actively non-institutional, and not for a lifetime. It is a model desiring to forge new tools. Better tools through shared knowledge and diverse experience.
Tomorrow is the question…
* As Beyond Repair is a critically engaged sociocultural project that speaks specifically of neighborhood, land, communion, cooperation, and utopic possibilities, we would be remiss to allow it to remain unacknowledged that the neighborhood where much of our lives and work take place, our conversations and actions, all manifest on Dakota land. The fact of this history, in all its complexity, must be acknowledged, acting as a lens to consider paths forward, as well as our lives here and now, the space between us all.