Initiated by artist Olafur Eliasson in collaboration with Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Green light – An artistic workshop has been conceived as a field of multiple impulses of production and mutual learning, exchanges and encounters surrounding the fabrication of an unlimited edition of geometric, stackable modules fitted with a metaphoric welcoming green light. While its first iteration took place in Vienna, Austria in 2016, this multifaceted program of fabrication and learning has meanwhile migrated to Houston, Texas and to the 57th Venice Biennale.
In the face of growing desires to foreclose migrational movements and the ever restrictive legal and social obstacles for refugees and asylum-seekers to access education as well as the labor market and therefore social life in their new environments, Green light expresses itself as both a comment and an active response. This social and artistic experiment sets out to explore the possibilities and agency of art and cultural institutions in the face of challenges and potentials posed by migration. Likewise, the publication aims to test out questions of what comes after the arrival as what Giorgio Agamben designates the coming community that has never yet been. How to think and enact collectively produced shared spaces and processes of learning towards a pluralist society to come?
Throughout the entire book, testimonies, stories, memories, shared by the Green light participants – asylum seekers and migrants from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, Somalia, Tajikistan, and Nigeria – are interweaved and superimposed: sharing the meaning of what the participation in the artistic workshop represents to each individually, unfolding the worlds created throughout and around Green light whilst unraveling a coming together of the everyday, political, personal, artistic, past, future in newly fabricated relations.