„We recently moved into a live-work studio. I’m afraid my work-life-balance won’t improve here, but still we are very happy about it. Because now we finally have a home that is not mouldy. AND the heating is working. Our new home costs 1’210 CHF per month, that is 200 CHF less than all the other cheap but bearable flats we could find. However, the reason for the low price is, that the space came without a kitchen and with a floor area of just 35 square meters. (Plus a small bathroom with a toilet, a shower cabin, a sink and a nice built-in cabinet.) One might think, that this isn’t a lot of space for two adults. But luckily, we are allowed to design, build and install a kitchen and a second floor to increase our comfort and the number of usable square meters. The only thing we need is time, motivation, creativity, know-how, energy, money, and some support. We do have motivation, creativity and quite a bit of know-how. I guess, that’s a start.

Our new home is part of a housing cooperative - which is cool. They created a solidarity fund that should balance out the different incomes of all neighbours. Members who earn more automatically pay into this fund so that other members with lower income can be supported financially. When we signed the contract we asked for support from this fund. We declared our full income and that we did not have a retirement arrangement, which we would like to organise rather sooner than later. But unfortunately, our request was rejected. We were told that they don’t understand why we earn so little, because we are both young and able to work. Yes, we do work full time - often even more than that. But artistic labour does not pay. Believe me: I also don’t know why. Despite being recognised as professional artists, we have to find other ways to earn extra money. But our additional jobs cost time and energy and also don’t bring in a fortune. Even worse: often we spend money we earn in other jobs to provide for art!

In her book Art Work Katja Praznik asks the question: „Who can afford the unpaid labour?“. But in our case the question rather is: „In what currency must we pay to be able to afford the unpaid labour?“ In safety, security, comfort, social visibility or health? Sometimes I do ask myself if I sacrificed my position as a desirable human being in Western society when I chose to become an artist. I mean think about it: artists continuously work for society by creating meaning and by asking the relevant questions. But only if their work can be turned into a product and only if it is sold as a commodity, then the artistic labour is profitable and accepted as real and human labour. This is the moment when society envies us for our so-called freedom. But until then, society perceives artists more as something like ornamental fish swimming in an aquarium: a debatable luxury. Or something like mountain goats balancing high up in the cliffs over the abyss: Somewhat fascinating, but not really regarded as relevant.“

Lynne Kouassi & Daniel Vollmond
Basel, 27.02.2023

KASKO / Basel 2024

Aquarium was made in collaboration with: Lynne Kouassi

Aquarium: Seamless loops on three vertical screens, mounted on a tripod with a 3D printed bracket made from recycled PETG, audio on headphones, played from a nomadic archive stone by Valentin Egli & Jonas Huldi, powered by an orange construction site cable


loop - web version


Mischabbruch - Nomadisches Archiv

02.03. – 03.03.2024, KASKO Basel (CH)

Curated by Valentin Egli & Jonas Huldi

Participating Artists:
Chris Handberg & Markus Åbersold, Salomé Jokhadzke, Janis Labhart, Lynne Kouassi & Daniel Vollmond

KASKO / ✧( ु•⌄• )◞◟( •⌄• ू )✧ /
Werkraum Warteck pp
Burgweg 7-15
4058 Basel


#Identity Politics:

Works in this category look at the individual in terms of privilege, migration, labour and class - or in a broader sense: where do we see ourselves in society and how do we relate to others?

term7 tonka.green anthropozaenta.org