Bureau for Listening will at documenta 15 facilitate and search for a Community for Listening.





The Community for Listening will be a public space and intervention. It will be an (or multiple) attempt(s) to release the wisdom, gentleness and power of listening. We think of this as necessary activism. The Community for Listening is thought as a performative installation – an all presence and ongoing invitational happening. We will listen, share listening and invite all to listen with us – as a community for listening.





Community Site for Listening at Staatpark Karlsaue, Kassel
Test of the 'Community Site for Listening' as a gesture. On the wall of temporarily office space.

The ‘theme’ for documenta 15 is based on the principle of lumbung, (Indonesian term for a communal rice barn) – the artistic director collective for documenta 15, ruangrupa, writes the following: “lumbung as an artistic and economic model is rooted in principles such as collectivity, communal resource sharing, and equal allocation, and is embodied in all parts of the collaboration and the exhibition.”


Bureau for Listening believes that principles such as collectivity, communal resource sharing, and equal allocation, (and for that matter also phenomena such as art, exhibiting and participation – and even society and well-being) is deeply embedded in the practice of listening. We wish to contribute to lumbung with our listening.

We don’t consider the Community for Listening to be our invention. Listening is always already everywhere. In all communities. We wish to frame listenings as a way of being in a community – listening as an integrated part of all interactions. We wish to care for listening. Point to it. Worship it.


The specifics regarding the intervention and Community for Listening, such as time and place, has yet to be decided. We imagine a flexible nomadic community, one which will adapt its listening to the actual and different needs and possibilities. 


The Community for Listening started as an idea in relation to documenta 15, in relation to the concept and practice of lumbung. We do not imagine to be able to successfully grow a ‘wholly’ community onsite at documenta in Kassel. Especially due our short time there. We do however imagine that we will be able to test formats, meet, observe, formulate methodes, listen and converse and plant seeds for bringing on the community in Copenhagen.

Community Site for Listening at Staatpark Karlsaue, Kassel

Rather than setting up specific structures for community building or listening we wish in the beginning to propose new ones – we wish to dream and fall in love, no strings, or all strings, attached – we wish to invite others to listen, imagine, meet and start (slowly) altering our structures through the practice of listening.


As a beginning, as part of working with the Community for Listening, Bureau for Listening will share and develop different proposals for listening.