Monday—Thursday: 9am — 4pm, Friday: 9am — 3pm
LM Ericssons väg 14, Stockholm, Sweden
Care  and rest  are not the same.
The Quiet Room's focus was initially on care in a learning environment laser focused on fast paced production. Care allows us to stay active within a production culture.
Rest means to stop producing, even if just momentarily.
We had a need for care, but we couldn’t find the space to properly care for ourselves in this institution, and that turned into the need to rest. That’s the evolution of the quiet room. An iterative process that culminates in: a call for radical rest.
To what extent does the lack of space for rest, emotionally and spatially, mirror the power structures we operate in today?
1 the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something.
2 serious attention or consideration applied to doing something correctly or to avoid damage or risk.
verb [no object]
1 [often with negative] feel concern or interest; attach importance to something.
2 (care for) look after and provide for the needs of.
verb [no object]
1 cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.
2 be placed or supported so as to stay in a specified position.
3 (rest on/upon) be based on or grounded in; depend on.
4 Law, North American conclude the case for the prosecution or the defense in a law case.
1 an instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity.
2 Music an interval of silence of a specified duration.
3 [in combination] an object that is used to support something.
from the New Oxford American Dictionary.
This excerpt is 12:46min long. It is only part of a conversation between D and J, which took place on January 21st 2023. It was the second recorded talk where both reflected on the Quiet Room, its starting point and the direction it took.
D — The first pop-up, the first date that we had and we cancelled. Do you remember why we cancelled?
J — You had a family... something.
D — Exactly. So I got a text from my mom saying that my grandma was rushed to the hospital and it didn't sound good. And my first instinct was still to:
“Okay, this is really bad, but maybe if I just go and still open the room. At least it will at least give me something else to do and not worry all day...”
But that's bullshit. Of course I was worried.
We talked, I was like:
“No, I think I'm still gonna go”
and you were like:
“But still, I can write an email saying that we cancel it and then if you wanna use it just go ahead and send it out, I'll just write for you.”
And looking back, just that small gesture, of:
“Here, I'll write this email for you and you decide, just send it.”
And so because I wouldn't have the mind space to write an email. It's such a tiny thing but that for me was just I felt so cared for in that tiny act of yours.
And that is the type of thing that I'm interested in. What happens when we come together and care for each other. That's mainly what I was interested in to see happen in the room. But it became evident throughout the pop-ups that we did have, that it was not gonna happen. It was gonna be: us sitting there for four weeks alone and it would just be really draining to do that. Well, but we're talking about care, we're not supposed to be draining ourselves for the concept of something , you know.
 In this case, concerning care, if one is to “walk the talk,” to drain oneself is to act in opposition to the concept at hand.
J — Absolutely. And I think, now that's where it became interesting. Because now, we no longer have a material space. Sure, it's a concept we're working from, but it's based on relation, or relations.
The act that you mentioned, and there were similar things that have gone the other way as well from your end. It's been just a constant survival of trying to make it through Konstfack and helping each other out through sharing thoughts and ideas.
And in a way, it's materializing now, that we're talking. It's materialized in archive but not in such a clear way. It's not as if it's a finished product. No, not at all. Whatever we've started here, it's going to take time. And how long that time is, I'm not sure, but this is where it's at at the moment. So essentially, what we've done with the room downstairs, in the gallery where we were supposed to host the Quiet Room is to shut it down and to take this one step further and to let the room rest.
Because the room is exhausted, also. So I think that we also need to care for the space around us, if you talk about for animism, for example, the spiritual life of things, if you will... That room is exhausted. It's been pulled in so many directions, back and forth, up and and down, inverted! So let's shut it down for a month, as we're doing, and see what happens. That's also an experiment. But it's not so easily exhibited. And it's not so easily turned into a product - which is great, that's what we aimed for - but still it's in a vague territory.
I guess that's why we're having this conversation as well. To clarify for ourselves, to understand where we're at. The Quiet Room... left the realm of being a room and became more of an emotional space.
D — I think that's also how... With the instagram account, in a way I felt like it became also a space of its own. Where care was in focus. It was a non-material space  in which the concept, or the idea that we had for the Quiet Room, also manifested.
 Although, there is the material reality of computer servers that run online services.
J — Yeah. And I would say that this journey was the death of a project. But we embrace that. And now, here we are. But when I say the death of a project, it doesn't mean... Then I say that with the institutional voice. Because it was the death of something easily exhibited and something that would finish a process and be... Easily exhibited, is maybe not the right term... But properly understandable, backed by heavy theory, bulletproof.
D — Easily digestible.
J — Yeah. And things can be heavy, but you always have to sort of make them easily digestible. It seems that's a good way of saying it. I don't know. And that's sort of... Because now the conversation is coming a little bit to a stop and that's because this is where we're at.
D — Yeah and that's okay. I see death more as a transformation as well because I don't feel like the Quiet Room has died for us, it has more... it's in the process of revealing itself as something else. And that's also where that having time for things to “marinate”, if we're talking about food. There are a lot of things... that's also the type of things that I like to think about a lot more, are things that take time to reveal themselves. And you have to go through experiences in order to arrive at certain things that will only open new quests. And it's not the destination, it's still just one more stepping stone. And that's what I'm interested in. I like to just see things as a process, and never a finished product.
And I feel like there's not a space carved out for that.
J — I'm gonna use a really... romantic analogy. In my I have my artistic practice and then I earn my money from being a sommelier . And I think there's parallels to the liquid of wine, a little bit, if you will.
 sommelier: a wine steward.
Some things are meant to be had young, they're made to be had young, they're simple.
When we evaluate wine, we say, for a young wine that isn't very broad: simple. That's the official term for it, among many other things.
But as you might have a different care for a specific bush that you're working with, and are almost for a specific cluster of grape that you're working with, then you turn those grapes into juice. But you cared for those grapes for years, years and years on end. You don't know where they're going but you might think that they might be headed in a certain direction because there are implications around it, for example, sunshine hits that slope in a certain way at twelve o'clock in the afternoon.
It's that specific. But then you know that that sort of grape can do a certain thing, potentially. And as you let the wine, not the... what's it called? God, I can't speak... these terms in English... The vine, it's called that, right? A grapevine.
As you let the vine grow and as you let the cluster grow and you finally turn it into juice, that thing might age. Cause you make it with the intention of giving it time.
As it ages, at one point it was young, it's still the same juice, but it goes through time and it develops. It becomes something else completely different. But still with the same foundation.
It still was grown from that soil with the twelve o'clock sunshine with all of that care that went into it, but twenty years from now it's something broad and complex.
And full of layers. But that takes time. And so do ideas.
Two years to develop something like this, and something so heavily based on a relation, is not enough. So we could get to where we're at with the intentions that we had. I don't think we could've gotten any further, nor should we have. Because then it would have been like the beginning of this conversation: stale and dry as fuck. Going nowhere.
D — Yes, thank you for just cutting that.
J — Oh no worries. We sucked!
But for me that's a summary of the Quiet Room, right? We started out somewhere, it changed.
We reacted to our environment. We reacted to the things we disapprove of and we made choices in order to not be there and be where we wanted to be. Of course that was a struggle. But in the end we got to somewhere where the room needed to become something different. And now it is. So here are the archives. Sort of a testimony to what it became.
D — And we're gonna add the archive to the library, after it's out of the window . And maybe... Maybe I'm dreaming too much... But maybe it could serve also as a starting point for somebody in the future, kind of like, how we also read some stuff from Brown Island . Yeah, this is a conversation that didn't start with us and for sure will not end with us. So we're just kind of leaving a trace behind. Let the future students know that others have thought about it too, but it still hasn't happened.
 The archive is/was on window display at Konstfack’s library between January 30 and February 17, 2023. D meant to say after the archive is no longer on the display window.
 Floating in the White Sea
"We need manifold strategies and diverse practices to address the complex issues we experience within the contemporary art institution, as well as to acknowledge and respond to the institution as a condition of broader society. Despite the walls and structures that impede dialogue and community, we must develop tactics to transgress institutional boundaries, while collectively demanding and creating spaces where we can dwell. What kinds of spaces do we need while in residence? What might an art institution look like if it were collectively imagined and created out of dialogue to allow for diverse bodies to feel at home?"
in Brown Island in the White Sea, 2019. (p.56)
J — Yeah. This was a survival of an institution.
D — Yeah.
J — I think we can stop there.
D — That's good. Thank you.
J — No worries. Thank you.
Thank you for listening/reading.