The Skydive Office of Cultural Affairs Presents: An Exhibition of Proposals for a Socialist Colony

Autonomous Organization did some research and found that because a box of archives was lost during the Archive War of 1842, the land that Skydive’s gallery stands on is currently up for grabs by any group starting a Socialist colony on the property. Upon learning this, we formed the Skydive Office of Cultural Affairs to publicize this opportunity. The works in this project are responses; proposals for new systems, tools, communications, research, democratic gestures, public relations and reflections on past utopic experiments.

Sasha Dela and Elysa Lozano


Zanny Begg

I employed a somewhat subversive approach to revolutionary consciousness by utilizing capitalist marketing tools, which are, of course the antithesis of the socialist approach to developing revolutionary consciousness as traditionally understood (and yet are deeply embedded within the psyches of those who would be potential revolutionaries) to address the problems with "brand socialism". I have used market research questionnaires and focus groups with self-professed revolutionaries and enlisted the assistance of a range of marketing experts such as crisis management firms, viral marketing companies, PR gurus and spin doctors to come up with a marketing campaign for socialism. The work will be a tongue in cheek look at the possibilities of revolution in the twenty-first century: the joke a double edged sword – poking fun not only at the unmarketable nature of socialism but also the manipulative and coercive nature of marketing itself.

The work involves a looped video projection documenting the first leg of the Re-branding Socialism campaign in Sydney.

Salah Days



Its called manual for COMMUNAL BAKERY. Its a bakery run by a small community. It could be placed outdoors or indoors. Its part of an upcoming series of production facilities, that aim to re-introduce local production in small communities.

Chto Delat

The Builders


Erin Elder

More than anything else, I think our new colony requires a campfire circle.

Campfire circles serve many functions. They are a place to gather, to tell stories, to warm one's hands and heart, to sing, to cook, to eat, to make merry. It is a safe place and a space to share. Making a fire circle is a declaration of comfort and intention (one wouldn't build a fire circle if enemies lurked beyond the next ridge) and yet it is a temporary construction. In the travels of settlers and pioneers, adventurers and vagabonds many fire circles are built and then dismantled; oftentimes fire circles are left behind for use by another group of travelers.


José Filipe Moreira da Costa

This work is based on Thomas Harlan’s documentary of the unique moment in Portuguese history when a group of workers occupied the manor of Torre Bela, and formed a self-organized agricultural cooperative on the property. The film juxtaposes the 'shovel sequence' from the original documentary with outside commentary on the event. In this sequence one group member tries to convince another to donate his shovel to the collective as he remains unconvinced that giving up his personal property will be beneficial for him.


The significance of the sq root of minus 1 is that historically it is a controversial calculation. The result of the calculation, 1i, brought about a whole new set of numbers, "imaginary numbers". If you think of "normal" numbers as a line going horisontally, say -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3, the imaginary numbers' line goes vertically crossing the the "normal" numbers' line at point 0.

Karl Marx wrote a paper slamming the possibility of imaginary numbers...


Amy Franceschini

What tools will this colony use, invent or reform?
What tools might take form as a result of this developing colony; intellectual, emotional, physical?


Anna Pickering

Drawing from an archaic manual on the proper oratorical gestures, a video and brochure will demonstrate in the style of a tai chi home exercise, the proper gestures one must use for building a democracy.


Amy Balkin

A 1 square inch deed of land in Texas purchased for the new Socialist Colony.

Land: Four Case Studies

These four sites in North America were involved with the giveaway of marginal, unbuildable land as advertising promotions, or the sale of uninhabitably small parcels (2" or smaller). Surprisingly, in some cases this free or cheap land did gain in value, was buildable, had oil found underneath, or was eventually resold at a profit.
With the exception of larger lots in Huntington Beach and Newark, where the land, while 'marginal' and oddly shaped, was buildable, most landowners were unable to make use of their micro-holdings, or afford to purchase significant adjacent parcels to expand them to usable size. Most of the land was never occupied, and some land was eventually recuperated by tax default, unbeknownst to the deed holders.

Developers, cities, and other entities that could afford to manage fragmented title and clear tax issues often bought the parcels in bulk, sometimes using lawsuits to quiet title, or condemning lands whose owners would not agree to sell. This happened in Newark (now a shopping mall) and at the Lazy C Ranch (first a golf course, now a subdivision), and at the Klondike Big Inch Land Co. (now the world's northenmost golf course). It also signals the move of lands once thought of as cheap, marginal, and distant wildernesses, to nearby and profitable.

The enthusiasm for and fascination with the possibilities of marginally inhabitable places is still unchecked, whether in Gordon Matta-Clark's Fake Estates, recent Web 2.0 projects like Loveland, Detroit, failing towns offering free land to stayers, and current inch-of-land schemes. Along with enthusiasm for novelties of property, these places raise the issue of how land is transformed into property, and the dispossession that results from this transformation, as seen in the hopes of micro-land owners for the stability that property ownership confers in a land transformed to property, where all non-landowners are pre-dispossesed.


Jon Sack

The Copenhagen Commune

in Copenhagen

in Houston

title:The anti-election campaign of the Copenhagen Commune
translation: For an independent Copenhagen
The Copenhagen Commune Autonomy NOW!
Not citizen representation, but communist republic.

What is the Copenhagen Commune?
Copenhagen Commune is a group of people who know each other from close and less close friendships. The Copenhagen Commune is a group of people dreaming of an autonomous and communist Copenhagen. The group works with what they have: each other, their lives and experiences as well as the belief of something else and better. Copenhagen Commune is in the process of becoming communists:
They are communising each other and the surroundings.

The Public School

I actually think a couple committee people have mentioned TPS as already a socialist colony. I organized a class at tps that generated proposals for a school for the colony.


Duncan Wooldridge

I've been thinking of Rudolf Stingel's project where he created a poster about how to make one of his oil and enamel paintings (he gave a step by step illustrated guide), and was thinking that perhaps my work could be like an instruction piece which encourages people to remake a work of expensive or not so expensive piece of monochrome or hard-edge abstraction art for their own home.

I made a series of monochrome paintings based on using the paint mixing machines from DIY stores. The machine scans an inputted colour, which can be a sample from an object or an image, and can produce a pot of paint. I've used the process previously, attempting to remake Yves Klein's International Klein Blue (IKB), and also to make a series of discoloured Rauschenberg White Paintings. The intention is to connect the original availability, simplicity and address to the public of the earliest monochromes (The Salon of Incoherents, Rodchenko or Malevich) with the choosing culture of mass-customization: where the consumer supposedly gets the colour he/she wants. The idea will be to use the process to make a series of remade monochrome paintings (which are wonderfully difficult to copyright) and give them away during the show.
Alex Lockett

I’ve proposed a dovecote/ a village of dovecotes for the city’s feral pigeons. A dovecote can be for anywhere between 10 and 200 pigeons! A village of 5 or so dovecotes each with the capacity for 20 birds would be good. They were originally used to house pigeons which were a good source of food, eggs & their dung was used on gardens & for house insulation. Copenhagen City Hall still has pigeons in the roof and once a year there is a big pigeon feast with the King! Location wise, anywhere where there is a small colony of pigeons would be good, I don’t think it will take too much persuading to get them in if we provide them with some food, perches & a dry place.

David Mabb

The Proposal for a Socialist Colony is a washing line with William Morris tea towels pegged to it.
William Morris was an English 19th century designer, poet and revolutionary socialist. His fruit and flower packed designs for wallpaper and furnishing fabric manifest his utopian thought; they were hand made to the highest standards in an attempt to make the world a more beautiful place. In the tea towels, Morris’ designs, severely cropped and cheaply machine printed onto shabby fabric, are the kitsch remnants of his once utopian project.
In Proposal for a Socialist Colony, the towels are re-appropriated for the socialist cause - to help with the washing up. We might imagine the tea towels to be the sort of thing that socialist colonists might buy when attempting to set up islands of socialism: they signal the extreme limitations of the possibilities for a socialist commune within capitalism.


From the offices of Autonomous Organization and SKYDIVE:

Whereas an investigation has shown that during the Republic of Texas Archive War, one box of records was lost when the archives were violently seized by an armed militia-- in all the boxes that remained, there was no record of who owned the land that the building at 3400 Montrose Boulevard stands on; it was originally deeded to Benjamin Lovell and John Purnell for the purpose of starting a Socialist colony, before the land was sold. With the official record for the transfer lost, the new owners had no choice but to reclaim their property through adverse possession; however legally the terms of the original deed take precedent.

Now, the Skydive Office of Cultural Affairs offers the possibilities afforded by this clerical mishap to the public and to assist interested parties in developing proposals to bring the original intention of this land to fruition and to convert this building into a socialist colony.