The First Lucban Assembly titled PAMUMUHUNAN (Waiting for a capital) gathers networks and individuals in rural Southern Luzon to position how communal practices are translated into artistic method and strategies and other creative production, and to highlight how these ways of working show other relationships with the capital.
In apprehending translation, the First Lucban Assembly operates in multiple folds of the alternative—being the dominant characterization of independent initiatives, self-organized cultural production, and non-institutional activities. It renders the production of arts and values within these ‘local’/’peripheral’ spaces as complicated yet functioning economic and political systems, which shape particular worlds and promote certain modes of existence. Here, the Assembly boldly claims translation, beyond process of transfer and relay, to be organization: expounding individualized and localized struggles and interrelating them with several subjects and sites.
Thinking through relationship, the First Lucban Assembly reflects on the constitution and movement of relations mobilized by actors, brokers/mediators, visitors, authorities, and other incidental and conscious investors in different scales of ecological field. In staging a series of events for art, it finds the urgency to ask how communities have instituted both material and immaterial infrastructures, that continuously create an affective and cognitive network of doing/working. Then, the Assembly inaugurates the question in the cultural sector: Can we build an institution of desires and commitments in an insecure field, with limited access to state, market and private infrastructures?
Hardly a thematic axis, PAMUMUHUNAN (Waiting for a capital) classifies the Assembly’s position as a draft—not based on art, but transposed from values and struggles of communities—in forming ways of connecting and organizing. It hopes to host different anxieties, interests, goals, and politics while allowing performance of contradiction, dissent, and disagreement. The agrarian context of Lucban anchors PAMUMUHUNAN onto another ground of precarious experience without taking it as exception or norm, but as part of ongoing and emerging struggles against capitalistic regimes present in other contexts. Integrating pedagogy, research and exhibition-making, the Assembly commits to communicate discourses and to represent practices of knowledge through artistic language and curatorial devices.