Children’s Program

During the XVI Biennial IASC-Conference: Practicing the Commons (10–14 July 2017), Casco, a contemporary art institution in Utrecht’s Museum Quarter dedicated to artistic research and imagination towards the commons, will offer a special program for children. For three days Casco, with artists Aimée Zito Lema and Merel Zwarts, will operate a creative day-care center and parallel “conference on the commons for children”, wherein core points of the IASC-conference such as self-governance and cooperation are taken up as playful pedagogical methods.

The program will be offered during the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the conference. One-, tw0- or three-days arrangements are available.

Children from ages 4–17 can take part in two groups:

  • group 1 (ages 4–11) will make their own playground drawing on activities from drawing/mapping to making flags and zines while considering the practical and “philosophical” implications of this self-initiated process–children think!
  • group 2 (ages 12–17) will reinvent (or redesign) the famous open-source Crate Chair by Utrecht’s well-known modernist designer Gerrit Rietveld, aided by conceptual and physical co-working and playing tools from the organizers.
  • The maximum number of participants for each group is 15
  • Each group has one artist/teacher and two assistants
  • Five Casco staff members are on hand to assist
  • Languages: English, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Greek (French possible if informed in advance)
  • Lunch and snacks are included
  • We recommend you secure travel insurance for activities that will take place off-site
  • The program space will be checked for adequate safety measures by a conference committee member
  • We will arrange a local house doctor to be available should a child fall ill during the program
  • Organizers must be informed of any participant’s specific medical needs
Registration and costs
  • You can register and pay when you register for the conference via
  • Costs will be EUR 50 per child per day, lunch and snacks included; a full 3-day program will be available for EUR 100 per child.
Core team

Aimée Zito Lema is an Amsterdam-based Dutch-Argentinian visual artist. She was the resident artist at Rijksacademie, Amsterdam (2015–2016) and on the list of finalists for the Dorothea von Stetten Art Award exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Bonn. She also obtained grants and scholarships from Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, and Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds. A major solo exhibition of her new work was presented at Casco in 2014 and she has been working together with Casco since 2013. She has a four-year-old daughter.
Merel Zwarts is an Utrecht-based Dutch visual artist who studied fine art at HKU and attended the Rietveld Academie. As an art historian she studied in the Comparative Arts and Media Studies program at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She has been organizing workshops for children as part of Casco’s contribution to the citywide "Cultural Sunday" program in Utrecht.

Casco team

Binna Choi
Director of Casco, Curator for the 11th Gwangju Biennale, Faculty member at Dutch Art Institute, Master of Fine Arts, Arnhem.

Suzanne Tiemersma
Head of infrastructure and planning at Casco, mother of three children

Yolande van der Heide
Head of education and publishing at Casco

Anne Punt
Assistant coordinator at Casco, participant Gender Studies program of Utrecht University

Niek van der Meer
Office and mediation coordinator at Casco, graduate of the Master of Art History program at Utrecht University

Casco has a steady team of volunteers most of whom are graduate students of Utrecht University.
About Casco

Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, founded in 1990 in Utrecht, is a public contemporary art institution dedicated to artistic research and imagination towards and of the commons and located in Utrecht’s Museum Quarter.

Casco’s program over the last few years concentrates on artistic experiments and research that also rework institutional practice under the guiding principles of its program trajectory “Composing the Commons.” We have worked with artists, designers, researchers, and activists to think about the practice and aesthetics of commoning through law, technology, the rural versus the urban, alternative economics, governance, and concepts of catastrophe. New commissions elicited by this program include films, drawings, printed matter, and installations by artists such as The Otolith Group, Melanie Gilligan, Fernando García-Dory, Adelita Husni-Bey, Christian Nyampeta, and Ei Arakawa. Exhibition projects include New Habits (2014) and We Are the Time Machines: Time and Tools for Commoning (2015–2016). Further, collaborative research initiatives have taken form like (Un)usual Business and Site for Unlearning: Art Organization with artist Annette Krauss alongside other activities and publications. Through these rich and varied components, we have come to see artistic practice and related trans-disciplinary work as a highly effective and affective way to engage with the world as a process of constant communal learning and unlearning, and an essential tool—and condition—for the commons.

Casco is housed in a nineteenth-century former school building that incorporates a former convent. Our premises comprise an open-plan office with a library and a shared exhibition space with four classrooms (each about 50 square meters) that face the historic Abraham Dolehof courtyard, a meditative oasis in Utrecht’s city center.

See also Casco’s website