Transmarcations was a worksession that took place from 4 till 9 December 2017 in De Beursschouwburg in Brussels. We experimented with ways to chart heres, wheres and others. This worksession situated itself at the crossing of technologies with geographies, life’s courses, bodies, terrains and deplacements. Transmarcations was interested in the complexity that emerges when cartography meets bodies in transition. By bodies in transition we meant migrating bodies as well as bodies that engage in an internal process of change, like gender transitions. By taking a closer look at the situation of these bodies, Transmarcations questioned the (ir)relevance of standards and the intrinsic presence of cultural codes.

The worksession Transmarcations brought together an interdisciplinary group of participants that are interested in collaborative practices around feminisms, counter-cartographies, choreography, Free Software, activism; each of them long time interests of Constant. By looking at several prepared cases that involve gender change, transnational migration and the craft of map making, participants developed research experiments in small groups.

Worksessions that Constant organises are intensive transdisciplinary moments, organised twice a year by Constant. They aim to provide conditions for participants with different types of expertise to temporarily link their practice and to develop ideas, prototypes and research projects together. We primarily used Free, Libre and Open Source software and the material that was poduced is available under Open Licenses.


Arkadi Zaides, Jonathan Chaim Reus, Mia Melvaer, Jerome Giller, Elvira Korman, Emma Kraak, Rajwa Tohme, Femke Snelting, Pacôme Beru /Pierre Marchand, Gabi Sobliye, Pierre Tandille, Samuel Rivers-Moore, Anne Goldenberg, Benjamin de Kosnik, Phillipe Rivière, Seda Gürses, Paulo Alvez, Francois Zajéga, Michael Murtaugh, Pierre hughebaert, Peggy Pierrot, Pascale Barret, Alexander Antonopoulos, Nishat Awan, Simone Niquille, Joanna Moll, Florence Aigner, Peter Westenberg, Azahara ubera Biedma, An Mertens, Donatella Portoghese.


The detailed programme of the week is here
Below some of the main moments of the week are described and documented.

Public evening: Transmarcations talks

7 december 2017, an evening in De Beursschouwburg with two lectures and a discussion.

Anouncement article

A. Alexander Antonopoulos: Trans-marcations in the Age of Trans : A personal history of the bodies, borders, practices, and passports of transition.

In my presentation of a personal journey through multiple sites of passage that intersect with an alchemically generated gender identity and transition, I will draw on new directions emerging from trans studies, queer studies, and new materialism, in order to turn attention toward the geopolitical, biopolitical, archival and historical significance of the legacy of the passport. Ranging from changes in bodily biological processes and affects to the geopolitics of movement across national border, tools will be explored for archiving personal histories and transsexual autobiography in this era of transgender-based identity and politics.

Video documentation

Nishat Awan: Topological Atlas

The politicised nature of the discourse around migration means that visual representations are often used in deliberate ways to promote certain agendas. We also live in a time of visual overload, surrounded by large numbers of images available on the net, social media etc., including computationally derived visualisations of large scale data that are being used more frequently across academia and journalism. I will speak around a new project, Topological Atlas, that explores these issues and attempts to visualise border regimes from the point-of-view of those who attempt to cross national territories. This is, of course, an ethical choice and one requiring a participative approach that attends to the politics of location. Topological Atlas takes seriously the problem of the ubiquity of the image and the disjointedness of information to produce visual narratives and counter geographies of/ at borders.

Video documentation

Visit to the National Geographic Institute

On Tuesday 5 december we visited the federal NGI to get acquinted with the way the institute made maps, the practices involved in determining graphical representations of geography by drawing, schematisation, printing, projecting. Part of that work included designing purpose built instruments, that were in some cases made to produce drawing tools. We had the opportunity to visit their collection of homebrewn analogue tools. We had a tour through the collection of carts, instruments, in the attic of the institute that describes itself as being “parastatal of the B type, placed under the custody of the Ministry of Defense”. Being situated in a military zone, in the middle of the city, how meaningful is that ?

Sound recordings made during the visit

Some images made during the visit

Parameter Stretchings

Exercise in thinking how cartography works: what are the parameters you chose to create your diagram/visualisation…?
We asked a few artists present to describe the use of parameters in their work, in order to open up the concept to more than one dimension.


Simone Niquille is talking about her use of parameters in one of her animation works, creating digital bodies on a screen. What does that mean to animate a body that is just a simulation?


Benjamin de Kosnik talks about the definition of parameter: what is changing in a work progress, that is probably a parameter. When do you stop a work?


Focus on Alpha60 working group, materializing transgressive history applied to pirate cinema and pirate protocols on the internet. If they’re not recorded, they’re erased.

All data of recent scrape of A60

Pdf on media object of Star Trek and how it is distributed on the web for 1 month

Florence Aigner talks about parameters she respects to create photographs, likes to work with texture, memories, territories.
Presents personal parameters throughout work she made in Algeria: spontaneity, layers (using mirrors, papers, elements from the place)…

François Zajéga talks about Genealogy, generative art piece

Peggy Pierrot talks about parameters that define her choice for work/jobs

Phillipe Rivière talks about the cartographer’s sensitivity/subjectivity to define the one parameter that allows for different readings.

A poetic extract of his presentation

Groupwork / Projects / Experiments

Trans passport

A. Alexander Antonopoulos offered the history and materials related to his personal gender transition as a study case to investigate the materiality of gender transition. The group investigated the possibility of visualising differently the process of transitioning and experimented with ways to rethink the aspects involved. Who is in control ? what standards apply and why ? How can we subvert authority ? Why does it all have to be normative ? It resulted in a workshop investigating biometry, scanning bodies for identity markers, playing around with genitals as printing devices.

Lexicon of exile

What language is used to describe exile from the viewpoint of the persons in exile ?
What is migration / deplacement / transition / …?
Who is involved, what kinds of relationships are in place?
Florence Aigner has been working with a group of ‘exile experts’, people who have migrated from different corners of the world to Brussels. As part of the French language course that they are following in Molenbeek Formation, she asked them to prepare a collection of words they use to describe their specific experience. From their words, stories and pictures, a small booklet was made in a lay-out of Gijs de Heij

From this exercise Florence Aigner, Peggy Pierrot, Emma Kraak and An Mertens extracted a list of concepts we worked with during

Images & words

Performing the lexicon / Experts of change

This group started from the lexicon and stretched the meaning of the words by sharing personal stories. Words can take on new meanings like ‘park’, ‘smartphone’ and ‘language’ are safe spaces. Here is an overview of that discussion

Next, they connected the lexicon to TanukiXY, the installation of François Zajéga, by adding 3 types of movements the students made in the pictures of Florence Aigner to the patatoïde:

  • Safe space
  • Unsafe space
  • Change

While making a mouvement, a subscript text was generated on the screen out of the recomposition of words of the lexicon.

Tanuki XY

François Zajega installed an interactive installation in the Big Room. Sensors capture the motion in the room and direct avatars movements informed by the movements. In this work, avatars of different kinds grew up in public. They were nourished and re-shaped with the help of all participating artists. Tanuki XY was tested to behave as a collective body, was closely inspected on its potentially sexist and discriminatory vocabulary and behaviour and received artistic therapeutic attention of participants.

Azahara ubera Biedma guided the group through several stretching sessions. Some of them were done in cojunction with Tanuki. This video documents a Tanuki that envelops the collective movements into a bag shaped avatar:


You can move but not dissolve OR n o t dissolving… Direction is determined

This group developed thinking abouth how to map somebody that is/remains still, that is fixed, ex person that is still inside tent in Calais, gps is recording fixed freaks out when somebody moves. In a series of talks, discussions, exchanges many aspects were touched upon. Ranging from practical instructions on how to work with tools such as Qgis to thinking about sexual orientation and the flows of air and clouds.

a Feminist de-militarization of (re)construction interfaces: A how-to

A research into how to interface event reconstruction without falling into the trap of using capitalist patriarchical military ways of looking. - un jour pendant une vente - was an experiment in taking one news item that spread fast on the web, relating to contemporary slavery, and try to deconstruct the message by analysing the visuals and by narrating thestory with human voices.


AudioOpen Call (2017), Transmarcations talks (2017), Transmarcations guided tour, Transmarcations: X is not for destination


Horizontal dance

Paulo Alvez tested the capacity of the sensor set-up of the Tanuki XY installation to detect vertical, non erect, human motion by laying down on a skateboard, he pushed himself through the room. “Not only am I imagining trajectories of prosthetic bodies which are not completely erect / vertical, I also imagine meta-cartographies that allow me to make mappings of different possibilities to respond to the question:”how do Merpeople dance ?" when I say “merpeople”, I mean… “mermaids”, “mermen”, “merX”…."

Earthian encounters

  • going to the park to make a movie
  • still frame of nature
  • overlayers with humans and non-humans
  • layers poetry sound dance weaving the projections
  • non human agencies
  • who inhabits the public space human and non human agents
  • form of mapping
  • meet in the afternoon here on the 1st floor
  • live editing during the explorative performance
  • 15 minutes + open for interventions

Reader / texts

A reader was compiled from relevent texts to give input, inspire and contextualise the work done during the week.

The PDF of the reader can be downloaded here


Some visual inspiration + References

A hotglue page served as a first sketch pad for the project. Some loosely connected images and links that inspired the first thoughts on the content, guests, working methodology.

List of participants

Participants and biographies


This folder documents the activities throughout the week

This folder contains pictures that were used in the individual presentations of participants

Audio + Video


Three cases were brought to the table in the beginning of the worksession.
They each provided food for thought, startingpoints for discussion and ideas to work with and from.


Workfiles + local pads

During the week we used a local server running etherpad. This list contains texts that were usefull at that moment.

Terms of use: opening and closing the archive

For Constant worksessions, we developed etherbox, a custom local server infrastructure for collaborative situations. Installed locally and accessible only when physically in de venue De Beursschouwburg.


License (unless otherwise indicated):
Free Arts License