Caveat is a collective research project initiated by Jubilee, reflecting and acting on the ecology of artistic practice. Emptor continues along the methodology and efforts of Caveat. It actively applies the practice-based approach to 'property', a concept that highly defines the economy of visual arts.

Caveat Reading Room #14: Orphans of Tar - A Speculative Opera

16:00 - 18:00

For this Reading Room, we will get together around the co-authored publication The Orphans of Tar.

Can operas speculate on urban development?

The Orphans of Tar, a factual-fiction, features fictitious characters that are rooted in real-life questions and considers a more inclusive society, a sustainable art ecology and the search for possible Third Spaces... For this online Caveat Reading Room, we invite you to gather around this co-authored publication as an occasion to discuss property relations and processes of speculation within and surrounding the arts field.

This book results from a workshop by Vermeir & Heiremans for students of Autonomous Design and Curatorial Studies at KASK Ghent. Heike Langsdorf invited Vermeir & Heiremans in the context of her series of working moments and writing processes Choreography as Conditioning, which is part of a cycle of work sessions entitled CASC at KASK. As a case-study for the workshop, Vermeir & Heiremans invited PILOOT, a group of artists and one curator, that is developing long-term artistic reflections and exercises in relation to urban developments in the Tondelier/Rabot neighbourhoods in Ghent. Filip Van Dingenen, Stijn van Dorpe and curator Danielle van Zuijlen presented their long-term project within the context of the workshop.

Can we script speculation?

The Orphans of Tar - A Speculative Opera Screenshots from an online public book presentation and reading, hosted by Kunsthal Gent, October 2020

After the workshop at KASK the group felt the need to continue the conversation and Heike Langdorf's invitation to make a publication was taken up in the form of a co-authored process of discussing and writing. The book makes the processes how The Orphans of Tar - A Speculative Opera came into being transparent.

The Orphans of Tar - A Speculative Opera is co-authored by Julien de Smet, Ronny Heiremans, Heike Langsdorf, Vanessa Müller, Filip Van Dingenen, Stijn Van Dorpe, Clémentine Vaultier, and Katleen Vermeir.

Reading Room #14 takes place online. In order to attend, please send us an email:

Time: 16-18h

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