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Pneuma Szöv.* / Mókusok is an artists co-op. Working mainly in Budapest since 2008, with collaborations and temporary exiles in Germany and around.

Known popularly as the Mókusok (Squirrels), Pneuma Szöv. has been building an open network in the 8th district of Budapest. In 2012 it was here that they built a giant Squirrel as an anti-discrimination weapon together with neighbours, activists, passers-by, homeless artists and many others. Pneuma’s art practice is based on common breathing. They launch processes which trouble the regimes of our daily lives and re-enchanting what seems to be obvious and unchangeable. Their 3D radio performances, television shows chalked on asphalt, wandering Street Channel and political campaign with a squirrel mayor candidate (Mókus Maxi) evoke and play with a new kind of public sphere using eclectic media. Their postdramatic performances meld artistic research, social philosophy and urban studies with various forms of visual art, community and public art, free pedagogy concepts, activism and low-threshold social therapy.


How did it come to Pneuma Szöv.? Trying a simple story – > breathing in, breathing out

Pneuma Szöv. (Pneuma Coop.) started in 2008. Our name comes from our first project “Lufthase – The Air Factory”. Pneuma is Greek and means the “spirit” or the “breath. Working with the air, we all breathe in, creating the space inbetween us. Pneumatics is a form of engineering that uses pressurized air to do mechanical work… This inspired our way of creating common worlds in our work/game/life from nothing but air. You could say we breathe in the air that surrounds us, breathe in the constraints, things we don’t like around us, things we wonder about, questions we have to the world, feel, where we can’t breathe, then transform this air we got in our common body and finally breathing it out, which can be seen as the art, life and work we create together. STORY TO BE CONTINUED

2008 The Air Factory #Air Pollution #Worker ethics #Invisible Influencing-Conspiracy theories and conspiracy praxis

In 2008 our first work started from the topic of air pollution…stinky city air. Invisible, you can’t see it. But it influences us. Breathing is the most important. You can’t see what is in the air but you can feel the effect. In a first step a small group formed itself.

After some sessions, some external muse consulting and common talks, we gave ourselves the name Pneuma Szöv. Szöv. as an abbreviation which meant for us Szövetkezet (Cooperative), but could also mean Szöveg, Szövet, Szvövetség (text, fabric, alliance).In the next step we searched for a space and more people. We invited friends we knew. Friends who we sometimes just sat in bars with. And we published open calls at the universities black boards. All kind of people joined.

This form of working through open invitation we have kept till today. Who participates is fluid and different for each project (though the word “project” seems also misleading). Often a small basic team prepares the starting points for each different work and then more people join during the process. The core team of Pneuma had some changes in the past 14 years: People switch roles, first participate with their own part and then become a core member organising the common frames, or they stop to be a core member and become again more independent collaborators or they disappear and pop up some years later again. Working together is a challenge, finding work formats that fit to us. So there is no fix group but a fix group for each of our cosmoses which also make osmosis inbetween the works (*osmosis = It may used to describe a physical process in which any solvent moves across a selectively permeable membrane (permeable to the solvent, but not the solute)). Is Pneuma Szöv. even a group? Or is it just the commonspace inbetween us that brings us together?

contact: Zsuzsa Berecz, Sarah Günther, Luca Szabados

texts about us

Have a look at the essay by Pneuma's co-founders Zsuzsa Berecz and Sarah on Pneuma Szöv.'s  art and activism. They present a set of tarot cards in Mezosfera's issue on Art 'After' Activism. Ravishing tarot design by Dorottya Poór, Luca Szabados and Sarah Günther  
An MA thesis by Maggie Sava about two Hungarian artist groups: Pneuma Szöv. and Borsos Lőrinc. You can download it here. Made in the frame of: MA Contemporary Art Theory Dissertation, Goldsmiths, University of London Dissertation Tutor: Dr. Janna Graham Submission Date: 03 September 2019    
** unfortunately in Hungarian only ** Berecz Zsuzsa írása, megjelent a JAK Színház és társadalom című kötetében