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Beyond Repair began in the spring of 2014 as a neighborhood-centered, expanded publication project. A “long now” series of actions excited by the prospect of the continuing formation of a public, one interested in the politics around non-hierarchical co-education, below politics, cooperation, and the right to the imagination as a politics of the everyday. An artist project, Beyond Repair was conceived, and is facilitated by, Sam Gould.
In the winter of 2015 the project found form in the creation of a shop (Transmission), located within a marketplace, to ask questions of one another, and move those shared questions out into the neighborhood to see if they transform into shared desires to act on. Upon first appearance Transmission looked very much like a book shop. And that’s good, as we love books and the power and vitality of the book in creating bonds between people. But the concept of the project moves well beyond the physical boundaries of the page. Beyond Repair sees publication as the act of public-making. An act which highlights distance, and in some fashion, makes an attempt to bridge that distance. Publication doesn’t begin with an object, a noun, but with the space in-between bodies, between people. Publication is a verb, an action.
In the fall of 2017 the social landscape of Beyond Repair expanded to include Assembly, a site of gathering and social production wherein the thoughts and ideas that find form there can move down the street for transmission and distribution in the market, further out into the neighborhood and back again around and around.
The name Beyond Repair supports the desire to move far past the dominant, condescending, top-down narrative foisted upon neighborhoods such as our own within the 9th Ward of Minneapolis. A narrative centered on the notion of people and places that need “fixing.” Apart from the obvious hierarchies that such rhetoric creates, why would we want to fix something that was broken when we bought it? On the other hand, we find much excitement at the idea of building something new within the cast off parts of a broken machine.
Rather than constantly feeling the need to respond to those in power who do not live in the neighborhood, Beyond Repair projects invite neighbors to work with neighbors, using an expanded notion of what publication can be, to formulate our own questions, our own desires for what we need, and how we want to live together in the future. Beyond Repair exists in a constant state of becoming; discord, listening, transformation residing within its core.
In March of 2020, Gould and longtime Beyond Repair and Assembly collaborator Duaba Unenra co-founded Confluence Studio as a means to expand on Beyond Repair’s work and ethos to design and make freely available social tools and transitional spaces to collaboratively reimagine the neighborhood from the ground up.