Reciprocal Turn
Platform for artistic practice and art theory, 2013-2017

Structure
reciprocal turn was an online journal for artistic practice and art theory as well as a label under which events took place.

Three layers:

1.The intestines
The thematic issues provided a frame for investigations in various forms of expression: artistic works, theoretical essays and reviews are all dealing – each in its specific way – with the given theme. Neither did the theoretical essays serve as comments on the contributed artworks nor did the artworks serve as illustrations for the theory.

2.The core
Each issue was published online. The online journal as the core of reciprocal turn. According to the theme, each issue as uniquely designed in print. The printed version of an issue as not congruent with the online version. Its form changed and may was an actual magazine or fancy PDFs to download.

3.The skin
reciprocal turn was furthermore a label under which events, so called ‹Offlives› took place. Each Offlive was associated with the theme of the current issue.

Language
reciprocal turn was based in Karlsruhe, Germany and edited by native german speakers. Being connected with people from different countries we decided to produce mainly in English.

The reciprocal turn team
Mira Hirtz and Johanna Ziebritzki, founders and editors.
Michail Rybakov, web developer.
EVA TATJANA STUERMER und Erik Schoefer, graphic designers.
Jandra Boettger, art mediator.

Mission
reciprocal turn was based on empathic thinking about art. We dedicated our empathic art theory to the question of todays possible value of art and culture, never taking it for granted while at the same time adamantly believing in it.

What makes art relevant? What distinguishes political and critical art from therapeutic and self-referential art? And what distinguishes these artistic practices from other practices? By which means does an artwork relate to the category ‘art’? Definitions of what art is, and of what art is for, will always be refutable. Art is a historical phenomenon dependent on institutions, discourses and perspectives. Art and culture matter. But how? And why?
We claimed our will to look at basic questions. Rather than coming to stable conclusions our demand was to tackle the aspects that we considered urgently intriguing. Our engaged position was tightly linked to a critical, analytical perspective. The term ‘culture’ comes to life when one links the reflexive practices of the individual to the ‘world’, to what it is imbedded in, to what it produces, to how it relates, to its forms of expression. Thereby we argued against taking art as an empty, merely economic format, as well as a means for reciprocal superficial valorization. #zero collects all the articles which we wrote in relation to the phenomenon of the reciprocal turn.
We took ambiguity to be the potential of art. It is manifest in the tension between beauty and resistance, between the force of attraction and rejection, between immersion and critical curiosity. Between believing in the world that an artwork creates and the reflexive doubt about it. One engages, yet holds back. The material artwork enables critical agency. Categorizing and generalizing leads to formulas which, in turn, can deal with broader questions than the singular artwork.
One has to remain conscious about this constant back and forth of investigating, analyzing and categorizing – even if that means to never ‘arrive’. Based on the emphatic stance on art each issue had a different focus. Diverse positions from varying producers contributed with their approach. We built the frame in which we keep playing with forms, mediums, concepts.