Kobe Matthys

Kobe Matthys (1970-2023, BE) was the founder of “Agency”, an international initiative based from Brussels. Agency constitutes a growing “list of things” that resist the radical split between the classifications of nature and culture. This list of things is mostly derived from juridical cases and controversies involving intellectual property (copyrights, patents, trade marks, etc.) in various territories around the world. The concept of intellectual property relies upon the fundamental assumption of the split between culture and nature and consequently between expressions and ideas, creations and facts, subjects and objects, humans and non-humans, originality and tradition, individuals and collectives, mind and body, etc.. Each “thing” or controversy, included on the list, witnesses a hesitation in terms of these divisions. Agency calls these “things” forth from its list via varying “assemblies” inside exhibitions, performances, publications, and many other forms. Each assembly speculates around possible inclusions of excluded agencies. These fabulations explore in a topological way the operative consequences of the apparatus of intellectual property for an ecology of art practices and their modes of existence.