JAN RITSEMA - founder:
" What is PAF?
PAF functions as an alternative artist, scientist and political activist residency

How does it function?
PAF has no staff and is partly on the level of its daily functioning self-organised

I bought the 6500sqm building an old convent all by chance in 2005. Was not looking for such a project. I am not a people’s person, nor was I fond of nature.
But I jumped on it and why not taking chances life offers you unexpectly.
I had to invent at the spot what to do with it :
 a platform/ disque for conceptual contemporary dance.
give power back to the artists that is taken away from them in schools
make a low threshold something not to apply for, just an email. This application culture I think highly repressive and I wanted to give power back to the artists. 
create a space in which it is easy to share, that sharing is not part of a culture but goes by itself.
we wanted to make an artist and scientist and political activist residency that would make a difference, that is self reliable, does not need subsidies, still cheap, without staff       (the: we do not need management) and based on self-organisation, that people easily, as by itself organize themselves while giving space to the differences they all consists off.   It is enough when everybody would do some of the dirty work only at the moment they are happy to do it.        Self-check-in. 
we had to avoid to set A culture.
we had to create a space in which every sqcm would be available all the time unless it is used. By keeping them multi functional, they can be used in different functions.
We had to create a space where there is a healthy oscillation between the private and the public. Your room is yours, but the public spaces like kitchen etc and the table you work on or the space you work in is cleaned, made available after use.

How does it concretely function ?
You send an email. We send you a mail back if rooms are available but we have 54 rooms with general information. And you confirm your dates. It is clear then for you that you come to work.
When you arrive there is a Self check-in. Find your room, find your sheets. Paf is yours. As if it is your own house.

So we formulated three rules, wide multi-interpretable rules.
- Don't leave traces (clean behind you in order to leave every square centimeter, that is not your private room, all the time available for everybody)
- Make it possible for others ( thought as to open up space(s) by showing a rehearsal or a movie, giving a lecture, starting a discussion or cleaning a corridor, or as to keep space(s) open by keeping them available and not occupied with traces from you)
- The do-er decides (things are decided by the one's who do more than the ones who speak) - (Think them interrelated)

PAF has 3 no's.
-no partners (unless the partner has a project to work on), no animals, no kids in the age of 1,6 months to 7. PAF wants to be a place for to produce not a social one.

PAF has 3 principles.
1. Reversibility. The things in PAF ( whether they are objects, subjects or institutions/organisations) are there for you and you are there for the things as well. I.e. PAF or the coffee machine, the other or a corridor is there for you as much as you are there for PAF or the coffee machine, for the other or the corridor.
2. Exchange. Of whatever Knowledge, Machines, Expertise, Spaces, Times, Things
3. Liquidity. You are kindly invited to make fluid what is fixed, whether this concerns your mental (I am like this) or your material property.

Paf celebrates openness, it celebrates to be easy, wide and light.  The big building has a lot of space, one is never trapped, one can always find another space or corner to work well. The mental space is open, as there are almost no rules, the woods and garden around the house give the feeling of open space too. This makes that in the open atmosphere people work quantatively and qualitatively better. I think this is the essence of what PAF is, very difficult to film.
People who want to make a documentary about paf, and want to film what is done in paf, give a wrong impression,  paf is in the air, paf is air, is the air that the participants breath in. Paf is open, mentally and physically

Why PAF?
Paf tries to be a (living)organism (alive&kicking) and an experiment, not an institute it does not has a specific function, like a school, or hospital, it is a place of becoming, a taz (temporary autonomous zone), not a bakery with bakers, PAF wants it all, being a living organism with living organisms.

Where does it all come from?
Because I am lazy: I want things being done well all by themselves, no need for managing something.
I don’t get why people do not organize their live-together easier, better, lighter with more flexibility.
We càn do it: living in an open, wide and light way together, in a society that includes everybody and has solutions for it all, enjoying the differences, creating abundance (no scarcity), thinking life fluid, not fixed but in motion in an ever-changing motion, in which living is interesting and not a struggle to survive, not a society of serfdom, where everybody is slaved and enslaved which seems the only mode of existence for us.

Some aspects I am focussed on and for which I wanted to create conditions. My adagium is : people are much nicer and much smarter…..
1. no need for management. We do not need to be led. We can lead ourselves. In other words, can I create circumstances in which things go by themselves ?
2. we, the people, need to create more accessible spaces, more spaces and places for the commons, like squares, parks, woods, institues. Easily accessible for anybody.
3. to celebrate differences, we are all different, we never find ourselves all at the same time at the bakery or the bank. Can we include these differences, include them all.
4. to recognize that we need each others differences, we swim in each other, the others that made your chair, cloths, pen, wallpaper, bike, pots. That we are different is exactly, the people’s capital!
5. can we liquidize, make fluid, property. Instead of only use for us, share the use. Property want to fix and defend against the ever changing and moving world and things around us. Property makes us practice defensiveness, needs maintenance.
  6.  to be open. La taille du batiment 6400sqm. L’espace mentale avec ses règles multi interpretables. Pas de clefs. Auto organization. Pas d’équippe. Self check-in.
  7.  can we create situations of abundance, like nature is, and not of scarcity what capitalsm is, to keep people in permanent state of lacks, in permanent need of I want that too. In permanent pavlovian need of consuming and buying, in permanent need of accumulation of the almost not used, but by yourself properties.
  8. can we undo ourselves from the need for slaving others and of being slaved by others. We still live in a primitive state of serfdom. We not only slave the other, your child, dog, housecleaner, husband, waiter, butcher, schoolteacher, doctor, we also slave the objects around us, the chair, your bed, the door, your shoes, they all have to serve you or they will be dead. So, can we create a space that undoes people from the need to subordinate or their need to be subordinated.
  9. Can we create a society of solution, that there is always a solution for everything.

PAF not only wants to be a facilitator for work it also wants to produce. We produce Springmeeting, Philosophical Saloons, Night Lessons, Elsewhere&Otherwise.
This sounds ideal. And in a way it is. People when they talk about PAF they speak about it as something that they could imagine but never thought it possible. We are very much aware that we create this for some upper-upper class of society of mainly white bourgeois descendants, means money,  living as masters over their own time and space, calling it precarious, but mainly focussed on themselves and their own little interests. A privileged community.
But still it is already difficult enough  to make it work. That means to make people understand and maintain their privileged circumstances. To make it possible for all, even for the ones you do not like or who are different, but to celebrate the difference without the need to become friends, but only not to exclude them.
This was all about the Creation of common Space that is easily accessible, easily penetrable". 

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