CIRCUIT is an arts and culture organization dedicated to developing socially engaged art practices that encourage more mindful patterns of living. Our programs encourage self-inquiry, environmental awareness, and community mindfulness, connecting people through gatherings, exhibitions and creative education. Through our events we aim to build a trusting and diverse community where the sharing of knowledge can become a unique way to envision change.
As an organization CIRCUIT is uniquely committed to sustainability and mindful living, and it communicates these values through doing. CIRCUIT makes waste separation a visible process; requires all projects to think about materials and to discover more sustainable options; offer only reusable plates, glasses, and cutlery; and ask that people bring food and materials in reusable packaging. In addition to operating with sustainable practices, events touch on social or environmental themes and topics.
In addition to our own programming, we also collaborate with small-scale creative projects dedicated to social change. Each collaboration is unique. For some projects we offer support through the use of our space, human and material resources, assistance with publicity, and access to a wider network and audience. The space is also available for independent rental for events or exhibitions. Please contact us if you have a project or workshop to propose or if you wish to rent the space.
CIRCUIT is partly sponsored by Sanatorium, a contemporary art gallery located in Beyoğlu, Istanbul.
CIRCUIT first appeared as an idea in June 2013, inspired by the concept of ‘Sustainable Creativity’. In December 2013, the idea took the form of a physical space in Çukurcuma, Istanbul, founded by Ülkü Çağlayan under the name of Closet Circuit. With a vision to become an alternative education centre, the space aimed to be an example for sustainable lifestyles, both with its form and physical content.
During its first stage, Closet Circuit opened its doors as lifestyle store and breath therapy center. The store included second-hand clothing, upcycled, and environmentally friendly products. The breath center offered breath therapy, led by Ülkü Çağlayan, as well as other alternative therapy events.
In March 2015, following the Museum of Garbage exhibition by FLYING Roots, the store evolved into a space for exhibitions and events related to arts and sustainability. Since then, thanks to eco-artists and curators, Jessica Sim and Paul Brownlee - who later became co-founders of CIRCUIT - the organization has embraced Socially Engaged Art as its language for valuing and communicating change.
In April 2016 the space in Çukurcuma closed. Closet Circuit relocated to Kadıköy in September 2016 and re-opened under the new name of CIRCUIT. Following the rebrand and change of location, CIRCUIT became more active with regular classes encouraging self inquiry, as well as creative educational programs encouraging environmental awareness and community mindfulness. Since April 2016, CIRCUIT has also provided education programs for schools on location and externally.
Since January 2018 CIRCUIT has been under the sole management of Jessica Sim. Paul left his role as co-director in July 2017 to return to North America; he continues to contribute ideas and support. Ülkü Çağlayan withdrew from her management role at CIRCUIT in December 2017 to develop her educational journey towards Conceptual Art Practices.
CIRCUIT’s space continues to grow, dedicated to visions for alternative living, a place where people can come together to share and support ideas and action.
We continue to seek collaborations. If you wish to propose a project, or if you would like to be directly involved as part of the CIRCUIT team, send us an email or drop by during open hours. The space in Yeldeğirmeni is also available to rent independently for relevant projects - exhibiting artistic work, hosting classes/workshops, promotional/fundraising events, etc. Please contact us for details and availability.