Conference Sessions

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Session 2: Institutional Time: Facts and Fictions

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-10-12
Abstract: 

During its co-emergence with countercultural movements of the 1960s and 1970s, artist-run initiatives in North America provided a space for the presentation and legitimization of experimental work and for the assertion of socially progressive and politically radical ideas and questions. In making such spaces available, artist-run initiatives have operated alternately as flashpoints for heated debates and controversies as well as platforms for social understanding and reimagining for their audiences. Sites for both mythmaking and reality checking, artist-run initiatives have been fraught with contradictions and yet have offered rare opportunities for exercising artistic, social, and political potential. Inspired by the nuances and paradoxes of artist-run institution building, presenters in this session will reflect on incidents, whether fictional or factual, from the histories of artist-run initiatives to project foreseeable futures.

Document type: 
Image
Video

Session 3: Intimate Institutions

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-10-12
Abstract: 

In the context of decreased public funding for the arts in North America and Europe as well as the nearly non-existent financial support elsewhere for the arts, ad hoc, small-scale, temporary, and often nomadic institutions created by artists have taken root in unanticipated sites, appearing in domestic or appropriated spaces that rely upon the collected resources and relationships of artist networks for their survival. Whether through organizational structures or modes of operation, these artist-run initiatives have constructed institutional armatures through largely if not exclusively informal means. Presenters in this session will survey the practices and strategies of artist-run initiatives that involve or encourage intimate institution building grounded in expanded notions of family, kinship, club, and neighbourhood, among other social forms.

Document type: 
Image
Video

Session 4: Intimate Institutions

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-10-12
Abstract: 

Often located in remote areas or outside the programmatic spectrum of mainstream artistic and academic institutions, many artist-run initiatives adopt pedagogical practices into their production and presentation, offering unconventional formats and less formal contexts than offered by either gallery or academic settings. On a smaller and more intimate scale, such initiatives foster the creation of alternative educational models, enable marginalized audiences access to information, and encourage the invention of new and atypical forms of knowledge. This session examines the pedagogical projects artist-run organizations around the world have set in place, among them, kitchen table knowledge production, “webs of matronage,” and detournements to the “not so-secret game of suburban one-upmanship."

Document type: 
Image
Video

Keynote Debate 1: Is There Space for Art Outside of the Market and the State?

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-10-12
Abstract: 

Artist-run culture has emerged in part as an alternative to the market and the limitations market-driven priorities have placed on the artist in terms of creative autonomy. Highly dependent on state sources of funding in many contexts, artist-run culture has, to some degree, forfeited autonomy to the state in order to meet bureaucratic funding requirements or to avoid censorship and ideological conflict. In this light, the “state vs. the market” dichotomy significantly moulds contemporary artist-run activity including the means of production and distribution for contemporary art. The first keynote debate will examine this dimension of artist-run culture by focusing on the grey zone, if there is one, between reliance on state programs and policies, and the vicissitudes of the market.

Document type: 
Image
Video

Session 05: States and Markets

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-10-13
Abstract: 

As a result of socioeconomic shifts occasioned by neoliberalism and globalization over the last twenty years, public funding for the arts has increasingly come to mean competition among, and compromise for, artists who receive state support. Although a relatively new phenomena in North America and Europe, artists from China, Cuba, and former East Europe know firsthand the limitations of government sponsorship and the concessions made in exchange for cultural subsidies. This session will carry on the discussions initiated during the first night’s debate to consider, on both theoretical and practical terms, artist-run institutions entangled by art and state interests.

Document type: 
Image
Video

Session 06: States and Markets

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-10-13
Abstract: 

Barriers to content, the desire to share information, a lack of economic means, a belief in free culture, and a critical awareness of the social costs incurred by profit-driven cultural development all have compelled artists and their institutions to interrogate existing economic and business activities to invent creative and impromptu means of presenting and sharing contemporary art and discourse outside conventional for-fee channels. Cognizant of market opportunities and pitfalls, artist-run initiatives have generated vehicles for circumnavigating the heavily regulated “culture industries” while simultaneously appropriating the language and methods of commercial entrepreneurship. This section of the convention examines the organizational modes and methods employed—from out-sourced labour practices to underground publishing and creative commons and copyleft activity—to inform strategies, logistical and financial, that make institutions by artists.

Document type: 
Image
Video

Keynote Debate 02: Should artists professionalize?

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-10-13
Abstract: 

As artists have taken on the creation of artist-run organizations or have turned themselves or their practices into institutions, their roles have expanded, taking on the work of curator, administrator, critic, educator, publicist, and so forth. While the polyvalence of contemporary artists has enriched institutions with resources and support, any reciprocity remains subject to debate. The professionalization of the artist, arising as a consequence of artist-run institution building and the blurring of professional roles inherent in such activity, may limit artistic potential in that artists take on increased administrative and curatorial responsibilities, among others, at the opportunity cost of artistic production. In the second debate of the convention, presenters will deliberate on the many roles of the contemporary artist, making the case for and against his or her professionalization.

Document type: 
Video

Session 09: EREHWON/NOWHERE

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-10-14
Abstract: 

Artist-run initiatives have founded numerous alternative networks for the production and distribution of culture and information, and have used new and existing channels to facilitate and circulate contemporary art discourse via printed matter, magazines, online projects, and classes, among other mediums. With a focus on communication and discourse, the proliferation of artist-run magazines and publishing houses, free schools, and other forms attests to the need and desire to connect artists and audiences in conversation, whether regionally or further afield. This session gathered participants to discuss current circulation strategies and to identify critical sites for new discursive production in varying geographic scales and contexts.

Document type: 
Video

Session 10: EREHWON/NOWHERE

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-10-14
Abstract: 

Artist-run initiatives have founded numerous alternative networks for the production and distribution of culture and information, and have used new and existing channels to facilitate and circulate contemporary art discourse via printed matter, magazines, online projects, and classes, among other mediums. With a focus on communication and discourse, the proliferation of artist-run magazines and publishing houses, free schools, and other forms attests to the need and desire to connect artists and audiences in conversation, whether regionally or further afield. This session gathered participants to discuss current circulation strategies and to identify critical sites for new discursive production in varying geographic scales and contexts.

Document type: 
Video

Opening Remarks

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-10-12
Abstract: 

Presentation of conference themes, presenting partners, funders and collaborators

Document type: 
Image
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