Archive for January, 2011

Your name in lights – John Baldessari

Your name will be screened for 15 glittering seconds on: Thursday 20 Jan 03:30:40 AM

Alain Ayers, Colette Ayers, Magnus Ayers



Critical Network


Supporting grass roots art, thought and action since 2007
Welcome to criticalnetwork ebulletin #101, our first of 2011:
An Education Special

There has been a recent movement in art and education towards self-initiation and autonomy in resistance to the cuts. These alternative models of practice aim to contribute new and invigorating perspectives and strategies to the international movement of strikes, sit-ins and demonstrations that is continuing to gather momentum as governments across the globe use the recession to justify their ideological attacks on society. In this ebulletin we present a small selection of this week’s projects, events and opportunites arising out of this pedagogical counter-culture.

The University for Strategic Optimism
A university based on the principle of free and open education, a return of politics to the public, and the politicisation of public space.
Where: Goldsmiths College, London SE14 6NW
When: Events taking place weekly
Discourses of Dissent
In light of the coalition government’s austerity agenda and the emerging movement against it, this symposium asks how academic research can help inform and sustain political resistance
Where: Birmingham & Midland Institute, Birmingham
When: Wed 16 Feb 2011
The Free University of Liverpool
Higher Education is a right for all not a privilege for the few. It is on this basis that The Free University of Liverpool is offering a Foundation Degree in Culture and Performance and a BA in Cultural Praxis over the next four years.
Deadline: Applications being taken now
Reading Marx’s Capital Volume 1
We call on you to initiate or join a reading group as part of an international movement to read, discuss and act on Marx’s ideas in response to the crisis of capitalism.
Deadline: Reading groups planned to start March 2011 and run throughout the year
Educational Spaces of Alterity
Nottingham Critical Pedagogy invites contributions for a day of workshops considering how critical education can create and help to reproduce spaces of alterity and contribute to radical social change.
Deadline: Fri 11 Feb 2011
Reimagining the University
An invitation for your theory, praxis and strategy to stimulate discussion of what the university could be.
Deadline: Fri 11 Feb 2011
The TEACHABLE FILE is a working catalog of alternative art schools and a pre-pedagogical reference on experimental education. The file is forming itself through communicative action and engaged research.
This Sat 29 Jan 2011 demonstrations will be happening in London and Manchester – the perfect opportunity to bring the spirit of last year’s student revolt back onto the streets.

Don’t Panic, Organise! A Mute Special on Struggle in Education Today.

Lab of Insurrectory Imagination – A Users Guide To (Demanding) The Impossible.
Download here

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Former West

Just when you’re looking for progress in this sector of artistic research, through the tough period of reduced resourcing and rising student numbers, with membership organisations and institutional partnerships promising to do so, Former West comes through in depth. Through the necessity of research linked to core funding, where knowledge, innovation and creativity strategies are made visible and where the structural profiling of ‘active research staff’, (people who used to be called artists, art historians etc) gains funding points, such obligations have given rise to a decade of conferences and projects where good intentions have frequently resulted in a struggle to achieve sustainable connectivity. FW are doing much more than going through the motions.

Former West stand out as a leading agency, presenting their work with a sense of direct access. One of the continuing problems of most academic / artistic / cultural sector research sites seems to be with the incoherency that indivdual ‘staff/research’ practices have in relation to one another conceptually and contextually, this being for both internal and external colleagues with the tendency for any binding qualities to remain over temporalised and unsatisfactory.

The selective coherency about Former West allows the purpose of such a usefully binding exploration and dialogue to become a series of exchanges combining specific criticality with developing an historic awareness that is both present and continuously evolving.  This leads to the content  and dialogues being stimulating and refreshing!

One dilemma FW has identified remains the need and indeed mystery as to how to identify and engage contemporary practitioners, with most contributors being theorists, philosopers and cultural curators. It could be that due to the broad incoherencies in institutional  practices, this concern FW has to engage artists more is problematised by institutional research organisation.

A focus on purpose, communication and collaborative dialogue could be a central engagement for the artistic research groups within the academies, whose groups even now, appear to becoming more and more marginalised from each another. It could be a time for some fundamental re-examining of the relationships of individual and thematic practices and a re-invigoration of purposeful, collaborative institutional research.


Wanås… imagine Yoko


Wanås is located in Östra Göinge in southern Sweden and consists of a medieval castle, an organic farm, an art gallery, and a sculpture park. Since 2011 Wanås has new leadership, Elisabeth Millqvist and Mattias Givell.


On April 13, 2011, the Wanås Foundation, in collaboration with Kristianstad konsthall, presents the international seminar Green Strategies for the Nordic Art Scene. The day will contain lectures and panel discussions with international experts in core areas such as museum administration, exhibition production, architecture, conservation, food, public programming, and more.

Mute, or not – don’t panic…


You simply cannot have missed the ongoing wrecking of Higher Education particularly for the Arts and Humanities by subsequent UK government policy and unconstitutional legislation. Rest assured it’s not only the UK specialising in this strategy, as various global institutions across the world, particularly in the USA and EU compete for the prize of a dumbed down future thriving on innovation and competition, having narrowed the terms of arts and creativity to a process of budget calculations.

Mute thrive on resistance and have come up with – the pamphlet – lets hope there are many more!

As for subverting the wonderful da Messina ‘St Jerome in his study’ …. heavenly!

Creative Time Summit

Creative Time Summit

This link came via Fb + ‘this is tomorrow’. It referenced Trevor Paglen’s talk at the Creative Time Summit and linking on to the great archive of presentations.
There is a rewarding ‘Curatorial Statement’ by Nato Thompson Chief Curator at Creative Time in relation to ‘preaching to the choir’ and to the urgency of political and cultural actions.

Nato Thompson writes;
“In his book, The Inoperative Community, the philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy calls for a community that is “ever becoming.” As opposed to a community formed out of a nostalgia for a mythic past, he asks for one based on a resistance to power. Certainly such a community has the potential to emerge out of this gathering that shares an interest in contesting power using numerous tools culled from activism, art, and other disciplines. If such a community can develop toward a horizon of social change that confounds economic, racial, and geographic barriers, then it has the potential for providing unique responses to global, political injustices.”