Presentation of the international platform ArtLeaks. On the urgency of launching the ArtLeaks Gazette, London, 7th November 2012
ArtLeaks prepares to make a presentation of its activities and organizes a workshop as part of the 9th Annual Historical Materialism Conference ‘Weighs Like a Nightmare’, London, from 7 PM on Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
Location: Khalili Lecture Theatre SOAS, University of London (the School of Oriental and African Studies)
ArtLeaks is an international platform for cultural workers where instances of abuse, corruption and exploitation are exposed and submitted for public inquiry. ArtLeaks’ mission is to create a space where one could engage directly with actual conditions of cultural work internationally – conditions that affect those working in cultural production as well as those from traditionally creative fields. Furthermore, ArtLeaks is developing in the direction of creating transversal alliances between local activist and cultural workers groups, through which we may collectively tackle situation of repression and inequality.
1) Critique of cultural dominance apparatuses
Here we will address methodological issues in analyzing the condition of cultural production and the system that allows for the facile exploitation of the cultural labor-force. We will try to relate methodology with concrete case studies of conflicts, exploitation, dissent across various regions of the world, drawing comparisons and providing local context for understanding them.
2) The struggle of narrations
This working group will develop and practice artistic forms of narration which cannot be fully articulated through direct “leaking”. Our focus will be finding new languages for narration of systemic dysfunctions . We expect these elaborations to take different forms of artistic contributions, such as comics, poems, drawings, short stories, librettos etc.
3) Education and its discontents
The conflicts and struggles in the field of creative education are at the core of determining what kind of subjectivities will shape the culture(s) of future generations. It is important therefore to analyze what is currently at the stake in these specific fields of educational processes and how they are linked with what is happening outside academies and universities. Here we will discuss possible emancipatory approaches to education that are possible today, which resist pressing commercial demands for flexible and “creative” subjectivities. Can we imagine an alternative system of values based of a different meaning of progress?
4) Best practices and useful resources
In this working group we invite people to play out their fantasies of new, just forms of organization of creative life. Developing the tradition of different visionaries of the past we hope will trigger many speculations which might help us collect modest proposals for the future and thus counter the shabby reality of the present. This also includes practices which demonstrate alternative ethical guidelines, and stimulate the creation of a common cultural sphere.
At the end of the working group session, we will present our findings to each other and come together for some final conclusions and future common aims.
Facilitators of the event: Corina L. Apostol & Vlad Morariu
The editorial council for the first issue of the ArtLeaks Gazette will consist of: Corina L. Apostol, Vladan Jeremić, Vlad Morariu, David Riff and Dmitry Vilensky.
More about the ArtLeaks Gazette: https://art-leaks.org/artleaks-gazette/
More about Historical Materialism : http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/
Many thanks to Historical Materialism & Steve Edwards for hosting us!