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Progressive Art Institutions in the Age of Dissolving Welfare States | 14 comments
[new] resistance and experimentation (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#10)
by felixstalder on Sat Feb 14th, 2004 at 04:20:10 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
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>How could the function of the art institution as
>a medium between state apparatus and production be
>read/turned in an emancipatory way?

Perhaps art's 'role' is less about resistance (which, to some agree, is always defined by its opposite) than about experimentation. In this perspective, the critical role art institutions can play is to fight against what could be called -- ignoring some of the history of the term -- 'overdetermination'. But this I mean simply external agendas, for example state and capital, righly identified by Gerald, trying to describe themselves within the realm of art. But these are not the only ones. I think there are also other ones particularly discursive or normative ones. And the discourse of 'resistance', in particular, like the discourse of 'beauty', is an agenda that ultimately comes from outside the field of art trying to appropriate it for particular agenda. All in all, there are too many of these determining forces, hence my use of the term overdetermination.

So, perhaps, the question is how can art insitutions shield the practice of art against these influences (rather than becoming another layer of determination) and thus foster experimentation that is not following a predetermined agenda (be is commercial, national, or political), but one in which we can experiment with the conditions of existence (which ever aspects interest you most here).

It seems that the places where experimentation or research, the real one where you have little idea of the outcomes, is encouraged are becoming more and more rare. The political realm in the narrow sense is dead. Nothing besides tactic happens there. Academia is becoming more corporate to the point where it is increasingly subsumed under its logic. The Internet, for now, is still lacking institutions that can sustain free exchanges in the long run (though in the area of software development, an 'open source' institutional landscape is emerging.)

So, perhaps, the role of progressive art institutions is a humble one. Providing an open space in which things can emerge.

Progressive Art Institutions in the Age of Dissolving Welfare States | 14 comments


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