[-empyre-] + a PDF from 2000

{ brad brace } bbrace at eskimo.com
Wed Aug 6 01:29:22 EST 2008

The Cultural Institution further rationalizes its operations through vertical
integration, ensuring its access to the eternal new that drives the machine by
invading the sanctum of every possible avant-garde. Responsible business newspapers
print feature stories on the nation's hippest neighbourhoods; sober TV programs air
segments on the colourful world of 'zines'; ad agencies hire young scenesters to
penetrate and report back on the latest 'underground' doings. Starry-eyed college
students are signed up as unpaid representatives of record conglomerates, eager to
push product, make connections, and gain valuable experience on the lower rungs of
the corporate ladder; while music talent scouts, rare creatures once, are seen
everywhere prospecting for the cultural fuel that only straight-off-the-street
'tude can provide.


On Tue, 5 Aug 2008, Marcus Bastos wrote:

> Hi Anna,
> nice to have you around. This might interest you:
> http://www.pamelajennings.org/PDF/New_Media_Arts_New_Funding_Models.pdf
> best
> 2008/8/4 Anna Munster <A.Munster at unsw.edu.au>:
> >>>>
> >
> > Hi All,
> > I have rejoined the empyre list after a long absence and especially because
> > of this month's topic. I am currently involved in a research project (which
> > was given a lot of 'institutional money' in Australia quite surprisingly,
> > part of which is now trying to look at media centres, networks and
> > collaborative practices in the making, facilitating and ongoing life of new
> > media. In this project, I and my research partner (Andrew Murphie) have
> > mainly been doing informal interviews with people who might have been
> > involved in these centres  and/or who might have left that 'world' in order
> > to be involved in looser networks that are less dependent on 'old' new media
> > resources and money.
> >
> > I have also been involved, for a long time, with various aspects of the
> > Australian -based *fibreculture network*. I think what Gabriel has to say is
> > really interesting:
> >
> >>>> I think the most interesting thing to point out from this story is the
> >>>> double process of incomplete institutionalization we went (and are
> >>>> always going) through.
> >>>>
> >>>> At first, we had to institutionalize ourselves in order to borrow
> >>>> equipment from the university. It was this institutionalization that
> >>>> made us vulnarable to the lawsuit. This happens everytime: even if we
> >>>> do not follow all of a system's ways of proceding, in order to take
> >>>> part of it, we must agree to its protocols (I always hear people who
> >>>> create art within cellphone networks complaining about this).
> >
> > This issue of incomplete institutionalisation seems to always revolve around
> > capital-resources in an incredibly raw and obvious way. In a very similar
> > way but on a much smaller scale, my research project involves the same thing
> > - if I want to see people's work and engage with their processes, I need to
> > meet up with them and travel and so I need funds and so I get them from an
> > institution - the university.
> >
> > I suppose the questions I want to raise here have to do with the increasing
> > unsustainability that plagues these  'plans' and processes and the fact that
> > it is now getting harder to get resources - a global issue, I know!.
> > Universities are becoming increasingly audit and performance obsessed and so
> > flying under the radar to do one's own research that isn't carefully
> > monitored (especially financially) is now really hard. On top of this, the
> > quantitative research models that abound in the university-institution means
> > that we constantly have to have outputs, regardless of quality of thought or
> > practice. In Australia, I think this means that artists will have a hard
> > time in the future. especially younger artists who have not had 'training'
> > in the ways of institutions and don't necessarily know how to play the
> > double-game, ie speak the lingo to get the money to then do your own thing.
> > In this climate it is those artists who have consolidated themselves in cosy
> > art-science research centres from the 1990s period who will get the
> > resources because they always have. On the upside, their work is usually
> > boring, so perhaps we can just ignore it ;-)
> >
> > Of course the point is that younger artists and older ones who are bored
> > with the 'institution'  go elsewhere - usually into participatory networks
> > etc. And we've seen this happening in an explosive way in the last few
> > years...and it's great!
> >
> > BUT...the issue of sustainability haunts this as well. That is, how do we
> > sustain our endless cycles of immaterial labour that we expend in this non
> > or semi-institutionalised art network? This indeed is also one of the
> > questions Ned raises in his book and of course something he constantly
> > raises on fibreculture...an organised network must somehow organise a new
> > and sustainable model of labour as well...

"We fill the craters left by the bombs
And once again we sing
And once again we sow
Because life never surrenders."
-- anonymous Vietnamese poem

"Nothing can be said about the sea."
-- Mr Selvam, Akkrapattai, India 2004

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