[-empyre-] Re: empyre Digest, Vol 45, Issue 4

Simon Biggs s.biggs at eca.ac.uk
Tue Aug 12 20:35:43 EST 2008

The audit culture that Anna refers to in Australia has not yet really hit us
in the UK ­ although I fear it shortly will. We are subject to a high degree
of evaluation but it is still largely qualitative in character. All the
signs point to this changing towards something of a mixed economy over the
next cycle (5 to 8 years). The outcome will probably resemble the Australian

I disagree that those artists who managed to establiksh themselves during
the 90¹s within contexts that facilitate their work are necessarily boring.
There are examples where through these means resources have been leveraged
and (more importantly) new (inter)disciplinary research links established
that have led to novel developments in methods, outcomes and evaluative
criteria. This does not have to mean creating monolithic or closed research
cultures. In fact, the opposite strategy seems to deliver better results. A
bit of promiscuity between departments instigated and followed through at
the level of the individuals involved but with the institutional and
research council support required to make things happen seems the recipe for

In the sciences this is nothing new. What is new is that creative
practitioners can now come to the party not empty handed. This establishes a
sense of equality between the various players that makes collaboration much
easier. The question is whether these sorts of opportunities will be
sustained and where they may lead ten years from now?



Professor Simon Biggs
edinburgh college of art
s.biggs at eca.ac.uk

simon at littlepig.org.uk
AIM/Skype: simonbiggsuk

Anna Munster <A.Munster at unsw.edu.au> wrote:

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!

Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC009201

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: https://mail.cofa.unsw.edu.au/pipermail/empyre/attachments/20080812/376017fc/attachment.html

More information about the empyre mailing list