[-empyre-] Layers of ISEA2011: Corporate/Financial (Murat Germen)

Lichty, Patrick plichty at colum.edu
Tue Sep 20 18:24:26 EST 2011

In response to my previous comments, I wanted to give some notes that were put forth in the ISEA Future dialogue.  This comes from my interaction with friend and colleague Nick Knouf and some of our concerns regarding the circumstances of the ISEA situation.  The first of these had to do with our concerns of openness and entry limitation by the $400 entry fee.  In the Future panel, ISEA Artistic Director expressed his frustrations regarding the organization of the event, availability of facilities, and he basically said that the challenges about having any form of coherence in Istanbul were immense, and lack of funding mitigated his goal of having NO FEES whatsoever for this year’s ISEA.  Whether or not we can take this at more than face value not known, but I felt the sentiment was positive.

Something else that Nick, I have had some concerns about the ISEa conference is that of accessibility to larger populations.  As one attendee mentioned, many of the attendees mitigate their attendance by institutional support.  On talking with board member Peter Anders, he had mentioned that the need to include upcoming generations. I replied in the meeting that ISEA faces a discursive continuum between institutional and corporate support on one end and grass-roots, DIY, and anarchic/autonomous practices on the other end.  I  argued that while maintaining an institutional tack is useful, depending on extant paradigms is limited, and how can we integrate autonomous practices into large festivals like ISEA, as would this not create a more lively dialogue between the communities and the delegates, and possibly to reflect emergent paradigms? The response was that there are regional focus groups that could engage these practices, which is encouraging, but the conversation shifted before the question of how shifting sensibilities into anarchic practices in upcoming generations could be integrated into the ISEA model.   It was obvious to me that while ISEA wants to engage new forms and new practices, as the highly insightful board member Win Van Der Plas noted, ISEA as such has been highly successful, but it has been founded on principles that were formed 30-40 years ago.  This is not so much an indictment of ISEA as such, but perhaps if we are to change the models as the ISEA board expressed a desire to do, groups should “squat” ISEA using autonomous practices as the have with Sholette, et al for the Chicago CAA conference.

Perhaps all of these conversations about objecting to militarized conference events, pay-to-play activity, and so on, should be responded to with an autonomous response.  By presenting better or alternative solutions, change could be provoked.

However, on the boat ride, I looked at Peter Anders notebook, and saw that he had my comments noted and circled in red.  We’ll see.

Patrick Lichty
Asst. Professor
Dept of Interactive Arts & Media
Columbia College Chicago
916/1000 S. Wabash Ave #104
Chicago, IL USA
"Sometimes you do things not for the logic of them, but only for the fact that it is the right thing to do, and that is all."

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