[-empyre-] can we avoid the corporate pyramid scheme model: independents

Nicholas Knouf nak44 at cornell.edu
Thu Sep 22 06:42:59 EST 2011

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Thanks Julian for your clear points regarding the lack of financial
support for the _participating_ artists.  This is a shame.

And we still, unfortunately, do not have a breakdown of where
exactly the extremely high presenter's fees are going.  This is
something that I brought up months ago in the nettime thread that was
referenced earlier.  Other professional societies in the States often
present a post-mortem budget breakdown and I want to call strongly for
such a breakdown here.  I hope other members of the various ISEA
committees can let us know if we can expect this or not.  It is, as far
as I am concerned, a prerequisite for my future participation/support of
ISEA.  In addition, I am still unclear regarding the bureaucratic
structure of the ISEA organization itself.  The ISEA website says that it
now has its headquarters in the UK; does this mean it is a UK-based
non-profit, or is it still a Netherlands-based one?  In these countries,
is it possible to get tax returns to get a feel for the financial
structure of the organization?  In the US this is one of the main ways
for mapping the influence and expenditures of non-profits.  I'd be
interested in any information regarding these issues from the ISEA board



On Wed, 21 Sep 2011, Julian Oliver wrote:

> With high entrance fees and neither flight or accommodation covered,
> 'independents' such as myself will always be discouraged from attending. I know
> many people that would've liked to contribute and/or visit ISEA this year but
> without a university or media-lab covering costs they simply cannot justify the
> personal expense.
> Independent makers and thinkers are not merely those /without/ institutional
> affiliation; rather they're often practitioners that consciously operate
> outside an institutional frame. Such people are great in number, authoring some
> of the most rigorous electronic art and theory today, celebrated in books,
> festivals and museums worldwide. They may have day-jobs or merely live on a
> very small budget, relying entirely on artist fees, talks and the occassional
> commission.
> If ISEA's economic model cannot assist and/or make it easier for independent
> contributors (let alone lower costs for attendees themselves), it is in no
> place to claim canonical representation of the state of electronic art today.
> Leave that to other festivals. Rather, ISEA would better be cast as an
> instititional meet-and-greet or forum for pursuing professional agendas.
> A little imagination wouldn't go astray here: with such stunning weather
> wouldn't it have been great to have the festival under large canopies or tents
> down on the water side? Perhaps it could've been smaller and more tightly
> curated such that it could fit in a smaller venue.
> Parallel talks and panels are always frustrating, especially given the complex
> social relations and critical interests endemic to conferences and festivals.
> It is sad for a conference schedule to propagate as stress within what is
> otherwise a warm and stimulating gathering of minds. A festival that makes it
> easy for people to meet, demonstrate and discuss is, in general, a cherished
> festival.
> Cheers,
> -- 
> Julian Oliver
> http://julianoliver.com
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
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