Ideas Agora

Today we ask you to jam in a different way: you can open yourself a brand new discussion to share your ideas or join already open discussions below.

The focus:

We, the people of culture, let our fragmentation reduce our impact on society.
What is the first thing we need to do to reverse this trend? To become a "we"?

Question of the work place

I'd like to put under the discussion the artist's work place - a studio, usually. - A very luxurious situation: you can be alone, in peace. It is so important to get a distance from the tiring, noisy, messy everydayness...  The basic condition to work creatively. But, on the other hand, this perfect isolation is troublesome, too. No exchange of ideas, no relation with the community. If you want to work with social/political issues, you start to be fed up with this isolation, to miss a collective.

And then issues of artists collaborations start to be on an agenda. Maybe to have a collective studio space? - To be able to meet every day and exchange ideas? To discuss! But how to find a proper site for it in the city, when the neoliberal economy dictates conditions and every squere meter is on sale? How to work with municipalities to convince them that such place could bring a profit to the city? Do you have effective politics concerning this?

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Replies

  • AT SEA Foundation the Workplace is the subject of the current exhibition. We would like to extend a warm invitation to anyone who would like to write a text on this subject, to be aded to the exhibition catalogue that we will publish in June. Do contact me on this. http://www.seafoundation.eu/Programme.html .
  • Can you share more examples of alternative, self-organized creative hubs from your places? It would be interesting to make a small data base of interesting practicies and policies in this field. Let's make use of this platform! We will all benefit of it!
  • I would be interesting in knowing if you think artists in your cities are somewhat "generous" with their spaces and resources (or not at all). My theatre company has worked for many years borrowing or short term renting rehearsal rooms; in the past 6 years we have had a reasonable state funding, so we were able to rent a more stable work place. It was clear to us from the start that we had to share our resources with younger or less fortunate artists, so whenever we are not using the space, we let other people work there (with a small contribution for light and heating in the winter). We also started an "Associated Artist" program, where we welcome a young collective or artist for two years, sharing our resources and know-how with them - with zero interference in their creative work. Sharing resources is an obvious strategy for us, but also a way to sparkle some sense of union among artists, and responsibility for each other But sometimes I feel we are fighting against decades of an individualist tradition, and I still sense some artists feel threatened when they think about sharing (maybe because work space and equipment are so hard to come by)
    • I like your strategy very much.
      Yes, there is often this fear of sharing but artists should understand that in fact they gain from a collective work: they get more contacts, they share experiences, organize events together etc.
  • Writers have less of a problem with this, despite of the need of a room of our own, but we do need space and time to get together and exchange ideas. This is very often done in an informal way, in bars, book presentations, etc.

    But international literary festivals are great in forcing you "out of your little bubble" and helping connect with new/different ideas. So, it's not only the space of creation that should be considered, but also the possibility of contacting artists you wouldn't naturally talk to unless given a special chance.
    • Right - establishing a space to exchange is essential. This is so normal everyday life during education, as soon as you are out of University, it suddenly stops. So those places of exchange get rare.
  • cultural and art doesn't exist in the vacuum. So actors of this sector have to think about social and economic impact theirs interventions in public spaces. The problem is the cultural impacts is not on the surface and in the short while. For sustainable communication and for build trust we need in some intellectual model. Visualisation it might make it usable. As for is reasonable to think in this direction.
  • Working together is (usually) much easier (economically) than working alone. However, starting with "looking for potential profit" for municipality (or other entity) is accepting this neoliberal style (where profit matters as decisive argument). I would propose "usefulness" to the other: individual, group, community, nation, etc. If artist(s) would be usefull for other(s) - the other(s) would be usefull for her/him/them (by supporting them to receive their support). Thus, my advice for artists would be: search for opportunities to be usefull!!!
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