‘… never neutral’ Saturday 1 June 2013, 6pm

KINN-general-image_w‘…never neutral’

Saturday 1st June 2013, 6pm @ Transmission Gallery

A review and reflection upon ‘knowledge is never neutral’ by The Strickland Distribution – the series of projects organised with Transmission that took place over the last year within and outside Transmission gallery space.
The projects included a public walk, co-research inquiry, facilitated workshops, film screenings, reading and discussion groups, publication launches. Taken together, these projects set out to explore the circumstances that surround cultural and knowledge production. In doing so, Strickland Distribution sought to situate this production within a wider set of social and historical relations, and to self-examine our practices across these relations.
This is a chance to review the projects, informally, individually and collectively, with Strickland Distribution. We welcome project participants, and all those with an interest in the projects to discuss and reconsider these projects, how the various elements developed, how they inter-related, and what they might potentially offer forthcoming projects.

FINAL_A5_Finale_flier

materials . articles . explorations of competitive cultural nationalism . workshop

cultnatcake

 

This post assembles the material we drew on for our recent ‘explorations of competitive cultural nationalism’ half-day workshop with/atTransmission Gallery, Glasgow, 30/3/13.

The articles originate from one academic [writing in collaboration with artists] and three curators working in Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway/Sweden and beyond:

Rael Artel – (2010) Let’s Talk About Nationalism! Between Ideology and Identity – The curator’s foreword to the exhibition ((download pdf: Rael_Artel_2010_LetsTalk)

Tinna Grétarsdóttir, with artists Ásmundur Ásmundsson and Hannes Lárusson – (2012) Creativity and Crisis: Cultural Politics and Neoliberalization of Art [paper given at: The Icelandic Meltdown – A Workshop on the Causes, Implications, and Consequences of the Collapse of the Icelandic Economy]

Power Ekroth – (2007) PISSING ON THE NORDIC MIRACLE – published in the ‘Lights On Norwegian Contemporary Art’ MoMA catalogue (download pdf: Power_Ekroth_2007_NordicMiracle)

Marita Muukkonen – (2012) Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Art Institutions and Creative Industries (download pdf: Marita_Muukkonen_2012_RockAndAHardPlace)

These articles were companions to the workshop presentations which consisted of extracts from the following documented talks:

Rael Artel
‘No Money. No Honey’ – Playing Chameleon/Seminar About The Survival Strategies For Art Initiatives
The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA) – Riga, Latvia, 2009
http://vimeo.com/9837190

Cross Border Experience – The Role Of The Civil Society (Organisations) In Europe – Supplement Or Substitute?
KITCH – Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2011
http://vimeo.com/31829844

Marita Muukkonen
OVERVIEWS – Alternative North – Symposium
Listasafn, Reykjavíkur – Reykjavík, Iceland, 2010
http://vimeo.com/16972526

Curators’ Network – Meeting
Hablar en Arte – Madrid, Spain, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLuCYRH7Hvs

Power Ekroth
Pissing On The Nordic Miracle – The Nordic Art Scene In The Global Society Today
TOK [Creative Association of Curators] – St. Petersburg, Russia, 2011
http://vimeo.com/14767595

 

 

Co-research : subjectivities & conditions of culture as labour. Part 3. Public workshop

Co-research : subjectivities & conditions of culture as labour

Part 3. Public workshop, Saturday 9th March, 2-6pm

at Transmission Gallery

co_research_setup_wkinn co-research
This project (in three parts) is organised by The Strickland Distribution as part of its knowledge is never neutral programme with Transmission Gallery.
The project revolves around cultural and knowledge workers concerned with understanding more about our working conditions and practices. The project consists of three complementary parts: a reading/ discussion group; a co-research inquiry; a workshop on the inquiry’s findings.
We started from the basis that cultural production – such as visual art, performance, sound – is itself a form of knowledge production.
If knowledge is never neutral, any form of knowledge production and distribution deserves our critical exploration; so as to understand its relation to how economic and social values are assigned, and to understand our own conditions of doing, not least in relation to one another.
As a collective self-inquiry into culture as labour, the co-research project began with a series of discussions based on a short succession of readings. These readings introduced and the discussions explored the themes of research and learning in settings outside of academia or formal arts education. As a group of ten co-researchers we proceeded to conduct a three-month self-inquiry into our own positions and practices as cultural workers. Coming to the end of this exploration, we want to continue some of our inquiries within the context of a larger public workshop.

  • What are our experiences of culture as labour?
  • How, where and when is what we do work or not-work?
  • How are these marked by precarity and insecurity?
  • In what forms do and can we self-organise, co-research and be active subjects in these processes?
  • What effects do these experiences have on experiencing ourselves and others as embodied subjects?

We are inviting you to come along and take part in a facilitated workshop, jointly exploring these questions and others in a variety of ways.

We are also interested in hearing from you, anonymously, about actual experiences within cultural production of:
– precarity and insecurity and/or
– definitions of work or not-work.

To submit your accounts follow this link here
Place: Transmission Gallery, 28 King Street, Glasgow G1 5QP
Space may be limited, please RSVP: contact@strickdistro.org

The flier for the workshop: Co_research Part 3_A5

Images of the material used and added to during the workshop can be found by viewing this post

We want to hear about your experiences of working conditions in culture and/or the arts

We want to hear about your experiences of working conditions in culture and/or the arts

For the past few months we have been exploring our own conditions and
experiences of working within culture and/or the arts, and are interested to  hear from others:

  • What are your experiences of culture as labour?
  • How, where and when is what you do work or not/work?
  • How are these marked by precarity and insecurity?

We are seeking examples of peoples’ experience of any of the above in culture and/or the arts to inform a public workshop in Transmission on 9th March 2013.

Examples will be available online and, to ensure confidentiality, people are asked to use pseudonyms where appropriate so that individuals cannot be identified. To safeguard confidentiality administrators may amend blog posts.

The examples would also, along with our own, inform a discussion among workshop participants. For this they may be shortened.

Examples can be submitted anonymously using the form below: if you would like us to be able to contact you please include your email address, or put contact details in the message (these will not be made public).

You can also email it to contact@strickdistro.org.

Please let us know if you are willing to have your experience published online. If you choose not to have it published online your experience would then be included as workshop material. All names and contact details will be removed to keep them anonymous for both online and workshop use.

This public workshop is organised by people involved in Co-research: subjectivities and conditions of culture as labour, an on-going research enquiry held in Transmission since October 2012. The Co-research is part of knowledge is never neutral, a series of projects organised by The Strickland Distribution (September 2012 – June 2013) within and outside the gallery space.

[contact form no longer active]

A Future at Our Backs! Autonomy on Film

A Future at Our Backs! Autonomy on Film

Transmission Gallery: 7pm, Wednesdays – December 5th, 12th and January 9th, 16th

Following a series of readings, films, and co-research enquiries by the Strickland Distribution in the area of autonomy, this film block charts the relation between production (the workplace) and social reproduction (the home, the community, schools, etc) in 1970s Italy. The films index a theoretical and practical break from the role of the male factory ‘worker’ and the domestic role of ‘the housewife’ in the sexual division of labour. In doing so they suggest the means by which social reproduction and work might be reconceptualised to take into account relations of care and forms of value production that are non-economic.

For Michael Hardt, Italy in the 1970s presents us with a model because it constituted a kind of laboratory for experimental thinking and living that can help us conceive of new modes of collective being in our own times. Likewise, Manuela Pellarin’s The Suspended Years suggests a period of intense experimentation in the 1970s that can, “perhaps be seen as ‘suspended’ in time and space, separate from what came before and after, waiting for something new ahead, but not yet in focus or determined… perhaps”.

From the factory to the social factory – where are we now? Is the future behind our backs?

The films will be preceded by a brief introduction, and followed by an open, informal discussion. Optional additional readings can be found below.

All films start at 7pm.

Publicity Flyer

Publicity Poster

Production

Week 1 – 05.12.12, 7pm:

The Working Class Goes to Heaven (La classe operaia va in paradiso)

Elio Petri, 1971, Italy, 125 min.

The Working Class Goes to Heaven depicts a worker’s realisation of his own condition as a ‘tool’ in the process of production. In Italy at this time, one who worked hard and pushed up quotas for everyone was known as a ‘ruffian’. This film viscerally examines the conflicts between productivity and ‘the refusal of work’; the machine and the body; production and reproduction; order and desire.

I was a piecework laborer, I followed the politics of union, I worked for productivity, I increased output, and now what have I become? I’ve become a beast, a machine, a nut, a screw, a transmission belt, a pump!

‘1962-1973: Worker and Student Struggles in Italy’, Sam Lowry,  here

‘Italy 1960-1970s: Reading Guide’, Libcom, here

Week 2 – 12.12.12, 7pm:

The Suspended Years: Movements and Political Journeys in Porto Marghera

Manuela Pellarin, 2009, 49 min.

Based on testimonies with militant workers, The Suspended Years charts the intense series of workers’ struggles which took place in and around the chemical production plants of Porto Marghera in north eastern Italy from the mid-1960s until the late 1970s.

The workers were emblematic figures in the whole experience of ‘workers autonomy’ in this period, expressing a widespread ‘refusal of work’ on a collective basis. The movement began in the factories but rapidly spread far beyond the factory walls to encompass and question the whole of social life under capitalism.

‘The Refusal of Work – Workers Committee of Porto Marghera’, here

‘Port Marghera, The Last Firebrands’, booklet here

Film made by members of Mouvement Communiste

Reproduction

Week 3 – 09.01.13, 7pm: School Without End (Scuola Senza Fine)

(With an introduction by Marina Vishmidt)

Adriana Monti et al, Italy, 1983, 40 min.

School Without End follows a group of housewives who had undertaken the ‘150 hours’ course – a contractual improvement gained by Italian workers in the 1970s whereby employers had to pay for 150 hours of learning activities every three years by employees – then continued their education independently with seminars on literature, the body, and the image among other things.

Watching the project develop was like uncorking a champagne bottle. The women’s writing matured and began to flow and sparkle […] science, philosophy, and linguistic analysis (visual, written, and body languages), filled page after page of their writing pads and exercise books, with personal reflections on culture, themselves, their families, nature, and feelings

‘Introduction to the Script of the Film’, Adriana Monti, here

‘150 hours’ and the ‘Free University of Women: Reflections on the Conditions for a Feminist Politics of Knowledge’, Paolo Melchiori, here

See also,

‘Human Strike Within the Field of Libidinal Economy’, Claire Fontaine, here

‘The City in the Female Gender’, Lia Megale, here

Week 4 – 16.01.13, 7pm: We Want Roses Too (Vogliamo Anche La Rose)

(With an introduction by Maud Bracke)

Alina Marazzi, Italy, 2007, 84 minutes

Through archive material We Want Roses Too portrays the change brought on by the sexual revolution and the feminist movement in Italy during the 1960s and 1970s. The film revisits these times from a female point of view, through the diaries of three women.

In this film, I chose to examine the history of women in Italy from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s in order to relate it to our current present so charged with conflicts and contradictions; I did this with the intention of offering food for thought on issues that remain partially unsolved, or are even radically challenged today”.

Film website, here

‘Manifesto’, Rivolta femminile, here

‘Let’s spit on Hegel’, Carla Lonzi, extract here

See also,

The Commoner, ‘Care Work and the Commons’, Special issue No.15, Dec 2012, here

‘Women’s Identity. Sex and Gender in Contemporary Italian Feminism’, Yasmine Ergas, here

‘The Modern Women’s Movement in Italy’, Bianca Beccalli, (requires access), here

‘The Power of Women and the Subversion of Community’, Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Selma James, here

 

Book Launch – All Knees and Elbows of Susceptibility and Refusal: Reading History From Below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Launch, Film Screening and Discussion

(Refreshments provided)

Saturday 24th November 2012

Transmission Gallery, 28 King Street, Glasgow, G1 5QP

The book All Knees and Elbows of Susceptibility and Refusal: Reading History From Below began as a discussion between two friends,  Anthony Iles and Tom Roberts, about the politics of writing history. Neither are trained historians. They have assembled a critical and necessarily partial picture of the practice of ‘history from below’: historiographical tendencies which sought to uncover the agency of ‘ordinary people’ in challenging capitalism and developing different forms of social organisation. All Knees and Elbows surveys the work of a number of British and international left historians and groups, including Silvia Federici, History Workshop, Eric Hobsbawm, C.L.R James, Peter Linebaugh, Sheila Rowbotham, Jacques Rancière and E.P. Thompson.

“The completed study is not intended to be comprehensive. We’ve veered towards the subjects, areas and materials which interest us. These include questions of sources and their uses, working class education and self-education, welfare and the wage, language, historical authenticity and literary inventiveness, and contemporary political instrumentalisations of radical history. The book attests to the importance of reading history critically against the present.”

Film Screening & Introduction – 4.00pm

The Luddites (53 mins) is a film directed by Richard Broad for Thames TV in 1988 as if it were a contemporary documentary. The Luddites were a social movement of textile artisans from around Northern England and the Midlands, who banded together in 1812 in secret societies and destroyed the machines which were putting them out of work.

Discussion – 5.30-6.30pm

A discussion of The Luddites led by authors Anthony Iles and Tom Roberts informed by some of the All Knees and Elbows themes, including: The definition and redefinition of the working class in History from Below • Critical re-examination of ruptures in the social relation • Techniques developed within struggles to control and convey their own history • Struggles over the marketisation of research • Critical struggles over authenticity • The market for working class memoirs and hardship porn • Determinism and/ or the potential for action.

Book launch – 7.00pm

Authors Anthony Iles and Tom Roberts will give a short introduction to their new book All Knees and Elbows of Susceptibility and Refusal: Reading History From Below critically appraising tendencies and debates in history from below.

A sample chapter is available here: Members_Unlimited

Copies of the book are available in shop and to purchase online at AK Press and Word Power Books.

Publicity Flyer

Visit online bibliography

Reviews:

Stefan Szczelkun, Access and Repulsion, Mute, 25th June, 2013

Dave Featherstone, Reclaiming the Past, Red Pepper, Issue 91, Aug/Sep 2013

 

Co-research : part 1; upcoming two remaining discussions (6 & 13 November)

This project (in three parts) is organised by The Strickland Distribution as part of its knowledge is never neutral programme with Transmission Gallery. The project revolves around cultural and knowledge workers concerned with understanding more about our working conditions and practices. The proposal is that we might do so through a project of three complementary parts: a reading/discussion group; a co-research inquiry; a workshop on the inquiry’s findings. Click here for a fuller outline of the project.

 

6 November 2012 : The researcher as subject and object in focus with forms of self-inquiry

Colectivo Situaciones, 2003, On the researcher-militant, Transversal (http://eipcp.net/transversal/0406/colectivosituaciones/en).

download PDF : Reading 6 Nov Colectivo Situaciones 2003

 

13 November 2012 : Co-research into arts and culture as labour in the UK

A discussion based on a series of materials of the Precarious Workers Brigade (PWB)

As preparation, take a look/ read some or all of the following (the links will take you to the respective pages)

Ethics Code (Draft, April 2012), link here

Training for Exploitation? Towards an Alternative Curriculum. A Resource Pack (May 2012), PDF available here, and

Interview with Carrotworker Collective, published in FUSE, January 2012, read the interview here

There are various other resources and materials on the PWB’s website too

 

Time: 5.30-7.30pm

Place: Transmission Gallery, 28 King Street, Glasgow G1 5QP

Space may be limited, please confirm if you intend to participate: contact@strickdistro.org

 

 

learning/ practice Part 3 : personal (date change! now: Wed 10 October 2012)

learning/ practice Part 3 : personal

Note: date change to Wed 10 October 2012, 5-7 pm (location tbc, prob near Hillhead Subway)

Where do we practice? How do we act? Why do we do it these ways?

This series of four learning/practice discussions seeks to explore how we learn and educate, how we engage collaboratively in group work and how we conduct individual research. They explore how to locate the presence of ‘integrity’ within and across practices between the self and Others. Setting out with questions over what we do; how it is that we do it; and why we do it this way, these sessions are, unlike most previous learning/practice sessions, not premised on any one prior reading. Instead, we want to invite preparation and participation from personal knowledge and reflections of practice – be it educational, artistic, political or self-directed (or any combinations of these).
This dialogical encounter seeks not to build consensus over ’legitimate’ ways to act, but rather, to consider some of the ways in which legitimate practice is itself positioned as synonymous with integrity, allowing us to reflect more fully on the potential of practice and develop it.

Four themed but interconnected sessions are planned; each drawing on a variety of form for discussion and reflection on practice and its concerns with integrity. Part 3 is the next one:

Personal
Date: Wednesday 10 October,  2012
Time: 5:00-7.00pm
Venue: tbc (probably near Hillhead Subway, Glasgow West End)

For a list of all discussions, see earlier post here

The learning/practice group has been meeting, mostly frequently, for the past two years to discuss texts, practice and politics of our interest around education, self-organisation and emancipation.

For further info or questions, contact@strickdistro.org

Co-research: subjectivities and conditions of culture as labour

A project in three parts, starting 16 October 2012

This project (in three parts) is organised by The Strickland Distribution as part of its knowledge is never neutral programme with Transmission Gallery. The project revolves around cultural and knowledge workers concerned with understanding more about our working conditions and practices. The proposal is that we might do so through a project of three complementary parts: a reading/discussion group; a co-research inquiry; a workshop on the inquiry’s findings.
We start from the basis that cultural production – such as visual art, performance, sound – is itself a form of knowledge production.
If knowledge is never neutral, any form of knowledge production and distribution deserves our critical exploration; so as to understand its relation to how economic and social value is assigned, and to understand our own conditions of doing, not least in relation to one another.
For this, we will explore – in reading, discussion and inquiry – activist research that is often self-organised, precariously funded (if at all), and committed to its political positioning as well as to the desire to further the understanding of social processes. The last ten years have witnessed a renewed interest in such projects, whether called co-research, militant investigations or inquiries. The economic crisis of 2008 has placed even more pressure on interrogating the now and its proclaimed evidence of what constitutes truth and fact; yet, if the conditions for such kinds of research had been precarious before, they are even more so now in the face of broad sweeping cuts and reorganisations.
As a collective self-inquiry into culture as labour, the co-research project will begin with a series of discussions based on a short succession of readings. These readings introduce and the discussions explore the themes of research and learning in settings outside of academia or formal arts education. We will then explore the relevance such approaches might have for contemporary approaches to inquiry; exploring tools and practices to enable us to become co-researchers who then develop a three-month self-inquiry into our own positions and practices as cultural workers. We will then share our research in a public workshop.
In practice, the project will engage with traditional research institutions as much as contemporary art spaces. Doing so will enable us to recombine and hopefully collapse the distinction between professional educators and ‘genius’ artists, to move away from entrepreneurial celebrations of a so-called ‘creative class’ and towards emancipatory and critical education as collaborative research practice.

 

Part One. A series of discussions based on readings, starting 16 October 2012

Each discussion is based on the prior reading of a text.

 

16 October 2012 : Common notions: research outside institutions

Marta Malo de Molina, Common notions, 2003-04, Common notions, part 1: workers-inquiry, co-research, consciousness-raising,  Transversal (http://eipcp.net/transversal/0406/malo).

download PDF : Reading 16 Oct Malo De Molina 2004

 

23 October 2012 : Workers’ inquiry and co-research as historical traditions for a contemporary practice?

ESC Atelier (Gigi Roggero et al.), 2007, The anamorphosis of living labour, Ephemera Journal), 7(1), 78-87.

download PDF : Reading 23 Oct 2012 ESC Atelier 2007

 

6 November 2012 : The researcher as subject and object in focus with forms of self-inquiry

Colectivo Situaciones, 2003, On the researcher-militant, Transversal (http://eipcp.net/transversal/0406/colectivosituaciones/en).

download PDF : Reading 6 Nov Colectivo Situaciones 2003

 

13 November 2012 : Co-research into arts and culture as labour in the UK

A discussion based on a series of materials of the Prevarious Workers Brigade (PWB)

 

As preparation, take a look/ read some or all of the following (the links will take you to the respective pages

Ethics Code (Draft, April 2012), link here

Training for Exploitation? Towards an Alternative Curriculum. A Resource Pack (May 2012), PDF available here, and

Interview with Carrotworker Collective, published in FUSE, January 2012, read the interview here

There are various other resources and materials on the PWB’s website too

 

Time: 5.30-7.30pm

Place: Transmission Gallery, 28 King Street, Glasgow G1 5QP

Space may be limited, please confirm if you intend to participate: contact@strickdistro.org

 

 

Part Two

27 November to the end of February 2013 : Out of these discussions, a small group will go on to do a supported co-research self-inquiry into the subjectivities and conditions of their experiences of culture as labour.

You don’t have to intend to come to Part 2 to participate in Part 1.

 

Part Three

9 March 2013 : At a public workshop we will present and explore what our co-research has found.

All readings and further information available at:
http://strickdistro.org/knowledge-is-never-neutral/co-research

 

 

View and download the fliers for this project in three parts:

Co-research: A project in three parts (Overview), A4 :  Co-research Overview A4

Co-research: Part 1. A series of discussions based on readings, A5 :  Co-research Part 1 Series of discussions A5