‘… 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]

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

learning/ practice Part 2 : peer (Mon 17 September 2012)

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.

Peer
Date: Monday 17 September, 2012
Time: 5:00-7.00pm
Venue: Electron Club,at the CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

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

Four discussions: learning/practice

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.

Learning
Date: Monday 20 August, 2012
Time: 5:00-7.00pm
Venue: Electron Club,at the CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

Peer
Date: Monday 17 September, 2012
Time: 5:00-7.00pm
Venue: Electron Club,at the CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

Personal

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

Integration
Date Monday 15 October 2012
Time: 5:00-7.00pm
Venue: Electron Club,at the CCA, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

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

Beyond the Factory Desert : Anatomy of Autonomy

Beyond the Factory Desert : Anatomy of Autonomy

 Wednesday 13th June 2012 The Strickland Distribution facilitate:

4.00-6.00pm. Reading Group | Wednesday 13th June 2012 | Transmission Gallery | ‘Anatomy of Autonomy’, Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi

‘Anatomy of Autonomy’, Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi’s account of the Italian Autonomist movement from 1968 to 1979, is one of the essential surveys of the movement. In a lucid, highly readable style, the essay covers the student and workers agitations leading to a wave of strikes, demonstrations, take-overs and acts of sabotage in the ‘hot autumn’ of 1969; the ‘autonomous’ split from the Italian Communist Party (PCI) and its trade union organs; the repressive ‘strategy of tension’ supported by the PCI with the ruling Christian Democrats, and their later ‘Historical Compromise’; new forms of autonomous class composition with Southern migrant labour in the factories and women and the unemployed in the ‘social factory’; and more than anything else, the movement of autonomia and their refusal of alienation and the ideology of production, quintessentially expressed in the slogan: ‘The refusal of work’.

For Berardi, 1977 produced the most mature expression of the autonomist movement. Beyond the factory desert, the new ‘post-socialist proletariat’ developed forms of struggle related to all aspects of collective life and cultural identity in the social factory. Proletarian Youth Associations set up communes in the big cities, organising squats and experimenting with new forms of collective living; ‘wildcat’ free radio stations such as ‘Radio Alice’ were set up illegally to communicate information from revolutionary organisations and engender dialogue; ‘autonomous price setting’ (‘autoreduction’) movements emerged in their tens of thousands laying siege to city centres, ‘confiscating’ merchandise from luxury shops and ‘self-reducing’ admission prices and bills for cinemas, theatres and restaurants. These activities corresponded to a wave of university occupations, especially in the north of Italy.

These events, which Berardi played a significant part in, help site his post-autonomist theorising in a wider context of upheaval and revolt in Italy during the 1970s, and prefigure his later work on composition, media and technology, precarity and ‘the soul at work’.

Reading material is available at : Anatomy of Autonomy

Reading group spaces may be limited, so please email an interest if you intend coming, to: contact@strickdistro.org

 

6.30-7.30pm. Film Screening/Discussion | Wednesday 13th June 2012 | Transmission ‘Antonio Negri – A Revolt That Never Ends’ (Weltz and Pichler, 2005, 52 mins)

“The idea that work ennobles is a capitalist invention.” Antonio Negri

Best-known for Empire, the bestseller co-written with Michael Hardt, this documentary reveals Antonio Negri as much more than just a producer of radical literature in the commodity bazaar. From early activism in the autonomist movement – agitating at 5am outside auto and petroleum factories – through to his imprisonment by the state and forced exile for 14 years, Negri looked violent state repression in the face while continuing to struggle, live, work and learn.

Accused of kidnapping Aldo Moro, the former Prime Minister of Italy (who was later found dead), and being the head of the autonomia movement and the Red Brigades, Negri was publically castigated

as the ‘cattivo maestro’ (immoral teacher) of Italy’s youth. ‘Choosing’ exile he was attacked and ridiculed by the Italian Communist Party (PCI), as well as the right-wing forces of the state, and condemned to 30 years of prison in absentia. In total 60,000 activists were investigated, and 25,000 arrested. In Paris, without papers, he was befriended by, and engaged intellectually with Deleuze and Guattari, even becoming for some official purposes ‘Antoine Guattari’ to get over his sans-papier status. In Paris, he helped develop key post-autonomia concepts such as immaterial and affective labour, bio-politics and, through Spinoza and Deleuze and Guattari, a-dialectical thought.

Biography is a weak form. Individualisation tends to mask the collective social aspects of life and production. Nevertheless, Negri’s role in the development of key collective concepts is explored in the documentary through the ideas of the social factory, social reproduction, workers enquiry, the refusal of work, self-reduction, the re- appropriation of material social wealth, immaterial labour and bio-politics. As such, the film provides an excellent, if fleeting, overview of both Negri and the autonomous and post-autonomist movement overall. Commentary from key figures such as Michael Hardt, ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Alisa Del Rei, and Disobeddienti add insight and context to Negri’s relation with the wider autonomist movement.

 

Beyond the Factory Desert: Anatomy of Autonomy | Wednesday 13th June 2012 | Transmission Gallery

3.45 for 4.00 start

4.00 – 6.00: Reading group: ‘Anatomy of Autonomy’ (1977), Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi

6.00 – 6.30: Break

6.30 – 7.30: Film Screening: ‘Antonio Negri – A Revolt That never Ends’ (Weltz & Pichler, 2005, 52mins)

7.30 – 8.30: Facilitated discussion (followed by a social with refreshments)

Reading group spaces may be limited, so please email an interest if coming: contact@strickdistro.org

Reading material is available at : Anatomy of Autonomy

If you can’t make the reading group or prefer the film screening/discussion, please do come along later.

 

Beyond the Factory Desert: Anatomy of Autonomy takes further previous Strickland Distribution reading groups on ‘autonomy’ and is also a primer to a block of autonomous film screenings/discussions coming up in early 2013 as part of a series of Strickland Distribution events within Transmission Gallery’s  annual programme.

The Strickland Distribution is an artist-run group supporting the development of independent research in art-related and non-institutional practices. Art-related includes research forms that directly implement artistic practice as a means of research method. Non-institutional includes forms of grass-roots histories, social enquiries and projects developed outside of academic frameworks and by groups and individuals normally excluded from research environments.