Participating Cultures, by David Goldenberg – Text as a point of departure for a discussion or series of activities

  • 07.12.2015

One side of the coin:

Expanding an idea out to the plotting of Neo-Liberalism and its impact on art, thinking, language and the on going condition of stasis, one thing has to be introduced first:

What is Post Autonomy? - The complexity evoked when we speculate into the principle question posed within the formulation of Post Autonomy “the consequences of reaching an end point in the existing trajectory and scheme of art”, then imagining “how we are led back into art, and understanding the sheer power and potentiality of the possibility to rethink and reimagine art again".

Through framing the question “of the end point of art” opens out into a number of important and fundamental threads based around the question “Were art, thinking and language ever understood as a synergetic conjunction?”

If we are looking at the loss of that connection, then we require a new set of coordinates that accommodates these new spaces, so that another thread leads into recognising the negative space of art and assembling together a far more fluid and flexible description of art that accounts for both the existence and non existence of art and by implications the existence and non existence of thinking and language.

Yet in what way does it make sense to formulate the question “What is Post Autonomy?”

The fact that art exists in a massive way, as over production, doesn’t detract from the legitimacy of this question. How do we recognise the condition for art, thinking and language, and what is of equal importance if these conditions have collapsed, what is the appropriate means or form for assembling thinking and art in the space of non art?

One obvious mistake we need to avoid is retreating back into the nostalgia and simplicity of Modernism. By asking what are the conditions for art, thinking and language opens out into the broader social conditions and context in order for us to ask whether such conditions exist? In other words through posing the initial simple question has wider repercussions, and if we reframe the question differently “are the attributes and qualities for thinking, language and art available today in society?” we start to recognise the urgency of the question.

It seems to me that under the umbrella of the term Post Autonomy it is possible to recognise and plot the attacks against art and thinking and even civil liberties, but not an exit point and possible solution, so it seems obvious that we need another term and element in assembling whatever we understand by the larger entity of Post Autonomy.

Other side of the coin:

Out of these problems we arrive at the issue of Participating Cultures

Participating Cultures is a scheme looking at the practical steps for assembling ideas for a new way of thinking about art and culture that goes beyond both Modernism and traditional forms and platforms.

Participating Cultures is a collective process. How do we come together to collaborate on this task and share ideas that are useful and beneficial to each other?

It is necessary to recognize and acknowledge that the emergence of art into a global context, along with the development of online technologies, offers both a new situation and means for unprecedented communication, but it is also necessary to acknowledge that the conditions and objectives for each person and each culture is different, but at the same time offering a situation where we have an opportunity and responsibility for shaping a new state for art.

It is also necessary that we are not approaching this as a theoretical exercise but as an actual practical necessity and objective that needs to be confronted today.

On another level, the scheme of Participating Cultures recognises the urgent need to both understand the attributes of cultural power and the need to reconfigure and shift cultural power to new coordinates away from its European power base.

It is an invitation for similar people and organizations, which are working through similar issues to produce a new chain for art production and exhibition.

Participating Cultures, along with its conceptualization, is quite tentative and should be seen as no more than a working title and set of basic building blocks. At the same time we also have to acknowledge that this is also a European notion and perspective, which may or may not have value elsewhere.

This is intended as a solution to a fundamental European problem, Europeans are unable to solve alone. Yet this European problem insofar that art is a European construct affects all those people and cultures that use it, however crudely this fact is formulated. In that respect it seems obvious that the only solution to come together to solve a fundamental issue that seems equally clear for those artists and cultures who are dissatisfied with both Modernism and traditional forms.

To come together to examine and find solutions to this problem, non-hierarchically, a problem that ought to be recognised as the beginning of the emergence into a new state of art, opening out into the actual potentiality of art. At the same time since we are looking at the emergence of art into a global context this issue is useful for all those practitioners who are interested in the repercussions of such problems, alongside the equally persistent problem of Colonialism, which we now recognise has not been solved but continues to exist in a very troubling way.

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