The Journal of Aesthetics & Protest with Amber Hickey and Heath Schultz have been imagining how we as radical cultural actors might collectively work to create more concise counter-power. The JOAAP and Amber Hickey began this project in 2012 by asking how we might make better use of institutional support (from exhibitions, events, and conferences on the general topics of art and politics). The initial call-out was written in a context of institutionalities, and in effort to challenge what what we understood as an emerging tendency that we’d hoped to push in a more radical direction. Our initial questions included: “How can we move past our discontent in these events, and instead toward finding ways to use them productively? What would it be if instead of these gatherings being a curator’s index (and, often, efforts toward recuperating cultural capital), they strove to be key elements of more concise movements?
Now we write with the desire to reignite this conversation and to give space for recent activities to inform this ongoing dialogue. Furthermore, we wish to emphasize the extra-institutional and alter-institutional at this point, giving space to contributions focusing on strategically disengaging with institutions, while still accepting submissions regarding strategic engagement with institutions.
To ask “Together, what can we do?” — the general compass of this project — is to de-emphasize the institutional and the individual and re-emphasize the collective. To answer this question is to look at our particular historical moment and to move forward with sharing experiments in practice. To that end we are interested in hearing analyses of our contemporary moment and report-backs from your experiments in collective practice. How do we make the best use of our opportunities? How do we make opportunities? We are curious about pilfering and liberating resources, new forms of institutional critique, how to build and sustain collective movements despite professionalization, how to creatively resist privatization. But we are also interested in extra-institutional praxis. Some of us are “outsiders,” others “insiders,” but we have a common commitment to and interest in contemporary culture. As such, we have the right and the need to make claims within it.
We are publishing this project as a blog because no single voice is more informed than another here. We hope this forum motivates dialogue, critique, conversations, and actions in relation to the collective project of what is possible within and without the broad art world.
Please, do send us proposals, we want to collaborate with you.
Joaap: editors (at) joaap.org
Amber: amberhickey318 (at) yahoo.com
Heath: schultz.heath (at) gmail.com