Together, what can we do

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, making better use of new-found institutional support (exhibitions, events, and conferences on the general topics of art and politics).

For some years now, we have all been meeting, chatting and planning in exhibitions, panels, visits and through social media…that we are working toward a similar political project is clear. Some of us are “outsiders,” others “insiders,” but we certainly have a common commitment to and interest in the same general direction.

The art world has stepped up as a growing platform for our output. In some ways it seems like this fact has been an actual achievement of an amorphous, radical cultural left—that in a time of instability and institutional collapse our projects are finding support and ever larger stages. Moreover, time and again we are given the opportunity to talk, think, and work collectively.

Yet, as a general body, we have done little collective, creative work imagining how we as radical, political actors might better take advantage of these situations. How can we move past our discontent in these events, 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 actual events? New internationals? Key elements of more concise movements?

How might these events and exhibitions help and be a part of broader struggles (for instance, the struggle to build and support more just and democratic political spaces, especially at this moment); what can we do and what must we know to amplify this?

In light of…

– generating more concise counter-power
– numerous institutionally supported international and local art exhibitions and event-based discourse featuring radical creative practices beyond the traditional activist sphere
– recent articles (see below) in response to the Truth is Concrete and the Creative Time Summit…
…what could we do together as a collected, collective body?

In Immediate Response To….

On the Truth is Concrete by Gavin Grindon for Anna Feigenbaum’s blog, Protest Camps
On the Creative Time Summit by Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert

  • How can we create the conditions for these events to be best utilized?
  • What can we collectively effect within the art world (its critical and curatorial machines)?
  • What in the world can we effect from the art world platform that we have collectively labored to achieve?
  • How can we prevent these events from falling into the trap of being surface-level reflections?
  • What role do organizational structures play in these patterns?
  • How can we supersede the power present over these events, and find power with and amongst each other?
  • What structural changes are needed in order to facilitate radical and effective outcomes?
  • How can we use our common ground to leverage our influence?
  • What artistic movements have worked in the historical and recent past? What hasn’t?

What do you think?

Please, do send us proposals (about 3 paragraphs or so) to be uploaded.
Format: Short form, about three paragraphs.
Images: Yes, please provide images that illustrate your thoughts. 72 DPI, no bigger then 600 pixels wide.
Links: Please.
Bio: Please feel free to include a short bio that will appear near your name and submission. You can write from a collective or individual voice.
Editing procedure: We will do very light editing for clarity and spelling/grammar.

Send to:
Joaap: editors (at)
Amber: amberhickey318 (at)
Heath: schultz.heath (at)


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