Public Editorial Meeting

16-17 May 2014

Other Survivalisms

A detailed program and video recordings of all contributions to the FORMER WEST Public Editorial Meeting, Other Survivalisms, can be found here.

Under the title Other Survivalisms, on 16 and 17 May 2014 BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht hosts the second installment of its public editorial meetings geared towards the realization of the forthcoming FORMER WEST publication. It is the second in an ongoing series of public editorial meetings, which form the trajectory of the culminating phase of BAK’s flagship collaborative research program FORMER WEST (2008–2016). These small-scale gatherings take the editorial meeting as their model for informal (re)negotiations of the living knowledge brought together through the course of the project. The public exchanges take place in cultural and geopolitical contexts both within and outside of the so-called “former West” and bring together a great number of collaborators from the project’s past and current investigations, including artists, writers, theorists, curators, activists, students, as well as our various publics. The series is developed and curated by writer, cultural critic, and translator Boris Buden; curator, organizer, and artistic director of BAK, Maria Hlavajova; and curator and writer Simon Sheikh.

Following the initial Berlin public editorial meeting at FORMER WEST: Documents, Constellations, Prospects at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in 2013, the Utrecht edition coincides with BAK’s current research inquiry into Future Vocabularies and its opening entry on conceptual itineraries of “survival.” One strand of inquiry explores the question of the commons as a mode of ensuring the survival of the notion of the public. Taking as its example the so-called “public” institution of art and culture, which has lost its emancipatory potential at the present moment as state and private interests reveal themselves to be conditioned by the same (market) forces, this trajectory looks at modes of instituting-in-common, examining not only how they place pressure on dominant forms of ownership and governance, but how the art institution itself might be transformed into an agent of political action. How do we wish to organize ourselves? Is self-instituting an effective means of survival, now that the state seems to be withering away? The second current within this gathering tackles the prospects of survival through economic and environmental perspectives and catastrophes, asking, amidst the rupture within the present interregnum (much in the Gramscian sense of a period in which “the old is dying and the new cannot be born”), how do we survive “otherwise”? The third trajectory deliberates upon survival through the notion of “afterlife,” which evokes a temporality different than the logic of “post-ism” that has long monopolized our historical imagination, be they concepts of the post-political, the post-utopian, or post-history. Beyond a perpetual repetition of “post-isms,” this last trajectory gestures towards a critique of the ideologies behind them.

Other Survivalisms consists of a number of moderated meetings with artists, theorists, and activists on Friday, 16 May, 13.30–20.00 hrs, and on Saturday, 17 May, 09.30–20.00 hrs, at Het Utrechts Archief, located opposite from BAK on Hamburgerstraat 28, Utrecht.

Contributors to the project include: Boris Buden (writer, cultural critic, and translator, Berlin); T.J. Demos (art historian and critic, London); Mark Fisher (theorist, writer, and editor, London); Maja & Reuben Fowkes (art historians and curators, Budapest and London); Katherine Gibson (theorist and writer, Sydney); Maria Hlavajova (curator and cultural organizer, artistic director of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht); Brigitta Kuster (artist and writer, Berlin); Massimiliano Mollona (theorist and writer, London); Alexei Penzin (philosopher and writer, London and Moscow); Andrea Phillips (theorist and writer, London); Poka-Yio (artist and curator, Athens); Simon Sheikh (curator and theorist, Berlin and London); and Marina Vishmidt (writer, editor, and critic, London).

Program

Panel discussion
16.05.2014
The Commons as the Survival of the “Public”

Panel discussion
17.05.2014
Survival Through an Economic and Environmental Lens

Panel discussion
17.05.2014
Critique of the Ideology of “Post-isms”

Suggestions from the archive

Education Program

15 March–01 April 2021

Course: Art as Politics [rerun]

Due to popular demand, BAK Public Studies offers yet another rerun of the online course Art as Politics, taking place on the following dates: 15, 18, 22, 25, 29 March & 1 April 2021. This digital extension of BAK Public Studies, taught by Maria Hlavajova, is prompted by the urgency to continue collective thinking through, learning about, and imagining critical, politically-informed artistic practices that grasp—and intervene into—the present.
Deadline applications: 3 March. Deadline feewaivers: 23 February.

Assembly and Public Forum

Collaboration and Open call

03 December 2020–30 January 2021

Manifesting Systemic Change through Creative Waves

A collaborative open call by Stichting Nederland Wordt Beter, The Black Archives/New Urban Collective, Black Queer & Trans Resistance NL, Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP) and BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, for artists and writers to manifest the Manifesting Systemic Change Through Creative Waves manifesto.

Conversation

16 December 2020, 19.00-21.00

Practicing Tactical Solidarities II: A Roundtable on Mutual Aid, Emergency, and Continuous Care

This locally-focused second edition of Practicing Tactical Solidarities: A Roundtable on Mutual Aid, Emergency, and Continuous Care features artists, organizers, and activists working in Utrecht, many of whom are current BAK Fellows. While addressing changing needs and urgencies in the protracted pandemic reality and its overlapping and related crises, the conversation contends with tactics and lessons in creating mutual aid networks, lasting support systems, and emergency care.