Category Archives: United Kingdom

Text: Fallen Empire / Bond-Fires / Fires of Desire

Fallen Empire

As the fire continues to cling on the roofs of a fallen empire, the charred black smoke lingers. Desperate bodies wander to find scraps to savour and remnants to rescue. Their aged bones are physically unable to rebuild the mythical glory they once relished 40 years ago. The Kingdom has crumbled. It has been ten years since the impending hit – 9/11- the event that created the first crack in the monumental symbol of wealth, power and security, and where we see for the first time, fear and doubt seeping into the human imagination. It was an American dream, a fallen dream, that was once everyone’s dream that we are seeing beginning to shatter. But what is left?

In the dust and ashes of the decade to follow we see sudden shifts in values and visions. We see the election of the first president of colour, a sudden awareness of global warming, a scaling back of industries, the rise of the global south, and in 2008, a major global economic meltdown. A decade following the first meteorite in the shape of an aeroplane to penetrate psyche of a masses, brings to question: what can we now fathom of the world? Can we accept that dust is dust and now we must build anew?

The fires of the forest continue to burn as nature claims its rightful power over humanity; the remaining debris of many human civilizations that came before lie buried in the Earth. Nature prevails over man once again.


Bond-fires

What we see beginning to emerge from the ashes is a new consciousness and awareness of each other in the World and in nature. We see a new generation burning with energy. A generation left to undo, remake and re-imagine a new world that was destroyed by misled visions progress of previous generations. We see an ecological turning and a movement towards traditional forms of pedagogy, craftsmanship and knowledge sharing that was lost in industrialization. But what now that continues to burn are the fires that bring us together.

Around the fire we gather, to keep warm, to provide mutual support for survival. We talk, we share stories, we dream of the past. A new system is emerging one that connects us by Ethernet that creates a model of the human mind and where we search for a collective vision. But there are forces trying to control it. A gripping past of former demons that haunts us.

We believe, we worship the spirit that brings us together, and celebrate the fires that burn within us.


Fires of Desire

Fire is heat and burning. Fires spread. It lies dormant in hotspots within the Earth, waiting to re-emerge again – connected by a network of embers. When a flame is killed, it can still grow strong again in another time and in another place. Fire moves silently – warming, cooling, sparking and burning. It is a fire of desire that lies within all our hearts. It is a desire that moves between us and that links us. There are no words for this desire that grows and burns. It is a desire that emerges and burns when fuelled and brought together collectively.

In a seeming apocalyptic time of immense change in a collapsed economy for culture as conservative governments around the world demolish the welfare state as uprisings emerge across Europe by disenchanted youth mobilized by social media resisting against high rates of unemployment and an astronomical rise in tuition fees, how do we maintain hope? How do we find space for the desire beyond economic concerns and to find new sustainable models of subsistence? Within a globalized community around the world, there is still a desire to create, and that fire will never die despite any economy or government support. How can we now begin to rebuild from the ashes a new world, a new vision of culture? How will it manifest in flames? How can we begin to spark imagination of new possibilities and utopias to question the structures that have crumbled?

Flames spread. They grow and flare up.

We are a collective of individuals from a generation lost of opportunities, lost in a time of great uncertainty, altering weather patterns, economic structural upheaval, social re-organization through digital innovations and change. Fires of desire is a sparking and ignition of an exploration of new platforms and ideas of collective working to find and create our own visions and possibilities in a world of dwindling finances and hopes for the future.

DOXA
2011

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Founded in 2010, DOXA is an international research collective based in London, UK. Through an on-going project called ‘Creative Space’, DOXA facilitates cross-disciplinary dialogue through open discussion events to approach new visions of culture today in light of the economic crisis, globalization and the digital turn. Through the events, DOXA brings together artists, academics, policy makers and industry professionals to explore new ways of developing and sustaining culture and creativity, while address current developments in policy, society and the economy. Doxa (δόξα) is a common belief, as opposed to knowledge; doxa is associated with community, dialogue and truth.

www.doxacollective.org

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Survey: Recession Impacts

AQ’s 4th Recession Impacts Survey: now live
11th August – 19th September 2011

Following the publication of its three reports on the impacts of the recession on the cultural sector in 2009 and 2010, Arts Quarter is repeating its online survey a year on from conducting its third such survey in order to continue to plot the ongoing affects of the current economic climate on the arts.

Some 500 organisations took part in our last such survey and we hope that many more will do so this time in order to send a clear message to key decision makers about the current state of the sector, the implications of two waves of cuts in subsidy, falls in Local Authority support and the ongoing affects of the slow progression out of the economic downturn of the last three years.

Above all, this Survey seeks to provide an opportunity for arts organisations throughout the UK to benchmark their fundraising and wider income generation performance against their peers within their artforms and regions.

This year’s survey will also seek to gather reactions to the range of initiatives announced by DCMS, ACE and HLF to boost philanthropy, following on from AQ’s Philanthropy in the Arts Consultation conducted and published in March.

The findings of this Survey will be published free of charge in October 2011.

Arts organisations may take part in this research project by clicking here

Copies of the 2010 Report may be requested by clicking here

http://www.artsquarter.co.uk/recession4.html

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Exhibition: Primitive Accumulation

Friday May 27th-June 30th, 2011

Curated by Arne De Boever and Dan Davis

FOLD Gallery London is pleased to present a group show celebrating the first two years of http://www.PRIMITIVEACCUMULATION.com, an online collaboration between artist Dan Davis and literary critic and critical theorist Arne De Boever. Although the project initially recorded only work by its founders, it gradually began to include works by other artists as well, leading the process of accumulation to intensify until the point of its destruction. In the midst of an emergency situation that is both political and economic, Primitive Accumulation aims to stage a dialogue between artworks and texts that would empower audiences to not simply face up to the challenges of their times, but to generate works in response.

Primitive Accumulation was launched some time in the Fall of 2009 as a means to record the creative collaborations between artist Dan Davis and critic Arne De Boever, as well as a few of their friends. In the midst of an emergency situation that is both political and economic, the blog aims to stage a dialogue between images and texts that would empower viewers and readers to not simply face up to the challenges of their times, but to generate new works in response to them. Our philosophy is that crisis is not a problem, but should be embraced as the source of new aesthetic, ethical, and political possibilities. So far, the images on the site have ranged from scratchboard drawings, to pencil and India ink on paper, to digital images; the texts have addressed key questions in ethical and political thought from Ancient Greece to the present. Although initially, the blog will only record work by its founders, our aim is to include, little by little, works by other artists and writers so as to intensify the process of creative accumulation until the point of its destruction, when the blog will burst out of its frame and the virtual accumulation it has staged will take over reality. After this break has occurred, the works featured on Primitive Accumulation will be gathered for a show at a gallery in London, where a self-published book with images and texts from the site will be launched.

http://www.primitiveaccumulation.com/

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Book: Bankrupt Britain: An atlas of social change

Bankrupt Britain: An atlas of social change
by Daniel Dorling
23 May 2011

Bankrupt Britain is a unique atlas giving a comprehensive picture of the effect of the recession on Britain. In detailed colour maps, it shows how economic, social and environmental fortunes have been affected in different areas in the wake of the 2007 banking crisis, 2008 economic crash and 2009 credit crunch. It is essential reading for a broad audience with detailed local level data and a national snap-shot of Britain during this time.

Daniel Dorling is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sheffield. His recent books include Injustice: Why social inequality persists and So you think you know about Britain?. He is a member of the World Health Organization’s Scientific Resource Group on Health Equity Analysis and Research.Bethan Thomas is a Research Fellow in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield. She has researched extensively on inequalities in Britain. Her publications include Identity in Britain and The Grim Reaper’s Road Map.

http://www.policypress.co.uk/display.asp?K=9781847427472&

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Film: “Free Fall” by Hito Steyerl

Hito Steyerl
4 November – 19 December 2010

Chisenhale Gallery
64 Chisenhale Road
London E3 5QZ
+44 (0) 20 8981 4518
mail@chisenhale.org.uk
http://www.chisenhale.org.uk

Chisenhale Gallery presents Hito Steyerl’s first major solo exhibition in London. In Free Fall (2010), a new film co-commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery, Picture This, Bristol and Collective, Edinburgh, incorporates a series of works—After the Crash, Before the Crash and Crash—which employs the setting and characters of an aeroplane junkyard in the Californian desert to tell the story of the current economic climate.

The space of the junkyard allows various ‘crash’ narratives to unfold, with the stories of actual crashes and the remnants and afterlife of these machines becoming metaphors for economic decline. This is an investigation of planes as they are parked during the economic downturn, stored and recycled, revealing unexpected connections between economy, violence and spectacle, finding perfect example in the form of the Boeing 4X-JYI, an aircraft first acquired by film director Howard Hughes for TWA, which was subsequently flown by the Israeli Airforce before finding its way to the Californian desert to be blown up for the Hollywood blockbuster Speed. Through intertwined narratives of people, planes and places Steyerl reveals cycles of capitalism incorporating and adapting to the changing status of the commodity, but also points at a horizon beyond this endless repetition.

A prolific writer, filmmaker, theorist and teacher, Steyerl’s research and interests cover topics as diverse as cultural globalisation, feminism, culture, migration and racism. Her films are a montage of politics and pop, Hollywood and independent film, interviews and voice-over commentaries, which present provocative filmic analyses of the present.

Hito Steyerl (b. 1966) is based in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include Picture This, Bristol; Collective, Edinburgh; Henie Onstad Centre, Høvikodden; Villa Stuck, Munich; Collective, Edinburgh (all 2010); Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (2009); and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2008). Group exhibitions include Taipei Biennial; 1st Ural Biennial; Gwangju Biennial; ‘Antiphotojournalism’, La Virreina, Barcelona; ‘Horizons’, BAK, Utrecht (all 2010); ‘Dispersion’, ICA, London; U-Turn Kvadriennale for Samtidskunst, Copenhagen (both 2008); ‘documenta 12’, Kassel (2007) and ‘Manifesta 5’, San Sebastian (2004).

TALKS & EVENTS
Wednesday 17 November, 7pm Mark Fisher, author of Capitalist Realism (2009, Zero Books) and lecturer at Goldsmiths and University of East London, presents a talk in which he asks the question: ‘Can anything genuinely new emerge in a political landscape that is clogged with ideological junk?’

Saturday 27 November, 2pm A panel discussion focusing on the notion of the ‘biography of the object’ with Hito Steyerl, Peter Osborne, Professor of Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, and Eyal Weizman, Director of Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London, and chaired by Melissa Gronlund, Managing Editor, Afterall.

Thursday 2 December, 7pm Screening of Hito Steyerl’s November (2004) and On Three Posters. Reflections on a video-performance (2004) by Rabih Mroué.

The exhibition is supported by IFA, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen and Creative Scotland.

Chisenhale Exhibitions Partner 2010: Outset Contemporary Art Fund

Chisenhale Gallery is funded by Arts Council England and is a registered charity no. 1026175

For more information please contact mail@chisenhale.org.uk or +44 20 8981 4518

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Event: Seminar Series on Debt, Pain, Work

Centre for Cultural Studies Research
University of East London

The Politics of Debt
13 October 2010
14:00 to 17:00
The first of our series of seminars examining the meaning of Debt, Pain and Work in the era of austerity and coalition politics…

The Politics of Debt: Concepts and experiences of debt have become central to the management of contemporary capitalism, to understandings of its consequences and to social experience at every scale. National debt, personal debt, ecological debt are key issues for understanding contemporary culture and politics. But what exactly is debt? Can we manage without it? Are current levels of personal, national, corporate and ecological debt sustainable; and what are the origins of this most fundamental concept?

speakers:

Aditya Chakrabortty, The Guardian, New Political Economy Network

Joe Cox, Campaigns Organiser at Compass, organiser of the Compass campaign against legal loan sharking

Massimo De Angelis, UEL, author of The Beginning of History: Value Struggles and Global Capital, Keynesianism, Social Conflict and Political Economy.

David Graeber, Goldsmiths College, author of Possibilities: Essays on Hierarchy, Rebellion and Desire and Direct Action: an Ethnography, currently working on a history of debt.

Room EB.G.16 (Ground Floor, East Building, Docklands Campus – East Building is to the left on entering the main square from Cyprus station)

All welcome, no need to book in advance
Further info contact Jeremy Gilbert: j.gilbert@uel.ac.uk

New Seminar Series: Debt, Pain, Work
13 October 2010
14:00
Focusing on the themes of debt, pain, and work, the coalition government has attempted to build a new common sense around the need for deep public sector spending cuts, the curtailment of strategic health authority and local governmental influence in the provision of health and education, and the sweeping shift from public sector to private sector delivery. This academic year the Centre for Cultural Studies Research at UEL is holding three linked seminars on the themes of Debt (13 October), Pain (December 1) and Work (date to be confirmed) in order to interrogate the substance of the government’s strategy. Each event will be held at UEL’s Docklands Campus in East London, and will feature speakers from a range of activist, journalistic and research backgrounds.

http://culturalstudiesresearch.org/

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Event: Capitalism After the Crash: The Rise and Fall of Neoliberalism

Capitalism After the Crash: The Rise and Fall of Neoliberalism
28 October 2010
ICA, London

The global financial meltdown of 2008 brought the world economy to its knees and destroyed three decades of neoliberal orthodoxy. The aftermath is still being felt today with the coalition government’s Comprehensive Spending Review on 20 October ushering in the “longest, deepest, sustained period of cuts to public services since World War II”, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
But is the cuts agenda simply propping up a terminally listing economic model? Should the crash prompt us to reassess the viability of free market capitalism in tackling the complex dilemmas of the 21st century? And if so, what does a more equitable and sustainable economic system look like in the age of globalisation?
Paul Mason, Newsnight economics editor and author of Meltdown, is joined by writer and activist Jeremy Gilbert, Tony Greenham from The New Economic Foundation and Aditya Chakrabortty, economics leader writer for the Guardian, to debate the future of free market economics.

http://www.ica.org.uk/25945/Talks/Capitalism-After-the-Crash-the-Rise-and-Fall-of-Neoliberalism.html

Book:
Meltdown: The End of the Age of Greed
by Paul Mason, 2010
A fully updated new edition of an acclaimed report on the global financial crisis.
Meltdown is a gripping account of the financial collapse that destroyed the West’s investment banks, brought the global economy to its knees, and undermined three decades of neoliberal orthodoxy. Covering the development of the crisis from the economic front line, Paul Mason explores the roots of the US and UK’s financial hubris, documenting the real-world causes and consequences from the Ford factory, to Wall Street, to the City of London. In this fully updated new edition, he recounts how the credit crunch became a full-blown financial crisis, and explores the impact of this development on capitalist ideology and politics.

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