Art and Organisation

10.30-17.00 each day

Over the past decades a number of criticisms of organisational structures within the Anglo-European field of contemporary art have struck home, particularly those that see in art’s particular form of self-reflexivity (institutional critique) nothing more than the accrual of extended cultural capital. Yet there is a residual desire to believe that what we do is different from other industries in terms of the development of subjective, intellectual and experimental spaces that are paradigmatically dedicated to the creation of social as well as fiscal wealth. How might this be? If art’s institutions, from biennials to artists-run spaces, seek to maintain a distinction between content and structure (between what is ‘on display’ and the economic, psychic and social modes through which it is organised for display), what might be the ways in which we can think of structure as the site of cultural politics, as the site of intellectual and equitable forms of making? What new forms of institution take seriously alternative organisational structures and what are their values? What kinds of organisations are being developed dedicated to different forms of public exchange? How might we imagine their values, their methodologies, ourselves working with and in them?

The symposium will feature presentations and discussions by guests including Mark Fisher (author), David Boyle (New Economics Foundation/New Weather Project), Maria Lind (Tensta Konsthall Stockholm), Binna Choi (CASCO Utrecht), Nina Montmann (curator), Emily Pethick (The Showroom London), Aneta Szylak (Wyspa Gdansk), Mao Mollona (anthropology and economics) and Stefan Nowotny (EIPCP, Goldsmiths) as well as research and MFA Curating students. An open meeting of the Stockholm Circle, a loose affiliation of international institutional practitioners will take place on one morning of the symposium. All welcome. Please contact for more details.