Self-Organizing a Cultural Common: Radical Collective Approaches to Art and Publishing

1 February 2014, 10:30–12:00 / The Hague
Buurthuis Samsam, van Mierisstraat 226, the Hague

In this post-Tahrir, post-Occupy moment, how can sustainable agency be found in public and cultural space? Historically, how do communities of artists and radical publishers provide alternative future possibilities for different ways of living and working in common? 

As part of the 2.Dh5 festival in The Hague titled History as Inspiration for Movement, Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht organizes a panel discussion focusing on multiple moments past and present that engage in a synergistic dialectic between sites of self-organized commons and cultural production. Discussions center around specific perspectives from three different social contexts: the traditional Indonesian sanggars as alternative art schools and their relationship to contemporary forms of self-organization in artists collectives; radical publishing in Switzerland and the similarities among publishing and distribution between the era of anarchism in the 1860s-1870s and the utopian efforts of the 1960s-1970s that are often looked at by contemporary artists making zines and books; and the self-organized Swiss Landsgemeindes, where the people of the canton come together once a year to deliberate and determine how they want to live together in the coming year — a form still extant today and which came out of the notion of the commons and pre-modern assemblies. 

At this time that calls for a reconsideration of strategies to enact our imagined futures, these largely forgotten histories are a means to critically examine the role of art and publishing in political movements. They also offer up alternative paths to forming communities.


The event includes short presentations followed by an open discussion with: Nuraini Juliastuti, co-founder of KUNCI Cultural Studies Center, Yogyakarta and PhD candidate at University of Leiden; Rob Hamelijnck and Nienke Terpsma, artists/editors of Fucking Good Art, Rotterdam; and Jason Waite, curator at Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht.

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