[resource-net] funding and lobbying

internil interface interface at internil.net
Mon Sep 19 20:27:45 CEST 2016

hi chris, tatiana and everyone,

a few more thoughts on this.

- i‘ve been to the city‘s „digitalization“ initiative last year and
indeed it turned out to be all about marketing and archives. it was a
truly sad event on several levels. at the same time it was quite clear
that it was just following the interests of larger arts institutions
and the politics of cultural city marketing. i would hold that the
absence of an idea of originally digital arts is blatantly obvious
enough to be exploited and made use of.

- it might be helpful to conceive of arts funding not as an
expression of goodwill for the arts but as a political instrument for
regulating the production and distribution of art within the larger
framework of a market democracy. the paradox of institutionalization
and innovation is as inherent to this instrument as to everything
market related (besides that, it‘s a problem that might be as old as
art itself). but at the same time that means the definition of what
kind of art is being produced at all and what needs to be invested in
it remains open for discussion.

- i don‘t mean to approve of „neoliberal sounding concepts“, but if
you apply for funding there‘s no way around this game, so it helps to
use the language of neoliberal politics when trying to understand
them. you definitely have to use it if you want to lobby for your
work. the advantage of a representative body is that not everyone has
to do this kind of work - i myself e.g. don‘t like it at all, but i
still profit from the achievements of people lobbying for my field.
for the performative arts in berlin it seems to have been an advantage
that many of those people are not artists themselves, but people
working closely with artists. people organizing and distributing
„independent“ theater and performance projects were as dependent on
good funding structures, yet not as involved in the competition
amongst artists themselves. lobbying in fact helped their own work in
more ways than it could have single „smaller“ artists. i am aware
though that the „free“ performative sector has a lot of specifics that
cannot easily be applied to other arts fields.

- maybe it‘s a good idea to conceptualize culture-political work in
terms that can be claimed as specific for the respective scene.

- #interfaces. there are people in the fine arts working largely
digitally. there are people in music doing it, people in the
performative arts, even some in literature. many fall into what is
being called „transdisciplinary“, interfacing science, engineering or
gaming. aside from the non-category of transdisciplinarity, in each
field those digital artists are a smaller subset in competition with
all the other inhabitants of the field. maybe it can be worthwhile to
form alliances transgressing genre boundaries and reclaim this
transgression as one specific factor for digital arts? don‘t just form
another small bubble, rather flow, intersect, infect.

- #hacking. if you are small and mobile enough, you might find it
easier to appropriate existing infrastructures for your purposes than
building new ones. being noisy then can be about getting attention or
about disrupting meaning. most often it will be about both.


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