The accumulation of culture
Culture – a build up of.
The Transmission-ability of culture.
The “cultural stealth” of our own existence has started to take its toll upon us. In a culture where the idea of transmission-ability/ progress is given up in the name of Post Modernity, the disillusion and disenchantment that is accredited by de-motivated academics, leaves us – both as artist practitioners and spectators – feeling somewhat alienated.
Our position of being able to see, what Heidegger referred to as, our ‘World Picture’ and our acknowledgement of our Being in the world [poiesis] should ultimately offer us a space to reflect critically and engage in the viewing of art. But this isn’t necessarily the case.
The first art student-led, collaborative biennial held in Sheffield is a constellation of contemporary works of art, architecture and philosophy that celebrate, engage and explore these dynamics, both in art and life, and bring them to the table with all the losses and gains that this will entail.
The ambiguity of the Agamben term ” transmissibility ” is impossible to translate in all its levels of meaning. Transmissibility refers to the ratio of input: output, thus a relation to progress. This notion can then be somehow located between action, activity, agency and participation. In return, this reflects the base/theme of the festival, which is the idea of ‘platforms’, inspired by Agamben’s concept of the “Accumulation of Culture”.
We are constantly faced with the debate of whether an art festival can deliver, or delve, into a context that can open our eyes; reveal and ultimately really engage. That can subscribe to an alternative or create a more creative reflection of the artworld other than the model which has been commodified and capitalised.
This transgressive influx on economic surplus value and branding market plans of artwork has alienated the process of making, the criticality value to a point of exhaustion and the authenticity of the pleasure of viewing art. This is exactly the paradigm structure that stops us from accessing our Being, where spectators and creators are no longer impassioned but are instead passive consumers.
Agamben’s writings often indulge in the political task of explaining that humanities role is to expose the innate potential in this zone of indistinguishability.
As a starting point to examine diverse practices, we are proposing various forms of platforms, in all interpretations of the word. The very methods used for curation would provide a framework for the work to sit in. A variety of ways of presenting work are going to be established through multiple venues and public spaces , including a ‘proposal free space’ as a ‘free-space’ for artists to utilise.
By using the Accumulation of Culture through the idea of Platforms, we are ultimately trying to create an ‘utopian’ biennial form of ideas living together and having a common structure, but being at the same time totally independent and autonomous. It can’t teach us something we don’t already know, but perhaps help us ask more questions as apposed to answering them and seeking different perspectives.
By art taking place in the public sphere, is it thus has the opportunity to create possibilities for (political) action and agency, in order to make room for genuine meaning and poetic capacity. To emancipate ourselves as artists and curators from the capitalistic aesthetic which dominates and help us redefine ourselves from franchised culture.
The biennial aims to intensify the interaction with the community, urban, philosophical and political contexts in Sheffield by inviting participants, AND CALLING FOR PROPOSAL SUBMISSIONS coming from different fields like arts, architecture, politics, Philosophy, anthropology etc.
The accumulation of culture