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NOTES ON THE STRUCTURE OF THE ART STRIKE BIENNIAL Print
Written by STASAC   
Wednesday, 18 March 2009 12:50

 

Stephanie

-I think reviewing the activities which are connected to strikes in general (the picket line is one of them, but also marches with megaphones and music, stands with food, banners, distribution of flyers) could provide an interesting framework for thinking about the materialization of the biennial. One thing though: it's clear that duplicating all these strategies is dangerous because it would limit the artistic (I'm tempter to say organic) developments of the biennial. Still, it can be some reference to be turned to for structuring the event. 

Redas

At the moment I see the thing more as combination between picket activity (non artistic esthetics) and something like "artistic abstinence", when artists are doing something what they initially know it will be not documented and there will be no special audience arranged around them. How to structure the thing? That is the main question. One thing is - I want to get the permissions for the artistic event(s) - some 1-2 during the week and to held political manifestations (or political looking events) instead. Artists at the same time (I mean during the whole week) will arrange something like illegal manifestations in the groups up to 10 people (that is allowed by the law). But the main structure of the thing will be the communication between the people coming together - not so formal as a conference, but structured enough not to collapse on the first day. 

Stephanie

-As I see it, Alytus Art Strike is in no way "doing nothing". As it seems to me, we work very hard on "producing" the strike (which indeed is certainly the case for all trade-unions when they organize strikes). I's a central point, as if in some way, the strike was de-constructing itself while in the making. And also: how do we communicate these ideas to audiences? No doubt that work, working conditions, being a worker, value of the work are important issues. 

Redas

Audience - that is very important question. Activism is based on involving people into direct action, while art makes them to be spectators. Activism is based on the demands and their fulfillment, art – on expression…. At the moment I can just to say - some combination(s)...

Stephanie

-One question: how do we create paths for circulating between the very issue of Vilnius European capital to notions as mentioned above? When I say "circulation", I mean ways for other people to see how the connections (that are clear for us) are constructed, and how one topical issue can symbolize the dysfunctions of the whole system. 

Redas 

It is already created – in Lithuania there is arranged effective propaganda and counteractivities against European cultural capital's events - actually the capital project now is on the edge of collapsing and everybody not involved in it trying to get rid out of it - just some cultural operators of establishment who are about getting huge amounts of money for that...Their system is already dysfunctional - after those scandals making arts is the worse could happen with them... but definitely we should go away with doing arts...so, we should just do things and we even do not need to make mockery on that cultural capital thing - it's dead already. Might be some things could be arranged as reference...not sure. The art strike biennial will be celebration of the collapse of cultural Capital Project in Lithuania.

Justin

I like the idea of pickets. Abstinence is also interesting, Stewart did this. I had another idea though. Why not become very exclusive instead? It is the Western Capitalist way after all. Fuck the public! Absorb the attitude of the institutions you are fighting and work with it as a material could be great! 

Or what about Pollution? Roddy suggested this idea of pollution to me. I thought it was also a nice idea. A kind of artistic pollution. To flood a market with too much Art would necessarily devalue all of it. 

Also your idea of political looking events is a good one. This is the whole problem with Politics and Art. It all boils down (so sadly) to spectacle. I think this could be an interesting thing to play with like you suggest. That's what my revolutions were all about. All form, no Content. I also like the idea of the illegal manifestations. Have you thought about clandestine workshops in various types of political art practices? That could be very good fun. Especially if they were constructed with some humour. Clandestine workshops: such as how to use magic for political aims… psychic warfare maybe. Also Mark might be able to do something great with the Quest for True Beauty, which is becoming a really great distraction in times of Striking.  

The other thing that we have been working with here with Our SPART Strike is how a Strike can be a kind of 21st century hobby. It can be an enjoyable pseudo-revolutionary pass time. It can also be a bit sexy. We are all going off for a day trip to Dublin next month to dance on the grave of Patrick Ireland. See: http://www.recirca.com/artnews/592.shtml   

Martin

First you must remember that every fart of an "ARTIST" is or can be considered to be art. Coming from this presumption if you/we want to have an art strike maybe first act after the coming of the participant should be signing the official document that for this defined period of time s/he stops being the artist. The problem is that if not artists anymore - then it probably cannot be called art strike - unless it is art which is on strike, not the artists (which by the way happens most of the time).  

Ok, once signed this - then - when I close my eyes and imagine the art strike I get to kind of bourgeois tropical island image - sitting in the shadow of the palm tree and (even when not smoking and drinking at moment) smoking cigar drinking some hemingway's shit - also some female element vawing around (very cliché macho patriarchic)  

From this point of view - I think its not possible to really enjoy the art strike in your hometown - so maybe we should shift it to the Lithuanian sea side... 

Another thing is the idea which is coming to my head recently in relation to almost every event - best would be not to speak at all (but still - talking is one of the main reasons to meet - I know)  

The other way is to make it very strict and organized: to start everyday with setting-up exercises - physical and ideological. Then morning confession followed by discussing the ideas for the day-election of the chairman of the day (with the veto right) - communal irrefutable decision about he program and then fulfilling it. In the evening evaluation of the day and setting up the goals for the next day and also general goals for the community of art strikers, for the society in general, for the human kind...etc. Then organized entertainment (the chairmen of the day making evidence of individual improprieties).   

yes...something between pioneer and concentration camp...  

 

As based on the notes presented up on this page and joining it with the conclusions of the 1st and the 2nd resolutions of the art strike conference STASAC propose to fractionize the activities and develop it in an autonomous way following the imagination of the participants (the names of the fractions and the appearance of the new ones is an object of continuous change). At the moment we would propose the following set of activist fractions and/or their combinations: 

Artistic Turning into Organic Movement (ATOM) – supposedly turns artistic into organic.

Picket Line Clothing (PLC)

Transient Art Strike Biennial Supreme Council of One (TASBSCO) – London

Second Temporary Art Strike Action Committee (STASAC) – coordination, picket activity, official side, assumes responsibility (at some extent).

Cultural Capital Destruction Machine Construction Team (CCDMCT) – construction of CCDM based on both Willhelm Reich’s Orgone research and Nikola Tesla’s perpetual motion theories and so following the proposition by Stewart Home.

Anonymous Abstinent Artist Club (AAAC) – includes also freewill non speaking artists.

Food Not Bombs (FNB)

Clandestine Workshops (CW)

Invisible Mobile Action Groups (IMAG)

Shift to the Lithuanian Sea Side League (SLSSL)

Voluntary Surviving in Pioneers/Concentration Camp Fraction (VSPCCF)

Art Pollution Plumbers’ Union (APPU) 

We also see possible collaboration between fractions which avoid duplication of the activities but logically (or illogically) broaden the action. For example: very logical collaboration would be between FNB, ATOM and APPU….but illogical versions are even much more appreciated.