_CONFERENCE MATERIALS___________________
Art Strike Conference, Alytus, June 27th - 29th, 2008 Print
Written by Redas Diržys   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 13:15

The conference is held to provide the international intellectual support for the initiative to held striking campaign towards structures of “serious culture” in (it seems to be) fully colonialized Eastern European milieu. Particular case of the critique is the official celebration of Vilnius one year appointment to be European Cultural Capital in the year 2009 and the process of global biennalization of the art world. Also it coincides with the official celebration of 1000 year anniversary of the first time mentioning worldwide of Lithuania’s name in the Qedlinburgian annals by Fabricius due to the event that local barbarians decapitated bishop Bruno (Sanctus Boniface) – what presumably happen in the location where Alytus town is now …The last we would like to treat as a fact of critical approach towards the “serious culture” and colonization approaches. 

Program Print
Written by Redas Diržys   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 13:22

Friday, June 27th . Alytus Art School 

10.00 - 12.00 - registrations, checking the equipment (if necessary), coffee.

12.00 – 12.20 – opening of the conference, introduction to the problematic and describing the context. Redas Diržys.

I part of the conference: time-period without art: historical parallels and experience, conceptualization (open to public)

Moderated by Justin McKeown



Prologue Print
Written by Redas Diržys   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 13:26

The earliest use of the term 'art strike'   

"Let us have no illusions about it: most "art critics" are going to carry on as if art were not abolished, as if art couldn't be abolished; most "artists" are going to continue to believe in the "artistic" character of their production; most gallery-goers, art lovers and, of course, buyers are going to ignore the fact that the abolition of art can really occur in the actual time and space. It is essential that the minority advocate the necessity of going on an active art strike, using the "machines" of the cultural industry so that we can more effectively set it in total contradiction with itself.                     

The intention is not to end the role of production, but to change the most adventurous part of "artistic" production into the production of revolutionary ideas, forms and techniques. Thus it is not a question of revolting against the art and artists of the immediate past - that would be a waste of time and energy - but, as I have said, of imagining something that could penetrate all social classes and organizing a total, creative reappraisal of our society.                                           

The revolution no longer has any frontiers; it must be thought out, it must be prepared everywhere - in all the sectors where man expends passion and energy to do what he does, else it will never triumph anywhere." - Alain Jouffroy 

("What's To Be Done About Art?" by Alain Jouffroy; included in "Art and Confrontation: France and the arts in an age of change" edited by Jean Cassou, Studio Vista, London 1970) 

  So far the conference is held to prepare the base for the upcoming striking events under the title Art Strike Biennial 2009 I found out relevant to present my position towards the whole structure of the event planned. That would be an answer to the question why some of the issues are included into the conference and how it could be related to each other.

A view of 'culture' and 'life' ... from where I am currently sitting (Alytus, 2008) Print
Written by Roddy Hunter & Judit Bodor   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 13:43

An action/lecture initially formulated and performed for a Live Art Symposium dedicated to discussing the work of Tehching Hsieh at Site Gallery, Sheffield, England in 2001. At this point the action/lecture was titled A view of 'art' and 'life' ... from where I am currently sitting given the discourse emerging from Hsieh’s work and in particular from the last two of his ‘One Year Performance’ series (1978-86). The first of these, subtitled ‘Art/Life’, was a collaboration with Linda Montano that involved them being tied together by an 8-foot rope every hour of every day for twelve months between 1983-4. The second and perhaps more pertinent to the present Art Strike conference was his last ‘One Year Performance’ in which Hsieh spent a further continuous twelve month period between 1985-6 without making, viewing, discussing or participating in art. Importantly too his documentation of this ‘One Year Performance’ – usually an expertly handled in-depth strategy in his other ‘One Year Performances’ – was kept to the barest minimum signifiers of a poster and a statement created in advance of his year without art.   

YAWN: Sporadic Critique of Culture Print
Written by Lloyd Dunn   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 16:58


YAWN: Sporadic Critique of Culture was a newsletter or broadsheet edited by Lloyd Dunn that focused on the commentaries and activities surrounding the Art Strike of 1990-1993, as formulated by various "Art Strike Action Committees" in various cities in Europe and North America. 


Art Project „Unemployed Time“and Disabled Activity of the Cultural Institutions Print
Written by Vladas Balsys & Darius Vaičekauskas   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 17:09


1st part 


First time the Project was mentioned in „Magazine“ (Nr.2) the quarterly review of the Klaipėda Exhibition Palace. There were 17 artists joined the campaign according to the official data provided by the Organization of Lithuanian Non-creators (www.lno.lt). The main aim of the project was nothing to create. The artists were able to make a choice (on-line) how long not to create: a) an hour; b) a month; c) one week; d) one month; e) one year f) the rest of the life. The participants sent their names and chosen period of nonproductive creative time (a, b, c, d, e, f).



Space between Self-Organization and Institution Print
Written by Dmitry Vilensky   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 17:19

And I would prefer to organize it in a form of a seminar - means that I am preparing the set of questions and make a brief comments on them and then offer all of us to discuss it... My presentation will be based on the dialogue that we did together with Redas Diržys few months ago:  

RD: With greatest interest I red your manifesto on political exhibition and so far I am artist used to partake different kinds of the shows first would like to admit that many aspects of the show you’ve described fits to the ideal model I would like to deal with. But would you agree or not I found the model too much utopian and even contradictious because of many factors. First we should admit that the role of the Temporary Artists’ Soviets is nothing else but to seize the power. To what extend it should overtake the power? Curatorial, institutional, that inside of the art system or that of the whole society in general? What is the main goal of the seizing the power?  

DV: First I should say that my idea of the Soviet is not about “to seize the power”. I think that Soviets, as a type of political organization, is still the most challenging model because it non-dialectically embraces two opposite types of power – constituted (power over, force that administrates live) and constituting power – the potentiality in action -  that is enable to permanently invent new forms of political life. So I do not want to speculate too much on the possibilities of crisis governing but I think that idea of the art soviets is about demonstrating that radically different form of organization of cultural production and its dissemination from beurocratic–corporate model is possible. And such a forms organize a sort of situation of clash of powers as once happened during Russian revolution when state power could do nothing without negotiation with local Soviets. But we should also admit that vice versa – Soviets also negotiate many of its activities with real power of state and its institutions and this is exactly the situation where the true politics begin. 


Parallel Revolt Print
Written by Martin Zet   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 17:27

The presentation is about something else, but I found it relevant to present following text by Martin Zet. Though the deadline have passed the offer is still valid… (R.D.)



Dead line: September 11, 2006

An artist from Libusin (Czech Republic) in the prime of his life (born 1959) with certain international recognition is holding a competition to be his: MAIN SPONSOR/BACKER


How to Destroy Cultural Machine? Print
Written by Darius Pocevičius   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 17:38

What we can do in the shadow of overwhelming hegemonic culture?      

1. Not to collaborate with the official cultural institutions.  All the cultural institutions (national or public, academic or avant-garde – all of them are set in authority and strictly regulates all the process of cultural production. The institutions are rising the demands for competence, morality, political reliability from individuals and so kills free creation processes. Culture should be deinstitutionalized, the process of cultural creation  - autonomous, without institutional “support”.   


2. Not to establish official organizations and not to pertain to already established ones. As Michel Foucault stated once, the individual is mould not by psychology, personal taste or habits, but by contemporary cultural discourse. Individual becomes understandable and inoffensive as soon others “decipher” him according to the mentioned discourses and put him into the right place of social system.  The individual is decoded, all the discursive skins are pealed out from him, he is identified from socio-cultural position and finally becomes naked and week. So one should become absolutely unidentified, i.e. “intransparent” - unreadable, unconceivable, and inappreciable. One shouldn’t become neither “artist”, nor “intellectual”, nor “philosopher”, nor “avant-gardist”, nor “right-winger”, nor “beetroot”. This is the condition to preserve ability to manoeuvre inside the steady and inert system. So, the answer to the question “Who you are? Whom belong you for?” I would give an answer: “I’m shlebon”.


Berlin, boheme, bohai Print
Written by Johannes Paul Raether   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 17:42

In my presentation I will try to give a general, although subjective, overview on to how produce art politically, instead of producing Political  Art, in Berlin.


I will try to give an example how the situation for artists of my generation, after the fall of the wall, the massive subcultural activities in the nineties, the political activities of the squats and the anti-globalization movement have created a highly potential, but  also contested ground, for political artistic production in the city today.


The Society for the Materialization of a Northern Irish Imagination (SMNII) Print
Written by SPART Action Group   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 17:48

We in the SPART Action Group in Northern Ireland are declaring an SPART Strike from January 2009. During this time we will make no Sport/Art hybrid works within Northern Ireland. The SPART strike is in direct response to the UK government’s cuts to lottery funding for the arts and good causes as a result of funding the London 2012 Olympics.


SPART Action Group have been contacted by a masked group calling themselves The Society for the Materialisation of a Northern Irish Imagination who have also declared an Art Strike in solidarity with SPART Action Group. However the reasons for The Society for the Materialisation of a Northern Irish Imagination’s Art Strike are very different. Their campaign is a reaction to the utter vacuous sterile boringness of Northern Irish contemporary culture.

Thou shalt apply! Print
Written by Stéphanie Benzaquen   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 17:51

Over the past years, we have attended a spectacular increase of ‘calls for proposals’, and as a consequence of applications. Exhibitions, festivals, workshops, jobs, grants, commissions, papers, and publications: there is no art-related field that has remained untouched by the phenomenon. Mailing-lists have multiplied and so have these calls. Let’s recognize it: what a temptation. A video festival in San Diego, a group exhibition in Bishkek, a lecture in Bratislava, a workshop in Oslo, an artist-in-residence in Tokyo…


Beyond Production – The Expenditure / Some Considerations and Analytical Sketches Print
Written by Saulius Užpelkis   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 17:56

(Short emphasis) it is reality of the struggle that produces theory.



I will start from a very obvious albeit often neglected premise that culture has become a commodity. It is a fact, which would be very difficult to deny. Commodity aesthetics extends its border further and further into the realm of cultural industries. In other words we've been witnessing culturalization of commodity production. Moreover, linguistic labour is very important to capitalist economy in terms of shaping the mind-set in which a commodity (including cultural) can become desirable. Culture, wrote Debord some 40 years ago, became totally commodified and had to become the most famous commodity in the society of the spectacle.


It was predicted that culture in the second part of the 20th century (century of the future, as we called it) was destined to take up the major role in the economic development, which in the first half was done by an automobile. It probably has. 

Written by Darius Vaičekauskas   
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 12:41

The report is based on the materials of the Art Strike Conference held in southern Lithuanian town Alytus in June 27-29th, 2008. The group did not adopted any concrete resolution neither during the meeting nor after it. Therefore I take responsibility to make some very personal overview of the ideas proposed (with some even more personalized commentaries included) which could lead to the better understanding of the controversial approach towards the topic. Many of the ideas presented at the conference I find out of crucial importance while trying to start a real campaign against real construction of cultural capitalism the particular case of boycotting the EU initiative of sequence of Capitals of Culture which are intending to turn Lithuanian capital city Vilnius into it next year. So far the critical thought in contemporary capitalist Lithuania is very week there was invited international group of people experienced and/or willing to contemplate on the subject.