Just Do(ing) It: Artist-led and self-organised cultural activity as resistance to Capitalism.

'Just Do(ing) It' was a conference organised by Andy as part of Loughborough University's RaRa (Radical Aesthetics Radical Art Programme) in May 2011. Mp3s of the event can be downloaded by following this link mediafire.com z2cah3129d0ifpl.

--------------------Press Release--------------------------

Saturday 14th MAY 2011 from 11am – 6pm
Venue: S1 Artspace, 120, Trafalgar Street

Building on previous RadicalAesthetics-RadicalArt (RaRa) events that have focused on the theoretical and socio-political landscape of a ‘radical (art) praxis’, this event in an artists-led space in SHEFFIELD continues the exploration of strategies, tactics and work being carried out ‘on the ground’ by artists and cultural activists towards a better world.

Speakers include:

John Holloway (Professor of Sociology, Insituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Mexico, and Leverhulme Visiting Professor, School of Geography, University of Leeds. Author of Change the World without taking Power (new ed. Pluto, London, 2010) and Crack Capitalism (Pluto, London, 2010).

Leeds Creative Timebank (Alternative economy initiative http://www.leedscreativetimebank.co.uk/)

Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt (Sheffield-born writer and investigative researcher).

Milena Placentile (Winnipeg based curator, writer and researcher)

with special video contribution from Gregory Sholette (US-based artist/writer on informal art practice, author of Dark Matter, Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture, 2011)

In John Holloway’s most recent book ‘Crack Capitalism’ he proposes a distinction between the abstract labour of capitalist activity to the self-determining activity of ‘doing’. Similarly, JK Gibson-Graham and Italian autonomist Marxist thought has understood non-capitalist or autonomous activity as a fundamental step in making post capitalism a reality.

How might we begin to understand artist-led or self-organised art activity in this light? What examples of DIY, informal or purposefully marginal art practices exist which aim to imagine, create, or operate within new spheres for cultural activity? How do such practices resist and/or maintain a critical relationship with the dominant order and state capitalism? How does the empty but increasingly inescapable rhetoric of Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ effect or alter the stakes of such practice? What role do practices of subversion operating ‘within and against’ the system play in this struggle?

This one-day event – initiated by Andy Abbott in collaboration with Jane Tormey/Gillian Whiteley (Loughborough University) and S1 (www.S1artspace.org) - aims to provide a space for discussion, critical reflection and evaluation of such questions and tactics through the example of current practice and writers on the subject.

Cost : £5 and £3 (students and concessions)
Lunch/refreshments provided by S1 in exchange for donation
to S1 Artspace funds

ADVANCE BOOKING is essential – to book a place
please email Emma Nadin E.L.Nadin@lboro.ac.uk

RaRa is a Politicized Practice Research Group project. See http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/sota/research/groups/politicised/rara.html

RaRa organisers: Jane Tormey J.Tormey@lboro.ac.uk
Gillian Whiteley: G.Whiteley@lboro.ac.uk

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