Ease at whose expense? What does pleasure obscure? (Chocolate, sugar, gold, silk + colonialism) What are regenerative forms of joy? (Urban farming, community care, carnaval, festival, ancestral veneration+performance...
Dub, Wayward Lives, Demonic Grounds, poetics of relation, disidenification, lo-tek indigenous design, biomimicry
" It refers to installations and interactive events designed to facilitate community among participants (both artists and viewers). Rather than producing objects for individual aesthetic contemplation, Relational artists attempt to produce new human relationships through collective experiences. These practices have their roots in earlier art movements, namely Dada, Conceptual art, Fluxus, and Allan Kaprow’s “Happenings.”"
"Where does our current obsession for interactivity stem from? After the consumer society and the communication era, does art still contribute to the emergence of a rational society?
Nicolas Bourriaud attempts to renew our approach towards contemporary art by getting as close as possible to the artists' works, and by revealing the principles that structure their thoughts: an aesthetic of the inter-human, of the encounter; of proximity, of resisting social formatting."
-Review of Relational Aesthetics / Postproduction by Nicolas Bourriaud
via Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
-some seedling thoughts/questions: why are the beginnings of relational aesthetics associated with post-war avantgarde art movements in Europe?
more fluid art histories can account for the role of performance and ephemera in indigenous cultural praxis, artist as mediator of knowledge between divine and community, 'activatations' like traditional festivals, cermonial photography rituals, social rites intersecting with public performance, relational + functional creativity
The Racial Imagination of Dada: https://hyperallergic.com/219063/we-need-a-new-skin-color-the-racial-imagination-of-dada/
Source 2: Film, Charcoal, Time: Contemporaneities in Gold Coast Photographs, Erin Haney
7 Questions: Legacy Russell
Pandora Lavender speaks to the writer, artist and curator about identity, #GlitchFeminism and new configurations of the ‘body’
PL: Could you describe what you mean by glitch?
LR: an active refusal. a mode of non-performance within a social, cultural machine. To quote the artist E. Jane, it the act of saying. So many bodies that continue to rise do so despite the conditions we are placed within, confronted by. So many of us black, queer, femme bodies weren't meant to survive within a normative world order; still thriving, we are evidence of system failure. We are the glitch.
In imagining new cultural infrastructures, what histories of community care have been practiced by our art-cestors?
‘The Freedom Quilting Bee was established in 1967 in Alberta,Alabama to help sharecropping families earn independent income. Some of the women in Alberta and Gee’s Bend,Alabama came together to produce and sell quilts. In a few years they had made enough money to buy land and build a sewing factory. They also provided day care and after-school services for members’ children and others. The cooperative was a founding member of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and is an example of women’s leadership and control over their own work conditions and of community solidarity, in terms of the ways in which this cooperative supported and helped its community.’
-Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice
Jessica Gordon Nembhard
It’s all got to go.
Racist monuments are physical reminders of the antiblackness the world is built on- what we decide to memorialise and whom we make heroes is indicative of public memory. Celebrating these structures reinforces a whitewashed history that manifests itself in short-sightedness today. Thinking of the U.K, chief gaslighter of the world: how public memory conveniently forgets the widespread violence of the British ‘empire’, how conversations of race are often obscured under this false sense of ‘at least we’re not the US’, and how loaded that this erasure is when you deep how parts of the USA were former British colonies during slavery. Britain itself is a monument to the ugliness of the modern world.
Also, sidenote but optically, we just don’t need anymore statues that place white men above us, hovering over our heads, greeting us in the morning, surveilling our parks —its just weird spatial power, bad vibes.
Amplifying @theblackcurriculum and their current petition to include Black British History in schools,
also highlight a few (of MANY despite what academia looks like), Black women historians:
@practicalmyth - Varaidzo
Deniz Utlu: But you do not confine yourself to criticizing the excesses of Western modernism, but instead show alternative approaches: ideas and concepts that come in part from precolonial times, the precolonial library, as you call it.
Perhaps that’s what I’m doing here. In Ghana. Trying to escape my life… perhaps trying to chase a life that escaped and still escapes me. Anyway hunter or hunted, pursuer or pursued, here I am in Afronet. That’s the ever- so- cool name of the internet cafe. So many resonances there that connect with African cultures that, at their foundation, work on principles of connectivity and breaking (dance); synapse jumping and colliding; bouncing off this, riffing on that, picking up stuff here and leaving it there. Like jazz, I mean. Or Negro music as Ellington wanted to call it.
-Nourbese M Philip
How do you understand the role of an artist?: An Introduction.
The Igbo traditional concept of “Ohaka: The Community is Supreme” is expressed in the indigenous understanding of the artist role’s as service to community. Learning more about this, I began to research conceptual ideas of who an artist is and how art functions. While ‘Ohaka’ is specifically Igbo, this relationship between art and community can be found in many cultural contexts. About two years ago on a research tour exploring different understandings of ‘culture’ within Ghana, I met an artist called Almighty God. (They’re not on instagram but their work is well documented online if you’d like to know more, v interesting person and talented artist). Anyway so, almighty mentioned that they’d changed their name to reflect their gratitude towards God for their creativity.
Unlike the artist-individual hierarchy, to them, an artist is a vessel for divine knowledge, which is then expressed publicly. This reminded me of ‘Ohaka’, and other pre-colonial functions of art that Uche Okeke refers to in the ‘Natural Synthesis’ Manifesto on slide 6 and 7.
The role of an artist was a huge conversation for post-colonial African states- basically: “now that we’re here with this country after centuries of domination, how on earth will we create a separate identity?…..art+culture?”.
Goes without saying that this is merely a springboard, far from exhaustive + not at all prescriptive. Each slide is a whole book(s) on its own, especially when unpacking the underlying complicated notions of ‘pureness’/ ’authenticity’, inherent ‘african-ness’ and the politics of a nation-state. I would argue that this came with its own baggage and isn’t necessarily de- or anticolonial by virtue of including historically ’African’ aesthetics alone. That itself is pretty nebulous considering global contact did not begin with European settlers, and ‘Africa’ as well as the various nation-states created are v. messy constructions. All the same, its off of the work that these artist and thinkers began that I am able to question further.
Looking forward to getting into these histories and conceptualisations of an ‘artist’.
From our instagram post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CCTQLFmFdIq/
folks new to abolition: we need abolition of all carceral regimes (not just cops & prisons), or else we simply reconfigure carcerality. And think about abolition as internationalist, or else we outsource violence.
"Abolition must be green & red & international" - Ruth Gilmore