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Sat 15th October 2011
Transmission Gallery
organising/presenting groups

The Strickland Distribution
Mute / Common Practice

invited groups [to date]

Market Gallery
The Duchy
David Dale
The Mutual
Southside Studios
Generator Projects
Sierra Metro
Market Gallery
SWG3 +4414141 Gallery
Scottish Artists' Union
Psychic Dancehall
Glasgow Open School
Lock Up Your Daughters
Glasgow Independent Studios/Project Room
Victor and Hester Journal
Aye-Aye Books
The Drouth


   Invitation to participate from Transmission:

We are feeling an increasing imperative to try to really understand the dramatic shifts that appear to be taking place in public funding in this country through Creative Scotland. Simply through picking up on the sound bite language that is being circulated and the modelling of a business strategy approach to arts funding, there would seem to be not only a lack of awareness of the principles on which public support for cultural diversity is based but also a thoroughly ideological agenda being written into the future of funding for the arts.

At the different levels at which they are funded, galleries and arts organisations seem to be meeting and sharing information about what is happening. It seems, to us really important that individuals affiliated with artist-run and autonomous groups also have an awareness of what might be taking place. Obviously not all artist-run groups receive direct funding or may even want to receive funding, but we are increasingly thinking of the necessity of a collective understanding of the way the landscape may be being re-written. This may affect artists directly or indirectly through a dismantling of the current infrastructure, through the removal of current funding, or the possibility of funding at some later point. Perhaps more than this, these potential changes make both the fragility and decisiveness of what is constructed through cultural funding very clear.

We think those affiliated with artist-run activity may have a different perspective on how and why to approach what is happening than other larger funded institutions. For example, in the consideration and understanding of 'value'. For all the possible gloom of the situation we are hopeful to approach this also as an opportunity to collectively consider what we really think and what we really want, and all the differences we positively hold. To see if there is a will to take this forward with a considered and genuinely creative momentum.

With all this in mind we would very much like to invite you to a workshop and discussion meeting next Saturday 15th October. We hosted a workshop in July From Funding to Franchise, facilitated by Variant and The Strickland Distribution, as a first attempt to engage with what is happening. The workshop next Saturday will be structured along similar lines of presentations about key concerns and small discussion groups in response, but also with time for a general discussion about everything and how and if we might take things forward.

Please see a rough schedule below.

Hopeful of your involvement.
Best wishes
Transmission Committee

OCTOBER WORKSHOP - Sat 15th October
[...towards public meeting on Sat 19th November…]
11am INTRODUCTION - Transmission
  PART 1. 10min presentations
20min facilitated small group discussions
11.30 'From Funding to Franchise workshop' overview (Leigh French)

- followed by facilitated discussion on 'ecology'
As a prompt, you may wish to consider:
How does the concept of 'ecology' organise inequality?
What kinds of behaviour does this concept of 'ecology' reward?
Can we think of other ways of being-in-common?

12.10 Common Practice overview (Pauline Broekman, Mute, via skype)

- followed by facilitated discussion on 'value'
As a prompt, you may wish to consider:
Where do concepts of what is to be 'measured' originate?
How do different evaluative frameworks assess what is of 'value'?
Can we identify unacknowledged or unsupported 'value'?
What would it mean to be proactive rather than reactive in engaging cultural policy formation?

BREAK (20mins)
1.20 On labour process and wilfulness (Gesa Helms)

- followed by facilitated discussion on immaterial & precarious labour
As a prompt, you may wish to consider:
What set of social relations lie behind the label of the independent ‘self-employed’ worker?
How can we as artists overcome a ‘becoming clandestine’* of skills?
[*The practices of secrecy and guarding one’s own expertise (codified knowledge), and the mystification of processes of production, sources and contacts (opportunism) as regarded as crucial to one’s own value.]
What forms of co-operation and solidarity can arise from self-employment and the cultural industries more widely?
[Artist unions: servicing (guild-like) associations or organising unions? What does this mean for questions over economic (rather than moral) solidarity?]

2.00 Impact of cultural policy field on groups organising around self-knowledge - tbc (Emilia Muller-Ginorio, Liam Casey)

- followed by facilitated discussion on freedom of communication / freedom of association
As a prompt, you may wish to consider:
What do we understand freedom of communication and also freedom of association to mean?
Through what processes does Culture qualify for state subsidy and how are we positioned therein?
How do we account for the way power is exercised upon and through practices of public communication?
Why is diversity of opinion and expression of importance to the (relative) autonomy of artist-run groups?

BREAK (20mins)
  PART 2.  
3.00 reconvene into groups of people who you work with, either in a particular projects or across projects, and consider:

What does this mean for us?
Where do we stand within this?
What do we need in order to do the work we want to do?

reconvene as one large group:

feed key points from preceeding discussion back into large group

4.00 conclude


What follows is not a description of nor intended to define the limits of the workshop, but is intended as a (ever partial) resource pool to aid informed discussion which draws together a number of strands we have been exploring over this period:

Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland, interviewed
Investing, Advocating, Promoting... strategically
Daniel Jewesbury interviews Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland

A revealing exchange outlining proposals in Creative Scotland's Corporate Plan:

"We are getting rid of all the art form silos… There will be no art form budgets…we will have generic budgets that are more strategic, much more planned and on a larger scale".

"What we will do is take a more strategic look at the sort of whole cultural ecology. So we’ve had a programme called Flexible Funding, funding a lot of galleries and a lot of theatre companies… We’re going to get rid of that programme… We are very committed to what we are supporting but we are going to get rid of it in two years time. … Before we move to the commissioning model, there will be a rolling programme of reviews, with the sectors involved playing a key role, to inform our needs for different sectors."

Investing in Our Creative Future, Creative Scotland’s 'first' Corporate Plan:



From Funding To Franchise (Workshop)
What does the end of Flexible Funding mean for artist-run spaces in Scotland?



'Strategic Commissioning' 'The future of the arts in Scotland : Creative Scotland, an artists' briefing paper'
Can be downloaded as a PDF here:


Setting the tone for 'Strategic Commissioning'


'ECOLOGY' Ecology - presentation (notes summary): From Funding To Franchise (Workshop)

'All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace', Adam Curtis

EPISODE 3 - The Monkey in the Machine and the Machine in the Monkey


'VALUE' Common Practice - Mission Statement
Download a copy of the position paper - Size Matters

Commonality of political ethos inferred

Take Me I'm Yours: Neoliberalising the Cultural Institution


IMMATERIAL & PRECARIOUS LABOUR Doodley-doo? Doodley don’t : Life and Sabotage
Gesa Helms

The presence of precarity : Self-employment as contemporary form
Gesa Helms

Mute Vol 2 #0 - Precarious Reader

'Clubs to companies: notes on the decline of political culture in speeded up creative worlds'
Angela McRobbie

‘A very complicated version of freedom’: Conditions and experiences of creative labour in three cultural industries
David Hesmondhalgh, Sarah Baker

How labour is (Part of) the Problem in Building the Left.
Lecture by: Professor Frances Fox Piven, CUNY Graduate Center, Toronto, October 15, 2010.

Keep on Smiling - questions on immaterial labour, Aufheben #14 (2006)


SAFEGUARDING FREEDOM OF COMMUNICATION On …to develop critical understanding and to broaden public discussion about 'Creative Industries' as a key aspect of contemporary policy that is presumed to address inequality, see:

Clive Barnett's 'Culture and democracy: media, space and representation' (2003 Edinburgh University Press)

UNESCO points on diversity of political expression.
10 keys UNESCO :

Public submission to parliamentary committee discussions of Creative Scotland and the Public Service Reform Bill, from Variant magazine:

[for comparative analysis with]
Scotland : Our Corporate Plan - Investing in Scotland's Creative Future


RENT - 'creative financing' LOANS & INTERNSHIPS WORKSHOP

Loans for Arts Organisations, Catalonia

Credit Markets - micro-finance : the individualistic focus of development intervention

Microcredit doesn't work - it's now official

Artists' Loan Questionnaire


RENT - 'place' Rent ('place') - presentation (notes summary) : From Funding To Franchise (Workshop)

The harnessing of creativity for urban growth agendas... or, doing differently.