Wednesday 12 October 2011

OCTOBER WORKSHOP @ TRANSMISSION - invitation to participate... towards understanding our conditions of 'doing'


invitation to participate

towards understanding our conditions of 'doing'

11am - 4pm
Saturday 15th October

Reforms of cultural provision may be long overdue, but Creative Scotland has wider-reaching implications than the supersession of previous funding institutions: Scottish Screen, Scottish Arts Council. It represents a fundamental change of a key aspect of democratic society with significant implications for the many ways in which knowledge is produced and communicated in Scotland.

Creative Scotland is an entrepreneurial re-orientation of public acts of communication formed from a triangulation of policy geared towards "single purpose government" (the Scottish government's own description) converging on "economic growth", seeing culture subsumed under the banner of "adding value".

What are the implications :
- for a diversity of cultural expression (which include the diversity of political expression) as democratic right;
- for artist-run groups' autonomy through support for freedom of association and communication so as to collectively organise and 'do'?

In collaboration with Transmission, this workshop facilitated by Variant / The Strickland Distribution will explore wider issues arising from the summer workshop - 'From Funding to Franchise' - for collective self-institutional doings (artist-run, artist-led, self-organised) with their specific lexicons of practice.

We ended previously, asking: What are the rallying points for self knowledge?

This workshop is an opportunity for artists' groups to try to get to grips with the dramatic shifts taking place in the public re-orientation of culture through, but not confined to, Creative Scotland.

It seems to us important that individuals affiliated with artist-run and autonomous groups have an awareness of what might be taking place so as to more fully comprehend and, if wished, engage in the review process of Creative Scotland's propositions.

We meet to collectively better understand our own conditions of practice.

Hopeful of your involvement.

Best wishes,
Variant editorial group

Please pass on this invitation to anyone you feel it concerns - details of the day can also be found at:



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 [ at: <> ]

Hopeful of your involvement.

Best wishes
Transmission Committee

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