[NetBehaviour] Crisis at the ICA: Ekow Eshun¹s Experiment in Deinstitutionalisation

Simon Biggs s.biggs at eca.ac.uk
Thu Feb 11 12:31:02 CET 2010


The irony is that if Eshun does appropriate such tactics from groups that
have been active in new media he will be doing so shortly after he closed
down the department (media and live art) within the ICA that had the remit
to deal with such work. That is a tragi-irony for all involved and a
dramatic example of exploitative hypocrisy on his behalf.

Best

Simon


Simon Biggs

s.biggs at eca.ac.uk  simon at littlepig.org.uk  Skype: simonbiggsuk
http://www.littlepig.org.uk/
Research Professor  edinburgh college of art  http://www.eca.ac.uk/
Creative Interdisciplinary Research into CoLlaborative Environments
http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/
Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice
http://www.elmcip.net/



From: marc garrett <marc.garrett at furtherfield.org>
Reply-To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
<netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 10:57:05 +0000
To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
<netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] Crisis at the ICA: Ekow Eshun¹s Experiment in
Deinstitutionalisation

Hi Simon, I agree with what you are saying here. As usual, the artists are
pushed aside like 'economical fodder' for the patriarch, in this case by a
ego-centric, journalist who is onto a good thing through, exploiting
sensational contexts whilst promoting his own position/status. The other
dodgey thing here is that Eshun, is actually quite high up within the Arts
Council himself, making decisions as a high-profile board member. This
surely has an influence on the outcome regarding how much support they get
from the Arts Council... Another aspect of the article I found curious was
Eshen's idea of exploring new territories which may relate to our own way of
working, some of the processes he has proposed seem to be influenced by
media art culture's own strategies in survival, as well as similar to
festival behaviours - I fear that all it means is that he will steal many of
the contemporary/imaginative ideas as part of a strategy to put himself and
perhaps like Nicolas Bourriaud's top-down related solution for moving
forward. Thus, exploiting the ideas of smaller groups like ourselves to
promote those who are already considered safe or viable items for profile
rather than content or 'real' change. So, supporting a modernist, capitalist
and neo-liberalism agenda in the guise of supposed 'radicalism'. The power
positions remain in place but the interface changes, just another brand to
sell... marc The main point of the article is that Eshun has sought to
agrandise himself and his position as a pundit in the media at the expense
of the ICA and the artists that support it and who are in turn meant to be
supported by it. This is what happens when journalists take over cultural
organisations. A bit like bankers taking over industries. The new BBC arts
blogger Will Gompertz was recently the focus of some alarmed discussion as
it became clear BBC Online has appointed a journalist and marketing person
as their key arts commentator. It could be assumed that the UK arts scene is
being taken over by such people. The ICA was the original “artists’ run”
space in the UK but has somehow, over the past 60 years, transformed into a
Hela cell. Perhaps it needs a little chemotherapy ­ but I don’t think Eshun
is part of the cure. For him the art is irrelevant. Best Simon Simon Biggs
s.biggs@ eca .ac.uk  simon at littlepig.org.uk  Skype: simonbiggsuk
http://www.littlepig.org.uk/ Research Professor   edinburgh college of art
http://www. eca .ac.uk/ C reative I nterdisciplinary R esearch into C o L
laborative E nvironments  http://www. eca .ac.uk/circle/ E lectronic L
iterature as a M odel of C reativity and I nnovation in P ractice
http://www.elmcip.net/ From: Jim Andrews <jim at vispo.com> Reply-To:
NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
<netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org> Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2010 16:26:06 -0800 To:
NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
<netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org> Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] Crisis at the
ICA: Ekow Eshun’s Experiment in Deinstitutionalisation i'm only very
remotely interested in what's going on at the ica, but the article was
interesting in its picture of the relation of art and artists to the ica
and, by extension, many other institutions of art. in the picture
charlesworth draws, the art itself is irrelevant compared with the buzz, and
the buzz not even about the art as the moment in which the art is situated.
ja http://vispo.com _______________________________________________
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