[NetBehaviour] Crisis at the ICA: Ekow Eshun's Experiment in Deinstitutionalisation

Curt Cloninger curt at lab404.com
Thu Feb 11 19:21:53 CET 2010

Hi Helen (and all),

It seems to me that for an artist, the next tactical turn is to not 
bother about the next tactical turn (don't bother to make it; don't 
bother to refuse to make it). The next move is to follow the topics, 
interests, and concepts of one's own practice, however long they may 
take to develop, into whichever communities of shared interest they 
may lead (on or off the popular radar). The less dependent one's art 
is on any particular "tactical" approach ("institutional critique," 
"hacktivism," "relational aesthetics"), the more free it is to pursue 
its own peculiar ends. Indeed, what fruitful, monstrous, utterly 
irrelevant situations may emerge?

If I spend all my energy making art that seeks to avoid being 
commodified by the spectacle, I'm always already being influenced by 
the spectacle. It seems almost a requisite, then, to be willing to 
move into art practices that don't necessarily involve "art" 
(writing, design, urban planning, nursing, geology, advertising). It 
is not a matter of outpacing institutions; it may be a matter of 
using institutions to make moves that reverberate beyond institutions 
(beyond museum systems, gallery systems, biennial systems, new media 
festival systems, academic seminar systems, online art discussion 
group systems). Then one begins addressing larger forces without 
being constrained to act solely within the sandbox of "art," which is 
itself always already modulated by larger forces.


>    With participatory,conversational, collaborative, temporary, fluid 
>approaches all being appropriated so quickly into institutional 
>policies and communication being commodified by social networking 
>sites.. has really made me wonder what the next 'turn' will have to be 
>in artists tactics
>What new approaches will emerge?

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