[NetBehaviour] [Mute-social] 25/2 Seminar @ Essex: Artistic Lives

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Thu Feb 20 16:03:48 CET 2014

Artistic Lives - Kirsten Forkert, Birmingham City University

Tuesday February 25th @ University of Essex
3-5PM, Room LTB B


Kirsten Forkert will talk about her recently published book, Artistic 
Lives (Ashgate 2013), which is based on interview material with artists 
and arts professionals in London and Berlin, together with ethnographic 
descriptions and analyses of social and urban policy. The book examines 
how artists support themselves within rapidly changing urban 
environments – and how they contend with the effects of property 
bubbles, precarious employment, uncertain funding and policies that 
position cultural workers at the centre of economic development with 
little concern for they actually make ends meet. The book examines the 
myth that artists can create something from nothing, and engages with 
debates surrounding Post-Fordism, gentrification and the nature of 
authorship, to raise challenging questions about the function of culture 
and the role of artists within contemporary capitalism.

Kirsten will discuss her motivations for starting the project, share the 
main findings of the research (which was carried out during the first 
phase of the recession) and reflect on the implications in the present 

Kirsten Forkert joined is a researcher and activist, and lecturer in 
media theory at Birmingham City University. Prior to working at BCU, she 
taught at a number of institutions during and after completing her PhD 
in the department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths. Her work is 
based within cultural studies, but draws on other disciplines, including 
sociology, urban studies and critical theory. It has been published in 
CITY, Third Text and various edited collections, as well as in Mute and 
Variant. Prior to academia, she worked in media art, new media and 
community media in Canada and the US, as a freelance practitioner. She 
is now developing new research on the cultural politics of austerity, 
and is involved in a collaborative, ESRC funded project mapping the 
controversies around Home Office campaigns.

Sponsored by the Centre for Work, Organization, and Society

This seminar is part of an ongoing workshop series on artist collectives.

Further events this spring will include the nanopolitics group (March 
5th), Max Haiven from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (March 
19th), Jeremy Gilbert from the University of East London (April 29th), 
and others.

For more information contact Stevphen Shukaitis: sshuka at essex.ac.uk

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