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@eca.ac.uk  simon@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@furtherfield.org>
Reply-To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <netbehaviour@netbehaviour.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 10:57:05 +0000
To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <netbehaviour@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@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@vispo.com> Reply-To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <netbehaviour@netbehaviour.org> Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2010 16:26:06 -0800 To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <netbehaviour@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 _______________________________________________ NetBehaviour mailing list NetBehaviour@netbehaviour.org http://www.netbehaviour.org/mailman/listinfo/netbehaviour Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC009201 _______________________________________________ NetBehaviour mailing list NetBehaviour@netbehaviour.org http://www.netbehaviour.org/mailman/listinfo/netbehaviour _______________________________________________ NetBehaviour mailing list NetBehaviour@netbehaviour.org http://www.netbehaviour.org/mailman/listinfo/netbehaviour

Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC009201