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woe 06/11/2013 > don 07/11/2013

a work symposium by and for concerned artists

Beursschouwburg Cafe
6 November Work Symposium 18:00 – 22:00
7 November Resonace 18:00 – 21:00

For logistic purposes please confirm your presence on the 6th of November by mailing:

Let’s depict a future Dystopia where society worships economy above all else. Where social structures, originally invented out of a notion of solidarity, are replaced by privatization and competitive behaviors. Where free trade leads to inequality and big business controls the resources of the world. So in a world like this, what will be the ’State of the Arts’?

Here in Belgium we live in a society that still values Social Welfare and Culture. But the possibility of this dystopian future seems to be creeping around behind the scenes, lurking in the corners, and invading our very selves. 

In ’State of the Arts’ we call all artists, from the broad and flourishing international scene , to come together to look at our present situation here in Belgium, and see how we want to position ourselves as artists and take Action.

’State of the Arts’ wants to claim ownership of the present position of Artists as propagators of culture but ’In order for things to stay as they are things must change”. To do this ’State of the Arts’ will bring together the multitude of art practices already exploring this area.

How ?

State of the arts will set up a Work Symposium to examine the value and position of art and artists in today’s society. The intention behind this will be to create a solid springboard towards Action. 

State of the arts is a two evening platform taking place on the 6th and 7th of November where we as artists can come together to debate, get informed, educate ourselves and start to think of scenarios of Action.

The Symposium will take place at the Beursschouwburg cafe. Artists will gather around 10 different work surfaces to explore the different issues with an artist as a moderator. Each moderator will discuss topics (mentioned bellow) from a different angles using different methods of generating conversation and harvesting information.
What ?

Work surface 1: Can we organize ourselves as an Artists ’Guild’ ?
Work surface 2: What is the value of Artists in today’s society and how can Artists gain recognition for this value?
Work surface 3: Can we imagine a ’Shadow Government` for the arts?
Work surface 4: Should we move towards or away from existing institutions, or    create new ones ?
Work surface 5: What can we propose directly to cultural political representatives of           the different Belgium parties?
Work surface 6: How can we maintain synergy and a dynamic of continuity of    action?
Work surface 7: As a socially reflective medium, should Art engage politically and   where are its fields of responsibilities and reaction?
Work surface 8: What kind of alternative systems of self-organization and     exchange could artists create?


The work-surface debates will be regularly be punctuated by short lectures that will add different perspectives about the social political cultural situation in Belgium today:
Creative industries and Neoliberal/NVA cultural polices - Robrecht Vanderbeeken
The artistic statute and the position of the artist as a worker - Kobe Matthys
Art as a political position and a social engagement- Wouter Hillaert
The cultural crisis in Holland and what can we learn from it- Leen Laconte
Methods of exchange between the arts and other fields- Bernard Lietaert (tbc)
The silent political Party of Trees – An Mertens and Rasa Alksnyte.

The day after ’Resonance’:
The 7th of November each table will present what they harvested the previous day. 

The symposium will end with a short convocation that will decide on how we collectively choose to proceed from here .

Who: At the moment ’State of the arts’ is an initiative launched by Einat Tuchman and Gosie Vervloessem with the help of many other Artists.