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<nettime> Symposium: Art: What's the Use?
Gavin Grindon on Wed, 15 Dec 2010 15:57:07 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Symposium: Art: What's the Use?


*Symposium**: **Art: What’s the Use?*
Friday 14 January, 2011. 11am-6pm
Zilkha Auditorium, Whitechapel Gallery (£15/£10 conc.)

 How subversive really is the social uselessness of art?  Could art play a
more directly functional role in culture?  *Dean Kenning* and *Gavin Grindon
* challenge the idea that art should be allowed to take critical positions
safe from any real intervention. Participants include *Artur
Zmijewski*, *Dmitry
Vilensky (Chto Delat)*, *James Marriott* & *Jane Trowell* *(PLATFORM)*, *John
Roberts*, *Stephen Wright, Marina Vishmidt*, *Peter Osborne *and* Gail Day.*


In association with *Stanley Picker Gallery Public Lectures on Art* & *The
Visual and Material Culture and Contemporary Art Research Centres *at
Kingston University of London.


 The increasing visibility of contemporary art, together with the shift in
art discourse towards the social dimension, not to mention the sheer number
of people now practicing as artists, all make the use value of art a vital
issue. At a local and national level contemporary art has clearly taken on a
role as instigator of local regeneration/gentrification and city branding.
Such projects usually involve star artists, while activist, community and
socially engaged practices often take place off the art world radar, or else
adopt conventional art spaces as leverage for their work. How do
organisations and institutions with their resources and networks influence
this equation of art and use? In light of the radical changes to higher
education which are currently being pushed through alongside simultaneous
cuts in the arts budget, can we develop a language beyond the business-model
discourse of ‘creative industries’ in which to defend and promote the value
of art to a wide public?


This symposium aims to ask: What is the use-value of art today, how is it
useful, and for whom? What are the particular imaginative and cognitive
skills, competences and approaches that could take effect as part of the
general symbolic economy beyond the artworld? What are the lessons and
influences of movements which sought an unambiguously social and political
function for their experiments? And finally, what are the conditions that
enable artists not simply to reflect upon the world, but to act within and
change it?


**
Tickets are available here:
http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/shop/product/product_id/800





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