What kind of art should we develop so it could match social needs?
We are asked how the ‘value of art’ could be promoted in the ‘social fabric’? But, based on the practices we are developing in the Minipogon, we would feel more comfortable reversing this question in the following way: What kind of art practices should be developed so they could match real social needs, while making art finally purposeful for the society as a whole?
In the way that new values emerge as a result of such joint endeavor, rather than to convey an unidirectional promotion of ‘artistic values’ as such throughout imaginary ‘social fabric’.
While certain art practices prove that it is possible, at least on a temporary basis and in protected niches, to generate models of more horizontal and equitative social environments, governed by self-managed and democratic principles, we cant oversee the limitations the implementation of those intentions, often not depending on the individual factors, demonstrate. The reasons for this are more of structural nature - namely, in the way how within the dominant (capitalist) production relations the sphere of Culture (where art is normally produced and recognized as Art) is positioned. Therefore, the work of art (and culture), essentially estimated as non-productive, and by this being exempt from the spheres where production occurs (and where social inequalities are defined), potentially operates as exploitative (by appropriating the work of others, through expertise), or exploited (as work of social reproduction, similar to the domestic or care work) to the other kind of work performed in the dominant productive spheres. And its mere function in the terms how society operates is reduced to the symbolic and representational, or made invisible.
In order to think how methodologies coming from art practices could be in function of not only society but entire living environment, it is necessary to rethink the ways we organize working together, asserting the direction in which social equality might be achieved as a premise for more socially purposeful art.
For this reason, with our work in Minipogon, we made a decisive attempt to step outside of the denominated ‘cultural sphere’ in order to dedicate ourselves to reshaping the ways in which the process of labor might be organised in order to assert directions in which social equality might be achieved.
By combining practical and theoretical tasks concerning very diverse skills and disciplines (from welding, grinding to computing and accounting) all the steps of our working process are being politicized being followed by discussions, consultations, common decision making and joint self-reflection on how the whole process have been led. Taking into account different economic and educational backgrounds, so the social statuses, life experiences and so developed abilities, availability for collaborative work and levels of commitment, etc. forms a base we are building our relationships upon. And from there, informed by all particular accounts and specific aspects, the new value (opposed to the principles of economic exploitation) slowly gets generated as a result of the joint processes of multiple interactions engaged in collaborative work. And this new value is socialised as it is being generated.
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