Reading #3: Dark matter of the art world or about relations between the field of vision and gravity of the artistic universe

The second meeting of a new cycle of seminars of the Free/Slow University of Warsaw is focused around the dark matter of art. The hypothesis, popularized by Gregory Sholette - artist, activist and theoretician from New York, constitutes one of the most interesting attempts to explain and criticize the rights of the artistic universe, formulated within the last decade. The dark matter is a metaphor taken from astrophysics and used for describing the part of the world of art which, although invisible, constitutes 90% of its social mass and supports gravity which propels the artistic circulation. The artistic dark matter consists of amateurs, forgotten artists, the losers in artistic competition and authors who intentionally reach beyond the artistic conventions – those who are outside of the field of vision of the official circulation of art. .

time: 13.05.2014, Tuesday, 18.00
venue: Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, ul. Emilii Plater 51 
held by: Kuba Szreder

Texts for the seminar:
Gregory Sholette, „Dark Matter. Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture”, fragmenty rozdziałów:
„Introduction: the Missing Mass”, str. 1 - 8
„Glut, overproduction, redundancy!”, str. 116 - 134
Read texts +HERE

The seminar will be preceded by a short introduction, which brings closer the texts and the subjects discussed.

In his book, Sholette makes an attempt at proving that the artistic dark matter is not only economically and symbolically exploited, but also serves an important function of the breeding ground for new artistic idioms, reaching beyond the won over official circulation of art.

During the Readings, we will ponder on the extent to which the concepts created by Sholette in the context of New York can be translated into the situation in Poland. The comparison of his hypothesis with the diagnosis of Polish artistic scene currently presented at the “As You Can See” exhibition will be specifically interesting.

The meeting is held within the framework of the cycle entitled “Readers for Artworkers 2014: About the Misery of the Design Life”. The Free/Slow University of Warsaw reactivates its popular Readers for Artworkers cycle. This time, the series of seminars will be devoted to the misery of the design life. The Free/Slow University of Warsaw: “We will keep very close tabs on the social form of cultural projects, understood as a specific way to arrange artistic production, which affects the lives of producers of art and formats the works created or the actions organized. Special attention will be directed to the internal contradictions of the design production system, where flexibility borders on precariousness, short-term nature on instability, liberty on competition, celebrative patina on the misery of artists. Our conversations will be supplemented by reading together crucial – yet, still not translated – texts concerning various aspects of artistic production in the late capitalism. Not only will the Readers be an occasion to learn of these theories, but also an opportunity to exchange experiences and collectively reflect on the work and lives of contemporary producers of culture.

This year’s series of seminars is focused around such issues as: design tools of cultural production; the dark matter of art; the factory of creativity and an artistic mode of production; poverty, precariousness and costs of the design life; bio-political work and sabotage of artistic production; art as common resource”. The series of meetings is held by Kuba Szreder, one of the founders of the Free/Slow University of Warsaw, independent curator and art theoretician. Among the invited guests of the seminars will be special guests – artists and theoreticians.

Conducted thanks to the scholarship of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage in cooperation with the Free/Slow University of Warsaw, the Bęc Zmiana foundation and the museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.