Frame’s discussion series focuses on collectivity

Frame Espresso discussion series in 2018 focuses on the significance of collective practices in contemporary art amidst the societal transformations today. While austerity accelerates competition and the attention economy feeds individualism, novel collaborative and community initiatives are emerging everywhere and the culture of sharing is thriving.

New forms of collectivity have gained ground in contemporary art following the development of communication technologies, social networks and professional practices. They have also been nurtured by the blurring of disciplinary boundaries and the increased interest in collaborations and emergent practices between different fields of art and science. Socially engaged approaches also require often an array of expertise and skills. Collective methods and models are thus resonant with the fundamental changes affecting contemporary art as well as the society at large.

Frame Espresso discussions will explore questions pertinent to forms of collectivity in close dialogue with the practitioners themselves: When and how does collectivity challenge unsustainable structures and practices? How are collective practices reshaping our understandings of not only resources but also of autonomy in the arts, amongst others? How do they reflect the changing values in our culture(s) and societies?  How can collectives be radically inclusive rather than exclusive? When are networks and exchanges based on a commitment to shared aims, not merely gains? How can they lead to non-predetermined impacts, interactions and cross-pollinations?


Frame Espresso: Collectivity
January 31, 2018
3–5 pm
Huuto Gallery
Warehouse L3 (2nd floor), Tyynenmerenkatu 6, Helsinki

The first Frame Espresso event of the year invites collective practitioners in contemporary art in Finland to lay the ground for the discussions to follow in 2018. The aim is to reflect on the forms of collective practices central to the field today and identify together key questions relevant to their future development.

As its starting point the discussion focuses on artist-run initiatives, as they continue to be foundational for the contemporary art scene in Finland while historically they have acted as its regenerative force. How has this collective mode of organising renewed itself and what are its current future orientations? How have collective practices affected change in organisational structures and principles in the recent years? How can collectivity remain dynamic and resist institutionalisation? Or, on the other hand, how may institutions be rethought collectively?

Collectivity allows us also another point of entry into the relationship between artist-run and curatorial practices.  In curating, collective approaches are actively experimented with, both within institutions and independent initiatives, yet this calls for more focused analysis and articulation. What could and should be recognised as curating? Who is, and how, to take the responsibility and the credit for curatorial work, programme decisions, content development and discourse production in collective processes and organisations? How to avoid compromise and consensus in collective curating?

The event begins with brief introductions by the galleries Huuto and Titanik, and the collective Night Schoolers. The discussion is moderated by Frame’s Head of Programme Taru Elfving.

We would like to engage in the conversation also those collectives, who cannot be present at the event, and welcome comments and questions prior to the event to the email: taru.elfving@frame-finland.fi. The discussion will be streamed on Frame’s Facebook, where it is also possible to join the debate via comments.