Created with Sketch.
34 minutes | Jul 1, 2022
Old Words: Playful Adventures
In this episode François Matarasso asks “Why is our childhood not a good guide to our children’s?” He notes that, growing up in the 1960s, he had only ”two television channels, offering just an hour or two of children’s programmes a day, our window on the world was small and closely controlled. And the future seemed equally straightforward: there were jobs and professions to choose from and you could picture yourself living a life much like that of your parents, only better”. He argues that for the children of the 2020s this picture no longer holds. He then looks at what children gain from the arts and the ways in which politicians have contrived to limit this access and the amount of stimulation it can provide. He ends with a plea for increased involvement, but on children’s own terms.
39 minutes | Jun 24, 2022
A Topos at wpZimmer
According to their website, the Antwerp-based group “wpZimmer is an international workspace for the arts, with a focus on performance, dance and hybrid artistic practices. The organisation revolves around the needs of the artists, their desire to research or create and the development of their skills and practices”. They “believe that shared governance addresses the systemic questions dominating our society. It’s looking for a new sustainable way to be together and to become inclusive. It’s an act of listening and sensing, rather than a process of claiming. We’re not there yet. It’s evolving and unfinished by nature… Rethinking the way we live and work together is a collective practice, shared between artists, institutions and others. We gather around the question what can we do together that we can not do alone? Can the power of collective action move mountains?” In this episode Owen Kelly talks to two members of the collective, Helga Baert and Dušica Dražić, about wpZimmer and the project Topoi 2022, which they have both co-curated and runs throughout June.
51 minutes | Jun 17, 2022
Evaluation: the good, the bad, and the ugly
How and why should we evaluate community-based arts projects? In this episode, Arlene Goldbard and François Matarasso offer their own answers and explore many of the ways current practice misses the mark. They ask what has gone wrong with “best practices?” What role does risk aversion play in funding? They look at how nonprofit funding has become distorted by corporate models; the underlying class biases that shape funding; and how these problems are structural, affecting the sector regardless of how conscientious and well-intentioned the individuals running programs may be. Arlene and François don’t always agree and you may disagree with both of them!
25 minutes | Jun 10, 2022
Cultural democracy & economics
In Episode 16 of A Genuine Inquiry Owen Kelly inquired into a key question that has hovered over every one of our podcasts: what might we mean when we talk about cultural democracy? Why might people need the term, and what can they do with it? He drew upon the work of Rachel Davis DuBois to suggest that cultural democracy forms one part of a triad that includes economic and political democracy In Episode 17 he looked at how culture and community relate to each other, and what we might actually do to foster community and cultural democracy. In this episode he looks at the relationship between economics and cultural democracy. He looks at some of the inequities built into our current system: daily wages vs royalties, careers vs the gig economy, showing up vs creativity. He examines proposals such as Universal Basic Income and Universal Basic Services, and asks how they could develop once we accept that communities will need to begin to foster meaning outside of work. Can we free ourselves from the work ethic and look elsewhere for the meaning in our lives? You will find a reading list and a set of useful links for this essay on the page for this podcast at miaaw.net.
30 minutes | Jun 3, 2022
The Art of Uncertainty
François Matarasso wrote this essay in 2010 and revised it in 2012. Ten years later, its anticipated uncertainties have become reality, but its suggestions for better approaches to arts management have had no discernible effect. François argues that, if the Age of Reason has begun to draw to a close, that may have less to do with debates between philosophers than changes in our understanding of science. As quantum mechanics have succeeded Newtonian physics we have begun to learn to think in terms of probabilities not certainties. We don’t find it rational any more to believe in rationalist causality, at least not in regard to anything concerning human affairs. We’ve had to recognise too many unknown unknowns. This episode considers how the arts might respond to this sense of uncertainty that — whether we like it or not — has emerged as a defining characteristic of our time.
32 minutes | May 27, 2022
Common Practice: Life on Mars
In January 2022 Agnieszka Pokrywka spent two weeks in the Utah desert in a simulator designed to provide an analog of a Martian settlement as part of a multi-disciplinary crew. The mission occurred under the auspices of The Mars Society and took place at the Mars Desert Research Station. In this episode she describes the application process, her arrival in Utah, the simulation itself, the work the crew did to stay alive, a medical emergency captured by The Guardian newspaper, and what happened afterwards. She talks about the lessons she learned, and about the ways in which the experience caused her to rethink her ideas of community and culture.
55 minutes | May 20, 2022
Murals, Rematriation, Kudzu, and Kansas
Dave Loewenstein is a muralist, printmaker and community organizer based in Lawrence, Kansas. In addition to his more than twenty public works in Kansas, examples of his dynamic and richly colored community-based murals can be found across the United States, and in Northern Ireland, South Korea and Brazil. Loewenstein’s prints, which focus on social justice issues, are exhibited internationally and are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Yale University, and the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in Los Angeles. Arlene Goldbard and Francois Matarasso talk with Dave Loewenstein. We talk about the strength of the US mural movement, the centrality of place, the challenge of supporting the work, the amazing story of In ‘zhúje ‘waxóbe/Sacred Red Rock Project, returning a sacred object to its rightful owners, the Kaw Nation—and much more.
21 minutes | May 13, 2022
Cultural democracy & community
In the previous episode of A Genuine Inquiry Owen Kelly inquired into a key question that has hovered over every one of our podcasts: what might we mean when we talk about cultural democracy? Why might people need the term, and what can they do with it? He drew upon the work of Rachel Davis DuBois to suggest that cultural democracy forms one part of a triad that includes economic and political democracy. In this episode he looks at how culture and community relate to each other, and what we might actually do to foster community and cultural democracy.
26 minutes | May 6, 2022
Old Words: Prisoners of Love
In this episode Francois Matarasso reads some Old Words that he wrote a long time ago, and feels have become relevant to him and us once more. This time he gives us an extract from a book called Where We Dream: West Bromwich Opera Society and the fine art of musical theatre, published in 2012 by Multistorey. The book begins by quoting Larry Shriner, from 2001, who wrote that “the modern system of art is not an essence or a fate but something we have made”. Francois then begins by noting that “ members of West Bromwich Operatic Society can be sensitive about being called amateurs, not because it is inaccurate, but because of the perception that amateur is a synonym for mediocre, self-regarding, even incompetent. And it is true that the word is sometimes used almost as an insult—and not least between artists themselves”.
60 minutes | Apr 29, 2022
Trick or Treat
On months that have a fifth Friday we break from our normal schedule and produce something else related in one way or another to cultural democracy. In 2022 we will delve into radio archives to bring back some historical examples of serials and comedies that let us hear unfiltered aspects of the world as it seemed to our grandparents. In this episode we go back to Halloween night on October 31, 1938. That night Orson Welles’ and the Mercury Theater broadcast an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” that stands as a vivid reminder of the power of the media and of the general public’s vulnerability when it is gripped by fear. It also still stands as one of the great media hoaxes of the twentieth century.
58 minutes | Apr 22, 2022
Acts of Transfer
Sophie Hope, Lizzie Lloyd and Katy Beinart recorded a live unedited conversation on 30 March 2022 at the Brighton Centre for Contemporary Arts during a public event to launch Lloyd and Beinart's new publication, Acts of Transfer. The publication reflects Lloyd and Beinart's collaborative work revisiting past artworks that involve social engagement and/or public participation. The discussion here delves into their motives for doing this work, how they went about it and some of the issues and questions that emerged through the retracing of past projects to create new readings and interpretations.
59 minutes | Apr 15, 2022
Folk is a Feminist Issue
Arlene Goldbard and Francois Matarasso talk with Lucy Wright, a visual artist, artistic researcher, writer, and contemporary folk artist based in West Yorkshire, England. Who defines "folk" and why? What aspects of folk art may be invisible to (or suppressed by) tradition's gatekeepers? Can we reclaim and renew language as the practices it describes change with the times? Join us for a fascinating conversation.
22 minutes | Apr 8, 2022
What might we mean by cultural democracy?
In Episode 15 of A Culture of Possibility Arlene Goldbard, Owen Kelly and François Matarasso discussed the Porto Santo Charter and a set of issues that arose from that. In this episode of A Genuine Inquiry Owen Kelly continues a line of thought from that discussion and inquires into a key question that has hovered over every one of our podcasts: what might we mean when we talk about cultural democracy? Why might people need the term, and what can they do with it? He delves into the history of the term and finds that its original uses differ significantly from how many people would like to use it today. He draws upon the work of Rachel Davis DuBois to suggest what it could mean, and why we need the term in any progressive vocabulary.
30 minutes | Apr 1, 2022
Old Words: Making Nothing Happen
In this episode Francois Matarasso reads some Old Words that he wrote a long time ago, and feels have become relevant to him and us once more. Making Nothing Happen began as a talk that Francois gave on 3 September 2016, at the 5th Anniversary of Tandem, in Berlin. The Tandem Cultural Partnership promotes cooperation between artists and cultural producers in Europe and neighbouring territories including Ukraine, Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa. Francois revised it early in the darker year of 2022. As part of the Old Words series within a series, Francois will make the printed version of this essay available for download as a pdf at his Parliament of Dreams website at the same time as this podcast appears online.
66 minutes | Mar 18, 2022
Porto Santo: Charters, Manifestos, and Cultural Democracy
Arlene Goldbard and Francois Matarasso join forces with Owen Kelly to talk policy for cultural democracy with Owen Kelly, taking off from the Porto Santo Charter adopted last year as part of Portugal's Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Who are such statements for? What impact can they have? How should they be done?
14 minutes | Mar 11, 2022
Sophie Hope has just written a contribution to a book called The Failures of Public Art and Participation. In this episode she expands upon some of the arguments in her chapter, We Thought We Were Going To Change The World: socially engaged art and cruel optimism. She bases her analysis on a reading of Laurent Berlant’s book Cruel Optimism and uses a long running work of her own, the 1984 Dinners, as the starting point for a practical look at how we might thrive through solidarity in the face of the frustrations of our cruel optimism.
30 minutes | Mar 4, 2022
Old words: music what is it good for?
In this episode Francois Matarasso reads some Old Words that he wrote a long time ago, and feels have become relevant to him and us once more. He analyses his initial reactions to hearing Eric Burdon singing House of the Rising Sun with the Animals as a child, and this leads him to look at wider and deeper questions about what constitutes music, and what how we might describe its effects and purposes. As part of the Old Words series within a series, Francois will make the printed version of this essay available for download as a pdf at his Parliament of Dreams website at the same time as this podcast appears online. Multimedia!
63 minutes | Feb 18, 2022
Art With The Experience of Age
In the 14th episode of A Culture of Possibility, co-hosts François Matarasso and Arlene Goldbard interview two accomplished makers of theater with older performers — David Slater (founder and now associate member of Entelechy Arts in South London) and Alan Lyddiard (Artistic Director of The Performance Ensemble in Leeds). They share their stories, describe their processes in helping to create new forms of theater that serve the people they work with rather than imposing conventional forms that leave them out, and talk about the people and work that have inspired them. Alan explained that "I don't find much interest going to the theater, and seeing the well-made play anymore. I find it dull, mostly. But I find it exceptionally rewarding to be on the streets of a city and see the people working away doing what they do, and being creative in their daily lives. And that's the bit that I would like to capture and try to get hold of and try to work with and get to know better."
16 minutes | Feb 11, 2022
The Social Mind Hypothesis
In 2015 Thames & Hudson published a book called “Thinking Big: how the evolution of social life shaped the human mind”. The book had three authors: Robin Dunbar, head of the Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group at the University of Oxford; Clive Gamble, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Southampton; and John Gowlett, Professor of Archaeology at Liverpool University. The book developed out of a seven year research study called “Lucy to Language: The Archaeology of the Social Brain” and argues in favour of the social mind hypothesis. Simply put this states that “a link has always existed between our brains, or more precisely the size of our brains, and the size of our basic social units. We see this link as essential to understanding our evolution as a single, global species that can live in cities the size of Rio de Janeiro, drawing daily on vast amounts of information to manage our lives”. In this episode of A Genuine Inquiry Owen Kelly asks what relevance the social mind hypothesis has for those interested in developing a coherent theory of cultural democracy.
41 minutes | Feb 4, 2022
The Lure of the Social
Gretchen Coombs works as a writer and researcher with a focus on socially engaged art practices in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. She also has a postdoctoral research fellowship in design and creative practice at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Her new book, The Lure of the Social, acts as a creative practice ethnography, which navigates a spectrum where at one end the author works closely with socially engaged artists as part of her ethnographic research, and at the other she tries to find a critical distance to write about their art projects and the institutional structures that support their work, such as art schools and conferences. Over the course of the book, Coombs introduces readers to artists and their work, and to the key debates and issues facing this fast-growing and emergent field. She navigates the contradictions and paradoxes of this field of practice through description and analysis and, importantly, gives voice to the artists who are working to make art relevant in times of social and political uncertainty.etchen Coombs works as a writer and researcher with a focus on socially engaged art practices in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. She also has a postdoctoral research fellowship in design and creative practice at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Her new book, The Lure of the Social, acts as a creative practice ethnography, which navigates a spectrum where at one end the author works closely with socially engaged artists as part of her ethnographic research, and at the other she tries to find a critical distance to write about their art projects and the institutional structures that support their work, such as art schools and conferences. Over the course of the book, Coombs introduces readers to artists and their work, and to the key debates and issues facing this fast-growing and emergent field. She navigates the contradictions and paradoxes of this field of practice through description and analysis and, importantly, gives voice to the artists who are working to make art relevant in times of social and political uncertainty.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2022