20th - 23rd April 2011
Temporary Autonomous Art Events and Exhibitions were born in London in 2001 to the Random Artists collective. Taking influence from Temporary Autonomous Zones and the belief in building fleeting pirate utopias, TAA utilises DIY culture tactics to create space for art and expression outside of the established art-world elites. Reclaiming and reusing derelict urban spaces, TAAs are a hotbed for emerging artists crossing all disciplines, encouraging fusion and collaboration between traditional and contemporary media. Artists are invited to be their own curators, and the combined effect of their diverse works is one of hope and beauty, unified through the use of free space.
Random Artists invite creative practitioners and activists working in all media to get involved by:
- contributing artworks (visual, sound, film, performance, spoken word, new media, etc.);
- leading workshops and skill-sharing sessions;
- sharing critical ideas about art and politics as part of our discussion forum;
- or just offering some hands-on help as we create a social space out of a derelict site.
TAA seeks to generate critical debate about aesthetic and political issues, and will include a series of talks and discussions reflecting on our own practice as artists and activists, and what place it has in the contemporary social/political environment. We aim to bring together voices from both grass-roots and academic backgrounds in order to map where we are now, and propagate ideas for future action.
The content of these debates will be participant-lead. Contributions may take the form of talks, films, zines, visual artworks etc. which will feed into group discussions throughout the event.
Topics for discussion might include, but are in no way limited to:
Re-examining the relations between art and politics in the “now” – Does the idea of an “avant-garde,” with its revolutionary implications, have any relevance in a postmodern cultural/political environment? What would constitute a “political art” for the 21th century?
Exploring concept of “autonomy” – what political and ethical issues are raised when spaces are organised according to autonomous principles? Are self-organised spaces ends in themselves, or can they also be the means to a more strategic social change?
Relations between underground and overground culture – how do we understand what's inside/outside the hegemonic system? Counter-culture or sub-culture? When do alternative economies end up reinforcing the values they try to resist?
Politics and pleasure – what is the role of desire in bringing about political change? Is the development of pleasure (sexual, chemical, aesthetic) an aim in itself? Can the pursuit of pleasure lead towards wider political emancipation, or does hedonism serve to nullify cultures of resistance?
Tactical approaches to activism in a time of surveillance culture, and the role of media and social networking technology in grass-roots organisation – how has the rise of social networking platforms in mainstream culture changed approaches to activism? Who's listening – is there any privacy on the internet? How do we generate networks beyond the horizon of facebook, twitter etc?
Diversity in alternative cultural spaces – Are our social spaces as welcoming to different communities as we would like them to be? Is it possible for an autonomous group to be internally diverse, or are the aims of autonomy and diversity antagonistic? What can we do to recognise and resist the creeping prejudices that end up fragmenting underground movements (including our own?) along lines of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class etc.?
But again, this is by no means set in stone and we are open to new ideas and suggestions so if you are interested in getting involved and have ideas to present, whether as an individual or a group, please get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.