Artivistic Multidisiplinary Conference Gears up for 2007's "un.occupied spaces"

0 Posted by - March 27, 2007 - Blog

Multi-multi political art conference ARTIVISTIC 2007 will take place in Montreal, Quebec between October 25th and 27th, and with the new political shift to the ultra-right in the province following last night's election results, the theme “(un)Occupied Spaces” couldn't be more appropriate. From Artivistic organizers:

We are infiltrating all levels of society. Artists, activists, academics, architects, bureaucrats, the homeless, anarchists, first nations, immigrants, doctors, geeks, lawyers, teachers, witches, philosophers, clowns. Artivistic does not only provide a platform for political artists and artistic activists, but partakes in the very movements that work for change. In the pursuit of temporary moments of pleasure, we move towards freedom, for resistance is perpetual and oppression, ever-changing.

With the growing dominance of profit-based and/or fear-based initiatives in all spheres of life which negate the human(and non-human) value globally, we feel that it is critical to elaborate new and open strategies of expression that allow the flourishing of multivarious communities.

We oppose the progression of monolithic thought and work for the development of new and dynamic forms of knowledge, exchange, representation and practices of everyday life. We aim to stimulate the mind, the imagination, and the body. We seek alternative models, portals unto un.occupied spaces. Artistivic moves beyond the moment, becoming a process of contamination through interpersonal dialogue that exceeds the event.

Building on the 2005 generation, Artivistic in 2007 will continue to ask questions that do not leave us thinking we have resolved the issues. We strongly suggest that you answer one, or all, of our questions with a question of your own. Please submit your proposal for participation related (but not restricted) to the following :

what is indigenous ?
The very use of the term “indigenous” presupposes a claim to the existence of rights. The right to land. The right of return. The right to self-determination. The right to a life with dignity. In what context does indigenous mean something and how is it represented today? What is the relationship between identity based on place, the land and/or territories and the right to resources? What is indigenous in the context of globalisation, migrations and mobility? (Perhaps the question is not what is indigenous but how is indigenous?)

what is a natural space ?
The environment is in a pretty bad shape. Yet, does not typical environmentalism often propose “solutions” which alienate the very people that could make a difference by using a false dichotomy (natural/human-made, natural/artificial, nature/culture) and by perpetuating the myth of a pristine nature? Current strategies often make use of fear and guilt to provoke action, yet will we not be helping our environment in a more efficient way once we let go of our arrogance as humans and start living with and in the world rather than of, and alienated from, the world?

what is (there) to occupy ?
The term “occupation” often inspires images of invasion, enclosure and rape. How are spaces and bodies ruled over? What is public space, ultimately? Why do reserves exist? To ask what is occupation is in fact to ask what is left to occupy for occupation is more pervasive than it first appears. At the same time, occupation echoes resistance when it comes to certain forms of appropriation. So how does one occupy appropriation or how can one appropriate occupation?

For more info, visit the Artivistic site.

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