Workshop: Public Service and Public (Re) Assembly
5th-7th November, from 2 to 6 pm
Casa Atelier Vieira da Silva Auditorium
The workshop uses three key words – Public, Service, Assembly – to support an exploration of “expanded practices”, both in the arts and in various social sectors. It began by considering a series of associations linked to each term, bearing in mind the way definitions and scopes had been expanding and contracting in the post-Fordist sphere of work, along with the advent of the Neoliberal Conjuncture. The discussion then moved on to a set of publicly implicated artistic practices – namely those using means of performance, new media and installation, among others. The artistic projects discussed included those by Paul Ramirez Jonas, Joanna Haigood, Rimini Protokoll, Alan Landesman and Rugile Barzdziukaite, in addition to a set of projects by artists working in Lisbon, which tested the significance of terms such as ‘public’, ‘service’ and ‘assembly’ for the present and so threatened future of a shared life on this planet.
Participating in the workshop were Alix Eynaudi (FR/AT) and Quim Pujol (ES), invited through the artistic research project, Noa & Snow (2019-21): https://www.alixeynaudi.com/noa- snow-fwf/
8th November at 6:30pm
TBA-Teatro do Bairro Alto / Sala Manuela Porto
Free entry (subject to room capacity)
Duration: 120 min.
What do we mean when we refer to neoliberalism? It is quite possible that the referent changes when we consider different sectors – the urban, the financial, the political or the cultural. More specifically, what are we to make of the arts’ role, at the same time capable of resisting neoliberal tendencies but also of reinforcing them? Does it make sense to talk about the public value of art at a time when public institutions are being dismantled? Should we consider the “participatory turn” in contemporary art and performance as a sign of a renewed commitment to the democratic assembly, or as a sign of capitulation to a post-Fordist service economy? Shannon Jackson addressed contemporary critiques of neoliberalism, alongside a set of “expanded practices” seeking to overcome and counteract the formations of late capitalism. Unravelling over ten propositions – or five antinomies –, the lecture clarified the difficulty of determining whether the current ‘expansion’ of performance practice is in fact resistant or insidiously symptomatic of neoliberal expansion. Along the way, Jackson included stories and examples taken from Lisbon experiences, which deepened the exploration of this issue and enhanced recognition of artistic practice’s complexity in the era of neoliberalism.
Shannon Jackson is the Associate Vice Chancellor for the Arts + Design at UC Berkeley where she is also the Cyrus and Michelle Hadidi Professor of Rhetoric and Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies. Jackson’s research focuses on two broad, overlapping domains: 1) collaborations across visual, performing, and media art forms and 2) the role of the arts in social institutions and in social change. Her most recent books are The Builders Association: Performance and Media in Contemporary Theater (M.I.T. Press, 2015) and Public Servants: Art and the Crisis of the Common Good, co-edited with Johanna Burton and Dominic Willsdon (M.I.T. Press 2016). Her previous books include Social Works: Performing Art, Supporting Publics (Routledge 2011), Lines of Activity: Performance, Historiography, and Hull-House Domesticity (2000) and Professing Performance: Theatre in the Academy from Philology to Performativity (2004). Other recent projects include the guest-edited Valuing Labor in the Arts with Art Practical, a special issue of Representations on time-based art, and a new online platform of keywords in experimental art and performance, created in collaboration with the Pew Center for Art and Heritage, In Terms of Performance.