n.e.w.s. is a collective online platform for the analysis and development of art-related activity, drawing upon contributions from around the globe, bringing together different voices, accents and outlooks from the North, East, West and South. | Read more..

12/11/2014 - 02/01/2015 (tz: Europe/Amsterdam)

Arbitrating Attention: Paid Usership


The key concern for what can by some be termed ‘Web 3.0’ is the giving of data freely and the debate over control of public time and space. With the increasing loss of state and public monies, privatization is becoming more prevalent and almost an accepted means of replacement within neo-liberal governments. How does this affect cultural practitioners working in an expansive sector that is increasingly incorporating other fields of inquiry, along with its financial systems and structures of support in processes of art-related activities? One draws on one’s network to find and invite collaborators, participants, partners, and contributors to projects without necessarily having allotted funds for honoraria. In the cultural sector money isn’t readily available and the most common way, in many non-wage sectors at least, is to be paid with attention as return. This payment is measured through visibility politics, quantified by social media, e-flux mailings, list servers and printed matter, which then accrue and gain value, resulting in social capital.

Why do some artists/cultural producers not demand to be paid for their endeavours? Even more than for reputation economy or attention economy they do this for ‘self-actualisation’. Through their work as artists or in cultural projects, activism, ecologies, etc. they engender a sense of community, provide mutual support, obtain personal growth, create readership and potentially, inplement ‘paid usership’. For some cultural producers, time is money, gift economies are reciprocal and attention economies fulfilling. Yet if we spread our data, give our time, remit our rights of privacy and right to remuneration, how can we create other systems of negotiation and payment? This forum will bring together a range of positions that address economies that are all in use or are being used: attention, reputational, gift, debt, community, informal, collaborative, performative, post-industrial, human, sharing, etc.

This online forum was presented at Digital Labour 2014 (#DL14) and has been partially supported by Leuphana University's Digital Cultures Research Lab. Please sign up as a user if you wish to comment.

02/08/2014 - 02/08/2015 (tz: Europe/Amsterdam)

Becoming deontological -- a politics of deontologizing art / an art of deontologizing politics


At one point in the mid-1980s, Sandinista leader Tomas Borge quipped in reference to some local grievance that “it may be true even though Ronald Reagan says it’s true.” It took his interlocutors a moment to get their heads around such a counterintuitive statement — after all, the US President so systematically distorted information that his assertions seemed to provide a pretty reliable benchmark regarding disinformation. Borge’s comment was less about obdurate “facts” than about how antagonistic outlooks may inadvertently tease hidden assumptions to light, compelling us to reappraise what no longer seems worth thinking about — if only we pay attention. The logic behind the “Borge paradox” is of enduring validity, particularly for untangling and reweaving the narratives of that conflicted decade; more contemporaneously, it is highly useful in helping us to understand — rather than to merely acc​ept — the stance of what is to date the most ambitious enquiry into the articulations between art and the political in 1980s Latin America. Losing Human Form is based not on a chronological but rather a political understanding of the eighties, which it sees as beginning prematurely in 1973 with the overthrow of Salvador Allende’s Popular Front in Chile and only coming to an end with the emergence of Zapatismo in 1995. Losing Human Form in its current configuration doesn’t actually examine the Sandinista experience — or that of the FMLN in neighbouring El Salvador, though the potential is definitely there — but these may well be focal points for future instantiations of this ongoing, collective research project, undertaken by the Red Conceptualismos del Sur (RCdS).

01/08/2014 - 01/08/2015 (tz: Europe/Amsterdam)

Summer Reading


Friends of n.e.w.s. know that we n.e.w.s.casters have been working on a book for a while now. "A while now" perhaps understates things a tad, just as "working" overstates the measurable, nose-to-the-grindstone toiling that has gone on. But a book has been steeping, in the passive voice of the present continuous. And now it's time to churn it out.