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Rain has been pouring down about once every hour today. Heavy rains. The weather forecast has been followed with extreme care at Nätverkstan, glued by the radio most of the day and running outside to try to follow the clouds’ movement.
But half an hour before screening the first of three shows of art- and experimental films on outdoor screening, the clouds disappeared and the sky was blue. Around sixty people had gathered in the restaurant at Lagerhuset, sitting outside to have a drink and see art film. And as the sun set out the coastline in the West and it finally got darker, curator Åsa Falewicz presented her project Where Dreams Cross and her film put together by a set of nine films produced by different artists.
Screening windows for art- and experimental film are changing. The white cube is not any longer the only place where experimental moving images can – or will – be shown. Where Dreams Cross wants to explore new exhibit places for art film and video with the aim to reach a wider audience.
Nätverkstan Borderland has started in line with these ideas. We want to explore more screening possibilities for art- and experimental film, and are starting both open outdoor film screening together with an online window. And today was the nerv-racking start of a series of three shows. Tonight Åsa Falewicz with Where Dreams Cross gave it all a flying start!
The project is a cooperation between Nätverkstan Medialab (Medieverkstäderna), School of Film Directing at University of Gothenburg, Pustervik and Where Dreams Cross. Medieverkstäderna has cultural strategic funding from Region Västra Götaland.
Tonights highlight. A warm summer-evening working with artists on the Art of living on Art in the small town of Uddebo.
Nätverkstan is running a European Social Fund project on art and entrepreneurship, Knep. The courses are run at four different places around the region of Västra Götaland, from large cities to small. Read also here.
On Saturday the 20:th of august Carl Forsberg and Olav Fumarola Unsgaard had a public talk at the city festival of Malmö. The topic was about digital publishing. Our analysis is that we are entering a more complex ecosystem of texts. The traditional printed media is going to be complemented by at least four different types of digital texts:
• The digital book (today usually an E-pug file read in an E-reader)
• The text as an pdf-file
• Texts on the internet (homepages and blogs at the www)
• Applications (small programs read on a smartphone or a tablet computer)
Nätverkstans aim is to help, guide and provide the Swedish journals with guidance and solutions for this complex ecosystem of texts. Our latest project is to develop an iPhone application for the journal Ord&Bild. It is now available for downloading at Apples iTune store: http://itunes.apple.com/se/app/tidskriften-ord-bild/id447773438?mt=8.
The aim of creating this application is that the journals need an application based on their needs and economical conditions. Programming an application is still quite costly and no single Swedish cultural journal has the budget doing it themselves. Our idea is that Nätverkstan can lower the cost for the journals by doing a great part of the development work (if you are interested, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org). The event was visited by 40 persons with quite different knowledge of digital publishing. Some where publishers and some saw an iPad for the first time.
Nätverkstans other work at the festival was mainly concerned about promotion of the different journals. We where present at the café Cacaofoni and at St Petri.
Text: Olav Fumarola Unsgaard
Photo: Helena Persson
In economic downturns, cultural is often the area easy to cut. Compared to health and care, art and culture is often seen as something extra. Still we turn to poetry or music, theatre or dance to help us feel hope, dreams, inspiration, or help us through mourning and grief in hard times. Art is often the glue, the cement, that hold people together.
To find ways for art and culture to develop and better sustain itself is a mission of Nätverkstan. A society with different voices and artistic expressions and possibilities to practice art is a rich one.
Leadership is just one of all topics to work with in culture, but an interesting one. In Sweden cultural leadership is rarely spoken of, yet a new more holistic view on leadership is needed.
For several years a Cultural Leadership Award was run by Nesta in UK that had this view. It was run by lottery money bud had to close down four years ago. The Cultural Leadership Programme at Arts Council has continued in the same spirit with important training possibilities for leaders in culture. But also this was closed down as late as in March this year due to the large economic cuts in the UK economy.
To make sure we have an interesting cultural life and artistic scene in Europe, investments in the field are necessary. A lot is needed, from economic conditions that make it possible to live and work as an artist, as well as development possibilities as an artist or leader of cultural institutions and organizations. For an EU believing culture is the future, this needs to be on the agenda.
Interesting reports have been written of these initiatives, read for instant ”The Cultural Leadership Reader” by Sue Kay and Katie Venner. Read more posts on Cultural Leadership here. Also visit the Clore programme.
On Monday the project, Knep, a cultural entrepreneurship workshop for artists, started around the region of Västra Götaland.
The workshop is a series of six evening-meetings, of these two full-day conferences, the content covers everything from how to live on your art, visions, where you are now, to marketing, budget and other useful things. We will go from practical work to an overview of the discussion on cultural entrepreneurship in Europe. The aim is for each participant to develop their entrepreneurial thinking.
We are holding workshops at four places in the region of Västra Götaland at the same time. It’s important, we find, to go to where people live and work, not only, to stay in the large cities (which in this region is Göteborg). All participants from the four different corners of the region will meet at the conferences, a way to enlarge your network and meet others.
Even in a small region of 1,5 million people networking is difficult and often an obstacle. Yet so important in an artistic work which often means lonely work in your studio.
Photos: Sara Vogel–Rödin.
The possibility to organize your own knowledge building through study circles has been an important part of Swedish modernisation and Welfare State. Alongside growing popular movements and non-governmental organizations during the 19th century, folk high schools and educational associations were started to give people knowledge building possibilites within all sort of areas.
It should be ”free and voluntary”, something formulated in 1944 by that year’s Folkbildningsutredning (Committee of Adult Education, my translation), and meant that knowledge building initiatives should be built on voluntariness and the individual interest. It was of course also a way to make sure people got ”democratic schooling” in a time in Europe where totalitarian states had grown and we’d just seen the end of Second World War.
The ideas of this voluntary organization still works today and Sweden has ten Educational Associations (Studieförbund) providing study circles and cultural events. As a member of an Association, you can, if you gather a few other people with the same interest as yours, very easy set up a study circle. The topic you decide and the circle gets a small economic support for costs of facility and study material. This way people have studied languages, taken cooking classes, learned history, religion, handicraft, playing instruments, done physical exercise and much more.
The Educational Associations are financed by the state, together with the region and municipality they belong to. They have been an important provider of art and culture in society; this has been the door into practicing art from childhood for many people.
Karlstad Municipality is one of the municipalities providing support to Educational Associations and Nätverkstan got the assignment to do a mapping of how they work with culture in the municipality. Quite an interesting – and responsible – task.
Read also this related post, especially about the theories of Italian Economist Pier Luigi Sacco.
Going through old documents and documentation, I came across the documentation from the Encatc 15th Annual Conference held in Göteborg, Sweden, in June 2007.
The conference invited around 200 participants mainly from Europe, but also other parts of the world, to discuss ”On Entrepreneurship and Education in Cultural Life”. Entrepreneurship was the talk of the day even then and the aim was to discuss methods, experiences and knowledge on this topic. The conference mixed between seminars, workshops, study visits and open space. We used speed-dating as contact creater between participants and had lots of different cultural events in the programme. We invited speakers from Sweden and UK, but also India to widen our own horizons and bring in reflections from outside of Europe.
The discussions and results are still relevant and I find interesting quotes from all the speakers. Everything is documented in Encatc 2007 which can be downloaded below. We also did an adress-book from the speed-dating which was quite unique. This was never published in a printed version, but is possible to download for enthusiasts.
The 2011 Encatc Annual conference will be held in Helsinki, Finland, on October 12-14 on the topic ”CultureForecast”.
Read more from the from the conference 2007 here.
Download documentation here: encatc-2007-report.pdf.
Download adress-book here: encatc_addressbook.pdf.
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