In the context of what some call the crisis of the institution, the questions of how we organise ourselves, how we work together and how potentially we self-institute have never seemed so pertinent to ask, yet we seem to continually reach an idealogical impasse, do we withdraw from existing structures, or do we attempt to reclaim and reinvent them? The institutions of culture and art seem to be some of the last remaining public spaces for such re-imaginings, but how does this extend beyond providing the cultural content for such discourse and into the very organisational structure and activity of the institution itself? And with diminishing public resources with a drive to increase private sources of funding, for how long will these spaces remain public? Has socially engaged arts practice and critical curatorial work impacted how we consider the role and activities and agency of art institutions in society? Do the self-organised, DIY organisations of artists and movements such as Occupy and Open Source provide new models of horizontal and vertical organisations? What organisational forms have the potential to engage with and constitute new publics?
In a time of momentous changes, and where meaning and modes of production of culture are shifting dramatically, âTHINKING THROUGH INSTITUTIONS" offers a space to consider and discuss how we organise and institute ourselves and the potential role for arts institutions in the democratisation of power, debate, criticality and cultural change, with leading national and international guest speakers; Helen Carey, Nuno Sacramento, Fiona Woods, Lane Relyea, Sarah Pierce, Sarah Rifky, Mick Wilson and more.