The Recalibrated Institution

Film still from "The Leisure Pit 3D"Domingo Castillo, Film still from “The Leisure Pit 3D”, 2017. Courtesy of Miami World Internet Cafe.

From September to December, ArtCenter/South Florida and the Bureau for Cultural Strategies (BUX) are organizing The Recalibrated Institution: a 12-week paid fellowship and laboratory in Miami for developing and testing intelligences that address emerging and long-term systemic challenges.

Eligibility: Open to practitioners from anywhere working in contemporary art, design, architecture and related disciplines, as well as cultural managers, economists, coders and all those interested in innovative institutional models. The 12-week fellowship will be awarded to 8 practitioners, 3 of which will be awarded to Miami-based practitioners. Please note that discussions and seminars will be held in English. We welcome international applicants, but are unable to assist in visa, sponsorship, or immigration requirements.

Deadline: July 17, 2017, 11:59pm (EST)

Fellowship period: September 18-December 15, 2017 at ArtCenter/Downtown

What we offer: a total stipend of $3,750 and round trip travel expenses to Miami for up to 8 fellows–three of which will be awarded specifically to Miami-based practitioners. Housing will also be provided in Downtown Miami for up to five fellows with priority given to practitioners coming from outside of Miami.

Selection process & notification of acceptance: Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee consisting of ArtCenter, the Bureau for Cultural Strategies, and members of Miami’s art community. Selected applicants will be notified of their acceptance on July 31, 2017.

 

To apply, please click here.

 

The Challenge

Since the 1990s, contemporary cultural institutions have functioned as sites for propagating and valorizing a liberal cosmopolitan vision. Today, the unity and operative efficacy of this vision are being challenged by the impacts of digital technologies, financialization, and the mainstreaming of xenophobic policies. By the same token, some of these developments are creating novel possibilities for reconfiguring the structural agency and socio-economic function of cultural institutions. More than ever, there is a need to shift beyond the age-old divide of “infrastructures” versus “cultural content”––the back-end and the front-end of cultural institutional set-up––and to start prototyping strategies that think the two in tandem. The challenge is to develop cultural intelligences and tool-kits that are capable of enforcing this recalibration.

The Recalibrated Institution

The program takes the contemporary cultural institution as its artistic medium precisely because such institutions are junctures at which geopolitical and economic interests intersect. Whether in the form of the art market, the real estate market, or the “creative city,” cultural institutions routinely function as vehicles for comparative advantage and as access points to select financial and political networks. At the same time, cultural institutions continue to identify with various traditional roles: interfacing with the general public, preserving legacies, providing opportunities for cultural producers, representing and critically engaging with wider societal processes–a softened version of cosmopolitan nation-building at a city scale. The aim of the fellowship is to rework these different facets and to bring them into progressive structural realignments. Set in Miami, The Recalibrated Institution takes the city as a leading example of how development is defined in the global contemporary art system: the impact of real estate speculation on urbanism, changing demographics resulting from economic migration or wealth management, and the challenges posed by climate change and sea level rise. Cultural institutions are integral to coalescing these speculative and material interests by presenting Miami as a forward-facing global city to both its local populations as well as external investors. The Miami Model is a blueprint and hence a starting point in rethinking cultural strategy at different scales and contexts.

The eight fellows will work with strategists Marta Ferreira de Sá and Ben Singleton (Rival Strategy), theorist Suhail Malik (Programme Co-Director of the MFA in Fine Art, Goldsmiths, University of London), artist and Core Organizer of W.A.G.E Lise Soskolne and others on designing frameworks to be probed in partnership with different cultural institutions in Miami and internationally. A series of public programs will also unfold throughout the course of the fellowship program.

This program involves self-initiated and collaborative work, as well as capacity in processing and translating artistic, infrastructural, legal, technical, theoretical, and design research into strategic insights. Fellows will work together toward a series of concluding programs in December 2017 in Miami as well as the possibility for continuing engagements with partner institutions in 2018.

Bureau for Cultural Strategies (BUX) is formed by Armen Avanessian and Victoria Ivanova. BUX is part of an ongoing project of producing and disseminating conceptual and strategic tool-kits that can enable the sphere of contemporary culture to make actionable claims on the future. Their earlier theoretical collaborations include amongst others the publication The Time-Complex. Postcontemporary (ed. with Suhail Malik, NAME Publications 2016). 

The Recalibrated Institution was commissioned by Natalia Zuluaga as part of ArtCenter’s Fellowship Program.

 


About ArtCenter Fellowships 

ArtCenter’s Fellowship Program brings distinguished faculty, education initiatives, and cultural practitioners together in Miami to foster the exchange of knowledge. Each year ArtCenter selects up to 16 fellows (up to 8 in the spring/fall) from a diverse range of cultural fields who are interested in working outside traditional disciplinary boundaries and provides them with a living space, resources, and feedback to develop their work and/or programs and courses that may be presented in future iterations of ArtCenter’s Programming. Each semester is designed in collaboration with a partner initiative in an effort to build a dynamic, informal, and yet rigorous research platform within Miami.

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