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Marc Fischer: Public Collectors & Against Competition

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Public Collectors & Against Competition
December 28, 2010 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm EST

To join this week’s Potluck Chat:

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Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is the final event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

To wrap up the year, we’ll be talking with Marc Fischer (one of three members of Temporary Services) about the “Public Collectors” network, and then opening the discussion up around the manifesto “Against Competition”.


Public Collectors seeks to redress what amounts to a massive and systemic cultural oversight: that there are countless cultural artifacts that public libraries, museums and other institutions and archives simply either do not collect or fail to make readily accessible. Public Collectors asks individuals who have had the occasion to amass, organize, and inventory these materials to help reverse this bias by making their collections public. The purpose of the project is provide access to worlds of collected materials so that knowledge, ideas and expertise can be freely shared and exchanged.

An initiative of this kind gains its meaning and importance against the backdrop of the culture of artificial scarcity upon which mainstream artworld values are founded. So much of that artworld is structured to favor competition. Grants are competitive. Students compete for funding. Hundreds compete for a single teaching position. Artists compete with artists - stealing ideas instead of sharing them, or using copyright laws to prohibit thoughtful re-use. Artists compete for shows in a limited number of exhibition spaces instead of finding their own ways to exhibit outside of these venues. Artists conceal opportunities from their friends as a way of getting an edge up in this speculative capital-driven frenzy. Gallerists compete with other gallerists and curators compete with curators. Artists who sell their work compete for the attention of a limited number of collectors. Collectors compete with other collectors to acquire the work of artists. Essentially, these are the reasons that make Plausible Artworlds plausible; that make alternate artworlds, premised on pooling resources and mutualizing incompetence, so important. We figured it was fitting to wind up 2010’s discussions with some words that might help describe art beyond competition.

See you all then!

Join us every Tuesday night - in person, or on Skype, skypename: ‘basekamp’
If you come to the potluck chat in person, be sure to bring a dish :)
Basekamp space: 723 Chestnut St, 2nd floor, Philadelphia usa