Talk at the ACTS OF ENGAGEMENT conference, September 18, 2016, Bagkeion
Jussi Koitela is a curator and a visual artist currently based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Currently he is a participant of De Appel Curatorial Programme. Jussi will be presenting his long term curatorial research project Skills of Economy, addressing artistic reactions to economic discourses and structures.
Extract from "Skills of Economy" :
"Currently art institutions, studio complexes and gallery spaces are seen as an addition to the neoliberal creative space within the contemporary urban network. Art-related spaces and institutions have been agents of gentrification as has the creative class, gaining ground for tourism and real estate speculation. This rhetoric of creativity, together with the booming development of creative urban areas, has turned artistic institutions into first agents in the soon to be developed and re-developed city areas.
The contemporary city is being developed through the viewing of certain areas and spaces as empty and misused. Often investors and politicians view space with what can be understood as a colonial outlook that fills “emptiness” and makes it “usable”. Gentrification can been seen as capitalizing, and as urban planning, which creates a function for something that has been seen before as non-productive; a space without a function. In the age of neoliberal economy, instrumentalised production is the process where function and knowledge are produced.
Through this engagement of capital and knowledge production, the city and creative space are experienced as flows of objects and energies, creating densities and chartographies of matter and form. Or, this is how is seems from the human perspective: Neoliberalism as the only alternative, as a basis for understanding ontological units that the city space contains. Human-driven capitalism directs and shapes the objects and energies of the public space, forming grids and geometries of control and division."