Category Archives: Symposia

Call :: Fair Art Almanac / Summer Camp

Dear art practitioners

State Of The Arts (SOTA) invites you to take part in its first annual Summer Camp on fair practice, taking place in September 2018. It is a next step in a process SOTA initiated to reflect on the complex relationships between artistic, political and economic spheres. The Summer Camp is aimed at writing the


A practical guide for working,
instituting and policy making in the arts

This Almanac will be an annual collection of practical as well as visionary statements, tools and announcements that can help to develop and claim fair and sustainable practices within the cultural field. Continue reading Call :: Fair Art Almanac / Summer Camp




a self-educational platform for
artistic, economic and political movements

proposed to the Belgium arts community
in reaction to the call for projects by Kunstenpunt
in the frame of D.I.T. (do it together) 2017

State Of The Art proposes to launch an annual Summer Camp for art practitioners of any background and color – a camp where everyone concerned with the concrete conditions of art making comes together and discusses the politics of practice. The Camp shall be a meeting point of people working on all sides of the artistic production, wether in or out of institutions, as artist, technician or in administration, wether engaged in research or in production. The Camp gathers forces of those who want a strong, advanced, differentiated, diverse and challenging artistic culture in their closer or larger surrounding.
The Camp’s goal is to publish an almanac of art’s practices in Belgium and beyond.
The FAIR Almanac 2019 is aimed as a tool that gathers practices, knowledge and perspectives in form of a year calendar, generated during the Summer Camp. It shall discuss and develop five core fields of fairness in the arts: solidarity, ethics, diversity, ecology, and empowerment. The annually renewed Almanach shall be come a key instrument for a continuous discussion about working conditions in the arts.

We ask D.I.T. to support the first edition of the SOTA Summer Camp and the production
of its Almanac 2019.


During a week long gathering in Summer 2018 the participants of the Camp shall reflect upon the link between the daily practice of art making, its political, philosophical and economic constructions, the structural possibilities of the sector, and the embedding and impact of art in our society. The camp can take characteristics of a conference, a playground, summer school, public court or a festival – all of witch shall contribute their tones to the atmosphere of the Summer Camp. The general aim of the camp is to commonly improve the economic and political survival skills of the individual artists and the art field as a whole. The Camp shall be an informative, inspiring, connecting, productive and practical place that generates an instantly printed outcome – The FAIR Almanac 2019!

The Camp will take place in the open air. It shall be an independently organized space- and timeframe beyond the normal working grids, that is managed in ‘good neighborhood’ to a variety of institutions, peoples and places.

The Almanac aims to be a common tool for politicizing the arts and for ‘artifying’ political movements. It triggers discussions, features and documents the spectrum of thoughts and approaches, and lift the status of the profane organizational work into realm of the artistic. The Almanac shall provide useful practical information, dates of major and minor events, as well harvest interesting texts that addresses the precarious economic and political conditions of art practitioners. Based on the exercises and experiments of the Camp, the Almanac will not only include some basic political and administrative data provided by the cultural ministries, it discusses and reflects practical, political and performative values of these ‘data’. It will publish unsolicited comments, bottom-up advises, make proposals for changes, etc… The editorial policy of the Almanac 2019 will continue SOTA’s ongoing discussion of and for fair artistic practices within our society. Fair, in SOTA’s understanding, is a list of five concerns: solidarity, ethics, ecology, diversity and empowerment. The publication will put together what artist practitioners like to share in an almanac, beyond their usual financial and institutional implications. Fair?
The request for fairness lies in the veins of SOTA. Form the beginning on the artists forming the loose group that called it self „State of The Arts“ was concerned about the conditions that create a lively and engaged artistic scene that is able to create and reflect upon the knowledge our contemporary society needs. These conditions are under constant political threat and have to be taken care for in a continuous process that is mainly lead by the artists themselves. SOTA tries to create artist-run platforms for this engagement.

After two symposia in 2013 and 2014 a paper was created that stated the outlines of what we understand under fairness. This paper was widely discussed in Belgium and became the backbone of the recently launched Fair Practice Code in the Netherlands. We still believe that the key points of this paper are relevant and want to take its statements as a starting point to structure the Camp, the Almanac and further practices. You can find the original paper in the appendix of this proposal.


Before May 2018 SOTA will launch an open call for practices that can lead to an Almanac of Art Practice and for participation in the Summer Camp. This call will be followed by one week of creating the actual content of the Almanac the during a Summer Camp in the month of September 2018. This Camp, will at the same time continue to discuss, negotiate, learn and un-learn the what and the why of an Almanac. Although the Camp itself shall be a self-educational test ground for fair practices, the final outcome will be the draft of a blue-print of the Almanac. A team of editors will finalize this draft to a publication and sustainable blue-print for following years. While printed in November, our first Almanac will be launched in December 2018. We see it as a useful publication that on the one hand enables to build on past experiences and on the other hand allows future yearly updates of a spectrum of transformative activities and initiatives.

For whom?

The Almanac will harvest various voices of art practitioners in Belgium, from people working inside institutions until free-lancers, amateurs, etc… The creation of the Almanac shall be based on two open calls. One call is for contributions in form of texts, images, works, and other materials for the Almanac. Another call is to join an editorial group, that joins the Summer Camp. The group of editors will select the contributions and edit the publication, based on a continuity of the research by SOTA. The editing of the Almanac in the future will be fluently handed over form year to year, based on new calls.SOTA
State of the Arts (SOTA) was born more out of a situation to support fair art practices in Belgium then an idea. State of the Arts happened spontaneously at a conference in Brussels. An ongoing platform proved to be desired and so here it is to stay. SOTA sees itself as a divers, not homogeneous, inconsistent, wild and yet engaged bunch of fair art practitioners. With its loose gatherings, its spontaneous symposia and recurrent attempts to stand up for improvements of conditions within the arts. SOTA confronts art practitioners with their internal economical and political kitchen. We can be pleasantly surprised by the demonstrations of the force and relevance of SOTA’s rather “undisciplined” way of influencing.

In the writing process of this proposal following people were involved:
Nicolas Galeazzi, Kobe Matthys, Einat Tuchman, Gosie Vervloessem, Michiel Reynaert.

Plenary Discussion

Plenary Discussion (+ bio guests)


In the afternoon we all get back together and discuss the proposals on the table. What did we learn from the morning session and what can we do? What are the snags when it comes to fair practice? How broad are the spectres in different art practices and fields and should we develop different, specific parameters? Would these then be conflicting? Or can we come up with tools that count for the whole spectrum? Which are concrete proposals that could be translated into points of immediate action? Can we compose a checklist of parameters for good practices? What goals can we set for ourselves in the longer term? And which tools would we need for that?

The worktables of the morning session focus on practices of individual actors. In the afternoon, three international guests will introduce models for collective action towards fairer practices in the arts. We explore how their experiences can be translated into the Belgian or Flemish context and how we can pick them up in our future initiatives.

Below: more background information on the three guests and what they represent. In the following order: Lise Soskolne (W.A.G.E, London/NY), Peter van den Bunder (FNV/ Kiem, Amsterdam) and Joseph Young (a-n, London).

Lise Soskolne



Lise Soskolne is an artist and core organizer of W.A.G.E., an activist
organization focused on regulating the payment of artist fees by
nonprofit art institutions. An organizer within W.A.G.E. since its
founding in 2008 and its core organizer since 2012, she has worked in
nonprofit arts presenting and development in New York since 1998 at
venues that have included: Anthology Film Archives, Artists Space,
Diapason Gallery for Sound, Meredith Monk/The House Foundation for the
Arts, Participant Inc, and Roulette Intermedium. In 2007 she was hired
to jumpstart the redevelopment of Industry City, a 6 million sq ft
industrial complex on the South Brooklyn waterfront by using artists to
raise the property value. There she introduced and managed a program
that openly leveraged the cultural capital of a community of artists in
financial need in exchange for long term affordable work space and
greater control over the means of their own production.


Founded in 2008, Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) is a
New York-based activist organization focused on regulating the payment
of artist fees by nonprofit art institutions, and establishing a
sustainable labor relation between artists and the institutions that
contract them. In 2014 W.A.G.E. launched a national certification
program that publicly recognizes those institutions demonstrating a
history of, and commitment to, voluntarily paying artist fees. W.A.G.E.
Certification is the only model of its kind—and the first in the U.S.
to establish a sector-wide minimum standard for compensation, as well as
a clear set of guidelines and standards for the conditions under which
artistic labor is contracted.

Joseph Young

artist and activist


As an artist Young’s work has been exhibited and performed at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Whitechapel Gallery, Jerwood Hastings, Seoul Museum of Art, Conflux NYC and Berlin MPA. An edition of my work The Ballad of Skinny Lattes and Vintage Clothing is held in the permanent collection of the Estorick Collection in London.

He is a member of a-n’s advisory AIR Council and its Joint Secretariat, as well as a core member of the Paying Artists campaign team. Joseph has recently launched a personal campaign in support of Britain’s continuing membership of the European Union in the forthcoming referendum (Twitter: @artsforeu).

 a-n AIR was established by a-n The Artists Information Company as an integral part of its Artist membership offer for the visual arts sector.  Open to all practicing, professional visual and applied artists there are currently over 19,000 Artist members who together make a diverse and extensive professional community of practicing artists working across all types of visual arts practice in the UK.

AIR Council is an advisory group to the management and Board of a-n The Artists Information Company.

AIR Council representatives are drawn from the a-n AIR artist membership and aim to collectively embody and reflect the diversity of UK contemporary visual arts practitioners in terms of artform, career stage, gender, cultural background and geography.

 Peter van den Bunder

Responsible for the freelancers-lobby and policy

FNV/ Kiem

FNV KIEM is a labour union for everyone who works – including employees and freelancers.  People should be able to choose freely. In its interest representation, FNV KIEM also strives for colllective agreements for the self-employed, including cao and social plan agreements.

Peter van den Bunder has focussed mainly on pensions and union work during his career. He worked as an account manager for the pension fund Cultuur and for a commercial insurance company. Since 2010 Peter has been working for FNV KIEM, first as a union advisor and now as a manager for the self-employed.

In this context he focuses on collective interests representation for freelancers in the creative industry. “What is fascinating about this the freelancer cannot be generalized, there are so many differences. Freelancers make for a varied vanguard of a labour market in transition, which necessitate new solutions.” There for there are many facets to be reckoned with when it comes to the business, pension and juridical advice that Peter gives to freelancers in the creative industry.

Remuneration of artists in Netherlands

A conversation about the art label, a fee directive reward in the arts in general, and the fight for better remuneration for visual artists in particular.

Director Peter van den Bunder of the Union FNV Kiem, the union for the creative sector, outlines the situation in the Netherlands. Peter collaborated with Rune Peitersen Platform BK in the recent studies of the practice fee for visual artists in the steering committee. He tells how the meagre remuneration of artists is on the agenda in the Netherlands, and about what is happening now. FNV KIEM has developed an art label in the past, how does it work and what are the experiences? At present, the lobby for the development of a fee guideline is topical. What does that process look like? And which way should and can it go? The lobby by artists is often fragmented. Union FNV GERM collaborates closely with the professional organization Platform for Visual Arts. How is this collaboration? And in a broader sense: where do the interests of other disciplines such as the arts run parallel to those of employees and self-employed persons, and where does the friction occur?







Symposium on Solidarity

The reports of the working groups of the symposium on Solidarity of 27.02.2016 are available!


Solidarity. How do we work together?

A first work conference in the long term project Towards Fair Practices in the Arts 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Morning session

@ Kunstenpunt, Ravensteingalerij 38, 1000 Brussel & Atelier Vlaamse Bouwmeester

09h30: doors

10h00 – 10h15: introduction

10h15 – 12h00: worktables

12h00 – 13h00: lunch

13h00 – 13h15: walk to the museum KMSK


Afternoon session

@ KMSK (Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten) Regentschapsstraat 3, Brussels

13h15 – 13h30: introduction

13h30 – 15h15: reports from the worktables: what have we learnt about fairness and how to reach it? and discussion

15h15 – 15h30: break

15h30 – 17h00: contributions from international guests Lise Soskolne (W.A.G.E, London/NY), Peter van den Bunder (FNV/ Kiem, Amsterdam) and Joseph Young (a-n, London) and discussion

17h00 – 17h30: conclusions

moderator of the day: Philippine Hoegen


‘Towards Fair Practices in the Arts’ is a joint trajectory by and for the cultural sectors for more fair, diverse, sustainable and ethically responsible art practices, organized by State of the Arts, NICC, oKo, Hoogtijd, ACOD, Kunstenloket and Kunstenpunt.

This first work conference focusses on the notion of ‘solidarity’ within the various work processes and relationships that constitute the arts. Between artists, commissionaires, subsidizers, policy makers, curators, production teams, institutions, mediators and the public etc.


On February 27, we will tackle different matters concerning solidarity in the diverse art sectors today.  The conference takes place at two different adjacent locations and is accordingly divided in two parts.

More about the general questions and concerns of the conference you can find here.

Specific information on the invited speakers and the overall afternoon program you find here. For the work tables in the mornings, we set up 8 working tables around 8 different types of relationships in which solidarity could be understood, ultimately working towards an articulation of what fair practice would mean in each of these specific arena.

More about the structure of these working tables you can find here.

To bring these tables into play, we send out an open call to the people working in the     different art sectors. You can find it here.

NOTE: We ask you to registrate through this form. (There’s a maximum number of participants allowed!)

Visit the event’s facebook here for regular updates too.

Structure of the work tables, Symposium 2

In the morning we will invite all the conference visitors to participate in one of the work tables, thinking together about ‘fair practices’ within specific aspects of the artistic practice. At every table one or more specific ‘cases’ will be presented, which the group can unravel: what are aspects of ‘fairness’ and how to reach them?

In the conversations in preparation of this conference, we introduced the concept of ‘currencies’ which define the relations and exchanges between the different actors. that can be used as building block in the discussions ‘currencies’. These: finances, communication, material and immaterial values, visibility and decision-making. Continue reading Structure of the work tables, Symposium 2

Concerns on Solidarity

Resulting the SOTA conference Solidarity: how do we work together?
February 2016

The arts make a rich habitat. The exchanges and collaborations between artists, commissionaires, subsidizers, policy makers, curators, production teams, institutions, mediators and the public bring into play an impressive variety of art and cultural experience.

Today, however, these work processes are under increasing pressure. Continue reading Concerns on Solidarity

Live stream of Symposium 2

Live stream backup from the symposium, with some glitches.