Over the course of four seasons, SOTA will prepare a second Fair Arts Almanac: a publication that gathers many ideas and perspectives on Fair Practice and Change in today’s arts and society. We don’t want to create it alone. We see it as one long process of sharing, thinking and writing together. Would you like to get involved? See our monthly program below!
WHO & WHY?
State Of The Arts (SOTA) is an open platform reimagining the art world today. We believe the transition of an art world towards a fairer one can also serve as a catalyst for genuine change in society at large.
Since 2014 SOTA has discussed Fair Practice in the Arts along five different axes: solidarity, diversity, transparency, ecology and ‘relationality’ (trust). It is clear that these different aspects of fairness are deeply intertwined. Fairness deserves a constant, situated and societal debate. That is why SOTA developed the Fair Arts Almanac as a common tool at the heart of its activities.
FIRST ALMANAC 2019
In 2019 SOTA finished the first Fair Arts Almanac. The content of the book was generated during a week long summer camp in 2018 with about 70 contributors. The result was a bundling of tips & tricks, statements & demands, visions & ideas, dates & data, testimonies & voices, addresses & announcements on fairness within the complex relationships between the artistic, political and economic sphere. The compilation of various contributions in this first edition was deliberately associative and open for debate, full of contradictions, loose ends and inconsistencies.
Since the publication of this almanac, many things have changed: a new cultural minister, drastic cutbacks, many protests, the corona crisis, recovery of culture, a second wave, etc…It is time to prepare for a second edition of the Fair Arts Almanac. For the next edition the editing process will be taken care of from the situatedness of the various reflection and working groups active in SOTA.
SECOND ALMANAC 2022
The almanac 2022 will be created during a series of preparatory events. Throughout 2021, these events will take place on a monthly basis, always at different locations, about different topics and prepared by different groups – and are open to questions that live among practitioners these days, taking the sensibilities of the various seasons into account.
The material gathered in these meetings will be transcribed, transformed and gathered on a web platform hosted by OSP. Based on these materials SOTA will then publish a physical Fair Arts Almanac in 2022.
MONTHLY PROGRAM 2021
TIME TO REST
January is the month of endings and beginnings.
Often forced to deliver results/into continuous production by precarious circumstances, artists hurry from one thing (project?) to another. In that way, (a multitude of) endings and beginnings overlap constantly, which leaves very little space for rest. How to get to rest? In the best case, before there is exhaustion and burn-out. Today, we offer you the possibility to either take a rest, or give a rest. Read more …
Saturday, 30st of January 2021
Where? On a location of your choice with the possibility to meet online for addicts.
How? Register before the 24th of January, and we inform you later.
Questions? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
February is a month of cleansing and repair.
Why is it that so many artists fall outside of the social security system? The corona crisis has again painfully shown that a large number of artists in Belgium are not covered by any social security protection and fall between the cracks of governmental support measures. As a result the new federal government included in its agreement a proposal to find a sustainable solution for a social security for artists. There is a “momentum” to review the artists’ social security. But how do artists see this coming legal reform? During this event a group of artists will put a well reflected and researched proposal up for public discussion. The aim is to refine the proposal through various thoughts and influence the government’s announced reform.
Saturday, 27th of February 2021
OUT OF ORDER CONTEMPLATIONS: PROPOSALS FOR A FUTURE CLASS
March is the month of struggle.
Does the existing art education system adequately prepare students for the challenges of living as an artist after graduation? We won’t just discuss this big question with long keynotes. Instead we open an alternative school for one day with workshops that address practical and theoretical tools we miss in education today. From dealing with finances to empowerment through solidarity to activating our political potential, let’s think together. A new curriculum aimed at fostering a sustainable and rewarding creative life is brought into being. Find out more.
Saturday, 27th of March 2021
Location: Kunsthal Gent, Lange Steenstraat 14, 9000 Gent
CONGRESS of OTHERS WITHIN
April is the month of opening up, budding and sprouting.
What is the impact of the growing awareness of the ecological crisis into the arts? How to represent, invoke, and collaborate with non and more-than-humans that are also part of us? Some are creating institutes for the ocean, while others set up legal entities for the recognition of rivers or summon distressed beings during (caring) rituals. We will gather these attempts in a real Congress of Others Within as a way to experiment on how to establish a different relationship with the earth planet as a being, called Gaia. How are these attempts re-shaping the field of arts? Find out more.
Saturday, 24th of April 2021
Location: Cas-co, Vaartstraat 94, 3000 Leuven
Empowering Artist-Run Spaces
May is the month of springtime named after the Roman goddess Maia
What do artists gain from running an organisation collectively? And how can these collectives empower surrounding actors?
Artists have not only been the victims of gentrification processes in the large cities worldwide, but for decades (unconsciously) functioned as a driving force from within this scheme. When setting up artist-run working spaces, artists often put a lot of time and energy into their start-up, maintenance and management. Of course, they get many advantages in return: being part of a network and the accompanying exchange, for example, and sometimes, hopefully, affordable space. But does it also strengthen their artistic, economic, social, and/or political position? What models exist – think for example of Scheld’apen, PAF, Jubilee, Theatergarage, etc… – that improve the opportunities and conditions of their members, and those of other groups who also struggle with the negative effects of gentrification? What ideas, tools and practices do they have?
In Belgium and internationally, there are places where there is a balance between the energy that is put in and the energy that the people involved get out. How do they do it, how are these places organised? On the basis of a workshop where we focus on ideas and solutions rather than on the problems, we will visualise a variety of ideas and models and see in which contexts and conditions they are constructive or productive, are liable to receive support, have a potential of changing the socio-economic fabric of the art world…
Saturday, 03th of July 2021
Location: Het Bos, Ankerrui 5-7, Antwerpen 2000
SOS-RELIEF is one year old
June is the month of the goddess Juno, patroness of marriage, the well-being of women and young people.
SOS Relief is one year old! To mark this occasion, we are hosting a webinar, open to those who have already participated in the tool as much as those who are curious to know more. The focus of the webinar is to outline what SOS Relief is, where it came from and what it has achieved, and to collectively think about what it can become. We are inviting guest speakers from similar initiatives, both locally and globally, to talk about their experiences in relation to wealth redistribution, trust, and solidarity in their specific contexts, as well as participants from the SOS Relief tool to talk about how the tool affects them, what they perceive as its merits and possibilities for change.
July is the month named after Caesar, the inventor of todays Gregorian calendar
What do you consider to be ‘fair’? And what not? What is and what is not done? Now that everyone is talking about ‘fair practice’, and then usually thinks of ‘fair pay’ only, we feel the need to have an honest exchange of ideas about what ‘fair’ in a broader sense means and where the boundaries lie. What are the dilemmas you encounter? What are real issues in which you have doubts?
Fancy Fair is a morning talk by SOTA at Theater Aan Zee about the tensions between art and activism, ecology and artistic ideals, artistic practices and institutional agendas… Throw into the group what you want to talk about.
Monday 2 August
Location: 10h00-12h30, Café Koer, Leopoldpark, Ostend.
It’s for free, so unpaid labour!
August is the month of Nobleness and Majestic behaviour