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October 20, 2006

CASAzine #4: Drawing the Line


Call for Submissions

Following the activity of the 2006 Cultural Analysis Summer Academy (CASA) international meeting in Amsterdam (June 23 – 25), the fourth CASAzine will explore the subject of art and direct action. In particular, the issue seeks to investigate the tension between hegemonic forms of knowledge concerning what constitutes art as it is embodied by the academy versus alternative forms of creative action and knowledge production. It is an enquiry into distinctions, limits and possibilities, and into the positions our actions occupy in relation to academic knowledge sets, institutions, and ultimately to other people.

"Drawing the Line" aims to examine the implications and potential of our actions. How do aesthetic concerns affect our politics and vice versa? Do actions utilizing mass media heighten awareness, or do they merely contribute additional imagery to the spectacle? More basically, to what extent is art as creative activism a productive way to work for social change? Can ‘radical aesthetics’ productively challenge distinctions drawn between art and activism in traditional academic knowledge systems?

"Drawing the Line" applies to our negotiation with institutionalization. What happens to creative forms of direct action when they are defined as art by public bodies or art markets? How can creative practices push agendas for political change in relation to, or even within, those contexts? How can we take critical action that is aware of its own position in a cultural climate of fashion, celebrity, and shopping? How do aspects of cultural life as it is currently conceived (i.e. the figure of a charismatic creator a.k.a. "the artist as genius") affect our goal for leaderless, equal, collaborative forms of art and action?

"Drawing the Line" is pertinent to how we relate to others. In all our forms of activism including research, art, and direct action, the nature of our engagement with others is crucial, be they involved, hostile, critical, or indifferent. How do our activities relate to those outside the group of people specifically engaged in this alternative practice? How do the microcosms of dissent created in our daily lives relate to wider social frameworks?

These questions are not new, but they are critical to framing the daily distinctions and decision making necessary to create awareness and change. As we move on to review, discuss, and share responses to these questions, we hope to arrive at better questions to ask, which will in turn create new answers in the struggle for social and political equity and environmental protection.

Formats:We are seeking contributions in both text and image form. Contributions may be a reflection on the subject of art and direct action as it was addressed during the meeting, or it can present an entirely perspective. Contributions may be offered by anyone, including those who have not attended CASA meetings in the past.


- 500-3000 words.
- Language: English preferred; German, French, and Spanish understood.


- Email is preferred: casazine2006[at]gmail.com. Please attach text in .doc or .rtf; and attach image samples in low resolution .jpg.

- Surface mail: Monika Vykoukal, Peacock visual arts, 21 Castle Street, AB11 5BQ, Aberdeen, Scotland. If you would like your materials returned, please include a stamped return envelope.

Deadline: 1 February 2007

We, Milena Placentile and Monika Vykoukal, the editors of this year's zine, met at CASA Meeting 2006. We live in Canada and Scotland respectively, and we are both curators of contemporary art.

The Cultural Analysis Summer Academy (CASA) came into existence in 2003 as an international forum that seeks to discuss the shifting functions of academia and the scholar in a globalized society. CASA offers a platform for people to combine efforts and information with a view towards social transformation.

To date, CASA has organized three meetings to provide a platform for these discussions. For more information about CASA 2004 "Acting and Spectating", CASA 2005 "Borders, Markets, Movements", and CASA 2006 "Constructing Social Change: Art, Direct Action, Knowledge, Utopia, and Desires."

Posted by jo at October 20, 2006 04:45 PM