Leveraging as a Paradigm for Activism in Entrepreneurial Economies

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesKeynote or plenary lecture


    One thing the pandemic made glaringly clear, if it was not already, is that within the expanded industry of art, at least, the self-entrepreneur model is pivotal. The sociologist Ulrich Bröckling in his book ‘The Entrepreneurial Self: Fabricating a New Type of Subject’ (2016) breaks down what the functions of the entrepreneur are in a financialised economy, they are speculation, innovation, risk bearing, and coordination. One can say that, for example, the ubiquitous presence of curating in all its variations is due to the function of coordination being a prominent part of what an entrepreneur is. The prominence of speculative discourses in art, philosophy etc. can also be linked to these functions, speculation itself has become a mode of production as Marina Vishmidt points out in her 2018 book. And taking on risk is evidenced through different forms, for example, spending days (or even months on end) developing proposals for funding, while knowing the chances of being selected are slim. As we all become more and more integrated in and with this computational socioeconomic infrastructure the conventional idea of transgression associated with art seems misguided, and the concept of critique, although still relevant and important, appears exceedingly quixotic. Considering this, the talk will briefly explore an emergent form of activism in the field of art. What I call the new ‘leveraging practices’ are those that fuse artistic competencies with knowledge and research about some of the most prominent devices of our era: financial instruments. Through tactical propositions, prototyping approaches, and developing economic fictions they attempt to leverage a way into the economy while carving out a space that is more hospitable, economically diversified, and equitable for artists, artworkers, and beyond.
    Period7 Jul 2021
    Event titleADD+ART
    Event typeConference
    LocationBarcelona, Spain
    Degree of RecognitionInternational