Restructure: on qualitative modes of culture & knowledge production

Announcing the publication of the E-book Re-structure conference proceedings (edited by J.H. Brüggemeier & H. Davies) published by Unlikely Journal for Creative Arts

Featuring participants from performance, fashion, creative arts, gaming, media and community intervention, the Re-structure conference explored both broader sustainable strategies as well as “clever partial solutions” to cultural and knowledge production in a post-public sector environment.

Authors included Stephen Healy, Maria Miranda, Grace McQuilten and Anthony White, Jon Hawkes, Katharine McKinnon, Vic McEwan and Joan Staples.


The Re-structure conference in 2014 looked at the current state of the arts, and considered alternative modes of culture and knowledge production within times of shrinking public expenditures. Featuring participants from performance, fashion, creative arts, gaming, media and community intervention, the event explores both broader sustainable strategies as well as “clever partial solutions” to cultural and knowledge production in a “post-public” sector environment.

In seeking alternatives, the Re-structure conference looked to the proliferation of smaller scale community economies worldwide, in both on and offline environments, and to the modes of cultural production and knowledge exchange with other sectors such as environmental NGOs. We explain this brief history to establish an important context – to inform the reader that the essays collected together here were written under the shadow of the extraordinary changes proposed by Brandis and Abbott.



WHEN: 9.30am – 4.30pm  – 27 May 2016

COST: $15–$44

A Conversation With Australia’s Independent Art Sector 

Venue: Giant Dwarf, Redfern

To download the Program Agenda click here. To purchase event tickets please click here.

Independent art spaces operate at the intersection of community, culture and business. We Run This will feature speakers from areas of urban planning, regulation, policy advocacy, arts and academia from across the country to discuss ideas that have led to empowering communities to prosper culturally and economically.

Developing in prominence in the built environments of inner city and regional locations, are independent creative spaces the future of the prosperous community?

Speakers include John O’Callaghan (JOC Consulting), Alex Bowen (City of Sydney), Maria Miranda (research fellow from the University of Melbourne, writing on The Cultural Economy of Artist-Run Initiatives in Australia) and representatives from Alaska Projects, Boomalli, First Draft, Sawtooth ARI, M16, Watch This Space and Project Contemporary. 

We Run This is co-presented by 107 Projects and the National Association for the Visual Arts; and supported by SAMAG (Sydney Arts Management Advisory Group).

This event is contributing to Vivid Sydney 2016. For more information please click here.
To purchase event tickets please click here.

After Party Event at 107 Projects – 4.30pm onwards. Mingle and enjoy a Mountain Goat beer on us (for conference attendees) whilst immersing yourself in an interactive artwork by Sydney based light and video designer, Toby K with sound artist Rob Hughes. PLUS The Forest Unyielding, an installation exhibition and performance (7pm) comprising dance, film, vision and sound by some of Sydney’s most exciting contemporary artists. The After Party is free for the public to attend as well. 


And now for some good news!

Here is the announcement lifted from Creative Victoria website:

With more than $115 million in new funding, Creative State is designed to grow Victoria’s $23 billion creative and cultural economy, turbocharge local creative enterprises, create new jobs and employment opportunities, and bring social and cultural benefits to Victorians.

Creative State was launched on Tuesday 19 April by the Minister for the Creative Industries, Martin Foley. Read the Minister’s foreword here.

There are five focus areas and 40 targeted actions in the strategy, which you can explore in full on the Govt website. The focus areas are:

Backing creative talent

Strengthening the creative industries ecosystem

Delivering wider economic and social impact

Increasing participation and access

Building international engagement

Runway Art Journal: In Response, revisiting a Melbourne perspective

This is Part 2 of Runway Art Journal blog series on ECOLOGIES – An audio conversation between Anabelle Lacroix, Madé Spencer-Castle and me, Maria Miranda.


Anabelle Lacroix

Madé Spencer-Castle

Maria Miranda

As Part 2 of our ongoing blog series on the ecologies of the Artist Run Initiatives, we’re hoping to stimulate further conversation, reflection and debate. We’ve asked all the contributors from Part 1 to create a response to the contributions of their peers. In this week’s instalment, Maria Miranda (Research fellow at the Victorian College of the Arts) leads a conversation with Madé Spencer-Castle (Artist and Curator at Bus Projects) and Anabelle Lacroix (Independent Curator and General Manager at Liquid Architecture) on their responses to the series and to their own experiences. You can read Maria’s first post here.

ACAB in collaboration with Nickk Hertzog, CONCRETE TERRA, 23 July – 16 August, 2014. Photo credit Deb Bain-King. The Front.


Budget announcement from Canada: Canadian Govt invests $1.9 CAD Billion in Arts and Culture

On March 22, the new Canadian Govt brought down its budget. During his campaign Prime Minister Trudeau had promised to double funding to the Canada Council for the Arts. And that’s just what he did. Sort of. It will be doubled over a period of four years. But hey! let’s not quibble. This is a wonderful example of a government with some vision and understanding of the value of the arts and more broadly cultural production, to the whole community.  And please note the FINANCE Minister says:

“Culture is synonymous with creation. It also creates a collective wealth that goes beyond economic benefits and statistics,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in his budget speech.

Here’s a snippet of  from Canadian Art news.

$40 Million More for Canada Council

The federal budget released today offers $40 million in new funding to the Canada Council (on top of its previous $180 million allotment) in the upcoming year.

 “Culture is synonymous with creation. It also creates a collective wealth that goes beyond economic benefits and statistics,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in his budget speech.

This brings total annual Canada Council funding for the coming year to $220 million—a 20% surge, but $140 million short of the original fall promise of $360 million.

However, the budget plan promises that funding for the Canada Council will increase each year over the next five years—with $75 million in additional funding to come next year, and $115 million more the year after that. The doubling of the Council budget to $360 million under this plan is scheduled to happen in 2020–2021.

Representatives from the Canadian Arts Coalition, the Canadian Museums Association, the Artist Run Centres and Collectives Conference, and CARFAC all expressed optimism at the new Council funding.

“Visual artists in Canada contribute greatly to the economy and our cultural identity, yet more than half subsist on less than $18,000/year,” read a statement from CARFAC. “Providing for more federal grants through the Canada Council for the Arts will have a significant and positive effect on artists’ incomes and the sustainability of their lives.”

Promises on Art Abroad, But Needs on Artist-Run Home Front Too

The Artist Run Centres and Collectives Conference (ARCA), for instance, released a post-budget statement to the effect that it wants to see the new money at the Canada Council distributed to address gaps in current funding for artist-run centres.

“ARCA is optimistic that this [Canada Council] investment will make up for years of stagnation in the funding of artistic organizations, including artist-run centres (ARCs),” the statement read.

“ARCA sincerely hopes Council will work in close collaboration with arts service organizations for the implementation of the new funding model and consider increases to multi-year core funding to organizations a priority. It’s worth recalling that only 10% of the $146 million in public funding received by visual arts organizations goes to artist-run centres,” the statement continued.

ARI Remix Project



ARI Remix Project
An open source, public archive, resource & database artwork.
A work in progress & in development now.
Stage One – QLD 1980-1990: April 2015 – Dec 2016
Stage Two – NSW, ACT: (TBA)

Stage One- 1980-1990 Artist-Run Heritage – The Queensland ARI Remix

The ARI Remix project began in earnest in November 2012 via the social media open group, now comprising over 300 of the artists, designers, creatives, peers and social observers engaged in 1980-1990 Queensland artist-run collaborations here:

This open group was initiated to assist with both the research and development of the Ephemeral Traces exhibition curated by Peter Anderson at the University of Queensland Art Museum and the collaborative ARI Remix Open source Public Archive located here. These two project are independent but related projects and are being generated in collaboration through shared research, study and dialogue.

ephemeral traces: Brisbane’s artist-run scene in the 1980s

University of Queensland Art Museum

2 April 2016 – 26 June 2016

ephemeral traces provides the first comprehensive analysis of artist-run practice in Brisbane during the final decade of the conservative Joh Bjelke-Petersen government. The exhibition focuses on the scene that developed around five key spaces that operated in Brisbane from 1982 to 1988: One Flat, A Room, That Space, The Observatory, and John Mills National.

Drawing on artworks, documentation and ephemera, the exhibition provides a contextual account of this progressive artist-run activity, examining collective projects, publications and the spaces themselves, as well as organisations such as the Artworkers Union and Queensland Artworkers Alliance. A counterpoint to Michele Helmrich’s earlier exhibition Return to sender (UQ Art Museum, 2012), which focused on the artists who left Queensland during the Bjelke-Petersen era, this exhibition is about the artists who stayed.

Curator: Peter Anderson