For the second European Creative Hubs Forum, the Athens based creative hub Bios-Romantso, has prepared a collection of critical texts showcasing the potential of creative hubs, and the culture and creative industries more generally, to grow and enable growth on both social and economic levels. The publication will be available in full on the European Creative Hubs Network website after the forum. Vassilis Charalampidis of Bios and Korinna Patelis have prepared the introduction of this insightful publication.
WORKING TOGETHER – RISKING TOGETHER
Korinna Patelis & Vassilis Charalampidis
Doing culture has always involved risk and innovation. When artists and artisans work together there is risk and innovation. Τhis is how creative energy is fuelled, personal risks of all sorts: being more interested in doing art than paying rent, following ideas without anyone underwriting them, not having a linear relationship to anything cultural or not. Doing this safely with a potential for growth is becoming increasingly impossible, with the danger of traditional artistic risk-taking accelerating the artist’s journey to the precariat.
Doing art and culture in a nurturing environment, one that can harvest the fruits produced by risk, is beautiful… Harvesting tοo early or in a controlled and bureaucratic way dries up the soil, leaving very little to grow in the years to come. This is why hubs, spaces, paradigms, you name it, are important, providing the creative land that artists need to innovate, risk and work. In countries where neoliberalism hasn’t yet industrialised artistic risk-taking through its usual suspects (gentrification, lack of funding, acceleration to fame, increase of the exchange value of a small percentage of artists), it has accelerated the production of profit to such an extent that almost everyone is now being forced to be taking risk the way artists always did, blurring the boundaries between everyday life and art even further.
Harvesting too early or in a controlled and bureaucratic way dries up the soil, leaving very little to grow in the years to come.
This volume embraces the questions which people that run hubs face daily, at a time where pivotal shifts have already crystallised and others are lurking due to the increasing radicalisation of society. It provides a road-map of questions and possible departures by introducing the state of the art conversation amongst authors and collectives interested in maintaining high risk and innovation, in doing culture. The foes – to just name some – precarity, neoliberalization of the art funding agendas, and individualisation, are theorised. So are their imagined solutions, such as basic artistic income, coworking spaces as “third places”, and the possibilities of subverting the urban-led institutionalisation of art production back into coffee shops and everyday life.
The European Creative Hubs Forum in Belgrade is part of the European Creative Hubs Network project. The project is co-funded by the European Commission through the Creative Europe programme. You can read more about the project and the partners here.