Editors: Erling Björgvinsson, Henric Benesch, Andrea Phillips

Call for contributions

Management is usually treated as a separate domain to the field of contemporary creative practice. How does such a political and social separation of the tasks of “making” and “managing” inhere to an isolationist mechanism, in which the production of art, design, literature, theatre, craft, music, dance etc., is separated from its processes of its administrative “doing”? Histories of modernism suggest that the artist/ performer/ crafter/ designer/ actor/ composer/ musician/ writer is managed and at the same time resists – or refuses to take responsibility for – her own management. Is this refusal and/or resistance a survival mechanism, and a performative critique of the governmentalisation and privatisation of the cultural industries, or is it a naïve calling upon art’s possessive autonomy – a resistance in fact to the responsibility of care of the self within an administered world? Within the field of curating, the term “curatorial” has emerged as an ambivalent idiom seeming to separate itself aesthetically from the pragmatics of making exhibitions in the practical sense. Conceptualising management as troublesome and uncreative allows us to externalise the rhythms and protocols of macro-politics against our own (mythologised, personalised) micropolitics. But in fact many of us spend most of our time managing our administrative as well as aesthetic relations to the world. A performance, a process, a production, an exhibition, an action, a concert, a talk, a reading, a workshop are situations that not only require a management of the self but also depend upon cooperation, coproduction, delegation and various collective efforts. In the often cited words of Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, it is in the administration of our own affairs, situated in communities, co-operations, organisations and institutions and saturated by practice, teaching, researching in the ‘planning’ rather than the policy-making – where forms of aesthetic solidarity between organisers may lie.

The issues that might be addressed under the heading of “management” range from:

  • the conflict between established practices and protocols and transformations in perspective of participation, inclusion, co-production;
  • artist-organised initiatives and their structures;
  • critical management and new thoughts on the politics of management;
  • the aesthetics of administration;
  • issues of knowledge production and the managerial cooption of cultural process though processes of financialisation;
  • knowledge management and knowledge assessment within academia in relation to artistic practice, production and research;
  • the management of artistic processes and outcomes through dispositifs such as scores, scripts, documented gestures, manuscripts, drawings, schemes and diagrams;
  • dealing with quantitative data;
  • the impact of current languages of cultural management, governance and public co-design on everyday practices to the maintenance and negotiation of roles, identities and borders in perspective of cultural diversity and inclusion;
  • how policy produces manageable cultural experiences and shapes audiences.

This issue of PARSE invites research submissions that operate within this complex space of management addressed through and beyond the lens of art and artistic practice. We are especially interested in contributions based on current research that may in some way help to inform and foster a transdisciplinary debate on the different potentials, proprieties and politics of management across artistic practices including, but not restricted to, questions of organizing, production, processing, co-production, inclusion, infrastructuring, scripting, composing, sequencing, attuning, publishing, archiving …


Submission of abstracts to this issue is closed. The deadline for full articles is May 6, 2016. Proposals should be sent to editor Erling Björgvinsson: erling.bjorgvinsson@gu.se