In 2008, Dark Matter is all around us. Us artists, us activists, us outlaws. All of us, we are engaged in a culture war and economic struggle against establishments in all their guises. We form communities to counter the alienation of everyday life, and the commercial and institutional structures that stifle reality. We desire another world.
And we’re not alone. As artist-activist Greg Sholette says, “a hidden social production has always found its own time and space apart from hegemonies of power and the objectifying routines of work. This dark matter resistance extends well beyond conventional conflicts between labor and capital to form a murky excrescence of affects, ideas, histories, sentiments, and technologies that shift in and out of visibility like some half-submerged reef.”
In 2008, we think it’s time for things to shift. It’s time to re-ignite dormant forces within the murky worlds of radical culture. It’s time to dive.
And how? From April 17-27 (11 days), we are gathering to celebrate, identify, discuss and act on the workings of Dark Matter. Version>08: DARK MATTER will showcase emerging, progressive trends in art, politics, technology and music. We’ll gather and see how our peers in the counterculture and at the office create work, spaces, tactics and strategies. We’ll witness multiple possibilities for the future, and leave ready to act.
An art parade, temporary housing structures, independent contemporary art space networking, one day only exhibition formats, video sweat lodges, an artist run art fair, a reincarnation of the depression era Public Works of Art Project, a social networked free public school, impressive musical performances, boring theoretical nonsense, the revamping of a local community center, mapping projects, a design agency for social movements, and korean polish bar-b-qing are just a few of the projects and phenomena we will present during Version>09 : Immodest Proposals April 23 to May 2, 2009.
“Like its astronomical cousin, creative dark matter also makes up the bulk of the artistic activity produced in our post-industrial society. However, this type of dark matter is invisible primarily to those who lay claim to the management and interpretation of culture – the critics, art historians, collectors, dealers, museums, curators and arts administrators. It includes informal practices such as home-crafts, makeshift memorials, amateur photography (and pornography), Sunday-painters, self-published newsletters and fan-zines, Internet art galleries — all work made and circulated in the shadows of the formal art world. Yet, just as the physical universe is dependent on its dark matter and energy, so too is the art world dependent on its shadow creativity. It needs it in much the same way certain developing countries depend on their shadow or informal economies.”
– Gregory Sholette (gregorysholette.com)