Considering the setting for this gathering, as one of the “wonder stories” of the post-Communist Europe and expansion of the European Union, Poland finds itself part of the tale of so-called catch-up modernization. While this myth might suggest that countries like Poland will sooner or later “catch up” with the more affluent European West, it has nonetheless proven to be a debatably singular and inappropriate mirage. With Poland’s economy still based on low-cost industrial and agricultural production, and with social inequality growing, we might be facing not only the failure of such an idea of catch-up modernization, but also, the demise of the post-Communist teleology overall.
Through workshops, lectures, performances, and panel discussions, Art and Labor after the End of Work inquires into the relationships between creativity, art and labor, and capitalism within this complexification; while concurrently dissecting the notion of post-work society, and its supposed domination by the service economy and creative industries, as an ideological humbug that obfuscates the global division of labor and its imminent hierarchies.
Returning to the conundrum of organization in such a present, this Public Editorial Meeting elaborates on the intellectual, artistic, economic, and political concepts developed through the framework of the FORMER WEST project to ask, among other questions: if precarity, as a means of capital’s further expansion globally, has brought about new forms of class (re)composition at this scale, what might be corresponding forms of organizing and models of solidarity? And thus, in what ways do the difficulties of organizing labor among cultural and art workers through this prism—as well as the intrinsic relations between creativity and precarity—define the contours of the political economy of the “former West,” and in so doing, advance the “formerization” of the West itself?
Friday 9 October 2015
3:30–4:00 PM Welcome and opening remarks by Sebastian Cichocki (chief curator, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Warsaw) and Maria Hlavajova (artistic director, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht).
4:00–6:00 PM Public Workshop Techniques of Labor Struggles in the Field of Art
This session involves the participants who participated in the activist workshop session and takes the form of a public seminar with the aim to discuss the particular problems related to the conditions of labor in the field of art and the techniques of art-related activism.
Participants: Gigi Argyropoulou (writer and activist, Athens); Marsha Bradfield (artist and researcher, London); Claudia Bernardi (researcher, and activist, ESC atelier, Rome); Paolo Do (researcher, and activist, ESC atelier, Rome); Carl Martin Faurby (curator, writer, Danish Art Union (UKK), Copenhagen); Kasia Górna (artist, initiator, Citizens’ Forum of Contemporary Art / OFSW, Warsaw); Héctor Huerga (writer and activist from @15MBcn_int, Barcelona); Vladan Jeremić (artist, curator, and co-editor Art Leaks, Belgrade); pantxo ramas (activist and researcher, Barcelona); Igor Stokfiszewski (writer and activist, Krytyka Polityczna, Warsaw); Airi Triisberg (arts worker and activist, Tallinn/Leipzig). Moderated by Joanna Figiel (researcher and activist, member of Free/Slow University of Warsaw, Warsaw/London).
6:00–6:30 PM Break
6:30–7:45 PM Keynote Autonomy and Precarisation. (Neo)Liberal Entanglements of Labor and Care by Isabell Lorey (political theorist, Berlin), followed by a conversation moderated by Simon Sheikh (curator, writer, and FORMER WEST editor, Berlin/London).
7:45–9:00 Keynote Live Your Models: Self-orientation and urban form in the next “spirit of capitalism” by Brian Holmes (cultural critic and political activist, Chicago), followed by a conversation moderated by Simon Sheikh (curator, writer, and FORMER WEST editor, Berlin/London).
Saturday 10 October 2015
12.00–2:30 PM Panel Division of Labor and Class (Re)Composition in the Arts
Taking the Free/Slow University of Warsaw’s report, "The Art Factory" (2014), as a case study, this panel focuses on the notion of labor and distribution within the artworld from a number of perspectives, such as the organization of labor, and the politics of art and work. Looking at notions of affective and invisible labor—drawing upon the lessons of feminism, and also taking into consideration the structuring device of precarity itself, and its historical role within the arts—this session considers if these features provide a “political economy of the former West,” and following this, show how the ways of production and division of labor within the artworld can be said to be indicative of the proposed “former-ness” of the West and its institutions.
Panelists: Free/Slow University of Warsaw (Warsaw); Corina L. Apostol (art historian, curator and artist, Bucharest/New York), Angela Dimitrakaki (writer and lecturer, Edinburgh/Athens); and Ewa Majewska (philosopher, Berlin/Warsaw). Moderated by Kuba Szreder (curator, writer, and an initiator of Free/Slow University of Warsaw, Warsaw/London).
2:30–4:00 PM Lunch Break
4:00-6:30 PM Panel Organization of Labor from the Global Perspective. Illusions of the Model of Catch-up Modernization
During this session, the discussion of political economy of creative labor and precarity is situated within the wider mechanisms of global and post-colonial class (re)composition. Departing with what the “post-Fordist” condition entails for Poland and other countries of the “semi-peripheries”—with their reliance on foreign investment and industrial labor, and the continued positioning of Poland as a production-based economy rather than a creative economy—the session investigates the illusion of catch-up modernization as an economic, political, and cultural project.
Panelists: Sami Khatib (writer and lecturer, Berlin); Sandro Mezzadra (political philosopher, Bologna); Gerald Raunig (philosopher, Zurich); and Małgorzata Maciejewska (researcher and activist, Wrocław). Moderated by Boris Buden (writer, cultural critic, translator, and FORMER WEST editor, Berlin).
6:30-7:00 PM Break
7:00-7:30 PM Lecture The Terror of Total Dasein by Hito Steyerl (film maker, artist, and writer, Berlin). With Response by Simon Sheikh (curator, writer, and FORMER WEST editor, Berlin/London).
Corina L Apostol is PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Currently she is a curatorial research fellow of the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum. She is the co-founder of the international platform Art Leaks and co-editor of the ArtLeaks Gazette. Corina also contributes to Art Margins Online, IDEA Arts+Society and Arta Magazine. Apostol lives and works in Bucharest and New York.
Gigi Argyropoulou is a writer, artist, and activist working in the fields of performance and cultural practice. Argyropoulou has initiated and organized cultural programs, festivals, performances, conferences, and cross-disciplinary projects both inside and outside institutions. She is a founding member of Mavili Collective, Institute for Live Arts Research, Green Park and F2 Performance Unit/Mkultra. As a member of Mavili Collective she co-initiated and took part in the reactivation/occupancy of Embros Theatre in 2011, and a series of other activist/cultural critique actions in Greece during recent years. Gigi received the Routledge Prize for her PSi 18 (Performance Studies International) Conference paper, and her essays have been published in academic journals, magazines and edited collections. She is a research fellow at Birkbeck College, and is currently, a co-editor with Hypatia Vourloumis for the upcoming issue of Performance Research “On Institutions.” Gigi Argyropoulou is based in both Athens and London.
Claudia Bernardi is an activist and researcher at the self-managed ESC Atelier and founder-member of LUM (Free Metropolitan University) in Rome. She is active in social movements, organizer of various transnational networks, and collaborator of DinamoPress. She has been founder member of the projects Edufactory and Uninomade. She animated the artistic project Draftsmen Congress in Rome and Kiev, and she is currently working to the conception and realization of the transdisciplinary research program Studio Roma. She holds a PhD in Euro-American Studies from the University of Roma Tre (Rome), and is a fellow of the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History at Harvard University, and visiting fellow at the Europa Institut. Institute for European Global Studies at Basel Universität. She co-edited the texts Lessico Marxiano (2009), Towards a Global Autonomous University (2009), and Fare spazio. Pratiche del comune e diritto alla città (2015). She is currently working on a research focused on the global history of migrant labor and the regimes of mobility in North America and Europe. Bernardi lives and works in Rome.
Marsha Bradfield is an artist, curator, writer, educator, and researcher. For the last decade, she has worked almost exclusively in collaboration, exploring cultural production through co-authored projects. This research-based approach often results in events that Bradfield later re-presents in publications and performative lectures. These accounts combine the rhetorical styles of fact and fiction as Bradfield works across sites, objects, images, structures, and processes. Her current body of work explores the intersection of economies and ecologies in co-production, and has been developed through her practice with the Precarious Workers Brigade, Critical Practice Research Cluster, and many more besides. Bradfield is co-director of Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre, London; a visiting scholar at Chelsea College of Arts; and has recently joined the Board of Mentors for the Barbican’s Fish Island Labs, also in London. Marsha Bradfield lives and works in London.
Boris Buden is a writer, cultural critic, and translator. He studied philosophy in Zagreb and received his PhD in Cultural Theory from Humboldt University, Berlin. In the 1990s he founded and was editor of the magazine and publishing house Arkzin in Zagreb. He is a board member of European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies, Vienna. His essays and articles cover topics related to philosophy, politics, translation, linguistics, the post-communist condition, and cultural and art criticism. Among his translations into Croatian are some of the most important works by Sigmund Freud. Buden’s writings appear in numerous books, including the BAK publication "Concerning War: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art" (2006/2010) and "Art and Contemporary Critical Practice: Reinventing Institutional Critique" (2009). He has co-edited and authored several books, including: "Zone des Übergangs: Vom Ende des Postkommunismus" [Zone of Transition: On the End of Post-communism] (2009); "Übersetzung: Das Versprechen eines Begriffs" [Translation: Promises of a Concept] (with Stefan Nowotny) (2008); and "Der Schacht von Babel: Ist Kultur übersetzbar?" [The Pit of Babel: Is Culture Translatable?] (2004). He is currently Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Art and Design, Bauhaus University, Weimar. Buden lives and works in Berlin.
Sebastian Cichocki – curator, writer and art critic, chief curator of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, curator of the Sculpture Park in the Warsaw district of Bródno. In the years 2005-2008, programme director of the Contemporary Art Centre in Bytom. Cichocki’s main focus is placed on the conceptual reflection in art, land-art, and the book as an exhibition form. He has curated a number of solo and group exhibitions, such as Monika Sosnowska’s presentation in the Polish Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennial and Yael Bartana at the 54th edition of the event. Author of experimental exhibitions in the form of books, as well as residence programmes and staged lectures.
Angela Dimitrakaki is a writer and Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Art History and Theory at the University of Edinburgh. Her books include "Economy: Art, Production and the Subject in the 21st Century" (2015), co-edited with Kirsten Lloyd; "Gender, ArtWork and the Global Imperative: A Materialist Feminist Critique" (2013); "Politics in a Glass Case: Feminism, Exhibition Cultures and Curatorial Transgressions" (2013), co-edited with Lara Perry; and, in her native Greek, "Art and Globalisation: From the Postmodern Sign to the Biopolitical Arena" (2013).
Paolo Do is an activist and researcher at the self–managed ESC Atelier and founder–member of LUM (Free Metropolitan University) in Rome. He is also a founder-member of Edufactory and Uninomade, and a collaborator of Dinamopress and Roars. Do holds a PhD in Critical Management and Political Economy from Queen Mary, University of London, and has writen on the critique of the political economy of knowledge, organization and strategy of transnational social movement, and new international division of labor. He is author of "Il tallone del drago: capitale globale e conflitti in Cina" (2010), and co-editor of "Lessico Marxiano. Dieci concetti per ripensare il presente" (2009), and "Towards a Global Autonomous University" (2009). Currently, Do is working on the relationship of knowledge, art and politics within art institutions. He is also working at the concept and organization of the transdisciplinary research program on the contemporary, Studio Roma; the art program Openings Out to Reality; and the artistic projects Draftsman Congress and Cattedrale, among others, based at the Swiss Institute of Rome. Paolo Do is based in Rome.
Carl Martin Faurby is a freelance curator and writer from Copenhagen, Denmark. He often invents platforms for cultural investigations by means of contemporary art, which usually takes place outside of institutional contexts. He is the curator of Alt_Cph 15 - a non profit and experimental art fair for so called “alternative art spaces.” Faurby is a member of the board for UKK (Young Artists and Art Workers) an organization that strives to better working conditions for art workers within the first 10 years of their careers through lobbying and discursive projects. He is the author of "Object This Picture" (2012/2013) and co-author of "Force Majeure" (2014), and is a regular contributor to the art magazine Kunsten.nu. Carl Martin Faurby lives and works in Copenhagen.
Joanna Figiel is a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Culture and the Creative Industries, City University London. Her research focuses on labor issues, precarity, and policy within the creative and cultural sectors. She completed her master of arts at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths. She is a member of the editorial collective of the journal ephemera: theory and politics in organization.
Kasia Górna – visual artist, from 2011 engaged in activities aimed at improving the social and economic conditions of artists and the broadly understood group of cultural workers. Co-organiser of the Artists Strike in 2012, co-founder of the “Pracownicy Sztuki” Commission and member of the group collaborating with the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy on social security for artists.
Maria Hlavajova is the founder and artistic director of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht since 2000, and artistic director of FORMER WEST (2008–2016), which she initiated and developed as an international collaborative research, education, publication, and exhibition undertaking. Hlavajova has organized numerous projects at BAK and beyond, including the series "Future Vocabularies" (2014–2016), "New World Academy" with artist Jonas Staal (2013–ongoing), and the international research projects "The Return of Religion and Other Myths" (2008), "On Knowledge Production: Practices in Contemporary Art" (2006), Concerning War (2005), and "Who if not we should at least imagine the future of all this? 7 episodes on (ex)changing Europe" (2004), as well as exhibitions with artists such as Josef Dabernig, Sanja Iveković, Aernout Mik, Artur Żmijewski, Lawrence Weiner, and many others. In 2011, Hlavajova organized the Roma Pavilion, titled "Call the Witness", within the framework of the 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, and in 2007 she curated the three-part project "Citizens and Subjects", the Dutch contribution to the 52nd Venice Biennale. In 2000 she co-curated Manifesta 3, European Biennial of Contemporary Art, titled "Borderline Syndrome: Energies of Defence" in Ljubljana. She also edits and contributes to numerous critical readers and catalogs, and lectures frequently on contemporary art. Together with Kathrin Rhomberg, she is a founding director of the tranzit network, a foundation that supports cultural exchange and contemporary art practices in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. Hlavajova lives and works in Amsterdam and Utrecht.
Brian Holmes is a cultural critic and political activist. His essays revolve around art, free cooperation, the network society, political ecology, and grassroots resistance and he has published in Brumaria, Multitudes, and Springerin. Currently he teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, where he is a member of the Compass group. With Claire Pentecost and the 16 Beaver Group he co-organized the Continental Drift seminars (2005–2010). His books include "Volatile Smile" (2014) with the photographers Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann; "Escape the Overcode: Activist Art in the Control Society" (2009); "Unleashing the Collective Phantoms: Essays in Reverse Imagineering" (2007). Recent contributions include collaborations with the following projects: "South West Corridor North West Passage" (with Rozalinda Borcila); "Midwest Compass" (with Matthias Regan); and "Environmental Laboratory" (with the Southeast Environmental Task Force). Holmes lives and works in Chicago.
Héctor Huerga is a philologist, activist, and novelist, as well as social networks facilitator and Community Manager of @15MBcn_int. Huerga began the International Commission of the 15M, or Indignados movement, in Barcelona, with a focus on social participation and critical–mass development. Huerga has spent recent years training in internal organization tools and external communication strategies, and has collaborated with Data Analysis 15M, Outliers, and Krytyka Polityczna. He has lectured and given workshops on social networks to organizations, universities, and collectives in Spain, Italy, Germany, Algeria, Austria, and Poland. Huerga participates directly in the strategies of NGOs and social movements and has co-organized on and offline campaigns across Spain, Greece, Germany, Italy and Turkey; about (among other things) Gender, HHRR, Migration, Art, Housing, Culture, and the Environment. Huerga studied Spanish Philology at the University of La Laguna (ULL), Spain, and holds a Master’s degree in Contemporary Latin American Literature, from CONACULTA, México. Héctor Huegra lives and works in Barcelona.
Vladan Jeremić is an artist whose artistic practice comprises of drawing, text and video. Since 2002 he has been developing a joint artistic and curatorial practice with Rena Raedle which explores the overlapping space between art and politics. In their artistic work they focus on the social and economical conditions of reproduction. Their recently curated exhibitions include A Real Work of Art– art, work, and solidarity structures, 2015, RAM Gallery, Oslo, which incorporated the seminar "Art Production in Restriction; Possibilities of Transformative Art Production and Coalition-Building", 2015, Trondheim, Norway; and "I Will Never Talk About the War Again", 2011, Färgfabriken, Stockholm. Jeremić is also co-founder of ArtLeaks and editor of the ArtLeaks Gazette. His recent exhibitions include: "Mundus vadit retro", 2014, Kibla, Maribor; "Red Winter at Deep Sites", 2014, LevArt, Levanger; "To the Square 2", 2014, Perpetuum Mobilε, Checkpoint Helsinki; "Between Worlds II", 2013, Kraljevic Gallery, Zagreb; "Places of memory – Fields of vision", 2012, Contemporary Art Center of Thessaloniki; "Absolute Democracy", 2012, Rotor, Graz; "Oktobar XXX", 2012, 15. Pančevo Biennial, Serbia; "The Housing Agenda", 2012, Cable Factory Gallery and Ateneum Museum, Helsinki and La maison Folie Wazemmes, Lille; "Moving Forwards, Counting Backwards", 2012, MUAC, Mexico City. Vladan Jeremić lives and works in Belgrade.
Sami Khatib is a writer and lecturer based in Berlin and Beirut. He earned his PhD degree in Media and Communication Studies from Freie Universität, Berlin (2013). Currently he is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the American University of Beirut (AUB). Previously he was a researcher at the Theory Department of the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht (2012). His main research interests are in Walter Benjamin Studies, Critical Theory, Psychoanalysis, Modern Continental Philosophy, Art Theory, and German Studies.
Michal Kozłowski is associate professor at Philosophy Department at University of Warsaw. He recived his PhD from EHESS (PARIS) in 2004. His work concerns subjectivity, history and historicity, capitalism and art as a social practice. He extensively uses the concepts of Foucault, Bourdieu, Marx, Spinoza and the first generation operaismo. Chief editor of Bez Dogmatu (quarterely review on politics and culture published since 1993) and co-editor of Le Monde Diplomatique. Edycja Polska. Published "Les contre-pouvoirs de Foucault" (Paris, 2011), "Sprawa Spinozy" (Cracow, 2011). Co-author of the research on labour relations in contemporary polish art The art factory (2015).
Isabell Lorey is a political theorist at the European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies (eipcp), and an editor of transversal texts. She is professor of political theory and gender at the University of Kassel and at the University of Basel. She taught for several years at the Humboldt-University in Berlin and the University in Vienna social and cultural sciences, feminist and postcolonial theory. From 2001–2007 she held a professorship for Gender and Postcolonial Studies at the University of the Arts Berlin. Internationally, she has published on: the precarization of labour and life in neoliberalism, current social movements (specially the democracy-movements since 2011), the critical theory of democracy and representation, and political immunization. Her last books include: "Figuren des Immunen" (2011), "Regierung der Prekären" (2012), "Kognitiver Kapitalismus" (2012). Most recently she published with Verso "State of Insecurity. Government of the Precarious", (2015). Currently she is writing a book on “Presentist Democracy.” Lorey lives and works in Berlin.
Małgorzata Maciejewska - sociologist. In 2014 she received her PhD from the Department of Social Sciences of the Wrocław University, having defended her thesis “Transformation and its consequences for the social reproduction in the Wałbrzych region. The living and working conditions of women”. She specializes in the sociology of work from the feminist perspective. From 2010, she has cooperated with the Feminist Think Tank conducting research on the systemic reasons for poverty, precarization and the functioning of special economic zones in Poland. She is a member of the Nationwide Workers Initiaive Trade Union. Presently, she is involved in research as part of the international project “PRECARIR - The rise of the dual labour market: fighting precarious employment in the new member states through industrial relations”.
Ewa Majewska is a feminist philosopher and art critic. Since 2003 Majewska has lectured at the Gender Studies in the University of Warsaw, and has worked as adjunct professor at universities of Szczecin and Kraków, Poland. She held post-docs at the universitiy of Berkeley and universitiy of Orebro. She has published two books: "Feminizm jako filozofia społeczna" (2009) and "Sztuka jako pozór?" (2013); and has articles in: e-flux, Signs, Nowa Krytyka, Le Monde Diplomatique (PL) and other journals and volumes. She teaches a seminar on Art and public spheres, at the Graduate School of PAN, Warsaw. Currently is a fellow at the ICI Berlin, working on the project "Chasing Europe or on the Semi-Peripheral Publics." Ewa Majewska is based in Berlin and Warsaw.
Sandro Mezzadra is a political philosopher whose work in the last decade has centered on the relations between globalization, migration, and citizenship, as well as on postcolonial theory and criticism. He teaches political theory at the University of Bologna and is adjunct fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society of the University of Western Sydney. He is currently visiting research fellow at the Humboldt University, Berlin (BIM – Berliner Institut für empirische Migrations- und Integraqtionsforschung, October 1, 2015 – July 31, 2016), and has been visiting professor and research fellow at: Humboldt Universität (Berlin), Duke University, Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme (Paris), University of Ljubljana, FLACSO Ecuador, and UNSAM (Buenos Aires). He is an active participant in the “post-workerist” debate and one of the founders of the website Euronomade. His books include: "Diritto di fuga. Migrazioni, cittadinanza, globalizzazione" (The right to escape: Migration, citizenship, globalization), (2006); "La condizione postcoloniale. Storia e politica nel presente globale" (The postcolonial condition: History and politics in the global present), (2008); "Nei cantieri marxiani. Il soggetto e la sua produzione" (In the Marxian Workshops. The subject and its Production), (2014). With Brett Neilson he is the author of "Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor" published by Duke University Press, (2013). He has worked on several FP7 European research projects (including: ATACD (A Topological Approach to Cultural Dynamics), GEMIC (Gender, Migration, and Intercultural Interactions in the Mediterranean and South East Europe: an interdisciplinary perspective), and MIG@NET (Transnational Digital Networks, Migration and Gender)), and is currently a partner researcher on the ARC Discovery project "Logistics as Global Governance: Labour, Software and Infrastructure along the New Silk Road". Sandro Mezzadra lives and works in Bologna.
pantxo ramas (aka Francesco Salvini) is an activist and researcher. They are based in Barcelona, where they participate in Barcelona en Comú and collaborate with Radio Nikosia. In Italy, pantxo ramas also collaborates with Conferenza Permanente per la Salute Mentale nel Mondo in Trieste, and with the blog euronomade.info. pantxo ramas's research and activism deal with issue of precarity and public policies in the fields of culture, health and urban rights.
Gerald Raunig is a philosopher and theoretician. He works at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Zurich, at the European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies (eipcp), and holds the titles of habilitation and venia docendi at the Institute for Philosophy, University of Klagenfurt/A, Klagenfurt. He is a member of the editorial boards of the multilingual web journal transversal (http://transversal.eipcp.net/) and the journal Kamion. His books have been translated into English, Serbian, Spanish, Slovenian, Russian, Italian, and Turkish. Recent books in English include: Art and Revolution. Transversal Activism in the Long Twentieth Century, translated by Aileen Derieg, (2007); Art and Contemporary Critical Practice. Reinventing Institutional Critique, edited with Gene Ray, (2009); A Thousand Machines, translated by Aileen Derieg, (2010); Critique of Creativity, edited with Gene Ray and Ulf Wuggenig, (2011); Factories of Knowledge, Industries of Creativity, translated by Aileen Derieg, (2013); Upcoming: DIVIDUUM. Machinic Capitalism and Molecular Revolution, Vol.1. Raunig lives and works in Zurich.
Simon Sheikh is a curator and writer who researches practices of exhibition-making and political imaginaries. He is Senior Lecturer in Curating and Programme Director of the MFA in Curating at Goldsmiths College, University of London, London. Sheikh was coordinator of the Critical Studies Program at Malmö Art Academy, Malmö from 2002–2009. He was also curator at NIFCA, Helsinki, 2003–2004 and, prior to that, director of Overgaden – Institute for Contemporary Art, Copenhagen from 1999–2002. Between 1996 and 2000, he was editor of the magazine "Øjeblikket" and a member of the project group GLOBE from 1993–2000. His recent curatorial work includes: "Reading / Capital" (for Althusser), DEPO, Istanbul, 2014; "Unauthorized", Inter Arts Lab, Malmö, 2012; "All That Fits: The Aesthetics of Journalism", "QUAD", Derby, 2011 (with Alfredo Cramerotti); "Do You Remember the Future?", TOK / Project Loft Etagi, Saint Petersburg, 2011; "Vectors of the Possible", BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 2010; and "Capital (It Fails Us Now)", UKS, Oslo, 2005 and Kunstihoone, Tallinn, 2006. Sheikh’s writings can be found in such periodicals as "Afterall", "an architecture", "Open", "Springerin", and "Texte zur Kunst". He has edited and authored several publications, including: "On Horizons: A Critical Reader on Contemporary Art" (with Maria Hlavajova and Jill Winder) (2011); "Capital (it fails us now)" (2006); "In the Place of the Public Sphere?" (2005); "Knut Åsdam. Speech. Living. Sexualities. Struggle" (2004); and "We Are all Normal" (with Katya Sander) (2001). Sheikh lives and works in Berlin and London.
Hito Steyerl is a documentary filmmaker and writer who, often through documentary photography and video, thinks through media circulation. Her work, which examines issues such as globalization, feminism, and postcolonial critique, comprises film, essays, and installations. She has lectured at Goldsmith’s College, London and the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, among other institutions. A collection of her essays is recently published inThe Wretched of the Screen (2012). Recent exhibitions include Hito Steyerl, e-flux, New York, 2011 and focus: Hito Steyerl, The Art Institute Chicago, 2012−2013. Steyerl lives and works in Berlin.
Igor Stokfiszewski – literary critic, dramaturg, member of Krytyka Polityczna team; studied Polish philology at the Łódź University and the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. In the years 2001-2006, editor of the “Ha!art” literary magazine. He cooperates with Krakow’s Willa Decjusza in international literary stipend programmes. Stokfiszewski is the author of the book "Zwrot polityczny" [Political Shift] (Krytyka Polityczna, 2009). Co-editor (with Piotr Marecki and Michał Witkowski) of the book "Tekstylia, roczniki siedemdziesiąte” (2002), and (with Piotr Marecki and Renata Serednicka) of the volume “Ludzie, miasta. Literatura Białorusi, Niemiec, Polski i Ukrainy – ślady nieistniejącego języka” [People, Cities. LIterature in Belarus, Germany, Poland and Ukraine – Traces of the Nonexistent Language] (2008). Co-author of film script by Greg Zglinski “Na swoje podobieństwo” [To His Likeness] (2001). As dramaturg, he has collaborated with the director Wojtek Klemm and Bartosz Szydłowski. He has published in, among others “Gazeta Wyborcza”, ”Tygodnik Powszechny”, ”Ha!art”, ”FA-art”, ”Notatnik Teatralny” and ”Die Tageszeitung”. He contributes as critic to the TV show Kinematograf (TVP1) and Czytelnia (TVP Kultura). He collaborates with Teatr Nowy in Warszaw, Teatr Łaźnia Nowa in Kraków and the Berlin Biennale.
Kuba Szreder – graduate of sociology at Jagiellonian University (Krakow). He works as an 'independent' curator, his interdisciplinary projects combine artistic practices with critical examination of society. In 2009 he initiated Free / Slow University of Warsaw, together with Bęc Zmiana Foundation and other colleagues. In his theoretical research, he reflects upon the apparatuses of contemporary artistic production and their socio-economic context. In the Summer of 2015, he was awarded a practice-based PhD from Loughborough University School of the Arts. In his thesis he scrutinizes economic and governmental aspects of project-making and their impact on an 'independent' curatorial practice.
Airi Triisberg is an art worker based in Tallinn. Her activities include writing, curating, and organizing. She is interested in the overlapping fields between political activism and contemporary art practices; issues related to gender and sexualities; collective working methods; self-organization; and struggles against precarious working conditions in the field of art and beyond. Between 2010–2012, she was member of an art workers’ network in Estonia that initiated public debates around working conditions in the local art field. Her recent projects include Get Well Soon!, 2015, an exhibition about illness and society, and Art Workers – Material Conditions and Labour Struggles in Contemporary Art Practice (2015), a publication co-edited with Minna Henriksson and Erik Krikortz.
The Warsaw Public Editorial Meeting has been conceptualized by FORMER WEST editors Boris Buden, Maria Hlavajova, and Simon Sheikh, project researcher and manager Wietske Maas, F/SUW’s Kuba Szreder, and Marta Dziewańska and Sebastian Cichocki of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. It is part of the culminating phase of the project FORMER WEST which unfolds over the course of 2014–2016 through a series of Public Editorial Meetings, leading to the realization of the forthcoming FORMER WEST publication. The series is supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. FORMER WEST is organized and coordinated by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. The activities of BAK are made possible by financial support from the City Council of Utrecht and the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science of the Netherlands.