CALLOUT FOR RUNWAY ISSUE #26 [KNOWLEDGE]

PROPOSAL DEADLINE: AEST5pm, 30 SEPTEMBER 2014

DEADLINE EXTENDED: MIDNIGHT AEST, 4 OCTOBER 2014

A Man Examining a Urine Flask
Egbert van Heemskerck the elder A Man Examining a Urine Flask, Oil on canvas.

Globalism and technological developments have seen the emergence of a new economy centred on the valorisation of immaterial capital. This new economy has been described variously as a knowledge economy, creative economy, post-fordist economy and as a cognitive-cultural economy. Karl Marx pre-emptively described it as an economy where knowledge becomes ‘the greatest productive force’ and one where ‘direct labour and its quantity disappear as the determinant principle of production’ to become ‘an, of course, indispensable but subordinate moment, compared to general scientific labour’. Marx’s knowledge is described as both the artistic and scientific development of individuals.

Artists have been at the vanguard of this new economy since the early modernist movements, where the process of artistic labour became subordinate to a driving productive force fired by innovation and ideas.  Although speculative art markets have regularly attempted to measure the value of art through the trading of objects, art’s true value as conceptual capital has remained largely unquantifiable. The new knowledge economy, with its focus on the development of cognitive cultural capital and its prevalence within contemporary public discourse, demands that art and its conceptual capital becomes quantifiable. This is extraordinarily problematic if art is to operate in an oppositional space to rationalism and empiricism.

The rationalisation of modern society that has accompanied the emergence of this new economy has also seen knowledge become synonymous with the scientific method. Artistic development is, in all practical senses, not recognised as of equal value to scientific development. Adorno and Horkheimer describes this change in their Dialectic of Enlightenment, as a world that has abolished myth and superstition to its own detriment, and instead installed a foundationalist philosophy, that in its totality, has robbed the individual of meaningful control over their existence in much the same way that myth and superstition had done prior to the enlightenment.

Art, as the post enlightenment embodiment of myth and superstition, should position itself equally alongside science as a significant pillar of knowledge to resurrect what Adorno and Horkheimer describe as a true enlightenment. This is currently occurring within the institutions of knowledge through the emergence of research degrees in art practice and the establishment of artistic research institutes such as the National Institute for Experimental Arts in Australia. Yet art still risks being relegated to the periphery if it subjugates itself to scientific discourse in an attempt to affirm its status as a form of research. Art needs to distinguish itself from science in its understanding of how it contributes to knowledge. This can only occur through the adoption of an alternative epistemological perspective to those of rationalism and empiricism that are prevalent within the sciences.

Runway is calling for proposals for written work in either short (up to 1000 words) or long form (up to 2000 words) or other forms (picture essays, video interviews, audio commentaries). We are also calling for artist submissions of projects either recently completed or in development that would be suited to a digital experience in some way, shape or form (up to 10 minutes video or sound, or 12 images). Written works can feature images and/or video, and visual works can also include supporting or explanatory text. All works should clearly address the theme of ‘KNOWLEDGE’ and be focused on Australian artists, art cultures, art institutions, curatorial ideas and/or artworks. 

Depending on length of submission, writers will be paid between AUD$150 – $250 for a submission. Be aware, your work may be edited, but this is a collaborative process between the Editor and you. Artists will be paid AUD$200 to publish original submissions of new work or works in progress.

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Proposals are due: AEST5pm, 30 September 2014
Submission guidelines can be downloaded here.
Send your proposals to: editorial@runway.org.au

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