CREATIVE TIME: Christian Frock

On October 12, the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley and the Curatorial Practice at the California College of the Arts are partnering to host a live-streaming of the Creative Time Summit, an annual conference in New York that brings together cultural producers–including artists, critics, writers, and curators–to discuss how their work engages pressing issues affecting our world. To jump-start the conversation in advance of the event, attendees have been asked to submit a paragraph on a keyword associated with one of the summit themes: Inequities, Occupations, Making, or Tactics. This posting is by Christian L. Frock, Producer and Curator of Invisible Venue.
Keyword: Tactics – Publicizing Private Space
In response to rampant privatization of public space, cultural producers in the Bay Area increasingly publicize private spaces (apartments, marginalized real estate, etc) and, in doing so, radicalize notions of public space, even when these spaces aren’t conventionally “public.” While these largely DIY actions underscore autonomy in the face of bureaucracy and increased corporate interests in the public realm, these gestures also represent a shift in the cultural landscape that coincides with the decline of conventional nonprofit art organizations. The increasing number of publicized platforms within the Bay Area and the use of private resources in the realization of these projects raise questions about sustainability and access at the same time that these gestures serve a need for experimental and alternative venues at the grassroots level. What relationship, if any, is there between the rise of private/public enterprise and the decline of conventional arts non-profits—and how do these shifts bode for the future of arts organizations, non-profit or otherwise? Recent points of consideration, among others: the forthcoming closure of San Francisco’s Museum of Craft and Folk Art, the 5M Project facilitated by Forest City real estate developers in partnership with non-profit arts organization Intersection for the Arts, and “Manifest Destiny” a temporary public art project realized on private property by nonprofit arts organization Southern Exposure. To what extent are we able to critically evaluate the inter-dependence of public organizations on private funds, while also examining private/public partnership models for potential solutions to questions of sustainability with integrity?