Cultural de/Centre for a Precarious Century

Cultural deCenter for a Precarious Century (C dC), is a proposition for an institution that can validate and co-create itself together with new emerging cultural forms.

Created in collaboration with political theorist Christopher Holman and fellow artist Dax Morrison "Act of Institution" takes a bureaucratic procedure as a creative process, resulting on a document that resembles an act of incorporation for a cultural center and yet offers a radically different approach to creating culture.

 

This piece was part launched at the Justina M. Barneke Gallery in Toronto, Canada in 2011.

Download the Act.

“From Power over Creation to the Power of Creation:

Cornelius Castoriadis on Democratic Cultural Creation and the Case of Hollywood”

Essay by Christopher Holman and James McMahon that references this work.

This article is a critical investigation and application of the aesthetic theory of Cornelius Castoriadis, one of the most important 20th-century theorists of radical democracy. We outline Castoriadis’s thoughts on autonomy, the social-historical nature of Being, and creation—key elements that inform his model of democratic culture. We then develop a Castoriadian critique of culture produced by capitalist institutions. By also drawing on the political economic thought of Thorstein Veblen, Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler, our critique focuses on one sector of contemporary culture: Hollywood film. We show how Hollywood, as a business enterprise, uses techniques of sabotage and capitalization to control and occult the social-historical nature of creation. Lastly, by way of conclusion, we gesture toward a mode of artistic production that is able to affirm the democratic values that organize Castoriadis’s thought.

Seed:

Royal Ontario Museum - Act of Institution, 1912.