Dark arts, grey areas and other contingencies
FoAM Earth's lecture, performance and workshop at the RADMIN Festival
In a world enthralled by market economics, sooner or later every artist is faced with the question of financing their work. This can involve day-jobs, commissions, government funding, direct sales and the informal economy of the precariat. Whatever form the financing might take, it requires some form of engagement with bureaucratic institutions or profit-driven corporations. Engaging with such faceless entities beyond our control, yet with ability to change the course of our lives, was traditionally the domain of dark arts; of magicians, witches and fortune-tellers. Can the tools of the dark arts help to demystify and engage with the economic strategies deployed around us? From global trade to local funding, from tax incentives to baroque group structures. Can we use scrying for fundraising, or conduct banishment rituals for paperwork? Can we conjure up resources for unholy alliances? Can administration be transmuted into a creative practice in and of itself? As inspiration, a medium, or an artistic field. Drawing on the dark arts, we explore economic and cultural grey areas (including creative accounting, offshore finance, self-exploitation and blockchain speculation) to reclaim tools of business administration and realign them with the ethics and aesthetics of generosity.