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Konferens: FORMS OF AUTONOMY – Aesthetic Theory between Experimental Art and Cultural Policy

An International Conference at Södertörn University and Hägerstensåsens Medborgarhus, Stockholm, June 13-14, 2024.  

In the problem of the autonomy of art, not only the autonomy of art is at stake. In recent years, across different national contexts, policy measures and reforms have been launched that decimate the independence of cultural and educational institutions, while waving the false flag of ”freedom” – of art, of expression, of opinion, of academic research. Effectively countering this offensive presupposes a strong, critical understanding of the concept at its core. Here, the problem of autonomy and its forms regains full urgency. How should we understand the concept of the autonomy of art critically today? What would be the political implications of such an understanding?  

Confirmed Speakers

Nicholas Brown, Andrea Fraser, Jackqueline Frost, Stefan Jonsson, Linnéa Lindsköld, Sven Lütticken, Peter Osborne, Gustav Strandberg, Kim West, Josefine Wikström.  

Practical information

Open to the public and free of charge.

Thursday, June 13
Södertörn University, MA331, 10.00-17.00

10.30-11.30Sven Lütticken ”Infrastructural Critique and the Problem of
11.45-12.45Linnéa Lindsköld“Cultural Policy as National Security
Policy: Implications for the Autonomy of Art, Artist, and
14.00-15.00Peter Osborne“Freedoms in Unfreedom”
15.15-17.00Panel: Gustav Strandberg, Kim West, Josefine Wikström, Gustav Strandberg

Gustav Strandberg, “Murdering the Imagination”
Kim West, “Autonomy at Scale”
Josefine Wikström, “Contemporary Art and Cultural Policy,
or Art and the State, 1990s to the Present”

Friday, June 14
Hägerstensåsens Medborgarhus, 14.00-19.00 

14.00-15.00Stefan Jonsson“Figures of Autonomy? Notes on Collective
Agency and the Tweets, Drops and Masks of Freedom”
15.15-16.15Jackqueline Frost“Aimé Césaire between Political
Autonomy and Poetic Knowledge”
16.30-17.30Nicholas Brown“Handle with Care: Affect, Sociology, Index,
and Other Critical Evasions”
17.45-18.45Andrea Fraser“Autonomy and its Contradictions Revisited”
18.45-19.00Closing Remarks

Organized by Gustav Strandberg, Kim West, and Josefine Wikström within the framework of the research project “Autonomy, Culture, Action: On Culture’s Spheres of Political Action in the Neoliberal Welfare State”, funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, hosted by Södertörn University. Additional conference support from the research school Critical and Cultural Theory, Södertörn University. Arranged in collaboration with Tusen kulturhus at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm.