Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Oppotunity: Call for Curators, IMPAKT Festival

Posted by Sofia Landström • Monday, February 18. 2013 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

The application date for this opportunity has passed.

Curator, IMPAKT Festival
Deadline: 18 March 2013

IMPAKT (foundation for critical media culture) in Utrecht (NL) invites interested parties to submit curatorial proposals for the 2013 Impakt Festival, which will take place from 30 October – 3 November focusing on the theme ‘Capitalism Catch 22′. The Impakt Festival is the annual culmination of the activities of Impakt as an organisation that specialises in critical media culture: a multi-media festival with conferences, readings, performances, screenings, exhibitions, presentations and music.

The curatorial proposal can be submitted by curators individually or collectively and should revolve around this year’s theme: CAPITALISM CATCH 22 (working title)

Many people argue that, so far, humanity hasn’t come up with any feasible alternatives to capitalism, whilst – at the same time – this economic system seems a dead end. How do we solve this dilemma?

The word capitalism has a negative connotation for many people. Artists, critics and scientists mostly focus on the negative aspects of this economic system and many blame it for the current economic crisis. At the same time, capitalism contributed to a significant increase in the standards of living in and outside the western world and it cannot be denied that capitalism has served as a motor behind important innovations at all levels of society.

The ‘Critique on Capitalism’ is often based on ideas concerning the fair distribution of wealth and the differences between poor and rich that capitalism maintains or even stimulates. Communism tried to come up with a more fair alternative, but failed, as did all the other alternatives that have been tried so far. Capitalism curbed by social democracy in a welfare state can offer a solution to the differences in living standards that Capitalism engenders, but does not offer a solution to the inherent problem that will ultimately make Capitalism fail: the system depends on the ongoing increase in consumption whereas, with the world’s population growing and natural resources diminishing, decreasing consumption is the only sustainable solution. Capitalism can, to a certain extent, deal with a need for more efficiency, but it cannot deal with the notion of consuming less.

Technological developments have increased the speed and complexity of the capitalist system’s products and processes, creating immense risks for our society. More and more people question the incentives that capitalism gives to bankers, markets, producers and consumers, and their short-term effects versus the long-term consequences.

How can we introduce ethical notions of the consequences for people and planet in a system that only cares about profit ? How can the media industry, the historical ally of consumerism, make the idea of ‘non-consumption’ fashionable and desirable. How can it advocate sustainable and responsible consumerism when these ideas are no longer the products of fringe ideologies, but an economic necessity that will only become increasingly urgent in the decades ahead.

With the world population increasing, imminent energy and natural resources crises and the growing complexity of financial structures we want to study the future of Capitalism as our society’s basic principle, possible alternative systems, the role media culture plays in a market economy and how new technologies and small scale initiatives can offer solutions.

We expect curator(s) to present a clear vision on the above issues and the relationships between economic developments, the media industry, cultural identity, artistic movements from the past and present, etc. in order to investigate and analyse both past and future structures using the programmes presented at the 2013 Impakt Festival.

The curator or curatorial team can be responsible for the entire festival programme comprising films, lectures, new media projects, presentations, a music programme and an exhibition. It is also possible to submit a proposal for one or some of the parts of the festival programme. (You can, for instance, choose to hand in a proposal just for the film programmes or one that doesn’t include a music programme.)

The screening programme of the Impakt Festival consists of artist’s films and videos, but it can also include documentaries, commercials, archival footage, etc. Works in the programme can be historical or contemporary.

In order to qualify for selection, please send an e-mail to cc22[at]impakt[dot]nl enclosing a proposal document that features:

An overall concept clarifying your approach to and connection with the ‘Capitalism Catch 22′ theme.
An introduction to the various parts of the programme. This should include a realistic overview of the desired artists, speakers or guests featured in the various programmes and a brief explanation of the choices made in this respect. Lastly, we request documentation on the featured artists, through links to portfolios, writings, videos, resumes, etc.
A clear indication of the programmes’ parts compiled by the curator. If applicable, include a description of the programme parts for which the main curator chooses to work with external curators.
In the case you see possibilities to collaborate with (inter)national partners, share your ideas in a brief statement and elaborate on possible curatorial co-productions, exchanges, media partnerships, etc.
If a curator chooses to submit a concept for a seperate part of the programme (instead of an overall proposal), we expect to receive a clear indication on the programme elements that Impakt will have to find other curators for.
The resumes of the curator (and all additional or external curators)

Please note: Impakt will only take into consideration full proposals that address all the issues mentioned above and meet or respond to the above criteria. Submission guidelines: Deadline: 18 March 2013, Shortlist Notification: 1 April 2013, Final Notification: 15 April 2013

Depending on the responses from potential candidates, Impakt may choose to work with an overall proposal from one curator or a team of curators that hand in a collaborative proposal. We may also choose to bring several curators together and combine the various proposals.

There is a budget for compiling the programme including artists’ and screening fees, travel and accommodation expenses, technical and building overheads. Curators will be paid a fee and will receive a research budget. Following an initial selection of proposals, the curators in question will be contacted about the financial details.

Further information:

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