The Institute for Southern Contemporary Art (ISCA)

João Enxuto, Erica Love
Finance and Society, 2016, 2(2): 173-74


The Institute for Southern Contemporary Art (ISCA) was founded in 2016 to advance a meaningful alternative to the problem of contemporary art production and its political economy. While technology is intensifying the soft power of speculation, reputation, and the hype of networks, recent changes in technical infrastructure have done very little to shake the narrowly-defined and limited objectives of contemporary art. Technological change alone hasn’t curtailed an art field defined by individualism and competition, despite counter-claims made by progressive artists and collectives. Following a long-century of escapist fantasies projected as utopian horizons, there is little to offer up as a functional alternative to an art market spiralling toward ever more comprehensive financialization. At a time when disdain for contemporary art is proliferating, undoing this system accelerating toward stagnation cannot be left to the ‘inevitable’ unravelling of its internal contradictions. ISCA offers another option by rerouting capital from the contemporary art market to fund a path to working otherwise, culminating in a think-tank and independent program to promote new terms for art production.

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