Working Paper Series

Working Paper Series by the Research Unit in Public Cultures

The Research Unit in Public Cultures publishes a journal of Working Papers by its members. These are typically the results of new directions in research, interdisciplinary work, or critical reflection on methodologies. They emerge from the workshop series that is a central feature of the Unit's contribution to the intellectual life of the University. These papers have been peer-reviewed and are intended to stimulate critical dialogue - all authors welcome feedback and their contact details are included in each paper.

The Working Papers series has been edited by Nikos Papastergiadis, Danny Butt, Alex Lambert, and Peter Chambers.

RUPC Working Paper #4 (2015)

Grace McQuilten and Anthony White - Impact and Sustainability in Art Based Social Enterprises

This paper maps the emergent territory of social entrepreneurship in the arts in Australia in relationship to international developments and investigates factors that impact upon the ability of art-based social enterprises to sustain their work and create meaningful social benefit. The paper is presented in three parts; (i) a literature review of the field of art and its relationship to social enterprise, including issues, potential benefits and research gaps; (ii) findings from a pilot study examining the tensions between artistic, social and economic goals in art-based social enterprises; and (iii) directions for further research. The paper draws upon organisational management knowledge and aims to improve existing industry practice by looking at social enterprise as a model for both financial growth and the creation of social impact in the art sector.

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RUPC Working Paper #3 (2015)

Rimi Khan and Danielle Wyatt - Doing Ethnography in the City of Whittlesea: Domains of Cultural Participation

The relationship between cultural participation and migrant belonging is an increasingly pertinent issue. Policy and academic discussions about the 'intercultural city', for example, are largely concerned with the kinds of formal and informal attachments migrants have to local, national and transnational spaces (Wood and Landry 2008; Amin 2002). But while there has been much scholarly concern with the forms of spatialised belonging that exist in urban, multicultural Australia (Dreher 2006; Hage 1997; Noble 2009; Noble 2011; Wise and Velayutham 2009) there has been less attention to the ways in which migrant identities are articulated in new, suburban spaces which have a very different relationship with the cultural infrastructure of the inner-city. Scholarly discussions have been mainly structured around understandings of difference in the city as a form of dysfunction - reflected in anxieties about the ethnic 'ghetto' - or opportunity - where diversity is valued for generating creativity, innovation and urban vibrancy. This paper seeks to intervene in these accounts by exploring the relationship between everyday cultural participation and migrant belonging in culturally diverse, suburban Australia. The research discussed considers the relationship between cultural participation as it is imagined by governmental discourses and the lived, cultural practices of migrants.

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RUPC Working Paper #2 (2015)

Emma McRae - Participation and Performance: Human-Technology Relations in the Art of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

This paper presents an investigation into the interactive media artworks of Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer as a means of exploring the human-technology relations that produce and are produced by the works. Situating Lozano-Hemmer's work within a history of participatory art and significant technological shifts, the paper uses two artwork case studies to explore four key concepts from the MA project: embodiment, autopoiesis, techno-social milieux and distributed agency. The project draws on the work of Bruno Latour and N. Katherine Hayles, with reference to the work of other key theorists including Donna Haraway and Gilles Deleuze, to challenge a humanist perspective of technology and argue for a posthumanist framework in which technology comes to be understood as a techno-social performance.

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RUPC Working Paper #1 (2015)

Danny Butt - Double-Bound: Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization

Published in 2011, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization compiles and reconsiders two decades of her arguments about the political constitution of the aesthetic subject. This review essay traces arguments running through the book that reconcile the deconstructive politics of the subject with the resurgent interest in universalist theories that position themselves in relation to global technocapitalism. These arguments provide us with methodological tools for interrogating the "globalisability" of our academic work: the co-option of social movements and the need for epistemological care; Romantic techniques of self-othering toward new collectivities; Marx's legacy of value as form; the powerful role of affect and habit in training the intellect; an expanded theory of reading; the limits of "culture" as a diagnostic; reproductive heteronormativity as a grounding principle; attention to intergenerational gendered structures of responsibility; and finally, a fully secularised understanding of radical alterity.

Read Working Paper #1