The seminar " The Expanding Role of the Artist as Entrepreneur " was open to the public and free of charge.

Participating organizations: Bastard (NO), CCA-Tbilisi (GE), GeoAIR (GE),  Kallio Kunsthalle (FI), Manymade (DK),  Nýlo - The Living Art Museum (IS), Snowball Cultural Productions (SE), Supermarket Art Fair and Magazine (SE), (DK)

The state support for independent artists has changed drastically. In Nordic lands the traditional state fundings are slowly shrinking and artists as well as cultural arenas are being pushed towards private sponsorship while there is actually not a tradition for this nor a network or base for private funding of art projects especially with regard to grants supporting work and living costs—and recent cut-backs in the UK and the Netherlands confirm this as a reality that affects the cultural scenes of many European lands. Cultural institutions such as museums, and the education sector, have also faced budget cuts stifling the trickle down support which often was the funding for new works or initiatives by artists. As this situation has existed since some time, artists and cultural workers have been developing ways of acting affirmatively in creating new situations for art and artists. Many artists became ”curators” regarding the mediation and dissemination of their practices as part of their role as artists -- collaborating with other artists in order to establish a place in the market, in the public sphere. The role of roles of curator and artist are now often combined and include initiation and management of projects, as well as inter-disciplinary communication. Hence there exist newly established independent arts organizers. (It is important to note that independent arts organizers is not a new phenomenon, but our project is focussed on organizations that have grown in the past 10 years which also work with the artistic area of relational aesthetics and site specific work—which often has direct contact with the public outside the normative venues of gallery and museum.) The seminar ”The Expanding Role of the Artist as Entrepreneur” seeks to bring together some independent culture producers, established in the past decade, from a range of Nordic and European regional lands to exchange experiences, to share strategies with regard to financing and creating a public, and to establish contacts that can lead to mutual support and further development of cross Nordic as well as inter European projects. Some of the organizations are more ”grass-roots” than others and all have different modus operandi. Each organization will have a chance to share their vision, description of their funding structure and audience; to discuss aspects of entrepreneurship pertinent to the field of art, and present a summary of projects.

On The Seminar

The seminar “The Expanding Role of the Artist as Entrepreneur” which was organized on the next day of opening the “Nordic Art – Between Miracles” exhibition, explored very necessary and important aspects of artistic activity. This information was topical for Georgian audience and especially for students. We listened to diverse successful stories directly from the authors, which was inspiring and motivating same time. This seminar showed how Entrepreneurship blends with art, thus creating new forms and possibilities for artists. After the seminar, there was a workshop, where we have developed our project ideas in two groups. In a brief presentation we discussed our ideas and received valuable feedback from the artists and curators. This workshop helped us to generate more ideas and to develop existing ones, so now we have specific action plans instead of raw ideas. In the end I want to conclude that these two days was productive exchange between the participants and precious lesson for the CCA-Tbilisi students. Vato Urushadze, Student CCA-Tbilisi  

On Nordic Art/Between miracles and Substance collaborations.

I have been studying and practicing photography, and for many years this used to be the only field I was working in. After finishing my degree, the time I spent with photography decreased steadily as I realized that what I was doing, had already been done, and I could not contribute nor create anything new within this media. I could not see myself as a photographer anymore. At this point, I decided to go abroad in order to continue studying. I used to visit my former teacher and friend Wato Tsereteli regularly. Once, he told me about the Valand School of Fine Arts and the approaching application deadline for the independent study course. He encouraged me to apply and furthermore provided me with the required recommendation letter. In May, I received the approval per e-mail. In September, the semester began. In the beginning, I had the opportunity to offer a VJ course, but I hesitated as I could not see myself as a teacher or a teacher’s assistant. I rather had the wish to learn something new myself and gain new knowledge and skills, which is why I started working at the gallery as an artist’s assistant while simultaneously maintaining visits and studio talk with the students. All these experiences helped me progressing and developing. I spent most of my free time in the studio creating artworks, searching for new materials, and mixing them. Furthermore, the seminars and workshops taking place at the school added up to this experience. By the end of the course, my fellow students and I wanted to make an exhibition, which turned out to be rather difficult, as all the appropriate spaces where either occupied or extremely costly. Due to these circumstances, I suggested to transform our own studio into an exhibition space, where our artworks should be presented. After the “open studio” show, our independent study course came upon another space and held another group show entitled “We Have Always Been Here Before”. After returning from Sweden, I found myself more active in my art practice. The first thing I did upon arrival was to renovate a part of my living space and turn it into a studio. Apart from now being my prior working and living space, the place quickly emerged into a meeting point for my friends, and it was in this exact place where the idea for a new project – “SUBstance” – was born. I did not hesitate when my Swedish colleagues offered me to organize a similar “open studio” based show, as this was coherent to the experiences I had made in Sweden. However, we added more professionalism and a more operational character to the event by hosting it under the “SUBstance” label, where artists as well as musicians work together. This exhibition was the second edition of the project series and functioned as a collaborative, complementary show for the Nordic Art/Between Miracles collective. Giorgi Mozgovoi (Makhniashvili), Artist