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Kirsten Forkert, Birmingham City University

Tuesday February 25th @ University of Essex
3-5PM, Room LTB B

Kirsten Forkert will talk about her recently published book, Artistic Lives (Ashgate 2013), which is based on interview material with artists and arts professionals in London and Berlin, together with ethnographic descriptions and analyses of social and urban policy. The book examines how artists support themselves within rapidly changing urban environments – and how they contend with the effects of property bubbles, precarious employment, uncertain funding and policies that position cultural workers at the centre of economic development with little concern for they actually make ends meet. The book examines the myth that artists can create something from nothing, and engages with debates surrounding Post-Fordism, gentrification and the nature of authorship, to raise challenging questions about the function of culture and the role of artists within contemporary capitalism.

Kirsten will discuss her motivations for starting the project, share the main findings of the research (which was carried out during the first phase of the recession) and reflect on the implications in the present context.

Kirsten Forkert is a researcher and activist, and lecturer in media theory at Birmingham City University. Prior to working at BCU, she taught at a number of institutions during and after completing her PhD in the department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths. Her work is based within cultural studies, but draws on other disciplines, including sociology, urban studies and critical theory. It has been published in CITY, Third Text and various edited collections, as well as in Mute and Variant. Prior to academia, she worked in media art, new media and community media in Canada and the US, as a freelance practitioner. She is now developing new research on the cultural politics of austerity, and is involved in a collaborative, ESRC funded project mapping the controversies around Home Office campaigns.

Sponsored by the Centre for Work, Organization, and Society

This seminar is part of an ongoing workshop series on artist collectives.

Further events this spring will include the Nanopolitics group (March 5th), Max Haiven from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (March 19th), Jeremy Gilbert from the University of East London (April 29th), and others.

For more information contact Stevphen Shukaitis:


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