Over recent years, in all kinds of places around the globe, collectives have been formed that are not tied to specific institutes or to ways of organising activities that are imposed from above. There is a growing tendency among photographers and artists as well to join forces and organise themselves. Many such collectives are based on do-it-yourself principles of cut out the middle man. Although their points of departure, artistic strategies, processes and visual end products are extremely diverse, they have in common an enthusiasm for interdisciplinary collaboration and an open view of the world. The collectives differ in organisation and form: some are no more than loose associations of varying composition without an agenda, while others operate as far more business-like undertakings. One collective might present itself as an auction house, another as a shop, digital flower-power movement or tirelessly travelling caravan.
The digitalisation of photography and the rise of social media have unleashed a huge flood of images. The immense quantity and the transience of photos may make it hard to attribute more significance to photography than is intrinsic to a quick glance at yet another picture on Instagram. Working together to attach value and meaning to images is the central theme of the exhibition Collectivism, Collectives and their quest for value. Some collectives investigate the mechanisms and distributions systems that cause financial value to be attributed to images. Others operate as social agents, bringing people together by means of images and creating communities, online or otherwise. The exhibition also presents collectives that concern themselves with the value of images in the media and the organisation of dissenting voices to challenge the mainstream media.
Contributing collectives are 8Ball Community (USA), Dead Darlings (NL), #Dysturb (FR), The Eternal Internet Brother/ Sisterhood (GR), De Fotokopie (NL), Invisible Borders (NG), and Werker Magazine (ES/NL).
COLLABORATE! A YEAR OF VISUAL ENCOUNTERS
To celebrate its 15th anniversary, Foam
is organising a broad range of activities throughout 2017 united by the theme of collaboration, under the title Collaborate!.
Foam has identified a number of changes in the photographic landscape, with collaboration as a key component. A generation of young artists and artist initiatives is approaching their professional practice in this new manner. Foam is an outspoken advocate of this tendency; working together has always been part of our DNA. It is of the utmost importance to research, question and pay close attention to this trend.
The extensive Collaborate! project will feature a host of activities that differ substantially in nature: from exhibitions and events to activities well beyond the museums walls, in Amsterdam and abroad. A diverse array of both domestic and international artists, industry professionals and experts from other disciplines will participate, as well as a range of institutes and collectives. Highlights are Foam Fusion, a three-day festival at the museum in June; and a presentation during the photography festival Rencontres dArles.