Jorge Boehringer – The Enormous Festival and its Discontents

Abstract

The contemporary arts thrive on coercive networks that comprise organizers, participants and audiences.  Like mycelia manifesting themselves in the spore-rich body of a mushroom for means of dissemination, contemporary arts networks often stage large public gatherings: festivals or exhibitions showcasing latest developments within their evolving fields.  Despite being heavily subsidized and officially endorsed Community Interest Companies, such pageantries also function as marketplaces.  In the large-scale contemporary arts jubilee, profit is made as new art-products are introduced to the consuming public for the first time.  These are placed into a competitive market with other art-products, whose quality is sanctioned by their co-presence within the marketplace itself, defining a centripetal market force around a phantom centre.  Meanwhile, critical questions concerning the sources of funding and destination of profits within contemporary art fêtes are obscured by the struggle between artists and public for access to these exclusive marketplaces.

The Enormous Festival presents a narrative critique for abstracting and studying the strategic configuration of power exchange between artists, audiences, and cultural institutions within contemporary capitalism.  Visiting writings of Mark Fisher, Michel de Certeau, Tim Ingold, Franz Kafka, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Fredric Jameson, contemporary incantations useful in summoning ghosts of displaced futures for exorcism are brought to the table.  Alternative tactics for discontents, gleaned and/or grifted from anthropology, phenomenology, politics, paranoia, and creative arts practices are proposed.

Biography

Jorge Boehringer is an interdisiciplinary artist, composer, performer and researcher currently based in Huddersfield, UK. Boehringer channels his eclectic and experimental practice into installation works, ensemble music, performances, texts, and visual artwork that explore attention, instability, the texture and apprehension of temporality, environments and everyday life. Boehringer also performs regularly as a violist, guitarist, and electronic musician, appearing recently at Techtonics Festival in Glasgow and in Tusk Festival in Newcastle. His PhD at the University of Huddersfield was supervised by Bryn Harrison, and he previously worked at the Center for Centemporary Music at Mills College in Oakland, California with Pauline Oliveros, Alvin Curran, and Fred Frith. Boehringer currently lectures part-time at the University of Huddersfield and has delivered guest seminars at CAMP in Aulus-les-bains, France, and at Creative Lab at the University of Newcastle. Boehringer is a member of several grassroots DIY arts organizations, working on an organizational level with Fuse Art Space in Bradford, and providing curatorial and programme support to Dai Hall in Huddersfield. New Weird Huddersfield (NWH), a curatorial project in collaboration with artist-musician Chris Ruffoni, aims to increase the local noise floor in the alluvial and psychological region between Manchester and Leeds.