October 20, 2017

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson Quote

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Coming to know also requires complex, committed, consensual engagement. Relationships within Nishnaabewin are based upon the consent – the informed (honest) consent – of all beings involved. The word consensual here is key because if children learn to normalize dominance and non-consent within the context of education, then non-consent becomes a normalized part of the ‘tool kit’ of those who have and wield power. Within the context of settler colonialism, Indigenous peoples are not seen as worthy recipients of consent, informed or otherwise, and part of being colonized is having to engage in all kinds of processes on a daily basis that, given a choice, we likely wouldn’t consent to. In my experiences with the state-run education system, my informed consent was never required – learning was forced on me using the threat of emotional and physical violence. In post-secondary education, consent was coercive – if you want these credentials, this is what you have to do and this is what you have to endure. This is unthinkable within Nishnaabeg intelligence. In fact, if there isn’t a considerable amount of demonstrated interest and commitment on the part of the learner, learning doesn’t occur at all. Raising Indigenous children in a context where their consent, physically and intellectually, is not just required but valued, goes a long way to undoing the replication of colonial gender violence.

- Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Land As Pedagogy: Nishnaabeg Intelligence and Rebellious Transformation



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October 18, 2017

"I sometimes say I’m too much of an artist for my own good."

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There are so many different ways of looking at this question. The world seems to be in quite bad shape these days – though this might have always been the case – and art seems like such a weak response when compared to all the overwhelming injustice and looming catastrophe that confronts us on a daily basis. What is a work of art when compared to rising fascism, climate chaos, the constant and unconscionable abuses of racism, patriarchy and capitalism. Art can often feel like sticking ones head in the sand and I have no real proof that it’s not. What’s worse, art can feel like an alibi for humanity. We might kill, torture, bomb and rape but we can’t be all bad because we also make beautiful things like art. This is normally the part where I’m supposed to come up with the counter-arguments: that art can change peoples hearts and minds. But I’m not so sure that it can, at least not in ways that are significant enough to make a difference. There are no individual solutions to collective problems.

So why do I keep doing it then? I have no good answer. I’m simply an artist (of some sort) and that’s what I’m here to do. I sometimes say I’m too much of an artist for my own good. As well, it might also be true that the ‘crisis of meaning and ambivalence towards art that is endemic within the field’ has little to do with such political questions. We live in strange times (and people in every age and era have also lived in strange times.) So many of the ways people have generated meaning for themselves during previous worlds and eras no longer seem to have the required support. A sense of place, connection and community are all difficult to come by today. (I would say that capitalism needs to destroy these things in order to have our labor when and how they need it for the best possible price.) But I also don’t want to romanticize the past. I suspect meaning has been difficult to come by at every point in history. Especially for those who can see through the empty platitudes that are so often used to stand in for it.

Nonetheless, I think these are important questions for art to ask itself. I’m all for an art that asks itself much harder questions, whatever form they might take.

- from an interview with Heather Jones in Contemporary Art Stavanger



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October 17, 2017

that we bear responsibility

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We were all raised in a sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic culture. No one is immune from it's influence. We all have these things inside us. They are equally structural and perpetrated by individuals. Those who most benefit from these power dynamics have the most to lose in their undoing, have the most to gain by perpetuating them, and, at the very least, find it easiest not to see the daily injustices they create and perpetuate. But I think change always begins with seeing the overwhelming degree to which power imbalances and hatreds are part of our culture, part of our lives, part of ourselves. And change is always stunted by denying that problems exist and especially in denying that we are a part of them and that we bear responsibility. The people who most benefit have the most to gain from such denials. Yet for anyone who substantially benefits, so often it feels so much better to say or think 'it's not me', it's not me who is being sexist, racist, homophobic or transphobic. Or standing by and saying nothing while others do. The first step to honestly fighting injustice is seeing the many ways we are part of it, while - if we are well-meaning - finding strategies to never become paralyzed by this fact, strategies which also lead to action.



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October 4, 2017

Jacob Wren / PME-ART in Stavanger, Bergen and Oslo

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Stavanger

Every Song I've Ever Written - Solo
Thursday, October 19th, 2017 / 6pm-11pm
at RIMI/IMIR
Facebook Event



Bergen

Every Song I've Ever Written - Solo
Saturday, October 21st, 2017 / 6pm-11pm
Meteor Festival
BIT Teatergarasjen / USF Verftet
Facebook Event

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Book launches: Polyamorøs Kjærlighetssang & Samferdsel
(Bergen launch for the Norwegian translation of Polyamorous Love Song)
Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 / 1pm
Visningsrommet USF 
Facebook Event

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Every Song I've Ever Written - Band Night
Featuring: Elida + Johannes Fjeldstad + Kvit Skit + Second Pest + Craig Wells & Rudi Valdersnes
Monday, October 23rd, 2017 / 10pm-midnight
Meteor Festival
BIT Teatergarasjen / USF Verftet
Facebook Event



Oslo

Lansering av Jacob Wrens «Polyamorøs kjærlighetssang»
(Launch of the Norwegian translation of Polyamorous Love Song)
Wednesday, October 25th, 7:30pm
Deichmanske bibliotek, Grünerløkka / Schous plass 10
Facebook Event




Every Song I've Ever Written is a project by PME-ART



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