AQNB’s Assimilation Politics with Steph Kretowicz

“Sell-out” isn’t such a dirty word anymore. The notion that one should compromise their principles for support has become a widely accepted tool for survival in an increasingly precarious gig economy. To sell-out is to live, and artists, producers, musicians, performers, writers have higher living costs, lower pay and fewer independent spaces to work in, outside of corporate interests. Instead of resisting the inevitable total subsumption of the margins by expanding markets, one can join in, get paid, gain visibility and work from the inside. But is this realistic, and what is the real cost of such a concession?

AQNB editor Steph Kretowicz hosts the ‘Assimilation Politics’ round table at Studio 1 of Künstlerhaus Bethanien, on October 27, examining the effects of corporate and institutional co-optation on counterculture, and the people, identities and communities it represents. In conversation with Dorine van Meel, Philipp Rhensius and Ari Robey-Lawrence it questions the value of visibility and exposure outside of an artist’s original context, and explores the consequences of collusion with the capitalist or state prerogative.

Dorine van Meel
Dorine van Meel is a Dutch artist and writer, living and working in Berlin. She holds an interest in socially engaged art, feminist methodologies and self-organized forms of collaboration. Meel has exhibited and screened her work at South London Gallery and Kunstraum, London; Showroom MAMA, Rotterdam; and Transmediale, Berlin. She has also initiated a number of collective projects, including The Southern Summer School at BAK, together with Nelmarie du Preez, Decolonial Futures with Simangaliso Sibiya at the Sandberg Instituut/Rietveld Academie, and Does Not Equal at W139, in collaboration with Rianna Jade Parker, as well as Gentle Dust at Jupiter Woods in London and the Berlin Biennale X.

Ari Robey-Lawrence
Ari Robey-Lawrence aka The Neighbourhood Character is a Berlin-based producer and selector who hosts a monthly show at Berlin Community Radio. Currently completing a PhD at London’s Goldsmiths, their Shaking Habits project is an ongoing queer auto-ethnography that aims to enumerate strategies implemented by marginalised electronic musicians and performers who incorporate multicultural politics and praxes of difference into their creative persona(s). These include their unique approach(es) toward working in the dance music industry. Ari has recently spearheaded the establishment of the wood // work collective, an intersectional and non-binary/queer collective conceived with the purpose to create alternative avenues for socio-cultural mobility, professional self-empowerment, and transnational interchange in creative industries. Since 2014, Ari acts as a core co-organiser and a resident DJ at Raumweiterungshalle.

Philipp Rhensius

Philipp Rhensius is a writer, musicologist, musician and curator from Berlin. His main interests circulate around music, movies, literature, pop culture, philosophy, metanoia and pareidolia. His texts are published in Taz, Spex, FAZ, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, WOZ and several book volumes. With his solo and band projects Kl.ne, aphtc and INRA, he explores the realms of live improvisation, sonic fiction and bass heavy club music.
He is also Berlin editor for global new music platform Norient.

Oct. 27 | 4pm
Studio 1, Künstlerhaus Bethanien
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