Amsterdam has an inspiring, varied and international independent dance and performance scene. A wide range of high quality, and culturally, socially and artistically relevant work nonetheless remains out of sight, and therefore out of reach of potential programmers, venues, festivals and public spectators.
Unlike their more structurally or institutionally supported colleagues, independent makers do not always create in standard formats, nor do they create works on a regular or seasonal basis. Without fulfilling standard formats, nor being on the radar consistently, these makers can have a difficult time connecting with venues, programmers and curators who could support and present their work.
What currently stands in the way of more makers selling more of their work? What new models or platforms could increase the number of makers selling more of their work and/or programers willing to buy (program) more work from independent makers? What new approaches (methods) or type of agency, platform and/or new market place models could raise the visibility of the independent makers and facilitate a more balanced, dynamic and ongoing (symbiotic) exchange (dialogue) between makers, programmers, venues and festivals – and the public?
There are many ways to successfully establish and run an art agency. There is much to be learned from existing practices in Amsterdam and beyond. There are also other platforms in other art disciplines and (digital) business domains that could inform agency models for how information and products can be shared, how scale advantages might be managed, and how gains can be distributed. While taking business and economic aspects bloody serious, we also think it is very important to have a vision, or bias of what a new agency developed in the spirit of BAU should aim for.
- It should be viable
- It should be democratic
- It should be open to all independent makers
- It should be fun
- It should empower the greater scene as a whole
- It should facilitate exchange by inviting the participation of makers, as well as programmers
- It should work well and efficiently with the participation the many versus a system that serves the interests of only a few
- It should apply curatorial input in ways that create new opportunities
- It should influence future funding policy.