The Charter Process

The Charter Process's function is to propose the ground-rules of an Arts Assembly, its CONSTITUTION so to speak. The outcome of the process is a series of 'Charters': the practical rules and procedures followed in each of several Chambers of a given AA.

The ARTS ASSEMBLY at Manifesta 8 will have only two chambers, whose Charters are found here:

The Valuation Chamber

The Round Chamber.

The Valuation Chamber (previously known as the Auction Chamber):

This chamber was first conceived during the collapse of casino-style markets to address the question of value in the art world. If market valuations of artworks are volatile and subject to changes which are largely heteronomous (not in any direct way related to the form, content or substance of the work itself), then an independent system of valuation becomes highly relevant. The Value Chamber is designed to provide non-monetary procedures for the evaluation – critical, practical, aesthetic, political, philosophical or otherwise – of artworks presented to it.

Initially, the Chamber was conceived after the fashion of auctions: through bids and counter-bids according to a procedure. Since then, a variety of different Charters have been proposed. It can adopt various modus operandi depending on how it is constituted in the Charter Process. Charters might allow for bidding “down” or “horizontally” or according to new criteria and rules.

The determination of the modus operandi is the work of the Charter Process. This will be approached by, firstly, determining the criteria for judgement of works. Secondly, the procedure for the valuation will be decided:

1. how the works are to be presented to the Chamber,
2. how they are deliberated upon (criticized in a closed Chamber, or in dialogue with the author, and the exact time given to each stage of this deliberative session, etc),
3. how the valuation will be assessed (a point system, or otherwise) or in some way produce a physical record of the valuation
4. how the results of the valuation may be represented (e.g. through a new artwork, through statistical diagrams, through throwing flowers or tomatoes…)

In any given locale or geo-cultural field, a different Membership of the Chamber, its Charters, and Procedures, and Representation (which may be delegated) give rise to different Valuations.

The Valuation Chamber is performative in character.

For examples of procedures discussed and tested during the Helsinki Pilot see:

The Round Chamber (a.k.a. the Amphitheatre)

The AA at M8 was commissioned as a 'Critical Organ' of the CPS curatorial project at Manifesta. This chamber will discuss the curatorial strategy of CPS, its implementation and the obstacles and issues it faces. Likewise, it will address the themes, discourses and institutions of M8. Historical and theoretical aspects of M8 and the Murcia region provide one point of departure.

Charters for this Chamber may take inspiration from the practices carried out in the amphitheatres of the ancient polis - theatrical, institutional or political.

The Charter Process will be finalised in the Charter Chamber. A preliminary list of members:

damian le bas
thierry geoffrey
ray langenbach

observers: khaled ramadan, alfredo cramerotti

joint chair: ivor stodolsky and marita muukkonen (perpetuum mobile)