The think tank is used as an umbrella term for a wide number of specific projects and public outcomes. It proposes a way of thinking about the artworld as a complex ecosystem that depends on essential institutions including the public and private museum, the kunsthalle, the commercial gallery, the artfair, the biennale, the artschool, the studio, the factory, and so on. Each of these places can be said to ‘institute’, to promulgate and cement the practices of individuals such as artists, writers and curators, among others.
Moreover, the term ‘think tank’ is emblematic of collaborative thinking; by bringing together some of the most well-informed and creative minds in the artworld we aim to engage in the productive development of strategic ideas. The principle of sharing research allows us to establish new insights through authoritative evidence and knowledge, which is brought to bear on urgent concerns and topics in the visual arts through activism and advocacy.
The think tank seeks to produce a platform for divergent thinking and discussion which provides the basis for particular projects and events, but also for the fostering of lasting methods and policies in art. Accordingly, the think tank has a dual nature since knowledge is both an end in itself, and a means of ensuring the later attainment of goals and standards. It harnesses the evidence of the present, whilst operating in expectation, directed at the future.
Recent and ongoing outcomes include the summit Going Public and the retreat Media in the Expanded Field. Going Public brought together a number of discussion panels composed of funders, policy-makers, and public and private museums through an international symposium format to discuss the transition of regional museums. The findings were disseminated through a report written by a notable art critic.
Media in the Expanded Field focused on the impact of New Media on the development of new models for present and future art institutions. An extensive report will be published to present the main arguments and to outline a range of key recommendations and propositions. Further, the ideas advanced by the intensive debates in Media in the Expanded Field serve as a major point of departure for the ensuing landmark exhibition on the topic.
Further retreats, think tanks and symposia are currently being planned, underlining the importance of and commitment to collective research and its distribution in public and private spaces.