This is the continuation without coherence of our previous exchanges with John.
"The ominous drive for professionalisation within a neo-liberal economic model exerts tension and locates a friction within its socialist tendencies."
Thank you for having elegantly expressed this contradiction, that we might label THE contradiction: the boundaries of the art world are comprised between the poles of buyers and merchants on the one hand and its socialist, political or cultural drives. Purity and the integrity of ideologies are long gone, but still: how can we make political art or at least pretend to hold a position? When we all gather to fair openings and VIP previews in order to meet those with the money, those who buy your political art and then support racist, fascist or more moderate right wing parties the decisions of which cut funds to the arts or make your life as a self-employed worker in the cultural world more and more difficult. The same people who devalue culture.
It is hard to think about solutions, because alternatives often suffer of an excess of purism. Artist-run spaces most of the times end up as small galleries or fall completely out of the art system (who cares? - you may say. Anyway, how can you be heard if you're an outsider?). Bringing art back to the people and start a true and participatory dialogue is interesting, but how? We are all struggling to survive, and it looks like adding another hole in the belt is a historical-proved warranty of the quality of an artistic research.
Collectives differ quite a lot from each other, especially because often their internal organization influences deeply on their political orientation. The one mirrors the other. It is also true, on the other hand, that we are quite naif if compared to other artistic fields with a stronger tradition in team-building and collective administration (just think about independent theatre).
Congratulation! For the moment we have no suggestions, but there's a question that arose last week.
You mentioned some feminist positions in your brief excursus through your research. Does any of the case studies you focus on belong to feminist, cyber feminist or queer positions?