South Ways Project – Roundtable
South Ways Project – Roundtable


Kevin Murray

South Ways Project - Roundtable

Date: 28-Jun-2014

Location: Contemporary Art Tasmania

South Ways is an open project coordinated by Kevin Murray with the aim of defining creative practices that have a home in the South. Contemporary Art Tasmania is a presentation partner for the roundtable discussion in Hobart. Please note that participation is through registered involvement. For further information:

HOBART DATE: Saturday 28 June 2014


The following excerpts are from Ways is an attempt to open up a fresh space for creative practice that engages across the latitude. Its framework is dialogical, in which the field is understood as a changing set of views that are positioned in relation to each other. The starting principles of South Ways are:

  • Ideas are partly determined by where they come from.
  • There are important ways of thinking that do not fit with the Western systems of knowledge.
  • There is no one universal system of knowledge: the challenge is to find ways of accommodating incommensurable world views.
  • Western systems of knowledge do not acknowledge the interests at play in its theories and methods.
  • It is better to contribute something new than borrow something old.

South Ways focuses on forms of creative practice that seem to reflect ideas in southern theories. It begins with four words—open, glean, swap and bestow. These verbs reflect different potential creative moves. Open reveals the production process of art that lies behind its commodified identity. Glean operates at the margins of market capitalism, making value from the leftover and copy. Swap changes places between the normal and exotic, reversing the primitivist gaze. And bestow focuses creativity in new circuits of exchange rather than the art object itself. These four operations are neither exhaustive of nor unique to the South. But they do resonate with the concepts currently being developed within the discourse of Southern Theory. The challenge is to map these paths within existing contemporary art, craft and design scenes. What practices might be identified as operating in this way and what issues characterise the landscape? This mapping will entail a familiarisation with Southern Theory through key articles and books. The actual mapping process will occur in roundtables to be held in Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart and Wellington. The results of these will be published along with the maps as travel guides for those wanting to set out on alternative paths. These maps will hopefully provide conceptual scaffolding to help situate creative practice locally within a more multilateral global context.Participation in South Ways involves:

  • Reading excerpts from southern thinkers
  • Online discussion of reading
  • Participation in one of the Roundtables in Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart or Wellington
  • Contribution of an article (approx. 1,000 words) to website

Reading will be distributed on 20 December 2013. Roundtables will be occur during 2014. There are no prerequisites, other than an email address and an open mind. Particularly encouraged are those with other languages (including Spanish, Portuguese and Maori), artists, curators and writers.Roundtables

  • Wellington 27/2 – Bestow: platforms for the gift in art (report)
  • Melbourne 24/4 – Open: how art reveals the what makes it possible
  • Sydney 16/6 – Swap: reversing positions (carnival, canonisation, academic path) rather than changing structures
  • Hobart – 28/6 – Glean: making value from the materials and stories that are left over
  • Santiago – to be confirmed

For further information:

South Ways

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