These try-outs should be understood not in abstract terms, but in the light of the current struggles with labor, housing, racism, homophobia, and anti-fascist positions. If politicians can facilitate these processes for us to work, that would be great. We would wish that the situation wouldn’t look as somber but reality is also knocking on the door of the art sphere. Can politicians regulate the price for studios and project spaces? Can they facilitate real financial support for diversity? Can they push a little bit further and understand the complex situation of art practitioners during and after the pandemic, and give some more support?The engagement and support from the Network has been vitally important to our growth and sustainability, and also our learning and understanding of the wider Berlin art scene beyond our micro-communities. For one thing, we have learned so much about the plurality of spaces and creative discourses in Berlin. But the open discussion that the Network allows with the Berlin Senate and one another has been really important in order to understand our needs as unique nodes in the artistic landscape of Berlin, and creative mutual goals for the sustainability and vitality of the community as a whole.The city has become more expensive overall and therefore there is less free space – there are less “Freiräume”. Our definition has not changed as a project space.
The concept of an ideal space is completely dependent on what the organizers/artists/curators are interested in doing. In our opinion, there isn’t ONE type of space that is ideal which is actually what is so wonderful about project spaces in general – they are diverse, and completely different.
It seems that because of the lack of spaces and the increased rents, more project spaces have turned towards commercial models. But since funding has become more commonplace in the scene, meaning it’s more common to pay artists who are involved in shows, performances, readings, events, etc. at project spaces, this has put more pressure on spaces in general to have to secure financing. We would argue that since funding has become more readily available, the structures have begun to change. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword. It’s wonderful to receive funding and be able to support artists, and as a result, the scene has become much more professional. But at the same time, it is harder in some ways to do projects more spontaneously and in an improvised fashion. This, as a result, has changed the (power) dynamics between the artists and the project space organizers, as very often the organizers are NOT funded but the artists participating in the projects are. This creates a rather awkward dynamic and as organizers ourselves, it’s frustrating for us to not be paid for our efforts and contributions to the “Freie Szene”.