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For more than four decades Arena has through its publications been engaged in a process of political and cultural interpretation. The shift towards a globalised high-tech society dominated by markets and finance has meant that Arena’s interpretative project has become increasingly complex and multi-faceted. The Arena Project Space and its program of discussions, events and exhibitions is a reflection of this.
Today, much of what was once taken for granted about cultures, societies, identities and values is open to challenge. To be critically engaged now means to be concerned not only with politics but with science, the environment, Indigenous communities, the circulation of money and peoples, militarisation and the centrality of images and information.
Coming to terms with this radical transformation lies at the heart of the Arena project. Much of this shift has occurred in the realm of images and sensations, which are stimulated, harnessed, enhanced and disciplined in contemporary work and leisure. This change in what we think of as our cultural or aesthetic lives means the old relationship between art and politics must be rethought with a new sense of urgency and importance.
It is in this spirit that the Arena Project Space has been developed to allow artists to engage with this emerging situation, where both ‘art’ and what it engages with has acquired new forms and meanings, together with new political dimensions.
The Arena Project Space welcomes submissions from artists whose work might be thought of as complementary to the aims of Arena’s other activities: work that is critical or exploratory or which documents these radical changes in contemporary culture and society.