Groundswell is a loose affiliation of critical cultural producers who work at the intersection of art and activism. Our task is to understand and make use of the long history of radical imagination, desire, and creativity by archiving and discussing the works presented here, while simultaneously participating in the movements that shaped, and were shaped by them. We are interested in the capacity of art to compose new social relationships that alter, disrupt, channel, or otherwise impact the course of history.
Cultural production in its myriad forms has been integrated, almost seamlessly, into capitalist logic in the last half century. The result of this envelopment is two-fold: the once avant garde aspirations of making art an everyday practice have been realized, and the terrain on which power is built and contested has a decidedly cultural composition – producing politics is a cultural endeavor, and vice versa. Taking this second claim first, we recognize that the knowledge economy, or cognitive capital, is a salient force against which the left has yet to develop an effective strategy. Activist art offers extradisciplinary critique, and a theoretical model for this task, for the necessary engagement of contemporary power.
In furtherance of this goal, Groundswell has offered this space for unregulated discourse and collaborative cultural work since 2006.
We approach this work from many perspectives, in various media, and with artists and activists the world over. We catalog, evaluate, and support critical art practice, we’ve worked as artists and curators, and run a mutual aid online store and barter network.
Interested in collaborating? Contact us.