Gentrified Improvisation

What does it mean to freely improvise in a context where cultural expressions are being instrumentalised in order to promote a neighborhood as an artistic hub? 

Free improvisation is a term that emerged in the 60s coming out of free jazz and contemporary modern music. It is supposed to be a practice without rules or hierarchies, where the relationship between the individual and the collective is in constant negotiation. However, today neoliberalism has turned our individual freedom into nothing more than the freedom to be consumers. Therefore, we will not start from our presupposed freedom but rather by acknowledging our lack of freedom. Through the workshop we will analyze and discuss what freedom means under today's economic conditions, taking as our starting point the context where we will be: a neighborhood in the process of regeneration, an art space which has been used to promote this regeneration and an exhibition which might trigger further promotion. 

In Sweden we see rapid privatization connected to a process of individualization, which disintegrates the social formations developed by the social democratic tradition. 

An example of this, which is having an effect in the neighborhood: In 2009 the Swedish Parliament adopted a new law regarding publicly owned housing companies. Before this change all publicly owned companies were prohibited by law from operating within the principal of commerce, instead the public interest was the ambition. The new legislation means an exception from the prohibition of publicly owned companies to make profit. Now profit is the main target.

With this experiment we want to work collectively, starting from an examination of a concrete situation and try to generate an improvisation that acknowledges its contextual resonances. At the end of the workshop there will be a concert/performance where we will try to embody what Gentrified Improvisation might be; an improvisation that acknowledges its context and its complicity, nevertheless believing in the critical potential of a collective action that could still pose challenges to its own commodification.

Everybody is welcome. No musicianship is necessary. Musical instruments are welcome but we will also acknowledge the musical qualities of our discussions and our movements. Bring material in relation to the processes that are happening in Hökarängen in particular and its relationship to the ongoing neoliberalisation of Sweden.