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A Play About Creative Incubators

By Incubatents, 3 December 2013
Image: Image of Rupert, creative incubator Vilnius Lithuania. built in 2013

A satire set in Vilnius, a critique of the creative incubator Rupert, a critique of everything




What we really want to talk about is how utterly bankrupt everything is. How precarious our lives are and how grim the future appears to most of us as a prospect for, well, anything. We would like to be talking about how utterly complacent the institution of contemporary art is in the truly negative processes of financial globalization taking place all around us. We would like to be talking about what it means to wage a struggle against the corrupt economic and political policies that are shoved down are throat everyday. We would like to be talking about the EU’s support of these ‘cultural incubators’ that are suppose to act as models for the privatization of the public cultural infrastructure in developing nations. We would like to talk about how it is possible that a private corporate capitalist could be given 95% of the capital for a building, he now privately owns, through public funds.  And then there is the situation of the Special Economic Zones which are striping local people in Lithuania and across the world, of all rights while giving obscene advantages, in the domestic economy, to foreign industrialists. 


Alas, we found ourselves in a really shitty residency/educational program in Vilnius Lithuania called Rupert. All the public money they got for public programs and support of participants just disappeared overnight. And then they fired the former director sending him off to Spain before anyone could speak with him (we believe he signed a non-disclosure agreement as well, so standing behind PR blanket for all attempts of inquiry). Meanwhile the corporate capitalist, Marius, who owns the building (which was, yes, financed by the EU creative incubator funds along with support from regional municipalities, were talking about millions here) was smart enough to build the space in a layout that could easily be sold off as a poshy art hotel e.g. all of the ‘offices’ on the second floor of the building are built as domestic spaces. So you can imagine a room that looks like it belongs in a hotel in Soho NYC is inhabited by ‘creative incubator’ companies and art residence who sleep there – illegally I will add. The most telling moment was when they were building the space and the EU inspectors came by right before they were about to finish the private bathrooms/showers in the ‘office spaces’ and were stopped on the grounds that it was a violation of the contract agreement for ‘entrepreneurial use’. So there is a empty room with white tile and a small sink and pipes. That’s not to mention that the location of the building is next door to the presidents house, embassy’s, and the mansions of Lithuanian elite (a kind of suburb in the forest…. Most expensive land in all of Lithuania).


So you can only imagine what events are like at a place like this. For example, they brought Dora Garcia out to do a solo show in their giant exhibition space on the first floor. The opening party consisted of an elaborate cocktail party. And the guests? The media establishment, industrial elite, and a few awkward artists who played the role of token Bohemians, a bit of value-added stimulation for what I presume to be the relatively routinised lifestyles of state bureaucrats and their cheer leaders. The nice thing about having an institution outside the city is that it makes it very difficult for people who cannot afford taxi’s to get out to events. But the institution takes pride in its location insofar as it serves as a filtering system for those that should be involved and those that are a bit to far on the provincial side to show off to the mayor of the city (who goes on tours and helps finance the place) and other more worthy patrons of the arts that are looking for a isolated cosmopolitan hotbed for creative innovation.


But beyond the point of this institution being corrupt and completely inept - in terms of the support of its educational and residency participants - the most urgent and grave consequence of this creative incubators presence in Lithuania is that it has been deemed as a model for the privatization of cultural and educational infrastructure in Lithuania. The most immediate effects of this privatization process – a process that has been going on for quite some time here, but only gets worse as the days pass – is that it, and other institutions that will model after it, will effectively destroy the possibility for independent cultural spaces in Lithuania. My friends who run independent spaces here feel as though they are under attack, and with good reason!


So were asking ourselves some questions that all come off as pretty self-evident. Who is gaining from the import of foreign industrialists, EU capital, and cultural producers in a country like Lithuania. Is the ‘cultural entrepreneur’, used to justify viz. ethical art and pseudo-ethnographic politics, the exponential control given to foreign investors and the local elite over the domestic economy – through incentives like Special Economic Zones (see here for the seven in LT) which have no benefit for the local population? Well the answer is quite obvious, yes.


So here we’re writing a play about the situation. Perhaps this experience – a moment of explicit exposure to the relation between art and capital – can translate into some of the other stuff, we really want to be talking about 


(few notes on the content that follows. The conversation in scene1 between the managerial staff, incubatents, and Corporate Capitalist is taken directly from an audio recording of a recent meeting. The text in scene2 is a collection of fictional narrative and excerpts from conversation we the participants had in the wake of the institutional crisis.)


The year is 2020


Advert for Free Economic Zone in Kaunas, 2013

It is no longer only work that has become more unstable. The neoliberal attacks on public services, welfare programs and trade unions mean that we are increasingly living in a world deprived of security or solidarity. The consequence of the normalisation of uncertainty is a permanent state of low-level panic. Fear, which attaches to particular objects, is replaced by a more generalised anxiety, a constant twitching, an inability to settle.


All of art and education has now been replaced with the more economically efficient categories of incubator, think tank, and research laboratory. The old romantic visions of cultural and educational spaces as institutions that support environments for collective social processes has been thoroughly abandoned as outdated. The new priorities rest in preparing individuals, or social agents, for competition in the global entrepreneurial labour force. Public funding no longer exists and the little that does is now given out as part of investment driven granting procedures in which social agents are paired with private industry to support innovation imperatives.


The economies of developing nations (code word for lesser nations) having faced decades of paternalist rule by the politically, economically, and militarily advanced global empires, have all but dismantled every speck of social infrastructure that long ago functioned to serve the interests of the people. The term ‘Financial Deregulation’ has now been replaced with the more optimistic phrasing decentralization – after all there is no longer any regulation to be de-regulated at this point. Special Economic Zones (code for special exploitation zones) are no longer viewed as supportive measures for propping up a faltering market but have now spread like wild fire – effectively positioning themselves as the economic and political priority of states across the world.


Scene 1 - Everything is Utterly Bankrupt or ‘Work it Bitch’



Scene: The audience opens a door to an office space and is confronted by a red barricade that blocks them from entering the room. On the other side of the red barricade there is giant box of lays potatoes chips (which were taken from the creative incubator) that has a spot light on it. In the room they can see the Britney Spears music video “Work Bitch” projected on the wall. Out of no where they here a man with a megaphone yelling “I bet you want those lays potato chips, I bet you want them” well you can’t have them, no you can’t, you better work bitch, you better work bitch. You want those nice salty potato chips, well you better work bitch. You wanna party in Paris, drinking martinis with Ranciere, well you better work bitch. The song ends and the mysterious voice yelling at them in the megaphone suddenly changes his position. This isn’t a capitalist office, welcome to something that resembles a Google laboratory! Break down that barrier, and get yourself some of those chips, yeah bitch, participatory democracy IN-THE-HOUSE. This ain’t no corporate office (the image above takes the place of the Britney video) team building, whoa, whoa, OCCUPY WALL STREET ALL DAY ALL WEEK OCCUPY WALL STREET ALL DAY ALL WEEEK.


The date is December 23rd 2020 and a group of social agents or more precisely incubatents (preparative terminology for young entrepreneurs) have found themselves confronted by a situation that has provided some troubling roadblocks for their intended ambitions of realizing individual ‘project based’ activities. A crisis is brewing and the administrative dependencies of daily life have been suspended, a flash, or even mirage perhaps, of collectivity has punctured, however softly, the institutional assembly line that so many expectations had been attached to as the glorious horizon for professional success. We now enter a discussion between the corporate capitalist, or what may have previously been titled dean of the school, the incubatents and managerial staff.



Manager1: This is Corporate capitalist, he is the conceptual intitator of the creative incubator. It was his idea and it started 5 years ago. Maybe you can just comment on the situation. But I guess they read it in the letter


Corporate capitalist: Yes, well I guess I don’t have anything else to add then what was written on this letter. So if you have any questions?


Incubatent1: I would like to ask you about the board.


CC: so?


I1: I heard they are not involved anymore at the creative incubator.


Manager: Incubatent1 spoke with Advisory board member 3.


CC: You know the board of advisers was created when we started the Creative Incubator and they helped a lot in the beginning. They participated in the selection process and they were very much involved in choosing the director. But then the new director who was selected and did not present a plan for the incubator and he did not communicate with the board so its natural that some of the board members feel…


M: a distance.


CC: Yes a distance. And not involved any more. And they were waiting for me on the plan. Because the board needs to vote on the plan. And then they vote on the plan and they are responsible for it. He never presented the plan so they didn’t vote. So its naturally what board member 3 is saying, ‘I’m not on the board at the moment because I want to see what the incubator is about’. What we need now to do is present a new plan. I hope manager 2 will manage it. But now it is a tricky situation because they don’t know what they’re doing without this plan. It’s tricky but what can we do.


Incubatent2: The first question I would like to ask is about the past and the second is about the future. Why wasn’t there actions taken to supervise the former directors use of the incubators accounts. You were saying the board was waiting to hear back from him, but generally in an institution that is pretty established, in terms of the budget your working with, measures would be taken into consideration concerning the use of the accounts?


Corporate capitalist: Ahhh… did you make any mistakes in your life?


I2: But I’ve never worked as the owner of an institution before. So yes, I’ve made many mistakes but not at this level.


CC: Well I’m new in this field, sorry.


Manager: well were not an established institution yet.


I2: I mean how this whole story has gotten out in most of the creative entrepreneur community here is that the director was just kinda travelling around. He was in America, he was in Brussels he was travelling all around and that’s what every one perceives he was doing – on the institutions litas I will add.


CC: he was presenting this travel and activities he was doing as a job for the institution.


Manager: We trusted him as a professional.


CC: We trusted him up to a certain point. There was a deadline for a proposal. Its just natural. A worker has spoken with you ‘I’m know very busy I need to do this and then 2 months is coming and ‘ahh I know but….’


Icubatant3: That I understand.


CC: a normal way of trying to evade the questions. For me, I’m a business person and when I started this project I didn’t start it for the fun. There is a very clear vision to achieve some results for artists. It was mainly for Lithuanian artists and then we opened it for international. And in being a business person in art I feel a little bit like an elephant in the room. I’m trying not to be very strict like I am in business. In business it is very clear. If you do not present your plan you cannot act. You accept things tell a certain moment. But of course it was my mistake. I take this mistake as my mistake because I didn’t manage to make this happen.


I3: it was a short time span that all this happened. I mean this didn’t happen over a long period of time. Drastic measurements in a short time span, is what I’m saying. So you are not going to hire another director.


CC: At the moment no, I think we have a team of people who can do it. In the first period we had a much smaller team and I think we need to use the board more.


I2: That’s a really good idea. And that’s what I was going to ask.


CC: and now we have the residency program and the educational participants and they can also help to build this.


I2: For me the business question still stands. Given the situation with the budget I think its fare to say your trust as an institution has been damaged publicly. So one of the questions I have, and this is also a question I imagine your EU funders asking about the future direction of your institution, is do you plan to take concrete measures to watch how the institutional budget is used. Is there going to be security on it. Can we as workers and the broader Lithuanian public – the people investing their time and energy in this space – trust this institution to correct the past mistakes and take measures in a concrete way, in a real way, to make sure it doesn’t happen again.


Manager: The Corporate Capitalist can promise the financial stability.


I2: but not only the financial stability but also the monitoring of how the finances are used. I imagine as a business man that’s a skill you could really generously offer.


CC: One thing that we will do next year is have our program and our facilities based on the real financial situation. So we have to live based on the real situation. Not to travel all around the world having no money. So I think we know learned a lesson. If you have 10,000 then you need to live on 10,000 and not on 20,000. End of they day money spent. So we will try to balance.


I3: ahh mmmmmmm


CC: It’s a very interesting time. Transition time is most interesting because when everything is stable its not interesting.


I3: that’s our daily lives anyways


I2: it doesn’t get so interesting after a while. You get exhausted from precarious economic and political conditions. You wouldn’t know much about the kinds of exhaustion we face would you?


I3: It’s interesting to see how one can benefit from the incubator. Is it going to be a circular effect of giving and taking? That has to be looked over so that it isn’t the case that the workers are fuel for an institution. You don’t get a payment but you get a place. But you don’t understand what you get back in that situation. Its hard to say what you really get from the situation. We are very willing to give and be part of things, but at the same time…


Manager: you don’t want to be exploited essentially


I3: We are already on the limit. In the rest of the world, where we come from, it must the safety nets have vanished.


Manager: Corporate Capitalist doesn’t mean that the incubation participants will become the service labourers for the institution.


I3: I’m not saying it in a simply negative sense, it could be really interesting, but we have to be careful.


CC: this is a question for the manager.


I2: I’d like to ask another business related question for you. I know you got some money for the Incubation think tank program and I wanted to ask where the money you received went?


CC: So what would you like to ask?


I2: How the funding was used for the incubation think tank program?


CC: Paying the bills.


I2: For what?


Manager: Paying for cleaning and utilities. Because every incubation facility costs about 1500 lita to sustain a month.


I2: What do you mean by sustain?


Manager: Cleaning and heating. And for cleaning and heating not only the incubation chamber is cleaned but also other parts of the building. Like not only the incubation chambers are heated but other parts of the building. The kitchen, the corridors, etc.


CC: Salaries as well.


I2: Ok.


CC: Its very difficult, I’m not saying that the money I spent was spent very carefully. Were faced with the situation right now and we will spend more effectively in the future. It was not me who was the director.


I2: The other thing that hit me as kinda strange with the director leaving is that, for example, I’ve been in bigger institutions where the director was fired and the students are generally involved in this process. When the director of the incubator, who a lot of people came to the facility for, like I spent a lot of time developing a portfolio and writing to be here, and there was no notice given before hand about the situation with the budgets and the director was never given an opportunity to talk with us and make a public statement. It was just a three sentence email. So I feel let down that you didn’t have the director be publicly accountable for the situation he supposedly had a role in brining us into. He’s just gone. It would be really nice to hear from the director and hear his perspective because that way I can have an understanding as someone who was really effected by his actions.


I3: I agree.


Manager: we left it up to him basically. It was his personal decision.


CC: For me it’s the past and we need to think about the future. All of us are making mistakes and stuff like that but we need to try to learn from these mistakes and think about the future. We could spend hours discussing what happened and why it happened. You can’t change the past but only make changes in the future. We made a mutual agreement.


Manager: He wasn’t fired.


CC: A mutual agreement. We went different ways. My personal position is that it will now be more…


Manager: productive.


CC: yes more productive, with manager1 and manager2 and then rest of the community. Will work through some management issues as much as we can. And of course what we need is to get our advisory board involved. A lot of things we need to do in the future.


I2: To the future. Let the corpses of time bury themselves, right.


Manager: hahahaha


CC: all the grants will come and all the things like that.


I1: Do you have to submit reports for how you use the money?


Manager: yes.


CC: We need to present our report in mid-December or we will be penalized.


I2: One more quick little question, someone was telling me that the building is under EU regulations for 5 years…


CC: 15.


I2: ohh 15! Okay, and then after that period its effectively your property to do what you want with.


CC: It’s already our property. But we must use it for what we have in the contract. The contract is not for education but for the creative incubator. We plan to keep it as educational incubator. But you know, if you ask me what is the future I can’t predicate 15 years from now. My vision is that we need to create an institution that is 100% financially, and in other terms, independent.


I2: Private you mean?


CC: Yes private. We have a non-profit but self-generating and self-sustainable. To have 10 different sources of income. In Lithuania we do not have these kind of institutions. Or at least we don’t have these kind of art institutions, which you know, are sustainable. Manager2 is trying to do this. But it is not that easy. For at the moment we do not have private support or corporate support. If we take an example of an American institution, like for example, the Sculpture Center in New York they have 12 different sources of income: personal, corporate, memberships, state, city, federal, many many. And I think this is our target from art management side.


I3: do you have friends in incubation centres that you work closely with or that you’ve learned from? A group of venture capitalists or a group of business?


CC: Were building this. Of course we have some, lets say, partners, but not to many. Why I mentioned this sculpture center is it has very very diversified funds. Private institutions who are supported by wealthy people, like foundations, private collectors, this is also not our case. So I think what we will try to do is find many different funds. In these other cases its very good because when you have this involvement from different participants – corporate, private – it means that its not only interesting only for you but also for broader society, business world.


I2: This is kinda a neo-liberal perspective perhaps.


CC: sorry?


I2: A neo-liberal perspective on cultural policy.


CC: I don’t know what to call it.


I2: Does a private or corporate funding structure provide for greater public benefit?


CC: I don’t know if there are any other questions, but its more or less a vision like this. If you have any other questions I think it’s the best to address to Manager1. But if anyway you would like to speak with me I’m willing to talk about how to make things better, to listen. But I’m sorry for inconvenience. I have a visitor sorry.


Scene 2 - The Uprising or ‘Tell the World Ends’



Another Britney spears music video is projected on the wall but this time its about the revolutionary orgies that take place as the world is crumbling.


SCENE: A meeting in Washington square takes place between the incubatents to discuss tactics after the meeting. They picked Washington square in Vilnius because it represents the great democratic ideals of the American Empire. “we are not a predatory nation” the monument reads “we do not intervene in the affairs of others” it is these values that represent the ‘new world’ of the sovereign states of America (the text was written in 1940 when American exceptionalism was in its hay day).


I1: It seems their quite content in using us as fuel for their corporate apparatus. Jobs don’t exist for most of us anymore. We travel around chasing the carrot of success that these incubation sites, entrepreneur camps, and business think tanks, hold high above our heads, endlessly waiting in this living hell we call a home, to get a piece of their pie – there is no pie!!!


I2: What does the phrase “capitalism is at the edge of the abyss mean to you?”


I1: It means that capitalism is standing at the edge looking down trying to see what we are doing there.


I3: It may be true, but there could also be some benefits for us in the crisis of daily life we face. As Corporate Capitalist observed, the transition, code word for crisis, is not only a site of social death but also a space of opportunity – it really depends on how we approach things. Stability is boring, as he said, precarity is the best context for innovation. I mean if we deal with the exploitation for now, provide them with our projects, and chit chat with the corporate executives, political bureaucrats, and professional managerial people, who they are trying to create partnerships with, there could really be some nice benefits in the long term, if you know what I’m saying.


I1: Its true that there could be perks but I don’t think were talking about the long term here! While the turning of educational and cultural spaces into a business could have short term benefits for the selected few – those who can front the academic language, and cosmopolitan aesthetic these institutions require - it seems like what were confronting is the violent dismantling of public welfare. What I’m saying is that I think we should be careful about our endorsement of institutions that may shine light on a few while denying light all over the world.


I3: I’m not interested in your political ideologies. I don't mind working with Capitalists, Communists, Feminists, or Nationalists - or even others who have drastically diverse opinions from my own. I find it refreshing and a challenge to discuss ways in which people from different backgrounds and philosophies can attempt to reach solutions - because that reflects what it is like to live in the R-E-A-L world. Your not going to Impose ideas on me. I came here to accomplish my individual research and I’m not going to let some ideological struggle about a political context, I know little about, become a barrier for me in reaching these goals.


I2: The R-E-A-L-I-T-Y of the situation is that the contemporary
institution of art depends on money, the market and collectors and will not jeopardize this power; what all of them, that is to say “us” (who want to enter the institution of contemporary art), have in common, is the ideology of neoliberal
capitalism, what is termed the good life. they are (or we
all are) caught up in the vicious circle of “luxury subjectivity production,” of being
part of the middle-class elite, traveling around to art festivals, eating and drinking
well, and, of course, occasionally having sex and a lot of fun. This is common
to all of these structures, be it a private, state, semi-private or semi-state
structure. all of them have only one agenda, power and more power based
on a different channelling of the neoliberal ideology that translates this striving
for the good life into the vocabulary of a fancy theory, using words such as
democratization, efficiency, development, emancipation.


I1: Sure, this is a self-evident statement at this point in time. Contemporary art history has been formed in complete and utter unity with the contemporary history of financial capitalism, no shit! I’m sick of these myths of exceptionalism were always hearing from these institutions. Like come on, culture is no beacon of light that holds our so called humanist values of tolerance, equality, and freedom together. This is the same lie that Americans are always telling themselves and the world. Look at this disgusting park – utter ideological filth. The irony, the bloody irony, of these words. The idea that America doesn’t intervene in the sovereignty of other nations. Of course, America is an ‘anti-colonial global power!! Filth, pure and simple, filth.


I2: Where does such a position place us in relation to, as one example, the new found mobility of service labourers, and other menial labourers who have been migrating in greater and greater numbers, to the countries where capital is concentrated. I guess what I’m putting on the table as a question is: what is the relation, or non-relation, between our mobility, the mobility of elite industrialists, venture capitalists, war machines, etc. and the mobility of the subaltern. Are we not ourselves subaltern or close to it? There seems to be many relations between the numerous flows of bodies and capital around the world today, but there are also great differences, NO?


I3: I usually don't get the problems people like you are addressing, and if sometimes I do - those problems are mostly very personal for someone else, and distant to me. From a political perspective, I guess minding human rights is enough, and I do care to have less stupid conflicts, homophobia, etc. But otherwise, I just can't see why I should care. Quite the opposite: I see why I should ignore theorizing things that don't bother me.


I2: I once had a conversation with a theatre director about LGBTIQ visibility and his position was that society should run like a well kept street. Everyone should be a car, we can do whatever we want in the private interior space but outside we must conform to the order of the traffic and the street signs. Fair enough, but I don’t think our society is a car, more like a lake of sewage. Most of us are in it up to our chins. And then there is the riots, dissident interventions, and revolutionary struggles. In these cases people are like “Yuk! I cannot stand this any more! How can we live under these horrible conditions?!’’ To which the society living in the lake of sewage, in certain cases, responds in a quiet indignation, “Shut up! You are making waves!”


I1: As far as I’m concerned the only thing we have to be thankful for is that there is still air to breath in hell.


I2: Well that may sound sexy in some kind of apocalyptic nihilist vision of politics but I actually agree with some of what your saying incubatent3. The dissident, insurrectionary, anarchist, etc etcis all about this spectacular revolutionary upheaval – a singing revolution. What happens the day after though, when everyone returns to normalcy but with new slogans. What I’m saying is that its maybe not the best idea to make ‘waves’ in the lake. Or what I’m really saying is that we should turn towards the state and demand they bring a sewage pump to clean things up. That’s about discussion and some kind of consensus, a mutual and unified process of social transformation.


I3: See this seems more applicable. Its gradual, non-violent, and protects everyone’s legal rights. I like anecdotes, so let me tell another about the agitator getting everyone in trouble. So the rabbit is running through the woods and hits the fox. And the fox is like hey, asshole, give me 100litas. And the rabbit is thinking to himself, oh shit I don’t have 100 litas. So the rabbit wanders through the forest and meets a bear. And is like what should I do, I need to give the fox 100 litas. And the bear answers, ‘you should tell him to fuck off’. So the rabbit goes back and tells the fox to fuck off. And the fox is like, EXCUSE ME, ahah you better not be giving lip – Now you owe me 1000 litas. And the rabbit is sad and goes to the bear and is like ‘whaattt should iiiiii doooooo bear?’ And the bear is like, tell the fox to fuck off for real. So the rabbit goes back to the fox, feeling all confident, and says: fuck off for real fox. And the fox is like you didn’t just go there. Give me 10,000 litas, you really got on my nerves now. So the rabbit, in despair, goes back to the bear and is like, shit bear, what the hell am I suppose to do now, you got me in 10,000 litas of debt. And the bear says, oh boy, you better just pay the fox what you owe.


- In other words the last thing we need is a bear.


I1: Oh come on, the fox is the one who lives a nice life from the sewage lake, what makes you so sure he is going to happily sell his Benz and financial portfolio for some kind of common good project.


I3: Then what’s your big bright idea then. Should we appropriate the property and finances and ship the fox to Siberia?


I1: well incubatent2 seems to be happy with that solution. I never suggested it myself. I say property should be liberated and abolished rather than appropriated. I’m talking about the immediate communization of property as opposed to its nationalization – whether social-democrat or state-capitalist. Have you ever heard the anecdote about the three step process for communism?


I2: don’t think so.


I1: “Why haven’t we built communism yet? Because according to the latest

discoveries in the theory of Marxism-Leninism we must go through one more social formation on the way from developed socialism, where the state appropriates all the property in the name of the people, to communism (where property itself does not exist, being replaced by exchange that is not founded on possession -it is developed alcoholism.”


I3: So what are you exactly proposing in terms of action?


I2: I think what’s being proposed is the occupation of what were previously called cultural and educational institutions, that is, incubators, think tanks, and entrepreneurial laboratories. They have many resources that could be liberated after all, no? Why don’t we create community housing centers, support groups, food kitchens, and immigrant rights centres instead of spending so much time trying to validate ourselves in this global economy of names? There’s no bodies, just names. Lets find bodies.


I3: Wow, well this is very idealistic and radical, but who do you imagine initiating your so called insurrection? Speaking for the majority here, I don’t think we would have anything to do with this. I think of myself as a relatively generous human being. I’m more then happy to engage with communities outside the cultural sphere. But my engagement, like all engagements, is limited. I take it as my responsibility to work with many different communities but I will not sacrifice my professional advancement for your, or anyone else’s, struggle.


I1: So what are the stakes in what your doing? I mean isn’t this whole pseudo-ethnographic engagement with the ‘local’ another way of saying that you prefer wine tasting excursions to sustained commitments with communities and struggles? From what I understand your ‘generosity’ only goes so far as touring exotic vineyards - that have flavours of the local, the grass-roots, etc. - which can then be packaged, exported, and displayed as expositions of your astute taste as a global citizen or some shit, no?


I3: Well perhaps you have a point here but aren’t you both doing the same thing in modified form? I mean take a look around and ask yourself who among the Incubatents at this institution is agitating for an uprising? The majority of the Lithuanian participants in our group want nothing to do with your struggle…. doesn’t that tell you something? The creative entrepreneur community in Lithuania, represented by institutions like the CAC, have vastly rejected your standpoint on political engagement; turning towards object oriented ontology, speculative realism, and post-structuralist narrative forms. Perhaps your embrace of the local is itself a western colonial intervention rather then some kind of appeal for a struggle in the interest of the people. For example, the attraction to Speculative Realism here could be seen as a strategic refusal of all this post-colonial critical theory stuff that tends to fetishise difference and victimhood as the only starting point for politics. H-I-S-T-O-R-Y appears as more of a burden then a possibility when attempts are made to delineate our so called P-R-E-S-E-N-T through reified sociological categories.


I1: I agree that the non-profit-industrial-complex has a way of fetishising difference and victimhood through the mythology of the post-colonial other. And yes, its relatively unlikely that were actually going to find much support for our insurrectionary ambitions; especially in the creative entrepreneur community in Lithuania, which you correctly pointed out as vastly a-political. I think you head in a very dangerous direction with your wholesale rejection of emancipatory, anti-capitalist, anti-patriarchal, critical race, etc. politics, as some kind of western intervention though. This is the exact same rhetoric the nationalist movements deploy in the media!


I2: And come on, the speculative realism phenomena or whatever is not some kind of organic expression of the struggle. It was established through international taste makers e.g. the corporate capitalists brother who runs tulips and roses. For example, when I was doing my interview for the creative incubator the corporate capitalist runs his brother from tulips and roses was one of the people reviewing me. I was talking about my interests in feminism, insurrectionary politics, Marxism, etc. and at one point he interrupts and is like, ‘I have a question’: Didn’t all the things your talking about die out in the 1970’s? Like isn’t there more relevant ways of dealing with politics now? And I’m like, WTF, WTF is this asshole talking about. But then again, the rich will do everything they can to justify themselves. Like imagine this guy going to one of his Corporate Capitalist brothers factories and giving the labourers a lecture on how its cool to be an object now or something 


I3: What is in your pocket? Wait…. Are you recording this conversation Incubatent1?


I1: Yes I’m recording.


I3: I’m confused, why are you recording this?


I1: Just thought it would to be nice to have some kind of documentation.


I3: Right, so you’re documenting our ‘political’ conversation about a situation that has real consequences on many of our lives. What will you do with this documentation? I bet your going to package this whole crisis and turn it into some kind of play or something that you’ll publish on a Western, hipster, critical theory journal, like Mute Magazine, that doesn’t have anything to do with the context here? Yuukkkkk….The room smells of hypocrisy.


I1: Well I must admit, an astute observation. I do plan to make a play and was thinking of actually publishing it on Mute. But give me a chance to defend myself here. I thought it would make sense to publish on a platform like Mute because it gets a lot of attention from Western activists, art theorists, and political philosophy people – why is that important you ask? Well, because, institutions like this creative incubator get tons of criticism from the local population but they don’t give a fuck because it can be written of as provincial and also rendered invisible – not being in English. So my point in publishing something like this on a Western critical theory platform like Mute is strategic. I’m appealing to a London based institution because I believe it will be effective for subverting the monopoly over cultural representation held by these institutions and could actually provide for an expression of the silenced majorities standpoint on there operations, there irrelevance and contempt for local struggles (for the most part), etc.


I2: questions still loom on how such engagements could have stakes in provoking something in LT as opposed to just creating expositions of problems from London based 'critical platforms' etc., etc.,...... problems will arise in terms of packaging a context in Lithuania and transporting it to more 'progressive spaces' where we can get a pat on the back.... this is exactly what Stella F is talking about in terms of LGBT organizations in Moscow appealing to more well funded and more 'well educated' western platforms while not regarding local struggles which are regarded as inept, lacking in political perspective, etc. 


I1: But I really think it’s a mistake to make these judgements through the binary logic of authentic local resistance v.s. opportunistic foreign intervention. Were not appealing to a human rights platform in Brussels for the funding of a high budget, neo-liberal compromised, non-profit/human rights watch, or anything? If anything there are more unities than differences between the struggles in London and the struggles over here in Vilnius. You guys are going back to the just going straight back to this post-colonial fetish of the ‘other’ . If anything, providing information on our struggle to a community in London serves to broaden the struggle here rather than compromising it under the dictates of the struggle over there.


I2: Did you turn off the recorder yet?


Part 2, Scene 3 - the Exodus


Intermission, the struggle goes on...