Net Positive: What does a better art institution look like? is a lecture series asking exciting art-world thinkers to assess the value of ‘the art institution’: its opportunities, its limits, and to ask if it is a system that can be exploited for the good of all. Can the institution be made to work better, for more people—or do we need some other structure in its place?
Presented online, Net Positive asks speakers to propose alternative visions for art institutions that more closely reflect the publics they are designed to serve.
As the new stewards of Gendai, Marsya Maharani and Petrina Ng came in 2020 to build upon the organization’s legacy of decentering whiteness by investing in the future of BIPOC arts leadership. Gendai has two recurring projects: Gendai MA MBA and Gendai CO-OP. Gendai MA MBA (Mastering the Art of Misguided Business Administration) is a think tank and workshop series for art collectives to improve capacity-building skills in a co-learning environment. Addressing sector-wide challenges of precarity and isolation, this project creates a network for collectives to resource-share, co-learn, collaborate, and improve workplace sustainability. Gendai CO-OP is a peer-led accountability program for arts institutions invested in improving racial equity sector-wide.
With research interests expanding from issues of decolonisation, collective values, working conditions, alternative governance, and radical allyship, Petrina and Marsya are informed by their roles and responsibilities as racialised settlers and uninvited guests working and learning on Turtle Island. Gendai’s work also builds upon the labour of many collaborators, dreamers, allies, and activists.