Caught Doing Social Work? - Socially engaged art and the dangers of becoming social workers

Caught Doing Social Work? - Socially engaged art and the dangers of becoming social workers

This is the text from my workshop “Caught doing social work?” which was part of Manifesta 12’s M12 Education Club conference in Palermo on 19th October 2018. The workshop was held in the community centre in the ZEN social housing project. The text was used as mini provocations which led to a really interesting discussion about instrumentalism of the arts and artists, gentrification and artwashing.

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No Breathing Space: V&A, Artwashing & the Theft of Robin Hood Gardens (a reblog of an article I wrote for Bella Caledonia)

No Breathing Space: V&A, Artwashing & the Theft of Robin Hood Gardens (a reblog of an article I wrote for Bella Caledonia)

I am reposting this article which was originally published by Bella Caledonia here because it formed the basis for my keynote speech at Lancashire Arts Exchange along with the film A Cacophony of Crows which you can see here. It deals with the artwashing of Robin Hood Gardens by state agent, the V&A.

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A Cacophony of Crows - Film about how V&A's theft of a piece of Robin Hood Gardens is artwashing as creative destruction and class redomination

A Cacophony of Crows - Film about how V&A's theft of a piece of Robin Hood Gardens is artwashing as creative destruction and class redomination

This is a film about V&A’s crass exploitation of council housing following its “acquisition” if some pieces of Robin Hood Gardens in the Labour controlled London borough of Tower Hamlets - a once iconic council housing estate that is being demolished to make way for luxury apartments. It was part of my keynote given as part of Lancashire Arts Exchange on 8th November 2018. I explored how this example of state-led artwashing relates to David Harvey’s arguments around how neoliberalism uses creative destruction and arts/culture/media as a means of re-enforcing class domination.

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In my beginning is my end - a film about the impact of neoliberalism on our cultures, the instrumentalisation of art, & cultural democracy

In my beginning is my end - a film about the impact of neoliberalism on our cultures, the instrumentalisation of art, & cultural democracy

This is a film with narrative from a performance I gave in Belfast earlier this year about neoliberalism, instrumentalism and cultural democracy.

“We must trust in our individual and collective selves.  We must remember our struggles.  We must remember that official arts and culture and, for that matter, the creative industries, reflects only one rather small part of our arts and culture.  We do not live in a cultural democracy.  The cuts to state-sanctioned arts and cultural production makes this assertion starker as each day passes… And cultural policy, like fortune, has always favoured the rich and powerful.”

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Gentrification - part 5 of the first chapter of my unpublished book "New Bohemias: Artists, Hipsters & Gentrification"

Gentrification - part 5 of the first chapter of my unpublished book "New Bohemias: Artists, Hipsters & Gentrification"

This is the fifth section of the first chapter of my as yet unpublished book. The conclusion to this sample chapter will be published later today.

See previous posts for earlier sections...

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"Changing places – from Old Bohemias to New Bohemias" - Introduction 1/6 (part 2 tomorrow)

"Changing places – from Old Bohemias to New Bohemias" - Introduction 1/6 (part 2 tomorrow)

I am publishing the first chapter from my unpublished book New Bohemias: Artists, Hipsters and Gentrification in six parts - one a day from today onwards. I published the book introduction earlier today. A longer section of this chapter "Old Bohemias" will be published tomorrow...

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New Bohemias: Artists, Hipsters & Gentrification - an introduction to an unpublished book

New Bohemias: Artists, Hipsters & Gentrification - an introduction to an unpublished book

I began writing a book about artists and hipsters and gentrification. It's a follow on from my article in the Guardian titled Hipsters and artists are the gentrifying foot soldiers of capitalism. The book remains unwritten although this is the introduction to the book proposal.

I will publish the first chapter, "Changing places – from Old Bohemias to New Bohemias", in 6 instalments beginning with the chapter introduction this afternoon then the following subsections one a day from tomorrow onwards: "Old Bohemias"; "Hipsters - Gentrification's Leeches and Parasites"; "New Bohemias"; "Gentrification"; and, finally, "Revenge of the Middle-Classes".

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'Of the “Devil’s Party”: Creative Commons – A Marriage of Heaven and Hell?' Transcript of recent talk at Birkbeck...

'Of the “Devil’s Party”: Creative Commons – A Marriage of Heaven and Hell?' Transcript of recent talk at Birkbeck...

I took part in Communalities, urbanities and artistic commonalities - a symposium at Birkbeck School of Arts on 5th June 2018. This is a transcript of my talk. I billed it as the meeting of William Blake and Half Man Half Biscuit via a trip to Trumpton. There's a video to accompany the talk which I'll upload soon...

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In my beginning is my end - transcript of my prose poem and film performed at Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, Belfast

In my beginning is my end - transcript of my prose poem and film performed at Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, Belfast

I was really privileged to be invited to take part in What Next for the Arts? - an afternoon symposium which was part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival - on 12th May 2018. As I like to do whenever I get the chance nowadays, I performed the piece with accompanying film and audio. This is the transcript... A test recording of the film will be uploaded soon...

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SPEAR THISTLE - transcript of my performance prose poem for Imagined Biennales at Tate Exchange

SPEAR THISTLE - transcript of my performance prose poem for Imagined Biennales at Tate Exchange

I was invited to participate in the final day of Imagined Biennales which was produced by the University of Southampton at Tate Exchange on 13th May 2018. I wrote SPEAR THISTLE a non-manifesto for an Anti-Biennial. This is the transcript of my piece which I performed as a prose poem at the event.

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