I gave this presentation on 16th November 2015 at Durham University’s Participatory Research Hub.  The event aimed to explore what happens “when participatory research meets the creative sector”.  My presentation introduces dot to dot active arts, features my recent paper A View Is Always Worth It: Social Practice in Rural North East England, then reflects upon a project I collaborated on with Stevie Ronnie in 2014 – northerngame.… READ MORE

Dotto, Courtesy of The Black-E.

I asked the two questions in my title as an immediate response to a panel entitled ‘What kind of organisation do we need to develop to work with communities…?’  The problem seemed obvious; becoming increasingly apparent as the Community Arts?  Learning from the Legacy of Artists’ Social Initiatives conference (part of Liverpool Biennial’s programming) progressed. … READ MORE

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Ruined House – an act of public reading – took place today between 10.45am and 11.45am on the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. The first of a new series of public interventions by dot to dot active arts CIC.

I repeatedly read ‘A Note on The Title’ from the appendices of Bleak House by Charles Dickens, 1853. … READ MORE

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Eavesdropping, Aidan Moesby, Vinyl wall text, 2014

I’m intensely interested in perceptions of socially engaged art: past, present and future practice and theory. My research and practice is about exploring the roots of this practice, its place in societies, its ability to open up potential spaces on a myriad of levels from social to personal, and its potential to help support a shift towards a communitarian society free from the evils of neoliberalism.… READ MORE

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The art world’s such a fickle place.  Buzzword after buzzword follows business metaphor upon business metaphor.  Right now, the UK arts and cultural world is apparently ‘waking up’ to inequality.  The art world’s unequal THEY say.  We need diversity THEY say.

Academics wonder if this inequity is a class, race, gender thing. … READ MORE

I’ve already blogged about the event a little bit and shared my presentation but, as inequality within arts and culture has risen in prominence in the past few days, I thought I would share the film made by CREATEgloucestershire in which I “perform” my provocation.

You can read more about Dr Dave O’Brien’s take on the AHRC report on Inequality and Culture in his blog here.READ MORE

I delivered this talk about my research to the Northumbria – Sunderland AHRC Centre for Doctoral Training Student Conference on the 1st July 2015 at The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.  It’s about negating a negation – negative dialectics.  It’s also about some of the potentialities that socially engaged art may be able to explore as part of broader movements for social justice and emancipation from the shackles of our present neoliberal regime.READ MORE

Cara Courage has asked socially engaged/ social practice artists a question: What do you do?

This is my reply I shared with Cara on her Facebook post…

SOCIAL PRACTICE

Little creative acts of not knowing.

Political, sometimes radically activist, acts.

Potential spaces. Safe places where dangerous new realities might grow. Grassroots.… READ MORE

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There’s a debate within socially engaged arts about whether this unique form of practice should resist incorporation into institutions, galleries, museums, etc. or are these ‘managed’ spaces best placed to support, to provide a home for our work. The debate is taking place in some countries. The US are leading the way.… READ MORE

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I’m very pleased to have been included in an article by Simon Stephens in October’s edition of Museums Journal entitled People Power.  It’s an interesting piece with a range of differing perspectives about social practice.

Click the image above or here to read the PDF.… READ MORE