Elizabeth Grady began a discussion on the ‘innovative’ socially engaged network a blade of grass entitled The Latest Thing. I contributed via Twitter then wrote Is socially engaged art ‘innovative’? (A word game with scrapheap prizes) in response to what I felt was a move towards attempting to position socially engaged art as ‘innovative’.… READ MORE

http://colouringinculture.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/cab58-moneychanger.jpg

There are three distinct perspectives about how to sustain systems: make existing structures stronger through a myriad of methods of organisational change; support the development of a limited number of new organisations who will either gently become part of the existing structures or quietly fail; or, like obsolete power stations, demolish the old monolithic structures to make way for a new wave.

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a blade of grass is a great online resource for socially engaged artists – frequently a site for interesting discussion and debate in and around the field. The Growing Dialogue section of their website is, in their words, a place for ‘moderated online debates among thought leaders in social practice’. The latest strand of debate is entitled The Latest Thing.… READ MORE

This week has been hectic.  Research visits in London with Platform London and Ovalhouse Theatre; a participatory art workshop commission for Berwick Visual Arts; working on a lab session about collective working, the commons and ending status-quos for arts organisations that I’m co-delivering in London in November; talking about The New Rules for Public Art with a Scottish artist’s collective; working to continue to develop our work with dot to dot active arts in Blyth; developing new NHS commissions in Cumbria and Northumberland; and attending the Culture Action Europe Beyond the Obvious conference which took place in NewcastleGateshead over the past few days.… READ MORE

I remember reading The New Rules of Public Art sometime last year, not long after Situations UK published them.  I liked them at the time.  There were a couple of things that I didn’t quite agree with.  I also recently wrote about my misgivings about Situations UK’s recent Folkestone Triennial commission Folkestone Gold so revisiting ‘The Rules’ seemed like a good idea when I was asked to think about them for a forthcoming event (more later).… READ MORE

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I’ve been tweeting a bit today about art, privilege, elitism, ‘leaders’, social practice, and more.  The great article about the dominance of privilege in the arts by Nick Cohen in The Guardian yesterday certainly spurred me on.  So did tweets by Emma Bearman and Mar Dixon.  I felt the train of discussion throughout the day developed around common threads. … READ MORE

Yesterday, 9th September 2014, I attended Pilots to Practice at BALTIC – a ArtWorks North East conference about participatory arts.  I presented a PechaKucha entitled above ground level: old as new, new as old – social practice in a post-industrial port (see my previous post below for the presentation).  I also wrote a review of an ArtWorks publication about research into participatory artists’ practice for the #culturalvalue initiative. … READ MORE

This is my presentation for Paul Hamlyn ArtWorks North East ‘Pilots to Practice’ conference at BALTIC.  I gave this as a PechaKucha – using a narrative performance style of delivery.

It’s about dot to dot active arts’ current project, ‘above ground level’, taking place in Blyth, Northumberland.

Please make sure you use notes button at bottom right of window. … READ MORE