mUCH MORE THAN MAKING DO

 

I wrote this article for Super Slow Way, the Creative People and Places programme in Pennine Lancashire. I’m their critical friend. This is a reflection on where Super Slow Way are now and where I think they’re going.

Here’s the opening paragraph:

‘Creative People and Places has shackled itself to a notion of “place” as an area on a map.

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DUTY NOW FOR THE FUTURE

 

This is a revised version of Duty Now for the Future an article commissioned by Collecteurs NY to help launch its SUBSTANCE 100 initiative . The original article was written before the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the UK , Europe and the USA. Duty Now for the Future 2.0 is a call for everyone in the art world to finally wake up to our responsibilities in a world there can be no going back to the crass inequity of our lives before Corona virus.

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Street art is an essential part of the Creative Class narrative. Every city has ‘up-and-coming’ areas clad from shop shutters to back alleys, sides of dilapidated buildings to shifty-looking subways, in what has become known as street art. This article argues that the now almost globally ubiquitous street art ‘movement’ has evolved from its roots in class and race conflict and anti-gentrification activism to become a perfect foil for neoliberal capitalism, forming a ‘gritty’ yet colourful backdrop to the Creative City ‘New Bohemias’ that seem to pop-up in every city, everywhere on the planet: a perfect tool in gentrifiers’ artwashing arsenals.READ MORE

These are terribly dark and confusing times. Corona Virus has changed everything and it will wreak havoc for months to come at least. It is time to put our creativity to use in our communities. It is time to make solidarity and humanity our art.

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Homemade antibacterial hand wash at Space 6 where I work from. Homemade antibacterial hand wash at Space 6 where I work from.

Homemade antibacterial hand wash at Space 6 where I work from.

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I had a conversation with fellow artist Martin Daws back in 2016. He had a great idea. imagine if artists were employed, full-time to work in communities? We worked on it. Martin then wrote a guest blog here in 2017.

This article sets out how we could easily and relatively cheaply employ artists in everyday community and how such a simple, yet radical system would create just the sort of transformative cultural change that is at the heart of Arts Council England’s new 10-year strategy, Let’s Create.READ MORE

This article is my response to the shocking “artist brief” recently published by Wiltshire Council asking for a “volunteer community artist” to do what is clearly a paid piece of work. It’s an example of the increasingly commonplace substitution of properly paid work for artists with free labour dressed up as volunteering.READ MORE

This is my take on why only cooperation and federalism and democratic, participatory community development can begin to heal the divisions that exist in our communities. For me, the Labour party have lost any connection to its roots, so we need to radically renew the idea of working-class movements by ending the elite electoral machines that never listen and that reproduce the very conditions of our oppression that they claim to oppose.READ MORE

As part of my work as critical friend for Creative People and Places project Super Slow Way, I decided to spend two days exploring as much of the festival as possible. My review focuses on what were, for me, the stand-out exhibitions and explores why it felt like the British Textile Biennial felt like two festivals in one.READ MORE

This is a transcript of my keynote at the British Textile Biennial which took place on 1st November 2019. I performed the keynote to a film. I’ve included some of the videos featured. The Doves’ songs were played in full, the others only extracts. I’ve also included an audio recording that you can listen to here .READ MORE

This is a personal call for solidarity and collective support at this time of darkness and disarray. We are stronger together. Can we come together?

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Dante running from the three beasts , William Blake (between 1824 and 1827). Dante running from the three beasts , William Blake (between 1824 and 1827).

Dante running from the three beasts, William Blake (between 1824 and 1827).

WE NEED A MOVEMENT OF CULTURAL MOVEMENTS NOW!

Our cultures are nothing without their communities and groups and collectives, their ideas and creativity and passionate pride, and, most importantly, the people who make our cultures: everyone, every day.… READ MORE

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