This is a transcript of another Twitter conversation between @rattlecans and the poet Martin Daws. It stemmed from my tweet, which reflected Martin’s call for paid artists in place of multi-million pound art centres. I asked: “Instead of a £50m art venue, a city could pay 200 artists £25k a year for 10 years to work with communities; do what they want. … READ MORE
London is awash with ‘artist-led’ initiatives that use ‘meanwhile’ spaces as temporary galleries, studios and all the usual stuff. There are many bigger companies doing this too. Nothing new here. Sometimes, like in the case of Bow Arts and Balfron Tower, for example, they are rightly called out for artwashing. … READ MORE
Creative placemaking, like its predecessors, new public art and collaborative art, is the soft power weapon of choice for many property developers and councils. Artists are increasingly complicit: willingly enlisted as the pioneers, the missionaries and the “foot soldiers” of gentrification; the harbingers of redundancy, displacement, social cleansing, colonialism and racism. … READ MORE
Heartland, The The, 1986
Beneath the old iron bridges, across the Victorian parks,
& all the frightened people running home before dark,
Past the Saturday morning cinema–
that lies crumbling to the ground,
& the piss stinking shopping centre in the new side of town.
I’ve come to smell the seasons change, & watch the city,
as the sun goes down again.… READ MORE
This is my first article for The Guardian Comment is Free section. I’ve added my own pic here…
It’s a response to Matt Hancock’s recent maiden speech about UK arts and culture in which he said, “The hipster is a capitalist.”
I’d love your feedback…
I admit to being rather surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response to my presentation “Place Guarding: Activist and Social Practice Art – Direct Action Against Gentrification” at the Association of American Geographers conference 2016 on 29th March. The feedback from the paper and the recorded presentation was also very supportive.
There have been a couple of reviews of the session in which my paper was one amongst many. … READ MORE
Ken Saro-Wiwa Memorial Bus, large format digital print, part of Doing Nothing is Not an Option, Michael McMillan and Platform London, Peckham Platform, 2015
I was, like Anthony Schrag (and others I know), infuriated by the recent ArtWorks Conversation at BALTIC 39. Anthony has written a little about the pairing of Ilana Mitchell (Wunderbar and other things) and Darren O’Donnell (Mammalian Diving Reflex) today in a piece entitled The Value Rant , but his rant was not at them and not (directly) at ArtWorks or their ‘critical conversations’. … READ MORE
There are two texts that have been at the centre of my thinking for many years; inspirational works that demand structural change and true cultural democracy. I’m sharing them here to hopefully start a broader discussion within arts and culture that looks outside the crumbling bureaucracies of the totally administered Creative Industries.… READ MORE
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
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