Why have Arts Council England (ACE) published data and a report about how culture can, apparently, help regenerate high streets now? Particularly given that the report does not even consider the devastating effects of COVID-19 on our everyday lives and, of course, our high streets.

The report, produced by social and economic research consultants Wavehill and entitled Arts and Place Shaping: Evidence Review, was written in May 2020 (when COVID-19 was reaching its first peak) but only published a few days ago.

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This is the text from my talk for the Market Forces event at the Swap Market Govanhill in Glasgow on 18th July 2019. It looks at the role artists play in the game of neoliberal planned gentrification.


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THE HYPER-MARKET STRIKES BACK!

Today, artists are portrayed by the creative industries as exemplars of a new class of creative entrepreneurs.… READ MORE

This is my attempt to explain the horror I feel witnessing the crass appropriation of a boat on which over 800 people (lumped together under the universally belittling term “migrants”) died when it sank in 2015 as an art object at this year’s Venice Biennale. I’m REALLY angry!

“OUR BOAT”: ZOMBIE ART BIENNALE TURNS VENICE INTO THE ISAND OF THE LIVING DEAD


Barca-Nostra-Christoph-Buchel-Brings-a-Shipwreck-to-Venice-1200x675.jpg Barca-Nostra-Christoph-Buchel-Brings-a-Shipwreck-to-Venice-1200x675.jpg

“Barca Nostra” was installed at the Arsenale for this year’s Venice Art Biennale a few days ago.… READ MORE

This is a copy of my book chapter which was published earlier this year in Creative Placemaking: Research, Theory and Practice (2018). The book is edited by Cara Courage and Anita McKeown and is published by Routledge. It is available to buy here . Thanks to the editors for permitting its reproduction here.READ MORE

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.READ MORE

I am reposting this article which was originally published by Bella Caledonia here (1st June 2018) 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.READ MORE

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.READ MORE

I presented this paper at Art and the Urban symposium at Senate House last week. It reflects some of my PhD research.


Screenshot from 'Birdhouse in Your Soul' (Official video) by They Might Be Giants. Screenshot from 'Birdhouse in Your Soul' (Official video) by They Might Be Giants.

Screenshot from ‘Birdhouse in Your Soul’ (Official video) by They Might Be Giants.

ARTWASHING SOCIAL SPACE

Fifty years ago, Henri Lefebvre wrote that ‘Everyday life, the social territory and place of controlled consumption, of terror enforced passivity, is established and programmed … [so that] as a social territory it is easily identified, and under analysis it reveals its latent irrationality beneath an apparent rationality, incoherence beneath an ideology of coherence, and sub-systems, or disconnected territories linked together only by speech’ (1968).… READ MORE

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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Loads of Tories waving flags and singing "Jerusalem" at the Last Night of the Proms. A screenshot from the film I made to accompany my talk... Loads of Tories waving flags and singing "Jerusalem" at the Last Night of the Proms. A screenshot from the film I made to accompany my talk...

Loads of Tories waving flags and singing “Jerusalem” at the Last Night of the Proms.

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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.READ MORE