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Nationalistic Fun Palace, 2016 Nationalistic Fun Palace, 2016

Nationalistic Fun Palace, 2016

A new year.  A cultural event.  Not all cultures.  Our culture’s.

Traditionally, at least in our culture, a time of misadvised, soon misplaced resolutions.  Most are very personal.  The one I want to talk about here is “for everyone”.  Yes, that’s right, everyone!  It’s an all-inclusive provocation. … READ MORE

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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 a little part of a draft section of my PhD thesis.  It examines Creative People and Places, particularly, their People, Place, Power: Increasing Arts Engagement conference, suggesting empowerment may not be all it’s cracked up to be, especially when ‘delivered’ by state-sanctioned, instrumentalising arts organisations and artists – the foot soldiers of state social art provision…

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Street Art Heroes , Alex Senna, Cultural Spring, Creative People and Places project in Sunderland and South Tyneside, 2016.  Interestingly, Senna's work adorns gentrified streets in Camden and Shoreditch as well as art fairs and other places around the world...  Another foot soldier of gentrification? Street Art Heroes , Alex Senna, Cultural Spring, Creative People and Places project in Sunderland and South Tyneside, 2016.  Interestingly, Senna's work adorns gentrified streets in Camden and Shoreditch as well as art fairs and other places around the world...  Another foot soldier of gentrification?

Street Art Heroes, Alex Senna, Cultural Spring, Creative People and Places project in Sunderland and South Tyneside, 2016. 

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arts on trial, May 2015 arts on trial, May 2015

An old post for a new blog

This was my prosecution witness statement from the excellent Participation on Trial event organised by the lovely Chrissie Tiller and Goldsmiths from May 2015.

think it remains as relevant to me as it did more than a year ago but I would say that I was a little over-generous in my support for socially engaged art – a term now so completely appropriated by the Institution of Art that it effectively is THE SAME AS participatory art. READ MORE

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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

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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

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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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

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This blog post is a transcript of an interview that was never published.  The interviewer asked five questions.  I answered.

 

Can art be an effective way of bringing about social change? If so, any examples? In what ways can it improve people’s lives?

There are many in the arts world who believe art can deliver social change.… READ MORE

This is the fifth post taken from my draft literature review which is part of my on going PhD research centred around the question: Can participatory art support sustainable social change?  Previous posts are below.  This is a rough and ready document I just wanted to put out there.  It will be refined. … READ MORE