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

This is a film with narrative from a performance I gave in Belfast earlier this year about neoliberalism, instrumentalism and cultural democracy.

“We must trust in our individual and collective selves.  We must remember our struggles.  We must remember that official arts and culture and, for that matter, the creative industries, reflects only one rather small part of our arts and culture. 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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This is the transcript and presentation with notes from my talk at Panda (The Performing Arts Network) in Manchester on 28th March 2018. The event was a celebration of the network’s 15 years working with artists and communities but it was also tinged with sadness as they announced that they were unable to continue to operate due to the toxic arts funding environment and local council cuts.READ MORE

This article was first published in print in Sluice Magazine and then on their website in 2017. I’ve decided to publish it on my website because I hope its content still resonates in 2018. It addresses issues of instrumentalism in the arts, artwashing, living creatively and cultural democracy. As I wrote in 2017, I believe “it is still possible to conceive of art as part of living creatively, as part of everyday life, as local cultural democracy, as artistic autonomy.”… READ MORE

This is a video recording of my lecture entitled Rethinking the role of artists in regeneration contexts. It was recorded at Northumbria University on 24th November 2017. Includes a short Q&A at the end.… READ MORE

This is the transcript of my 3 very short provocations presented to stimulate discussion during my workshop at the Sound Connections Social Justice Conference at Cecil Sharp House on 30th November 2017.

You can access the PowerPoint with notes and images here.


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Hello. I’m Stephen. This workshop will explore neoliberalism, language and engagement, and whether social justice can ever be compatible with neoliberalism.… READ MORE


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UPDATE: ARTISTS’ UNION ENGLAND HAVE WRITTEN TO ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND. SIGN THE PETITION HERE.

The appointment of Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth Murdoch to Arts Council England’s National Council is not only deeply troubling, given her close ties to the Murdoch corporate empire, but is also a glaring example of how nefarious the UK arts establishment has become.… READ MORE

This is a short article that aims to explain my arguments about artwashing.  It focuses on art’s long-standing relationship to property, power and publicity.


Mephistopheles Flying, from Faust, lithograph,  Eugène Delacroix , 1828 Mephistopheles Flying, from Faust, lithograph,  Eugène Delacroix , 1828

Mephistopheles Flying, from Faust, lithograph, Eugène Delacroix, 1828

A brief art history of art, property and artwashing

Art has always been a form of property.  During the Renaissance, art was the property of Royalty, the nobility and the church. … READ MORE

This is my attempt to reflect upon the closure of libraries in the UK under a rainbow cloak of austerity provided by propaganda from the Arts Council England…  Rough and straight off the page…


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SHHH, BE QUIET!

 

Books.

Tattered, battered,

Drawn upon.

Pages infuriatingly missing.

 

Plastic armour

Protected them.READ MORE