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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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 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 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

I believe that there is not enough emphasis placed upon understanding the theoretical and historical perspectives and contexts of ‘participation’ that are, for me, crucially important to both practice and research that engages with people, place, power and politics.  Similarly, I also believe that, whilst this field is situated within ‘the social’, there is not enough emphasis on how practice and research may fit with broader understandings of art and society, nor, for that matter, with wider theoretical from other interrelated disciplines. READ MORE

This is my paper which I presented at the Northumbria-Sunderland AHRC Centre for Doctoral Training Art and Design Research Annual Conference at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead on 25th July 2017.  Powerpoint and PDF versions can be downloaded here too…


Artists and arts organisations have always skirted the edges of gentrification.READ MORE

ABSTRACT  

This article seeks to reveal the limitations of state-initiated arts and cultural projects as well as spurious notions of ‘empowerment’ by examining them in terms of homogeneity, universality and technocracy.  It focuses on issues of instrumentalism with the arts and explores how state-initiated ‘community engagement’ programmes like Creative People and Places may effectively reproduce state agendas linked to social capital theory and thereby to neoliberalism. … READ MORE

Did Assemble really play such a big part in Granby 4 Streets?  How ‘community-led’ was the project?  What was the role of the Community Land Trust?  How did Assemble come to win the Turner Prize 2015?  Who were the private social investors and what did they do to help make the project happen?READ MORE

[youtube=://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txrILqlaUlE&w=640&h=480]

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

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Confidence, Nicole Mollet, 2016 Confidence, Nicole Mollet, 2016

Confidence, Nicole Mollet, 2016

This is part two of a three-part series of posts about Opportunity Areas.  Part one is here.

Part two explores Sarah Butler’s work in a little more detail.  Creative consultations, writing stories for Creative People and Places, advocacy of socially engaged writing as part of regeneration agendas, poetry hoardings ‘covering’ demolished social housing sites whilst new builds spring up and working for the New Deal for Communities. … READ MORE