Tag Archives: Contemporary Art

The Unlearning Organisation: Cultural Devolution and Scotland’s Visual Arts 1967-2017 in Artists in the City: SPACE in ’68 and beyond

Artists in the City: SPACE in 1968 and Beyond
Edited by Anna Harding
Designed by Modern Activity
Published by SPACE (Art Services Grants Limited)
ISBN 978-1-9999278-0-6
Distributed by Cornerhouse Publications, HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester M15 4FN. Price £19.95

SPACE’s 50th Anniversary Archive Display
SPACE Mare Street, London
19 January – 17 March 2018

In celebration of SPACE’s 50th anniversary, a display in the project space presents previously unseen material from SPACE’s archive covering the years 1968-75 as well as photographs of early events and studio sites, capturing the founding years of SPACE and AIR, the Art Information Register which was the sister organization to SPACE. This material forms the basis of the book Artists in the City: SPACE in 1968 and beyond to be published in March.

The book launch event is set for Saturday 17 March, followed by a panel discussion with selected contributors at Whitechapel Art Gallery on Thursday 22 March.

Neil Mulholland – The Unlearning Organisation: Cultural Devolution and Scotland’s Visual Arts 1967-2017

Building on primary research in CCA/GSA’s Third Eye Centre archive and interviews with key stakeholders, this chapter elaborates the ways in which visual artists based in Scotland developed their own civic infrastructure in tandem with the devolution of state arts patronage from London to Edinburgh from 1967 onwards. It demonstrates how the Keynesian arms-length principal inherited by the Scottish Arts Council (SAC) generated a productive tension with nascent Artist Run Initiatives (ARIs) in Scotland. With limited state support, artists successfully developed and ran their own platforms while the Scottish Arts Council founded and led more generously funded (competing) national and civic arts organisations.

Realising Tom Nairn and Bob Tait’s vision of a Scottish International, Scotland’s nascent ARIs bypassed official Scottish and British arts bodies, finding a blueprint and network for their activities in ARIs such as SPACE (London) and PS1 (New York City).

As a means of mapping means of production and systems of distribution over the past half century, the chapter presents snapshots of organisational change at pivotal moments in the devolution of the arts in Scotland: 1971, 1979, 1992 and 1999.

These case studies provide a basis for critical analysis of the devolution of the visual arts since the reconvening of the Scottish Parliament. Following political devolution in 1999, Scotland’s Governments have revoked JM Keynes’ arm’s length Patron State model in favour of the New Labour experiment with Structuration and creative economics that is Creative Scotland. Throwing SAC on the arms-length-bodies bonfire that has raged across R-UK, a centrist ‘creative economy’ model has been accelerated by the SNP.

In some respects, post-devolution Scotland is less devolved than it was in 1994 and, also, less democratically accountable. The chapter proposes that the Scottish Government may best unlearn the existing Union State apparatus by adapting the distinctive model of collaborative advantage that artists have developed to successfully govern their activities over the past 50 years.

The Unlearning Organisation: Cultural Devolution and Scotland’s Visual Arts 1967-2017 @ Scottish Society for Art History 2018 Study Day

The Scottish Society for Art History’s Study Day for 2018 is on the theme of Art Organisations and Institutions in Scotland. The event is hosted in association with Fine Art Critical Studies, The Glasgow School of Art, and will take place in the Reid Auditorium, GSA , on Saturday 10 February.

The study day will share current research and scholarship on art institutions, galleries, societies, collectives and support organisations in Scotland. The event will feature a selection of papers from a variety of different speakers, from academics and independent researchers, to curators and practising artists.

Tickets for the study day can be purchased online via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/art-organisations-and-institutions-in-scotland-ssah-study-day-tickets-39874340225

Neil Mulholland – The Unlearning Organisation: Cultural Devolution and Scotland’s Visual Arts 1967-2017

Building on primary research in CCA/GSA’s Third Eye Centre archive and interviews with key stakeholders, this paper elaborates the ways in which visual artists based in Scotland developed their own civic infrastructure in tandem with the devolution of state arts patronage from London to Edinburgh from 1967 onwards. It demonstrates how the Keynesian arms-length principal inherited by the Scottish Arts Council (SAC) generated a productive tension with nascent Artist Run Initiatives (ARIs) in Scotland. With limited state support, artists successfully developed and ran their own platforms while the Scottish Arts Council founded and led more generously funded (competing) national and civic arts organisations.

Realising Tom Nairn and Bob Tait’s vision of a Scottish International, Scotland’s nascent ARIs bypassed official Scottish and British arts bodies, finding a blueprint and network for their activities in ARIs such as SPACE (London) and PS1 (New York City).

As a means of mapping means of production and systems of distribution over the past half century, the paper presents snapshots of organisational change at pivotal moments in the devolution of the arts in Scotland: 1971, 1979, 1992 and 1999.

AHRC Creative Economy Studentship – Situating Artistic-Anthropological Research

PhD Title: Situating Artistic-Anthropological Research

AHRC Creative Economy Studentship

Atelier Skye ATLAS Arts & The University of Edinburgh Atelier Network, May 2017

The University of Edinburgh, in partnership with the University of Aberdeen, Deveron Projects (Huntly, Aberdeenshire), ATLAS Arts (Portree, Skye) and Collective (Edinburgh) is seeking to appoint a suitably qualified PhD applicant for a Creative Economy Studentship (CES) to conduct situated artistic-anthropological research that both contributes to, and helps us to better understand, the R&D, programming, commissioning and evaluation of art organisations. The studentship will commence in autumn 2017.

Value: Tuition fees at UK/EU rate (£4,195 in 2017/18). Maintenance award at RCUK rates (£14,553 for 2017/18) – for UK students only.

Deadline: 4pm 7th August 2017

Eligibility: 1st or Upper 2nd Class Undergraduate Degree, or international equivalent and a Master’s qualification in a relevant discipline (visual art, curatorial practice, anthropology). This studentship is only open to candidates from the UK/EU.

Supervisors:

  • Prof Neil Mulholland, School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art and Dean of PG Studies, College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, The University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Richard Baxstrom, Social Anthropology, UG Director of School of Social & Political Science, The University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Jo Vergunst, Department of Anthropology, School of Social Science, The University of Aberdeen.
  • In association with Claudia Zeiske (Director, Deveron Projects), Emma Nicolson (Director, ATLAS Arts) and Kate Gray (Director, Collective)

Overview

The anthropological turn has played a uniquely prominent role in the history of contemporary art in, and beyond, Scotland. It has fostered advanced artistic practices and situated knowledges that are internationally celebrated and widely replicated. This raises the following research question:

How might the anthropological turn in contemporary art improve situated, relational, material and interdisciplinary approaches to R&D, programming, commissioning and evaluation of the arts?

By situating an itinerant researcher at the heart of Scotland’s most innovative and influential arts organisations, this research project will develop artistic-anthropological methods in ways that will have wide impact upon the arts. This is a unique opportunity to pursue an original doctoral research project involving two global Universities, and three leading arts organisations – Collective (Edinburgh), Deveron Projects (Huntly) and ATLAS Arts (Portree) – to develop an ‘exploded-view’ of artistic-anthropological research (‘AntArt’).

The successful candidate will develop:

  1. situated research
  2. practice-as-research
  3. inventive methods
  4. interdisciplinary research training

situated research

The successful candidate will be supported by three Scottish arts organisations. You may conduct fieldwork in-residence with each of our partner organisations, rotating between them up to three times annually. This will enable you to establish an iterative and itinerant approaches to contemporary AntArt research.

practice-as-research

This project enables artist-anthropologists, arts programmers and curators and to research and practice collectively. In both Anthropological and Artistic Research, the project constitutes a major contribution to practice-led knowledges: how we understand and document the flows of practice and the operational agency of contemporary art. By developing anthropo-artistic practices that incorporate processes of observation and evaluation, the project will expand our knowledge contemporary art practices in ways that can inform curating, programming and arts policy. A practice-led approach, in which processes are foregrounded, is therefore strongly encouraged. For example, you may observe each arts organisation in year one, develop a satellite/shadow programme in year two and implement your own practice-led outcomes in year three.

inventive methods

Collective, Deveron Projects and ATLAS share an investment in social practice, situated knowledges and the anthropological-turn. Equally, the supervisory team encourage the development of ‘inventive methods’: hybrid combinations of participant observation, ethnography, new materialist and artistic research methods. Together, we aim to develop new, qualitative methods for the evaluation of the arts that engage artists and audiences as partners and participants. Blending the disciplines of contemporary art and anthropology, the successful candidate will help to develop inventive methods to conduct situated artistic-anthropological research that will make a significant artistic contribution to programming, engaging custodians, makers, scholars and audiences in the processes of creative research.

interdisciplinary research training

You will be supported to devise and practise AntArt approaches to R&D programming and commissioning, that will, inherently, inform and improve methods for evaluating and supporting contemporary art. The successful candidate will lead the collective development of methods inspired by approaches currently shared by the artists, curators and programmers associated with our partners. You will, additionally, benefit from access to artistic and anthropological research training jointly offered by Edinburgh and Aberdeen Universities (such as STAR: Scottish Training in Anthropological Research), by the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts & Humanities and through the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science. The project is supported by the network Atelier: Making Research Material Across the Arts & Social Sciences:

https://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/research/atelier-creative-arts-and-social-sciences-network

Eligibility

Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree (1st or Upper 2nd Class Degree, or international equivalent) and a Master’s qualification in a relevant discipline such as art practice, contemporary curatorial practice or anthropology.

A record of engagement with, or interest in, hybrid AntArt methods would be welcomed.

Due to restrictions on the funding this studentship is only open to candidates from the UK/EU.

Funding Details Funded by the AHRC through the SGSAH for 3 years full time or 5 years part time study. Tuition fees at UK/EU rate (£4,195 in 2017/18). Maintenance award at RCUK rates (£14,553 for 2017/18) – for UK students only.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted through The University of Edinburgh’s Degree Finder system: https://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/art-phdmphil

Applications should be accompanied by a copy of a research proposal responding to the aims of the CES project outlined above, copies of original transcripts and degree certificates, a statement of application, a CV and two references. A covering letter stating that you wish to be considered for the AHRC Creative Economy Studentship – Situating Artistic-Anthropological Research should be sent to the ECA Postgraduate Office, by email

Further information

If you have any queries about the application process, please contact ecaresearchdegrees@ed.ac.uk Informal enquiries relating to the CES project can be made to Prof Neil Mulholland and Dr Richard Baxstrom

  • Closing date for applications: 7th August 2017
  • Interviews will be scheduled for last two weeks of August 2017
  • Starting date: 18th September 2017

“Der Fachidiot”: The paratechnic in the monotechnic

The Porous University – A critical exploration of openness, space and place in Higher Education | 8th and 9th May, An Lòchran, Inverness Campus

Prof Neil Mulholland
“Der Fachidiot”: The Paratechnic in the Monotechnic
(slide cast of provocation paper):

Paratechnic Principals … paraphrasing: ‘5 Principals’ in Corneli & Dandoff, (2011) Synergising individual organisational learning, Wikiversity

1. Diverse methods, diverse communities of practice
2. Externally-facing ’University of Dissensus’ [Readings: 1997]
3. Immediation, 1:1, live
4. Fluid, adaptive co-learning
5. Cooperative and collegiate

The Porous University Symposium – Programme

See ‘Additional info’ for details of sessions which can be viewed online – this includes sessions to be broadcast live via Twitter, and also a parallel session which will run as a webinar on Day 2.

The hashtag for the event is #porousuni

twitter.com/ShiftWorkESW

Shift/Work : Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Shift/Work: Composing and Playing Artistic Workshops

Neil Mulholland & Jake Watts

March 22nd & 23rd 2017

Kochi-Muziris Biennale www.kochimuzirisbiennale.org

Biennale Office, Fort Kochi, Kochi, India

Shift/Work: Speculations

Workshop-Workshop / H-Frame

Wed 22nd March 2017, 10 am to 1 pm

Unlearning

Wed 22nd March 2017, 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm

&

Thurs 23rd March 2017 10 am to 1 pm

Speculations

Thurs 23rd March 2017 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm

The two day sessions are open to art professionals, art teachers, curators and art students. Participants do not require any prior skills or knowledge and do not need to prepare.

Shift/Work Speculations

Shift/Work: Speculations

Speculations is a two day Shift/Workshop. Speculations will be collectively composed and play-tested at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop on the 3rd and 4th of March 2017, a participatory action-research workshop ordained to fabricate speculative artistic research methods.

Click this link to sign up on Eventbrite

What will we be ‘composing’?

We will compose a workshop in which participants develop, learn and apply speculative artistic research methods. It is crucial that the genesis of this workshop is, in its own right, speculative. Our speculative process encourages artistic practices that cannot be held, observed‌ or enacted without taking risks or experiencing their consequences. To this end, Shift/Work: Speculations will be collectively composed.
Speculative methods may include, but are not limited to: abduction, syncretism, forecasting, futurism, divination, becoming-rites, probing (making and employing actants), paradisciplinarity, ‘pataphysics, hyperstition, theory-fiction, mythopoesis, fabulation, fictioning, (mis)management, gaming / playing, versioning, licensing, servicizing, technés / technoetics, extended cognition (ExC), imaginative propositions, paper architecture, thought experiments, proposing, lateral thinking/feeling/knowing, weird-ing, speculative realism, mangle-practice….

Who are the Shift/Workers?

A compagon of ‘composers’ – comprising artists, curators, designers, musicians, producers, educationalists, social anthropologists, philosophers and futurists – will join us at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop in March 2017 to scribe and audition Speculations. Working in three groups, participants will compose three iterative workshops. The three groups will then rotate, each participating in the workshops composed by their peers. Our post-workshop re-calibration of the three workshops will translate them into one workshop. Shift/Work will direct this ‘calibrated’ workshop at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale at the end of March 2017.

www.kochimuzirisbiennale.org

At the time of writing, we may only speculate on the form Speculations will take. We speculate that the workshop will enable participants to compose, experience and evaluate an iterative, action-based, peer-to-peer learning experience that is both theoretical and practical. We expect they will learn how their speculations (and their attendant risks and uncertainties) are co-affective upon the experiences of their peers. Like previous Shift/Workshops, Speculations will enact relevant discourses, practices and models of artistic paragogy to enable and inspire participants to adopt speculative methods and implement their own workshops.

We hope that you can come to ESW to take part in the composition phase of this workshop.

Click this link to sign up on Eventbrite

NB: If you are able to particpate for only one day, please contact us to let us know.