Realities of a sabbatical in lock-down

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He has no dog, he has no friends And his lawn is dying And what about those packages he sends? What’s he building in there? With that hook light on the stairs What’s he building in there? I’ll tell you one thing, he’s not building a playhouse for the children What’s he building in there?Read the Rest…

Shape shifting

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I’ve been thinking about the different strands of research I’m involved in (simultaneously) and have come up with a simple classification system to contain the chaos. I have very little time to do all I want to do with these strands of research, and that’s making my head hurt, so I’ve spent most of theRead the Rest…

Socially engaged art in a time of ‘social’ distancing

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Some thoughts, notes and links for further consideration… image: When worlds collide. Alice’s bedroom becomes my office and my office becomes Alice’s bedroom. Are we really all in this together? Olena Hankivsky and Anuj Kapilashrami provide a crucial policy briefing which calls for an intersectional view of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and response. While theRead the Rest…

Notes from the picket line…

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  image: picketers on the picket line at the School of Arts, Birkbeck, 11.3.20 Picket line duty involves standing (usually in the cold) on the threshold of the entrance to our workplace. We create a visible presence to our non-striking colleagues and students, reminding them (embarrassing them) that we have collectively decided to withdraw ourRead the Rest…

Participation as performance?

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Still from the The Truman Show (1998) I’m heading to a seminar in Zagreb this week called The Age of Cultural Participation: Democratic Roles and Consequences and wanted to prep some thoughts before I go. The panel discussion I’m taking part in is titled: Limitations and Perspectives of Participation – From Dark Side to IdealRead the Rest…

Mouthing practices

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Umm. Mmmm. Ahhhh… Huh? Exploring the sounds, speech, utterances and un-articulated moments in project meetings. Notes for Common Place. image: film still from Borris’ painting buses anecdote “It is my argument that to understand the full range of the voice, as an event (and discourse) entangling itself around bodies, desires, politics, identities, and nations, itRead the Rest…

Notes towards a proposal for a Cultural Democracy Histories Research Centre

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image: B+B Archive, 2003, Austrian Cultural Forum, London This is the beginnings of a proposal for a practice-based research initiative into complex, contradictory histories of cultural democracy and social art practices. This includes culture and leisure policies, all sorts of practices (invited, uninvited, publicly funded, self-funded, professional, amateur), technologies, philosophies, theories and economies related toRead the Rest…

The Sweetest Dream?

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images (top to bottom): The Sweetest Dream, Nemanja Cvijanovic, flag (2005); ‘Advanced Science of Morphology, Nada Prlja, installation in Marble Arch (2006), allsopp&weir ‘Call to Prayer’, film (2006) and Loránt Anikó and Kaszás Tamás, Shelter of Hope installation (2006). In all this depressing Brexit mess I’ve been thinking a lot about the ‘reunion’ projects I did back in 2006-7 withRead the Rest…

Cultural Democracy is alive!

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I went to a Cultural Democracy symposium yesterday in Manchester. As part of the launch of the publication Culture, Democracy and the Right to Make Art edited by Alison Jeffers and Gerri Moriarty, in which I have a chapter. I’m pleased to say the book is now available to read for free online here. HereRead the Rest…

Can I have a P please Bob?

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I tend to glaze over and my mind wanders as soon as pensions are mentioned. I’ve potentially got at least another 26 years of work ahead of me and I struggle to think about what’s happening next month let alone in the year 2044! The current changes proposed by Universities UK are forcing us employeesRead the Rest…