All Articles by sophia

Sophia Kosmaoglou is an artist, curator and tutor. She teaches studio practice, curating, critical theory, history and philosophy of art, video and film production. She taught Critical Studies and Studio Practice on BA Fine Art courses at Goldsmiths, University of London (2007-2010) and currently teaches short courses at Chelsea College of Arts, UAL (2009-present). She completed a practice-based PhD at Goldsmiths in 2012. For more information please visit videomole.tv

53 Articles

Seasons in the Sun

Bees in the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.
Bees in the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden, Deptford.
Jamaican Independence Day, Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden Aug 2018. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.
Jamaican Independence Day, Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden, Aug 2018.
Peruvian Benefit Party, Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden May 2018. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.
Peruvian Benefit Party, Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden, May 2018.

Hope you had a chance to enjoy the sun and recharge your batteries over the summer! We have an exciting season of events ahead with many opportunities to get involved and help build a self-organised alternative art school.

Today Monday, 3 September is the last chance to apply for the Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice Bursary for a free place on the course. Please download the application form and return it by midnight tonight.

Join us on Saturday, 29 September for the second installment of the Deptford Art & Gentrification Walk. Meet at 1pm inside Deptford Railway Station for an afternoon of discussions on the relationship between art and gentrification.

On 26 October 2018 we have a general meeting to discuss the future of the book club and nominate a new coordinator. Please come along if you’d like to help run the book club, decide how it works and keep it going. We will also be discussing a new research and reading group on radical pedagogy, alternative art education and self-organisation leading to the launch of a self-organised studio programme in 2019.

If you were subscribed to the symposium discussion list and have been removed due to the new GBPR policies please get in touch to rejoin the list.

We’re helping to raise money for a legal challenge of Lewisham Council’s decision to demolish the community-run Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden and the council homes of Reginald House as part of a regeneration scheme of the Old Tidemill site in Deptford. Please donate so we can Save Tidemill, Save Reginald! or come along and get involved in the campaign.

[ART&CRITIQUE] BURSARY
Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice Bursary

DEADLINE Monday, 3 September 2018
Deptford Lounge, 9 Giffin Street, London SE8 4RJ
Tutor Sophia Kosmaoglou
Please click the link for more info

[ARTCRAWL] #15 Deptford[ART&CRITIQUE] ART CRAWL
Deptford Art & Gentrification Walk Pt. 2
Saturday, 29 September 2018, 13:00 -18:00
Meet 1pm inside Deptford Railway Station, London SE8 3NU
Curated by Sophia Kosmaoglou and Paul Clayton
All welcome, booking not required

Patrick Mimran [2004] Billboard Project, New York. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou. Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice [ART&CRITIQUE] COURSE[ART&CRITIQUE] COURSE
Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice
8 Oct–3 Dec 2018, 6:30pm-9pm & 27 Oct 2:30pm-5pm
Deptford Lounge, 9 Giffin Street, London SE8 4RJ
Tutor Sophia Kosmaoglou
Booking via Eventbrite

Chartist Meeting on Kennington Common, 10 April 1848. Photo by William Kilburn.[ART&CRITIQUE] MEETING
General Meeting
26 October 2018, 18:30-20:30
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Closest stations: Whitechapel / Aldgate East
All welcome

IMAGE CREDITS Nicolas Copernicus (1543) Heliocentrism. De revolutionibus Orbium coelestium, libri IV. Philip Guston [1973] Painting, Smoking, Eating. Oil on canvas, 196.8 x 262.9 cm.[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS]
September 2018
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please send us the details.

IMAGE CREDITS
Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden, Deptford. Photos by Sophia Kosmaoglou.
Patrick Mimran [2004] Billboard Project, New York. Photo by Sophia Kosmaoglou.
Stanford’s Library Map of London & its Suburbs 1864, showing proposed Metropolitan Railways (detail).
Chartist Meeting on Kennington Common, 10 April 1848. Photo by William Kilburn.
Philip Guston [1973] Painting, Smoking, Eating. Oil on canvas, 196.8 x 262.9 cm.

School of Civic Action

UK Commons Assembly, organised by Public Works and Commons Rising. Tate Modern, 20 July 2018. Photo Darshana Vora.
UK Commons Assembly, organised by Public Works and Commons Rising. Tate Modern, 20 July 2018. Photo Darshana Vora.

Many thanks to Torange Khonsari from Public Works and Tim Flitcroft from Commons Rising for inviting us to the first UK Commons Assembly, at the School of Civic Action. We had an excellent time and look forward to the next meeting.

We’re taking a break in August but we’re back on on Saturday, 29 September for the second installment of the Deptford Art & Gentrification Walk. Meet us at 1pm inside Deptford Railway Station for an afternoon of discussions on the relationship between art and gentrification.

The Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice Bursary is a fee-waiver awarded to one applicant who will benefit most from participating in the course, regardless of previous experience, background or education. To apply please download the application form and return it by Monday, 3 September 2018.

Have a great summer!

UPCOMING EVENTS

[ART&CRITIQUE] BURSARY
Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice

DEADLINE Monday, 3 September 2018
Deptford Lounge, 9 Giffin Street, London SE8 4RJ
Tutor Sophia Kosmaoglou
Please click the link for more info

[ARTCRAWL] #15 Deptford[ART&CRITIQUE] ART CRAWL
Deptford Art & Gentrification Walk Pt. 2
Saturday, 29 September 2018, 13:00 -18:00
Meet 1pm inside Deptford Railway Station, London SE8 3NU
Curated by Sophia Kosmaoglou and Paul Clayton
All welcome, booking not required

Patrick Mimran [2004] Billboard Project, New York. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou. Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice [ART&CRITIQUE] COURSE[ART&CRITIQUE] COURSE
Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice
8 Oct–3 Dec 2018, 6:30pm-9pm & 27 Oct 2:30pm-5pm
Deptford Lounge, 9 Giffin Street, London SE8 4RJ
Tutor Sophia Kosmaoglou
Booking via Eventbrite

IMAGE CREDITS Nicolas Copernicus (1543) Heliocentrism. De revolutionibus Orbium coelestium, libri IV. Philip Guston [1973] Painting, Smoking, Eating. Oil on canvas, 196.8 x 262.9 cm.[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS]
August 2018
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please send us the details.

IMAGE CREDITS
UK Commons Assembly, organised by Public Works and Commons Rising. Tate Modern, Jul 2018. Photo Darshana Vora.
Patrick Mimran [2004] Billboard Project, New York. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.
Robert Mapplethorpe [1988] Sepia Orchid from the series Flowers. Toned photogravure, 50 x 51 cm.
Stanford’s Library Map of London & its Suburbs 1864, showing proposed Metropolitan Railways (detail).
Philip Guston [1973] Painting, Smoking, Eating. Oil on canvas, 196.8 x 262.9 cm.

UK Commons Assembly Report

By Darshana Vora

UK Commons Assembly, organised by Public Works and Commons Rising. Tate Modern, 20 July 2018. Photo Darshana Vora.
UK Commons Assembly, organised by Public Works and Commons Rising. Tate Modern, 20 July 2018. Photo Darshana Vora.
ART&CRITIQUE workshop, UK Commons Assembly. Tate Modern, 20 Jul 2018. Photo Darshana Vora.
ART&CRITIQUE workshop, UK Commons Assembly. Tate Modern, 20 Jul 2018. Photo Darshana Vora.
Public Works Archive of Alternative, Self-organised Schools. UK Commons Assembly, Tate Modern, Jul 2018.
Public Works Archive of Alternative, Self-organised Schools. UK Commons Assembly, Tate Modern, Jul 2018.

The UK Commons Assembly was held at the Tate Exchange on July 20, 2018 by the School of Civic Action, and Art&Critique were invited to make a presentation and conduct a workshop.

Torange Khonsari (Public Works) spoke about her practice in relation to The Commons as ‘social relationships that can mobilise a change through agency, trust, generosity and connectedness’. She, along with Tim Flitcroft (Commons Rising) were responsible for organising the event with a view to bring together the various Commons operating in the UK with the hope of expanding the scope of this discourse through the MA course on Design for Cultural Commons at The Cass.

The morning session consisted of introductory presentations under various categories such as Health, Food production, Energy, Digital, Technology, Culture, Urban commons, Common Law, Governance and Land. It was a real eye-opener for me to hear about so many community-driven alternative initiatives that challenge the hegemony and empower people to creatively re-think their ownership of ‘the commons’, be it the NHS (‘The NHS belongs to the people‘) or land occupancy (Urban Commons, Shared Assets). Sophia presented the ethos and work of A&C as well as similar alternative art-education networks like the the School of the Damned, Alt MFA, TOMA, and collaborative venues like The Field and Unison. It was great to see that Rosanna Thompson from The Field was there to corroborate A&C’s work in their presentation, and Sophia attended their workshop later that day. Sophia also led A&C’s workshop for around 8 participants, and got people engaged in the session, to address questions of the model of Alternative art education.

There were many ideas, models and case studies in those presentations that A&C could perhaps use to further its development plans, particularly those relating to the co-operative model. I suppose we could reach out to some of the presenters to advise us on aspects that they have encountered and overcome, so that we can begin to form a working timeline on some of our goals.

The UK Commons Assembly is an open platform to meet others, exchange knowledge and to see if there is an appetite for an ongoing UK Commons Assembly. In a contemporary context of much inequality, the Commons discourse introduces models of sharing. The Commons are about the assets that belong to everyone, forming resources that should benefit all, rather than being enclosed to just a few. The aim of the day is to put on an exhibition showing the wealth of Commons projects happening in the UK. There will be discussions as well as workshops to inform the public about the commons. It is also an opportunity to vision how the commons might work beyond the individual projects and to set up practical outcomes going forwards. The ambition of this event is to continue beyond this event in formats decided by the participants and contributors on the day.

The School for Civic Action is a pedagogical experiment that tests alternative modes of knowledge transfer at work in civic city making, challenging traditional urban teaching and disciplinary restriction. The Civic University manoeuvres across disciplines that complement one another, implementing new ways of knowing and acting. Teaching and learning at the Civic University is symbiotic; by situating its curriculum within live projects in the city, it can mutually provide a support structure back to the local communities, the sites they occupy and for the individuals enrolled.

Public Works is a not-for-profit critical design practice set up in 2004 that occupies the terrain in-between architecture, art, performance and activism. Together with our interdisciplinary network, we re-work the city’s opportunities towards citizen driven development and nurturing their rights over the city.

Commons Rising is a group set up with the aim to share knowledge and connect experiences on the Commons. By Commons we mean people self-organising to co-produce and co-govern resources that they recognise as important for their livelihood and well-being and that of the planet. We wish to act as catalysts helping to link up groups who may not think of themselves as a Commons but who are part of the broader Collaborative Economy. Through building a network Commoning can become a stronger force for positive change.

Invitation to a meeting

Derrida's Exquisite Corpse, BOOKCLUB#27, 11 May 2018 at Larc.
Derrida’s Exquisite Corpse, BOOKCLUB#27, 11 May 2018 at Larc.
Group discussion on art and gentrification in the Old Tidemill Garden, Reginald Road. Photo by Ruth Gilburt.
Group discussion in the Old Tidemill Garden. Photo by Ruth Gilburt.

Thanks to everyone who came along and contributed to our events in May and June!

Many thanks to Nat Pimlot for facilitating the excellent discussion on Jacques Derrida’s Signature Event Context and to everyone who came along and shared their stories on the Deptford Art & Gentrification Walk in May. Many thanks to the venues for welcoming us and to everyone who met us along the way for their contributions, please see the photo album on Facebook for more details.

Thanks to all the participants who came along and contributed to the book club on Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism in June, with a very special thanks to Anastasia Freygang for hosting us on Unison.

The book club is having a break in July and August but you’re invited to a meeting on 13 July 2018, where we will discuss the future of the book club and nominate a new coordinator. Please come along if you’d like to help run the book club and keep it going.

On 20 July 2018 we’re participating in the School of Civic Action at Tate Modern, this event is part of an assembly on the commons organised by Public Works and Commons Rising.

Chartist Meeting on Kennington Common, 10 April 1848. Photo by William Kilburn.[ART&CRITIQUE] MEETING
General Meeting
13 July 2018, 18:30-20:30
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Closest stations: Whitechapel / Aldgate East
All welcome

Patrick Mimran [2004] Billboard Project, New York. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou. Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice [ART&CRITIQUE] COURSE[ART&CRITIQUE] COURSE
Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice
6–10 July 2018, 10:00–16:00
Chelsea College of Arts UAL, 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU
Tutor Sophia Kosmaoglou
Booking via UAL

IMAGE CREDITS Nicolas Copernicus (1543) Heliocentrism. De revolutionibus Orbium coelestium, libri IV. Philip Guston [1973] Painting, Smoking, Eating. Oil on canvas, 196.8 x 262.9 cm.[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS]
July 2018
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please send us the details.

IMAGE CREDITS
Photos by Karen Barnes and Box on Wheels drying at the Bird’s Nest, Church Street. Photo by Ruth Gilburt.
Chartist Meeting on Kennington Common, 10 April 1848. Photo by William Kilburn.
Philip Guston [1973] Painting, Smoking, Eating. Oil on canvas, 196.8 x 262.9 cm.

Signature Event Context

Thanks to all who came along and contributed to an excellent discussion on Jacques Derrida’s Structure, Sign and Play last week! I have included below the quotations that I forgot to bring along for the introduction. On the plus side, I suppose they might make more sense now.

The consensus was to stick with Derrida, so we’re discussing Signature Event Context at the next book club on 11 May 2018. Thanks to Nat Pimlot for preparing the material.

Save the date! The next art crawl is on 26 May 2018, and we’re visiting Deptford for a whole day of discussions on art and gentrification, and much else besides.

Join us in June for the second in the series of book clubs on Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher, continuing with chapters 4-5 (pages 21-38). This book club will take place on *UNISON, a lifeboat-turned-project-space. We will meet at Yurt Café near Limehouse station at 2:30pm and depart at 3pm to reach the boat moored nearby.

If you would like to facilitate one of the book clubs in the series on Capitalist Realism please get in touch.

#27 Derrida Signature Event Context_signature[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB
Derrida: Signature Event Context
Friday, 11 May 2018, 18:30–21:00
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by Nat Pimlott and Sophia Kosmaoglou
Suggested donation £2, booking via Eventbrite

[ARTCRAWL] #14-flyer-thumb[ART&CRITIQUE] ART CRAWL
Deptford Art & Gentrification Walk
Saturday 26 May 2018, 12:00 -19:00
Meet 12pm at Deptford Railway Station, London SE8 3NU
Curated by Sophia Kosmaoglou
All welcome, booking not required

[SYMPOSIUM]#27 Fisher Capitalist Realism Pt 2. Flyer by Sophia Kosmaoglou_thumb[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB
Mark Fisher: Capitalist Realism Part 2
Saturday, 9 June May 2018, 14:30–17:30
Yurt Café, St. Katharine’s Precinct, 2 Butcher Row, London E14 8DS
Part of Antinuiversity Now 2018
Suggested donation £2, booking via Eventbrite

Curating Contemporary Art_banner[ART&CRITIQUE] COURSE
Curating Contemporary Art
2–6 July 2018, 10:00–16:00
Chelsea College of Arts UAL, 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU
Tutor Sophia Kosmaoglou
Booking via UAL

IMAGE CREDITS Nicolas Copernicus (1543) Heliocentrism. De revolutionibus Orbium coelestium, libri IV. Philip Guston [1973] Painting, Smoking, Eating. Oil on canvas, 196.8 x 262.9 cm.[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS]
May 2018
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please send us the details.

*When Cambridge University decided to give Derrida an honorary degree in 1992, a group of (mainly analytical) philosophers and academics from all over the world wrote a letter in protest, here is their critique:

…where coherent assertions are being made at all, these are either false or trivial… little more than semi-intelligible attacks upon the values of reason, truth. (Letter against Derrida’s Honorary Degree. The Times, 9 May 1992)

Another quotation that indicates the animosity that Derrida provoked in philosophical and scholarly circles comes from the British right-wing conservative (philosopher) Roger Scruton:

He’s difficult to summarise because it’s nonsense. He argues that the meaning of a sign is never revealed in the sign but deferred indefinitely, and that a sign only means something by virtue of its difference from something else. For Derrida, there is no such thing as meaning – it always eludes us and therefore anything goes. (Roger Scruton in Stephen Moss (2004), Deconstructing Jacques. The Guardian).

When asked why his work provoked these attacks, Derrida replied that it was because his work questioned and modified “the rules of the dominant discourse, it tries to politicize and democratize education and the university scene” (Jacques Derrida, 1995, Honoris Causa). The US documentary Derrida (2002 dir. Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering Kofman), begins with a clip from a French TV panel discussion, where the presenter introduces Derrida as “a thinker of lightning thoughts, whose work is like that of miners who work by exploding the beams supporting their shafts”.

IMAGE CREDITS
Jacques Derrida (1988). Limited Inc. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, p.21 (detail).
Philip Guston [1973] Painting, Smoking, Eating. Oil on canvas, 196.8 x 262.9 cm.

Structure & Deconstruction

Nicolas Copernicus [1543] Heliocentrism. De revolutionibus Orbium coelestium, libri IV (Revolutions of the heavenly orbs). Nuremberg.
Nicolas Copernicus [1543] Heliocentrism. De revolutionibus Orbium coelestium, libri IV (Revolutions of the heavenly orbs). Nuremberg.

Thanks to everyone who came along to the first in the series of book clubs on Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism. It was a real pleasure to meet so many people with diverse perspectives and common interests. We will continue with chapters 4 & 5 in May 2018.

In April we’re discussing Structure, sign and play in the discourse of the human sciences, Jacques Derrida’s inaugural paper on deconstruction presented at Johns Hopkins University in 1966. If you would like to propose a text and facilitate the book club please visit the website for more info and to download the infosheet.

Our first independent Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice course is fully booked but we’re organising another edition of the course on the basis of a labour exchange, giving those who cannot afford the fees the opportunity to participate. This will also be a great opportunity for those who are interested in working together to develop an alternative model of free and sustainable education. For more information, to join the team and get involved please visit the proposal page on Openki.net.

Nicolas Copernicus (1543) Heliocentrism. De revolutionibus Orbium coelestium, libri IV (Revolutions of the heavenly orbs). Nuremberg.[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB
Derrida: Structure, Sign and Play
Friday, 13 April 2018, 6:30pm–9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by Sophia Kosmaoglou
Suggested donation £2, booking via Eventbrite

IMAGE CREDITS Nicolas Copernicus (1543) Heliocentrism. De revolutionibus Orbium coelestium, libri IV. Philip Guston [1973] Painting, Smoking, Eating. Oil on canvas, 196.8 x 262.9 cm.[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS]
April 2018
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please send us the details.

IMAGE CREDITS
Nicolas Copernicus (1543) Heliocentrism. De revolutionibus Orbium coelestium, libri IV.
Philip Guston [1973] Painting, Smoking, Eating. Oil on canvas, 196.8 x 262.9 cm.

Fee-waiver Award Outcome

Many thanks to those who applied for the Fee-Waiver Award and to those who helped spread the word. We received a high volume of inspiring applications across a range of media and disciplines including sculpture, installation, painting, writing, design, sound, performance, choreography,  participation, activism, curating, conservation, architecture and social research.

It was a close and difficult decision because all the candidates stood to benefit from the course. The selection was based on an objective set of criteria, which prioritised the needs of each individual candidate. These were not hard and fast rules, but relative values that emerged from the candidates’ applications. In this instance they included a correspondence between the candidates’ research questions and the course topics, a demonstrable need for a supportive pedagogical environment, a spirit of inquiry, an unconventional practice and an experimental attitude, an active interest in pedagogy and the politics of education and a motivation to collaborate with others.

Lucy Webster Award Recipient
Lucy Webster [2017] Labour, Labour. Remote control chassis with clay body, washing machine-shaped wedding cakes, cakes and icing, film 'The Great Baptism'.
Lucy Webster [2017] Labour, Labour. Remote control chassis with clay body, washing machine-shaped wedding cakes, cakes and icing, film ‘The Great Baptism’.

 

Congratulations to Lucy Webster who is awarded the Fee-Waiver. Lucy is a multidisciplinary designer. She graduated with a BA in Design from Goldsmiths in 2017. Her work is research-based and explores themes of cultural critique, sociology, patriarchy and semiotics with performance, film, fiction, poetry and sculpture. She has developed her research and practice independently since her graduation. Lucy’s reflexive and collaborative practice, together with her research questions on politics and the avant-garde, and her desire to work in a collaborative environment earned her the award.

Renata Minoldo First Runner-Up
Renata Minoldo [2018] Studies for Self Knowledge Workshop, 3 hours.
Renata Minoldo [2018] Studies for Self Knowledge Workshop, 3 hours.

Renata Minoldo is the first runner-up. Renata explores intuition, sensuality and rituals through sculpture, installation and participation. She has a BA in Fashion Design and attended a residency at Banff Centre of the Arts, Canada. She has been exhibiting since 2010 with two solo exhibitions in Argentina. She is a member of School of the Damned Class 2018 and works as an arts facilitator for adults and children, exploring alternative learning and teaching methods involving interdisciplinary practices and non hierarchical education.

Alice Weber Second Runner-Up
Alice Weber [2018] Agency Speculative Bodies. Choreography workshop.
Alice Weber [2018] Agency Speculative Bodies. Choreography workshop.

Alice Weber is the second runner-up. Alice is a choreographer and performer. She studied psychology at the University of Sydney, trained in ballet and is completing an MFA in Choreography at Trinity Laban. Her practice includes solo work, improvisation, teaching, hosting workshops and writing with a record of public performances and residencies. Her interests lie in subjective epistemologies, the body archive, body multiplicity and her work explores agency, femininity, object- and subject-hood and body ontology. Alice teaches ballet in London and is a guest workshop teacher in Sydney.

UPDATE: Critical Theory in Practice (proposal for a collectively organised course)

In discussions following the recent Fee-waiver Award, the idea emerged to organise a course based on a labour exchange. The course will be organised collectively, giving the opportunity to those who cannot afford the fees to participate. It is also an opportunity for those who are interested in working together to develop an alternative model of free and sustainable education. Depending on how this goes, it will initially replace the Fee-waiver Award with a more equitable and inclusive alternative. For more information and to join the team and get involved please visit the proposal page on Openki.net.

Capitalist Realism

Gerhard Richter [1963] Party. Oil, nails, cord on canvas and newspaper, 150 x 182cm.
Gerhard Richter [1963] Party. Oil, nails, cord on canvas and newspaper, 150 x 182cm.
Wolf Vostell [1969] B 52 Lipstick Bomber. Serigraph and lipsticks behind glass in wooden box, 88 × 119.5 cm.
Wolf Vostell [1969] B 52 Lipstick Bomber. Serigraph and lipsticks behind glass in wooden box, 88 × 119.5 cm.

Many thanks to everyone who came along and contributed to an excellent discussion on Representation & Critique. A very special thanks to Aris Nikolaidis for facilitating! We grappled with definitions of modernism, postmodernism, anarchism, anarchist modernism and postmodern anarchism, and we tried to unpack their inter-relationships through Jesse Cohn’s vantage point. The discussion was inconclusive due to the sheer expanse of the material and deserves a follow-up.

In March we’re back at The Field for the first in a series of book clubs on Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher, starting with chapters 1-3 (pages 1-20). The book is 81 pages long and we can read it in 3-4 installments, something to decide at the end of the first session. The download link will take you to a PDF of the entire book. We will continue the series with chapters 4 & 5 on 11 May 2018, unless another proposal takes precedence. If you would like to facilitate any of the sessions please get in touch.

The Field New Cross reopens October 2017. Image courtesy of The Field.
The Field New Cross reopens October 2017. Image courtesy of The Field.

The Field reopened in October 2017 with a new cooperative structure. We’ve been invited to join the coop and we will have a meeting to discuss membership after the book club in March. If you are a member of A&C and would like to become member of the Field please come along or get in touch via email.

Many thanks to those who applied for the Fee-Waiver Award! If you haven’t heard from us yet please check your spam bin. It was a very close outcome based on an objective set of criteria which prioritised the needs of the individual candidates. Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word. We will announce the successful applicant by 9 March 2018, once they have accepted the offer and if they are happy for us to do so.

Gerhard Richter [1963] Party. Oil, nails, cord on canvas and newspaper, 150 x 182 cm.[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB
Fisher: Capitalist Realism
Friday, 9 March 2018, 6:30pm-9pm
The Field 385 Queen’s Rd London SE14 5HD
Facilitated by Sophia Kosmaoglou
Suggested donation £2, booking via Eventbrite

Patrick Mimran [2004] Billboard Project, New York. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.[ART&CRITIQUE] COURSE
Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice

19 April – 14 June 2018, 6:30-9pm + 5 May 2018, 2:30-5pm
Kupfer Arch 213, Ponsford Street, London E9 6JU
Tutor Sophia Kosmaoglou
£250 via Eventbrite or apply for the Fee-waiver Award

Announcements & Opportunities[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS]
March 2018
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please use the contact form to send us the details.

The Crisis of Critique

George Orwell (1956). 1984. Harmondsworth: Penguin, p. 171.
George Orwell (1956). 1984. Harmondsworth: Penguin, p. 171.

Thanks to everyone who came along and contributed to an excellent discussion on Adam Curtis’ film Hypernormalisation. A very special thanks to Neil Lamont for facilitating! We watched a 13 minute excerpt of the film and the discussion revolved around consciousness and complicity. Neil handed out copies from George Orwell’s 1984 and read the passage on doublethink, comparing it to the concept of hypernormalisation, which Curtis borrows from Alexei Yurchak, a term he coined to describe the culture of resignation to the simulacrum of normality in 1980s Soviet Russia.

In February we’re joining Aris Nikolaidis to discuss The Fate of Representation, the Fate of Critique, chapter six in Jesse Cohn’s 2006 book Anarchism and the Crisis of Representation: Hermeneutics, Aesthetics, Politics. What would a radical anti-representational aesthetic look like today, beyond the binary opposition between autonomy and popular culture?

If you ever wanted to join the Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice course this is the time! We’re running the first independent [ART&CRITIQUE] course in April 2018 and we’re inviting submissions for a Fee-waiver Award. To apply please download the application form and return it by 5pm on Friday, 23 February 2018. For more information please follow the links below.

Enrico Baj [1972] The Funeral of the Anarchist Pinelli. Textured offset colour print, 75 x 68 cm. Edition 200.[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB
Cohn: Representation and Critique
Friday, 9 February 2018, 6:30pm-9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by Aris Nikolaidis
Suggested donation £2, booking via Eventbrite

Patrick Mimran [2004] Billboard Project, New York. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.[ART&CRITIQUE] COURSE
Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice

19 April – 14 June 2018, 6:30-9pm + 5 May 2018, 2:30-5pm
Kupfer Arch 213, Ponsford Street, London E9 6JU
Tutor Sophia Kosmaoglou
£250 via Eventbrite or apply for the Fee-waiver Award

Announcements & Opportunities[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS]
February 2018
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please send us the details.

IMAGE CREDITS
George Orwell (1956). 1984. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, p. 171.
Enrico Baj [1972] The Funeral of the Anarchist Pinelli. Textured offset colour print, 75 x 68 cm. Edition 200.

Open Call: Fee-waiver Award

Patrick Mimran [2004] Billboard Project, New York. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.

Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice Fee-waiver Award

Deadline Friday, 23 February 2018 at 5pm

We’re very pleased to invite applications for a fee-waiver award for the upcoming course Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice. The award is open to anyone over the age of 18. The fee-waiver is awarded to the applicant who will benefit most from participating in the course, regardless of previous experience, background or education. Every application will be judged on its own terms, there are no academic or professional entry requirements. Please read the course description, it will help you decide whether this course is for you.

The course runs from 19 April to 14 June 2018, on Thursday evenings for 9 weeks, including off-site visits on Saturday, 5 May 2018 at Kupfer, Arch 213, Ponsford Street, London E9 6JU.

For more information and to apply, please download the application form and return it by 5pm on Friday, 23 February 2018. You will be notified of the outcome on Friday, 2 March 2018 and if you are selected you must accept the offer by Friday, 9 March 2018.

We endeavour to offer affordable rates for everyone when we host our own courses. We also offer one fee-waiver award per self-hosted course so that one person can join the course for free. As a non-profit organisation we aim to cover our expenses, including venue hire, tutors’ salaries, insurance, booking fees etc. Free or affordable access to a venue helps keep our fees down.

Happy New Year!

First Alternative Education Open-Day. 1 Oct 2017, SET Space, London. Photo School of the Damned.ARTCRAWL#11 Hampstead to Finsbury Park, June 2017. Photo Cristina Sousa-Martínez.BOOKCLUB#19 Bishop Artificial Hells chaired by Renata Mindolo. Common Room, School of the Damned. Guest Projects 24 July 2017. Photo SOTD.First Alternative Education Open-Day. Oct 2017, SET Space, London. Photo Maria Christoforatou.Thanks to everybody who contributed to another venturesome year of free, autonomous, volunteer-run and self-organised alternative art education!

Thanks to everyone who came along to the discussions, crawls, workshops and meetings! Many thanks to everyone who chaired a book club, curated a crawl, facilitated a workshop or hosted an event. A special thanks to all the alternative art schools, organisations and individuals for the excellent meet-ups, exchanges and collaborations.

Many thanks to all those who coordinated events and venues, posted listings and promoted events, contributed materials and tools, attended meetings, complied minutes, carried out research, wrote proposals and summaries, made flyers and videos, did bookings and accounts, took photos, shared their feedback, set up, cleared up and did the washing up! Many thanks to everyone who donated, we’re almost breaking even thanks to your generosity. Thanks to everyone who supported the project by encouraging us, sharing, inviting friends and spreading the word.

Thanks to all who came along and contributed to a fascinating discussion on Guy Debord at the book club in December. A very special thanks to Aris Nikolaidis for chairing an excellent discussion.

In January we’re joining Neil Lamont to discuss Hypernormalisation, a 2016 film by Adam Curtis. Please book your place. We’ve just added more tickets, if they sell out please check back for cancellations.

See you next year! Let’s make it a good one x x x

Neil Lamont [2006] Apple billboard on Paris metro. Digital photograph.[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB
Adam Curtis: HyperNormalisation
Friday, 12 January 2018, 6:30pm-9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by
Neil Lamont
Suggested donation £2, booking via Eventbrite

Announcements & Opportunities[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS]
January 2018
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please send us the details.

IMAGE CREDITS
First Alternative Education Open-Day. 1 Oct 2017, SET Space, London. Photo School of the Damned.
ARTCRAWL#11 Hampstead to Finsbury Park, June 2017. Photo Cristina Sousa-Martínez.
BOOKCLUB#19 Bishop: Artificial Hells with Renata Mindolo. Guest Projects, 24 Jul 2017. Photo School of the Damned.
First Alternative Education Open-Day. 1 Oct 2017, SET Space, London. Photo Maria Christoforatou.
Neil Lamont [2006] Apple billboard on Paris metro. Digital photograph.

Negation / Consumption

J.R. Eyerman [1952] Audience at the opening-night screening of Bwana Devil, the first full-length colour 3-D movie. Paramount Theatre, Hollywood, 26 Nov 1952.
J.R. Eyerman [1952] Audience at the opening-night screening of Bwana Devil, the first full-length colour 3-D movie. Paramount Theatre, Hollywood, 26 Nov 1952.

We had a fascinating discussion on commitment and autonomy at the November book club on Adorno’s Commitment! Many thanks to all who joined and a special thanks to Nat Pimlott for facilitating the discussion.

We look forward to your company at the next book club, coming up on Friday, 8 December. This time we’re reading Negation and Consumption in the Cultural Sphere, the eighth chapter of Guy Debord’s 1967 book The Society of the Spectacle and discussing détournement with Aris Nikolaidis. For more information, to book your place and download the text please visit the page.

In August we visited Benedict Drew‘s exhibition The Trickle-Down Syndrome at the Whitechapel Gallery with students on the Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice course. The exhibition was a sprawling interconnected array of objects, banners, screens, cables and digital components. What is the Trickle-Down Syndrome? How does it relate to the infamous laissez faire economic theory? What are the throbbing fleshy forms and knobbly knotted forms represented in videos, banners and roughly-hewn objects? We spent a couple of hours viewing and discussing the exhibition and everyone was asked to write a 250-500 word review that evening for a workshop the next morning. Each review is written in a uniquely different style and approach, with a different interpretation of the exhibition. We were all very impressed by this outcome so we decided to share the results.

In January we’re discussing Adam Curtis’ 2016 film HyperNormalisation with Neil Lamont. Please book your place and view the film by following the links on the page. See you there!

J.R. Eyerman [1952] Audience at the opening-night screening of Bwana Devil, the first full-length colour 3-D movie. Paramount Theatre, Hollywood, 26 Nov 1952.[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB
Debord: Negation & Consumption in Culture
Friday, 8 December 2017, 6:30pm-9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by Aristotelis Nikolaidis
Suggested donation £2, booking via Eventbrite

Patrick Mimran [2004] Billboard Project, New York. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.[ART&CRITIQUE] COURSE
Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice
11 January —15 March 2018, 6pm—8:30pm
Chelsea College of Arts UAL 16 John Islip Street London SW1P 4JU
Tutor Sophia Kosmaoglou
Booking via UAL

Neil Lamont [2006] Apple billboard on Paris metro. Digital photograph.[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB
Adam Curtis: HyperNormalisation
Friday, 12 January 2018, 6:30pm-9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by
Neil Lamont
Suggested donation £2, booking via Eventbrite

Daniel Clowes [1991] End. Art School Confidential.[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS]
DECEMBER 2017
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please send us the details.

IMAGE CREDITS
J.R. Eyerman [1952] Audience at the opening-night of Bwana Devil. Paramount Theatre, Hollywood, 26 Nov 1952.
Patrick Mimran [2004] Billboard Project, New York. Photo by Sophia Kosmaoglou.
Neil Lamont [2006] Apple billboard on Paris metro. Digital photograph.
Daniel Clowes [1991] Art School Confidential. Eightball #7, Nov 1991.

The Trickle-Down Syndrome

The Trickle-Down Syndrome

Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.

We visited Benedict Drew‘s exhibition The Trickle-Down Syndrome at the Whitechapel Gallery with students on the Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice course. The exhibition was a sprawling interconnected array of objects, banners, screens, cables and digital components. What is the Trickle-Down Syndrome? How does it relate to the infamous laissez faire economic theory? What are the throbbing fleshy forms and knobbly knotted represented in videos, banners and roughly-hewn objects?

We spent a couple of hours viewing and discussing the exhibition and everyone was asked to write a 250-500 word review that evening for a workshop the next morning. Each review is written in a uniquely different style and approach, with a different interpretation of the exhibition. We were all very impressed by this outcome so we decided to share the results.

CONTENTS

ALISON GILL Slush Economics and Other Symptoms
ARIELLE FRANCIS What is the point, Benedict Drew
DOROTHY HUNTER No Guts and No Glory
EMILY STAPLETON JEFFERIS Bendedict Drew: The Trickle Down System
IAN BIRKHEAD In the Synthetic Bowel
JUN ABE Undergoing the Trickle-Down Syndrome: Underneath Your Flesh
TAMMY SMITH A sensory journey through absurdly visualised bodily functions vs the state economy


ALISON GILL Slush Economics and Other Symptoms

The Trickle-Down Syndrome is a multimedia installation by Benedict Drew involving sculpture, music and video. The mesmerising and seductive impact of the work is immediate on entering the exhibition. Hand painted perspective lines cover the floor and wall fanning out in a black and white radial shape drawing viewers toward a screen showing an egg or cell dividing.

Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Alison Gill.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Alison Gill.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Ian Birkhead.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Ian Birkhead.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.

This is the beginning of the Trickle-Down Syndrome. It sounds pathological, in fact, this title refers to trickle-down economics, a theory of wealth distribution which has, according to the International Monetary Fund been proven to not exist. The poor get poorer while the rich get richer. Here it is then, represented as a ‘syndrome’, a pathological collection of symptoms. Drew’s diagnosis is simple; the trickle down has turned to slush. So how does this manifest itself as an art exhibition? There are many references to the body. Around the corner are large colourful intestinal wall hoardings cable tied to galvanised steel rails, slick and street aesthetics combined. Electronic ambient bleeps and pops provide a sonic over-lay to the whole installation. And when Drew talks about escape being a potent form of resistance, I can’t help wondering if the alter-come-stage he has created with giant eyeballs hanging onto a waxy brain are the sci-fi signifiers to an altered reality. It’s not here though. The video murmurs on with bad news and more innards. Mirrors, repetition of eyes and cones, lots of signs of ritual and at the centre a golden gong. Around another corner ‘That Sinking Feeling’ blinks in pastel pink on a wall, down below a video monitor on a packing crate shows someone is stuck in the mud and momentarily, a muzzle of a mule appears. To the side old Lidl bags contain the speakers all shielded and contained by red welding screens. Confused? Me too, that’s the point.

The last little room uses symmetry again, a theme throughout and reference Drew says, to Busbey Berkley but could equally be the more colourful pop homages made by Michel Gondry such as Around the World (Daft Punk). Another influence sited is Max Ernst’s landscapes. I had to look hard for these: The gong perhaps as it features in ‘production image for The Trickle-Down Syndrome’? Piled up in the corner are free newspapers, Financial Times pink, blowing around. There is a grungy look to the digital photo-collaged drawings it contains. On one page there is a drawing of a mule with a thought bubble saying ‘I hate humans’. On another page there is a photo of a statue, arms in the air and branching out to red coral. Over this is drawn yellow radiating line, an aura of sorts. Is this Daphne when she transforms from human form into a tree, to return back to the earth? Is this at the heart of Drew’s desire for ‘ecstatic protest’, I wonder? We humans are better off ‘out of it’ he seems to be saying. If this is it, it is a nihilistic project indeed but he knows how to make this pill a sweet one to swallow.


ARIELLE FRANCIS What is the point, Benedict Drew

To descend into this particular piece of work, was frus-trating work. An environment difficult to enjoy, Benedict Drew does not make it an easy bodily experience.

Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Ian Birkhead.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Ian Birkhead.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.

Large illustrations that impose upon your existence – their height and sheer width are admirable. I wondered how it came into the room for unlike any painting on a wall, it cannot simply be hung at eye level. These sheets of fabric hold high from ceiling to floor, detached from the wall, softly lit from behind. This glow lightly frames the supposedly hand drawn curves, the images existing in pairs of three, a face off if you will. Competing against each other on parallels planes there is nothing to compare, for all feel the same regardless. Nothing special exists within, other than curvy curvy wormy monotonous hollowness and their obvious ability to say “here I am. I take up space. Was probably installed via machine and scaffolding. Regardless, be fascinated with me”

Moving past these large scribble sisters, towards the far back of the exhibition space, we see The Box, on a box, within a box… Framing, framed, Frames. The words “SINKING THAT FEELING”, if viewed from the right angle, perfectly frames once more these boxes, taking this entrapment from the floor to the wall, this dead-end horizon providing a canvas to the words projected. They “hug” the installation, they -strangle- incompletely.

The tangible quality of this installed work also happens to be the only piece that fully distances itself from all surrounding white walls. Instead, existing as four red fabric partitions giving the onlooker the ability to walk around the installation -as well as through it. Be daring and look at others through the red material, peak through the vast gaps of this broken cube, watch others as they watch the monitor, a man trapped within, and in, mud. Pulling one leg out drives the other leg in -exhaustion overworking self entrapment, an escape to where? A release to what? “That sinking feeling”, flashes alongside the work further reminding us of the inability to escape, how this cycle returns.

Discomfort is a word not misplaced in association to “Trickle Down Syndrome”, and perhaps these two pieces in discussion represent this concept justly. I would note however, that apart from this perhaps singular truth, Drew’s intentions are seemingly either accidentally into being or sometimes lost entirely. Inside the exhibition, I found myself more absorbed by my solipsism in that moment, attentions confused as I tried to rebalance basic comfort levels, ignoring the politics portrayed. An uneasy experience that is difficult to endure, if it were not for a moments rest and reflection away from that space, I would for sure not have this analysis. Perhaps a little too abstract an idea, I wouldn’t recommend the show, but on reflection I appreciate the fodder nonetheless.


DOROTHY HUNTER No Guts and No Glory
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.

The Trickle-Down Syndrome parallels the limits of human bodies with the organisational and systemic ones that utilise them, reframing their place in their machinations at will. Organs blow up, extend out, condense down. They seem to revolt against their position of servitude to a unified whole, a body whose identity is unknown to them, means nothing to them but ongoing labour.

Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.

In each corner of the main gallery an organised tangle of intestinal forms geometrically snakes across enormous wall hangings, weirdly evocative of William Morris, or as if cancer worked on an organ rather than cellular level. They flank dark nondescript organic forms on the hangings in between, printed on searing orange and green. One mass, seen on the rear wall hanging, is made of various shades of love-heart pink, more blatantly organic in the shaky network of striped tendrils that radiate outwards, obviously digitally and simply distended. Despite this, each print looks misleadingly relief-like in its spots and patterns of dark texture, with foregrounds crisply clipping backgrounds in the blankets of saturated colour.

Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.

In contrast, the physically handmade pieces within the installation are faux-naive. On an alter-like arrangement on a wide white stage, fleshy Plasticine borders are pressed around a painted mass of one-stroke ribs, cratered papier mache eyes sit on stalks metres long, or are dripping, primordial threats painted on drums. Hollow teeth-like forms are drawn on mirrors. On screens, a stuffed ream of 3d-rendered intestines slowly twirl, and hollow shapes move over the face of a female actor. This arrangement is symmetrically composed with some co-ordinating and mismatched layers of visual and sound, leaving her words and meaning indistinguishable. Technology clearly excels our ability to represent our own makeup.

Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.

There’s a sterile opulence, the backlit hangings lording over the space like religious icons. The trickle-down effect sees each strata of class in a cycle of aspiration to, and definition against, the other, causing a cycle of capitalist activity. The digital and handmade seem complicit in a similar cycle. The trickle-down isn’t active; the apparatus is too divided. Seeing a face, digitally rendered, sculpted, painted, only ever seems unreal. The only bodily exteriors seen revel in this. With haptic detachment from our interior, all we have are illustrations, perhaps the odd x-ray or ultrasound scan. Alienation is our normal state; feeling small in the unseen power we are passive to. There is no gore, no viscerality, only looped unknowns.

Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.

A man wades in mud, eventually reaches a sinking mule. Sound emanates from LIDL bags – one covertly painted with the words “DESIRE STUFF”. Such close shots make the actions hard to follow; red welding screens can be passed through or observed through – turning something a little scatological into something even more suggestive. It’s perhaps communistic, the red square exploded, overtly three dimensional in its symbol pulled back into real space.

Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.

It sits as a counterpoint to the yellow-gelled adjacent box room, where graphic eyes radiate from palms, taking a landscape-like slow pan across uncanny fleshy valleys on either side. It feels suggestive of a state achieved going up someone’s anus, both transcendent and comedic. Against the first space’s religious impression I’m reminded of the power constructs around abstracted ritualistic culture, a kind of hypnotic indulgence of self via bodily manipulation.

This exhibition makes my own materiality feel totally separate from my conscious self; my cellular intelligences seem to fall through. These systems don’t work if they’re closely observed, and indeed, don’t seem to invite this. I’m discomforted, hypnotised yet rejected by the work in the repellent combination of recorded, altered and synthetic space.


EMILY STAPLETON JEFFERIS Bendedict Drew: The Trickle Down System
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome (detail). Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome (detail). Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.

Is it a beating brain? Pulsating, pumping, streaming strands of black black lines. Or wait perhaps it is an embryo: dividing, spreading, evolving, mutating. A quivering uncomfortable mass of what we may become. This relentless throb thumping into my eyes, a hypnotic act of the digital spilling out of the screen into the reality of those black black hand painted lines which spread across the walls, across the floor.

They push me on, into the main space where I am surrounded, dwarfed by the bodily. Banners of intestinal patterns hang from the walls, intestines through which shit is channelled. Shit which trickles down, not money as was promised in that 80’s economic model. These banners mirror one another, create a reflection within the space. A reflection of the reflection present already within the work. Multiple layering and repeat adding to a sense of dislocation, a double take, a feeling of being overwhelmed. And with these intestinal forms are more banners. Squiggly black twisty messes of marks on punchy colour. Red. Red within the space adding to this sense of the visceral. Building upon the bodily sections present, which are only sections. What does this imply? Are these snapshots of the body suggesting that we are in a time in which we are no longer whole? A time beyond now, a dystopian future where we simply worship the wealthy, the rich, those with the money. This stage before me hints at this. It seems to act as an altar: a gong as a centrepiece, drums and screens surrounding, again arranged in a symmetrical manner, channelling thoughts of shamanism, hypnotism, of being sucked in and powerless, now incapable of making decisions. Even incapable of understanding: a woman on the screen is speaking and yet, I can only grasp one word or two. What is she talking about? And why do marks cross across the screen? They overlap her and themselves, create even more layers within this space. They seem to act to obscure, whilst also bringing a hand-drawn aesthetic into the digital, whilst the digital wires which mass from the screens seem to bring the digital into reality. There is cross over of what is real and what is unreal and a mess, it must be an intentional mess, as a result.

This mess, this confusion, forces me on around the corner into another room. And here there is more red. The red of welding screens arranged in a square within which a video of a muddy muddy quagmire plays. Are we about to become that man struggling within the mud? Are we already that man struggling within the mud? Is that donkey’s nose a premonition of the animals we have returned to being? The man slips and slides and scrambles. It appears existence is hopeless.

Moving on to the final room, a glowing yellow room which entices me in with the yellow of hope. Although there is no hope in there. More symmetry, more mirroring, more confusion. Dismembered hands channelling energy on the screen before me, and digital eyes collaged on top projecting outwards, reaching towards me. Other screens as bearers of flesh, gooey and soft, and yet not actually flesh. I cannot really gain the message, grasp this work, make many connections, and yet I like it. Aesthetically I am drawn to the bold, hand-drawn, hand-made pieces which contrast the slick digital effects. I relish this demonstration of the overwhelming world that we now inhabit, as it comforts me that I am not the only one to find it so. And I am also intrigued by this vision of the dystopian world that we may unconsciously wander into…


IAN BIRKHEAD In the Synthetic Bowel
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Ian Birkhead.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Ian Birkhead.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome (detail). Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome (detail). Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Ian Birkhead.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Ian Birkhead.

One of the firsts themes you’ll notice walking around the exhibition is the artists use of symmetry. The artist has used it in his previous work and obviously it helps with compositional balance, but I think in this case kind of suggests a cyclical nature to the journey he takes you on. For me at least it demonstrates the successful splitting of the cell at the start of the show, and also these hands that perhaps advertise products and they’re trying to hypnotise you while the video screens that are on either side of the room surround you in the synthetic bowel. Maybe after this you’ll be pooped out as a consumer crossed with a product. I also wonder if his work is in some way talking about the commodification of the self.

Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.

The main theme that showed its self to me and what I personally found quite interesting about the show was the combination of the synthetic and organic. Or perhaps more accurately the synthetic posing as the organic. This is first described in the wall hangings which are in a material reminiscent of a shower curtain or a table cloth with organic forms painted or printed onto them. The organic forms remind me of intestines but also roots and veins in there winding, connecting disorder, these are recurrent in the work. The central stage or alter holds two eyes and a that lead to a brain and at first glance they seem very organic but that might be due to the contrast of them against the backdrop of screens and wires and other very machined looking objects. On closer inspection the eyes are made of painted tinfoil. A manufactured material masquerading as something organic. Much like the relationship between social media influencers and there audience could be perceived as a (falsely) honest connection between brands and consumers when in reality its just another avenue for advertisement and consumption. In the last room there is a film playing on two screens that shows an ambiguous, at first glance fleshy, form that appears to be made form expanding foam an-other example of the artificial posing as the organic. As a whole this is representative to me of the human morphing into there consumer products. Or maybe it becoming less clear what the distinction between the consumer and the advertiser is. As well as highlighting consumer goods being en-trenched in the contemporary human experience.

Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Ian Birkhead.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Ian Birkhead.

The way things come out the screens and become physical is probably a direct reference to the trickle down theory and the new norm for consumer items to be replicated and produced and consumed quicker than ever, aided by social media and celebrity endorsement. This is why towards the end of the journey we watch a man bogged down by all the crap, that instead of trickling has pretty much flooded down underneath him to the point where he can barely walk.


JUN ABE Undergoing the Trickle-Down Syndrome: Underneath Your Flesh
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome (detail). Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome (detail). Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.

From the first work, I’m already dragged into the Drew’s art world. The first work is the pig skin-like surfaced lump with brain figured digital design collage in blue, which slightly expands and contracts with repeating heart-beat like sound. It looks my brain of having an epilepsy attack.

Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.

Then next, on the right and left wall, there are three-set brain-look photo based tapestries: red one on the right wall, and green one on the left as if they are right and left brain. Trickles of nerves literally down over the tapestries.

On the centre stage, there is a collaborative work:

Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Ian Birkhead.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Ian Birkhead.

Eye catching one is head-from-the-eye balls object surrounded by panels of road corns-ish figures. On each sides of the object, there are TV screens on which a woman is repeating unclear words with clacking noise of stones, and sometimes just a wasted land is projected. Black cables trickle down all over the floor.

Everything is scattered, noisy, occupied: there is no empty place. It is like our daily world where there are too much information and noise, never sleep, never stop.

On the left corner, the pile of newspapers is flowing nostalgically.

At the end, old-fashioned TV is, as if, left on the wooden box. On the screen, a man is stuck in the mud. The contrast of black and white TV screen and four red partitions around it don’t look vivid, rather the work seems to represent autism: shutting down oneself from the loud society and being stuck in black muddy inner silent world.

The works constitute what he calls submersion in social and environmental despair.

Though there is no real photo or video of human body, you can still “feel” it. You may feel as if your brain, body and mind are scanned, examined and exposed. At least I felt so.


TAMMY SMITH A sensory journey through absurdly visualised bodily functions vs the state economy
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.

I’m divided by what I’ve seen to how I feel. Upon entering Benedict Drew’s The Trickle-Down Syndrome exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery you’re greeted by a variety of visuals and sound. Drew uses a variety of materials, from animation, video, 2D

Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.

images, sculpture, installation and mixes both old and new technology. There’s a play with scale and his inspirations range from 1930’s stage sets to surrealist landscapes. He also references the human body and there are suggestions that it’s bodily functions that are hinted to rather than references to money or some material wealth.

Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.
Benedict Drew [2017] The Trickle-Down Syndrome. Installation view. Whitechapel Gallery, London. Photo Dorothy Hunter.

The message seems to border on the absurd and there’s this play between crude and refined. Did he run out of materials or budget when making some of his installations? Or is he making a bigger point? Likewise, having the cables and technology that enables him to visualise his films, does that somehow enhance his meanings? The absurd is also visualised with Drew’s powerful use of bright neon colours, clashes of random shapes and bizarre sounds such as the noise two pebbles make against each other.

Is it still classed as art if I don’t value or identify with it? Can I respect it even if I do not like it and find the ‘emotional sensory journey’ uncomfortable? Would I like this exhibition more if it wasn’t so in your face? Is it performance art if it’s about the viewer’s journey around the 1 artwork scattered throughout the one direction curated room? The experience of the journey is just as important? So the concept is stronger than the actual art? Would changing the way it’s curated change are feelings to the work?

The merits would be that it’s bold as his subject matter is niche and he’s clearly passionate about his work, it’s not necessarily going to be to everyone’s taste. How he chooses to exhibition his final pieces is intriguing, if indeed he gets much say.

In summary, it’s big, brash and bold, it’s an insight into the artist as much as it’s about the work. The journey you take is certainly an experience and it’s vagueness is cleverly left up to you to judge whether it’s brave or annoying. Is the concept better than the outcome? Do I appreciate what I’ve seen? Is this art?

I would argue that it’s not sophisticated, it lacks the multi layers of depth and meaning and is so niche that it’s like Marmite, you’re either going to love it or hate it. Which in one way it great to get such extremely responses out from his audience, but for me it just falls short, it doesn’t push the boundaries, it doesn’t use shock tactics and it doesn’t connect.

The fact that it makes me the viewer question this means that on some level maybe it deserves a little more of my respect and like Marmite only you can decide by taking the journey with the artist yourself.


Commitment / Autonomy

BOOKCLUB#20 Foucault: Of Other Spaces on Unison moored in Limehouse, 15 Oct 2017. Photo by Maria Christoforatou.
BOOKCLUB#20 Foucault: Of Other Spaces on Unison moored in Limehouse, 15 Oct 2017. Photo by Maria Christoforatou.

Many thanks to everyone who joined the October book club on Foucault’s Of Other Spaces. A special thanks to Dasha Loyko for facilitating this excellent discussion and to Anastasia Freygang for hosting us on Unison.

On Friday, 10 November we’re reading Theodor Adorno’s essay Commitment and discussing the autonomy of art with Nat Pimlott at LARC. Doors open at 6:30pm for tea on the ground floor, the book club will begin at 7pm on the top floor.

Booking is not required but please arrive early, doors will close when the book club starts or if we reach maximum capacity. When you arrive please ring the bell located to the left of the entrance. For more information and to download the text please visit the website.

See you there!

[SYMPOSIUM] #21 Adorno Commitment. Flyer by Nat Pimlott.[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB
Adorno: Commitment
Friday, 10 November 2017, 6:30pm-9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by Nat Pimlott
Suggested donation £2

Patrick Mimran [2004] Billboard Project, New York. Photo Sophia Kosmaoglou.[ART&CRITIQUE] COURSE
Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice
11—15 December 2017, 10am—4pm
Chelsea College of Arts UAL 16 John Islip Street London SW1P 4JU
Tutor Sophia Kosmaoglou
Booking via UAL

Daniel Clowes [1991] End. Art School Confidential.[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS]
NOVEMBER 2017
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please send us the details.

IMAGE CREDITS
[SYMPOSIUM] #21 Adorno: Commitment. Flyer by Nat Pimlott.
Daniel Clowes [1991] Art School Confidential. Eightball #7, Nov 1991.

Heterotopias

Wade Guyton: Das New Yorker Atelier, Abridged. Sep 2017 - Feb 2018, Serpentine Gallery, London. Photo by Mandy Wong.
Wade Guyton: Das New Yorker Atelier, Abridged. Sep 2017 – Feb 2018, Serpentine Gallery, London. Photo by Mandy Wong.

We got the autumn season off to a great start last weekend! Thanks to Anca Baciu and Mandy Wong for curating, and to everyone who came along on the art crawl from Marylebone to South Kensington on Saturday. We started off with Allora & Calzadilla at the Lisson Gallery, where we wondered how the exhibition lives up to the political critique in the press release. Looking at Wade Guyton‘s work at the Serpentine, we wondered how the large-scale digital prints on stretched canvas or digital prints arranged in display cases are “pioneering painting techniques that explore the impact of digital technologies”. We more or less came to the conclusion that this could be justified by referencing the work’s engagement with formalist concerns such as flatness, surface, illusion etc. We got utterly exhausted by the V&A LGBTQ Tour, which was delivered with energy and enthusiasm. We unanimously applauded this excellent initiative, but were disappointed at the emphasis on anecdotal stories about celebrities.

First Alternative Education Open-Day. 1 October 2017, SET Space, London.
First Alternative Education Open-Day. 1 October 2017, SET, London.

Many thanks to School of the Damned for inviting is to the First Alternative Education Open Day! It was a privilege to be part of this excellent landmark event together with other alternative art schools. We covered a lot of ground in a relentless series of workshops, met new people, exchanged ideas, played games and had a great time. Many thanks to Maria Christoforatou for preparing and facilitating our workshop, we collected participant responses and we’re putting those together to share. In the meantime you can download the handout with A4 poster.

[SYMPOSIUM]#20. Flyer by Dasha Loyko.[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB
Foucault: Of Other Spaces
Sunday, 15 October 2017, 1:30pm – 4:00pm
Yurt Café, St. Katharine’s Precinct, 2 Butcher Row, London E14 8DS
Facilitated by Dasha Loyko
Free, booking via Eventbrite

Our next event is the book club on Michel Foucault’s essay Of Other Spaces, facilitated by Dasha Loyko and hosted at Unison, a former lifeboat turned project space by Anastasia Freygangto create a shifting pocket of inquiries”. We’re meeting at Yurt Café, located next to Limehouse station before we walk to the boat moored nearby. For more information, to download the text and book your place please visit the page.

Daniel Clowes [1991] End. Art School Confidential.[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS]
OCTOBER 2017
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please use the contact form to send us the details.

IMAGE CREDITS
ART SKOOL CO-OP. Poster by Sophia Kosmaoglou.
[SYMPOSIUM] #20 Foucault: Of Other Spaces. Flyer by Dasha Loyko.
Daniel Clowes [1991] Art School Confidential. Eightball #7, Nov 1991.

Autumn Rituals

After a packed season of events and shared activities with alternative art schools we enjoyed the summer alright! Read the bulletin on our adventures and find out about some of the places and faces of the alternative art education movement.

Now we’re looking forward to autumn rituals, open days, book fairs, art affairs, bonfires and getting together with warm cups of tea to exchange ideas, make decisions and change the future of art education.

On Saturday, 30 September we’re joining Mandy Wong and Anca Baciu for a crawl from Marylebone to South Kensington. We’re looking forward to some interesting discussions when we visit exhibitions by Allora & Calzadilla at Lisson, Wade Guyton at the Serpentine, and wrap up with the V&A LGBTQ Tour.

On Sunday, 1 October we’re getting together for an exciting array of workshops at School of the Damned’s First 100% Official Unofficial Alternative Education Open-Day! If you want to come along, get involved or help out please see below for more details.

[ARTCRAWL]#13. Flyer by Mandy Wong.[ART&CRITIQUE] ART CRAWL
Marylebone to South Kensington
Saturday, 30 September 2017, 1:45pm – 5pm
Meet 1:45pm at Lisson Gallery 27 Bell Street London NW15BY
Curated by Anca Baciu and Mandy Wong
All welcome, booking not required

FIRST 100% OFFICIAL UNOFFICIAL ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION OPEN-DAY[ART&CRITIQUE] WORKSHOP
School of the Damned’s
First Official Unofficial Alternative Education Open-Day
Sunday, 1 October 2017, 1pm-6pm
Set Space, 76-89 Alscot Road, London SE1 3AW
Booking via Eventbrite

We’re contributing to School of the Damned’s Open Day with a participatory workshop on alternative art education and we need your help! If you want to come along, get involved or help out please get in touch by responding to this email or just meet us at Set Space on 1 October at 11am. This is a 30 minute workshop, scheduled to start at 1pm.

Daniel Clowes [1991] End. Art School Confidential.[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS]
SEPTEMBER 2017
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please use the contact form to send us the details.

IMAGE CREDITS
[ARTCRAWL] #13 Marylebone to South Kensington. Flyer by Mandy Wong.
Sean Roy Parker [2017] HOW TO SELF-ORGANISE.
Daniel Clowes [1991] Art School Confidential. Eightball #7, Nov 1991.

Alternative Art Schools

Louise Ashcroft [2017] All My Lives. Arebyte LASER, 17 July 2017.
Louise Ashcroft [2017] All My Lives. Arebyte LASER, 17 July 2017.

July was a busy month, we had several meetings and got together with alternative art schools to ignite a discussion on cooperation and exchange ideas on the future of education in the arts.

On Friday, 14 July we got together for an open meeting and workshop on self-organisation. We shared ideas and decided to follow-up with a series of workshops to address new questions that came up, to consider the part that self-organisation plays in alternative art education, and to address our own cooperative practices.

Sneak preview of 100% Southend, Twenty One, Southend-on-Sea. Photo Cristina Sousa-Martínez.
Sneak preview of 100% Southend, Twenty One, Southend-on-Sea. Photo Cristina Sousa-Martínez.

On Monday, 17 July it was great to catch up with members of AltMFA and  to hear all about their future plans at Louise Ashcroft’s exhibition All My Lives at Arebyte Laser.

Maximum Overdrive, 20 May - 10 Sep 2017. Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea.
Maximum Overdrive, 20 May – 10 Sep 2017. Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea.

On Sunday, 23 July we headed to Southend where were greeted by Tricia North and Michaela Bannon, two members of the first cohort of The Other MA (TOMA), a 12-month alternative art education model based at Metal Art School.  Hot on their heels was Emma Edmondson, founder and coordinator of TOMA, and we set off for an absolutely epic tour from Southend-on-Sea to Leigh-on-Sea.

Our first stop was the Railway Hotel, where we were joined by Simon Cole down from London on a different route. After catching up over vegan lunch and a drink we headed towards the seafront for a sneak preview of Twenty One, a brand new venue in Southend. We caught the installation of 100% Southend, an open access exhibition for the launch of the new space. We circled back through town to Focal Point Gallery to see the group exhibition Maximum Overdrive and Big Screen Southend, an open access rolling submission public screen. Follow the link to find out how to submit your work.

Emma Edmondson at Metal Art School, Southend-on-Sea.
Emma Edmondson at Metal Art School, Southend-on-Sea.

We passed the ostentatious University of Essex student accommodation building, the monumental VAT building, the Beecroft Art Gallery and enormous developments on the way to the Old Waterworks, an independent, artist-led space. We saw the artists’ studios, darkroom, printmaking facilities and Alison Lloyd’s exhibition Act 1 – 1 Act – Walking the Gallery, Closed – Walking Birchen Hat.

Richard Baxter's studio Old Leigh Studios, Leigh-on-Sea.
Richard Baxter’s studio Old Leigh Studios, Leigh-on-Sea.

Then we headed through streets of terraced houses to West Road Tap for a drink and chat about alternative art education and coops. We set off along London Road to Chalkwell Park, home of TOMA and Metal Art School. Emma gave us a tour of the studio spaces, the exhibition and meeting spaces, the cosy living quarters and work spaces with excellent views of the Thames estuary. Visit the website for more information on Time and Space Residencies at Metal, the next deadline is on 30 September 2017.

After bidding farewell to Metal and the beautiful park we got caught in a downpour which let up as soon as we got to Chalkwell station. The sun and tide were both out by the time we arrived Leigh-on-Sea where TOMA artist Richard Baxter’s studio is located. Richard told us about the boat-building history of the studio, he showed us his work and we talked about reading groups, practice, theory and choices in alternative art education.

Still somewhat damp from the storm we piled into the Mayflower to recount the the day over calamari and beer. We eventually had to run for the train back to London because we got carried away with the view of the moody estuary. For more images please see the album on our Facebook page. Thank you TOMA for a fantastic day!

Renata Minoldo [2017] Freehand embroidery. School of the Damned's Common Room, Guest Projects, 22-29 July 2017.
Renata Minoldo [2017] Freehand embroidery. School of the Damned’s Common Room, Guest Projects, 22-29 July 2017.
Sean Roy Parker [2017] Recycled pressings, work-in-progress. School of the Damned's Common Room, Guest Projects, 22-29 July 2017.
Sean Roy Parker [2017] Recycled pressings, work-in-progress. School of the Damned’s Common Room, Guest Projects, 22-29 July 2017.
School of the Damned [2017] Common Room, a public programme of free events. Guest Projects, 22-29 July 2017.
School of the Damned [2017] Common Room, a public programme of free events. Guest Projects, 22-29 July 2017.

On Monday, 24 July we had a special edition of the book club at School of The Damned‘s (SOTD) Common Room, a week-long public programme of free educational workshops, talks and participatory events at Guest Projects, 22-29 July 2017.

SOTD is an alternative contemporary art postgraduate course based in the UK. The school runs a labour exchange economy based, offering a series of skills hour-for-hour in return for guests’ time, venues workshop provision, etc.

For the book club, Renata Minoldo prepared and chaired a discussion on Pedagogical Projects: How do you bring a classroom to life as if it were a work of art? An essay from Claire Bishop’s 2012 book Artifical Hells on pedagogical participatory art projects.

The discussion was entirely unrestrained, we meandered beyond territories relevant to the text in several interesting directions, focusing mainly on pedagogical practice and ethics. We might benefit from a return to the text or a closer look at concepts such as Foucault’s notion of parrhesia (the obligation to speak openly), Adorno’s concept of autonomy and Guattari’s ethico-aesthetic paradigm and transversality in the context of art and education.

We were excited to meet several members of the SOTD class of 2018, aka Year of the Rooster before the book club, and to talk about their work. Sean Roy Parker ran a Wildflower and Floristry walk on the previous day and was busy  reconfiguring his collection of found objects  into new ensembles. We were sorry to miss the discussion on Self-organisation, Access and Sharing on the previous day and we heard all about the fascinating workshop Thinking with Water: Pooling resources, research and ideas with Emily Wooley.

We viewed the beautiful display of work  from Renata’s Freehand Embroidery Technique workshop from the previous day. Renata combines costume design, visual art and art education in her practice, she is interested in pedagogy, communities, education, interdisciplinarity and participatory art, both as member of SOTD’s class of 2018 and in the context of her art practice. She has compiled the School of the Damned Open Library, which focuses primarily on alternative art education.

Thanks to SOTD, Renata Minoldo and everyone who joined this riveting discussion on art, participation and pedagogy. It was a pleasure to be part of this exciting programme of events and to enjoy the positive energy of this friendly, cooperative and creative environment. The fallen fruit crumble was delicious.

Self-organisation

The bad news is that our application for the MayDay Rooms residency was unsuccessful. The good news is that we’re making progress with our research on alternative art education, radical pedagogy and self-organisation by developing our links with alternative art schools and self-organised groups in London and the UK.

If you’d like to get involved please come to the meeting on Self-organsation on Friday, 14 July 6:30-8:30pm. The meeting is a chance to discuss our plans to develop collaborative, cooperative and collective practices as part of our pedagogical remit.

We have a series of meet-ups with alternative art schools lined up in July. First up we’re joining AltMFA to view Louise Ashcroft’s solo exhibition All My Lives at Arebyte LASER on Monday, 17 July 2017, 6-9pm.

On Sunday, 23 July we’re visiting Southend-on-Sea to meet members of The Other MA (TOMA) for a tour of the art school, local galleries and artists’ studios led by Emma Edmondson, founder and coordinator of TOMA.

On Monday, 24 July we’re reading Claire Bishop’s essay Pedagogical Projects with Renata Minoldo. This special edition of the book club is part of School of the Damned‘s residency at Guest Projects.

See you there!

[ART&CRITIQUE] Open Meeting, 12 May 2017. Photo by Penelope Kupfer.[ART&CRITIQUE] OPEN MEETING
Self-organisation
Friday, 14 July 2017
18:30-20:30
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
All welcome, no need to book

Louise Ashcroft [2017] All My Lives, Arebyte LASER.Meet-up with ALTMFA
Louise Ashcroft: All My Lives
Monday, 17 July 2017
18:00-21:00
Arebyte LASER, 2 Pear Tree Street, London EC1V 3SB
All welcome, no need to book

The Other MA. METAL Art School, Southend-on-Sea.[ART&CRITIQUE] ART CRAWL
Visit to TOMA in Southend-on-Sea

Sunday, 23 July 2017, 12:20-18:00
Meet 12:20pm at Southend Central Station, Southend-on-Sea SS1 1AB
Curated by Emma Edmondson

Free, please book your place

Tania Bruguera & Anri Sala [2005] Cátedra Arte de Conducta (Behavior Art School), Havana, Cuba_thumb[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB
Bishop: Pedagogical Projects
Monday, 24 July 2017, 19:00–21:00
Guest Projects, 1 Andrews Road, London E8 4QL
Chaired by Renata Minoldo
Free, please book your place

Ward Shelley [2008] Who Invented the Avant Garde, ver. 2. Oil and toner on mylar, 28.5 x 62.5 inches.[ART&CRITIQUE] COURSE
Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice
Mon-Fri, 7—11 August 2017, 10:00 – 16:00
Chelsea College of Art UAL, 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU
Tutor Sophia Kosmaoglou
Please follow the link for booking info

Gabriel Cornelius von Max [1889] Monkeys as Judges of Art (detail)[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS]
JULY 2017
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please use the contact form to send us the details.

IMAGE CREDITS
[ART&CRITIQUE] Open Meeting, 12 May 2017. Photo by Penelope Kupfer.
Louise Ashcroft [2017] All My Lives, Arebyte LASER.
The Other MA. METAL Art School, Southend-on-Sea.
Gabriel Cornelius von Max [1889] Monkeys as Judges of Art (detail). Oil on canvas, 85 × 107 cm.

Dismeasure, diversity & dérive

Exciting times! We have a cornucopia of events and collaborations coming up in June and July, we’ve stared establishing co-operative practices and handing-over jobs, we submitted a residency application to MayDay Rooms to research and develop our educational programme and we’re submitting a workshop proposal for V22 Summer Club.

Teaching for people who prefer not to teach, edited by Miriam Bayerdörfer and Rosalie Schweiker, designed by Margherita Huntley. ANDpublishing 2017.

On 22 May we attended a talk by Rosalie Schweiker, the latest event in AltMFA’s Future Programme supported with funding from A-N. Rosalie and designer Margherita Huntley presented their forthcoming booklet titled Teaching for people who prefer not to teach. Inspired by the controversial Little Red SchoolbookTeaching for people who prefer not to teach is a collection of resources for zero-hours educators, it questions current teaching practices in art education, introducing collectivity, humour, experimentation and invisible labour. Rosalie also talked about her work policy, work experiences and collaborations with other artists, everyone shared their own experiences and we discussed precarity, exploitation, making good decisions and having boundaries. We also heard about the history of AltMFA, how it is organised and what problems they’ve encountered.

This Friday, 9 June we’re discussing The Dismeasure of Art, an interview with Paolo Virno at Cafe Tropics in Elephant & Castle. This event will be chaired by Rubén Salgado Perez and if the weather is good we will be sitting outside, followed at 8pm by a live band!

The [ARTCRAWL] is coming up on Saturday, 24 June. This month we’re venturing off the beaten path to visit and discuss exhibitions at the Freud Museum and Furtherfield, with a stop at Thomas Dane on the way.

In July we’re planning a joint workshop together with AltMFA and we’re going on an excursion to visit TOMA in Southend-on-Sea. Please stay tuned for more information.

Kinki Club, Bologna. Photo courtesy Graziella Ronchi for Spaghetti Disco - Creare Spazio Alle Memorie 1975-85, Red Gallery, London, Oct 2016, curated by Lorenzo Cibrario[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB

Virno: The Dismeasure of Art
Friday, 9 June 2017, 18:00 – 20:00
Tropics Café, Grow Elephant, New Kent Road, London SE17 1SL
Please note that this event will start promptly at 6pm
Free, please book your place

 [ARTCRAWL] #11[ART&CRITIQUE] ART CRAWL

Hampstead to Finsbury Park (via Mayfair)
Saturday, 24 June 2017
14:00 -17:00
Starts 2pm at Freud Museum 20 Maresfield Gardens London NW3 5SX
Free, booking not required

Imi Knoebel [2014] Raum 19 IV (detail). Galerie Christian Lethert, Cologne.[ART&CRITIQUE] COURSE
Curating Contemporary Art
3 – 7 July 2017
10:00 – 16:00
Chelsea College of Art UAL, 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU
Please see the page for booking info

Ward Shelley [2008] Who Invented the Avant Garde, ver. 2. Oil and toner on mylar, 28.5 x 62.5 inches.[ART&CRITIQUE] COURSE
Critical Theory in Contemporary Art Practice
7 — 11 August 2017
10:00 – 16:00
Chelsea College of Art UAL, 16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU
Please see the page for booking info

IMAGE CREDITS
Kinki Club, Bologna. Spaghetti Disco, Red Gallery, London, Oct 2016. Photo by Graziella Ronchi.
Poster for Sharing Diverse Practices on Common Ground, 10 June 2017 (detail), by Rachel Ara.
Anonymous. Rechthoekige cartouche, 16th century. Photo by Paul K, 2008.
Gabriel Cornelius von Max [1889] Monkeys as Judges of Art (detail). Oil on canvas, 85 × 107 cm.

Alternative art education & co-operation

On Friday, 12 May 2017 we have an [OPENMEETING] to lay the foundations of a new alternative art school, coordinate future projects and institute collective ways of working at [ART&CRITIQUE]. If you’d like to get involved you’re welcome to join us!

The [BOOKCLUB] is back on Friday, 9 June 2017 at at Tropics Café in Elephant & Castle with The Dismeasure of Art, an interview with Paolo Virno (2009). This discussion will be chaired by Rubén Salgado Perez.

On Saturday, 10 June 2017, join us for an all day [STUDIOCRIT] at Thames-Side Studios in Woolwich to discuss the work of conceptual artist Rachel Ara and cross-disciplinary artist & curator Laura Hudson.

Our trip to Documenta 14 in late June has been postponed till September due to various setbacks. Please get in touch if you’d like to come along or help co-ordinate the trip.

Chartist Meeting on Kennington Common, 10 April 1848. Photo by William Kilburn[ART&CRITIQUE] OPEN MEETING
Alternative Art Education, Co-operation & Co-ordination
Friday, 12 May 2017
6:30-8:30pm
Arch 213, Ponsford Street, London E9 6JU
Free, booking not required

Kinki Club, Bologna. Photo courtesy Graziella Ronchi for Spaghetti Disco - Creare Spazio Alle Memorie 1975-85, Red Gallery, London, Oct 2016, curated by Lorenzo Cibrario[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB
Virno: The Dismeasure of Art
Friday, 9 June 2017, 18:00 – 20:30
Tropics Café, Grow Elephant, New Kent Road, London  SE17 1SL
Chaired by Rubén Salgado Perez
Free, please book your place

[STUDIOCRIT]#5-thumb[ART&CRITIQUE] STUDIO CRIT
Sharing Diverse Practices on Common Ground
Laura Hudson & Rachel Ara
Saturday, 10 June 2017, 10:30–17:30
Education Space, Thames-Side Studios, Harrington Way, London SE18 5NR
Free, please book your place

Gabriel Cornelius von Max [1889] Monkeys as Judges of Art (detail)[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS]
MAY 2017
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please use the contact form to send us the details.

IMAGE CREDITS
Great Chartist Meeting on Kennington Common, 10 April 1848 (detail). Photo by William Kilburn.
Kinki Club, Bologna. Photo Graziella Ronchi for Spaghetti Disco, Red Gallery, London, Oct 2016.
Poster for Sharing Diverse Practices on Common Ground, 10 June 2017 (detail), by Rachel Ara.
Gabriel Cornelius von Max [1889] Monkeys as Judges of Art (detail). Oil on canvas, 85 × 107 cm.