Tag Archives: Co-operative economy

๐Ÿฅง ‘More pie, more sky pls’* ๐Ÿš€

๐Ÿฅง ‘More pie, more sky pls’* ๐Ÿš€

I’m thrilled to invite you to an artist’s talk that I’m doing for my local alternative art school! hARTslane Alternative (HA!) was founded by artists Rachel Lonsdale and Sarah-Athina Nahasis, who have put together a stellar programme. The school is informed by an interest in artists’ working lives, and a concern for those who are ‘outside’. The syllabus is based on a skill-sharing model, alongside crits, artists’ talks, off-site visits and exhibitions. I’m looking forward to meet the cohort for a discussion on alternative art education and their ongoing development beyond the end of the course. Join us to survey the movement, take a look at the practices of alternative art schools, and rethink the concept of the alternative, independent, free or DIY art school. What is the value of alternative art education? What are the benefits of independent art schools and how can we build on them? What are the drawbacks of indy art schools, and how can we attend to these? We will then workshop either a proposal for a new school, or a guide on how to start a DIY art school, peer support group or collective.

๐Ÿซ€ DIY Art School
19 June 2024, 6-9pm, Tickets ยฃ6
hARTslane Alternative, 17 Hart’s Lane, New Cross, London SE14 5UP
HA! was launched in April 2024 at hARTslane, a community-run gallery in New Cross. The open call for 2025 will be published towards the end of this year.ย 

In the autumn I’m looking forward to teach at the inaugural Alice Black Academy Academy. I will be delivering three lecture-seminars on critique, the institution of art, and Spectacle and the everyday. Alice Black is a young gallery, established in 2017 to represent artists whose work is materially driven and handmade. I’m so excited for the opportunity to bring these lectures to a new audience.

๐Ÿงœ๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ Alice Black Academy Autumn 2024
16 Sep – 9 Oct 2024 (TBC), Tickets ยฃ125
Alice Black, 7 Windmill St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2JD

The upcoming dates for Art + Critique are online! The course runs 15 Oct 2024 – 4 Mar 2025, 6:30-8:30pm with a new Pay What You Can scheme. I’m hoping this will help maintain the accessibility of the course and make it more sustainable. This may be the last time I offer the course in this format. It has been in development for 15 years, expanding and growing exponentially into a comprehensive programme on art practice and theory. On the one hand, I would like to expand this even further into a year-long independent study programme for a group of artists who would benefit from an extended period of critical engagement with their practice in a community context. On the other, I would like to make the lecture-seminar series of the course available to a wider audience, and launch a bundle of other courses and regular activities for artists, curators, writers and art audiences, that have been in the pipeline. I’m hoping to trial 1-2 of these in Spring 2025 and will post further updates closer the time.

๐Ÿ’ Art + Critique, Autumn 2024
Critical & Contextual Studies in Art Practice Online
15 Oct 2024 โ€“ 4 Mar 2025, Tuesdays 18:30-20:30 BST/GMT+1
Pay What You Can ยฃ578 / ยฃ468 / ยฃ358

I wrote about co-operative art education for Towards New Schools, an essay series on recent shifts in art and design education by the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. Working with the Editorial Board was an excellent experience, Iโ€™m especially indebted to Harriet Foyster for her work and care in the editing process. *The title of this update is from a comment by the wonderful Emily McMehen in response to the essay. It set my mind at ease, because I’m often asked why I chose this essay title:

๐Ÿฅง A co-operative art school is pie in the sky (2023) Towards New Schools, Epistemic shifts in art and design education. Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam. Gerrit Rietveld Academie is an independent university of applied sciences for Fine Arts and Design, the Sandberg Instituut is the postgraduate program of the academy. Among the amazing resources by staff and students you will find: Extra Intra, an overview of intercurricular platforms, student initiatives and events; Hear! Here! a research project on education, exchange and listening, with a focus on Critical Pedagogy; Podcasts; and the brilliant Student Council website.ย 

In other co-operative news, I attended the Coโ€‘op Hackathon in Oct 2023, and I’ve been meaning to write about this, but here we are. The event was a thoroughly positive experience. It was organised by Terry Tyldesley, who is a musician and producer, and her creative background was reflected in every aspect of the event. I was also very excited to meet Rose Marley, the new CEO of Co-ops UK, who is already bringing positive change. All the projects inspired the hopeful sense of a common future, as did the amazing people behind them. I will post a more lengthy review at a later stage. Suffice to say that I’m still working through all the fabulous tips and ideas that I came away with for the co-operative federation of art schools. I also re-connected with the amazing Larisa Blazic, and I will post more about what we are hatching in future updates. In the meantime, here’s a video about the Hackathon:

๐Ÿ’ป Stories from the Coโ€‘op Hackathon 2023
19-20 Oct 2023, The Foundry, 17 Oval Way, London SE11 5RR
There have been a number of exciting developments and milestones for the co-operative federation project within the last year and I’m really looking forward to complete the many offshoots of the project. But, due to lack of funding, the work is on hold or chugging along in the background until I have time to put in a DYCP application.

๐Ÿ““ In solidarity economy news, the Lonely Writers’ Club was a therapeutic 3-week lull before the start of the academic year last autumn. Led by Yancey Stickler and Austin Robey, this project was an offshoot of Metalabel, a unique publishing platform for creative groups and collectives launched in 2022. Developments like this indicate as sea-change in the mindset of many people who work in the creative/digital industry. Partly due to Covid, and partly due to all the layoffs in the digital industries, many of these workers are rejecting the culture of competition and burn out, and embracing collectivity and collaboration in solidarity economies.ย  While I have reservations with this conservative approach to solidarity, mutual aid and the commons, these developments can only be a good thing. Some recommended reading and viewing: After The Creator Economy by Austin Robey and Severin Matusek (2023), introduced by Matusek in Whatโ€™s after the creator economy? Interdependence.fm’s podcast Post-Individualism, Metalabels and Web 3 with Yancey Strickler (2022),ย  Post-Individual (2024) and Adam Curtis on the dangers of self-expression (2017) by Yancey Strickler. Each link in this paragraph will lead you to a host of additional resources.

๐Ÿ–Œ๏ธ Finally, if you engage in one act of self-care for your practice and mental health in 2025, I highly recommend Artquest’s 30works/30days. The highlight of my day in April was seeing all the amazing work that others had made. On the first day I got the work in by the skin of my teeth, then I worked at different times of day, leaving enough time to come back to it or make something else. The work was both a record of the day, as well as the theme that made every day special. Each day brought a different kind of challenge, it created some anxiety and longer work hours, but all the more rewarding because you completed something – or at least made a good go at it.

This daily manual engagement was empowering and invigorating in itself, but also because it was an investment in something for its own sake. I made the rules and the process involved discovery, inspiration, attention, invention, speculation, experimentation and so on. This mindset also revealed my teaching practice to me as a form of sculpture. Preparing a course or workshop is a highly conceptual and speculative process, and you cannot prefigure what will happen in the pedagogical environment. Rather than working with concepts and variables when updating my courses, I have started to visualise them as sculptures, intuitively hacking parts off, taking them apart and putting them back together in radical new configurations. Let’s see if it works.