Tuesday, 1 July 2014

BENEATH THE PAVEMENT - An Introduction (Day Two)


If Day 1 had been about context setting, Day two was really about getting down to some doing. After sleeping on it for a night, the group was asked to identify one good thing and one bad thing about the target area.

After a great talk from Jennie SYSON about her vast experience in working in the Public Realm,  the groups set about idea generation and some initial testing.

It is worth noting here that this programme is inspired by two key texts/works.

In Adam Chodzko's Out Of Place (2000), he talks about ways of looking.
I see the public space as being networked by communication, desire, exchange and engagement. I see the network as being very flexible and constantly changing and contingenet. Therefore it can be played with and transformed to propose new possibilities for space.
He talks about not simply looking but looking for something and that that something maybe should not be there or may not even be there. Once the flaw or gap is found, it is possible to flag it and fill it.

Through art these punctures, things which should not be there, become holes, apertures for looking, within public space. They may perhaps allow us to see clearly, but briefly, for a while
It was with this sentiment of finding the gap/flaw and then making the brief but clarifying intervention that informed the day's doing activities.

Public Art Now is a national programme of talks, films, publications and workshops, devised by Situations with our partners, dedicated to showcasing internationally significant new forms of public art. They affirm that
The face of public art is changing. Over the past ten years, orthodox artistic approaches to working outside the confines of the gallery or museum have been challenged by a new wave of artists who are provoking us to see the world anew.
 Their works unsettle rather than authenticate place identity; disrupt and intrude into the everyday rather than embellish; occupy and contest use of public space, rather than predetermine its design. They encourage us to get lost and challenge preconceived ideas about where art belongs and when and where it might take place.
Within Public Art Now, Bristol’s internationally renowned public art producers, Situations have codified a brand new set of rules - a doctrine for effective contemporary public art.

We agree.

The New Rules of Public Art

So, channelling Chodzko and The new rules of Public Art, the four groups got out and about and started to intervene, with pop up cafe's, street litter treasure, NFC tagging, chatting under umbrella's - or Chumbrella's (!), and much more. Over hte course of the next few weeks, we'll be hearing from all of the artists involved, talking about their 2 days' activities and plans for their future proposals.

Finally, and over some delicious cake and a brew, the whole group got back together to have a think about the final part of the program - how to draw all the learning and activity together?

We knew at the outset, that there would be a publication produced, which knitted all of the themes and activities together - and some sort of presentation event, at which each of the artists would present their proposal in some form - and to which targeted city stakeholders and potential movers and shakers would be invited.

The main difficulties here were in deciding who to invite and how to present. Everyone was asked to list the individuals and groups, either specific or generic, that they would like to see at the event, and those suggestions along with some more that will come out of upcoming deliberations between AirSpace, Appetite and the CPP will feed into final invite list.

The "how to present" formed the largest part of this discussion, and in particular, where the event should take place, how to ensure an equal and equitable treatment of all of the involved artists, and crucially, how to achieve the correct tone - so as not to alienate a group of people who don't necessarily automatically "get" the arts.

In truth at the end of the day, it seemed enough to raise a series of issues and concerns here. With the Presentation Event planned for September, there is enough time to find the right way through.

And then it was time to close - but not before a group photo for posterity. Watch out for future developments and hear about the individual artists' views.

No comments:

Post a comment