March 2009

Lapdogs was installed as part of the exhibition Lapdogs of the Bourgeoisie, at the Arnolfini in Bristol, May 1st 2009, and the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo, November 2008.

Lapdogs storyboard

Lapdogs of the Bourgeoisie: Trailer 4min (approx)

Artist: Abbas  Rahman

Mentor 1: Artist – Lara Baladi
Mentor 2: Art Critic – Tirdad Zolghadr
Mentor 3: Curator – Nav Haq

Theme music: - bold, strident
Off-screen: - noise and shouts of a street scene

Lapdogs shoot

Scene 1: Exterior
Exterior: Typical Cairo street café – men drink coffee and smoke shisha
Fade from black to ABBAS - a café waiter


Meet Abbas Abd Allah, a 31 year old waiter from the town of Embabah

I just finished reading Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton. Thornton guides us through seven different days –constructed over a five year research period. Each day is a description of one of the institutional structures that comprise the market for contemporary art: a Christies auction, the famous art school ‘crit’ of Michael Asher, the Basel Art fair, the build-up to the Turner Prize, the offices of Artforum magazine, the corporate studio of Takashi Murakami and the Venice Biennale. A glaring omission is that one of the days was not spent at a contemporary art museum, or even a particular high-end gallery.

Despite the odd inclusion of Asher’s ‘crit’, and Thornton's insistance that "the art world is much broader than the art market," her mapping of an art world, revolves around the highly visible competitive market. 

Museum Futures: Distributed is a transcript of the machinima record of the centenary interview with Moderna Museet’s executive Ayan Lindquist.

1 May - 28 Sep 2001
Tate Modern and the Bank of England Museum; London

Seminar with Neil Cummings
Saturday, 28 March 2009, 3-6pm

Organised by The Showroom and Afterall
Venue: The Cockpit Theatre
Gateforth Street (Off Church Street)
London, NW8 8EH

The Showroom and Afterall are pleased to invite you to a seminar with London-based artist Neil Cummings.

In the summer of 2008 I walked as a pilgrim to Santiago de Compostela. I started at St Jean de Pied a Port in France, walked over the Pyrenees and then for a month west across Spain to Santiago. In fact, I walked on to Finisterre - the end of the earth.

People have been walking this route for over 1,000 years. Its an astonishing intersection of beautiful landscape, amazing architecture, great wine and food but best of all, lovely fellow pilgrims.

Last week I went to see a film The Class - actually its called Entre Les Murs, by Laurent Catenet; it won the Golden Palm at Cannes. It's a riveting semi-autobiographical film with teacher François  Bégaudeau - who wrote an initial film treatment, playing a version of himself - François. Its set between the walls of tough school in a suburb of Paris where François engages a class of 14-15 year olds, of differing cultures, ethnicities, attitudes and abilities in a microcosm of contemporary France.


A short and partial CV - 2018

I was born in Wales and live in London.  I'm a professor at Chelsea College of Arts, a member of Critical Practice; and on the editorial board of Documents of Contemporary Art

I have worked with museums, banks, galleries, archives, auction houses, enthusiasts, places of education and department stores in London, New York, Geneva, Cairo and Warsaw. I have explored the entanglements of art and capital in 19th century Manchester, linked the Tate and Bank of England through gifts and their subsequent debt, constructed possible futures for museums and impersonated a famous art dealer. These projects, although diverse, have consistently engaged with the cultural forces that designate and exhibit art, and the increasingly devolved experience of art, to its publics.

In January 2018 I started work on reimagining theEnthusiasts Archive for the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, in April Common was published in Distributed for OPENedition, I took part in the launch of the Centre for Plausible Economies, I'm still working on the Anthropocene Atlas; London and I started research for a new commission at the The Box in Plymouth, an art institution for the 21st century. In September I participated in The Future of Living for the People's Bureau, I've also been working on turning a ruin into a modest home through DIY.

In March 2017 the various collaborative hacks of Utopoly began to gain some traction, and in April I was a visiting professor at the Villa Arson in Nice. In June Mudlark walks began to contribute to the Anthropocene Atlas; London and in July Look at Me was republished in Braces, Levers, Fetishes & Talismans by Michael Marriott.  In August Surrogate was screened as part of Short Bursts of Concentrated Joy a film programme curated by David Blamey for the Houghton Hall festival. In September Museum Futures was exhibited as part of I taste the Future, the Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF), Henningsvær, Norway.

In March 2016 a special screeningThe Enthusiasts: Outsider Cinema from the 1950–80s was curated from the Enthusiasts archive at the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw. In April I participated in Making Use: Life in Postartistic Times, and Socialised Afffection was published in Specialism by Open Editions, and in July Museum Futures was screened at a workshop as part of Fieldworks at Hospitalfield in Arbroath. In October Query was published as part of Anticipation an exhibition, publication and series of events organised by the Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris, and in November I contributed some stools to What Happens to Us. And finally, in December Resilience was published as part of The Creative Stance. Tearing is added to the Filmoteka collection at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.

In February 2015 I joined an insurgent research group developing The Anthropocene Atlas London. In March Open Cinema launched at Open School East and culminated eight eventful months later with a wonderful festival screening Home. In July #TransActing: A Market of Values exhibited two years research into evaluative communities and distributive markets. I co-designed some currencies, and coordinated the production of the market stalls. I also participated in Re-source at the Galleries Lafayette Foundation in Paris,Shock City, The Market at the ICA, London, and a text for Substrate.

In December 2014, as part of Critical Practice I co-organised Differently Screening 4: SUNLIGHT: energy labour value a film-screening powered by the Electric Pedals Cinema hosted by Open School East. I continued to develop floodplain, and in July Reading Things was reprinted in The Object published by the Whitechapel and MIT press. More things can happen than will, or have, in June, was my Platform Lecture, at Chelsea College of Arts. In April, a selection of films from the Enthusiast archive were screened as part of Artists, Amateurs, Alternative Spaces: Experimental Cinema in Eastern Europe, 1960–1990 at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA. I contributed  Generosity to Truth is Concrete: A Handbook for Artistic Strategies in Real Politics, a publication from Sternberg Press, a re-worked version was included in Ends Meet, developed by Critical Writing students at the Royal College of Art, in June.

Also, as part of Critical Practice and a group of utopographers, we organise Evaluation, Consensus and Location at Chelsea College of Arts, in March, and I also contributed to  the Kunsthal Aarhus programme of events The Perfect Institution: Culture 2017.

In 2013 Museum Futures was included in the Taipei Biennial, in April A Joy Forever was published and I also participated in One Person's Trash is Another Person's Treasure. In September, I presented the V&A Bicentenary at Utopography, and the text was published in Artists Work in Museums#floodplain a collaboration with  51% studios was launched at the Royal Academy, and AATT as part of AGORA at the Athens Bienial.

In January 2012 I was nominated for the Samsung Art+Prize with @SP_Arnolfini, in May, a year-long research project into the practices of radical art education and exhibition as an educational technology culminated in Prospectus, and in October I presented the V&A Bicentenary at the V&A, London.

February 2011, a year-long research project and exhibition Self Portrait: Arnolfini was launched, culminating in a beautiful publication, Museum Futures was included in the Global Contemporary at  ZKM, and the Enthusiasts Archive in Ostalgia at the New Museum. May 2010 a two year research project with Critical Practice into publicness, culminated with PARADE in London. In April the timeline, part of the on-going Relational Machine research with Intermediae was installed in Madrid.

May-June 2009 Lapdogs was screened as part of the  Lapdogs of the Bourgeoisie exhibition at the Arnolfini in Bristol, and since February I worked on a research project entitled ArchivalProcess with Intermediae in Madrid.

November 2008,Lapdogs was screened at the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo, as part of Lapdogs of the Bourgeoisie.

From 1995 - 2008 I mostly collaborated with Marysia Lewandowska

July - November 2008 Post production was a special programme curated from the Enthusiasts: archive for Manifesta 7, installed in the ex-Alumix factory in Bolzano, Italy. A year-long collaboration with Sotheby's, was cancelled.

Museum Futures: live recorded distributed is a project launched on the 6 June 2008, commissioned by Moderna Museet, Stockholm Sweden as part of their Jubilee celebrations. The Distributed component is a machinima record of the 2058 centenary interview with the Museum's executive Ayan Lindquist.

August - October 2007 Parade commissioned for the Contour Film Biennial was exhibited in Mechelen Belgium, and ArtLfe a simultaneous project for Transit Gallery.

I took part in a student initiated symposium on Collectivity, Collaboration, and Cooperation Friday 30th January at Chelsea College of Art and Design, in London.

It was chaired by Bernice Donszelmann & Paul McGee

I tried to look at how cooperation might be different from collaboration and I used Critical Practice – a cluster of artists, researchers and academics (of which I am a part), as an example.

I'm interested in cooperative and collaborative art practice, in issues of access and participation, the impact of digital technologies and social exchanges like generosity and friendship. I recognized that these themes provide tools to enable me to think through, and think differently about the conventions of art's authorship, its ownership and distribution.

 “We must try to avoid a vicious circle on which tighter liquidity conditions, lower asset values, impaired capital resources, reduced credit supply and slower aggregate demand feedback on each other.”

I read this quote, a beautifully succinct piece of prose in a paper produced by Paul Tucker, Executive Director and Money Policy Committee Member of the Bank of England, for the Institutional Money Market Funds Association Annual Dinner, in April 2008.

I was researching Auction Houses at the time and trying to keep an eye on financial markets. Of course we have not avoided the vicious circle, in fact we seem to be spiraling into a terrible black vortex.

“One hand, one million dollars, no tears.”

Is the McGuffin or plot device that motivates Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis, which I'm reading at the moment. Its an insiders account of the deregulation of the American Mortgage markets in the 1980's and the beginning of the havoc that CDO's and contempt, are visiting upon us now. Liar's Poker was presented in the 1990's as humorous, now it reads as a tragedy; Marx reversed.

Museum Futures: Live, Recorded, Distributed
Centenary Interview 2058

A project by Neil Cummings and Marysia Lewandowska

Interior: The common room, Moderna Museet v3.0

A beautiful lounge, comfortable seating, local lighting, graduated windows with breathtaking views of the sea.The Executive of Moderna v3.0, Ayan Lindquist is waiting to be interviewed in real-time from Guangzhou, in the Asian Multitude.

She is browsing screens as a face fades-up on the wall window.


Nihao, hej, hello!


PARADE: Market of IdeasFlowering Allium Sativum: GarlicGalician plateau, near LagoKristina and Juan#TransActing zombie academicPamplona cathedral