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I was invited by Nadine Monem of common-editions to contribute a text to The Creative Stance. The beautiful publication is an exploration and celebration of creativity, from filmmaking to design, fashion to sculpture, and from painting to protest.  

Creative Stance What does it mean to be ‘creative’? What’s the point of a creative education? What happens at art school?

Academics, critics and creative practitioners, including Grayson Perry, Siobhan Davies, Richard Deacon, Neil Cummings, Edmund de Waal, Pratap Rughani, Bob and Roberta Smith, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Nils Norman, Sonia Boyce, and Roger Hiorns consider these questions and more in The Creative Stance, an authoritative and innovative contribution to the literature on creativity.

Structured around seven key creative values – imagination, provocation, risk, resilience, rigour, agency and ambiguity – The Creative Stance reflects on the rewards and demands of any creative endeavour. It brings together texts, conversations and materials from across and beyond the traditional artistic disciplines, it is essential reading for art students, entrepreneurs, and everyone who has felt a creative urge.

 

I was invited by Verina Gfader to contribute to Echo. This is from the introduction...

Echo is a reverberation of an original sound after this sound has stopped or is in the moment of evaporating. Not a background noise, it resonates and doubles a tonality, pitch, vocation. I am thinking about the experience of echoing in a particular mountain landscape, something to do with a sound being thrown, trashed towards a wall or large rock–and returning in a ghostly and consuming fashion.

How did Echo the project come about?

The materiality of Echo project serves as a hint to what happened during a visit of the Los Angeles Art Book fair in January 2014. It was on the occasion of a prior book project, titled Prospectus, that the editorial team had been invited by the LAABF team to both present the printed matter in the format of running a book stall, and stage a discursive event at the Classroom. Out of curiosity of exploring a ‘present LA,’ that is the very surroundings and stage of the fair, we–three Londoners at the time–accepted.

ok.

Echo project charts encounters with voices and questions, some out of synch, some in dialogues; musical, conversational confrontational, and in dis/agreement. Content-wise one finds a phantom meeting around a failed or missed art book fair deal . . .

a sort of surplus of a fair (or affair)?

You could say so. An essay on the General Intellect and Financialization sets a conceptual ground for rethinking subjective freedom; an encounter with Another LA opens out a multitude of cartographies - revealing more discreet and politically dynamic movements in the urban grid; there are glimpses of Machine Project’s events, a visual story around mothers and demonology (Kathy Acker’s property deals in the UK), and more; and future materials formalized as poster texts . . .  and possible scenarios.....

Mariana Santiago & Verina Gfader, 2016

Read the complete introduction...

Communities don’t just happen, they’re made.

 

Stools I contributed to What Happens to Us a project curated by Marsha Bradfield and Amy McDonnell to examine democracy as a system of community formation.

The project unfolded in the long-shadow of Britain’s EU 'Brexit' referendum and Donald Trump's election as President of the United States of America. Events that have compelled many to ask about the legitimacy of 'representative' democracy as a system of governance, combined with a willingness to explore alternatives.

What Happens to Us took as its departure Group Material’s Democracy (1988-9); an exhibition which was produced collaboratively, through many round-table discussions on the pressing issues of the day, such as AIDS, cultural participation, election and education.  Today, we'd want to add climate change, mass migration and economic disparity to this mix.

In What Happens to Us  we convened, researched, and endeavoured to make decisions together. The desire was to produce an exhibition and its ethos over time. What Happens to Us hosted workshops, talks, discussions and screenings in four phases during its month - consisting of  Build, Elect, Use and Account to explore the politics in our comming together. ​

I'm part of an insurgent research group working on the Anthropocene Atlas of Geneva, and London (TAAG and TAAL).

Founded in October 2013, Lafayette Anticipation of the Fondation d'entreprise Galeries Lafayette will open its doors in 2018 in the Marais district of Paris. This public interest foundation aims to support contemporary artists, design and fashion, recognising their potential to participate in social change, and also to anticipate that change.

Lafayette Anticipation is structured around 'production' and is the first multidisciplinary centre of its kind in France. A place of experimentation and research, Lafayette Anticipation offers new tools for developing prototypes, implementing projects and in addition to exhibitions, a variety of forums - encounters, conferences, conversations, performances, screenings, visits, workshops and an online presence, will facilitate exchanges between artists and various publics. Lafayette Anticipation will be permeable, a constantly evolving space, motivated by a desire to surprise and be surprised.

I contributed to:

anticipations: a manifesto on the challenges of contemporary production in the arts

 

The publication concludes the pre-launch programme organised by the Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette which begun in October 2013 - 2016. It presents the institutional and curatorial research initiated by the Fondation through production residencies, exhibitions, commissions, workshops and events as well as through numerous projects in France and abroad.

Query

 

Cloud

 

Cloud, cast plaster, London c1986 #FromTheCollection #ObjectOfTheWeek

 

In October 1999, as part of the In-Site series of projects, PhotoWorks invited myself and Marysia Lewandowska to undertake a year-long residency in the Design Council Archive at the University of Brighton.

Documents was the culmination of that residency, which included an exhibition [with a filmTearing], a publication, a web-browser [sadly no longer available] and conference.

This is from the publication:

Design: Stuart Smith
Publisher: Photoworks: Brighton
December 2000 (currently £5)
ISBN: 1-9037-9600-8


preface

Imagine drawing-up an inventory of every object you use in a day, or every thing you own, or every artefact you value. Any list that emerged would feel at best provisional, at worst it would seem like a futile task. And now if you would, pretend that the exercise was to be conducted on a national scale, and that the resulting document would be used to educate and influence popular public taste in the manufacturing and consumption of the indexed items. This is precisely what the Council for Industrial Design initiated in 1949, in an attempt to drag Britain out of the devastation caused by the second world war.

The Stock List, compiled by various government departments determined selection for the seminal Festival of Britain exhibition and became a template for promoting British products the world over.

Between these covers rests the original Stock List an extraordinary poem to materiality, composed by post Britain's post war ruling class; accompanied by one hundred images of contemporary products, each determined by their arbitrary retail price of one pound.

Table Lamp

 

 

 Vase, coiled, handbuilt and biscuit fired, London, c 1985
#FromTheCollection

I have a long-held fascination with the Great Exhibition of 1851, and more generally the means through which we structure value through things.

images

woodgrained doorsBlack-day to TriacastelaSotheby's AnnouncementPARADE: assemblySelf Portrait; Relational Mapgun