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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.

table

 

This summer, inspired by Enzo Mari and his  autoprogettazione furniture series from 1974, I repurposed an old door and made a garden table.

I participated in Fieldworks, a residential summer school at Hospitalfield.

2063

 

Hospitalfield is an astonishing location just outside Arbroath in Scotland, its dedicated to contemporary art and ideas, and prides itself on being a place to work, study, learn, visit and enjoy.

In 1260 a Tironensian Benedictine order of monks built a hospital to accomodate pilgrims (I walked as a Pilgrim to Santiago de Compostela in 2008)  visiting Arbroath Abbey, later the hospital was converted into a monastery. After the reformation the estate became privately owned and was acquired in 1664 by the Reverend James Fraser, and stayed in the Fraser family until 1890.
 

LVMH Lecture Theatre
Central Saint Martins
1 Granary Square
London, N1C 4AA

Coordinated by Ezio Manzini and Nick Bell, Culture of Resilience (CoR) was a cultural experiment that could be encapsulated by the following: take the community of academics of a large and prestigious university of art and design. Launch a discussion on a socially relevant topic, in this case resilience and register its results, in terms of ideas, projects and mutual exchange.

What emerged were ‘multiple visions’ of resilience, a complex set of narratives, values, ideas and projects that critically reflect on the socio-technical systems in which they are embedded.

The two year research project closed with a sharing event:

Weaving People and Places: How art and design is collaborating to (re)build communities-in-place

During the two years of the CoR project Ezio observed that, consciously or not, art and design brings people together in special ways, instigating social assemblies that foster new social connections and collaborations. Ezio therefore, encouraged all contributors to Weaving People and Places to give a short account of a specific Moment of Encounter. These are the very special moments in which new collaborative encounters were produced, moments in which two or more persons meet and do something together in a given place.

images

Timeline Intermediae (cards)Mari inspired market stallUpstairs downstairsplanter & gatePublicamp, Critical PracticeTerracotta tiles