Saturday 26th March
I went to the protest in London, it was a march to demmand [and propose] alternatives to the brutal ideaologicaly driven, financial cuts to public services.
A huge turnout, estimates are close to 500,000 people, meant that the multitude took four fours to pass a static point – a solid swathe of people from Blackfriars to Hyde Park. People travelled from all over the country and I even met people from France who had travelled in solidarity. It was a great day.
This was my favourite placard "Y ouren not sharing" which I took to be a sharp acusation to the bankers, bond traders, tax avoiders, derivative hedgers, dark-pool developers, our political-class and arcane financial instrument designers.
At the very moment our political class suggest there are no alternatives to an assult on public culture, this is the very moment to drive those alternatives home.
Let this be a sign.
Wedneday 30th March, 6pm Arnolfini Narrow Quay Bristol
To coincide with the Self portrait; Arnolfini project, I will be giving a lecture about archives, research and exhibition as part of the
Art in the City Spring 2011 Lecture Series
Organised by Arnolfini, Bristol City Council and the University of the West of England, this programme of events explores public art commissioning in Bristol and further afield.
Writing through the already written is an evolving and experimental :-) curatorial practice. It takes the form of something-like a treasure hunt, the most recent trial was in central London. We are developing the treasure hunt as part of Critical Practice, a cluster of artists, researchers and academics hosted by the CCW Graduate School at Chelsea College of Art and Design.
Critical Practice have a longstanding interest in art, public goods, spaces, services and knowledge, and a track record of producing original, participatory events.
In 2008 I took part in an event called Disclosures II: The Middle Ages it was part of Nottingham Contemporary’s Histories of the Present, and a beautiful publication of the year long series of events has just been published.
Disclosures II: The Middle Ages explored the idea of ‘commons’, both in the sense of agricultural commons (the grazing of animals and growing of crops on shared land) and what’s increasingly known as the ‘cultural commons’: the shared production and free distribution of digital resources, and more broadly culture in general.
Disclosures II: was set in the unique Nottinghamshire village of Laxton: unique in that it is the last substantial surviving example of the medieval ‘open field’ system of farming in England. In Laxton farmers farm individual strips of land in shared fields, now owned by the Crown, as they have done for centuries.
Over the weekend I went to visit the Cathedral de Córdoba, or Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción formerly the Great Mosque of Córdoba, or the Mezquita. The site was converted from a Visigothic church in 784 by Abd ar-Rahman I.
Over three centuries the mosque was built and extended using repurposed building materials. The 856 differently sized columns of jasper, onyx, marble and granite are scavanged from Roman buildings and Visigoth churches to form a forest of pillars.
This odd assortment of pillars - some are sunk through the floor, others extended by adding various bases and capitals - are roofed and the building unified by double arches of alternating red and white voussoirs; it's an architectural wonder.
1, Calle Cardenal Herrero
Over the course of 2011, which is the Arnolfini's 50th anniversary year I will be working to develop a series of self-portraits of the institution using information from their archive. Presented throughout the building, these data portraits will expand throughout the year, tracing their histories and speculating on possible futures.
16 Narrow Quay