neil cummings

June 2015

#TransActing stalls

02 Jun 2015

Mari-sketchesI'm working as part of Critical Practice to produce

#TransActing: A Market of Values
Saturday, 11th July 2015, 12 - 5pm

This bustling pop-up market will feature artists, designers, economists, donorpreneurs, civil-society groups, academics, ecologists, activists and others who creatively explore existing structures of evaluation and actively produce new ones.

In thinking about how to construct the 'market stalls', the physical infrastructure for #TransActing, we decide to try and embody our interest in resilient evaluative practices. Our intention was to recycle materials from the terminated degree show exhibitions at Chelsea College of Arts - every year, there is a suite of skips used to dump unwanted artworks, trashed exhibition making materials, unloved things - to produce the markets stalls.

With this in mind we have been working with Public Works to explore possibilities, and at a previous meeting Andreas (of Public Works) introduced the autoprogettazione furniture series of Enzo Mari from 1974. The series utilised standard timber section to produce a range of tables, chairs, beds and bookshelves, using simple tools - a saw, ruler, square, hammer and nails, and requiring only basic DIY skills. The plans, with dimensions and cutting log for the furniture were also freely published by Mari in a premonition of a Free Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) ethic, and a gesture towards a cultural and material commons.

We decide to use Mari as our guide, and develop potential stalls.


Chelsea College of Arts
16 John Islip Street
United Kingdom

51.490301, -0.128667

Pitt Rivers

30 May 2015

On Saturday I went to the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, the first time in a long-time….

sympathetic magic


In the 1990's I used to lead a five week seminar at Chelsea College of Art and Design entitled Adrift in Taste. It was a chance to leave the college to visit other exhibitionary institutions, and also reflect on our -students and staff - habits and practices. Here's the introduction;

This seminar will presume to dismantle some of our prejudices about art, and evolve tools to build some new ones. It will in part, attempt to put `theory' into `practice'.......

On an individual and cultural scale we are described by a bewildering range of clothes, tools, art, trinkets, gifts, cuisine, souvenirs, electronic technology and rubbish. Objects and images are spilling from every shelf, cupboard, display case, television, vitrine, monitor, supermarket, studio, gallery, shop, museum and land-fill site. Adrift in Taste will begin to unpick our learned habits; the values our parents, teachers and friends taught us about art. We will also uncover some of the the wider institutional structures that have evolved to produce, accumulate and classify the stuff -therefore the meanings- within our cultures.


Pitt Rivers Museum
Parks Road
United Kingdom

51.755449, -1.24905