5 – 7pm on Friday 27th March
Camberwell College of Arts
45 - 65 Peckham Road
London SE5 8UF
Bright Light: Thinking the Substrate
The Bright Light series of publications focusses on the latest debates in the arts and design. Issues such as the environment and technology, as well as socially-engaged practices and identity are looked at through the lens of current arts and design practice. Bright Light provides a way of seeing how practitioners are providing a fresh perspective on key questions facing designers, fine artists, lens based media practitioners, curators, archivists and critical theorists.
Our second issue, Thinking the Substrate, is dedicated to the idea of the substrate. It began with a series of three symposia hosted by the Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon (CCW) Graduate School in Spring 2014, where we thought about what a substrate could be and if the substrate might be an interesting way to speak cross-disciplinarily about practice.
Edited by Dr Dan Sturgis, the issue features articles by Simon Morley (Dankook University), Neil Cummings (CCW), Adrian Glew (Tate Britain), Richard Layzell (WCA), Dan Sturgis (CCW), Pia Gottschaller (Courtauld Institute of Art) and Jo Melvin (CCW).
Bright Light published a written version of a presentation I made at a research symposium at Chelsea College of Arts, exploring the idea of substrate.
Here's an extract
Substrate; the common and the doxa of property
I haven't had time to write a paper for the Substrate workshop, sorry. Anyway, I sensed they're more an informal sharing of ideas than an academic performance. So, I made notes and I'll speak for as long as the media file that's playing lasts [a media file is playing from my laptop and displaying on a plasma screen]. The file is ten minutes and thirty six seconds long.
I came to some of the other Substrate workshops and to be honest I was a bit annoyed. Frustrated even. People seemed to confuse materials, canvas weights and paper textures, with substrates. ‘Substrate’ - I looked it up on Wikipedia - is described as an underlying layer, something profound. Something foundational. Like resources. Like oil, minerals, or justice, even freedom itself. Maybe water? I began to think of energy, sunlight, as a substrate and everything else as its solidified, liquidised or material form.
And as always, I began to worry about who has access to these substrates, these foundational resources. How a commons-like access, by which I mean there are few, if any, rights of exclusion, are contested and even destroyed by the idea of substrates as a property. Like oil. Like fossil fuels. Properties produced by legal codes and force, creating owners, ownership rights, and rights of exclusion. Rights to exploit.
So what are the substrates in cultural fields? Creativity?
Chelsea College of Arts