September 2010 to February 2011
Welcome to the 2010 autumn issue of the webzine.
We are delighted to be media partners again for the engage/enquire International Conference 2010 and the theme of both the conference and this issue is 'The Art of Influencing Change'.
This issue comes out at a time of great financial uncertainty in the UK and the arts sector is waiting with baited breath to see how the next few years will map out.
We will be covering the funding issues, creating a space for you to leave your thoughts and comments and keeping you up-to-date with the latest developments.
But we will be also looking at other issues; the environment, the ethics of private patronage, big oil, art activism and craftivism, open source technology, the experiences of mid-career artists and creating vibrant contemporary art in the regions. This includes an 'In Focus' look at the arts ecology of Cornwall with a commissioned essay from Lucy R. Lippard.
The Director's Cut: a series of video interviews with influential gallery directors
Axis and Creative Times have teamed up to present this exciting new video series. Over five months in 2010 and 2011 we’ll be visiting five very different art institutions, each linked by the notion of newness and change.
Our third interviewee is Martin Barlow, Director of Mostyn, Wales’s largest contemporary art gallery and a long-listed candidate for the Art Fund Prize 2011.
LIVE: engage/enquire International Conference
The Art of Influencing Change
The engage/enquire International Conference has become a major annual event that brings together over 200 arts and education professionals from the United Kingdom and other countries. Axis are media partners for the 2010 conference, 'The Art of Influencing Change'. Read our LIVE tweets and find out more here...
The Art of Influencing Change: a delegates view
On the final day of the engage/enquire 2010 International Conference we quickly caught up with some of the delegates to find out what issues have meant the most to them, what they think about art's ability to affect change, and what ideas they will be taking away with them. Watch the videos and leave your comments.
The British Art Show 7
Contributed by: Sheila McGregor
The British Art Show 7, a snap-shot of art in Britain in 2010, is currently showing in Nottingham and tours the UK next year; Axis Chief Executive Sheila McGregor visited the show in its inaugural city and looks at how it sits alongside the other five British Art Shows she has seen in her career.
The Art of Influencing Change conference blog
Contributed by: Sophie Hope
Sophie Hope is the Axis blogger and official Conference Observer throughout the engage/enquire conference, 3- 5 November 2010. Join her as she brings her views on the proceedings and you can join in the discussions by leaving comments below.
Editor's Blog: Manifesta 8
Join webzine editor Lucy Bannister as she takes in the opening weekend of Manifesta 8; the latest incarnation of the roving European contemporary art biennial that takes place across the region of Murcia, Spain, from 9 October 2010 until 9 January 2011.
IN FOCUS: The arts ecology of Cornwall
What is it like to be a contemporary artist in a remote rural region? Are there issues that are universal to all those making and showing work in this context, or do the nuances of each place take over?
Taking Cornwall as a case study the ‘In Focus’ section of the webzine investigates the experiences of artists and curators in the region, and specifically looks at The Falmouth Convention which took place between 20 and 21 May 2010 and Cornwall's proposal to bid for the roving European biennial, Manifesta.
The Falmouth Convention in Retrospect
Contributed by: Lucy R. Lippard
In May 2010 Cornwall hosted The Falmouth Convention – an international conference examining the importance of site and place in contemporary art. The key note speaker was Lucy R. Lippard and here she reflects on the convention six months on, considering the impact an event like Manifesta might have on local art practice and wider implications regarding change and potential models for art in rural communities.
Editor's Interviews: Steven Paige
Contributed by: Lucy Bannister
and Steven Paige
Steven Paige is an artist based in St.Just, near Lands End. He is part of the steering group for Cornwall's Manifesta bid and he attended The Falmouth Convention. Steven talks about what it is like to live in a geographically dispersed area, where artists have to work twice as hard to simply ‘make things happen’.
Arts Council chief challenged by Commons Select Committee
Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, faced a fierce interrogation during the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee enquiry into the funding of the arts and heritage on 12 October. Watch the Select Committee proceedings here...
We Value the Arts
Contributed by: Sheila McGregor
With the threat of cuts in government funding looming large for the arts (and many other sectors in the UK) Axis Chief Executive Sheila McGregor talks to Radio New Zealand about what this will mean. We also introduce the I Value The Arts campaign through which you can pledge your support of the arts.
Can Art do Technology and Social Change?
Contributed by: Ruth Catlow
Is it possible to develop artistic projects that not only change the way we see and use technology but also affect real social change at the same time? Ruth Catlow introduces the Zero Dollar Laptop project and proposes that this might just be possible.
The Art of Give and Take
Contributed by: Maya Ramsay
This autumn much of the art world's attention will be on the funding cuts, and how the arts can survive through the lean years. Yet at the same time there is a ground swell of opposition to big oil companies's financial support of arts institutions. Artist Maya Ramsay examines the ethics and politics of philanthropy and private sponsorship.
Can art influence climate change?
Contributed by: Peter Gingold
What impact can the arts sector really have on the big issues that affect us? Can art actually change attitudes about climate change? Peter Gingold, founder and Co-Director of TippingPoint, an organisation dedicated to ‘energising the creative response to climate change’, looks at how the arts could make a difference.
Rant 53: Should art speak louder than words?
Contributed by: Chris Sharratt
Interpretation panels, they seem to polarise audiences in a similar way to Marmite! Tate Britain has recently removed a large majority of their labelling, potentially setting a trend towards reduced interpretation in galleries. In light of this Chris Sharratt discusses the success and failures of those less than innocent pieces of text.
Rant 52: Sexual Harassment: A Hidden Problem in the Arts?
Contributed by: Becky Hunter
Sexual harassment in the workplace is traumatic no matter what industry you work in, but Becky Hunter is concerned that in the art world, the blurring of boundaries between work and social life and the informal nature of artist-led organisations means it is hard for those that are suffering to seek help.
Rant 51: The Revolting Student
Contributed by: Jim Colquhoun
As students take to the capital's art galleries in protest against tuition fees and arts funding cuts, artist Jim Colquhoun questions the motives and the desired outcomes of this revolt. Are the protestors simply asking to be part of the elite?
Rant 50: Collaboration vs Independence
Contributed by: Jenny Richards
For our 50th Rant Edinburgh-based writer and curator Jenny Richards investigates organisational collaboration. In times of austerity what will organisations have to gain or surrender from sharing resources and physical space?
Rant 49: The Art of Social Change
Contributed by: Ben Jones
What is 'participatory art' and does it really bring about social change? Has 'participation' become an over-used, under-critiqued word in art practice today? Ben Jones feels we need to put the question of what constitutes participation back on the agenda.
Rant 48: Art and Value and Education
Contributed by: Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau
How do we expose young people in schools to art whilst retaining its alternative status? Does defining art as part of academia dull its potential to challenge the traditions of learning? Matthew Giraudeau questions the value of art within education.
Rant 47: Alternative Funding Strategies
Contributed by: David Trigg
Is it time for artists to start finding alternative funding strategies? Could making commercial work to fund non-commercial output release artists from the funding crisis? David Trigg thinks there are ways to fund individual artists that don't involve the Arts Council.
Rant 46: The New Bourgeoisie
Contributed by: Guyan Porter
Are current trends of non-payment and free labour perpetuating a new ideal where artists are becoming distinctly bourgeois? Guyan Porter questions purportedly leftist and radical practice that promotes art as being apart from common economics and, consequently, from payment.
Rant 45: Love + Hate Knitted Cakes
Contributed by: Ele Carpenter
What is the prevalence of the knitted cake doing for the radical claims of craftivism? Does it undermine the political and feminist critique of the DIY craft revival? Ele Carpenter looks at activist tendencies in craft in relation to contemporary capitalism.