AFTERnow is a collaborative enquiry into the impact of modern culture on health involving Professor Phil Hanlon, Dr. Sandra Carlisle, Dr. David Reilly, Dr. Andrew Lyon and Dr. Margaret Hannah. Our work was funded for six years by the National Programme for Improving Mental Health and Well-being in Scotland and supported by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health.
As the era of seemingly endless growth comes to an end, we all need to find new ways to live our daily lives. How do we redefine ‘prosperity’ in this new world? How do we imagine and then create a future that is profoundly different from the way we live today? There is a growing realisation that we all have to learn how to live with less. So what’s the answer? How should we live?
My text is on the I woz here project website here. I didn’t put footnotes in, but if you are interested in participatory practices and town artists, you might like to read David Harding’s piece on Town Artists here, and the Artworks Scotland programme here.
Lindsay Perth’s two year residency with NHS Forth Valley has resulted in a book of photomontages, A Sense of Someplace, made in collaboration with people using the mental health services. There is a launch event on the evening of 13 June at Streetlevel in Glasgow also featuring audio artist Mark Vernon.
Research projects on food
Concerns such as food miles, climate change and unhealthy lifestyles mean that local food-growing initiatives are becoming increasingly popular. But how do you make them work in a city? Memories of Mr Seel’s Garden, an AHRC-funded project funded through Connected Communities (webpage) [link], is delving into the history of local food production in Liverpool to find out.
‘If you want to learn about food sustainability, one way of getting ideas and being inspired is by researching your area to see how people used to get their food,’ explains project lead Dr Michelle Bastian of the University of Edinburgh. ‘Finding out about the past can help us think about different possibilities for the future.’
Also saw this through the Cultural History group
Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded PhD working on food distribution networks between 1920 and 1975. This studentship is one of eight fully-funded awards made by the newly-established Collaborative Doctoral Partnership managed by the Science Museum Group. The project will be supervised by Colin Divall (University of York) and Ed Bartholomew (National Railway Museum, York). The studentship, which is funded for three years full-time equivalent, will begin in September 2013.
How and what we eat is high on public and political agenda. While the particulars are new, the underlying issues are long-standing. Industrialization of the UK’s food supply from the late-C18th enabled unprecedented levels of urbanization and population growth but destroyed local, regional and even national sources, encouraging consumption based more on price than nutritional value. Today’s globalized food-chains can deliver huge amounts of high-quality food: but they also allow unscrupulous suppliers to escape the scrutiny of national and even international regulators.
This project explores one critical shift in Britain’s food supply in the last century: the change over the roughly half-century from 1920 from a rail- to a road-based system of distribution within the UK: from port to market, from farm yard to manufacturer, town shop or supermarket. This change was perhaps not inevitable: while the railways’ inter-war battle with road hauliers reflected traditional concerns such as price, reliability and security, neither service provider was able to demonstrate a clear advantage. Hence there was considerable scope to persuade consignors; the railways’ interest in marketing passenger traffic had some purchase with regard to goods. How did the railway companies imagine, market and deliver the distribution of food between the world wars? Railway publicity suggests that the high profile given to food distribution was partly an attempt to win public and political opinion to the companies’ case for more regulatory freedom. And how did road hauliers (including own-account operators like the food retailer Sainsbury’s) respond to such initiatives before 1939? What did consumers think?
The Second World War is sometimes portrayed as a temporary period of reprieve for rail distribution before the ‘inevitable’ victory of road haulage. But this project might explore whether the war and the following decade of austerity prevented the railways acting soon enough on pre-war ideas about how to handle food. It will also complement existing studies of British Railways’ attempts to reform freight services from the 1950s by analysing the particularities of food distribution. While exogenous factors such as better lorries, state-funded improvements to roads (notably motorways) and wider changes in food retailing (especially processed foods and just-in-time deliveries to supermarkets) arguably increasingly favoured road distribution, BR continued to develop and market services targeted at food suppliers and retailers until around the mid-1970s. How did BR work with the food industry? Did Beeching-era ideas like Freightliner have any role in the motorway age? Could the railways have kept more of the bulk transport of imported foodstuffs? Did food manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers drive innovations in food distribution, or did they adapt to initiatives from the haulage industry? And how did the road and rail operators ‘sell’ their competing notions of modern food supplies to consumers and politicians?
This is chiefly a qualitative study that will draw out the connections between the imagining of food distribution systems, the politics of building food chains, and the practices of using them in the period ca 1920-75.
How to Apply
Applicants must have a good undergraduate degree in history or other relevant discipline, and should normally also hold a master’s (or equivalent) degree in an appropriate subject. A full statement of the AHRC’s criteria for academic and residency eligibility is available on the AHRC website www.ahrc.ac.uk.
Applicants should submit a short curriculum vitae and a brief letter outlining both their
qualifications for the studentship and their ideas about how the research might develop. This should be in the form of a single MS Word, Open Office or PDF file no more than three pages in total, using a typeface no smaller than 11 point. The names and contact details of two academic referees should also be supplied. Applications should be sent to Colin Divall at email@example.com to arrive no later than 12.00 Wednesday 12th June 2013. Applicants should not at this stage make a formal application to the University of York.
Interviews for short-listed candidate will be held at the National Railway Museum, York, in the morning of Friday 28th June 2013.
Thanks to Tanya Geis for highlighting this article.
Update: thanks to Green members who nominated me for 'Green of the Week' for my work on forest policy and recent end ecocide work. Really delighted - thanks everyone for all the support!
Yesterday I was at the Irish Forestry Woodland & BioEnergy show to launch the Greens Forest policy with Jan Alexander, Crann founder and former Chair of…
You have in front of you a typewritten text. It could be poetry. It is an invitation to action, but not exactly an instruction. It reads:
planting a square of turf
amid grass like it
amid grass a little less green
planting four more squares
in places progressively drier
planting a square of dry turf
amid grass like it
amid grass a little less dry
planting four more squares
in places progressively greener
This is an artwork by Allan Kaprow, a score in his terminology. Kaprow wasn’t a musician, and in using the term score he was borrowing the terminology of music.
Reading the ArtWorks’ programme’s International Next Practice Review by Chrissie Tiller and in particular the Participation Spectrum proposed by the James Irvine Foundation, it strikes us that this work could operate at any point along the passive to active audience spectrum proposed. It could simply be read by an audience, or at the other end of the spectrum, made by them. A group of artists and researchers from Gray’s School of Art took this score as a starting point to make new work. We called that Calendar Variations. Were we artists or audience? Were we performing Kaprow’s score?
But what was Kaprow doing? Would he have defined his practice as participatory?
We’d like to suggest that Kaprow is breaking out of the norms of being an artist. The score was a prototype for a co-creative relationship. Kaprow authored the score, but other people played it.
Perhaps Kaprow simply thought that music benefited from having three different roles of composer, performer and audience, where in visual art there might be understood to be only artist and audience. Of course the performer could be many things: composer; professional performer, hired to perform the work; or member of the audience who goes home and performs the work themselves. Is the person who whistles the melody also more than passive audience?
But it could also be another composer who creates new work in response to the original, or a painter who makes something in another form. The more improvisational you get, the more that the role of the composer recedes and the role of the performer comes forward. Kaprow’s Calendar score is something with which to improvise. As soon as you set out to perform it, you realise that you have to interpret it.
Having done a series of projects on social practices, we have recently been working on improvisation, looking to understand the aesthetics of social practice.
Currently we are exploring participatory and co-creative practices across art, design and architecture.
Professor Paul Harris, Professor Anne Douglas and Chris Fremantle
Gray’s School of Art
This was just published as a provocation on the ArtWorks blog and is an element of a wider programme of work on participation and co-creation across art, design and architecture.
How can you describe a cultural programme that has extended over 14 years, 9 countries and 3,000 projects? How do you account for its outcomes, the change it may have contributed to, and the effects on culture or society?
Highlighted through the London Arts in Health Forum‘s newsletter:
Welcome to the Arts, Health & Wellbeing programme. We are a thematic, multidisciplinary programme funded by the Economic and Social Research Council aiming to develop understandings of how the arts may contribute to health and wellbeing.
We also aim to facilitate a UK network of academics, service users and practitioners to help develop research projects of the highest quality and of national and international significance.
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness
Howl Part 1, Allen Ginsberg 1956
Project Ginsberg’s vision is a future where every Scottish citizen who experiences common mental health problems has a wide range of interventions available to them.
People with common mental health problems may look like they are coping – they walk the dog, look after their children, go to work – but the reality is that for those with common mental health problems the experience is chronic; resulting in months and years of feeling like they aren’t coping with life.
Project Ginsberg is about helping to define, design and prototype the vision of a range of effective interventions for the people of Scotland, with a focus on exploring the role of everyday web and mobile technology, and alternatives to the traditional patient-clinician model.
We think there is a huge opportunity to improve people’s life experience through rethinking our approach to common mental health problems, especially by using technology in ways that fit around people’s everyday lives.
The work is driven by Scottish Government’s Mental Health Strategy 2012-2015, which commits to developing a Scotland-wide approach to improving mental health through new technology in collaboration with NHS 24.