CHRIS FREMANTLE

Remember Nature

Posted in Civics, Exhibitions, News by chrisfremantle on October 21, 2015

Julia Peyton Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist at the Serpentine wrote to ask us to participate and circulate this invitation.

We Invite you to Remember Nature by creating your own event, action, performance intervention or artwork, on social media, in a gallery, a college campus, in the street…

Institutions: Register your interest to recieve specially designed posters to support your event, giving details of name, email and postal address before Fri 23rd Oct.

Individuals: Register your interest to participate in this event

All we ask is that you send us evidence of your contribution however small – for example, you might create photos, films, or other documentary evidence. Once you have run your event please use the WeTransfer service to send us your digital artifacts. Send them to:

remembernaturemetzger@gmail.com

Just copy and paste the above email address into WeTransfer. Send us your evidence before 30 November 2015.

Example of event for Remember Nature at your campus
Gustav Metzger co-curated the programme of last years’ Serpentine Marathon titled Extinction: Visions of the Future on 18th and 19th Oct 2014. During this time his work, Mass Media: Today and Yesterday was livestreamed from Herbert Read Gallery into the Serpentine Gallery throughout the course of the Marathon.  Fine Art students from University for the Creative Arts created a media wall from newspapers for 18 hours over two days. Students were fully immersed in this work, scouring newspapers, silently cutting out key texts relating to extinction, working in pairs for 2 hour blocks. This exhibition was curated by Andrea Gregson, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, at UCA Farnham.

Continue reading How to get involved

For more on extinction it’s worth checking out the previous post on Thom Van Dooren’s work.

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Unveiled: The art which will help and heal in new hospital | Herald Scotland

Posted in Arts & Health, CV, News, Producing by chrisfremantle on June 16, 2015

Nice piece Unveiled: The art which will help and heal in new hospital | Herald Scotland by Helen Puttick, Health Correspondent, in the Herald about the Therapeutic Design and Arts Strategy for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s new South Glasgow University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Sick Children.  I’ve been responsible for responsible for the overall programme, working with Ginkgo Projects, since 2010 (this might sound like a long time, but bear in mind the NHS Capital Planning team have been working on it for 10 years).

 

Light Flight: New Work by Penny Clare

Posted in Arts & Health, Exhibitions, News by chrisfremantle on May 16, 2015

Penny Clare’s new exhibition is here www.actionforme.org.uk/light-flight Chris Dooks introduced me to the work of Penny Clare a while ago and its great to see more of her work. Anyone with a special interest in health and well-being should check out her story.

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Leicester leads new approach to maternity bereavement services

Posted in Arts & Health, News, Research by chrisfremantle on December 16, 2014

Clear articulation of the design requirements and challenges of user consultation in dealing with dignity from this project in Leicester. Similar issues in New South Glasgow Hospitals’ Dignified Spaces project – you can see creative consultation process and initial design thinking here.

Arts & Health: Economics and the dangers of Randomised Control Trials

Posted in Arts & Health, News by chrisfremantle on September 15, 2014

Couple of really interesting presentations and discussions at the ESRC funded Arts, Health & Wellbeing Research Network meeting in London. Unfortunately this was the last event in the series, but I’m sure that a longer term programme will emerge, especially when it was noted that there have been some 200 participants of which approximately 50 have been Phd students.

The first interesting area was a presentation by David McDaid on health economics and how that field interacts with research and decision making. We know that decisions about healthcare are made on the basis of efficacy and cost, but McDaid unpacked some of the basics for us. He highlighted that when looking at the economics of any decision about healthcare we need to understand:

  • the cost of inaction;
  • the cost of action (and here he pointed out that understanding project or programme costs is very difficult and arts organisations can be quite opaque about their costs. Costs also need to include in-kind costs absorbed by partners.);
  • The cost effectiveness of the action in comparison to other potential actions;
  • levers for maximising value (ie how to maximise the money spent by working on uptake and participation).

In terms of the cost of inaction he highlighted three areas to consider:

  • Cost of every visit to the GP (which in the figures he showed was about £45 per appointment);
  • The higher cost of attending Accident and Emergency;
  • The even higher cost of hospitalisation.
  • In parallel with this are the informal care costs (ie how much is the family bearing factored at hours times the minimum wage), and the out of pocket costs for the individual for treatments or lost earnings.

Some really interesting challenges emerged in response to McDaid’s framing of the economics through the example of ‘arts on prescription vs. individual therapy sessions.’ Firstly, why these are presented as alternatives when in many cases they might be complimentary? Secondly why reduced contact is presumed to be good when there are circumstances where greater contact with healthcare workers is the good outcome. To which David responded, “These are all good points, but the model of decision-making in healthcare economics is simplistic.”

On the back of McDaid’s presentation were two evaluated project case studies, one using reading with people with chronic pain, and the other using arts on prescription for people with depression and anxiety. Both were really significant, but looking at them through the lens McDaid had provided, you’d note:

  • the need to focus on efficiency of delivery, maximise participation, understand operational finances and share models;
  • be prepared to scale up from projects to programmes.

The afternoon presentations focused on the perceived weaknesses of two Randomised Control Trials recently published. Without trying to rehearse the details, some interesting points emerged which suggest that using Randomised Control Trial (the gold standard for evidence in healthcare decision-making) to prove the value of arts interventions is not something to be undertaken lightly.

Arts interventions need to be understood as “complex interventions” as defined by the Medical Research Council and interestingly this means that any “complex intervention” should,

  • Start with a theory;
  • define which ingredient(s) essential;
  • include process analysis.

In terms of theory, healthcare is looking for the ‘theory of change’ that the study is going to test, but that ‘theory of change’ requires the practitioners (not just the researchers) to be very clear about their practice, and to deliver that practice in a consistent way in relation to the theory. (This clearly links to the ongoing development of a qualification in participatory practice by the ArtWorks programme in Scotland, jointly funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Creative Scotland.)

Perhaps one of the characteristics of any theory of change in the arts is the fundamentally voluntary nature of participation in that change. It’s one of the problems pointed out with Randomised Control Trials – people get selected to participate in the arts randomly. This is slightly problematic, particularly when you’re asking someone to engage in creative activity or even singing.

The point about defining essential ingredients is important – process-based work is often about context, empowerment and empathy as well as specific activity, but it’s extremely difficult to study more than one factor.

Finally the process analysis is important, on one level because that might a way to balance the attempt to define the essential ingredient, but also because timing and pattern are important in experiential work, e.g. participants are often interviewed for the baseline and then interviewed at the end of the programme, precisely the point where they might be feeling a sense of loss of an activity that had been enjoyed. Even a Randomised Control Trial is subject to such factors: not only what questions are you asking, but when are you asking them.

There was reference made to another Randomised Control Trial focused on singing, to be published imminently, which was ‘successful.’ It will be interesting to understand how this was constructed.  But going back to McDaid’s point, scale may be critical because at least one really good, well evaluated, project was unable to engage with the Clinical Commissioning process simply because it’s too small (and most arts & health organisations are small even in the cultural sector, let alone in relation to healthcare).

The understanding of “complex interventions” in the medical literature bears further scrutiny and some references were suggested including Marchal (2013) (and Yin (2009) on “systematic case theory”).

Theo Stickley started the morning by offering an imagined scenario around the trajectory from the materialist understanding of healthcare that characterised the 20th Century through a transition to an holistic understanding of healthcare that could characterise the 21st Century.  Whilst it’s important that the practitioners delivering arts in healthcare are well trained and professional, that they can articulate clearly their theory of change, as well as the economics of their interventions, the belief that the Randomised Control Trial is the way to prove the value might genuinely jeopardise what makes the arts distinctive from other interventions. We must become more articulate about the characteristics and values of our artforms and forms of intervention to ensure that they have equal status with the economics and the criteria imposed by the methods of research.

Only one speaker said, “and the art produced in this project was good too. We were proud of it.”

Presentations can be found here.

Whose space is it anyway?

Posted in Arts & Health, News, Sited work by chrisfremantle on September 1, 2014
Maria McCavana and Bill Breckenridge, Waiting Room, CAMHS Gorbals, 2013.  Photo Alan McAteer (with permission)

Maria McCavana and Bill Breckenridge, Waiting Room, CAMHS Gorbals, 2013. Photo Alan McAteer (with permission)

You can’t easily go and see the work that Maria McCavana and Bill Breckenridge did for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) unit in the Gorbals. It’s not that we might not particularly want to visit a CAMHS unit. It’s not that it isn’t public space (of course it’s not a gallery, not that sort of public space). It’s real public space, public service space (NHS space) where people sit and wait whilst their children and young people attend sessions with clinical psychologists and therapists. You really can’t just wander in and have a look at the art.

This is a problem for arts and health projects. The public places in which they are often to be found aren’t public in the same way as a park or a street or even the atrium of a big hospital.

But these spaces matter. And it’s all the more important that as a professional community we are able to see what colleagues and peers are doing, hear how it works and learn from these projects.

Maria McCavana, artist, and Dr Lindsey MacLeod, Clinical Psychologist specialising in child and adolescent mental health, shared the process and results of the work in the CAMHS unit in the Gorbals and also previously at the Knightswood Centre (now demolished and therefore even less accessible). They talked about their interests and motivations as well as the lessons learnt.

This event was part of UZ Arts’ programme for the Fringe (for background on UZ see the end of the piece).  Maria participated in UZ Arts’ residency programme in Sri Lanka this year, and UZ are interested in how the lessons can be transferred to artists in Sri Lanka for the benefit of the patients, families and carers. Creative Therapies, the Glasgow based art (in the broad sense) therapies organisation, provided organisational support and structure and the project was funded by the Yorkhill Children’s Foundation.

The brief for the project was focused on the users of the space, the clients, having an influence on the design of the space, actually to give them a sense of ownership. Lindsey said, “We asked young people to make their mark on the building.” The brief also asked that, “the space should be interesting, but not too interesting (ie not overwhelm the kids on the spectrum or over stimulate the children with ADHD).”

It was refreshing to hear the concerns from the perspective of the clinician:

That colleagues and teams are busy (and a project such as improving a waiting area is on top of an already full workload). Service delivery on a day to day basis is the priority.

That as a clinician, maybe more so in mental health services, you need to be very confident to entrust your patients/clients into the hands of someone outside the NHS.

That if it wasn’t some of the clinicians’ “cup of tea,” did that really matter? This led onto a really interesting discussion around evaluation.

Of course we assume that evaluation is important. But what exactly are we evaluating?

Is the space improved? Yes the space is improved, but it would have been improved with fresh paint, new carpets and new furniture. What did the ‘art’ do? Actually the art made it more specific, more interesting. The waiting room is now a nicer, more comfortable waiting room, but its also now an interesting waiting room rather than a generic one. It’s got funny bookshelves where each book fits into its own slot.

Maria McCavana and Bill Breckenridge, Waiting Room, CAMHS Gorbals, 2013.  Photo Bill Breckenridge (with permission)

Maria McCavana and Bill Breckenridge, Waiting Room, CAMHS Gorbals, 2013. Photo Bill Breckenridge (with permission)

It’s got an amazing sculptural bush of individual letters sticking out in all directions (top image). The signage has been sorted out to reduce visual clutter.

Maria McCavana and Bill Breckenridge, Waiting Room, CAMHS Gorbals, 2013.  Photo Bill Breckenridge (with permission)

Maria McCavana and Bill Breckenridge, Waiting Room, CAMHS Gorbals, 2013. Photo Bill Breckenridge (with permission)

But let’s be clear, you wouldn’t reproduce exactly this scheme in all the CAMHS waiting rooms across Glasgow. It’s not designed to be literally reproducible. It’s designed to be distinctive. The approach used is definitely reproducible.

Who benefits and how? The brief was drawn up through consultation with staff and users. McCavana and Breckenridge proposed a residency-based approach working with nominated patients/clients of this CAMHS unit. They did a series of workshops over an extended period. McCavana and Breckenridge designed the workshop process and all the activities, and there is a clear development from the workshops to the installed project. If I’d been involved in the workshops, I’d recognise my contribution in the space.

Like many artists interested in participatory and co-creative work, McCavana is articulate about the need to change power relations, to give voice to those who don’t normally have a voice. We’re not talking about art therapy – that’s something different. Grant Kester, one of the key writers on participation and collaboration says,

“In the most successful collaborative projects we encounter instead a pragmatic openness to site and situation, a willingness to engage with specific cultures and communities in a creative and improvisational manner … , a concern with non-hierarchical and participatory processes, and a critical and self-reflexive relationship to practice itself. Another important component is the desire to cultivate and enhance forms of solidarity… .” (The One and The Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context, Duke University Press, 2011, p125)

The discussion following the presentation raised some other issues, including the important role of the ‘host’ in doing this sort of residency based work. This is something that the Artist Placement Group highlighted in the late 60s but continues to be an issue. If an artist is going to work in a context, especially one where there is an existing community, it is essential that someone in that community acts as a host, doing those things a host does. This includes doing the introductions but also discretely making sure that the artist doesn’t step on toes. It means making sure that the artist is included in community activities where appropriate, but also protecting the artist from internal niggles and ongoing wrangles. A member of the audience pointed out that when this works well the host becomes a co-creator of the process.

The other subject that was raised from the floor focused on the extent to which these sorts of projects involving artists in healthcare buildings are actually patching up bad architecture. There was some feeling in the room that this was the case. Of course the specific projects that had been presented were work done in older buildings, but…

What is distinctive is the participatory and co-creative process that artists are using. Although some of the younger architecture practices also do this, the larger more established ones, particularly doing public sector work, are not. Nor would it be easy for them to, given that they are embedded in the supply chain, usually employed by the main contractor, not even the client.

What is also distinctive is the blurring of art, design and architecture. This project could have been done by a young design or interior architecture studio. It’s not the art specifically that makes this distinctive, rather it’s the turn to participation and co-creativity.

There were other good points made from the floor which I haven’t covered here, but the overriding one is that we need more presentations like this, and more time for the ensuing discussions.

 

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UZ Arts is an international arts charity based in Glasgow. We create our own work and collaborate with artists and producers who wish to work across art forms and across borders creating work outside conventional arts venues – often in public space.

We commission artists and support the development of their work through residencies, hothouses and collaborating as their producers or co-producers. In the last 3 years we have commissioned over 60 artists in 8 countries but with more than 50% of the work being made in Scotland.

Much of the work we make or support is sited . That is to say site specific – made for a particular place or site located – made for a particular type of location.
Some of the artists we work with engage with the public either as a source of inspiration or as collaborators in the delivery of their work

Tom Boland’s 2014 West Highland Way Race Report

Posted in News by chrisfremantle on July 9, 2014

We had the privilege of being base camp for Tom Boland and his support team as he did his 5th ultramarathon – running the West Highland Way – if you’re interested he’s written about it,

“Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course.” – William Shakespeare

22h29m, 47th Place

“Why?”

It’s a question that most people inevitably ask when they find out that I run Ultras.

Continue reading here, 2014 West Highland Way Race Report.

London LASER reflections

Posted in CF Writing, CV, News, Research by chrisfremantle on June 17, 2014

The two other speakers at the London LASER took us on a tour of the edge of two different human experiences.

Los Ferronautas, who are currently working with Arts Catalyst, took us on a journey of exploration of the railroads of Mexico, largely abandoned post the neoliberal-driven privatisation in the mid 90s. An extensive passenger network now lies in ruins because it was not ‘financially viable’. It only provided a means for Mexicans to get around their large and mountainous country. Somehow you know that the automotive industry had something to do with this. Los Ferronautas built a hybrid vehicle (SEFT1), an “abandoned railway exploration probe” that could travel on road and rail, and used this to explore what remains of the network. They found that it also acted as a “transmitter of stories.”  In parallel they explored the visual representation of the network including early 20th Century paintings celebrating the engineering (initially exported from Britain and Ireland).

Cristina Miranda de Almeida took us on a journey around our increasing hybridity as the internet of things emerges. She explored the emerging interval space between ‘here and there’, ‘you and me’, the past, present and future, different scales and durations. She started with the beautiful analogy of data emerging from under water (behind a screen) to become part of our everyday lives, quoting Manuel Castells saying that soon computing will be paint on the walls.

For me the real moment of joy was when she show an image of a CAD rendering of a building entitled ‘spam architecture.’ As I’m sure we all have, I’ve notices the ‘flows’ of subject lines in my spam folder and wondered what could be done by exploring the patterns that lie in amongst this waste material. The way Alex Dragulescu has worked with this aspect of ‘big data,’ turning it into a proposal for architecture, put a big smile on my face.

We also had a good, if too short, discussion on multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinarity which I found really helpful in pushing my thinking further, so thanks to those who asked really good questions. My presentation is below. Thanks again to Heather Barnett for putting the programme together and continuing to make the London LASERs well worth the trip.

What art have I seen?

Posted in News, Sited work by chrisfremantle on June 15, 2014

Causeway might have been about events from 100 years ago, but it spoke to political activism today, and connected back to Robert Burns’ own politics (remember the unsubstantiated story that Burns might have been involved in gun running to the French Revolutionaries?).  The conversations could have been happening amongst any group of serious activists, such as on the Rainbow Warrior or amongst WTO or G8 protestors.

Activists will eventually come up against the questions the Suffragettes were facing in 1914 when, 10 years after the formation of the Women’s Social and Political Union, and forty years after the first Suffrage organisation in Britain, nothing was changing.  Politicians were prevaricating.  Activists were being told to go home and mind the children.

Frances Parker, Lord Kitchener’s niece) and Ethel Moorhead (an established artist) had already burnt down a stand at Ayr Racecourse.  They had broken windows, trashed police cells and had both been in prison and had both been force fed.  They were ‘turbulent’.

Victoria Bianchini and David Overend (writer and director/producer respectively) and Pamela Reid, Annaliese Broughton and Jamie McGeechan (aka Little Fire) (the performers), drew out the commitment through the reimagined experience of cycling 38.9 miles from Glasgow to Alloway, through the arguments about what can make a difference, what is legitimate protest, how to achieve social change.

The personal relationship between Parker and Moorhead was evoked beautifully.  It was sharply drawn through Moorhead’s guilt at leaving Parker in the hands of the nightwatchman when they were caught with the bombs at the Cottage.  Parker was put in Perth Prison and particularly brutally force fed when she went on hunger strike.  Moorhead’s trauma on seeing Parker’s bruised and battered body when they were reunited was powerful stuff, as was Parker’s statement to the Court.

Parker and Moorhead wanted equality (as did Robert Burns in his time).  It is The Establishment that’s the enemy, as it was 250 years ago when Burns wrote ‘A Man’s A Man For All That’, as it was 100 years ago for the Suffragettes, and as it is now for Occupy.  And Burns Cottage (not the man himself) was a symbol of The Establishment, of The Club that privileged men.

MerzBarn

Posted in News, Research, Sited work by chrisfremantle on June 11, 2014
MerzBarn site on the Cylinders Estate near Elterwater in the Lake District (Photo Chris Fremantle)

The Chicken Shed near MerzBarn on the Cylinders Estate near Elterwater in the Lake District (Photo Chris Fremantle)

When you visit the MerzBarn at Elterwater, now being cared for and developed by the Littoral Trust, you realise that Kurt Schwitters may have “ended up in Langdale like a piece of flotsam on the currents of a world war,” but it is a remarkable place and his presence is distinctive. Schwitters is also somewhat of a Trojan Horse. Living as an artist refugee he painted landscape scenes and portraits whilst simultaneously working on a new Merzbau (Schwitters called these works Merzbau which translates as ‘Merz buildings’. He called this work specifically MerzBarn.  Merz is a word Schwitters found in the process of making a collage in 1919). On the one hand he conformed to a Lake District stereotype, and on the other he steered the direction of 20th Century Art.

You can see there are some serious tensions embodied in this landscape. It was necessary in the mid 60s, and probably in the terms of the time correct, to remove one whole wall of the Barn and take it into a museum to be preserved. Thus the ‘art’ bit of the Merzbarn is now in the Hatton Gallery in Newcastle. The analogy might be the Elgin Marbles: something conceived of as a ‘whole’ (art and architecture) that has been separated. Art, sometimes the legacy of great cultures, is political, but is often managed by people who are unwilling to acknowledge the political dimension as ‘present’ rather than historical.

So outside the MerzBarn each year Littoral organises an event where the names of all the artists included by the Nazi Party as Entartete Kunst Degenerate Art (including Schwitters and more than 100 others) are read out and then written in chalk on the wall of the MerzBarn. This symbolic act might seem curious standing outside a tiny barn on an estate in Cumbria, rather than perhaps in a square in Berlin or at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, but the symbolism of the last place a refugee artist worked is rich and powerful (and draws other artists to work there now).

The avoidance of politics in art were replayed in the Schwitters in Britain exhibition at the Tate last year where it was clear that the curators focused on the paintings with only nods to the other media such as the sound poetry and the Merzbau. The curators of the contemporaneous Duchamp exhibition The Bride and the Batchelors at the Barbican succeeded in creating a space for works across multiple media including dance and performance, sound, set design and visual art. The curators at the Tate chose a different trajectory, offering what was really a conventional exhibition of paintings with some contemporary art tacked on the end (not that Provost and Chodzko’s contributions were negligible). But the positioning of contemporary art in the exhibition inevitably pushed the works by Schwitters into the past in a way that the construction of a multi-media environment at the Barbican brought Duchamp, Cage, Cunningham, Johns and Rauchenberg into the present. A different trajectory was created by the reconstruction of the MerzBarn in the courtyard of the Royal Academy in London as part of the Modern British Sculpture show.

The Langdale landscape is in a constant state of flux: a dialogue between human and non-human agencies. It was the non-human agencies that necessitated the removal of the ‘art’. But the way the Littoral Trust is imagining the site conceives of the MerzBarn (the original barn with the missing wall reinstated) in a state of flux. The circumstances at Elterwater are open to that process of change, where the part of the work in the care of the Hatton is ‘preserved’. The Littoral Trust brings its 30+ years of knowledge and work as a social and political art organisation to the development of the MerzBarn. In addition to events to honour the memory of artists called ‘degenerate’ by the Nazi Party, there is an art making and outdoor education programme for children and young people – and of course Schwitters’ Merz works, his use of found waste materials, and his ‘painting with nails’ approach are a Trojan Horse in the context of conventional primary school art.

As the Armitt Museum (which has its own collection of Schwitters’ works from his time in the Lake District)  website says in describing the first Merzbau, “It was unfinished because it was unfinishable; it was environmental and engulfing in scope, but its significance was that it marked the birth of installation or conceptual art that we see today.” In the capable hands of the Littoral Trust the state of unfinishedness is an asset and an opportunity.

Suffragettes and Burns Cottage

Posted in Civics, News, Sited work by chrisfremantle on May 27, 2014

Causeway flyer JPEG

I don’t know how many of you are aware that Lord Kitchener’s niece was a Suffragette and that she and another Scottish Suffragette cycled down to Alloway and attempted to blow up Burns Cottage in 1914?  David Overend and Victoria Bianchini have developed a new promenade performance work which you can experience in Alloway on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th June 2014.  You can get tickets from the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

What art have I seen?

Posted in News, Sited work by chrisfremantle on May 3, 2014
Rosnes Benches, Dalziel + Scullion, 2014, Otter Pool, Dumfries and Galloway (Photo: Chris Fremantle)

Rosnes Benches, Dalziel + Scullion, 2014, Otter Pool, Dumfries and Galloway (Photo: Chris Fremantle)

Rosnes Benches.  Took Jana Weldon, Senior Public Art Project Manager for Scottsdale in Arizona, to see some of Dalziel + Scullion‘s Rosnes Benches in Dumfries and Galloway yesterday.  She also came in a heard presentations from the MFA Art Space and Nature at Edinburgh College of Art earlier in the week.

The team including Dalziel + Scullion, Kenny Hunter, Wide Open and Jim Buchanan have done a fantastic job realising this project – thirty benches are installed in clusters across the Dark Skies/Biosphere area of Dumfries and Gallowa, but they look like it’s been there for a long time.  The benches themselves are really comfortable.  They skim beautifully between being surfboards on land, referencing cup and ring marks, a bit hippy but really elegantly done.  They speak of a different relationship with the trees, birds, rivers, peat moss, boulders and other elements around them.

Reflections on Health Hackathon

Posted in Arts & Health, News by chrisfremantle on April 29, 2014

Hacking health in Glasgow (tempted to make a joke about smokers).  Sunday evening 6pm.  After 48 hrs at The Hub on the banks of the Clyde.  Lots of very dried out sandwiches, empty red bull cans and laptops.  Blog posts are always better with pictures.  Sorry I didn’t take one of empty pizza boxes.

But seriously, ten really interesting and pretty diverse approaches to making a difference to health in Glasgow through playing with data. Ten teams all hoping for £20k to get their project off the ground.

The presentations that really worked showed us something in prototype – it was more compelling and somehow we believed that they could deliver. And WOW was the pitch important! Paint a picture in the mind, show us something that looked plausible. Don’t get lost in the tech.

The point was to use open data to innovate. Sometimes that’s making a connection that no-one else has yet made, a bit leftfield. So my two takeaways were:

  • once you have an idea, look again at all the datasets available and see if there is a way to add value.
  • don’t forget the physical environment that you’re focused on – the smartphone isn’t the only interface with the city.
  • and it may seem really obvious but definitely ask the people involved what their challenges are. It’s very compelling when you see the challenges faced by professionals, communities and interest groups being taken into account.

There were strong arguments to support at least half of the pitches, and if you didn’t win it doesn’t mean we weren’t impressed. Some of these projects would make my life better, so I really hope they come through.

This is part of the TSB Future City Demonstrator, You can find my blog in preparation for the Health Hack HERE.

Scottish artists bring nature into healthcare presentation

Posted in Arts & Health, News by chrisfremantle on April 11, 2014

Science and Art Commission

Posted in Arts & Health, News by chrisfremantle on April 7, 2014

Outstanding opportunity to **write your own brief** as artist/curator in residence at the new Labs block (incorporating Pathology, Genetics, Microbiology and Blood Science) on the New South Glasgow Hospitals site.

Science and Art Commission.

How can data impact on health?

Posted in Arts & Health, News by chrisfremantle on April 4, 2014

Table from Scottish Government Key Health Inequalities in Scotland http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2008/06/25104032/12

Can you think of a way to improve the health of Glasgow?  Do you think that the environment impacts on the health of the people living in the dear green place?  More and more data derived from monitoring all sorts of things is available – do you think that data could make a difference?  Can you imagine how?  If you are a health professional the third of Open Glasgow’s Hackathons.  If your idea is good enough you could get £20,000 to develop it.

The team asked me to write a piece to stir up thinking about data and health – you can read it here: OPEN Glasgow | A city on the mend.  And it looks like I’m going to be on the judging panel which should be fun.

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AESOP 1 | A Framework for developing and research arts in health programmes

Posted in Arts & Health, News, Research by chrisfremantle on April 4, 2014

If you are interested in planning research and/or evaluation into your arts and health projects, then you need to have a look at this new tool.  The point is that research needs structure, to be done reasonably consistently, and this looks like a very good way to build some consistency.

AESOP 1 | A Framework for developing and research arts in health programmes.

Very much look forward to hearing more about this as it develops.

What have I read?

Posted in News, Texts by chrisfremantle on March 31, 2014
Townley and Bradby's publication for the Turf Twinning Project (2012-2013)

Townley and Bradby’s publication for the Turf Twinning Project (2012-2013)

I met Townley and Bradby at a Collaborate Creatively seminar at firstsite in Colchester, part of a-n’s Granted! programme.  They were Associate Artists with firstsite working on social practice projects.  One of the projects they presented was Turf Twinning, and they just sent me the publication. Jonathan P Watts’ excellent essay, Six Cuts, takes us on a journey that encompasses Durer and Haacke as well as Nash to position Turf Twinning in a longer field of practice.  The publication should be available from firstsite.

The Art Law Blog

Posted in News by chrisfremantle on March 23, 2014

La mia Cura Open Source / My Open Source Cure

Posted in Arts & Health, News by chrisfremantle on February 19, 2014

“We can transform the meaning of the word “cure”. We can transform the role of knowledge. We can be human.”
Salvatore Iaconesi

Salvatore’s diagonsis with brain cancer has led to his open sourcing of his medicalisation by cracking the digital files associated with his Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans, and inviting anyone to contribute to his cure.  Of course he had surgery, and the point of the process is not whether any one suggestion was more likely to be successful, but rather that he opened up the process to a shared dialogue demonstrating FLOSS principles.  He argues that this enabled him to be human again at a point where he had disappeared in the industrialised process of healthcare.

La mia Cura Open Source / My Open Source Cure and the project page on Art is Open Source including links to the extensive press coverage.

Stuart Hall 1932-2014

Posted in News by chrisfremantle on February 18, 2014

Guardian Comment

Telegraph Obituary

Gary Younge said in the Guardian, “Not only did he remain faithful to principles of equality, humanism and social justice. He held them so dear he did not want to see them sacrificed at the altar of cheap rhetoric.”

Nancy Holt 1938-2014

Posted in News by chrisfremantle on February 14, 2014
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Grant to provide, promote or publicise health

Posted in Arts & Health, News by chrisfremantle on February 11, 2014

Scottish Government grant funding to national voluntary organisations which provide, promote or publicise health or health-related services.  The list of previous grants includes several arts organisations as well as a number working in the environment.  National Voluntary Organisations 16b Grants.

Things I’ve been trying to remember

Posted in News, Research by chrisfremantle on January 14, 2014
From 'painted illisions' The Art of Cornelius Gijsbrechts, London: National Gallery, 2000

From ‘painted illisions’ The Art of Cornelius Gijsbrechts, London: National Gallery, 2000

I was trying to remember the details of this painting last year.  Imagine trying to google ‘trompe l’oeil painting of reverse of painting’.  Without the artist’s name I think this painting may actually be impossible to find.

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PearsonLloyd hospital redesign “reduces violence by 50 percent”

Posted in Arts & Health, News by chrisfremantle on December 24, 2013

Providing easily understood information in a well designed and clear form about the stages of your hospital visit, whether that’s the Emergency Department or Outpatients, can reduce stress for patients and according to this article, PearsonLloyd hospital redesign “reduces violence by 50 percent”.  Thanks to Alexander Hamilton for highlighting this important project.

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Nairn Primary Care Centre

Posted in Arts & Health, News, Sited work by chrisfremantle on December 23, 2013

Simon Fildes and Katrina McPherson have made two new works for the Nairn Primary Care Centre, in a project managed by IOTA.  They have installed two elements:

Little Birds connects the inside with the outside, building on recent research into the impact of birdsong on wellbeing.  You can see the work here.

Hand Heart Head is an eight screen video installation developed with the choreographer and dancer Janice Parker.  Have a look here.

HANGING OUT WITH TIM ROLLINS AND K.O.S. – The Brooklyn Rail

Posted in Civics, News, Research, Texts by chrisfremantle on December 20, 2013

One of the earliest entries in this blog, back in 2004, resulted from reading a text by Tim Rollins that formed part of the Civil Arts Enquiry at the City Arts Centre in Dublin.

I had the privilege of attending a workshop at the Talbot Rice in Edinburgh with Tim Rollins and some of the Kids of Survival in August 2012.

Now Brooklyn Rail has published an excellent article,  Two Days in the Lives of Art as Social Action, which name checks the event in Edinburgh.

Last light on a Granny Pine in Black Rannoch Wood, Thurs 21 November, 2013

Posted in News, Research by chrisfremantle on November 27, 2013
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Kevin Blackwell RIP

Posted in News by chrisfremantle on November 15, 2013
Of Boats and Buildings, Kevin Blackwell, 1997, Scottish Sculpture Open 9.  Photo: Eric Ellington

Of Boats & Buildings, Kevin Blackwell, 1997, Scottish Sculpture Open 9. Photo: Eric Ellington

Kevin was a gentle man who I got to know at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop.  He would periodically appear working on a project.  It was always a pleasure to talk to him and to see what he was working on.  I’m deeply sad to hear of his passing and sad for Diana who is without him.  Sadly Eric Ellington, who took the photographs for Scottish Sculpture Open 9 including the one above, also died a little while ago, leaving Elaine and Jamie without him.

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Practising Equality

Posted in CF Writing, News, Research by chrisfremantle on October 22, 2013

Over the past year I’ve been working with Prof Paul Harris and Prof Anne Douglas to explore common issues across art, design, architecture and media/Web 2.0 focusing on issues of co-creativity and participation. This short video made for a presentation at the Moving Targets Conference earlier this month highlights a few key thoughts and the paper will be published imminently in Participations Journal. I’ll post a link in due course.

Postscript

I just finish posting up this link to work we’ve been doing on participation and co-creativity, go back into my email and there is an Art&Education announcement of a major conference in Montreal entitled The Participatory Condition http://www.pcond.ca/ . Interestingly they have in their blurb aligned participation with democracy, something which we seek to question in our paper, and although they use the term relational, they don’t raise questions of the aesthetic of participation, questions which are critical within the art discourse but have not impacted on the discourse in design, architecture let alone media/Web 2.0.

Deep Routes: research, scale and indigeneity

Posted in CF Writing, News, Research, Sited work by chrisfremantle on September 26, 2013

The Financial Times at the end of 2012 carried a review of an exhibition by Zeng Fanzhi at the Gagosian Gallery. The review opens with the following couple of sentences,

It has finally happened – a solo exhibition of a Chinese artist whose power and interest does not depend on Chinese themes or subject matter. Since the 1990s, China has been the promised land of the global arts scene, but not one of the numerous group shows staged in the past decade – at Tate Liverpool, the Saatchi Gallery, the Hayward – has been able to make a case that artists from the region are of more than local concern.

The image that accompanied the review is of one of Zeng’s paintings, a reworking of Durer’s ubiquitous Hare some 4m square, the surface appearing to be deeply cracked. Whether this was an ironic statement on the import of the canonical tradition of Western Art from the perspective of the East, or an aesthetic judgement, or the quality of the reproduction on pink paper, I don’t know. I didn’t see the exhibition and I haven’t read the press release.

It may be that in the ambit of art criticism published in the FT and moving elegantly between the transnational art fairs and galleries that construct value through those environments, this artist is significant. It may be that because this artist reworks iconic images from canonical western art that they are therefore of ‘power and interest.’ Their ‘power and interest’ might perhaps lie in the exquisite development of the surface of the canvas through brilliant brushwork, or their use of colour, seeming to soak the hare in the night-time neon lights of Shanghai, Hong Kong, New York or LA.

This painting, and the others in the exhibition, and in fact all the work for sale in Gagosian, or in any of the other key galleries and art fairs, only exists at the global level. As the review rightly states what is important at this level is that the work cannot be of local concern, it must speak to The Universal, the abstracted, deterritorialised. It will exist in no-place because thanks to the hard work of the FT reviewer and the hard work of the Gagosian curatorial team ensuring that their merch is only seen in the right places, it’s value has nothing to do with an specific locality, any personal intimate space, any town or region. It might hang in a domestic interior for a period, but it is more likely to go into storage in a warehouse somewhere as an investment: value stored for future exchange.

The reviewer wouldn’t have to highlight this point reviewing a Richard Serra exhibition (such as the one that opened Gagosian’s London space). It would be taken for granted that Serra was of global interest and power, an important element moving in the circuits of value of the international art world. A Chinese artist has now been allowed into this club.

Claire Pentecost, in her essay (pdf: Pentecost Notes on Continental DriftNotes on the Project Called Continental Drift offers an alternative structure for thinking about art. Her structure, and the wider structure of the book Deep Routes: The Midwest In All Directions (Compass Collaborators, 2012 see bottom for ways to get a copy), precisely values an analysis which is interested in multiple levels (p.17),

We aim to explore the five scales of contemporary existence: the intimate, the local, the national, the continental and the global. Within the mesh of scales, we want to understand the extent of our interdependence, how any action we may take has effects on and is shaped by all these scales at once. We attempt to understand these dynamics so that we can understand the meaning of our own actions, the basis for an ethical life.

But for Pentecost, global is not the exclusive realm of ‘power and interest’. Rather her global is a scale at which it is necessary to look to see the entwined flows that articulate our everyday lives. She wants to look at the food on our table (perhaps the jugged hare) and through following the lines of connection to see that we are connected to the workers making ceramics in China for sale in IKEA in Long Island City (cf Ai WeiWei perhaps). And through that examination to see the Phillippino crews of container ships continuously circumnavigating the planet (cf for instance Allan Sekula). For her the global simply cannot exist in isolation. No artist’s interest and power should be divorced from local themes and subject matters. It is simply not possible – those elements can be ignored, but they still exist – practically speaking iron ore is mined, corten steel is produced in foundries, barges, trucks and planes move sculptures. There are social and environmental interactions. A sculpture can be a sign separated from all the realities that are involved in it’s production and presentation – deracinated – separated from all considerations except value to enable it to circulate freely in this global space.

And where the exhibition at Gagosian and the review in the FT are elements in the urgent construction of capital, Pentecost takes us on a detour into a mis-remembered quote trying to latch onto an articulation of a different way of dealing with signs and the value they convey, or actually deferring dealing with signs and value (p.23),

… to the point where many of us aspire to practice an intricate, processual, and research-motivated version of art that resists evaluation by the prescriptive teams of institutions and markets.

Where for the critic and the gallery the essential acts are focused on the carefully orchestrated production and affirmation of the sign as value, Pentecost following the French artist Francois Deck, suggests that the most important act is to operate at the point before the sign is ‘finalised’ and value is conferred. So the artwork is always unfinished, it is always a project, precisely because at the point we confer value, that thing, whatever it is, whether food or art, moves into warehouses and other structures designed to enable and enhance the mobility of capital.

Pentecost’s essay is one of two that open up Deep Routes. Pentecost establishes some key points in a landscape characterised by the financial crisis and the occupy movement. The themes and contexts of the book are focused by the specificity of the midwest of the United States of America. Reading the book we get to know particular places such as Beardstown, IL, exploring through Ryan Griffis and Sarah Ross’ glossary of terms the ‘vertical integration’ of a small town into global commodities markets through ‘the cold chain,’ ‘engineered tiling,’ GMO, chemical fertilizers and GPS mapping. Matthias Regan’s narrative offers a different trajectory, of a Greyhound bus journey from Chicago to Detroit. This is a gentle, reflective meditation on breakdown in which (p.188),

The future does not emerge from amongst the technocratic elite; it will not be driven by new inventions in digital media. We should seek it instead in what is meager and humble, tentative and transitioning. Not rushing away from breakdown, but opening ourselves to its after effects.

The other key trajectory established from the outset in Deep Routes takes us into indigenous experience, practice, pedagogy and critique. Alongside the spatial, economic and experiential journeys of the other authors, Dylan AT Miner’s interviews with First People’s organisers punctuate the book. Miner has been pursuing a project of imagining that we can all be indigenous – it’s not a condition restricted by genealogy, but rather a practice and a philosophy – a way of making sense of the world.

Near the end of the book, in the last interview, Jill Doerfler and Miner discuss tribalography, a methodology developed by by LeAnne Howe. Jill studied with LeAnne and explains the emergence of tribalography (p.228),

LeAnne has explained that tribalography grew out of the Native propensity to connect things together. It is the idea that Native writers often tell stories that combine autobiography, history, and fiction; we tell stories that include all these elements and also work in collaboration with the past, present, and future. …

Jill goes on to say,

These stories are not generally about finding out what really happened but are meant to teach us something and show us our place within our families, communities, nations, and the world. I found that in addition to serving as a critical lens for literary study and as a theoretical framework for cultural analysis, tribalography can also serve as an abundantly fruitful methodological approach relevant across the interdisciplinary field of American Indian studies.

I happened across Deep Routes staying with Sarah Ross and Ryan Griffis in Chicago in the autumn of 2012 (I was introduced to them by Brett Bloom when I asked him for help finding somewhere to stay in Chicago). They had just received delivery of a number of boxes from the printers. There was one on the coffee table. I picked it up and started reading. I realised it was the sequel to MidWest Radical Culture Corridor: A Call to Farms, which I had come across a few years ago. I was in Chicago for the International Sculpture Conference, but in many respects this book is better art than much of what I saw in the conference presentations.  Not only did I meet Sarah and Ryan, but also Claire and Brian Holmes who came up with the concept of Continental Drift, and is the ’embedded’ critical theorist.

We ate preserved pears from the tree in their back garden and Sarah articulated some of the stress of working as a volunteer artist in a maximum security prison on her days off from teach at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

For me the description of tribalography tallies with my experience as an associate of a practice-led research programme. Practice-led research in the arts is autobiography. It is often history (contextualising practices in relation to precedents). It moves across the past, present and future (it has been said that practice-led PhDs are ways for artists to reinvent their practices). Truth in the sense of replicable experiment is not at the heart of practice-led research. But most provocatively fiction is sometimes there too (Sophie Hope’s work Participating in the Wrong Way certainly brings ‘fictionalising’ to bear on research).

Methods, whether Pentecost’s revisiting of the Modern School movement of the early part of the last century or tribalography, positively radiate out of this volume. It is built on the experience of a creative community that exists in a particular territory. Their art is research motivated, processual and intricately interwoven at different scales and with different collaborators. Ironically this work is of global power and interest even if it is all about the Midwest.

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You can order a copy here, or if you are in Scotland and we can meet, then I’ll lend you one.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Rural Health and Creative Community Engagement – University of the Highlands and Islands – jobs.ac.uk

Posted in Arts & Health, News, Research by chrisfremantle on September 6, 2013

Just saw this on jobs.ac.uk – another important development.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Rural Health and Creative Community Engagement – University of the Highlands and Islands – jobs.ac.uk.

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (PDRF), funded until June 2016, to conduct qualitative work within Highland. The work will explore the nature of the relationships between rural community life, identity, health and well-being.

The post is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Economic and Social Research Council as part of a large grant in the Connected Communities Programme, led by Prof. Gareth Williams at Cardiff University. The overarching aim of the project is to establish how community representations produced through creative arts practices (e.g. storytelling, performance, visual art) can be used as forms of evidence to inform health-related policy and service development. Through analysis of existing representations of communities in literature, film etc. and the production of new community self-representations, the work will explore the relationship between ‘official’ representations of community health and well-being (e.g. in statistical data) and how communities understand and present their own health and well-being.

The project will take place across five distinct case-study communities in Wales, Scotland and England. This post will be based within the UHI Department of Diabetes and Cardiovascular Science (Inverness) and affiliated with the Centre for Rural Health (a joint research centre for UHI and the University of Aberdeen). The PDRF will be report to Dr. Sarah-Anne Munoz who is leading the remote and rural work within the larger project. The PDRF will carry out a remote and rural community case study to feed into the wider project. As one of several PDRFs appointed to the project, the successful candidate will be expected to collaborate with the other PDRFs and members of the academic team. This will involve attending team meetings throughout the UK.

The post involves a focus on understanding and gathering existing representations of a Highland community; both artistic (e.g. in literature) and formal (e.g. statistics) and then using creative engagement methods (e.g. life mapping, storytelling and deep mapping) to work with community members to generate new self-representations. This work will be in partnership with arts and health organisations/professionals.

The successful candidate will have a PhD in a health humanities area relevant to the project themes and have experience of carrying out qualitative research. Experience of using participatory and/or creative methods would be beneficial.

The closing date is Sunday 29 September 2013 and interviews will be held on 15 October 2013 in Inverness.

What art have I seen?

Posted in Exhibitions, News, Sited work by chrisfremantle on August 31, 2013
Glimpse, Will Levi Marshall and Donald Urquhart, 2013

Glimpse, Will Levi Marshall and Donald Urquhart, 2013.  Photo Chris Fremantle

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Glimpse, Will Levi Marshall and Donald Urquhart, 2013. Photo Chris Fremantle

Glimpse, one of the Featured Projects in the Environmental Art Festival Scotland, is an ephemeral installation just off the A701 – we went into the woods at the Barony, but perhaps the best way to see the work is as you travel along the road between Dumfries and Moffat.

What art have I seen?

Posted in Exhibitions, News, Sited work by chrisfremantle on August 30, 2013
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Cinema Sark, Prof Pete Smith and John Wallace, 2013. Photo Chris Fremantle

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Cinema Sark, Prof Pete Smith and John Wallace, 2013. Photo Chris Fremantle

 

Cinema Sark at the Environmental Art Festival Scotland.  It’s not often that video presented as sited work so elegantly uses it’s setting, or so engrosses the viewer.  This work is a meditation on the many dimensions of the Sark, the river that divides Scotland and England in the West.  The space under the M6 motorway is both a constant reminder of the context, but also an ideal location for the screening.

Velocity Talks 19 September

Posted in Arts & Health, News by chrisfremantle on August 28, 2013

Jackie Sands, Arts & Health Senior, Health Improvement, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and I (as Project Manager for Ginkgo Projects) have been asked to give one of the Velocity Talks.  It’s take place at the Lighthouse in Glasgow on the 19th of September, its free, but please book a place here.

Jackie will talk about the 6 year public art strategy she’s implemented across now perhaps 10 new healthcare facilities, and I’ll talk about the strategy for the New South Glasgow Hospitals as a key example.

Failure

Posted in News by chrisfremantle on August 22, 2013
Beach structure.  Photo Chris Fremantle

Beach structure. Photo Chris Fremantle

Simon Biggs and the CIRCLE (Creative Interdisciplinary Research in Collaborative Environments) have a day called Glitch’d: Purposeful Mistakes at Edinburgh College of Art next week.  They say,

The glitch is the defect or malfunction; when technology misbehaves. Distinct from noise, which corrupts information, the glitch affects the decisions our technologies increasingly make for us, amplifying the outcome. This one day event, encompassing promenade performance, an intelligent search engine, technological demonstration, dance performance and manipulated light installation, explores how interactive media art projects can offer insights into the affects and effects of the glitch.

Info here.

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Professor Gavin Renwick on “working with elders” 22 August, Ayr

Posted in News, Research by chrisfremantle on August 1, 2013

renwick

ayr converses presentation/conversation

Be Strong Like Two People: Learning from the Elders of the Tlicho First Nation People in the North West Territories of Canada

Gavin Renwick, Professor and Canada Chair of Design, University of Alberta

Thursday 22 August 2013 : 6pm – 9pm : Ayr Auld Kirk Hall (Upper Hall)

Gavin Renwick, Professor and Canada Chair of Design at the University of Alberta, has spent more than ten years working with the Tlicho first nation people in the North West Territories of Canada on their land claim to the Canadian Government. Renwick was until recently Professor of Art and Policy at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee, where he continues to be a visiting professor. His role with the Tlicho has been as a cultural intermediary assisting with the articulation of the understanding of land and inhabitation of the Tlicho, who are a nomadic people.

Renwick has regularly reported on key aspects of the thinking of the Elders, particularly around their relationships with young people. In his presentation, Gavin Renwick will explore the Elders understanding of the pressures on the young. First, the need to be “strong like two people”, which is a reference to the need for young people to be both strong in their own culture and strong in western culture. The second is the need to be “modern in your own language”, which clearly sets out one way to address the first challenge.

Gavin Renwick is originally from Motherwell. He was brought up among the last generation of Lanarkshire people who worked in coal, iron and steel. He has realised projects across Europe, as well as in Turkey and Canada. His present work utilises practice-led methods that place the practitioner-researcher as a cultural intermediary between indigenous and metropolitan culture. His applied and curatorial practice aims to facilitate cultural continuity for traditional communities. For the past decade he has been working between Scotland and the Canadian Northwest Territories, most recently for the Tlicho (formerly Dogrib) Dene community of Gameti as founder and coordinator of Gameti Ko, an incorporated society directed by a board of Elders.

The presentation/conversation will be chaired by Chris Fremantle, ayr converses co-founder with Lianne Hackett.

Following the presentation and Q&A, there will be the opportunity to converse with a glass of wine or soft drink. A small collection will be made towards venue hire and refreshments.

Please confirm your attendance by Friday 16 August info@ayrconverses.org.uk

Gavin Renwick’s website

Sambaa K’e Print Studio

Incubator for Northern Design and Innovation

New Economics for Artists

Posted in CV, News, Texts by chrisfremantle on July 1, 2013

Harry Giles’ excellent twenty (?) questions on the cultural economy in relation to its own inconsistencies and in relation to certain other economics that we all might have experienced (4 months working for London Electricity in their call centre in Victoria in about 1990-1; 6 months working as an outdoor clerk for a firm of solicitors; 4 years working as an amanuensis for a paraplegic philosophy professor whilst at University; 10 weeks as an unpaid intern at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York one summer during University).

Harry Josephine Giles

I wrote this brain-dump for Andy Field, who was asked to prepare a presentation on “how artists can think about new financial models for themselves and for audiences”. He collected 150 bits of advice, sold them for £1 each, and used the proceeds to pay a violinist to play music for the length of the presentation: hurrah for the meeting of form and content! I keep attempting to write something long and thoughtful on art and money and how it all fits together, or maybe organise a conference about it, or a piece of action-research, or… well, none of that has happened yet. Maybe it will. In the mean time, two very nice people recently reminded me that I’d written this, so I reread it, and it turns out I’d already said most of the things I’ve been thinking about. So here it is. it’s a start, anyway.

“New…

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The Patient as Person Full Report

Posted in Arts & Health, News by chrisfremantle on June 27, 2013

In May Donald Urquhart asked me to do a presentation on his behalf at a conference called ‘The Patient as Person’ hosted at the Albertus Institute in Edinburgh.  They have just published the full report here.

Along side other presentations on the policy context and the philosophical issues I presented on the physical environment and how Donald Urquhart creates human spaces in healthcare contexts.  Obviously Donald isn’t the only person/artist/designer working this way or tackling these challenges, but it was very useful to focus on one practice and the key issues that one process of research and development has highlighted.  What is the expression?  “Other artists are available”?

Collaborate Creatively at Firstsite

Posted in News by chrisfremantle on June 21, 2013

Very much looking forward to being at Firstsite in Colchester on Wednesday morning to talk about collaboration.  We have two excellent presentations, one from Lyndall Phelps and the other done jointly by Lawrence Bradby and Jevan Watkins-Jones – there’s loads of links and info on the a-n website here: News | a-n.

A Graphic History of the Gezi Resistance – Bianet / English – Bianet

Posted in News by chrisfremantle on June 19, 2013

They saved the hill. But can they save forgotten Scotland?

Posted in News by chrisfremantle on April 23, 2013

Dalmellington is one of a series of villages and small towns including Cumnock and New Cumnock, Auchinleck, Beith, Kilbirnie, Glengarnock, Drongen, Muirkirk, perhaps Patna and Tarbolton, certainly South as far as Dailly, which are part of a post industrial rural landscape which is distinctive in Scotland.  It runs across Central Scotland and up into Fife.

Kenneth Roy’s short comment on the demise of Scottish Coal Ltd, just put up on the Scottish Review, highlights the undoubted determination of the people living in these towns: they value their places and fight for them.

Glasgow may be onto its fourth major international event next year, but the whole discourse of regeneration and creative cities has pretty much bypassed the issues of the post-industrial rural landscape.  The development of Dumfries House and the associated new settlement of Knockroon are perhaps an element of a rural story, as are Booktowns, though as Roy notes Dalmellington was meant to be Scotland’s before Wigtown grabbed the mantle.

If Creative Scotland has a challenge today, it’s to develop a Place Strategy that speaks to this set of challenges.

 

Does a piece in the New York Times mean it’s mainstream?

Posted in News by chrisfremantle on March 29, 2013

Ghost of Water Row on ­RIAS shortlist

Posted in News by chrisfremantle on March 25, 2013

Ghost of Water Row on ­architecture award shortlist - Arts - Scotsman.com

Edo Architecture‘s Ghost of Water Row has been shortlisted for the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland’s Award, as reported in Scotland on Sunday.  For more information.

Andy McAvoy of Edo said in an email,

Budget?  £0
Client?   George Wylie RIP
Site?   missing
Contact for visit?  n/a
Things done on a whim… and carried out with rigour … are always very satisfying.

Chinua Achebe 1930-2013 RIP

Posted in News by chrisfremantle on March 24, 2013
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What art have I seen?

Posted in Exhibitions, News by chrisfremantle on March 17, 2013

Open Studios Ayrshire 22-24 March

Posted in News by chrisfremantle on March 13, 2013

A group of artists has gotten together to organise the first Open Studios in Ayrshire over the weekend 22-24 March 2013.  The brochure can be downloaded osabrochure2013.

Ideas for Ayr Beach

Posted in News by chrisfremantle on March 10, 2013

Lianne Hackett and I, under the banner of Ayr Converses, have been thinking about Ayr Beach.  We’ve set up a Storify to enable us to pull together ideas and examples.  If you have any, please feel free to send me a link or add a comment below.

http://storify.com/cfremantle/what-to-do-on-ayr-beach/

Legacies of British Slave-ownership

Posted in News, Research by chrisfremantle on March 7, 2013

UCL have just put a new database online which allows searching for owners of slaves by name and address.  So put ‘Ayrshire’ into the search field and you’ll find the addresses in Ayrshire, the Plantations in the British Carribean, Mauritius and the Cape.  The last item is a sum of money.  It’s the compensation paid to the slave owners.

Ayr Common Good workshop

Posted in News by chrisfremantle on November 26, 2012

ayr converses (Lianne Hackett and Chris Fremantle) have organised a free workshop on Ayr Common Good for Saturday 8th December, 10am- 1pm, in the former courtroom at Ayr Town Hall.  Please follow the link for more information.

Booking is required. Places are limited to 30 participants & will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Please email ayr converses info@ayrconverses.org.uk with “Ayr Common Good Booking” in the subject line.

 

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