DIY 13: 2016 - Aaron Williamson ‘Average Jo/e Modelling Agency’


An art project that is also a briefly-lived modelling agency set upon depicting the fantasy-fiction average lifestyle that is celebrated in corporate imagery

This is a DIY with a difference: Aaron is looking for a range of participants with particular skills to collaborate on a project with focused outcomes, both practical and performative. Participants will develop artistic practice and methodologies by applying existing creative and technical expertise to the study of contemporary averageness.

Project summary

We’re all familiar with those hoardings that depict an ‘architect’s projection’ of a new-build or flat-conversion’s ideal future of coffee-houses, urban hubs and the sweet smell of successful, average living. But who are the ‘unit-people’ in such imagery with their ordinary, average appearances?

Want to be such a model? So does Aaron Williamson - come and participate in founding Average Jo/e Modelling Agency and learn about posing to camera, body language, buzz-wording, dress-coding and the performance of successful averageness. The objective is to collaborate on producing a cheap yet glossy brochure about nothing very much.


I am looking to work with a group of four others who can combine some degree of specialist expertise in one technical aspect of the project along with the willingness to work as an 'average Jo/e' model. These, ideally, would include:

  • A photographer
  • Fashion/make-up expert
  • IT website designer
  • Someone with advanced photo-shopping/ brochure template skills.

I need individuals who can be resourceful with a pronounced ‘can-do’ attitude! Each participant will receive a fee in recognition of the skills basis they bring to the Average Jo/e Modelling Agency.

Dates, times and location

Dates: 8-9 Oct 2016 
Location: Brighton/Sussex
This DIY is supported by the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts 

The artist

Aaron Williamson is an artist whose interdisciplinary engagement with performance, objects, place and space is inspired by his experience of becoming deaf and by a politicised, yet humorous sensibility towards disability. During the last twenty years he has created over 300 performances, interventions, videos, installations and publications, for galleries, museums and festivals including: Venice Biennale; Nippon Performance Art Festival - Japan; DaDao Festival - China; Intercambio – Argentina; Columbia University, Chicago, USA; Taipei Performance - Taiwan; Eruptio Action Art, Transylvania; ANTI Art Festival – Finland; British School at Rome, Italy; and many other venues. His emphasis is often upon public-sited artworks in shopping centres, streets, public museums, as well as in unusual spaces such as mountains, rivers, volcanic craters, small islands, rooftops and a single-car lock-up garage in Hackney. A monograph, Aaron Williamson – Performance, Video, Collaboration, was published by the Live Art Development Agency in 2007. Williamson's s awards include: the Helen Chadwick Fellowship at the British School at Rome; Artist Links, British Council, China; Three-Year AHRC Fellowship, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, UCE; Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary; Acme Studios Stephen Cripps Award, in addition to project funding through Arts Council England, the British Council, Henry Moore Foundation, and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Williamson holds a D.Phil in critical theory from the University of Sussex (1997).

Part of DIY 13: 2016 Project List


Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9RA