DIY 14: 2017 - Daniella Valz Gen & Jade Montserrat: From a Creative Case to an Ecology of Care

A two day research and sharing retreat investigating definitions of 'diversity'


Project summary

Taking The Creative Case for Diversity as a starting text, we will discuss complex ideas of cultural identity. How might The Creative Case for Diversity expand the methodological role and function of Live Art and location from a regional premise?

With Brexit the UK faces uncertainty: This DIY suggests focusing and expanding combined thought processes as we transcend a rise in nationalism and metropolitan elitism by interrogating The Creative Case for Diversity in terms of audience development building/outreach, the migrant experience and belonging, disability, race, gender, sexuality and economics. Diversity builds from a nationalist claim; it has links to Empire and umbrellas a series of identities. It might be thought of as an exclusionary process. So, who is 'diversity' for? Are those of us that fall under the diversity demographic granted recipients - 'chosen' through 'diversity'. And how does that by default tokenise us on the basis of being 'visibly' diverse: the burden of representation.

How does this impact our practices and others? What are the general assumptions made by the categorisation of career stages in relation to age, and how do these assumptions take a normative and privileged position as a starting point for engaging in the arts? This DIY will allow participants to discuss the administrative process that selects which artists are granted public visibility: why, how and for whom? Are our self regulatory publicly funded institutions gathering 'diversity points' as opposed to investing in a reciprocity between diverse practitioners and audience? Is diversity a process that requires a live approach to process, dismissing contemporary art world demands for outcomes and exhibition? What is radical action in terms of Live Art and diversity? How might Live Art in regional/rural settings unlock the values people associate with their surroundings? 

How to apply

Participants at all levels of experience working in live art and those working as programmers, cultural leaders and curators.

The application (via the link below) requires consideration of diversity, identity, and the burden of representation. Answers aren't limited to text, you may upload or link to image, document, video, sound or other content.


Dates, times and location

Dates: Thu 5 - Sun 8 Oct
Location: Scarborough

The artists

Jade Montserrat is a visual artist (performance, works on paper and interdisciplinary projects; working collaboratively with Network 11, Press Room, the Conway Cohort and Rainbow Tribe: Affectionate Movement). As a postcolonial subject working from a small North Yorkshire town, Montserrat’s work provides a unique basis for political self positioning within Black Diasporic Cultural discourse. Montserrat makes work that draws from a fractured and erased biography; perpetually attempting to define place in community, through an identity imposed, shaped by experiences of cultural violence, nationalistic chauvinism, racism and xenophobia, insertion and rejection.

Daniella Valz Gen’s practice manifests through performance, text, events and installations. Focusing on the poetic as a means of resistance, Valz Gen’s work explores the personal through a focus on affect and the means by which identity is negotiated, always returning the global to a matter of bodies, of a body, of what it means to have a body that is so often negated or undermined by wider structures. Through an ongoing research on the materiality of the body as psychological site, taking the displaced / migrant body as the centre of the discussion on trauma and displacement, Valz Gen interrogates wider socio-political discourse surrounding neo-colonial politics. 

If you have questions about this project, please contact Daniella or Jade.

This DIY is supported by Compass Live Art.

Part of DIY 14: 2017 - Call for Participants