Artistic practice as queer civics: a series of online encounters about making better worlds through lived experience, material support, fun, and mutation.
DIY Hope Machines with Dr.Duckie aims to cultivate artistic forms and processes that generate hopeful agency. At this time of deep uncertainty, jeopardy, and possibility, it invites people to consider their practice as a form of intentional civic action and explore how it might serve the emergence of better worlds. The online workshop, spread over six weeks and run in collaboration with Folkestone Fringe, consists of individual and group conversations and low-stakes experimental exercises.
It uses the conceptual framework of ‘homemade mutant hope machines’ developed during Ben’s doctoral research with Duckie, centring ideas around material support, mutation and fun. The format is experimental and likely to mutate. It’s about exploring a process with collective care rather than generating a product – but we hope participants will end up with a small totem or talisman that represents the world they want to help create and their practice as a form of hopeful agency.
This workshop is intended for five participants, who will be supported with a bursary of £200 each to include any expenses. People from any field are welcome to apply, especially those interested in participatory performance practices and/or intentional links between artistic practice and political or community-based action. We are particularly interested to hear from artists with a personal connection to Folkestone, and those interested in how art relates to hope, material support, mutation and fun. We welcome applications from Black, POC, queer and disabled artists. To apply, please send a one-page document or two-minute audio/video message to [email protected] and [email protected] by 10am on Friday July 24 2020, mentioning your name, your field of practice and experience, what interests you about the workshop and what you hope to get out of it.
The workshop will run between Monday July 27 and Friday September 11 2020, with 2 x 1-hour online meetings per week – so a total of 12 hours over 6 weeks. (Exact dates and times to be discussed with participants.) If it is safe and practical, we might also try to meet together in Folkestone around the start and end of the project. (To be discussed with participants.)
Ben Walters – aka Dr Duckie – is not really an artist but knows a lot of them. Time Out London’s former cabaret editor, Ben’s live productions include pedagogical extravaganza The Prime of Ms David Hoyle, variety night Come With Me If You Want to Live, and BURN, a platform for moving images by cabaret artists. He’s also made documentaries about underground performance and wrote the application to make the Royal Vauxhall Tavern the UK’s first queer listed building. Ben’s doctoral research with Duckie framed the queer collective’s community projects as ‘homemade mutant hope machines’ and he tries to share his findings beyond the academy through talks and workshops.
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