DIY 2020: Gordon Douglas – That’s Governance!

That’s Governance! invites participants to interrogate conditions of governance, and propose, through roleplay, a non-human candidate for SSW’s Board of Trustees.

This DIY is run in partnership with Scottish Sculpture Workshop.

About the workshop

That’s Governance! will invite a group of participants to work together and propose a non-human candidate to hold a position on Scottish Sculpture Workshop’s Board of Trustees. Applying games and exercises in deep listening and roleplay with puppets, the workshop will encourage a playful response and challenge to the perceivably immoveable conditions of governing. What can we achieve by heightening our grasp of organisational advice from non-human actors, and what can we complicate by attributing social purpose to phenomena as critical or reformative tools? The workshop is open to participants with keen interests in performativity, and who want to embrace further affinities with deep ecology, queer theory, actor network theory, and alternative structures of governance. 

The workshop responds directly to artist Jack Tan’s quotation that “a truly queer, feminist, anti-racist, posthuman board would dance a tango with Governance– resisting, releasing, evading, acquiescing, rejecting”, and will expand outwards from SSW towards challenging broader conditions of governance. The resulting conversations and collective proposal will ruminate on the performativity of personhood, eligibility criteria and barriers to governing, anthropomorphic hierarchies relating to non-humans, and considerations within collaborative decision-making.

Dates and location

Friday 27 November, 6pm — Sunday 29 November 2020. 

This workshop will take place at Scottish Sculpture Workshop. 

This DIY is free to attend and travel costs up to a value of £70 will be covered. There is also a small access budget of £75 per participant, we ask that if you do not need this additional funding to access the workshop, you opt out of it in your application.

Simple, shared accommodation on site will be provided for Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.
Daily evening meals will be provided on these dates, which participants will prepare and eat together. Food for lunches, breakfasts and snacks will not be provided. 

That’s Governance! is an in-person workshop, and we will be following Scottish Government guidelines closely regarding ongoing public health concerns in order to make this a safe workshop for everyone. For full information on COVID-19 safety measures at SSW, follow this link.

If you have specific access requirements you would like to share or discuss prior to applying, please contact [email protected]. Information on accessibility at SSW is available here.

How to apply

To apply follow this link,  deadline for applications 12 noon, Monday 19 October.

The selected participants of That’s Governance! are invited to Lumsden in Aberdeenshire to take part in this weekend-long workshop involving games, exercises, and roleplay. They will be joined by DIY artist Gordon Douglas and SSW’s Programme and Communications Manager Jenny Salmean and together will form a temporary working group. 

This DIY invites applications from those who want to challenge the hegemonies of organisational performativity with a playful approach, from a decolonial, queer and posthuman perspective. The workshop may be of interest to artists who are invested in organising, who are/ have been part of artist-led projects or Boards of Trustees; to those who have felt frustrated at conditions of organising, and who are pushing to make change in their communities; to those who have attempted to instigate new things, and those who are actively engaged in reforming the systems they hold stake in. 

We have aimed to simplify the process of applying this opportunity to three questions listed below. We acknowledge that there will be barriers to applying in this way, so if you would like to submit your application through other means, please contact us to agree on a more suitable format. 

Three or four participants will be selected by DIY artist Gordon Douglas and SSW Programme and Communications Manager, Jenny Salmean, with the intention of bringing together a group with diverse knowledges and experiences to participate in the DIY. All applicants will receive a response to their application by Friday 30 October.

The selected participants of That’s Governance! are invited to Lumsden in Aberdeenshire to take part in this weekend-long workshop involving games, exercises, and roleplay. They will be joined by DIY artist Gordon Douglas and SSW’s Programme and Communications Manager Jenny Salmean and together will form a temporary working group. 

Deadline for applications 12 noon, Monday 19 October 2020.

This DIY forms part of BE PART, a large EU Cooperation Project that critically explores collaborative art-making and sharing through decentralised governance models involving local citizens, artists, partners and policy makers.

About the artist

Gordon Douglas is a performance artist based in Glasgow. He devises embedded positions, games and events that set out to reimagine organisations, and investigate the performativity of working together. His practice is founded on a commitment to (and scepticism of) collaboration, and aims to generate social byproducts by playing through, or exhausting, perceived institutional systems. This research has seen him take on a variety of roles including time spent with: The NewBridge Project, Newcastle (2016); Edinburgh College (2016-17); Travelling Gallery, Scotland (2018); and Cooper Gallery, Dundee (2019). Recently, he conducted an extensive ‘performative audit’ of power, access and accountability within CCA Glasgow’s open source policy (An Opposites Programme, 2018-19). The non-human agent he shares most in common with is blu-tack.

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