Privilege and Class, Artist Residency Full Application Brief

1. Introduction and context

We are seeking proposals from artists to undertake a two-stranded residency programme: (a) a two-week research-based strand in LADA’s Study Room in Hackney Wick, London, exploring Live Art practices and methodologies in relation to issues of class and cultural privilege; and (b) a four-week practice based strand with CCCU and Sidney Cooper Gallery (in Canterbury, Kent), during which the artist will work with local community groups to put aspects of the research undertaken with LADA into practice.

Notes on the two strands:

a) On class and cultural privilege; with LADA, London

This will be one of four Study Room Residencies at LADA as part of the project Restock, Rethink Reflect Four on Live Art and Privilege.

Restock, Rethink, Reflect (RRR) is an ongoing series mapping underrepresented artists, practices and histories, specifically in relation to ideas of cultural identities. The series aims to mark the impact of Live Art practices and approaches to questions of representation and agency, whilst supporting future generations of practitioners through artist’s development opportunities, resources, projects, and publications.

The first Restock, Rethink, Reflect was on Live Art and Race (2006-08), the second on Live Art and Disability (2009-12), and the third on Live Art and Feminism (2013-15).

Restock, Rethink, Reflect Four (2016-18) will focus on issues of cultural and economic privilege. It is being developed in collaboration with Dr Amit Rai Queen Mary, University of London lecturer and co-founder of Autonomous Tech Fetish, and aims to mark and map the ways in which Live Art has developed new forms of access to, and understandings of, knowledge, agency, and inclusion in relation to the under-represented, marginalized and disenfranchised constituencies of:

  1. the young
  2. the old
  3. the displaced, and
  4. from the perspective of the lived relations of class and privilege

The first year of Restock, Rethink, Reflect Four (2016-17) will be research based: mapping the territories, unpicking the most critical questions, and developing new partnerships, strategies and approaches.

This research will primarily take the form of four two-week long artist-led residencies in 2016/17 in LADA’s Study Room.

The residencies will consider:

  • How have Live Art practices and methodologies engaged artists, participants and audiences that have been historically and socially excluded from the experience of art?
  • How can Live Art methodologies effectively activate political questions of different forms of privilege?
  • How can the distinct experiences of knowledge, research, access, and collaborative approaches within Live Art be a generative ground to develop new methodologies of participatory arts development?
  • Whose knowledge is valid and valued, and why?
  • What forms can research take?
  • How can disenfranchised peoples access the arts, be heard in our culture, and have their experiences valued?

The four residencies will ask how Live Art as an experimental, practical, and political response to inequality and exclusion, can develop new, and reassess the emergent, approaches and methodologies that can contribute to disadvantaged individuals and communities in material ways, especially in the area of arts provision and social and political engagement.

The residencies will centre on LADA’s Study Room resource, which acts as both a repository of knowledge and a generator of activities. They will particularly focus on The Library of Performing Rights, a unique resource housed within the Study Room of materials examining the intersection between performance and Human Rights. The Library was developed by Lois Weaver of Queen Mary University of London in collaboration with LADA for Performance Studies international 12: Performing Rights in 2006. The RRR4 residency/research project aims to reactivate and reanimate the Library as a resource accessible at LADA, online, and on tour.

At the conclusion of the four RRR4 residencies the lead residency artists will work with LADA and its partners on devising a seminar/symposium drawing out the key findings from the research project, showcasing the outcomes and mapping future projects and possibilities. This event is planned for London, March 2017.

The residencies will also form part of, and contribute to, LADA’s work for the Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP), an EU-funded research project looking at collaborative practices within socially engaged contexts. The overall goal of CAPP is to improve and open up opportunities for artists who are working collaboratively across Europe, by enhancing mobility and exchange whilst at the same time engaging new publics and audiences for collaborative practices. The principle aims of the CAPP residencies are to explore new models of participation and co-operation and encourage an exchange of artists’ methodologies, contexts
and ideas.

Within this context we are seeking proposals from artists to undertake a two-week research based residency at LADA which will investigate the ‘lived relations of class and privilege’. The culmination of this work will be the basis for the second strand to take place in Canterbury as a four-week residency.

b) On class, exclusion and commodification; with CCCU, Canterbury

The second strand of the residency builds on the work of CCCU’s Activism Research Network and the work with LADA set out above. It also will be part of CCCU’s collaboration with Tate Exchange. CCCU is one of the Tate Exchange associates that have been invited to respond to the project’s provocations in the form of a ‘fairground’ exploring different notions of exchange.

In collaboration with Sidney Cooper Art Gallery (Canterbury, Kent) CCCU’s contribution to the Exchange project focuses on economic exchange and how it leads to the production of forms of human and social “waste”. This is a response to Tim Etchells’ provocation: “The most important exchange is economic.”

While the human waste produced in this economic exchange is commodified through the 21st century versions of Victorian Freak Shows (see Channel 5 programme titles such as “My Big Fat Benefits Family”, or “Too Fat To Work”), CCCU’s project aims at a radical view which refuses such commodification. With this project, CCCU aims to subvert the dominant narrative on human/social “waste”, by creating a space for the perspective of those who are subjected to this dominant narrative to emerge.

The residency will engage with questions such as: how do people who experience such dominant narratives understand their own location in capitalist exchange? how do they challenge it?

The residency will be delivered in close collaboration with local community groups and activists in order to challenge such narratives. These groups will be identified by CCCU, and their interactions within the project will be informed by the residency artist’s proposal.

2. The Residency

This is one residency, with two strands, based in London with LADA and in Canterbury with CCCU.

a) On class and cultural privilege; with LADA, London

This residency strand has been developed in partnership with Dr Amit Rai of Queen Mary, University of London.

The two-week residency can take place at a mutually agreed time between September and November 2016.

This residency strand will look at the ways that Live Art can contribute to the development of new methodologies to engage artists, participants and audiences that have been excluded from the experience of art, and explore the possibilities of “best practices” that are sensitive to the nuances of power and relational in their understanding of arts practices.

The aims and anticipated outcomes of the residency include –

  1. The research and acquisition of a range of new resources to enhance LADA’s Study Room holdings around issues of class and cultural and economic privilege.
  2. A ‘toolkit’ of methodologies to be disseminated through LADA and the artist’s and partners’ networks within the cultural sector and Higher Education, and through our work as a partner on CAPP.
  3. A Study Room Guide in the form of case studies around these territories.
  4. An evaluation report for LADA/CAPP.
  5. Contribution to a public event in March 2017 in London (as noted above).

The lead artist will shape the form and approach of their two-week residency, but it is expected that the residency will involve conversations/collaborations with a diverse range of participants and partners including artists, researchers, scholars, activists and/or producers working in these fields.

It is anticipated that the artist will research and plan much of their residency in advance of being in situ at LADA, and will liaise with LADA and CCCU in advance on their plans.

b) On class, exclusion and commodification; with CCCU, Canterbury

Drawing inspiration from the research-based component of the residency, the artist will join CCCU’s Activism Research Network and Kent community groups to engage in practice with the ideas of class, the deserving-undeserving poor, and society’s “waste”.

The four-week strand in Canterbury can take place at a mutually agreed time between November 2016 and February 2017, but will need to include 24-28 January in Canterbury.

The aims and anticipated outcomes of the residency include –

  1. The development of approaches that can inform the activities of CCCU’s Activism Research Network.
  2. The creation of an event, or piece of work, developed in close collaboration with local community groups and activists to be showcased between 24–28 January in Sidney Cooper Gallery and/or public spaces. As part of a larger exhibition on the theme of social exclusion, the Sidney Cooper Gallery will become a ‘fairground’ incorporating aspects of the residency’s output into a new exchange with the visitors to the gallery.
  3. The residency’s output will also comprise part of a Tate Exchange programme in Spring 2017 at Tate Modern, London.

While the themes and aims of CCCU’s collaboration with the artist are set by CCCU’s conceptual background (above), we are open to a multiplicity of art practices. What we are particularly looking for is work that will challenge a sense of hierarchy in cultural practice in which an artist speaks for ‘the marginalised’. To this extent, the project must not take on a representative form, but rather enable the marginalised to constitute in a radical political sense a space in which they can speak for themselves.

The artist will be based in Canterbury for the duration of the residency. Links to community partners will be facilitated by CCCU, and staff from CCCU Activism Research Network will be available as a point of reference for the artist at all stages of the project. The Sidney Cooper Art Gallery will provide some production space within the week of 24 January. Other space will be negotiated at CCCU through assessing the needs of the residency artist. Office space will also be provided at CCCU in the period of the project.

It is anticipated that the artist will liaise with CCCU in advance on their plans and what CCCU needs to prepare for them. It is expected that the artist will do the necessary research and planning in advance of the Canterbury residency, developing a clear strategy of engagement. At the same time, the artist should build ample room within this strategy for the full and genuine involvement of the community partners.

At the conclusion of the residency, the artist will work with CCCU and its partners in devising a final Tate Exchange event (Spring 2017, dates to be agreed with Tate). While we expect the actual form of the event to develop naturally from the residency, we anticipate this may include at least two elements: (1) a showcase of the artist’s work in Canterbury, and (2) a conversation on the main themes of the project.

3. Eligibility

The residency is aimed at a UK based artist whose practice has directly engaged with the impact of cultural and economic privilege.

The artist must work within the area of Live Art and have at least five years experience of making and presenting work.

The artist must have direct experience of, and an interest in, working collaboratively.

The artist must have direct experience of, and an interest in, undertaking self-determined research and developing new approaches to, and understandings of, research in relation to Live Art. The artist must also have experience with community engagement projects and/or grassroots activism.

We are interested in proposals from companies and collectives as well as individual artists, but they must be open to involving conversations/collaborations with a diverse range of participants and partners including artists, researchers, scholars, activists and/or producers working in these fields within their residency.

We particularly welcome proposals from artists from culturally diverse backgrounds and artists working in/with ‘underrepresented’ territories.

4. The offer

The artist will receive a total residency budget of £9,000.

The residency budget is intended to cover a fee for the artist; any related taxes; all meals and hospitality. It also includes any planning time and all materials. The residency budget is inclusive of any fees and expenses to be paid to any other collaborators or artists, researchers, scholars, activists, or producers who are invited to contribute to the residency, and any hospitality provided for them.

The residency budget is also inclusive of all planning time, and for the artists’ contribution to the final event in London in March 2017 (however, LADA will separately cover travel and accommodation for the residency artist to attend this event if needed) and for the Sidney Cooper Gallery and the Tate Exchange events.

An additional budget of up to £2,000 will be available to artists based outside London and Canterbury to cover travel costs and accommodation for the duration of the residency.

LADA will cover the costs for the acquisition of Study Room materials, the production of the toolkits and Study Room Guides, and the production costs for the final event at LADA in March 2017.

Sidney Cooper Art Gallery will offer free workshop and gallery space on 24-28 January 2017 as well as practical support in Canterbury, Kent. Depending on the artist’s needs, the workshop space could be open to the public for all or part of the residency. There will also be additional working space arranged for the duration of the Canterbury residency in collaboration with CCCU partners.

The artist will also have access to potential collaborations with other Tate Exchange associates, in particular Valley Kids (Penygraig, Wales – http://valleyskids.org/). Additional travel funds can be provided for trips connected with the residency.

5. Application process

Artists are invited to submit applications via an online application process 

– Full name, contact details and URL (where applicable)

– Up to 250 words on the nature of their practice, recent and current projects and activities.

– Up to 250 words on their experience of working with these issues and of their experiences of, and approaches to, collaboration.

– Up to 500 words on how they would approach their residency and how the residency would contribute to their own practice.

– A proposed allocation across fees and expenses of the £9,000 residency budget, and a breakdown of the additional £1,000 travel and accommodation budget if needed.

– Proposed dates for the residency.

Applicants must complete a monitoring questionnaire and applications will not be eligible without it.

The deadline for applications is 14 July 2016.

Artists will be selected by CCCU and LADA in collaboration with Dr Amit Rai and Sidney Cooper Art Gallery.

Applicants will be notified by early August.

6. Partners

The Live Art Development Agency (LADA)
LADA is a Centre for Live Art: a knowledge centre, a production centre for programmes and publications, a research centre setting artists and ideas in motion, and an online centre for digital experimentation, representation and dissemination.
LADA houses an open access research library, the Study Room; runs Unbound, an online shop for Live Art books, DVDs and editions; pioneers models of artistic and professional development, dialogue and debate; contributes to research culture and education; and develops inventive ways of increasing access to, and engagement with, Live Art through programming and publishing projects. All aspects of LADA’s work are informed by issues of difference and diversity, and are grounded in a commitment to creating the conditions in which innovation, experimentation and risk can thrive.

Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) and Sidney Cooper Gallery
Canterbury Christ Church University is strongly committed to transforming individuals, creating knowledge, enriching communities and building a sustainable future. This project is part of a wider initiative at CCCU, involving The Activism Research Network, and the Sidney Cooper Gallery. The Sidney Cooper Gallery is Christ Church University’s contemporary art gallery located in the centre of Canterbury. The yearly programme of exhibitions and related events are developed to create meeting points for artists, researchers and audience members to engage with the very best in practice based research in the arts. For more details about the programme, see: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-and-culture/sidney-cooper-gallery/sidney-cooper-gallery.aspx

The Activism Research Network seeks to inform progressive forms of political mobilisation, through the development of evidence informed toolkits, workshops and engagement with stakeholders

Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP)
CAPP is a transnational cultural programme focusing on the dynamic area of collaborative arts. CAPP partners: Create Ireland (Dublin, Ireland), Agora (Berlin, Germany), Heart of Glass (Liverpool, GB), Kunsthalle Osnabrück (Osnabrück, Germany), Live Art Development Agency (London, GB), Tate Liverpool (Liverpool, GB), Ludwig Múzeum (Budapest, Hungary), m-cult (Helsinki, Finland) and hablarenarte: (Madrid, Spain).

Dr Amit Rai, Senior Lecturer in New Media and Communication, Queen Mary University of London
Dr Amit Rai is the author of Rule of Sympathy: Race, Sentiment, and Power (Palgrave: 2002). He has written on Indian masculinity in film, anthropologies of monstrosity, sympathetic discursive relations, and the swerves of media (clinamedia). His study of new media in India, entitled Untimely Bollywood: Globalization and India’s New Media Assemblage was published by Duke University Press in May of 2009. He is currently at work on a project on everyday hacking in India under neoliberal authoritarianism, Jugaad Time: Media Ecologies of Social Reproduction.

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