A week of daily discussion, spontaneous actions and explorations in to the neo-liberal frontiers of the city. From Wed 31 Aug – Wed 7 Sep 2011 a loose collective of artists/groups/performers/writers converged to share thoughts and to respond through the development and dissemination of new work, ideas and propositions for change.
This was part one of FAREWELL STATE, a new series of a collective disruptions, imagined alternatives and responses to life, society and space that in its critique draws on the energy of the recent social unrest. The subject of part one was PROPERTY - from its basic function as shelter to the fundamental capitalist principle of ownership, encompassing architecture, city planning, cooperatives, occupations, commodity production, welfare, consumerism, space/politics/power and the ‘free’ citizen who from birth is the owner-occupier of his or herself.
The FAREWELL STATE series will focus on research, sharing, discussion and mobilisation based on processes, spontaneous actions and experimental modes of writing, art production and dissemination.
Dan Austin, Amanda Beech, Alessandra Chila, Ele Carpenter, Tom Eady, Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau, Ian Gwinn, Saul Ham, Dan Hind, Charlie Hope, Anthony Iles, Pil and Galia Kollectiv, Rebecca Lennon, Tom Mansfield, Anna Minton, Karen Mirza, Matthew Poole, Precarious Workers Brigade, Robert Quirk, Dan Simpkins, Terry Slater, University for Strategic Optimism, Penny Whitehead, The Wine and Cheese Appreciation Society of Greater London... plus many more who participated in the events whose names we didn’t find out.
Each day a communal meal was prepared using ingredients sourced from Brick Lane and its surrounding area, and served between 7-10pm. Nightly talks and other activity developed organically over the course of the project, arising from discussions, real-time events and participants’ specialisms and interests.
Food: Veggie chilli, rice and salad
Introduction to the project and discussion around private property and the recent UK riots, using texts published during the riots as a starting point.
-#riotcleanup or #riotwhitewash? by Dr. Sofia Himmelblau
-Evicting rioters' families from their homes? There's a horrible logic to it by Owen Hatherley
-The Politics of Desire and Looting by Adrian Shaughnessy
-Looting with the lights on by Naomi Klein
Food: Spanish tortillas, salad and tinto de verano
Reading group: Private Property, Exclusion and the State, a short essay by The Wine and Cheese Appreciation Society of Greater London who lead a discussion around the text.
-Kittens, journal of The Wine and Cheese Appreciation Society of Greater London
Food: Chilli and cheese burritos with corn on the cob and salad
In anticipation of the forthcoming EDL demo and UAF counter-demo in Tower Hamlets, artist Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau presented some of his research around the recent history of the far right in the UK.
In the week leading up to the demo, the home secretary Theresa May had agreed to the Metropolitan police's request for a 30 day ban on all marches in 5 london boroughs, affecting not only the proposed EDL march but also any counter-demonstration happening on the day, and a range of events planned for the next 30 days including East London LGBT Pride, a march against cuts to Homerton Hospital, and, most ironically, an event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the battle of Cable Street.
-Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau’s website
-Let the EDL Racists March, article by Nina Power
Food: Spinach and chick pea curry, rice and poppadoms
Post EDL / Anti-EDL demo party
Food: Spinach and chick pea dosas, saag aloo and salad
An open session for artists to present their work, ideas and research relating to various notions and aspects of property, including ownership, collaboration, artistic strategies, production and dissemination, collective agency, autonomy and cultural dissent...
Left image: Rebecca Lennon, ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED AND NINETY, 2010, painting sent to debt collection agency.
Food: Bangers and Mash with leeks and onion gravy
Ian Gwinn and Anna Minton presented their latest writing and research.
Ian’s PhD asks Is a Different Kind of History Possible? through the study of the History Workshop Movement, a grass-roots development of radical and oppositional forms of historical writing in Britain and Germany from the 1960s onwards.
Writer and journalist Anna is author of Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First Century City, a book examining the social and psychological impacts of architecture, controlled urban space and the movement of power from local government to private corporations and developers. We discussed her latest research which centres around the London 2012 Olympics.
-Ian Gwinn’s Radical History Blog
-Anna Minton’s website
Food: No communal food served
A night of arch-capitalism and self interest, featuring readings from Adam Smith, Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand, a free market food exchange, a Foxconn-inspired Workers’ De-stress Zone, and a get-rich-quick scheme using minimum wage contributions.