|* Migrant Artists Mutual Aid
|Since December 2011, Penny has been working as part of Migrant Artists Mutual Aid (MaMa), a network of people who come together to produce community cultural events that aim to promote cohesion and intercultural understanding while raising money for migrants in crisis.
MaMa recently contributed to Cartographies of Justice , a creative investigation into citizenship, migration and belonging with an eye on social and ecological justice. For the event, which took place at Liverpool Hope University, MaMa organised a Migrant Story Slam, bringing together the lively world of slam poetry and the high stakes reality of storytelling that is part of the lives of migrants, from passport control through asylum hearings to the check outs at supermarkets.
MaMa are currently raising funds for Binta Jobe (name changed), a friend and mother who is seeking asylum in the UK to protect her British born daughter from Female Genital Mutilation and deportation to the Gambia. More info on Binta's story and rights can be found in this short article from the Guardian newspaper by Rachel Pugh
* Liverpool culture in capitalist crisis
The iconic WCS sign is ceremoniously burned. Original photo by Tony Knox, December 2012.
Sadly in December 2012 Wolstenholme Creative Space (WCS), one of Liverpool's oldest studio and DIY gallery and music venues closed its doors for the final time having been taken over by receivers dealing with the administration of a subsidiary of Liverpool property owning giants Frenson Ltd. As two of WCS's thirty studio holders we gathered to say goodbye to the space with representatives from independent art and music venues MelloMello, the Kazimier and Static which are all faced with a similar situation having recently been handed over to the receiver company dealing with the property developer's debts. We are now based at Static's studios until further notice...
* Protest and Resistance map at Toxteth Library
In August 2012 we contributed to the Nerve Centre libraries tour a sound installation and world map on which visitors were invited to record protests, strikes, movements and acts of resistance that have occurred since 2008 in response to the capitalist crisis, from library closure protests to the Chilean student uprising.
* Culture LAB: Protest and Propaganda
In February 2012 we were part of a group of artists, groups and organisations taking part in a week of activity at Metal that included a series of talks, discussion, and the development of new work around issues relating to the London 2012 Olympics. Our research focussed on:
- privatisation and the Olympic park land grabs,
- British 'soft power' imperialism and the appropriation of art and sport as mechanisms of nationalism,
- the bio-politics of militarised Olympic security,
- and the mass-exploitation of volunteers in the context of a £ multi-billion global spectacle.
Through this research we are currently developing a new project to be presented at Metal's Village Green festival in Southend On Sea in June 2012.
* Fred Lonidier, International Arts and Trade Union activist
Image: Fred Lonidier, 29 Arrests, anti-Vietnam War protests San Diego, 1972
Free lecture: 7.30pm, 12.12.11, Liverpool.
Fred Lonidier is one of the leading pioneers, from the late 1960s onwards, of the arts and trade union movement in the USA. His work continues to deal with the possibilities of photography applied to trade union campaigns for social justice, labour history, and social change. His work has recently focused on workers rights and cross-border labor struggles and solidarity between U.S. and Mexican workers. In Marxian terms, Lonidier considers his work to be "economistic" in that it is framed around worker/owner relations and struggles. This comes from a long interest in the issue of international working class solidarity which is what brings him to the UK on this occasion.
Coordinated by Daniel Simpkins in association Littoral Arts Trust and the Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Liverpool.
* Open Media
In December 2011 we spoke at the concluding panel discussion of the Open Media research seminar series at The Meter Room in Coventry. It was initiated by Janneke Adema from Coventry University and featured James Wallbank from Access Space in Sheffield and artist Elly Clarke. Open Media was a year-long series of research seminars on the theme of openness in media in all its forms, all of the sessions are available as podcasts.
* Marx's Capital Vol.1
|Since March 2011 a network of groups has been meeting in Liverpool, Bristol, East London and Sheffield to read and discuss Karl Marx's Capital Volume One. We initiated these groups as part of our work with Strategies for Free Education in a collective attempt to grasp the fundamental systemic issues affecting the capitalist crises.|
The format for the groups was based on The Communes in the anarchist text The Coming Insurrection whereby each group operates autonomously but is united through their shared reading, discussion and activity as they simultaneously work through the text.
Each of the groups is using David Harvey’s free on-line video lectures as a guide.
- Visit David Harvey's online lecture course
- Join the Reading Capital Facebook group
- Download the Coming Insurrection (PDF)
* Free Education
We are now sharing ideas, texts and resources for free, de-institutionalised education through a new blog. This blog is the main record of our collective attempts to self-initiate a Postgradute Degree without enrolling at University, it will be regularly updated as we develop this line of inquiry.
Visit the No Institute blog
* Art School Alternatives, Liverpool John Moores’ University, October 2010
|A participatory symposium that looks to the communal and collaborative in the current debates on art education.
‘Is school a place, an institution, a set of facilities, a situation, a circumstance, an attitude, or a constellation of relationships of the transfer of acquired, invented, and accumulated knowledge…?’ Raqs Media Collective, ‘Art School: Propositions for the 21st Century’
MIT Press (2009).
The symposium will explores methods of learning and ideas of school, and draws together a range of practitioners including Department 21, Heath Bunting, Kate Rich, Islington Mill Art Academy, Lady Lucy, Circa Projects, Megan Wakefield, Black Dogs, A Latento, No Fixed Abode, and Artmarket/Kunstfreund.
Visit the Corridor 8 website
Visit the Art School Alternatives website
* LOL - Liverpool Oil Lovers
|LOL is a corporate Public Interest Group (PIG) that believes it is the duty of all artists, art organisations and education to support BP and the oil industry more widely as it struggles against the impacts of the recession, the unavoidable devastation of the Gulf of Mexico and the ill-considered demands of environmental experts and green activists the world over. As members of the LOL group we are working to facilitate links between grass roots arts organisations operating in the North West of England and BP, putting culture's positive image to good use in return for BP’s invaluable support – BP puts almost 0.000001% of its £253,088,000,000.00 annual turnover in to the arts, we believe that it is our duty, as artists, to use our hard work instrumentally and say THANK YOU BP!|
(BP's financial information: http://www.worksmart.org.uk/company/company.php?id=102498)
* Artists' Lottery Syndicate
As of July 2010 we are part of a forty-strong collective of UK-based artists who have joined forces to play The National Lottery over the course of a year, with the hope of hitting the jackpot. As a reaction to the recession and its knock-on effect on arts funding, the Artists' Lottery Syndicate is a speculative new scheme for acquiring funds for artists, initiated by Glasgow-based artist Ellie Harrison .
|Members of the Artists' Lottery Syndicate are:|
* Autonomous Learning: alternative activity during the capitalist crisis in education
* Urban Interventions: Artistic Perspectives (UIAP)
News from October - December 2009 which also covers research carried out over three months whilst working on a residency in Linz, Austria can be found on a seperate page here.
* Resisting the Tescopoly of Liverpool
Sir Terry Leahy the CEO of Tesco (the UK's largest supermarket firm) is also on the board of Directors of Liverpool Vision the UK's first urban regeneration company which is responsible for overseeing planning and development in Liverpool and is the mastermind behind the overarching Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF). It is not suprising then that over a period of twelve months (July 08 - 09) Tesco has managed to open an average of one city centre Tesco branch every two months (all within approximately one mile of each other) in an attempt to saturate and monopolise the city, aggresively forcing competitors out and creating a lucrative monoculture at the expense of sustainability, diversity and independence. In May 2009 New York activist Reverend Billy exorcised the Liverpool Bold Street branch with the support of the Life After Shopping Gospel Choir and a spontaneous group of local radicals.
* Glasgow Research Residency: activism and anarchism following the privatisation of culture
In April 2009 we completed a research residency in Glasgow, facilitated by the free arts and culture magazine Variant and based at the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA). Meeting with activists, anarchists, artists, curators, students and residents we began to develop an understanding of a number of social and political situations facing the city, including the privatisation of culture, the quarterisation of public space, and the city-wide closure of schools (see animated map of visits here).
Navigating the city by bike we witnessed the polarity of wealth left in the wake of neoliberal governmental strategies aimed at bolstering the economic turnaround kick-started in 1990 through the European City of Culture activity and focussing exlusively on desirable (primarily city centre) areas at the deprivation of the rest of the city. We also became aware of the high level of resistance, organisation and dissent prevalent throughout Glasgow, including:
Creative Scotland resistance
Radical Independent Book Fair
* art art art Liverpool launch party
In April 2009 we organised the launch event of the Live Art issue of the electronic journal art art art at The Royal Standard in Liverpool, with artist-activist Lorena Rivero de Beer, presenting a one-off evening of innovative, experimental live art and performance by emerging artists from Liverpool and across the UK. Artists included David Brooks, Ayesha Edwards, Tom Marshman, Martin O'Brien, Sally O'Dowd, Marcus Orlandi and Thomas Shepherd.
Download Issue 5 of art art art here (PDF)
* Rhys and Hannah Present... Goodbye Space, Hello Spaces!
| In December 2008 Danny was one of a group of artists from The Royal Standard in Liverpool who participated in the final exhibition at Rhys and Hannah Present, a space in Bristol run by artists Rhys Coren and Hannah James.
The Royal Standard transformed one floor of the gallery in to a social space, extending some of the day-to-day experiences of working among a studio group to the visiting public, and establishing a forum for informal discussion and debate centered on the collective preparation and consumption of meals. Blackpool Museum of Contemporary Art and Eastside Projects (Birmingham) occupied the other spaces in the gallery.
* ArtArtArt: Globalisation, Art and Markets
In October 2008 we contributed an essay to the Global Art Market issue of the electronic journal ArtArtArt. The text explores the relationship between art, globalisation and independent trade by asking a mobile phone text service that professes to 'know just about everything about anything' a series of questions ranging from why are artists poor? to how much money do we spend in Tesco?.
Download the magazine here.
* Mobile Sports Foundation
In October 2008 we took part in Townley and Bradby's Mobile Sports Foundation, a project which seeks the temporary use and navigation of urban public spaces through impromptu tennis rallies. This incarnation of MSF formed part of NAVIGATOR, a group exhibition at The Royal Standard.
* The Royal Standard
|In September 2008 we became two of twenty seven artists based at The Royal Standard. The organisation is currently based in a former print works on the northern periphery of the city centre and opened the doors of its three gallery spaces for the first time 19 September 2008 to coincide with the Liverpool Biennial.|
The Conversational library
|In August 2008 Dan (unexpectedly) became a member of The Conversational Library, which was recently inaugurated by artists Townley and Bradby. Through The Conversational Library literature is freely shared between its members and day-to-day discussion is extended whereby books are exchanged rather than just described or referred to in conversations in the pub.|
* Clarion Epic - Fellowship is Life / Lack of fellowship is Death
Vintage cycling jerseys made by Charlotte Walters for Ruth Beale and Karen Breneman.
In July 2008 we welcomed Ruth Beale and Karen Breneman to Liverpool, cycling the homestraight of their journey by bike from London to The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home in Everton, Liverpool. This was followed by a meal and discussion led by Ruth and Karen on themes and issues raised by their journey through the country, including cultural tourism, cycling, the Clarion CC, industry, community and domestic relationships.
Free Art School, Fluxus reenactment, 2008 Anti-konflikt police at Fuck Yuppies demo
In June 2008 we both visited Berlin, Penny as part of a curatorial group trip organised by Castlefield Gallery, and Dan to meet wooloo, the organisers of the New Life Berlin Festival. We stayed with Sheffield-based artist duo No Fixed Abode who were coordinating Caban Unnos, the reclamation of an area of Berlin's main square, Alexanderplatz.
During our stay we participated in a fluxus re-enactment class at the Free Art School which is usually run from Islington Mill in Manchester, and Fuck Yuppies a protest movement for autonomous free spaces in response to Berlin's heavy regeneration.
The Artist As Social Entrepreneur
A number of artists involved in The Artist As Social Entrepreneur, photograph by Jane Pitt, 2008
In April 2008 Danny was one of fifteen UK-based artists representing a number of artist-led initiatives, galleries and collectives, selected for participation in a social research trip to Lille, Nord-Pas-de-Calais region (Northern France). The project was a NAN-Networking Artists’ Networks event organised by Fabrica in collaboration with L’H du Siège, Valencienne. The UK-based artists that it brought together were:
Liz Whitehead, Matthew Miller, Caitlin Heffernan, Lisa Finch, Laurence Hill (Brighton) Fabrica
Emilia Telese, Guyan Porter AN (The Artists Information Company)
Anna Francis (Stoke-on-Trent) Airspace
Patricia Wilson Smith (Canterbury) Limbo Arts
Alex Michon (London) Transition Gallery
Ellie Harrison (Nottingham) Ellie Harrison.com
Lauren Healey (Darlington) MAP artists' network
Paul Stanley (Manchester) [deletia]
Emily Speed (Liverpool) Wolstenholme Projects
Jane Pitt (Kent) PANEK (Performing Arts Network East Kent)
Johanna Berger (Brighton) BLANK
Elaine Speight (Preston) Plaited Fog
Amelia Crouch (Leeds) PSL (Project Space Leeds) / / / ESA (East Street Arts)
Susan Diab (Brighton) ARC
Bernadette Moloney (London) Braziers International Artists' Workshop
Jackie Berridge (Nottingham) Harrington Mill studios