For the avoidance of workplace contamination by culture

Well, we’ve all been rather quiet on this site for an embarrassingly long while. But the currently embattled state of the arts in the UK in the face of painfully evident government indifference makes it a very relevant time to share this previously unpublished Score, first performed by OTE members as an intervention at a starchy Aberdeen conference in 2014 in response to what we then thought was only a locally prevailing hostility to culture having any serious place in our lives or – heaven forfend! – careers. And those origins make this blog the most relevant place to share it. Perhaps more will follow, who knows? My appreciation goes to Steve Ansell and Arathi Suresh whose #Fatimadances at Stage@Leeds prompted me to remember this. Meanwhile, please follow these instructions precisely to lead a pure, productive, government approved professional existence.

Overheard in a cultural strategy planning meeting in Aberdeen, 2014:

“Culture is what you do in the evening after work…”

Rearticulated by the UK government, 2019:

“Fatima’s next job could be in cyber…”

SCORE:  For the avoidance of workplace contamination by culture

Art is strictly for the after hours

so snap off that radio for starters

unplug the distraction of music at breakfast

evict any lingering earworms with cotton buds

drive safe

drive safe and silent

do not hum or tap the wheel

do not drive and drum

gaze directly ahead

do not allow adverts or images

film posters, slogans, roadside graffiti

or even rude shapes drawn in filth on white vans

to remotely pervade your senses

avoid major routes with sculptures on roundabouts

squint to exclude any floral displays

park out of sight of places of worship

when you pass news stands

avert your gaze

once in the workplace be quick to dismantle

extraneous architectural features

employ, if necessary, colleagues for muscle

but by no means allow them

when working to whistle

take extra care with printed matter

if obliged to encounter reports or letters

ensure they are assembled by illiterates

and skip over borderline creative effects

such as rhythm, or layout, or meaning

outlaw the internet or in will pour

images, words, sound, video

hard to filter effectively, so

suggest simply ban it

that’s best

use the time saved to unpick each stitch

of designer suits or dresses

scour your desk for symbolic material

ditch any photos or keepsakes

refuse to do work that inspires or uplifts

indulge no feeling or sentiment

ideally, manage out the need to think

keep learning down to a minimum

managers, note: do not retain staff

known to indulge in dancing

they are disrespectful of rational control

they are thought to be unpredictable

follow this score to the end of the day

at the end of the day, go home

go to the bathroom

go to the mirror

and look

take a hard look

repeat five times weekly until dead

JP

#WeMakeEvents

Just published…

3717-encact-vol-7_portadaWe’re pleased to see that the latest edition of ENCATC’s Journal of Cultural Management and Policy is now out, featuring Jon Price’s article The Construction of Cultural Leadership, which draws together the last ten years of research on artistic and cultural leadership at On The Edge Research. Available for free download to all. There’s plenty of good reading elsewhere in the publication so please do check it out (we’re particularly interested in David Edelman and Jennifer Green’s The Mind of the Artist/The Mind of the Leader) – what else can you do with these long winter evenings?

This also draws another research year to a close, so let us take the opportunity to wish warm season’s greetings to all our readers, visitors, collaborators and friends. We’ll be back in 2018 with a subversive final (?) entry in our cultural leadership blog series from Tim Collins plus more ideas, projects and events.

Social justice through culture @ ACF London

171109 ACF

Podium Discussion

 9th November 2017, 18.30, Austrian Cultural Forum London

 Readers of this blog are warmly invited to join academics and practitioners for an in-depth discussion on the vital but problematic relationship between social justice and culture. On The Edge’s Jon Price will speak alongside Vienna-based author and cultural management specialist Leonie Hodkevitch to consider what contributions the cultural can and should make around agendas of inclusion, equality and social change. After providing critical perspectives on the topic the speakers will invite audience members to discuss challenges, ideas and personal experience.

RSVP to: stephanie.altmann@bmeia.gv.at

ACF logo

Austrian Cultural Forum London
28 Rutland Gate
London SW7 1PQ

020 722 573 63
www.acflondon.org

Call For Participants – Rethinking Food: The Creativity of Entrepreneurship Workshop, 3-6 October 2017

Research Matters

Rethinking food: The creativity of entrepreneurship

Food, from production through consumption to waste is a complex system at the centre of human life and culture. Food therefore is an important new area for entrepreneurial activity and design has a key role to play in its development working with business and academia. How can researchers in design and business from the UK and Turkey work together to promote entrepreneurialism and sustainability?

This workshop will provide an important opportunity to share learning from and build on the successful 4 year Arts and Humanities Research Council funded Design in Action project. Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University, led on the food theme resulting in several new startups.

Under the Researcher Links scheme offered within the Newton Fund, the British Council and TUBITAK will be holding a four-day workshop on design entrepreneurship in Istanbul, on 3-6 October 2017.

Based on a concept developed…

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Artistic leadership: the flâneur, the gardener and the physician

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Brewery Green, The Tetley, Leeds (photos: Jon Price)

In another of our occasional series of guest blogs on artistic leadership, Brussels based musician and philosopher Kathleen Coessens asks how we can think about leadership from the perspective of the artist, whether the artist can be a leader, and – if so – what kind of leader?

Kathleen, a participant in our Brussels seminar during On The Edge’s Cultural leadership and the place of the Artist project in 2016, looks back to that discussion through the lens of her own artistic identity and three productive metaphors.

As always we invite further responses to continue and connect our thinking.

[Read more…]

CIWEM Award for LAGI Glasgow Project

The Land Art Generator Glasgow project, a joint initiative between ecoartscotland (Chris Fremantle’s ongoing framework for research and practice) and the Land Art Generator Initiative has been awarded the Chartered Institution for Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)’s Nick Reeves Award, the national art and environment award.  Chris has been involved in On The Edge Research since the inception.

lagi-glasgow

ecoartscotland is thrilled that the Land Art Generator Glasgow project has been awarded the 2016 Chartered Institution of Water and Environment Management (CIWEM) Arts, Water and Environment Award.

This award acknowledges the major commitment of all the partners, including Glasgow City Council, Scottish Canals and igloo Regeneration whose effective collaboration has made the project possible. And it celebrates the innovative work of the multidisciplinary design teams who participated, including the winning team (Dalziel + Scullion, Qmulus Ltd., Yeadon Space Agency, and ZM Architecture).

The combination of a Council committed to strategic planning and innovation with a land owner and a developer both committed to sustainability at the heart of regeneration has been crucial for the development of LAGI Glasgow.

CIWEM’s Arts and the Environment Network citation highlights the collaboration on the LAGI Glasgow project. The citation says,

The judging panel were particularly impressed by the practical orientation and ambitious…

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Sánchez-León and Douglas: There is a work in the interpretation of the Work* – A Report

An interdisciplinary “bing”** seminar and public discussion in four parts.

Nuria Sánchez-León and Professor Anne Douglas have very kindly provided ecoartscotland with a detailed report on the recent seminar, “There is a work in the interpretation of the Work”, organised in conjunction with the exhibition “Context is Half the Work: A partial history of the Artist Placement Group” at Summerhall Arts Centre in Edinburgh.  The seminar particularly focused on the contemporary relevance of John Latham‘s Placement in the Scottish Office and his work reimagining the bings of West Lothian.  The seminar was organised by Tim Collins, Reiko Goto and Ross Maclean, respectively two artists and a landscape architect.


mm-5-273 John Latham facing the Niddrie Woman. Photo Murdo Macdonald

On Saturday 1st October, Summerhall, Edinburgh, between 60-70 people met in the former Royal School of Veterinary Studies, now a creative hub for the arts with studio and workshop spaces. It…

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Embodying investigation: reflections of an Artist in Residence

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Cultural leadership and the place of the Artist, BOZAR, Brussels, July 2016 (photos courtesy of Julie Maricq, ENCATC)

Being a resident artist in a research project is an unusual and complex challenge. But it was a point of principle for On The Edge that we should have an artist centrally involved in our team during the latest phase of AHRC research into Cultural leadership and the place of the Artist.

Rosanna Irvine took up this role in March 2016 and, as this project reaches its conclusion, she reflects on her approach and experience in the second in our series of guest blogs.

Rosanna attended our pilot event in Banchory (March) before contributing to the research seminars in Edinburgh (May), Brussels (July) and London (September). A dancer and choreographer, Rosanna responded to the physical dimension of our discussions as well as to the conceptual content. As her blog demonstrates, she also paid attention to wider events happening around us during the course of the year. Her work generated different qualities of encounter between seminar participants, stirring space and movement into the density of debate and prompting us to pay fresh attention to the human dynamics of each gathering. [Read more…]

Making Dummy Jim: an artist’s journey to self-determination

11203608_10153923676859465_3644178654622771780_oIn the first of a series of guest blogs on artistic leadership, artist filmmaker Matt Hulse reflects on the long and bumpy road that led to eventual production of his full-length feature, Dummy Jim. Matt’s account includes reference to his involvement in the Artist as Leader research in 2008 and its influence on his thinking. Matt’s longstanding connection with On The Edge research and his articulate reflection on the creative process make for a fascinating insight into an individual artist’s relationship with policy, personal determination, and the possible meanings of ‘leadership’.

Now living and working in Beijing, Matt was also a participant in the Edinburgh seminar for our Cultural leadership and the place of the Artist project in May 2016. He described the story of Dummy Jim during that event and we are grateful that he agreed to write this up as an article for us here. This series will feature more contributions from project partners and seminar participants over the next few weeks.

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Thinking Public

Brussels Comp

Last week on 22nd June, the day before the referendum, Jon Price delivered the keynote of ENCATC’s 6th policy debate focusing on our current AHRC funded research into Cultural Leadership and the place of the artist. We attended this Day of Cultural Leadership on the invitation of ENCATC, the European network of cultural management and policy. ENCATC is one of four partners in our current research within OTE including Creative Scotland and Clore Leadership Foundation.

Professor Annick Schramme of University of Antwerp’s Management School and President of ENCATC skillfully threaded the key issues of the debate that included a panel of discussants from the arts and cultural organisations: Koen Broucke, artist; Jan Bloeman, Managing Director of the Arts Centre Z33, Hasselt, Belgium; Phillip Dietachmair, Programme Manager Tandem Cultural Managers’ Exchange, Amsterdam; Sue Kay, cultural sector researcher from England and Marjolein Verhallen, Leadership in Culture (LinC) project, University of Utrecht. Artists, leaders of cultural and arts organisations from across ENCATC’s 40 member countries as well as policy officers in the European Commission joined the discussion.

Looking back, this was a poignant moment in the UK’s relationship with Europe. It marked one of many extraordinary opportunities to engage in discussion with European partners, widening our horizon of understanding across national borders, expertise and experience. This opportunity for debate now seems remarkably precious.
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