“Simply put ‘dissent’ means to think or act in ways that are at variance with what is considered the norm.”
Dissent seeks to contextualise the activities of CAS and place them within a critical framework. Collaboration, pedagogy, social engagement, curation are all to be re-examined and considered in light of current debates within the art world. Using creative dissent as a working methodology the programme explores arts unique capacity to challenge, question and offer alternative ways of seeing.
Research and Development
CAS recently underwent a two year period of R&D developing the following threads, and the question “how do artists interact and relate to the social realm?”. Using the Dissent program we involved local partners and communities in a dialogue about dissent using events, exhibitions, and a variety of media. We sought to examine the common ground between studio art practice and a social output. To begin, we started by researching the CAS artists initial responses to the word Dissent. Their responses were captured on film, and published under the title “What is this Dissent?”. Next steps, involve strengthening our collaborative outputs, exploring how artists can work together to engage the public in a culture of pro-active and creative dissent.
Temporary pop-up initiatives utilising public spaces question how these spaces function. A shop becomes a site to explore alternative economies and interaction between artist and audience.
In Spring 2015 CAS created The Bureau of Exchange, a 4 week public engagement project which gave artists the opportunity to challenge the use of retail space through arts events and activities. The project was funded by Arts Council England.
Off-site exhibitions offer the chance to showcase the work of associates and to test out approaches to curation and exhibiting. The role of galleries and the transition from personal creative practice to public display. Why do we show? Does the work only become valid when it is ‘seen’ by the audience? The Laboratory of Dissent, our first major off-site exhibition took place at The Winchester Gallery in Summer 2015.
The Arts Bus
Part service provider to the local community, part mobile learning unit, CAS uses the bus as an exploration into pedagogy and knowledge sharing.
CAS hosts working symposiums partnering with external institutions and researchers which offers the opportunity to expand collaboratively on questions and findings that come to light from the various projects taking place through out the year. These function not only to grow CAS’ network and elevate its profile national/internationally it also opens the programme up to the wider public.
CAS Research Group
Associate Artists meet once a month as part of a CPD peer-learning exercise in Art Research. Through this, our artists are learning new ways of writing about their art and about the lines of investigation that they are following in their work. Borne out of a series of collaboration days in 2016 in which artists used texts and academic papers as inspiration for collaborative dialogue, Yonat Nitzan-Green PhD will be facilitating this group and updating the CAS Research Blog.