PRE –LAB REPORT DATE: 20TH AUGUST 2015
Technicians: Lydia Heath BA Fine Art
Amy Wyatt BA Graphic Art
Dawn Evans MA Fine Art
Place of Lab: The Winchester Gallery, Park Avenue, Winchester SO23 8DL
Period of experimentation: 24th August to 28th August 2015
- What concept[s] is this lab about?
- A series of experiments will be conducted in the space of The Winchester Gallery. This space is an art gallery, and as such does not have a “lab manual”
- It does have a mission statement “The Winchester gallery, showcases the talent of Winchester School of Art: Staff, students, alumni, and the wider network of artists designers and researchers with whom we work nationally and internationally.” Dr August Jordan Davis, Senior Research Fellow and Creative Director of Winchester Gallery
- The experiment is therefore related to concepts of art and specifically the practice of dissent
- Points of reference:
Mouffe. C, Political theorist “Agonistics, Thinking the world Politically.” [Verso.2013]
Art & research. “Artistic Activism and agonistic spaces” Vol 1. No 2. Summer 2007http://www.artandresearch.org.uk/v1n2/mouffe.html
Bishop.C Art Historian. “Artificial Hells, participatory art and the politics of spectatorship”. [Verso 2012]
Ed Bishop C. “Participation, Documents of contemporary art.” [Whitechapel gallery & The Mit Press 2006]
Slowinska.M.A “ Art/Commerce” [Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, 2014]
O’Doherty.B “Inside the White Cube.” [University of California Press 1999]
Kester.G E-Flux The Sound of breaking glass. Parts I & II http://www.e-flux.com/journal/the-sound-of-breaking-glass-part-ii-agonism-and-the-taming-of-dissent/
Jorgensen.B.J & Augustine O.G eds. “Politics of Dissent”
Jun Yang. A contemporary art centre in Taipei
Framework for research. Ethics
University of Southampton Financial documents. https://www.southampton.ac.uk/finance/services/statements/faq.php
Land Registry. Title plans https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/land-registry
Elmgreen & Dragset, Aéroport Mille Plateaux, 2015. Installation view, PLATEAU, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, 2015. Photo: Sang Tae Kim.
Value stream mapping
Visual displays of data
Triple helix model
- The objectives of this lab
- To develop an art practice using an agonistic approach to enquiry that investigates the ideas of Dissent
- A practice that provides autonomy for the artist to “make visible what the dominant consensus tends to obscure and obliterate.” [Mouffe]
- Explore the multiple relationships vested in a “contemporary” art gallery
- To identify the stakeholders of The Winchester gallery, question how these stakeholders value the gallery space, and how they might re imagine the gallery
- Experiment with approaches that explore consent and dissent, and investigate the dialectics that lie between this opposition
- To work within the trope of a Public Consultation Project
- Explore hidden hegemonic and political structures in this gallery, through the unearthing and display of data collected prior to and during the laboratory experiment
- Record the reactions/ comments of management, businesses and individuals who come into contact with this space
- To acknowledge the contradictions inherent in creative practice and the difficulty of retaining criticality and /or subjectivity
- We are mindful of the following quotes from Mouffe:
“ The agonistic artistic practice involves making visible what the dominant consensus tends to obscure and obliterate.” [P93. Mouffe. Agonistics]
“ Can art play a critical role in society? It is often argued that in late capitalism, aesthetics has triumphed in all realms, effecting the creation of a hedonistic culture, where there is no place for art to provide a “truly subversive experience.” [P85. Mouffe, Agonistics”
“ Can art still find a place for autonomy? Some argue that art has been subsumed by the aesthetics of bio political capitalism and that autonomous production is no longer possible.” [p.86. Mouffe. Agonistics]
- What is the overall purpose of the lab?
The purpose of the lab is to gain some practical understanding of the methods, approaches and responses to practising dissent through an art project.
We also wish to test the theories and statements laid out in the afore mentioned Mouffe quotes.
- Hypothesis for the experiment
To identify those stakeholders who have:
High power and high interest in the gallery
Have high power but low interest in the gallery
Have low power but high interest in the gallery
And those that have low power and low interest in the gallery
Our hypothesis suggests that those with high interest but low power might feel frustrated or unable to effect any real change and may be disengaged.
We suspect that those with low interest and low power may offer a stereotypical response to our questioning.
Our hypothesis anticipates, that those with high power but low interest will be courteous but disengaged by our experiment.
Those with high interest and high power may find our approach engaging but threatening.
- Potential outcomes
- We have “control” of the gallery space for five working days and can re image the space for this period
- Choosing the trope of a public consultation process, and by subverting the space into an office environment
- We can unsettle the responses of those who enter the space assuming it to be used as an “art gallery”. These can be measured by informal questioning
- We can manipulate those that choose to engage with Group I, under their guise of a Public Consultation project, in terms of what information we might choose to make available
- We can also manipulate the reactions of our fellow CAS associates by placing controls on the information we choose to supply to them over the period of our laboratory research. In so doing, we make an assumption they have high interest, but will choose to play with their power position during the period of investigation by limiting the information we supply them
- It has to be stated, that we begin this experiment with an expectation that the outcomes may differ substantially from the outline of this Pre Lab-report
- The results of our research from publicly available material will have an impact on our own perceptions
- The free form style of our experiment provides ample opportunity for unexpected results. The response and interactions between subsequent laboratory groups/ individuals, organisations, and our group may offer up unexpected results
- Our discussions with stakeholders may have an effect on how Group 1, react and respond outside and within the parameters of our experiment
- What we choose to display in terms of research will have an impact on those that visit us, or look at our blog
** Copy of this document handed to Group II, “ Domesticating Conflict”. 02.09.2015