Since 2015 CAS Associates have been exploring ‘Dissent’ as a working methodology. We owe Dr August Jordan Davies (curator and art historian) and Dr Yonat Nitzan Green (artist researcher) a big thank you for their mentoring and support. The Research group has undergone several iterations detailed below where you can find our reading lists and relevant works. You no longer need to be an Associate Artist to take part in our main activities.
2015 – Informal Practice-Based Research
Artists Lydia Heath and Maija Liepins took David’s lead after having been introduced to his A.M. Emerging Methodology which formed a basis for how the group of Associate Artists would function as a ‘self-organsing organism’. The Dissenter’s Chapel needed some Dissent inspired projects and Lydia got us started with ‘The Bureau of Exchange’ (exploring alternative ways of living and ascribing value) which was closely followed by ‘The Laboratory of Dissent 2015’ which attempted to explore and come to understand through artistic practice the theories presented in Artistic Activism and Agonistic Spaces by Chantal Mouffe (PDF copy on link.)
MOST INFLUENTIAL TEXT:
Mouffe, Chantal, ‘Artistic Activism and Agonistic Spaces’ (2007) in Journal of Art Research and Methods Vol. 1 Issue 7, Summer 2007.
2016 – 2017 Monthly Studio Lab Sessions
Creative development sessions for Associate Artists led by Associate Artists. Responding to an invitation posed by the hosts our artists would respond with materials, usually developing a collaborative and performative response through play and experimentation. Discussion to reflect on the experience pooled the experiential knowledge of individuals in the group.
MOST INFLUENTIAL TEXT:
Dolphijn, Rick; van der Tuin, Iris (2012) ‘Matter feels, converses, suffers, desires, yearns and remembers: Interview with Karen Barad’, in New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies, p69.
2017 – Reading and Discussion Group
The main purpose of this group led by Dr Yonat Nitzan-Green is to explore the fruitful dialogue between theory and practice and maintain a critical approach to contemporary art practice. Taking place at a local cafe in Andover it offered an intellectual contemplative space which welcomes openness of feelings, thoughts and mutual respect. Over 6 months we explored texts related to dissent, archiving, education, and contemporary art.
This period was funded by Arts Council England as part of a larger R&D Project Grant which included a CAS Post-It Exchange experiment to and an interactive symposium at Winchester School of Art.
Text 1: Research, Relativism, and Truth in Art, Dena Shottenkirk
Text 2: Potential Ongoing Archive, by Anna Harding which lead to
Discussion of Potential Ongoing Archive with John Hansard Gallery
The Suspicious Archive by James T Hong
Innovative Forms of Archive Part Two, Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez
Suggested books curated by Dawn Evans (pdf)
Text 3: Politics of Dissent, Bak Jørgensen, Martin; Agustin, Oscar Garcia
Text 4. Methodology, (2017) extracts compiled by Yonat Nitzan-Green
1.A.M. (2013) the invitation used by David to engage Associates in collaboration
A.M. Emerging Methodology, (2017) notes on Associates collaborative practice
Kentridge William (2015) Peripheral Thinking published by Yale University Art Gallery on youtube – this video was the basis of a drawing workshop Do Not Defend The Centre devised by Dawn Evans artist, for the CAS Associate Artist Retreat.
2017-2018 – Reading and Writing Group
A continuation of the reading and discussion group, this was a funded period of development focused on developing and identifying our emerging dissent methodology. The previous six months had allowed little time to practice or digest information. We gave ourselves a year produce an essay each, with the intention of publishing a volume. This idea was partly inspired by Dr August Davis, art historian, inviting us to write CAS Artists into art history! It was also the completion of a dream Lydia Heath seeded when she started our Dissent programme in 2015.
‘Dissent: A Creative Practice’ (2018) a compilation of 3 essays by Susan Francis, Maija Liepins, Yonat Nitzan-Green, available from https://www.academia.edu/37543924/Dissent_A_Creative_Practice
2020/21 – Research and Drawing Group
Drawing Languages for Dissent
“Language is the epitome of social convention. It is based on a social agreement and wouldn’t survive without it. On the other hand, dissent may be the act of questioning not only social conventions but the apparatuses that construct those conventions. Society needs both. There are multiple ways and expressions of dissent. Dissent can be both subjective and collective. It can be a strategy for artists. While language’s desire is to last, to pass from generation to generation, to function, among other things, as a storage of culture and memory of its people, dissent’s desire is to push for change. It is intense, and generally a short lived intervention. From a momentary performance in a gallery to a few hours march in the streets, to (when the moment stretches) years of bloody war. The phrase ‘drawing languages for dissent’ is, therefore, paradoxical. As soon as dissent would turn into a language it would lose its affective power. However, if dissent draws something from language, it is the communicative component. And if language draws something from dissent it is its subjective component.” – Yonat Nitzan Green