Tuesday, 22 January 2013


A year is a long time but when revisiting this blog it feels like a fleeting moment since the last update in August 2011. There's a lot of ground to cover between then and now, there and here, and no doubt forthcoming reflections will assist in filling in the gaps in time. Suffice to say, most of that time was spent as a Committee Member at the artist-run space Generator Projects in Dundee until this month, when a move to Edinburgh and position as the Critical Discourse Itern at Collective prompted the need to re-inhabit a space for my own reflections on practice. 

Blogging always (rightly or wrongly) felt like an 'output', somewhere I could unload to an inattentive audience half-baked thoughts and ideas. Perhaps a hangover from an academic necessity for quantifiable thought (and what most likely influenced a sense of 'output' whenever I blogged) I still maintain a value in the act of consciously working through my thoughts in 'print'. This however, is not a blog about blogging, just a starting point with some context.

New Work Scotland Programme

So that's why I am here, in Collective, in Edinburgh. A six month Critical Discourse Internship examining transition and place. Having applied early 2012 the initial proposal, or proposals, seems distant. To get everyone up to speed (and for the purposes of the aforementioned self-reflection) here's what I proposed:
Collective ‘Non-place’

Place is completed through the word, through the allusive exchange of a few passwords between speakers who are conniving in private complicity. (Augé, 1995, 77)
Consider for a moment, that as Collective moves from Cockburn Street to the City Observatory, the notion of the organisation, as defined by place, becomes ‘in-transit’ not just physically but metaphysically. The constituents of this non-place - somewhere between a gallery and a conversation - are without context and are thus free to re-establish place as they see !t. It is through the New Work Scotland Programme that the convergence of individual practices come together with the commonality of this one goal.

The physical structure of Collective (i.e. Cockburn Street) can be considered monument to the values which underpin the organisation and wider satellite communities. The deconstruction of this complex system through discussion and debate will allow the NWSP participants, as architects of the ‘new place’, to comprehend and understand their relationship towards it. Whilst, at first glance, object may be produced by Practitioners, and space produced by Curator, the interdependence of these relationships with place must be considered as more than simply an inconsequential by product of the NWSP. 
I frame my proposed involvement with the NWSP in a role that uses the physical assets of the organisation, the two buildings it is moving between, to polarise the discussion around the more transient social assets - arguably the former being the more ‘valuable’ (a term which also needs scrutiny) in the establishment of place. In essence, I wish to capture and evaluate this ‘new place’, sculpted by the participants and Collective, in the hope that it is defined by more than simply a move from one geographical location to another.

Augé, M., 1995. Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity. Translated from French by John Howe. London: Verso. 
I often revisit and reread things I have written (my literary track-record makes this exercise a fairly easy task to do - repeatedly) and the above has been the foundation of an undeveloped notion that I have carried with me until starting at Collective. Now, rereading, feels like a starting point for this development. A decision to detach from one organisation and ground myself in another should allow me to focus my attention on what now seems a naive and overreaching proposal.

I'll go into more detail (about most things), but had to get this post up as a starting point.

There, started.

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