Up Projects,

Alternative London, 1974 Nicholas Saunders 

UP Projects in partnership with Flat Time House announce the open call for Constellations, a free artist development programme that supports eight UK-based artists to explore socio-political issues, community-oriented practice, and public contexts.  

Constellations supports artists to develop their practice, collaborate with others, and access new networks. The programme places a strong focus on ideas of co-authoring and self-organising and will address the importance of collaboration in moments of crisis and the key role arts and culture can play in facilitating social cooperation. This year’s iteration will also consider the digital realm as a platform for collaboration, engagement, and exchange as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are looking for artists who are interested in experimenting with alternative forms of learning and exploring the challenges and opportunities of the digital realm. Starting in July 2020, the programme will be structured around a series of artist-led and self-led workshops taking place both online and offline over the course of eight months.

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO APPLY 


Constellations has been conceived by UP Projects in response to an increasing need to support artists interested in working within socio-political contexts. UP Projects have worked in collaboration with Flat Time House on this programme since 2017, drawing on the history of John Latham’s house as a site for experimental art education where students, artists and the wider public can come together to test the boundaries of what is teachable and knowable. The programme builds on the legacy of Latham's work as a founder member of the Artist Placement Group, a pioneering organisation in the history of socially engaged practice initiated in 1966 by Barbara Steveni.    

Previous iterations of Constellations have involved contributions from a wide range of artists and practitioners including Helen Cammock, Ain Bayley, Rehana Zaman, Jasleen Kaur, Rosalie Schweiker, Kathrin BöhmTorange Khonsari from public works, Davina Drummond, Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe from Cooking Sections, Samaneh Moafi from Forensic Architecture and Topher Campbell. We have also collaborated with a number of  institutions to deliver Constellations sessions and present the programme. These include Camden Art Centre, Goldsmiths, Whitechapel Gallery, Art Night, South London Gallery, Cubitt and Barbican Centre.

Programme Structure  

Running between July 2020 and February 2021, the programme will explore different approaches to artistic research and collaborative practice through eight self-led sessions (including one session facilitated by Constellations alumna Beverley Bennett) and five workshops led by Larisa Blazic, Stine Marie Jacobsen, Paul Purgas, Languid Hands and Srećko Horvat

The structure of the programme will respond flexibly to the current COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. The first four sessions in July and August will take place online and explore questions around the Internet as a public infrastructure and consider how digital solidarity networks can come together and operate. Subject to social distancing restrictions being lifted, sessions between September 2020 and February 2021 will take place at Flat Time House and at Open School East. We appreciate some participants may still not wish to attend classes in person despite restrictions being lifted. In response to this we will schedule future sessions to accommodate participation both online and in person. 

If social distancing restrictions are extended, sessions will be rescheduled online, and the online resources of UP Projects and Flat Time House will be available for project outcomes. 

Artist-led workshops 

Artist-led workshops provide the Constellations artists with different perspectives on issues of socio-political significance. Workshops are shaped based on the individual practices of the workshop leaders and are devised in line with alternative pedagogical methods. Workshops may include short presentations aimed at familiarising participating Constellations artists with the practitioner’s work, as well as activities, exercises, and discussions among group members addressing some of the questions at the core of the programme: how can artistic practices negotiate, amplify and critique socio-political issues? How does socially engaged work address notions of authorship? What constitutes public space (both online and offline)? How can collaborative networks come together and operate?  

Self-led workshops 

Self-led workshops are aimed at giving the Constellations artists time and space to learn about each other's practices and to develop collaborative methodologies within the group and the ability to self-organise. 

As part of the self-led sessions, the group will be given budget and curatorial support to collectively devise and produce two outcomes: 

During Part 1 of the programme (July – October 2020) the group will develop a 'working together toolkit’ designed to help the group devise collective decision making methodologies and share skills and knowledge that would help them co-author projects and self-organise. The toolkit will respond to a brief developed by UP Projects and Flat Time House in collaboration with artist Beverley Bennett.

Part 2 of the programme (November 2020– February 2021) will be self-led with the support of Flat Time House and UP Projects as the group works towards a public outcome. Subject to social distancing restrictions being lifted, the final public event will take place at Flat Time House in January 2021 (exact date to be confirmed) using the context of Flat Time House and the Artist Placement Group as points of departure. A brief for this event will be presented to the group in November 2020. If social distancing restrictions are extended, the online resources of UP Projects and Flat Time House will be available for the public outcome.  

Schedule 

Confirmed dates for Part 1 (July – October 2020) are below with exact dates to follow for Part 2 (November 2020 – January 2021):   

Programme Part 1:

  • 6 July: Introductory meeting (online)
  • 7 July: Workshop led by Larisa Blazic (online)
  • 8 July: Self-led workshop facilitated by Beverley Bennett (online)
  • 11 August: Workshop led by Stine Marie Jacobsen (online)
  • 12 August: Self-led workshop (online)
  • 8 September: 1-2-1 feedback session with Paul Purgas (Location: FTHo, TBC) followed by a workshop led by Srećko Horvat (online)
  • 9 September: Self-led workshop (Location: FTHo TBC)
  • 15 October: Workshop led by Languid Hands (Location: TBC)
  • 16 October: Self-led workshop and debrief session (Location: FTHo TBC) 

Programme Part 2: 

  • November: Self-led workshop (Location: FTHo TBC)

  • November: site visit (Location: Open School East, Margate TBC)
  • December: Self-led workshop (Location: FTHo TBC)
  • December: Self-led workshop (Location: FTHo TBC)
  • January: Self-led workshop (Location: FTHo TBC)
  • January: Self-led workshop (Location: FTHo TBC)
  • January: Public event (Location: FTHo TBC)
  • February: Debrief session (Location: FTHo TBC) 

Free access to the Programme 

UP Projects and Flat Time House firmly believe that development opportunities for artists should be provided free of charge, therefore there is no fee to artists for participation in the programme. The programme costs (£7,250 per participant) are covered by our own funds and grant funding from Arts Council England to enable artists to access the programme for free, however it is required that participants commit to attending all sessions. Participating artists need to be in a position to commit to all monthly sessions (from 10am to 6pm) held between July 2020 and February 2021. The final public event and two debrief sessions are also included within this time frame.  

Travel Expenses 

We welcome applicants from across the UK and provide a capped budget to cover travel and accommodation expenses for artists based outside of London to attend workshops. Travel expenses for all artists to attend the workshop taking place at Open School East in Margate will also be covered. If you live outside of London please state where you would be travelling from and if you would like support with travel and accommodation expenses. 

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO APPLY 

About the workshop leaders 

Beverley Bennett 

Beverley Bennett is an artist-filmmaker and Constellations alumna. Her practice revolves around the perpetual possibilities of drawing, performance, and collaborative experiments with sound. Beverley completed her MA in Fine Art from Middlesex University in 2009 and is currently a studio holder at Kingsgate Workshop and Trust. She has also delivered talks and lectures at some of Britain’s most influential galleries and arts universities. Beverley’s work has been shown nationally and internationally; venues include the CinemaAfrica Film Festival, Stockholm (2018), Encounters Short Film Festival, Bristol (2017), Wysing Art Centre, Cambridgeshire (2017) Spike Island (2017), New Art Exchange, Nottingham (2016), National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston (2016), Bluecoat, Liverpool (2010). 

Larisa Blazic 

Larisa Blazic is a London based digital artisan, educator and feminist hacker with practice ranging from net.art to Free/Libre/Open Source Software art and design. Over the last 20 years she explored a range of emerging technologies and their impact on online publishing, moving image in public space, collective creativity and participation. She recently completed Data Union Fork: tools for data strike, as part of prestigious S+T+ARTS Residency programme. Larisa’s work has been shown nationally at venues such as Phoenix Theatre, Leicester (2008), Novas Gallery, London (2008), VINEspace, London (2007), Dana Library and Research Centre, London (2004) and ICA (2002).

Languid Hands 

Languid Hands is an artistic and curatorial collaboration between DJ, filmmaker and curator Rabz Lansiquot and writer, facilitator and live art practitioner Imani Robinson. Their collaboration began in 2015, through their work with the collective sorryyoufeeluncomfortable (SYFU) and have recently been awarded the curatorial fellowship at Cubitt in London. Their practice is informed by ongoing explorations in Black and queer studies, Black creative practice, Black liberatory praxis and queer methodologies. Languid Hands have exhibited internationally in public programming at venues; Stroom Den Haag, Netherlands (2019), Narrative Projects, London (2019), Copeland Gallery, London (2018), Many Studios, Glasgow International Festival (2018). 

Srećko Horvat 

Srećko Horvat is a Croatian philosopher, author and political activist. The German weekly Der Freitag called him as "one of the most exciting voices of his generation" and he has been described as a "fiery voice of dissent in the Post-Yugoslav landscape". Together with former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, Horvat is the co-founder of The Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, or DiEM25, a pan-European political movement launched in 2016. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Der Spiegel, Jacobin, Newsweek and The New York Times and has written numerous books which have been published in 15 different languages. 

Stine Marie Jacobsen 

Stine Marie Jacobsen is a conceptual artist living and working in Copenhagen and Berlin. Stine’s practice gives participants a collaborative and dialogical space to decode violence and law both individually and collectively through participatory means with such themes as language, gender, anonymity and psychology. She graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts with an MFA in 2009 and was awarded an innovative educational grant from Node curatorial studies, Berlin in 2015. Some of her notable solo shows have been at Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center, Copenhagen, (2018), Flat Time House, London, (2018), Galerie Wedding, Berlin (2016), Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen (2015), Galway Arts Center, Ireland (2014), District Kunst- und Kulturförderung, Berlin (2014), Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2012). 

Paul Purgas 

Paul Purgas is an artist and musician working with sound, performance and installation. Originally trained as an architect he has presented projects with Serpentine, Tate, Kettle’s Yard and Spike Island. His written output includes essays for the Unsound:Undead collection published by Urbanomic/MIT Press and contributions to the critical journal Audimat. Recent curatorial work has been the Open Sound programme for Outpost and guest curating Wysing Arts Centre’s annual festival. He is one half of the electronic music project Emptyset working with electroacoustic and computer music, broadcasting and spatialised sound, presenting commissions with the Architecture Foundation, David Roberts Art Foundation and Tate Britain's Performing Architecture programme and performances including Sonic Acts, Wien Modern and Transmediale. 
 

Main partners 

Flat Time House 

Flat Time House was the studio home of John Latham (1921-2006), recognised as one of the most significant and influential British post-war artists. In 2003, Latham declared the house a living sculpture, naming it Flat Time House after his theory of time, ‘Flat Time’. Until his death, Latham opened his door to anyone interested in thinking about art. It is in this spirit that Flat Time House opened in 2008 as a gallery with a programme of exhibitions and events exploring the artist's practice, his theoretical ideas, and their continued relevance. It also provides a centre for alternative learning, which includes the John Latham archive, and an artist's residency space