approaching estate

 

the politics and ethics of fieldwork in art today

Furtherfield Commons, Finsbury Park, London, week commencing 8 April 2019 (exact dates to be confirmed) Organizers: Steven Ball and Susan Trangmar (sensingsite, Central Saint Martins) in collaboration with Furtherfield.

Approaching Estate is a week-long series of presentations and workshops which will examine the politics and ethics of fieldwork in contemporary art practices concerned with place, in order to develop critical, innovative and experimental engagements.

‘Estate’ suggests the parcelling, ownership and governance of physical space, founded upon historical, agrilogistic and colonial practices whose legacy has determined the status and identity of both human and nonhuman entities. Approaching Estate will also consider ‘estate’ as a broad community of interests and rights, pertaining to the materiality of space, how it is configured, managed, and conceptualised as place. As such it will acknowledge the current conditions of communities, material processes, and sites in the context of the continuing debasement of democracy, and the contemporary precarity of individual and community rights to movement and occupation of space. These relate to, and can be traced through, historical and contemporary forms of enclosure, land ownership, the commons, public space, colonialism, incarceration, expulsion, transportation, clearances, dispossession, extractions, depositions, and so on.

‘Fieldwork’ is used to broadly describe the artistic methodologies which engage in material enquiries into site and situatedness which are socially, politically, ecologically, historically and geographically entwined. As such they are often interdisciplinary practices and might be concerned with landscape construction, site-specificity, and social engagement; engaging with disciplines and activities such as archaeology, geography (human and physical), eco-studies, activism, mapping, and so on. Our aim is to set new agendas for fieldwork in art practice through development of a research network for experimental ways of working in art practice.

During the event we are interested in pursuing questions such as:

  • What forms of methodological enquiry emerge from art practices concerned with specificity of site and place?
  • What is the efficacy of such methodologies, and how do we evaluate them?
  • What are the protocols and terms of engagement in site specific fieldwork?
  • Who are the beneficiaries of the work produced?
  • What is artistic or social agency (the role of the art) and what other intra-active engagements (human and non-human) are possible?
  • How can the differing interests of collaborators working in an interdisciplinary context be shared meaningfully and productively?

We invite individual and group proposals for presentations, performances, artworks and any other experimental forms of practice-based research. Please send a proposal of not more than 300 words with brief biography and a maximum of 3 images to sensingsite@gmail.com by 30 November 2018

sensingsite is a practice-based research group based at Central Saint Martins, engaging with questions around the political, material, and sensory natures of site, place, and space.

Furtherfield connects people to new ideas, critical thinking and imaginative possibilities for art, technology and the world around us. Through artworks, labs and debate people from all walks of life explore today’s important questions.

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