Arts Catalyst announces Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process, a research and public programme launching in May 2016 with A Public Hearing.
As the first phase of Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process, postgraduate students from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London will be in residence at Arts Catalyst’s Cromer Street Centre throughout May and June. During this time, they will use the form and function of the public hearing as an aid for investigating a number of contemporary conditions.
Public hearings originated from the process of the enclosure of public lands in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were held in order to create a petition to parliament to enclose the land, and then later to hear objections to the act created by Parliament. Today, public hearings are still used when dealing with both public lands and private properties. Adopting the device of the public hearing, the Goldsmiths group will consider how diverse experiences and events are communicated through speech, vocalising, hearing and listening. Whose stories are heard and whose not? What other forms of nonhuman expression - animals, plants, industrial, atmospheric - are heard, and what new modes of sensing are needed? In short, who speaks and who listens, and with what technologies?
Through a series of hearings in June (some public, others with invited groups) and an exhibition, the students will bring together diverse participants, ideas and concerns. They will explore how the conditions of the hearing – vocalisation strategies, performance, technologies, architecture - affect how information travels from one body to an other and from one entity to many. Hearings will address local social issues, as well as more abstract themes.
Starting from Arts Catalyst’s new neighbourhood of Cromer Street in London’s Kings Cross and expanding out across the city, Everyday Urbanism: Architecture as Social Process will create a platform for international artists, urbanist collectives and research architects to link with a diverse range of local communities. Together these groups will explore and document the social, political and environmental issues affecting those who inhabit the city. Everyday Urbanism will evolve over the course of three years creating new relationships, networks, events, exhibitions and commissions.
Everyday Urbanism will be developed in collaboration with a curatorial advisory group including Arts Catalyst, Territorial Agency / John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, curator Claire Louise Staunton (Flat Time House/MK Gallery) and Susan Schuppli, Deputy Director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Cromer Street based Barrister Ousman Noor.
A Public hearing – Technologies of Belonging
1.00pm - 3.00pm, Sat 28 May 2016
Arts Catalyst Centre for Art, Science & Technology, 74-76 Cromer Street, London WC1H 8DR
Calling all residents, workers and communities of Cromer Street and Kings Cross, come and share your stories at the first event in the A Public Hearing series
Saturday 28 May is the first in a series of events to explore the technologies of hearing and the point of mediation between the hearing and listening. It will be used as a foundation to lead into the events on the Saturday 11 June and Saturday 25 June that will continue to develop and explore these concepts and materials in more depth and alternative ones.
Technologies of Belonging investigates how hearing and vocalising are rehearsed. Presenting hearing as narration and storytelling rather than confession. Non-oral bodily sensing and an exploration of the non-human on variety of scales presented in an evolving exhibition as multi-speaker installation, with a collaged sequence of the recent interviews collected by the group with live elements fluctuating between different temporalities, histories and sounds.
A Public Hearing – How To Speak
Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths with Ousman Noor
12.30pm, Sat 11 June 2016
Arts Catalyst, Centre for Art, Science & Technology, 74-76 Cromer Street, London WC1H 8DR
As part of Arts Catalyst's current programme A Public Hearing, MA students from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, host a workshop exploring different ways of speaking in public with vocal coach Christopher Holt and local Kings Cross barrister Ousman Noor.
Drawing on procedural documents from public hearings* as a starting point, this workshop, organised by students from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, looks at the conditions and protocols under which public speaking is conducted. Beginning with a review of speaking in formalized settings – such as court, council chambers or in parliament – we will then look to different, informal, modes of speaking – such as gossiping, complaining, whispering – and invite participants to draw up an alternate set of instruction manuals that give priority to such forms of speech. The latter part of the workshop will review how formal instructions are registered and performed, revealing the impact this has on what gets said and who gets heard, and how architecture changes the register of sound, affecting the ways speech is delivered and supported.
This workshop is aimed at residents and workers of the Kings Cross Area. Open to all ages but 16+ preferred unless accompanied by an adult.
1pm Lunch (Free)
2pm Workshop (Free)
Vocal exercises, discussion and rewriting manuals plus an introduction on court procedures.
Christopher Holt is an actor, a theatre director, a lecturer, a voice coach and a disability arts practitioner, and he has a 20 years experience in teaching, training and developing singing and speaking voices. Holt has lead vocal workshops and taught voice for professional actors, singers and dancers, students of theatre and groups of senior citizens.
Ousman Noor is a Barrister with extensive experience in representing individuals in immigration detention, making bail applications in Immigration Tribunals on their behalf. This experience led to a strong conviction that immigration detention was often performed unlawfully with insufficient transparency or accountability to the rule of law. In 2014 he set up The Habeas Corpus Project, a non-profit organisation that provides pro-bono legal representation in challenging unlawful detention of individuals in the UK.
A Public Hearing – Cromer Street Lyric
Arts Catalyst Centre for Art, Science & Technology, 74-76 Cromer Street, London WC1H 8DR
Sat 25 June 2016
For the final event of the project the group have invited local choir groups, singers and musicians for a new lyric to be composed; distilled from conversations with local people and sounds heard in and around the environs of Cromer Street in King's Cross.
This final installation of A Public Hearing, organised by students from the Centre for Research Architecture, looks at oral histories and the means by which knowledge can be altered and passed along. The process for composition will be collaborative – dialogue, consensus and disruption will be made evident in the final choral arrangement. Simultaneous to the performance a live recording with feedback will play in an adjacent room suggesting the configuration of Arts Catalyst as a sensing organ attuned to and bearing witness to unfolding events.
12 noon – 6pm Exhibition and Performance
5pm – 7pm Closing Drinks Reception
The Centre for Research Architecture is a pedagogical experiment and political project that sits at the intersection of many fields and disciplines from architecture and media to law and climate science. Practitioners from a wide-range of backgrounds work within new conceptual frameworks, developing cutting-edge tools for undertaking spatial research and critical analysis.
The Centre investigates the urgent political conditions of our time through practice-led research. It asks: How can architecture engage with questions of contemporary culture, politics, media, ecology, and justice? Through a combination of fieldwork, theoretical enquiry, and creative approach, spatial investigations include both practical and theoretical considerations, concentrating on a distinct issue, process or site.
Henry Bradley is an artist whose work currently centres around concepts of the rehearsal and the gesture, using performance to enact methods of estrangement, repetition and interruption to enquire into the nature of the event itself.
Dana Abbas is an architect and academic based in Jerusalem whose practice is engaged with spaces of informality, specifically in the Palestinian-Israeli geopolitical context. Her recent research investigates spaces of exclusion and the visualisation of forced disappearances.
Sophie Dyer is a designer based between London and Berlin who studied at The Glasgow School of Art. Recent group exhibitions include; Valise, Volksbühne, Berlin; The Persistence of Type, Tramway, Glasgow and The Miraculous, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. She also contributes to the Parallel School community and Concrete Flux magazine.
Phoebe Eustace studied Fine Art in Leeds and Lisbon. Researching modes of 'community planning' looking specifically at forms of dialogue when the conversation centers upon the infrastructure that is necessary and at the same time relates us to each other.
Alexia Giacomazzi attended the University of Sydney, Australia. While working at Project Native Informant, her own practice revolves around questions of sonic culture and environmental attunement.
Ming Lin is a writer-researcher whose activities have frequently revolved around a small distribution point, shop and exhibition space in Hong Kong. Her work examines the poetics of production and circulation, particularly the slippages that occur as synthetising new forms of agency.
Emma McCormick-Goodhart is an artist, writer and researcher whose work engages with the notion of the voice and its enunciation. Currently conceiving a radio series for Clocktower Productions, she is a co-author of concept and participant in Infinite Ear for the 2016 Bergen Assembly.
Robert Preusse studied Visual Communications at the Berlin University of the Arts and is a contributer to the Parallel School community. His current research is focused on opacities in metadata.
Blanca Pujals studied architecture at ETSAB, Barcelona, and received an MA in Critical Theory and Museum Studies at the Independent Studies Program, Macba Museum, Barcelona. Her practice merges architecture, writing, curatorial and artistic approaches through the material conditions of regimes of representation.
Laurie Robins is based in London. Currently he’s making films approximately focused on behavioral studies, scientific management, landscape and animation.
Solveig Suess is a designer working between Beijing and London. She is co-founder of Concrete Flux, a journal addressing spatial conditions in China, and is currently enquiring into aliens, alibis and the New Silk Road.
Alexandra Symons Sutcliffe is a researcher, writer and organiser based in London. Her work is currently focused on issues of uncreative production, maintenance and fidelity.
Leonie Weber studied architecture in Stuttgart, Darmstadt and Århus. She is part of different research collectives and networks, such as baladilab, Architects for Social Housing and Concrete Action. Based in London, her current research focuses on ethical notions in the field of spatial practice, housing policies and the scope of ownership.