Wasteland Conversations, Nottingham Contemporary

Continuing our relationship with Nottingham Contemporary and their public programme we were invited to co-curate and host a series of conversations in response to the current John Newling and Piero Gilardi exhibitions.

Making Place

Wtih Alan Boldon, Elaine Speight and Ferdiansyah Thajib

Tuesday 19 February, 6.30 – 8.30pm

This conversation questions the use of art in public planning and place-making strategies and considers alternative means by which artistic practices respond to the specificities of place.

Alan Boldon (Faculty of Arts, University of Brighton) has, over several decades, focused consistently on interdisciplinary approaches to ecological place-shaping; he led the development of Arts and Ecology at Dartington College of Arts and has worked on place-making strategies as an RSA Fellow and consultant. Elaine Speight is an artist, curator, and co-founder of In Certain Places with whom she has curated public artworks including Newling’s Preston Market Mystery Project. Ferdiansyah Thajib is a writer, cultural theorist and co-director of KUNCI Cultural Studies Centre who works with Nottingham’s ‘twinned’ site in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Ecology, Community and Ecology

With Oliver Rodker and Lucy Sargisson

Tuesday 26 February, 6.30 – 8.30pm

This conversation will consider the place of utopian thinking for social and ecological practices.

Oliver Rodker is a founding member of the Landmatters Permaculture Community. Currently working with the Ecological Land Co-operative, he has been involved in environmental activism for the past two decades. Lucy Sargisson is Associate Professor at the School of Politics and International Relations, at the University of Nottingham; she has written extensively on the politics of feminism and ecology and is author of Fool’s Gold, an exploration of utopianism in the twenty-first century.

Common Imagination

With Hayley Newman and Gareth Brown

Tuesday 12 March, 6.30 – 8.30pm

This conversation will approach the ‘commons’ as both a form of land ownership and as a way of thinking beyond capitalism, in relation to the imagination and artistic practice.

Hayley Newman is an artist, writer, musician and performer; as ‘Self-Appointed Artist in Residence in the City of London’ she has recently written Common, a novella detailing collective political action and creative engagement with space. Gareth Brown is a doctoral student whose research focuses on an exploration of the imagination as a contested terrain of production in which struggles around commons and enclosures are central. A key element of the project is constituted by the re-examination of Marxist theories of Immaterial Labour through the lens of surrealist ontology and understandings of the subject.