August 04, 2014

The Academy of Curiousity's Manifesto for Liverpool

This recent Twitter conversation led to me hearing about the Academy of Curiousity's Manifesto for Liverpool.

On starting to read it, I discovered the manifesto contains a series of questions to work through. So I figured it would be interesting to blog my answers, and it's taken a little time to find the free space to do that.

In response to the preamble before the questions, I think that the artists (and other citizens and society members) should be looking to set the agenda, not follow it. What does Liverpool need, what does the UK need, what does the world need? We should play an active role in the discussions about society and the world around us.

And onto my responses. Ping me if you end up doing the same, I'm more interested in the conversation than in my responses...

1. Write down as many artist-led collectives operating in Liverpool as you can:

The Kazimier; Re-Dock; elements of DoES Liverpool... Is The Royal Standard a collective? What about 90squared?

2. What does it mean to say you are an artists from/or working in Liverpool? Does it matter to you? Why? Why not?

The Liverpool bit is important to me, all my physical work is signed as such. It matters in a simple way because I moved back to help make the city better, having grown up with it in a pretty poor way. It matters in a bigger way because the city is open to new ideas and thought in a way that Cambridge never was (to me at least). And it's a city, so big enough to have an impact on the world, but small enough that an individual can make a difference in the direction, the meter of that impact.

3. Does Liverpool have a specific aesthetic or shared vocabulary? If so, how would you describe it? Is it necessary to have one?

I don't think there's one aesthetic, nor should there be. The city is far too big and contains far too many artists for that. However, there's definitely an strand of laser-cut birch ply, Arduino-powered interactivity and interaction with the Internet running through my sub-section of the arts scene.

4. What underpins what we do as unique in comparison to other cities?

I think there's more crossover between technologists and artists in Liverpool than you get in most other cities, save maybe Bristol, in the UK. I think that benefits both the arts world and the technology community.

5. Where do artists in Liverpool engage with each other in critical discourse?

Twitter. The Double Negative. Seven Streets. In the bars around the Ropewalks. In the Camp and Furnace.

6. What is the best version of ourselves?

When we're honest with ourselves and each other. When we look out to the rest of the world and participate in it, rather than merely setting ourselves against it. When we celebrate work because it's good, not just because it was created within the city boundaries.

7. What opportunities for artists would you like to see developed in Liverpool?

A more porous seam between technology and the arts - allowing technologists to influence the arts, but possibly more importantly encouraging artists to influence technology.

What type of environment do you need to be successful in Liverpool? Draw what it would look like or feel like in the space below:

It's a work-in-progress (and probably always will be), but DoES Liverpool provides a large part of what I need.

View of DoES Liverpool's workshop

I'm not sure I'm ready to become a fellow of the academy, but I'm definitely up for continuing the conversations and critical dialogue. More of this sort of thing, please.

Posted by Adrian at August 4, 2014 10:03 AM | TrackBack

This blog post is on the personal blog of Adrian McEwen. If you want to explore the site a bit further, it might be worth having a look at the most recent entries or look through the archives or categories over on the left.

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