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Interrupt was a series of five conferences looking at social art practice in the UK organised in partnership with galleries and universities. The themes were: Artist as Educator: Ikon Gallery and University of Central England Artisty as Engineer: i-Dat, Univeristy of Plymouth Artist as Researcher: Goldsmiths College Artist as Activist; Manchester Metropolitan Univerwity Artsist as Collaborator: Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, University of Newcastle
Author(s): Butler D, Reiss V
Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)
Publication status: Published
Conference Name: Interrupt: an examination of socially engaged art practice
Year of Conference: 2004
Notes: Interrupt was a series of five conferences looking at social art practice in the UK organised in partnership with galleries and universities. The themes were: • Artist as Educator: Ikon Gallery and University of Central England • Artist as Engineer: i-Dat, Univeristy of Plymouth • Artist as Researcher: Goldsmiths College • Artist as Activist: Manchester Metropolitan University • Artist as Collaborator: Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and University of Newcastle The conferences have led to an interactive website www.interrupt-symposia.org that will provide a tool for information and debate around social art practice in the UK. The website goes live autumn 2005.
The Interrupt symposia, of which I was co-director, was a series of 2 day events involving a core group of 50 artists, curators, commissioners, funders and critics all of whom came to at least three symposia. This is a model I developed for an earlier series of symposia – ’Round Midnight – that develops sustained dialogue among the group. This was enhanced by as bulletin board that fed back ongoing commentary from one symposium to the next
Interrupt was developed from research into a long-term Arts Council programme – Artists in Sites for Learning. Themes around artists roles emerged and were used to focus each symposium: artist as educator, engineer, researcher, activist, collaborator. Each programme was then developed with a different partner. Speakers included: Joseph Kosuth, Barbara Steveni, Platform, Natalie Jeremijenko, Irit Rogoff, Redundant Technology. Two partners (Goldsmiths and MMU) are independently publishing books from the symposia.
As well as a locus for critical debate Interrupt provided a networking structure for those involved. This has proved useful including leading to people working together eg useful research for the RISK exhibition curated at CCA Glasgow by Ele Carpenter (April 2005), Gavin Wade presenting Mel Jordan and Andy Hewitt’