CCW Funding the Market of Evaluation

From Critical Practice Chelsea
Jump to: navigation, search


Your name(s): Critical Practice (contact people, Professor Neil Cummings and Dr Marsha Bradfield, who is an early career researcher)
Your role(s): Critical Practice is a cluster of artists, researchers, academics and others hosted by CCW. We have a long-standing interest in art, public goods, spaces, services and knowledge, and a track record of producing original, participatory events, such asPARADE(2008-2010). This was a multifaceted project on 'being in public' dispersed across a preparatory season of research, high profile event and popular publication. In keeping with the ethos, methods and ambition of PARADE, our current research considers 'evaluation,' understood as the dynamic production of value

First Point of Contact: Neil Cummings is a professor at CCW associated in Critical Practice.
Second Point of Contact: Marsha Bradfield is a post-doc fellow based in Critical Practice.

Type of event: This application requests support for three aspects of Critical Practice's research project on evaluation:
  • (1) the final events in the preparatory season of research (October - April, 2015)
  • (2) the Market, a three-day event (May/June 2015); and (3) the publication (2015), which will disseminate the project's findings.
Date of the event and approximate length:
  • Final Stage of the Preparatory Research Season (October - April, 2015) will be composed of three full-day events and eight half-day events.
  • Market of Evaluation (May/June 2015) will unfold over approximately weeks: two weeks for constructing the Market; the three-day event; one week to deconstruct, recycle/repurpose Market.
  • There will also be a Publication (June - October 2015), for which we will seek alternative funding.
Proposed location: Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground, Chelsea College of Art and Design
Short description of the proposed event (no more than 150 words):

(1) The Preparatory Research Season is composed of public events exploring evaluation through onsite research facilitated by experts in diverse areas (law, waste, urban planning).

(2) The Market of Evaluation is inspired by the ancient agora as a site of economic transaction and a space of political discourse. The 40+ stalls may include high-end bespoke kiosks (fig.1), purpose-built mobile units (fig.2); stalls crafted from recycled materials sourced from CCW students (fig.3). These curated stalls will be manned by artists, economists, academics, ecologists, anthropologists, civil-society groups, pressure groups, activists and others to explore existing evaluative structures and produce new ones. Imagine a casino, a blood donation bank, an auction, a derivatives market, various currencies, gift economies, a waste/materials exchange, etc. Through bringing these economies into relation we aim to understand how they generate value in diverse and often conflicted ways.

Estimated cost of the event (speaker fees [max £200 per speaker]), hospitality, materials, etc.

Please see the attached budget TOTAL: 40,610.00

Which of the Graduate School themes does the event related to (please tick the one or more themes):

✓ Social Engagement
✓ Environment
✓ Technologies

Which element(s) of the event can be identified as internationally excellent or world leading?

Q: What elements of the events will be a catalyst for, or important contribution to, new thinking, practices, paradigms, policies or audiences?
A: Our vision is to combine of the preparatory research and the market structure (exemplified by PARADE and the Market of Evaluation) into the art research equivalent of the (commercial) art world's art fair and make it a vital organ for valorising practice. Here are a few aspects of this structure that make it well-suited to the paradigm of practice-based research:

  • The Market has a unique spatio-temporality. Multiple projects operate in close proximity. We aim to work with practitioners like, Superflex, Goldin&Senneby and Renée Ridgway, philosopher of usership Stephen Wright, theorist of art's valorisation Gerald Raunig, anthropologist of banking Joris Luyendijk, architects specialising in urban renewal (MUF) - Katherine Clarke and Liza Fior (a more complete list can be found at
  • The Market understands 'peer review' in terms of relevance as much as rigour. Each stall competes for the attentions of the milling crowd, who vote with their feet.
  • It Market many practitioners to demonstrate their practice in contrast to presenting them through written accounts that are once-removed.

Q: How will these events become important points of reference in art and design fields?
A: We are developing a robust marketing and dissemination strategy as a strand in our research. We will ensure the events are well publicised through local and international media campaigns and word of mouth, as well as via open calls and other types of invitation. We will also craft and secure the events' legacy by disseminating our research through the publication. This will involve a multi-prong approach: (1) snail mail and digital distribution to select recipients, libraries, network; (2) securing reviews and endorsements and (3) publishing excerpts in journals, websites, blogs, magazines and other platforms. Done strategically and systematically, this dissemination will not only lodge the events across the worlds of art as exemplars of practice-based collaborative art research. It will also raise CP's and the Graduate School's research profiles as hubs producing research that is distinguished by its criticality and creativity.

Q: What elements of the events will be of lasting influence in art and design fields and possibly beyond?
A: Training in these fields teaches early practitioners to question everything they do. The Market's ethos makes this a life-long and edge-to-edge commitment. This ethos relentlessly reevaluates the values that organise its own cultural production as a point of departure understanding other values and other cultures. This ethos understands that switching up forms of evaluation and innovating modes of valorisation is indispensable to making cultural production critically and creative reflexive, broadly relevant and aware of the contexts in which it is embedded and that it shapes in turn.

Q: What elements of the events will demonstrate a significant expansion of the range and/or public impact of research in art and design?
A: Both the season of preparatory research and the Market use creative practice to unpick easy oppositions between theory and practice; state funded and commercial enterprise; art as autonomous from everything else. The events will be like laboratories that use artistic processes to isolate, analyse, compare and evolve circuits of value. By grounding theoretical discussion in material experience, these laboratories aim to make abstract quality of value more concrete.

Q: What elements of the events will be significantly novel or innovative or creative?
A: We are, to the best of our knowledge, the only group developing market-like technology to platform creative practice that is live--in a state of becoming. This is in part what distinguishes our markets from an art fair, which prioritizes static artworks. The Market's eclectic content will give it broadly-based 'audience' appeal. At the same time, all the events seek to integrate the 'audience' as contributors who can engage in ways that are best suited to their interests and sensibilities. Critically, the purpose of these events is not only to generate rigorous and relevant research outputs. They are also social occasions where pleasure and discursive exchange are valorised as core to meaningful knowledge production.

Who is the intended audience for this event?

The range of events, methods and people involved in this project makes it a broad umbrella for bringing diverse audiences together. Our marketing and dissemination strategy turns on spending the next fifteen months cultivating what we term a 'community of evaluation'. In contrast to an audience or audiences who are sometimes perceived as passive, this community is composed of active contributors. By co-evolving a platform for presenting contributions from members of this community, and through reciprocally investing in each others research, we are intent on together contributing critical and creative value to contemporary culture in London and beyond that is relevant, innovative and lasting.

Plural Art Worlds: CP aims to engage publicly funded institutions and their audiences as well as more elite organisations, such as private galleries and auction houses and their clientele. By partnering with disparate cultural producers, we will diversify the range of perspectives that our research platforms and in doing so, actively diversity the relevance of our research. We are invigorated by the challenge working across these different and even antagonistic contexts and bringing them together in the Market of Evaluation as a contest of value regimes.

Practice-based Art and Design Researchers and Institutions: We will use our recently secured membership to SAR and JAR to disseminate invitations and outcomes, thereby raising both CP's and the Graduate School's overlapping research profiles. At the same time, we will target our research at peers/friends associated with research institutions with which we have worked in the past and wish to work with in future. These are as widespread as the Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Oslo Academy of Fine Arts, Geneva University of Art and Design, Dutch Art Institute (Arnhem, the Netherlands) and Emily Carr University (Vancouver, Canada), University of San Diego, Auckland University of Technology. Many of these institutions are developing cutting-edge research programs and seeking affiliations with more established hubs. We aim to make this project an exemplar of what sets research at Graduate School apart as an internationally renowned centre for practice-based research.

General Public/Interdisciplinary Practitioners with an Interest in Process: This project will be of interest to anyone questioning the production of value in today's politically volatile, economically disparate, environmentally challenged and hyper-globalised reality. It will be of particular interest to those intrigued by how value is produced. We will look at this process with reference to specific examples and in relation to the systems that give them significance. Researchers engaged with the materiality value in the areas of culture, economy, politics, philosophy, geography, business and health care should find this research provocative. Additionally, practitioners who make their living from creating value--the so called 'creative class,' other entrepreneurs, computer programers, trend spotters, estate agents, etc--will likely appreciate the pragmatism and practicality of CP's practice-based research and can-do approach.

CCW Staff and Students: Our embedded way of working means that we will engage the CCW community great depth and breath through this project. In addition to providing funding, infrastructure, context and content, this community will compose the most immediate audience for our research. We aim to work with BA, MA and PhD students and tutors and to chart synergies between our respective projects (course, artworks, research, etc.) en route to innovating ways they can resource and inform each other. This approach is exemplified by Evaluation, Consensus and Location (March 25-29, 2014). CP is working with an international group of utopographers (interdisicplinarly researching at the intersection of utopia and other fields); local artists, designers, architects and others interested in utopography, and BA and MA students. We share an interest in learning more about the values and methods of utopography as a burgeoning field. Together we will explore utopography through practice by building a stage and exhibition space in Triangle Space that is bespoke, reponsive to the content that it will host.

How will it enhance student experience?
  • (1) Collaborative Research in Action: Critical Practice is an open organisation that brings together students from BA through PhD with professionals in CCW and beyond; anyone can join. Benefits include being part of large-scale and long-term research projects as they unfold and undertake collaborative, practice-based research in a supportive and generative community of practice that values such as peer-to-peer exchange, such as informal education.
  • (2) Hot and Risky Art (and/as research): This research aims to acquaint prospective PhD students on the BA and MA with the potential of practice-based art. We will highlight the risk-taking, experimentation, creativity, innovation and relevance that, at its best, distinguishes this approach. Hence students will have the opportunity to encounter practice-based research that is LIVE, before being translated into research outcomes and disseminated in second-hand through written theses and other forms.
  • (3) Transferable Skills and the DIY Ethos - learning through doing: Students who participate in the preparatory season of events will acquire transferable skills (i.e. the construction skills learned through working with recycled material in the furniture making workshop, One Person's Trash is another's Treasure, April 2013).
  • (4) Develop/Exhibit Practice: All UAL students will be invited to apply to propose projects and/or present existing projects at the Market of Evaluation. This exhibition opportunity
  • (5) Be Inspired by Ambitious Alumni/Peers: We will work with Alumni and Friends to involve CCW graduates in the Market (i.e. form CP member Ian Drysdale of The Good Gym). We will also work with SEE to showcase successful creative enterprises they have funded. We are especially interested in juxtaposing ethical or social enterprise (i.e. VOIST Collective, giving 'voice to communities who can't yet shout loud enough') with more commercially motivated ventures (Dinu Bodiciu's womenswear and millinery designs).
  • (6) Membership in the Community of Evaluation: The community this research forms will provide a network that is rich, and crucially, resilient. We aim to link students with resources (human and material) that will survive graduation. This network friends and peers aims to ease the transition into the work life with the aim of making cultural production a sustainable occupation.
Will it involve an external and/or internal media partner? Yes. (Marsha needs to look into this.)
Do you have a network you could market this event to? Critical Practice has evolved an extensive network that includes members of CCW and beyond.

Locally: TED, Cape Farewell, Contemporary Marxism Collective, Gasworks, Open Music Archive, The People Speak, This Is Not A Gateway, Precarious Workers Brigade, Ace&Lion, Pangaea Sculptors Centre, etc.
Internationally: Scottish Sculpture workshop (Lumsden), Alternativa (Gdansk), Free/Slow University (Warsaw), Laura Palmer Foundation (Warsaw), The Bureau of Melodramatic Research (Bucharest), The Matadero (Madrid), Steirische Herbst (Graz), HMKV (Dortmund), Berlin Biennial, Art Leaks (international), etc.

Please note any other information you would like the Graduate School Forum to consider? Please see our draft budget, list of contributors and figs 1-7

Return to Post-doc * Main Page


Through our programme of events, the CCW Graduate School aims to celebrate the research activity taking place within our three colleges, integrate this within our taught courses and position ourselves within key debates relevant to art and design.

We would like to invite CCW staff to propose events that will feature in our 2014/15 programme. This invitation is open to all CCW full-time and fractional staff (with at least 0.2fte).

Events that are included in the programme must relate to one or more of the Graduate School Themes. They must have some elements that are internationally excellent* (e.g. as demonstrated in the quality of the research presented at the event, its venue, partnerships, its internal or external speakers etc.). They must have an audience that includes staff, students at all levels and the public and they must demonstrate an enhancement of the student experience. Ideally event proposals will identify external and media partners, include a marketing and dissemination strategy and will involve Early Career Researchers**

If you would like to propose an event please complete the attached form and return it by Friday 14th February 2014 Event proposals will be considered by the Graduate School Forum in the Spring term 2014.

  • In assessing which elements of your event are internationally excellent, we will expect to see evidence of the following characteristics:
  • Elements of the event will become an important point of reference in art and design fields
  • Elements of the event will be of lasting influence in art and design fields and possibly beyond
  • Elements of the event will be a catalyst for, or important contribution to, new thinking, practices,paradigms, policies or audiences
  • Elements of the event will demonstrate a significant expansion of the range and/or public impact of research in art and design
  • Elements of the event will be significantly novel or innovative or creative

  • An Early Career Researcher is a member of fractional staff (at least 0.2fte) who is either within 8 years of the award of the PhD or equivalent professional training or within 6 years of their first academic appointment.

Wishlist for the Market of Evaluation (ongoing): - digital folks from Paris, also made a super interesting work on trading bots & trade algorithms Urban Playground - organized in HMKV super cool Utopia Stock Exchange - Theoreticians:

  • Marina Vishmidt on speculation
  • Suhail Malik - fantastic research on art cartel / art gallery systems
  • Hans Abbing
  • Olaf Velthuis - on art market
  • Matteo Pasquinelli - texts on the deleuzian theories of value
  • Christian Marazzi - the must, super interesting book on the "Violence of financial capital"
  • Maurizio Lazaratto - a bit overrated, still interesting issues on "Debt"
  • David Graeber - also on "Debt"
  • Gerald Raunig - very interesting last book on cultural industries, related to valorization, I was positively impressed
  • Andreas Lang - for walks in Hackney Wick, will work with Queens Mary on space and value there (sic!)
  • Eleanora Belfiore - did a lot of work on systems of evaluation in art, relation between intrinsic and external value, located in... Manchester (?)
  • Joris Luyendijk - anthropology of bankers