Minutes 28th January 2008

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Present: Mary Anne Francis (minutes and chair); Trevor Giles; Mike Knowlden;

Apologies: Chan Baik, Spring Exprit

1. Shaping the future of BTFM. Where do we want to go? We have now been up and running for over a year and during this time have:

- done a lot of research - undertaken a number of public projects: (the kitchen at ATP, The Serpentine day; Spring’s piece at ‘the Between’; Read House, ‘the Make-In’, ‘The Really Super Market’, ‘Harrington Mill Studios’, Guerrilla Zoo… and finally, we have an opportunity to get the ‘dinner with some economists’ off the ground.

MA gave an overview of where things are at. T: are we working on the right things in the right way? Mike: see BTFM ‘as the food wing of Critical Practice’ the olafactory approach? Where does art and food overlap? Mike: the idea of taking CP as our territory / integrating ourselves (back into) CP.

Harrington Mills: what’s happened: reflects on what sort of service a gallery provides. What we can draw out of this versus Middlesbrough: that ‘the work’ / Green gifts are not the work.

MA: it’s important that what we do doesn’t just ‘make a critique’ of the territory (symbolically) but works materially with a particular economy.

MA proposed that we think about ‘dream projects’ for BTFM and work up a proposal for the best of these and each post to the website.

Trevor suggested that we do an audit of things that compel us about BTFM (may be also things that we’re not so happy about) and post personal lists to the wiki, in order to inform a future discussion.

ACTION: We agreed to have a go at writing these lists – but also recognised that something may escape in doing so.

Mike is interested in the art-food intersection of a Venn diagram with 2 circles (art and food)… plus critique.

It’s time to take stock and ask ourselves

a) if we’re making the most of all the research we’ve done. (We need to identify the key areas.) b) if there are projects we want to do that we’ve not yet done c) if we think that BTFM is going in the direction we want it to d) Being ambitious: scaling up our achievements and vision

Do we need some Aims and Objectives?(!) And how would these mesh with CP’s As and Os? Do we want a mission statement?

How do we contextualise what we’re doing in terms of other similar (?) projects? How we might define our work as ‘research’ and understand / re-situate it as vital as such.

2. Report on and analysis of recent activities

- Dinner with the Economists / Festival of Europe: a BTFM collaboration with Festival of Europe Working Group – MA and T are members of FE WG?

We focussed on this item as it is the most pressing. Trevor gave an account of where things are at / history and outcome of negotiations.

We noted that Monday 11th February has been proposed as the date for the exploratory / research dinner with 3 economists.

We talked about Neil’s idea of ‘economists’ having stalls; added to this / interrogated this – careful we don’t lose sight of objective of learning about Economists. Mike’s idea of economists selling products according to a different economic principles.

Simultaneously teaching and learning and presenting one’s practice. We could set CP people the task of transforming an economic principle into a commodity. Anxieties about losing input for BTFM.

ACTION: so we don’t lose sight of the value of this event to BTFM everyone to contribute to a list on the wiki of objectives for a) the dinner on Monday 11th and b) the event itself.

- NEF negotiations (left til next meeting)

- Harrington Mill Studios (an analysis of this will feed into the list of BTFM ‘pros’ and ‘cons’)

- Spring’s project with Chelsea students – no report as Spring wasn’t present

3. Possible future events / invitations

- Cheltenham: Trevor gave a brief report of this – an open invitation to bear in mind for the long term.

- Idea for kitchen + fundraising event to be run simultaneously at a commuter interchange – making BTFM’s economic cycle visible – deferred to next meeting.

Next meeting: to be organised with Festival of Europe Working Group as a joint FE / BTFM meeting - date tba after 1st dinner Monday 11th Feb.

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