Parade: draft letter2

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Critical Practice - Research
Chelsea College of Art and Design,
16 John Islip Street,

DATE 2009

Critical Practice <> is a cluster of artists, researchers and academics hosted by Chelsea College of Art and Design, a constituent college of the University of the Arts London. Critical Practice has a longstanding interest in public goods, spaces, services and knowledge, and a track record of producing original participatory events. For instance, in 2004 we organized Open Congress <> at Tate.

Chelsea College is opposite Tate Britain on Millbank, and has a large contemporary courtyard at its heart, the beautiful Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground. Critical Practice is currently developing a distributed 'conference' around the tensions inherent in a public domain. It’s scheduled for May 2010. Although unlike most conferences this will actually be in public space, in fact in the parade ground, and in a spectacular, bespoke temporary structure.

We intend to produce a landmark event, a stunning structure in an amazing location with a host of international contributors. This will be no standard 'conference' - with famous speakers and passive audience - we intend to explore participatory ‘public’ forms of knowledge production; including a Market of Ideas, workshops, seminars and barcamps as well as more conventional presentations and talks. The content of the event and the forms that it takes will be intimately bound.

As debt bubbles burst and markets seize, states are taking control of previously private financial institutions; and energy, resources and knowledge, formerly ‘public goods’ are increasingly subject to restrictive property claims. An exploration of the interplay between ‘public goods’ and private interests has never been so vital.

We are in the early stages of development and are looking for partners, with a genuine engagement with the core issues, to advance the project further.

I look forward to hearing from you

Yours Sincerely

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