Practical Work

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My practical work over the last three years has involved immersing myself in various collaborations.

Future Reflections Research Group (FR)

Timeline: January 2007 - October 2009

Overview: Future Reflections Research Group (FR) investigated the theory and practice of art research as an emerging and transgressive field of inquiry. Founded in April 2007 and based at Chelsea College of Art and Design (London, UK), FR's members have divergent art practices, skills and sensibilities. But overarching these differences is an interest in practice-led art research as a collaborative process.

Constituency: FR is comprised of three Ph.D. students from Chelsea: Katrine Hjelde, Catherine Maffioletti and me. Aaron McPeake was a founding member of the group and worked the first project FR1: Future Reflections (Chelsea College of Art and Design, May 2007) and Michaela Ross collaborated with Katrine and me on FR5: Future Re/interpretation (Research into Practice, October 2008).

Outputs: The group's outputs take the form of projects.

  • FR8: Future (Re)vision
  • FR7: Future (Re)composition
  • FR6: Future Re/interpretation
  • FR5: Future (Re)iteration
  • FR4: Future Refrain
  • FR3: Future (Re)Turn
  • FR2: Future Response
  • FR1: Future Reflections

FR produces three kinds of texts:

Project Questions: When is art research? How can research be art? Where's the "work" in art research? Where is the knowledge(s) in the art Ph.D.? What kind of subjectivity/subjectivities does collaborative art research produce?

My interest in FR included:

  • To learn more about art research through P2P exchange--i.e. exploring issues of authority and distributed authorship.
  • To explore the question: What does it mean to collaborate? This relates to collaboratively producing research, collaboratively producing art and collaboratively producing art research. I'm also concerned with collaboration as a practice/ethic/performance: How do I perform myself as a collaborator?
  • To investigate ways of sharing collaborative processes, namely: that which happens "off the page".
  • To investigate expressions of subjectivity in collaboration; specifically, tensions between individual and group subjectivities and how these ontological categories impact shared knowledge production.
  • To explore the tension between collaboration within the group and participation with audiences beyond the group.

Reflections on Future Reflections

Critical Practice (CP)


Timeline: March to September 2008

Overview: Ecoes began with an interest in Actor Network Theory (ANT). It aimed to explore the possibilities of using this approach to edit video documentation of an event, specifically Jem Mackay's footage of The Market of Ideas, Critical Practice’s contribution to the Festival of Europe held at Chelsea, March 16, 2008.

Constituency/Working Group: There were five collaborators: Cinzia Cremona, Jem Mackay, Corado Morgana, Michaela Ross and me, with Jem and I acting a co-working group leaders.

Outputs: The group produced three texts for the Network of Design Conference:

  • An assembly of video works that used Jem's video documentation of the Market of Ideas
  • A forum presentation that considered the collaborators' interests in the project
  • A reflective dialogue between the collaborators that was published as part of the conference's ebook

Project Questions: What are the possibilities of using Actor Network Theory (ANT) to edit video documentation of an event? What are the possibilities of using video to creatively reveal collaborative structures of cultural production? In what ways do visual inscriptions of network activity differ from written ones? Moreover, how might ANT be used as a method for fine art practice-led research?

My interests in Ecoes included:

  • Learning more about ANT through applying it as a method for collaborative video editing
  • The possibility of developing a multi-authored collaborative project, with parts developed by different collaborators with very different points of view
  • Mapping the contingencies of collaboration as a complex operation
  • Developing a video account of CP

Reflections on Ecoes


Overview: Parade grew out of our BIG IDEAS activity at the CP picnic in June 2008. Exploring the intersection of publics and public space, this project culminated in an event in May of 2010 on "publicness". Here CP and collaborators sought to gather/constitute various publics. Each working group member has a different sense of what these conditions might be, but it's generally agreed that:

  • The event will develop online and in public in keeping with the ethos of the project.
  • The event will be experimental and emergent--there will be risk.

Parade's is also unfolding through CP's growing ties with Polish artists, architects, curators and other cultural producers interested in aspects of "publicness".

Constituency/Working Group:Members include Ciniza, Ewelina, Ken, Kuba, Marsha, Michaela and Neil.

Parade provides space to:

  • Collaboratively consider diverse expressions of "publicness".
  • It's a platform for developing art as research about being in public.
  • Parade is an opportunity to learn more about Polish culture and by extension, notions of Otherness.
  • It's a context to consider the tensions between autonomy and heteronomy...the individual and the group.

The Public Body: Barcamp Presentation

Unnamed Collaboration


Hackney Transients Artist Project

HTAP Oral Archive:
Lucy Tomlins, Miriam Kings and I are all developing an oral archive to document HTAP's early development as well as archive in/flux, the 2009 summer exhibition, which I curated with the help of Miriam, Lucy and a small army of volunteers.
Aspects of the catalogue:

  • 10 reflective voice recordings, where individual practitioners offer their perceptions of the exhibition
  • A timeline documenting the project's development
  • Photo doc of the exhibition, forums and private view
  • Press - including the three press releases, the flyers and our review in the Hackney Gazette

Limitations Permitted by The Office of Experiments

return to Marsha's Research Hub

return to Practice Literature


FR5: Future (Re)iteration at the Art of Research, Research Narratives, Chelsea College of Art and Design, October 2008


Michaela editing clips for the video installation of Ecoes at Networks of Design, August 2008