To Chelsea research students

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This was written for a very specific context... it had to go after other Research Groups had done their stuff... The business cards were a hit (not so sure about the words); I notice that we did have one or two people sign up to the site the day after...


Critical Practice


Is a research cluster – I use the term advisedly – co-ordinated by Professor Neil Cummings (who sends his apologies for today) and myself…

We are just the tip of the iceberg; there are many others involved...

• what is 'Critical Practice’?

well, we have a website, which explains it all.. and some business cards which give you the website’s url… but in the absence of the actual site, I’ll say a few words by way of introduction.

What are we critical about by way of practice?

After much soul-searching and many evenings in the pub, our sprawling and fluctuating group came up with a set of Aims and Objectives(which you can find on our site). In a nut-shell:

We have – for the present – said that we aim, among other things, to critique:

• the logic, power and values of the ideology of a competitive market

• that we aim to ‘work as an open, collaborative and reflexive social network’ – cue an invitation to everyone in this room – i.e. we aim to critique dominant modes of authorship in art – especially those identified with the art-market.

And that we aim to

• ‘return publicly funded research to the public domain' (critique of the dominant modes of ownership of knowledge)

So: how do we realise these aims?

Well, I’ll give you a few examples, (briefly)

• Our most spectacular achievements to date in our short life (hardly 2 years), has been Open Congress. This looked a the way in which free, libre, open-source software – software which anyone is free to copy, modify, and distribute - could be transported to art.

Thus: it sought to contest the dominant models of the production, ownership and distribution of art, and reflexively did so in a form – that of an open congress – that embodied many of the values we were seeking to promote via the subject of the event,

Currently, we have sprouted into life (again) with a whole raft of projects, on which is imminent, so a few words about ‘ATP – Atelier Trans-Pal – a collaboration with Stefan Shankland, -

This project is about to take place in the Parade Ground. Stefan wants to question the space of the studio, today, and we have been invited to interact with his structure (built out of 2000 pallets), for one day – on November 1st, to reflect on a set of questions about the conditions of our practice. Join us! Then, Before, or afterwards.

Details of our meetings are always posted on our website. Anyone can come. We’re open and free – for the price of a beer.