Meeting Minutes 19. 11. 2012

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Meeting Minutes

DATE Monday 19th November 2012
LOCATION Room 305, E block, 5.30pm till 8pm, Chelsea College of Art and Design, Millbank

Appoint chair: Kuba
Appoint Minute Taker: Metod
Present: Kuba, Metod, Neil, Sharon, Karem, Marsha, Scott

Item 1: Evaluation of Spaces of Values

The group talks about the past "The Brokers: People, Spaces and Values" teaser. What we can learn from it, where we can improve future guided walks.


Kuba: Has an issue with the Skype meeting. What has been debriefed...?
Sharon: Reads notes on the minutes...
Masrsha: (on produced video by Blanca and Neil) seems to simulate the experience of walking,talkin and the day, although making it challenging at times to watch. Neil: Worked for hours with Blanca on the video. He learned a great deal about the problems of recording in public.
Marsha: Can we have a 3min version?
Neil:It has an CC license, so you can do whatever...
Sharon: Can we have two documents: 15min version + 3min snippet version?
Kuba: Next walk would be better documented. It is important capture the dynamics.
Sharon: We need to decide about our needs re documentation: What we want to record? What we want to use it for?
Kuga: Moving to Item 2...
Neil: (still on Item 1) First two walks worked best because they addressed the given topic...
Metod: (adding to Neil) ...what we talked about we also saw...and experienced
Neil: Addressing the theme was what made the two work much better.
Kuba: Keeps identifying the differences between Jack, Warwick and Owen...
Neil: How we talk about the topics with Brokers in advance.
Kuba: Meetings, facilitating, explaining the needs to Brokers...
Marsha: (directs to Kuba) We need to pass this obligation if unable to communicate in person.
Karem: Likes Jack's and Warwick's walks...
Marsha: (on the video) How do we narrate the documentation. (still on video documentation)
Metod: Delegation needs to be delegated, and followed consistently. Not to pass a camera from one hand to another. This may mean one or two won't have much of the walk.
Neil: Recognizes Sharon's hard work for the walk.
All: We need to be smarter in scheduling the walks... Conversation goes on about the schedule: about breaks, about too much fitting in a day, etc...

Item 2: Future development of our research in Value

The discussion continues from the Item 1...


Kuba: Where did these walks lead us? What is the development of it? Are they to become self-contained events?
Sharon: It would be a shame if they were only for something else like a research.
Marsha: Talks about the format...
Kuba: Identifying what came out of the walks and broader on the research...
Marsha: (continues on Kuba's point) ...identifies the amorphous values that came out of the walks.
Neil: More Walks?
Metod: Regarding the plan >> 2 year plan: what are the aims, objectives, testing new formats, developing for a bigger project at the end of the two years.
Kuba: (jumps several points in finding parallels) How do we prevent "Dortmund" (New Industries Festival that was stopped due to slow bureaucracy: more in Item 4) not to happen again? What is the value of the work now?
Kuba: Talks about the process of mapping the research: different experiences of in value through out the 2 year period...
Sharon: (on video document) I think the walks' documentation would be a great tool for inviting people in the future.
Metod: What is that "something bigger" that walks generated? What is the timeline, what are the projections, even desires?
Neil+Sharon: Both disagree that walks serve a purpose.
Marsha: We need a sustained research in depth.
Neil: 2 year = provisional time frame.
Kuba: Draws parallels with the Parade which took about 2 years.
Kuba: What is our agenda in Spaces and Value? Is there a need to capture and transmit this work / research? Does this mean different events, different tools, different focus?
Karem: Same walks repeated for additional "layers"...
Metod: (on Karem's comment) No freaking way! Super conscious of limited time, energy, resources!
Marsha: Future work on "Waste" – amorphous value. Excited about Superflex art group. I would like to think big and invite collaborators...
Kuba: (on Marsha's comment) Worried about limited resources.
Marsha: (still on documentation) We shall feedback on SSW (Scottish Sculpture Workshop) documentation methods. (Marsha, Kuba, Scott and Metod are testing some new methods of documentation over an intense working weekend in Lumsden, Aberdeenshire.)
Kuba: Brings us back on track...
Marsha: Winter walk...?!?!
Kuba: We could organise a walk on Waste?
Neil: Waste = Value
Kuba: "One man's waste is another man's most possessed value."
Neil: Waste is the theme for January / February Walk?!
Marsha: "Accursed share" produces excess and eruption as a result...

The Accursed share:: The Accursed Share presents a new economic theory, which Bataille calls "general economy," as distinct from the "restricted" economic perspective of most economic theory. [...]

Karem: Draws parallels from the austerity and financial crisis to the crisis in the middle east.
Kuba: Waste can be a topic on its own. But in our general research it is under the Spaces and Values.
Neil: Waste is the topic of the next walks >> Agreed!!
All: Walks to be in the end of January / early February.
Sharon: Conscious of schedule and time before and after Christmas.
Marsha: Proposes that we do a tour with Rosie Oliver, founder of Dotmaker Tours around WASTE. Rosie has practice environmental law for many years and so might really be able to grow/develop our research into value.
ACTION: Marsha to contact Rosie about doing the tour in late January early February

Item 3: New UAL post-doc post devoted to the development of CP

In the agenda we identified the following issues:

  • What are the details of application process and what or who will the post benefit?
  • What are the positive and negative implications for CP re the Post-Doc Fellow?
  • What is CP's stance in this Post-Doc post?

There is a growing sentiment of unclear. This Post-Doc fellow post has appeared over night and has caused numerous speculations about the whole affair. Where do we go from here, how will CP benefit directly, what are the dangers for CP in the future considering several previous negative episodes of payed/unpaid members withing CP... Marsha has applied for the position and is in the selection process. Neil (not as a CP representative) sits on the panel and will be administering work to the new fellow.


Kuba: Hands the word to Neil.
Neil: Describes the selection processed other particulars regarding the Post-Doc position. He is not sure id this fellow is solely devoted to CP or not!! He explains that it happened very fast and explains that the position is a university appointment and continues that Chelsea sees this opportunity a great opportunity for CP and so went and assigned a position under "Critical Practice" fellow. Fellow is to be bid and external funding writing for the research department. To what extend this will only be for CP even Neil is unclear.
Scott: Won funds go to UAL bank account or CP bank account?
Neil:CP does not have a bank account!
Sharon: Is this a member of CP? Should he/she be a member?
(Conversation goes pink-ponk re Neil's as a professor of CP)
Neil: I am not a professor of CP!!

Note:Everything is very unclear. We bounce thoughts of the job post back and forth... We are also unclear about the general use of the name of Critical Practice. This causes massive misunderstandings and bewilders people even after extensive explanation. Also worth mentioning this topic is super touchy as both Neil and Marsha are involved in the process, the rest of us have no say what-so-ever...

Neil: Critical Practice is an open domain.

Note: Because of the sensitive subject we are all careful in phrasing the discussion. Some of us are attempting to evade direct questions. CP politics is in the high at this moment! ;)

Kuba: Breakes the news to those who didn't know: Marsha is applying for the position.
All: somebody will be employed and may/will open many potential problems.
Neil: (talks about the basics of the post) Many have applied for the post but is not allowed to say (conflict of interest again). The post had been advertised internally as well as externally. He also reminds us we (CP) are not the post givers.
All: It may be / it is a conflict of interest.
Metod: Points at the different direction of how useful £25k (for a part time Post-Doc fellow position before tax) if we had this as a yearly budget! We could work magic with this budget i.e. a massive project every year which Chelsea could co-own (Chelsea College of Art and Design already co-owns our enthusiastic (free) work, nice)!
Kuba: recognizes the peculiar position CP is in as well as the positions of Marsha and Neil...
Sharon: Are you Neil on the panel?
Neil: Yes! I would be the one administering the fellow. I will also be one of the the interviewers. For Chelsea, a way to support CP is to assign a fellow to CP, but that opens a lot of questions and creates a lot of problems!
Kuba: We need to figure out how to cooperate with this person.
Karem: Sees this opportunity to have a person assigned to source funds while the group works on a project...
Kuba: If we are not smart or prepared for it we could be in trouble.
Marsha: Having gone through it, this has to be very sensitively addressed.
Neil: I am in this position and we will keep negotiating...
Marsha: You (Neil) built value with collaborative hard work which Chelsea then recognized as something to support.
Kuba: Acknowledges this value... We talk about the negatives. What about the positives? For us it is an important issue to be researched on. We will need to readdress, to reappropriate.
Neil: We cannot have a stance until we know, and then we can appropriate.
Kuba: We need to make everybody aware of this situation we are in.
Neil: Describes hiring process – all is transparent...
Karem:Does this person becomes a member?
Marsha: It is inconceivable this person would not join the CP!!!
Neil: It would be difficult for this person not to join in.
Kuba: Does it make senses to make a statement?
Scott: Talks about the different understandings of Critical Practice... Draws on two distinctions: internal understading of the CP and external understanding of CP.
Neil: (back on the selection procedure) I have to go by the criteria. I am a representative of CP, but the panel will not look into any document we may provide.
Sharon:This is all actually good for CP.
Metod:But do we realise this could also mean the end of CP as we know it?
Kuba: Recognizes all positive and negative implications of this post-doc post. We still need to address this issue in depth.
Sharon: What is the time scale?
Neil: Fellow is to start in the new year. Selection process and interviews before Christmas.
Kuba: All we can do is wait and see. This post will open many questions.
Neil: Questions are already here and they will always be arising.

Item 4: Lessons for the future from CP, HMKV and UAL partnership and failed EU application

There was a big misunderstanding regarding recent EU funding application, which given the timeframes involved, Chelsea was unable to support. All stopped with the lack of time and the difficulty in committing any financial inputs – in-kind or otherwise – in the letter of support. We talk about the "big ships turning super slow", where the "small ship cannot take too much load"... We worked on New Industries Festival which would happen in autumn 2013. After the EU application failure and a negative results from the German funding body the project all in all fell into water and is predicted not to be realized.


Kuba: He got irritated with the whole situation of UAL failing to provide a letter of support and financial input of some sort. He explains we wanted to do a project with HMKV in Dortmund. Neil: Letter of support is easy to get from CCW, but money issue has to go to the university's administration and is a complete nightmare re bureaucracy.
Kuba: Repeats Neil's thought: If we need a letter of support from CCW all is fine and things move quick, but if we also need to include the money we would need months...
Kuba: EU application was not gonna be done but the dead line got extended and 2 weeks before the deadline HMKV decided that we are applying for EU finding.
Neil: Money and funding need good preparation and cannot be dome in several days.
Kuba: Big ships turn slow, but small ships cannot take too much load on otherwise it will sink.

Item 5: Brief about SSW plans

Working group goes to SSW (Scottish Sculpture Workshop) in Lumsden in Aberdeenshire in Scotland over the weekend of 23.–26. November 2012. Working group consists of: Marsha, Kuba, Scott and Metod.


Marsha: Describes the weekend and the activities we will be doing:

  • Kuba: readign sessions
  • Scott: Sculpture walk
  • Marsha: facilitating a "toast" (a format under experiment – a dining / drinking "game")
  • Nuno: On commons...
  • Metod: Walk&Talk (covertly)

Neil: Documentation?
Kuba: Every session gets evaluated through hand-out forms (short and concise) Marsha: Keywords / Tags / # caught on the spot (Metod's task).

Item 6: AOB


Marsha: Waste
Talks more about Waste and the potential walk we should work on for the winter.

  • Dotmaker Tours: A Rubbish Trip: Marsha met Rosie Oliver through Hayley Newman. Rosie is a lawyer who is developing a company that does walks around London (i.e. 'Chimneys and Tunnels Along the River'). Anyway, Marsha wanted to lodge Rosie as a resource while also taking an enthusiasm reading around WASTE as a focus for CP's work around values. How amazing would it be to work with Superflex on some kind of mega project around waste?! What a great way to network other groups at the UAL, including David's research around resilience.

Metod: Hochchule Luzern invitation
Talks about the Hochschule Luzern and a workshop sessions he has been invited to on the 25. April 2013, but because it came through CP events he bounces the idea among the group. All agrees this is his gig...

Neil: £!500 turned into equipment
Talks about £1500 he gets as a professor at UAL to spend on whatever he thinks fits. We proposes to buy a CP owned documentation equipment. We are to acquire a video camera, digital recorder etc.

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