Utopia Evaluation

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Evaluation, Consensus and Location 28 - 29 th March 2014

Coordinator: Neil Cummings
Members: Marsha Bradfield, Amy McDonnell, Karem Ibrahim, Dan Smith, Adam Stock, Blanca Regina, Hayley Jukes, Stephanie Dickinson

We are collaborating with a group of Utopographers, towards an event in the Triangle Exhibition Space at Chelsea College of Art and Design, 28th and 29th March. We have access to the space from the 24th to install a structure to host discursive events within the exhibitionary frame.

The theme is Evaluation (to enable Critical Practice to develop it current research strand) Consensus as its problematic for utopians and chimes with our Evaluative Communities and Location as we are all interested in being creatively estranged in time and space.

Utopography is about the interactions of space and temporal narrative, the creation of social dreams and the reality of working within and through the environments of the present.

File:/Users/wunderkammer/Documents/utopographies invite.pdf

Spatial Environment

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  • The event will be shaped through the creation of a spatial environment, a process led by Charlotte Knox-Williams and Amy Butt. The configuration of spaces will be driven by questions of collaboration and engagement. How might space be designed to reflect the intentions of an event dedicated to the discussion of utopian space, both in the staging and the production of the site of discussion?

The physical environment will be imagined around four thematic centres - spatial, social, temporal and fictional - around which can be constructed questions concerned with the rules and structures necessary for building utopian processes. The space will be designed for reconfiguration, to be bent or folded into different shapes, into unforeseen transfigurations of possibility and failure.

Charlotte and Amy will lead an open workshop at Chelsea to design the built environment for Evaluation, Consensus and Location

WORKSHOP 1 - 20 February 2014

10am -2pm BG01 Chelsea College of Arts

WORKSHOP 2 - SATURDAY March 15, 2014

10am - 4pm in BG01 at Chelsea College of Arts


(these are proposals and in development)

  • Karel Doing -Screening and talk (contact Blanca)


Presentation of 'Palindrome Series' which is an expanded cinema piece for two 16mm projectors and flashcard recorder. The work is 20 minutes long and it is concerned with the re-use and re-cycling of discarded materials and redundant technology and presents an alternative view on London's urban landscape.

He will screen the work and make a presentation. - NEEDS TO BE AT 6PM on FRIDAY


- A plinth or high table to set-up the projection equipment at the back of the space - A connection to electricity nearby the projection set-up - Sound has to be amplified, and I will need connection cables depending on the situation in the presentation space - Space should be sufficiently dark to get good projection results

Concerning the budget: £200- to cover equipment, transport.

  • ARTKILLART - presentation & instalation (contact Blanca)

http://antidatamining.net/ There a few new Anti Data Mining prototypes we'd like to share, especially one on algorithmic finance, taken from its occult side: old finanical rituals and the history of its algorithms,which would fit well with the topic : "evaluation, utopia and consensus"- as finance and algorithmic trading contains all those subjects

Kevin and Marika Dermineur from Paris: Budget : Trains from Paris to London, Food and transport costs for 6 days in London Total train Paris_London (24- 30 mars) 295,00 - Contribution towards hospitality + food- 90- Trasport and pocket money 110 pounds TOTAL £ 495

  • Blanca Regina - Intervantion / instalation

A walk that involves a revision of the space around Chelsea College of Art and Design through a sound guide. The sound guides will be 4 in different formats, walkman, ipod and CD player. Budget: 120 pounds - to cover for equipment, transport.give a talk about the process and inspirations accompanied with a keynote

  • Food evaluation and consensuss ( ) -
  • Open Music Archive - dissonance between past and future copyrights embedded in recorded sound. Ben and Eileen would present Atlanta 67 (with downloads) and play a live DJ set, set in 2067 - (Contact Neil)
  • Professor Angus Carlyle, director of CRiSAP screening and live soundtrack of a film in process exploring family and memory practices (Contact Neil)

The Gluts Go To Copenhagen’ is a 36 minute record of our dilettante trip to the summit on the specially commissioned Klimate Train, packed with 900 other activists. In the doc you can watch us prepare for the trip; rehearsing our moves and transforming into Gluts. Once at the summit we sing and dance in a bakery, a bar, on the march and in front of police lines: narrowly missing mass arrest. On return to London, disappointed by the outcome of the summit but not without hope, we express our anger in an outpouring of rage in an empty tube carriage.

  • Sissu Tarka Futuring and a Future Form of Text Paolo Virno’s (2004) new places for intellect where “special places” of discourse dissolve and are replaced by “common places”. Visual homogeneity — heterogeneous thought. Film geometries and fragile apparatus.
  • Stephanie Dickinson - Performing and overseeing Friday’s performances?
  • Dan Smith and Adam Stock - Audio/visual performance (Friday)

Dan Smith - Bringing a small PA system, mic, mic stand, amplifiers, lots of leads.

  • Nathaniel Coleman - Flash DV. 2.5 - 3 Hours? Parallel event? Saturday?
  • Francis Brady - Live Action Role Play.
  • Dan Smith - I propose to screen a video work by artist/filmaker/academic Ruth Desseault. Incorporating a Q&A via skype.
  • Mathilda Oosthuizen - I propose to get people talking with food and drink to construct a narrative something or other about utopia and utopography and the event. Mini events with thus occur from the individual circumstances of the participants. It would be an ongoing performance with possible documentation at the end.
  • Eddie Dorrian - Experts From Beyond (TBC)

Consistent with an idea of the Kilquhanity free school council meeting. One of the little details that filtered through in the description of John Aitkenhead’s workings at Kilquhanity was that of the non-hierarchical weekly council meetings. In a school which makes no distinction between teacher and taught, the children sit in the round and attempt to resolve difference themselves.To tell you the truth I’m really not quite sure what the thing’ll be like. A disaffirmative and dissensual practice shot through with mistakes, anomalies, feints and incompetence. Perhaps. Evidently Aitkenhead’s Kilquhanity Free School motto was ‘Liberty, Equality and Inefficiency’. Developing its research strand. Creatively estranged. Perhaps not.
Sit for one hour as a group. We record ourselves in turn. For an amount of time (perhaps 5 mins). We each use the camera. (Framing, close up, panning, zoom in and out, etc). Discussion is not lead. There is no declared starting point. No proposition. Each participant operates before and behind the camera. There is no compulsion to speak, act, etc. A transcription of any discussion will be attempted. A draft of the transcription is offered for any participant to edit (their own contribution only). A text comprising of the first draft and a second combined edit will be proposed for publication. The recording will not played back at the event. The recording is the copyright of those participating. Consent must be given for its future presentation or subsequent editing. Recording Duration: one hour. Equipment: video camera Costs: Transcription

  • Charlotte and Amy - Opening process of spatial design
  • Charlotte - Film screening/performance Subterranean Homesick Jig

Requirements - Projector and darkened, enclosed space

  • Critical Practice - Will convene a discursive event (currently) themed around tournaments of evaluation, like Art Auctions. - our suggestion is for 1.5 hours on Saturday morning.
  • Nathaniel Coleman - Invisible Cities -- Millbank flash DV.

Utopian inspired almost real-time social mapping of the Millbank, Tate, the Estate and Garden (on the doorstep of Chelsea). The content for the proposed digital video would be generated by participants using whatever digital image (moving or still) recording devices they have to hand, from smartphones and tablets, to handy-cams, should anyone have one with them. The aim is to collect raw footage recorded by a fair number of camera-people and use it that way (as found). The result, at the end of the two hour slot will be a 05-08 minute digital video that we can post on the website, distribute via email, or publish as part of the content of the online journal we are editing.

Draft schedule of: Invisible Cities -- Millbank
0.00 - 0.15: Introduction -- Invisible Cities: Millbank
0.15 - 0.45: Collect Still and Moving Digital Images at Millbank Estate and Garden
0.45 - 1.45: Upload & Edit Data Collected
1:45 - 2.30: Screen Resulting DV and Discuss


See the evolving Draft Schedule


Future Records
We would also like participants to consider forms of documenting the event, and setting up mechanisms of feedback.
Therefore, we would encourage participants to put ideas forward,……….

The event will generate a publication, which all participants will be expected to contribute to. The publication will become a site for practical ideas. For concrete statements, for workable solutions and suggestions, to be derived from the event. The event will be a mechanism for generating a utopian plan, or elements of one. This is not to suggest that it needs to be singular or a totality. Rather participants are encouraged to acknowledge conflict and contradiction. 


In order to get things done, a process of delegation needs to emerge. We might form small working groups, which overlap, but have clear centres of responsibilities in terms of the participants leading these areas.  (suggestions follow)

Spatial Environment
Amy and Charlotte are leading the design and construction of space. We will need many hands on deck to get this done, particularly on the 25th, 26th and 27th of March. 

Stephanie and Blanca Regina might lead on a programming a cluster of performances on Friday late PM/Evening, and act as an overall performance leader, with a team if necessary. 

Tilda. I thought that perhaps you could focus on the presence of narrative around the event. Not sure how this might work as yet, but you could lead a discussion on this. Francis, perhaps this could work with your interest in digital storytelling? 

Future Records
Tom. How about coordinating documentation? How might this be a creative and reflexive form? Might you be able to work with others on this? 


Francis (via email) It's an idea borrowed from Larping where participants and organisers of said event should gather to ask questions about 'what happened' during the day, how did certain elements within the space change peoples interactions or not? In some respects did the sections that were designed to engage people in Utopia, Evaluation and Consensus successfully achieve this? This could include a short sum up statement from a few of us who might have questions to ask everyone involved and then open it up to a Q&A.

Sophie, John, Alan, would you think about some models of alternatives to presenting the conference paper? We also need people to think about how to translate the event into published form. Adam, perhaps you could lead on this?

WORKSHOP - SATURDAY March 15, 2014

I would like to invite you to a workshop this Saturday (15th March) from 10 - 4 in BG01 to contribute to the design process for Utopographies: Evaluation, Consensus and Location, an event that will be held on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th March.

Utopography refers to the projection and criticism of ideal societies, the interactions of space and temporal narratives, the creation of social dreams and the reality of working within and through the urban environment of the present. The two day Utopographies event will encourage alternative forms of discussion on these themes, not presentations delivered to a passive audience. Collaboration is not only encouraged but offers an exemplary model.

The event will be shaped by the collaborative creation of a spatial environment which will need to reflect and facilitate these different forms of discussion.

The development of the working practices and design process for the event space will be a collaborative one to reflect the ethos of the event. Participants in the design will question how the staging of this event provides the structures necessary for building utopian processes.

Participants who answer this invitation to collaborate will engage in the framing of critical questions, and collaborative working practices as well as the design and production of the event space.

Return to Evaluation Research Group or Evaluation Reading Group


See the evolving Draft Schedule of the shared presentations

There is the (current as of 24.02.14) expenditure of the £2000.00 Budget

See what the READING GROUP is up to.

10th February - 6-8pm at Chelsea College of Art and Design
Here are the minutes

WORKSHOPS 20 February, 2014 Utopography Workshop

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Convened by Amy Butt and Charlotte Knox-williams, wew were encouraged to start thinking/building the spatial form for Evaluation, Consensus and Location BA and PhD students, staff from Chelsea and experts from beyond met in the studio spaces at Chelsea. It was messy and fun.
You can find more images on Marsha's flickr stream


Suggestions for CP's contribution:
There seems to be some confusion about what CP might contribute. Marsha may have defaulted into 'support mode' prematurely. We could be thinking about this event as way to connect what CP is exploring with reference to evaluation with the research of others...

  • Would we like to do a Pecha Kucha? A round-table discussion?
  • What would we like to explore? Suggestions include: auctions, price, structures/mechanisms of evaluation
  • Who might we wish to invite?
  • Do want to think about repurposing material from the construction?
  • What content can we provide and how can we make sure there is engagement with existing content in a different way (ie. with speakers)
  • Can we make the garden behind the triangle space into veg patch!
  • Possibilities? Auctions? What about the commons?
We are excited about doing a screening that relates to auctions.