INCIDENTAL FUTURES at Bluecoat, Liverpool
Thursday 21 Mar 2019 - 6.30 PM - 8.00 PM
This discussion forms part of the new Incidental Futures programme in association with Flat Time House. The Incidental Unit explores the impact and themes of the Artist’s Placement Group established by Barbara Steveni in 1966. APG identified ways that artists as ‘Incidental Persons’ could disrupt and improve patterns in education, administration, planning processes and countless other areas of public life.
Incidental Futures at Summerhall, Edinburgh
Saturday 23 February 2019
2pm, Anatomy Lecture Theatre - FULLY BOOKED
Join Incidental Unit (IU) as artist Anthony Schrag hosts the first meeting of the Incidental Futures (IF) programme. First came APG, then O+I and now IU. Find out more about this lineage of radical artistic practice and feed into our current research into their impact on socially engaged, public facing practice today. Through the ‘incidental meeting’ format we will come together to attend to APG’s unfinished business.
The IU was developed with original members of the Artist Placement Group (APG, 1989 - 2009) and its successor, Organization + Imagination (O+I, 1989 - 2009). Since 2016, the IU seeks to reignite and enrich debates around the role of the artist in contemporary society and, more specifically, around current modes of socially engaged practice in the UK.
Incidental Futures is the first touring public programme organised by IU. Through ‘incidental meetings’, IU invites participants to join these public events and is calling upon all to share thoughts and practice to attend to the APG’s ‘unfinished business’. This programme aims to collect material, facilitate conversation and inspire action.
February - September 2019
The Incidental Unit touring programme: Incidental Futures is the first public programme organised by Incidental Unit and will explore the ongoing relevance of the Artist Placement Group’s ways of working by hosting six public meetings led by artists at public institutions in Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.
Through ‘incidental meetings’ IU will invite participants to join these public events, hosted by a commissioned artist local to the venue. Calling upon anyone to share thoughts and practice to continue researching the impact of APG and O+I today, in both the programme and online in the IU Directory. This programme aims to collect material, facilitate conversation and inspire action.
These events will be followed by a large-scale public gathering of 100+ artistic practitioners in London at South London Gallery with special contributions from The Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) of the University of Westminster. An online resource will disseminate collected outcomes from the programme.
6.30pm Thursday 18th April - Eastside Projects, Birmingham
2.00pm Saturday 18th May - Spike Island, Bristol
2.00pm Saturday 1st June - Baltic39, Newcastle
6.30pm Thursday 20th June - Manchester Art Gallery
Click through for more information
The Incidental Unit was formed after a series of 'incidental meetings' was initiated by Barbara Steveni, Neal White, Tina O'Connell, Gareth Bell-Jones and Marsha Bradfield in 2016-17. The aim of these meetings was to informally share information about the Artist Placement Group (1966-89), as well as O+I (1989-2009), whose revolutionary work on 'the artist placement' and the idea of being incidental within a societal context remained an urgent concern for all. The meetings have shared just one open agenda item; 'unfinished business'. The meeting structure evolved in intention and purpose to become the Incidental Unit, with the aim of reconnecting the rigorous approach of APG with wider concerns around the brief given to socially engaged art today. IU have since hosted a wide range of artists, collectives and others who are given a critically supportive space in which to discuss and exchange their ideas without the expectations or evaluative frameworks of an artistic commission, gallery briefing or social project.
The Incidental Unit receives direct support of the APG and O+I in order to continue to develop a rigorous approach to socially engaged art practice today. IU provides critical support space in which to discuss and exchange ideas with artists, curators and 'incidental persons' without the expectations or evaluative frameworks of an artistic commission, gallery briefing or social project. To this end, IU draws out key ideas, methods, process and rationale for maintaining the independent and critical work of artists and curators, connecting the historical legacy of APG with the complex nature of social practice now.
Incidental Futures Programme
Having co-founded the Artist Placement Group (APG) in 1966, Barbara Steveni, with other members of the Incidental Unit, have developed the Incidental Futures Programme to explore the ongoing relevance of APG’s ways of working through six public meetings led by artists at public institutions in cities across the UK: Eastside Projects, Birmingham; Spike Island, Bristol; Summerhall, Edinburgh; Bluecoat, Liverpool; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; and Baltic 39, Newcastle. These events will be followed by a large-scale public gathering of 100+ artistic practitioners in London at South London Gallery and with CREAM at University of Westminster. An online resource will disseminate some of the outcomes which are developed. Incidental Futures considers the impact of APG on recent practice while introducing a broader public to the group’s ethos of artist ‘placements’ to explore the role of art in society.
The project is supported by Arts Council England, CREAM at University of Westminster, Flat Time House and University of the Arts, London. The project is managed and coordinated by the pre-IU, a core group that includes Barbara Steveni, Neal White, Gareth Bell-Jones, and Marsha Bradfield.