Re:Mapping the Flâneur

May 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Image © Srinigas Kuruganti

It’s now 6 weeks since FORMAT11 ended. It took a while for everyone at ASA Collective and Wideyed to get over Mapping the Flâneur (it was a lot of hard work!), and then start digesting the experience…

Over the month that Mapping the Flâneur took place, 97 photographers from 20 collectives around the world contributed just over 700 of their images to the installation project. 700 images in a month might not seem like a lot in a world where thousands of pictures are uploaded to online image sharing sites every minute. But when you’re processing 700 images, publishing them with credits and captions to a tumblr site and sending them to print in a gallery, all one by one, believe us, it’s a lot. And at the end of the exhibition, we discovered we’d used 5 rolls of 40m long paper, totalling 200m, for the installation. Those are big prints.

As part of the application process for ACE G4TA grants, there’s a section dedicated to evaluation – ACE ask how you plan to monitor the progress of your work from start to finish, and consider its potential impact beyond. When you first start considering this, the most obvious measurements of achievement are quantifiable things like the numbers of visitors to the exhibition, press clippings and web hits; for example, based on the figures supplied to us by FORMAT, we estimate that 2,500-2,700 people saw Mapping the Flâneur in Derby. After that, there are things like written comments and word-of-mouth feedback, evaluation forms and SWOT analyses…

But it also occurred to us that, at the close of the exhibition, a large number and variety of images would have been received, and the potential to successfully re-curate these into another object – another exhibition, say – would be the most interesting measure of the quality of the project.

And that’s exactly what we’re about to attempt.

This is the gallery in Newcastle where we’ll be re-exhibiting Mapping the Flâneur – or Re:Mapping the Flâneur. The gallery is part of Newcastle Arts Centre, which 100 years ago was a department store, and the arched ceiling is a restored original feature. Given that the piece of work we’ll be exhibiting there was directly inspired by Walter Benjamin’s ‘The Arcades Project’, the fact that we’ll be using a space that not only looks like an arcade but was also used as a commercial space like one, is fantastic.

And this is roughly how we plan to use that space. Although the gallery is large, it’s nowhere near big enough to display five 40m long prints, so we’ll exhibit the best parts of three, and with these try to give an impression of the lengths of the prints and the scale of the original project they were produced in. The index card filing cabinet we used in the Collectives Encounter exhibition will make a reappearance, and we’ll also produce a 13m long print, especially for this show, as a means of introducing some context (information about the Derby installation, the photographers that took part and their collectives, and so on).

In addition, our collaboration with ASA Collective continues, as we’re working to transform all the images we received into something that can be screened or projected. Our hope is that any of the other collectives involved in this project can then take ownership of this piece, by showing it themselves if they wish. That they might take it for a walk…

The exhibition will run from 14th – 26th June 2011 at Newcastle Arts Centre, 67 Westgate Road, NE1 1SG

6pm onwards on Friday 24th June, the projection piece being created for this exhibition will be screened at a special event, timed to coincide with Sunderland University’s ‘The Versatile Image: Photography in the Era of Web 2.0‘.

We hope to see you there!

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AKA Tinkerbell

February 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

On New Years Eve, Yasmina Reggad, our curator, blogged her wishes, one of which was that ours and ASA’s ACE application would be successful.

Ever since, she’s continually assured us that everything would be OK, we’d surely get it, any day now…

And the good news that we have been awarded a grant for Mapping the Flâneur arrived yesterday! Thank you ACE!

And Yasmina, our thanks to you too.

Louise in the September issue

September 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

As well as the ‘Go and See’ bursaries, NAN has run a funding scheme for artists’ professional development. In the Artists’ Information Company’s current issue of a-n Magazine, Lauren Healey has published a report evaluating the impact this funding stream has had on its beneficiaries, and Wideyed’s Louise Taylor is one of the artists cited as a case study.

In the print magazine the whole of page 19, illustrated with one of our favourite photos from Louise’s ‘Outer Mongolia’ series (see below), is dedicated to the practical training workshops and mentoring she received funding for in 2007.

If you’re an a-n member you can also read the piece online, otherwise an abridged version of the full report is available to download as a .pdf (with the bit about Louise on page 7).

Good news!

June 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

Wideyed have been awarded a NAN (Networking Artists’ Networks) ‘Go and See’ bursary 2010.

Launched in 2004, the NAN initiative supports and advocates for artist-led professional and critical development. Through its small-scale ‘Go and See’ bursary programme, NAN supports travel between artists’ groups and networks in the UK or elsewhere, enabling research, peer dialogue and critical exchange.

Wideyed will use its bursary to visit like minded photography collective Belgrade Raw in Serbia in order to initiate research and discussion about a possible creative partnership.

All of us at Wideyed will take part in the trip, which should happen sometime in the autumn.

More news later, when the arrangements are made.

Meanwhile, YAY!

Blindboys Wideyed: the story – part 2

March 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

Let’s talk dirty…

So back in August 2009, when we were starting to think about what we were going to do next, we also looked at the state of our bank account and the cupboard was bare. Realising that no matter what we eventually decided to do it would be difficult to achieve with zero cash, we thrashed out some ideas and began to come up with a cunning plan…

First, we started frequenting auction houses, and at the beginning of September won a few job lots of camera equipment. Next, we started selling off the things bought bit by bit. Initially, the plan was mainly to sell enough to recoup our investment and put much of the remainder of the equipment into the pool of stuff we sometimes use when running workshops and projects, but by the beginning of December, when we approached Blindboys about exhibiting their work, we realised we needed money more than anything and kept selling.

In this way we raised around £500 over the 3-4 months between December and the present. We used this as match funding in a successful application for a Newcastle City Council DCLG ‘Art in Empty Spaces’ scheme grant, and doubled to £1,000 our total budget for the BLINDBOYS WIDEYED project, in addition to which the wine and nibbles for the preview were generously provided by North East Photography Network.

With £1,000 we were able to put on the exhibition in the empty shop, the site specific installation in The Mining Institute, and the billboard piece on Forth Lane. It covered the cost of rent, window lettering, poster, postcard and exhibition printing… basically, our shoestring budget has covered everything bar labour. Apart from the time and effort we (and our lovely helpers) have put in, ultimately this project hasn’t cost us anything.

And while everything was hung with double-sided sticky tape and physics, or wallpaper paste and elbow grease, or magnets, if we’d waited until we could afford to do it all better, we’d still be waiting.

Where’s the fun in that?

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