Austerity Protests To Climate Actions: Recent Art-Activism In The UK

Austerity Protests To Climate Actions: Recent Art-Activism In The UK

Talk @ No-Space, May 12, 7:30 pm

With Gavin Grindon

With the wave of opposition to austerity measures in the UK, many new creative political groups and projects have appeared. Not only the high-profile actions of UK Uncut, but others such as the University of Strategic Optimism, Arts Against Cuts, Precarious Workers Brigade, the Really Free School, and the Free University of Liverpool.

This informal talk will present stories and films from recent groups and activities that experiment with new creative approaches to activism’s materials and performance. From the Book Bloc’s very literate means of protecting crowds from police batons, to The University of Strategic Optimism’s critical theory lectures in high-street banks; from Liberate Tate’s oil spills inside the Tate galleries to encourage them to drop BP sponsorship, to the Space Hijackers driving a tank into an arms fair, and the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination’s reverse-engineering of hundreds of bikes into a swarming mass of direct action machines.

Gavin will introduce some of these groups and activities, tell some ridiculous stories of general trouble making and daring misadventure, show some videos and do his best to answer any of your questions.

Gavin Grindon is a postdoctoral research fellow at Kingston University of London. His research focuses on the history of activist-art practices, and art in social movements in the twentieth century, through both objects and performance, and how these can be theorized and historicized in relation to the institutional bases of art history.  He has written articles for the Oxford Art Journal, Third Text, Art Monthly and the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, and is a sometime member of the art-activist group the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination.


May 12, 2011


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