Artist's collective The People Speak presented "Gazebo TV", a television studio in a tent in September 2008. Renowned for being able to get to the heart of what people really think by instigating intensive discussions, The People Speak investigated the current affairs of the area throughout Hackney Wick Festival and presented a live video of the discussions as they happened.
This Dialogue formed a part of The Hackney Wick Festival that took place on the Village Green and also included open days at local artist studios and community venues. Artist and Architect studio publicworks also developed work around the theme of local produce, working with local bands and school children on a series of performances, and with other artists on a number of stalls for the fete.
London 21 showcased the Hackney Wick Community digital map, and organisations such as the Malika Boxing Club will took part in demonstrations. The event also ties in with the Open Up weekend which launched the Cultural Olympiad.
In collaboration with Portavilion produced by UP Projects, Haring Woods commissioned a series of site specific performances that took place in and around the temporary 'Portavilion' structures designed by internationally acclaimed artists Dan Graham, Toby Patterson, Monika Sosnowska and Annika Eriksson in four of London’s most used and celebrated Parks. This performative event by Mark Gwynne Jones explored the nature of our common spaces as places to reflect and even daydream.
To open a poetic dialogue, Mark invited the public to text him their thoughts on these four new public interventions. These reactions to the four new 'Portavilions' formed the focus of a series of new poems and four performances in which the poet's muse and public's views combined.
Mark Gwynne Jones on Whose Common Now?
“A common space instantly puts you in a different frame of mind” says Mark Gwynne Jones. ”The best parks give us a sense of space, time to reflect, have fun, laze and daydream and how they achieve this is something I would like to explore. I think the works of art provide us with an opportunity to question what we mean by common space. Is a park just a place to kick back and relax or does it serve a more important social function? Why do we have common space? Can a place be common in a society of many cultures?”
The results of Mark’s musings and interactions with the public formed the basis of a series of poems written in the parks over the summer and performed on Saturday 6th September, 2008 at each Portavilion.
Whose Common Now: A series of site specific performances by poet and performer Mark Gwynne Jones
September 6, 2008 Holland Park, Primrose Hill, Potters Fields Park, London
Parked Art was a one day discussion forum exploring the possibilities for temporary public art projects, the relationship between art and architecture, and the social and environmental value that art can create for public spaces. It generated inclusive dialogue and discussion from an interdisciplinary audience who share the responsibilities for shaping our public realm as physical and social spaces. Speakers and audience included artists; curators and commissioners; local authority officers from parks & green spaces, culture & arts, and planning & regeneration; biodiversity specialists and ecologists; anthropologists; students; funders; the press & media.
Parked Art Seminar held at The Design Museum, London
Parked Art: Designing Art for Common Space
July 18, 2008 Design Museum, London
You can read all the poems and text
Rob Le Frenais
Eileen Haring Woods
Parked Art: Designing Art For Common Space
Parked Art was chaired by Fred Manson OBE, Associate Director of Thomas Heatherwick Studio, and an expert in urban regeneration known for his rigorous and challenging views on the cultural, social and economic impact art can bring to public spaces. Speakers included Emma Underhill, UP Projects Director and Curator of Portavilion, Amanda Smethurst, Arts Service Manager Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Nick Biddle, Head of Regents Park, Louise Trodden, Head of Art in the Open, artist and architect collective publicworks, Jes Fernie, writer and curator, Tony Beckwith, Creative Development Director for Gunpowder Park and Tracey McNulty, Arts and Culture Development for Barking and Dagenham.
Parked Art was produced by UP Projects in partnership with the Design Museum, The Art of Common Space, a Gunpowder Park project and is hosted by London Parks and Green Spaces Forum at City Hall.
'Gazebo TV' at the Hackney Wick Festival, by The People Speak.
September 27, 2008. Eastway, London
Art of Common Space / Interdependence Day Dialogue at the Design Museum
Redefining Common Space through Art, Architecture and Design
May 28-29, 2008, Design Museum + Gunpowder Park
Produced with leading American political theorist Dr. Benjamin Barber and his not for profit organisation CivWorld, USA, this intensive two day discussion hosted by the Design Museum, London and Gunpowder Park, brought together cultural, political and religious leaders, creative practitioners, policy makers and entrepreneurs who through their discussions aimed to challenge and progress our individual and collective thoughts, and influence the future delivery and development of our common, shared and public spaces.
Interdependence Day, CivWorld
Brussels, September 9-12 2008
Interdependence Day is an international initiative developed by CivWorld and Demos, USA which aims to raise awareness of the interdependent character of global society and foster transnational and interdependent solutions to global challenges. As an annual event led by political theorist Dr. Benjamin Barber, this years Interdependence Day was co-hosted by the Kaai Theatre and the European Parliament, Brussels and featured a dialogue, chaired by Eileen Woods on The Art of Common Space programme and the potential art, architecture and design have to deliver truly common and democratic spaces.