It’s a month since we found out we were selected for an a-n Artist Group Bursary and a lot has happened already. Our first visiting lecturer –  Design Theorist Nuno Coelho –  gave a fascinating, zeitgeisty talk on modernist history and its relevance to current political movements and environmental issues. Members of AltMFA are creating a zine together as a creative response encapsulating some of the thoughts catalysed by it.

May 1st – May 8
We were in residence at Yinka Shonibare’s Guest Projects, where we showed new work, hosted dinners/yoga/meetings/performance-walks and had a public reading group unpicking Naomi Klein texts and considering our own position and responsibilities as artists, particularly relating to climate change. Members of TOMA (who we visited a few weeks ago in Southend) and other new faces joined.

AltMFA member Shinji Toya is now working on our new website which will be a platform for our creative responses to the a-n funded talks series. For now our old website (www.altmfa.weebly.com) is still up and running for more info on our group.

May 22
Next up is a workshop/talk by Rosalie Schweiker on her new project: teaching for people who prefer not to teach.

June 5
Nina Power will visit us at Mayday Rooms.

June 12
Some of our members will be running an event as part of AntiUniversity Now (more info here)

To stay up to date with this series of talks and other events – like our Facebook page.

Thanks a-n! More news and creative responses chronicling the lectures coming soon.


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1 – Kicking off our a-n funded Future Programme as our first commissioned speaker, Nuno Coehlo gave two lectures in one in April (10th) that spanned seemingly divergent ages and subjects as ‘How Modernism Envisaged A New Future’ via 1920s chairs, Bauhaus kitchens, Hitler, and modernist design as resistance, into ‘Art In The Age Of Digital Reproduction’ which covered the aesthetics of violence, the Trump era, and eco futures.

Alt MFA members Debora Mo, Nathania Hartley, Nick Curtis & Louise Ashcroft will be sharing the commission to collaboratively respond to this lecture. We’ll present all the commissioned creative responses to the lectures in this series at the end of the programme in publication form in January 2018!

 

2 – In May (22nd) we spoke to Rosalie Schweiker and Margherita Huntley at the MayDay Rooms, London, about work, precarious labour practices and feminist admin in a workshop/talk entitled: ‘Teaching for People Who Prefer Not to Teach.’

‘The workshop [was] based on a project Rosalie is working on currently, together with the artist Mirjam Bayerdörfer and designer Margherita Huntley. It is a collection of ideas, exercises, resources for “zero-hours” teachers, the kind of teachers who never get a permanent contract and are on the forefront of Britain’s neoliberal education market. It’s also questioning the current modes of art teaching and introduced other attitudes and values, such as collectivity, humour, experimentation and invisible labour.

‘In line with her 2017 work policy (which states that whenever Rosalie is invited she has to invite somebody else and share the fee with them), she [had] invited Margherita Huntley to join her in facilitating the session.’

Alt MFA-ers Amy Leung and Maru Rojas have taken up the commissioned response collaboratively – and rumour has it that we might not have to wait until January 2018 for it! Watch this a-n blog and also check at our new website: altmfa.uk  for a sneak preview coming soon.

 

3 – In June (5th) Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at The University of Roehampton, Nina Power, shared her thoughts on Decapitalism, Accelerationism and giant floating piles of junk in a talk titled ‘Against the Future!’ at the MayDay Rooms.

We had some technical issues with the projector so Nina went freestyle and gloriously off topic into a brilliant two-hour open forum chat.

AltMFA member Fritha Jenkins has been commissioned to respond creatively to Nina’s lecture, and her response will be presented along with the other commissioned responses to all 10x Future sessions, in a final publication to be produced at the end of the project in January 2018.

 

4 – In July (24th) Giles Smith, a founding member of Turner-prize winning collective Assemble, came to the MayDay Rooms to talk to us about Utopian visions and non-hierarchical working in a talk he called ‘News From Nowhere: Today’s Architecture is the Basis of Tomorrow’s Utopia.’

His statement for the talk read: ‘We are all profoundly adept readers of our built environment. The politics with which it is designed and built today shape the behaviours and actions possible in its spaces tomorrow. This talk will explore a mixture of projects, some by Assemble, some by others, and their relationships to this idea, in order to make the case our collective responsibility to the future to make good Architecture.’

Alt MFA-ers Sadie Edginton and Irene Pulga are going to be responding to this one together. Again, watch this space, go to our new website altmfa.uk AND/OR our Facebook page for updates.

 

We took a break in August as we do every year…

 

…and then:

5 – In September (18th), Florence Peake led an amazing movement workshop at the Green Rooms Hotel in North London.

Anousha Payne and Joanna Bolton of Alt MFA will collaborate on a creative response to participating in this intriguing experience.

 

6 – Next up for October (20th – note, this is a Friday, not our usual Monday meeting day) we will be hosting Dave Beech – artist, writer, academic, curator and member of the Freee art collective – for a talk on art and postcapitalism.

‘Dave will survey the literature on visions of art after the abolition of capitalism, particularly as this emerges from a critique of work. Theories of art as nonalienated labour and of labour after the abolition of work as aesthetic or as converging with art will be critically reexamined.’

Book via Eventbrite – www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dave-beech-art-and-postcapitalism-tickets-38619928245

Any updates for this event will be via Facebook.

 

Blog contributors for this post: Louise Ashcroft, Nathania Hartley, Sadie Edginton  (photos collectively by same). It was edited by Eldi Dundee.

Full and excerpted statements for social media advertising of the talks were written by the lecturers themselves and copyrights remain their own.


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