I attended Incidental Futures: Artist Placement Study Day and Incidental Assembly on the weekend of 13/14 September 2019. The two day even held at South London Gallery marked the culmination of the Incidental Futures programme. Find more information about this and Incidental Unit (IU) in general, here:
Artist Placement Study Day
The study day consisted of presentations relating to Artist Placement Group (APG) history delivered by members of the IU along with formal and informal descriptions of recent or current projects/experiences relating to APG methods. I was fortunate enough to wangle a 10 minute presentation slot to introduce the Return to Ritherdon project to an inquisitive audience including of Barbara Steveni, the co-founder and director of APG and its preceding iterations since 1966. Barbara very sadly passed away recently, which has created a pioneer-shaped-hole in the lives of all that admire her gusto, perseverance and wisdom. I am so honoured to have meet her briefly and discussed the RTR project. I will continue to find inspiration in her words and actions, in relation to this project and beyond.
On Saturday 14 September, a curated assembly convened contemporary practices inspired Artist Placement Group. Activated by their artist practitioners, each instance will highlight the long-term impact of the Artist Placement Group on cultural production across the UK. (description taken from Incidental Futures text)
Artists: Michele Allen, Johann Arens, Charles Danby and Rob Smith, Corinna Dean, KALEIDOWORKS, Nicola Ellis, Simon Farid, Rob Flint, Amanda Loomes and Laura Purseglove.
My offering for the Incidental Assembly was: Assemble something
‘Assemble something’ involves inviting members of the IU and gallery visitors to assemble various Ritherdon products, following the in-house factory assembly instructions. Each assembly job will have a standard factory ‘job sheet’, stating any necessary components to fetch from the ‘stores’ area – also set up in the gallery – and listing a time-frame in which the assembly should be completed. Products can be broken down and re-assembled multiple times according to demand.
If consent is given, some assemblies will be filmed. The Ritherdon Assembly would like to watch the footage to review how the plans – which are usually given to new staff- are used
Parts to be assembled into complete products will be packed on a pallet for transportation, as per factory protocol.
More evaluation and measuring of processes/environments is a stated aim for the Ritherdon business over the coming year. This proposed activity will help implement this by creating a situation in which the assembly team reflect on their building processes and knowledge, by helping to prepare for an off-site assembly activity.
Ultimately the activity is a celebration of the knowledgeable assembly team’s role in the factory, along with an opportunity for those attending the Incidental Assembly to follow assembly guides and experience a process which usually takes place behind factory walls.