NewBridge Fieldwork ::: Berlin ::: September 2012

NewBridge Fieldwork is the first part of a new project and collaboration between The NewBridge project, (Newcastle upon Tyne) and Berlinerpool (Berlin). The intentions of the project are to promote and develop new links, networks and conversations between these two regions and art scenes. Along with Will Marshall and Will Strong (Directors of The NewBridge Project), Thomas Whittle and Arnaud Moinet (artists) I will be travelling to Berlin for 10 days to visit a number of artist run spaces, studios and organisations.

One of our project aims is to facilitate direct engagement, participation and exchange between creative practitioners and organisations, allowing a much greater scope for possibilities, dialogue and widening audiences (rather than relying entirely on these happening remotely). Specifically, I am interested in the possibility of initiating artist/writer exchanges between Berlin and Newcastle which may manifest in a number of ways such as residencies, new collaborative projects and articles (possibly for CANNED Magazine).

As with any scientific/anthropological fieldwork I have been defining some perameters of my investigation in the form of research questions. However, I am in no way limiting myself to these questions they are merely a platform for beginning the investigation…

Q1. What is the role of Art in the larger social ecology of Berlin and its politics?

Q2. What (if any) creative projects in Berlin are addressing real-life problem solving such as changes in the environment and sustainability?

Q3. Are their creative practices and collaborations happening outside of the traditional gallery/artist studio in Berlin? If so, which have been succesful and why?

Q4. How are artists/ creative practitioners in berlin funding their practices? e.g. through Gallery representation, government/other funding, part-time employment etc?

Q5. What is the relationship between art and critical writing/discourse in Berlin? What publications and literary projects are there?

Q6. What do artists working in Berlin consider is the role of education in Art? e.g. how necessary is it? What is the relationship between the art school and practising artist?

Q7. What existing opportunities and infrastructures are there currently in Berlin for artist/writer exchanges?

I am not necessarily looking to answer all of these questions but they provide a starting point for my enquiry, one which I hope is relevent to my own work, the larger arts community at The NewBridge Project and in the North East as well as to the ongoing investigations posed by CANNED Magazine. I will be keeping regular updates on our progress as the investigation gets under way…