Thinking in Constellations
Between People, Practice & Research.
It’s been a strange time. We have had to navigate 2-3 attempts at opening during 2020 ~ and this is still on-going ~ but what this has given us is the space and time we needed to think through the form and structure of PINK and outwardly share the ideas and research that have emerged during this process.
Over this last year, we have launched our website with a dedicated online space for research resources, founded and created the artistic research journal OFF_CENTRE, brought together multiple artists in our monthly discussion group DIALOGUES, and most importantly secured a future for ourselves and our artists with a successful Arts Council Application…finally!
It’s all been an attempt to ground and build a project that oscillates between a space, an infrastructure and a resource. A space to unfold experimental practices in close collaboration with artists, curators, writers, poets and many more; crossing knowledge fields to practice a critical fascination.
PINK was established as a means of reflecting upon performative modes of exhibition-making and collective acts of thinking and making. As PINK develops, it enters into an experimental research-led position, weaving between artistic research and discursive curatorial approaches – initiating methods for the production of knowledge that engages with a particular set of questions and ideas.
Our task over the next year is to create space, so that things can happen rather than just be shown; be researched instead of represented ~ held within the space of a constructed constellation.
[ CONSTELLATION AS MOTIF & METHOD ]
Constellation is defined as: ___ “a configuration of phenomena under specific spatial and temporal circumstances…”
The constellation is a starting point for an examination of the curatorial, adopting the definition of a constellation as a structural metaphor to frame the development of PINK’s research. We are using it to create a basic starting point that over time can become more complicated, as we build an understanding and interest in the constellation as a method for curatorial research.
Some questions to start with: ___How can we create a space whereby we can co-exist; within the space of each other's work and process? ___How do we cultivate a space of interconnectedness, whereby the constellation develops into a plethora of interventions spanning various lines of enquiry? ___How do we ferment a research process; using the resources that we have access to? ___How do we enter a place of research and ground it as an important space for thinking / learning; whilst considering research as an important extension of the curatorial process?
In order to explore this idea further, we have worked to devise a productive structure in the form of research residencies.
Departing from an understanding of the curatorial as an “event of knowledge unfolding”, these residencies take their form as dedicated space and time to develop a significant new body of research.
This will be done in proximity to PINK, it’s planned programme and on-going research, with the consequential research project(s) forming a solid basis of PINK’s public facing event(s) and endeavours to explore a notion of research-led programming that promotes longitudinal lines of enquiry.
Over the last few months, we have worked to write a programme that holds open a space for new interrelations, connections and collaborative processes of enquiry. One that activates structures of support; finding a sense of community and dialogue that is slow and attentive.
The research residencies represent an attempt at founding such slow and complex spaces; removing an attachment to production, exhibition and formal aesthetics as the measure of value, instead opting for an open space for thinking, listening and learning.
PINK wants to explore the residency as a site for indeterminacy, thinking-making and continued experimentation - filtered through a critical understanding of the research situation. To be in a situation, is to be enmeshed in a particular set of conditions and relations, both in time and in space. Within this situation, any and every gesture creates further situations to be considered; little temporal structures that create, and momentarily are, situations that are situated.
The research residencies therefore serve to enact situated enquiries that construct multi-layered moments for questioning. By ‘situated’, references are made to those artistic practices for which the situation or context is often the starting point, and this is a notion that is intrinsic to the performative and process-led residency framework(s) that we are presenting and allowing the chosen artists to operate in. Offering a space that is fluid, processual, active and performative within the space of PINK’s constellation.
The term, research residency, is productive in helping us to understand the positions and proximity of art and research; practice and theory. Beyond providing a space for considered, collaborative production – it also offers a platform for the consideration of methods to best support artistic knowledge production – contributing to an understanding of artistic research and its place within current contemporary art practice.
The research residencies will coalesce around a set of departing questions ~ working to ferment a process of research that evolves into a complex constellation of thoughts, ideas and productions. We will work to create a space to be used, worked upon, added to ~ exploring the parameters, the spaces in between, the interactions, and overlaps; staging a particular situation in which certain conditions and potential outcomes can occur.
The funding we received from Arts Council England will support the development of these residencies. We will be offering 4 research residencies over the next 12-months (pandemic permitting) ~ they will be:
1x Local Graduate Residency; 1x Local Residency; 1x National Residency and 1x International Residency each of which will be for a period of a month.
We will also be working to expand and explore our proximity to the research and practice of others through an extended Associate Curator role. This creative curatorial role will operate in the same way as the research residencies - taking up space and place within the framework and structure of PINK - but will explore what might happen if we give someone the space of a year to unfold their ideas in proximity to a project space. Using time and space as the supporting structure. The Associate Curator will work to produce a research-led project over the space of the year. This will depart from initial research questions and will grow organically as it comes into contact with PINK, its structure, concept(s) and programme - but more on this soon.
Each residency will be an intensive sharing of ideas; aiming to capture discussions but also working to ferment and publicise a process of working together. This is an experimental approach that will see us work with artists to develop new lines of enquiry that will hopefully go on to produce meaningful research, and lasting relationships.