WASTE.AGENCY: ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND FUNDING

Monday 17th November 2014

Arts Council England and SHM-Foundation have awarded funding towards maintaining the Waste.Agency intervention, which begun in a disused HMV record store in the heart of the City of London on 3rd October 2014.

The Waste.Agency is applying 6-years of research gathered by Platform-7’s through a series of abstract art performance events exploring how people reach opinions on various issues that have broader social consequences. This is the first application of this research. A 3-year plan has been written explaining how the project will develop and the intended impact and expected outcomes.

There are no assurances that this intervention will achieve anything significant, and for the vast majority of those interacting with the Waste.Agency, the project will prove significantly challenging.

Summary of Waste.Agency aims to Arts Council England, written August 2014:

Creating an innovative live, public facing, abstract art space in the heart of the City of London called the Waste.Agency. Appearing as an odd retail outlet, a disused HMV records shop will sell small abstract artworks and artist-made small goods created from waste, including tights, skateboards, dust, tissues and scrap collected by Network Rail from tracksides (especially for Platform-7).

Using concepts and methodologies developed during the last 6-years exploring human behaviour and decision making, this art intervention gathers together thinkers, artists, makers, scientists, engineers, academics and the public to discuss one of the most pressing subjects of our time: the impact of human consumption and wastefulness.

The initial stage is 5-months, of a 3-year project, encompasses a subject that carries currency for people regardless of social background or age. Prof Pratt AHRC report on P7’s practice noted “it is the subject” of the company’s projects that resonate deeply with artists and spectator ‘encouraging a deeper emotional attachment’ (Pratt, 2014)

Based on Tapescape, 2012 and Margate, 2011 the shop will appear very abstract for many. Artists, invited speakers and public influence the programme through reaction and response.

This project will broaden Platform-7’s profile and by demonstrating its approach in front of major international organisations, show how abstract arts can influence and develop new perceptions. The Waste.Agency hub will envelop users and develop new financial partners allowing P7 to broaden its public engagement interventions in areas less served by art.

What will be achieved should the project continue to the expected conclusion.

  • The Waste.Agency will become a new form of collaborative hub offering allowance for people from differing background to meet in a safe space to talk freely and discuss ideas without fear of castigation.

  • A broad range of businesses, academia, third sector, various publics and the arts will be collaborating on various kinds of projects, breaking the ubiquitous ‘silo’ approach endemic in many parts of modern British society.

  • A new language of engagement based on ecological conditions rather than combative/competitive conditions, which can be documented and shared openly.

  • An acknowledgement in government and corporate Britain of the broader ‘value’ the arts can offer business and wider society in challenging some of the more intractable problems.

  • Waste.Agency model adopted and adapted by other communities and arts organisations to develop bespoke interventions using learning from this intervention to develop better working practices when collaborating with major corporate organisations.

  • Allow others to develop Waste.Agency’s in other major cities.

For more on the background thinking behind the Waste.Agency and the critique of creative thinking hubs in the UK click Hub articles. All articles relating to the Waste.Agency carry a Waste Agency tag in the menu right of this blog post.

Pratt, Andy, (2014), The Enigma that is Platform-7: Creative Voucher, The Silent Cacophony case study, Creative Workworks London, AHRC Funded,

[found online 22 Nov 2014: http://www.platform-7.com/#!THE-ENIGMA-THAT-IS-PLATFORM-7/cf7o/2BEBC5CB-3EE1-4559-9D8F-948CC31DFECA ]

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