Situation Unit mima commisions

Situation Unit


This project focuses on producing a space that has the ability to reclaim learning as a strategic tactic to influence the commodity aspects of knowledge exchange.
It will instramentalise art practice to produce a site that focuses solely on the ability to exchange and unlearn preconceptions of social and political forms through artistic tools. The space will be a site to demonstrate labor as well as hold artistic interventions that reconfigure the financial hierarchy and issues with accelarationist policy in attempting to reclaim time to learn and to streak time.

The site will turned into a multi-functional installation creating spaces of use and no-use.
Renegotiating the territory of aesthetics and its relation to the ethical. A post-conceptual artist’s lead archive. Follow the commissions here

Artist commissions Include

John Reardon May 2015

Commissioned by mima (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art), the Alternative Art College and curator, Paul Stewart, Untitled (TWOC) puts the life (movement, mediation, networks, learning, etc) of the curator at the centre of the work and in the process of it’s making and un-making.

Part performance, event, object and installation, Untitled (TWOC) consists of 31 specially designed baseball caps (worn on consecutive days by the curator) and 31 wall pegs (installed in mima for caps to hang on). Each cap comes in its own individually dated boxes and once worn by the curator for a single day is deposited at the end of that day on one of the 31 wall pegs in mima (beginning with first peg, top left).

TWOC moves between performance, event, object and installation, between Middlesbrough and mima and between ‘outside’ and ‘inside’, taking on a growing visibility and materiality as it does so.

Each day of the month, the work ‘begins’ again with curator Paul Stewart, following his movements as it slowly, inevitably finds its way to mima.

TWOC begins Friday May 1st and ‘ends’ Sunday May 31st

Harold Offeh June 2015 TBA

Hannah Kemp Welch July 2015 TBA

Free Education

Embedded image permalink

The battle against the rise in fees has exploded into the political imaginary of the student body, This shift in consciousness allows us to reclaim the soil from which learning is shared and knowledge is stored.

Reclaim the space for learning and allow education to be free.

lets permeate the cracks emerging from the neo-liberalism enveloping in the HE institutions to see what formations we can produce from the ruins that lay before us.

Students should not be passive consumers of knowledge but instead active participants in a grander scheme.

‘debt neutralises critical thinking, disciplining students into efficient components of the consumer economy’. Noam Chomsky


AAC at Unruly Engagements Ohio: abandoned public space

We have landed in Ohio, we have scouted the public spaces and private walkways, and soon we will be presenting.

On Sat  9-11.30am UTC (so 14.00pm-16.30pm GMT i think)

‘Just Say No’ : Alternative Strategies to Art Education

Co Authored by Mary O’Neill and Paul Stewart

Conference Programme:

We will share the images from the presentation soon, but here are some holiday snaps of ‘public spaces’ completely deserted.

IMG_1253 IMG_1255 IMG_1258 IMG_1259 IMG_1261 IMG_1263 IMG_1264 IMG_1266 IMG_1268 IMG_1270 IMG_1272 IMG_1275

How to begin? A reflective encounter


How to begin? At a chosen moment in a vacant country house (mill, abbey, church or castle) not too far from the City of London, we shall foment a kind of cultural “jam session”: out of this will evolve the prototype of our spontaneous university.” Alexander Trocchi, 1964

Paul Stewart and Mary O’Neill Will be presenting a collaborative paper at the Unruly Engagements conference in Cleveland (Cleveland Institute of Arts) around how we navigate alternative strategies to art education. this is a reflective encounter of the roles played by student and lecturer in response to the emergence of the alternative art college in 2011.

more information of the conference here:

We will share extracts from the paper and responses after the conference.




Making walls move



(Inter (Trans) discipline)

Conversation and Critique                  developing collaborative reviews accepting that evaluation is temporal

Consistent communication                 Transparency in research and practice

Openness/ Shifts in thinking             Developing crisis into the practice

Project driven agendas                       conditions/context/idea


Time, pace, space, context


Evaluation, re-evaluation, non-hierarchical engagement process, allow discussion and critique.

Learning approaches first need to consider its placement and environment, is it appropriate in public or private spaces , is a common or civic sphere needed and if so how is it created. This research element will devise how digital public space can be claimed as a common space to produce agency, discursive discussion and collaboration. The common is the shared history of displacement, the development of a digital commons can be seen as the production of an ongoing architectural structure.

Peer Lead discussion groups?

Evaluation as a stage in the process not the end point this allows for it to consistently evolve. To conclude is to continue.

Agency of engagements <> Value <> Reflection <> Conditions 

Audience’s Agency?

How directed is or should be the audiences engagement with their environment, what dictates the engagement process, space/place/theme/order?

How to create space for something to happen or not happen?

At any point it is important to accept failure as equal to or in some case greater than success.

Initial questions

How important is the notion of play?

What are the conditions (or context) for learning?

What is the value in content?


What levels of democratised participation does the projects endeavor to achieve?

Face to face exchange?

How do values manifest in learning experiences?

The bearings of space on your work, what could you do digitally that you can not do physically?

AAC Interview Art Zip download

We have made a PDF download available of the article here >>> LINK <<<

Do check out the full issue links to this are available here >>>LINK<<<

Knowledge should be priceless Art Zip interview with Paul Stewart on the AAC

Art Zip have published a 7 page article on the Alternative Art College and an interview with Paul Stewart, this is part of an issue dedicated to looking into alternative learning and issues in HE in both the UK ad China..

Read the full interview here


article clipping

Students For Cooperation Founding Conference

Guild of Students, University of Birmingham

February 14, 2014 at 11:00am until February 16, 2014 at 5:00pm

Students For Co-operation is a new national federation of student co-ops. Join us for our first conference in the University of Birmingham Guild of Students for a jam packed agenda of workshops, debates and a chance to meet students from across the country who are involved in the fledgling student co-op movement!

If you are planning on attending (and if you click attending on the Facebook event) please fill out this google form: which will help us arrange transport and accomm…odation for the weekend.

The conference will have in depth sessions on starting co-operatives, liberation, consensus, lobbying and even a bicycle tour of South Birmingham and a visit to local eco homes. Sessions will be participatory and will be led by experienced campaigners and co-op members from organisations including:
– Seeds For Change
– People and Planet
– Radical Routes
– Suma Wholefoods
– The Co-operative group
– Veggies Catering Campaign
– NASCO (North American Organisation of Student Co-operatives)
Affordable food by Veggies Catering Campaign
Free entry to all students and members of student co-ops. Free accommodation will also be available.

We are able to subsidise costs of travel for people attending the conference and will be running a travel pool to help equalise costs for those travelling from far away (so if your coming from Aberdeen you’ll only have to fork out the average travel cost for all attendees – including those coming who are from Birmingham)

For more information and the full three day agenda check out our wikipage at

This conference has been made possible with support from the Phone and Broadband Co-operative ( who have funded the conference and Co-operative Education Trust Scotland ( who are supporting travel for Scottish students

Agenda for Conference


11am:5pm – Financial Literacy Course

6pm:7.30pm – How to set up a co-op (and what they even are in the first place)
8pm:11pm – Friday Night Dinner and Social at 996 Pershore Road
Saturday 15th

8.45am – 9.30am: Breakfast

9.30am – 10.15am: Introductory session – informal entrance session – some sort of game or something –
10.30am – 11am: Plenary
11am – 12.45pm: Workshops Session 1
Consensus – (Seeds For Change)
Learning about liberation session – (Roshni Joshni, Ruskin College SU & ??) – confirmed needs travel and description
Dealing with your university/students union – (People and Planet) – confirmed needs travel and description
Practical workshop: how to feed the masses (Veggies Catering Campaign)
12.45pm – 1.30pm: Lunch

1.30pm – 2pm: Black Students Caucus
2pm – 3.45pm: Visits
Bike tour of south birmingham co-ops

Car trip to redditch co-operative homes and factory
3.45pm – 4.15pm: Break

4.15pm – 6pm: Workshops Session 2
Consensus (Seeds For Change)
Learning about liberation session – (Roshni Joshni Ruskin College SU & ??) confirmed needs travel and description
Dealing with your university/students union – (People and Planet) confirmed needs travel and description
Practical workshop: how to feed the masses (Veggies Catering Campaign)
6pm – 7pm: Keynote speaker Representative from NASCO (North American Student Co-op Federation)Introduced by Vivian Woodell (Phone Co-op CEO)

7pm – 8.15pm: Dinner
8.15pm – 9.30pm: Documentary Film Festival
9.30pm – 11pm Social

Sunday 16th

8.45am – 9.30am: Breakfast

9.30am – 10am: Womens Caucus
10am – 11.15am Academic seminars
Spanish Civil War – Chris Richardson
Marxism/Autonimism and Co-operatives – Darcy Luke and Elio Di Muccio
Academic esoteric session on finance/ legislation for co-ops (tara mulqueen?)
Community Energy – (Campaigns Manager at The Co-operative Group) – needs description
Post crash Economics: why co-operatives are the future – Nick Matthews and Jack Copley
11.15am – 11.30am: teabreak

11.30am – 12am: LGBTQ Caucus
12am – 1.15pm: Students For Co-operation General Meeting
1.15pm – 2pm: Lunch + Openspace
2pm – 2.30pm: Disabled Caucus
2.30pm – 4.15pm: How to start a co-operatives:
Food Co-ops – How they work by Bob Cannell (Suma Foods) and Lizzie Fellows (Leeds Bread Co-op) – confirmed needs travel and description
Bike Co-ops and other retail co-ops – Green Bike Project & Shrub
Housing Co-ops – Rosie Evered + NASCO Speaker + Carl Taylor from BCHS
4.15pm – 5pm: and finish

Reading Group reminder

Where: G3, Laurie Grove Baths, New Cross which is:

New Cross and New Cross Gate stations (zone 2), on the main rail network and London Overground.

On major bus routes including 21, 36, 53, 136, 171, 172, 177, 225, 321, 343, 436, 453.

If your are interested please contact us and we will add you to the mailing lists.

The first book will be The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes by Jonathan Rose.

Meeting 1: 7th November 2013, 7 pm

readings here:
Contact: James jamesrrellison(at)