Time to consider what we have done

This last week we have reelected a Tory government but this time a Tory government with a majority. what does this mean other than … shit.

firstly the snoopers charter is going to criminalize any form of communication that cannot be read by the state, on the ground that means our privacy has gone and we are now unable to have a conversation digitally without a third party being present. in context its like having sex with someone constantly commenting or observing your movements. we will maintain a education system that segregates the arts and only funds STEM as the route to success. We will see more people below the poverty line, benefits slashed, council tenants evicted and continued use of zero hour contracts.

there is much more than this, but as a start I think its about time we stopped and did something, its time to fight back, its time to revolt, its time to make real change not superficial efforts that maintain. Maybe this can only be done with flight with a complete abandonment of the system in attempt to create something new, something that actually benefits the many not just the few.

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: http://cia.edu/files/resources/14aaunrulyprogramfinal.pdf

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: http://cia.edu/events/2014/11/unruly-engagements-conference

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?