Category: Columns

Internationalism: Bad Mobility

MATT PACKER INTRODUCES A NEW SERIES OF COLUMNS FOCUSING ON INTERNATIONALISM.

What is bad mobility? I was in Brussels, taking part in a Creative Europe workshop on the i-Portunus artists’ international mobility funding scheme, when this question came up and resounded around the room in uneasy silence. 

The workshop brought together institutional representatives who are in the business of working internationally – artist residency centres, intermediatory arts bodies, biennials and festivals – and a number of artists who had recently been awarded mobility grants to allow them to travel, research, produce work and ‘internationalise’ their practice in an unstructured process-driven … Read the rest

Universal Credit

ROB HILKEN OUTLINES THE CHALLENGES OF THE UNIVERSAL CREDIT SYSTEM FOR ARTISTS IN NORTHERN IRELAND. 

Artists in Northern Ireland are being challenged by a range of uncertainties. Brexit is casting a looming shadow, but with so many unknowns about the nature of any withdrawal agreement, it is very hard to put plans in place that will mitigate against potentially negative impacts. But even before Brexit comes into effect, there is another issue that is already having a significant impact on the livelihoods of artists in Northern Ireland – that of the United Kingdom’s new benefits scheme, called Universal Credit.

Universal … Read the rest

IVARO Column: Good Exposure?

IVARO’S ADRIAN COLWELL OFFERS ADVICE FOR ARTISTS ON NAVIGATING COPYRIGHT AND LICENSING ISSUES.

The transition from studying in art college to working as a professional in the art world is always a difficult one. Sustaining an arts practice and making a living as an artist involves many challenges, both conceptual and practical, that aren’t given much attention across college curriculums. One of the most pressing things to learn is how to attribute monetary value to a newly created artwork. Despite all the ambition you may have as a young artist, the concept of actually making money from your work may, … Read the rest

VAI Column: The Help-Desk

SHELLY MCDONNELL TALKS ABOUT THE VARIOUS SUPPORTS AND ADVICE OFFERED TO EMERGING ARTISTS THROUGH THE VAI HELP-DESK.

I deal with professional queries through VAI’s Help-Desk – a free and confidential service available to all artists, by phone, email, through the website and in clinics nationwide. If you have a question, an idea or a problem, I’ll usually be able to offer advice or at least point you in the right direction. Every artist faces their own challenges, but a few regular queries are touched on below. These themes are expanded upon in the ‘How To Manual: A Survival Guide for … Read the rest

VAI Column: Graduate Supports

ROB HILKEN OUTLINES OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE TO EMERGING ARTISTS THROUGH VAI’S PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME.

Visual Artists Ireland offers a range of supports and opportunities to artists at all stages of their careers, including emerging artists. We recognise that recent graduates have different needs to those with more established practices, but also that it is important to share new developments that affect everyone. We value peer support and encourage artists to discuss their experiences and learn from each other. Many of our events and seminars are free, while those that do have a booking fee are heavily discounted for VAI members.

The … Read the rest

Mark Fisher, 1968 – 2017

Sometime back in the early 2000s, I began following a blog by a mysterious character called ‘K-Punk’. K-Punk wrote with rare brilliance – and at astonishing speed – about music and other idiosyncratic preoccupations: J.G. Ballard’s urban dystopias; films by Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch and David Cronenberg; 70s sci-fi TV series; the coastal landscapes of south east England; writers of otherworldly stories like Ursula Le Guin and H.P. Lovecraft; X-Men comics; Christopher Nolan’s Batman; Kate Moss; the England football team. His rapturously eloquent, bracingly erudite posts on pop music – in its various underground and overground forms – were, … Read the rest

The Game Has Changed

This column was originally published in the January/February 2011 issue of the Visual Artists’ News Sheet.

In my column for this publication a few months ago, I called for a new negativity, in the spirit of Herbert Marcuse’s claim that the proper function of art was to be a “Great Refusal”. What better answer could I get than the massive ‘NO’ painted on the grass of Parliament Square in London during one of the recent series of protests against government cuts in the UK? Only four weeks ago, this kind of negativity still seemed to be only a distant possibility … Read the rest

Brexit & the Arts

VAI is an all Ireland body, which means that Brexit will have a clear impact on us and on all arts organisations across the island who operate either across the border or ROI collaborations with UK organisations, festivals and events.

The unfortunate truth is that the fallout from the vote has already happened. The fall in Sterling has had a direct impact on organisations such as ours that receive funding from Northern Ireland. Around 19% of our funding comes from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and through our membership in Northern Ireland. With the collapse of the Sterling against … Read the rest

Imperfect Loops & Screen Memories

The audio-essay I recently produced in collaboration with Justin Barton, On Vanishing Land, was in part a disquisition on the eerie. [1] For us, the eerie was defined by problems of agency. In the deserted spaces which often trigger the feeling of the eerie, we are forced to ask if there is an agent present, unseen but watching us. If an agent is present, what is its nature? Is it hostile, friendly, or merely indifferent? The feeling of the eerie is also likely to be provoked by the contemplation of the relics left behind by agents who have … Read the rest

Just Say No

The artist Michael Wilkinson’s show ‘Lions After Slumber’, which was exhibited last May at the Modern Institute in Glasgow, was a repository of artefacts from past militant moments. The show was dominated by images and objects referring to the May ‘68 events in Paris and the punk and post-punk cultural sequences that happened in the UK in the late 70s and early 80s. The largest item in ‘Lions After Slumber’ was a massive photograph of Piccadilly Circus – the same image that had hung, upside down, in Malcolm McLaren’s shop Seditionaries in the 70s. But, tellingly, Wilkinson exhibited the photograph … Read the rest