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~ a very heavenly social ~ archiving the artist-led ~ 9 September 2023

Ninewells Community Garden
Dundee, DD21NH
9 September 2023
Convened by Laura McSorley and Saoirse Amira Anis

two long stemmed glasses pour liquid into a dish inside a circle. the number 2 is on the left side and the letter c is on the right side. Below are the lofos of the British Art Network, the Paul Mellon Centre, Yale University, Arts Council England, and Tate

We (Two of Cups: Laura McSorley and Saoirse Amira Anis) have been thinking about the impact that artist-led activity has on the wider ecology of the arts in the UK, and how better to bridge the gap between this fact, and the extent to which it is celebrated as such. We wanted to think about how we might be able to archive these activities in a way that honours their DIY, ephemeral nature, and their wide-reaching, pioneering impact on the wider art world.

At this seminar, we gathered around a table to eat seasonal and freshly made food together, during which 2oC gently guided the conversation to discuss the impact artist-led activity has had on each of us, and ideas for how to archive without completely undoing the slippery, un-pin-downable-ness that is such a vital aspect of the artist-led appeal.

We hoped to indulge in conversations about working from the periphery, and to discuss how we – as outsiders – can affect cultural change through these gloriously devious and alternative ways-of-being within/outwith established arts institutions: resisting hierarchies; working outside of conventional spaces and shining a light on unseen creative labour.

Key Questions were:

  • How has artist-led activity impacted your career trajectory / creative networks?
  • Together, how can we think about archiving this moment in artist-led activity?
  • What is important to include in an artist-led archive?