Collective Creation between Welfarism and Austerity
Saturday 16 July, 12-5pm

The day is devised and led by Prof Gavin Butt with contributions from Green Gartside of Scritti Polliti, Chris Goode of Ponyboy Curtis, Kevin Lycett of the Mekons, writers Claire MacDonald and Amy Spencer, and Colette Rosa and Charlotte Procter of DIY Space for London.

Find a podcast of the event here.

Summercamp Symposia - 16 July

For our first Summercamp event we have invited Professor Gavin Butt to develop and lead a day-long symposium, entitled Collective Creation between Welfarism and Austerity.

The symposium is developed from Prof Gavin Butt’s research on post-punk culture and British art schools and focuses on collective creation across art, music, and theatre, between the heyday of the Polytechnic until today.

The starting point is to address the importance of informal collectivities - bands and groups – in the production of experimental work, paying particular attention to artistic communalism and DIY as a means to produce new forms in the public sphere.

The day consists of three discussions panels; The Post-Punk Artschool; Ensemble creation between then and now; and From DIY to DIT.


12pm - Arrival. Wysing has a café onsite which will be open throughout the day for food and drink. The café will be open from 10am  

12.20pm - Introduction to the day by Gavin Butt, Professor of Visual Cultures and Performance at Goldsmiths, University of London.    

12.30pmThe Post-Punk Artschool. This panel discussion will explore the formation of music bands, and the importance of banding together to make art, in the art school milieu of the late 1970s and early '80s. The panel will consist of two former art students, Green Gartside, the creative force of the left-wing-inspired post-punk band Scritti Polliti, and Kevin Lycett, co-founder of the Mekons, a shifting musical collective formed in Leeds in the late '70s.  The session is chaired by Prof Gavin Butt.  

1.45pmEnsemble creation between then and now. This panel discussion will consider ensemble creation between then and now. The panel will include Claire MacDonald, co-founder of Impact Theatre Co-operative, which as a company fused text, music, visual and performance art and Chris Goode, lead artist of Chris Goode & Company and director of the performance ensemble Ponyboy Curtis. The session is chaired by Prof Gavin Butt. 

3.00pm - Break 

3.30pm - From DIY to DIT. This panel discussion will look at DIY and DIT infrastructure of contemporary art and music. The panel consists of writer Amy Spencer, author of the book DIY: The Rise of Low-Fi Culture, and representatives from the cooperatively-run social centre DIY Space for London, Colette Rosa and Charlotte Procter. The session is chaired by Wysing's Director Donna Lynas.  

4.45pm - Closing remarks by Prof Gavin Butt 

5.00pm - End 

Contributors biographies

Gavin Butt is Professor of Visual Cultures and Performance at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is author of Between You and Me: Queer Disclosures in the New York Art World, co-author of Visual Cultures as Seriousness, and editor of After Criticism: New Responses to Art and Performance. He co-directed Performance Matters (2009-2013) a creative research project exploring the cultural value of performance, and was co-director of This Is Not a Dream (2014) a documentary film exploring artist’s DIY use of moving image technology. He is currently completing a new book Anti-Gravitas: Queer Importance in Art and Performance, and is engaged in research on post-punk culture and British art schools.

Green Gartside is the creative force of the band Scritti Polliti. Formed in 1978 in Leeds, England, Scritti Politti were initially a left-wing-inspired post-punk British rock group, that later developed into a more mainstream pop music project in the early to mid-1980s and enjoyed significant success in the music charts in the U.K. and U.S. The group’s most successful album, 1985’s Cupid & Psyche 85, was innovative in its early use of the techniques of sampling and MIDI sequencing and produced hit singles including Perfect Way, The Word Girl, Wood Beez and Absolute. He returned to music-making in the late 1990s, releasing two critically-acclaimed albums in 1999 and 2006. The success of the 2006 Mercury Music Prize-nominated White Bread Black Beer LP is considered to be a major comeback.

Chris Goode is a writer, director, performer and musician. He has been lead artist of Chris Goode & Company since its inception in 2011. He is also director of the performance ensemble Ponyboy Curtis. Recent work for Chris Goode & Company includes: WANTED (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Every One (BAC); Weaklings (Warwick Arts Centre); Men in the Cities (Royal Court; Traverse); STAND (Oxford Playhouse); The Forest & The Field (Ovalhouse); The Adventures of Wound Man and Shirley (BAC).  

As an independent maker: Apathy (Theatre Uncut); Ponyboy Curtis at the Yard (The Yard); MAD MAN (Drum Theatre, Plymouth); The Worst of Scottee (Roundhouse); The Loss of All Things (as part of 66 Books at the Bush); Who You Are (Tate Modern). Chris is the author of The Forest and the Field: Changing theatre in a changing world (Oberon), and he hosts the Chris Goode & Company podcast, Thompson’s Live. 

Kevin Lycett accidentally founded the slightly legendary Mekons whilst being an art student at Leeds University. Then, while his colleagues leapt as if burnt from the battered shell of Leeds during the 80s he unaccountably decided to stay and became heavily involved in the post-punk scene, producing records, sound engineering, and directing videos for a whole slew of bands, such as Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Sister of Mercy, March Violets, F.S.K., Xmal Deutschland and others. Kevin formed a couple of other bands one of which, The Hill Bandits, is currently being rubbed down and getting its shoes inspected before being let out for another trot round. Kevin is also a visual artist, and has had several solo and group shows, he is currently working on a solo show to be held in Leeds October 2016. 

Claire MacDonald’s work in the arts centres on conversation, collaboration and community. She writes and teaches widely, and was a co-founder of the influential visual theatre-making collective Impact Theatre Co-operative, in Leeds, whose archive of film and performance is now being re-worked by the company, starting with the showing of the film version of The Carrier Frequency, a collaboration with the writer Russell Hoban, at Arts Admin in London in February 2016. Her recent book Utopia, is both a collection of plays and a reflection on the cultural history of her practice. Her recent writing also includes ‘All Together Now: Performance and Collaboration’, in Dee Heddon and Jennie’s Klein’s essay collection Histories and Practices of Live Art (Palgrave,2012). She also writes on poetics, feminist art practice and the pedagogy of performance writing. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. 

Amy Spencer lives in Bristol where she teaches creative writing. She works with writers in community settings to use their own experiences as inspiration for creative work and develop channels through which to share this work with audiences. There is an emphasis on social justice and DIY cultural production. Amy holds a PhD from the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College where her research focused on collaborative authorship in digital literature. 

Amy is the author of DIY: The Rise of Lo-Fi Culture and The Crafter Culture Handbook and continues to research do-it-yourself culture.

Colette Rosa and Charlotte Procter are representatives from the co-operatively run social centre DIY Space for London (DSFL), which offers low cost creative facilities, meeting rooms and social space in addition to hosting screenings, talks and performances. Everything from the bar to events to sound is organised through the 12 collectives. It runs on a members’ club model so that everyone has an equal say in how the space is run. DSFL also has an in-house record shop TOME Records and Joey’s Kitchen (a vegan cafe). We work to promote the ideas of mutual aid (helping each other) and co-operation (working together.)

Charlotte makes posters and is also a member of the Cinenova Working Group- a collective of volunteers responsible for the ongoing operation of the feminist film & video distributor Cinenova.

Colette plays in the punk bands Woolf and Frau and organises Bent Fest (an annual weekend festival of queer punk with DIY principles in London).