19-23 May 2014

In light of increasing connectivity and the pressure of a transforming environment, this retreat, entitled Of Our Own Making, will address the question ‘how do we want to live together?’ The retreat curators are MA students Jennifer KY Lam, Marenka Krasomil, Olivia Leahy, and Sophie Oxenbridge-Hastie.



Retreat: Of Our Own Making

In light of increasing connectivity and the pressure of a transforming environment, the retreat will address the question ‘how do we want to live together?’. Taking its title from the manifesto for the MayDay Rooms – a meeting place and supportive infrastructure for radical histories and communities – participants will engage in collective thinking and activities to examine present models of living across different fields. In turn, the retreat will offer an opportunity to speculate on possible futures, whilst situating this discourse within artistic practice.

For selection to this retreat, participants are invited to propose an hour-long session that takes as its starting point the question of ‘how do we want to live together?’. Rather than providing an answer to this question, we welcome a range of responses and broad interpretations, from the personal to the speculative. These sessions can take one or a number of formats: talks, performances, participatory workshops, screenings, reading groups, making sessions etc.

Across five immersive days a programme of invited speakers and group activities will offer possible interpretations of this question, endeavouring to address its social, environmental and metaphysical implications.

Commencing the retreat, artist Cally Spooner will lead a workshop session and host presentations and discussions by participants on their work.

On the following days, Anthony Davies and Jaya Klara Brekke of the MayDay Rooms, a safe house for vulnerable archives and historical material linked to social movements, experimental culture, and marginalised figures, will initiate discussion on current social movements and alternative communities in regards to collaborative ways of living.

Writer, curator, editor and artist Alfredo Cramerotti, director of MOSTYN art gallery, Co-Director, AGM Culture and collective Chamber of Public Secrets, will address the relations between society and the environment, situated within a concept of ecology influenced by the separation of nature and culture.

Finally, the retreat will examine visionary ideas for the future, with the theoretical and scientific research of English author, theoretician in the field of gerontology and co-founder of the SENS Research Foundation, Aubrey de Grey, on proposed techniques to stop aging. Contributing to this conversation, Richard Noble, lecturer in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, philosopher and writer, primarily on the intersection of art and politics, will also lead a talk on the politics of utopia in artistic practice.

• Short presentations and in-depth discussion on each participant’s work.
• Participant-led Sessions
• Talks by invited speakers, followed by discussion
• Field-trips

Selected participants for the retreat are: Love Enqvist, Rose Gibbs, Lina Hermsdorf, Gareth Lloyd, Vipash Purichanont, Amy Spencer and Anna Stephens.