Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Interrogation: West Brom Recce

Interrogation: West Bromwich starts early next month, so we are really busy getting things in place for it. A couple of Wednesday’s ago Agent Orange and I headed over to West Bromwich High Street in order to take a look at our new HQ, and to see how the good people of West Bromwich might respond to an influx of moustachio’d artists.

We had a look at the empty shop unit which we have been lucky enough to get for our HQ(Unit 26 – Community Arts Space; next to BOOTS, Queens Square Shopping Centre, West Bromwich, B70 7NJ) and measured up for the window vinyl and other print matter we are going to need.

We put some posters up in the window to start to build a bit of interest.

We made some signs and put on our disguises, and then made our way to the High Street to give out flyers. We intend to do this every couple of Wednesdays in the lead up to the first Interrogation (8th September) in order to get people used to seeing us. We had an interesting and very varied response, this went from surprise, vague interest, all the way through to disgust. Some people wanted to ask what we were doing, while others stood and stared, and when we approached either smiled and took the flyer, or hurried away.

We are due back in West Bromwich tomorrow for another visit, and it will be interesting to see if the response this time is any more positive.

The programme this year is going to be a little different; for example, I am going to be concentrating more on the evaluation side of things - engaging the public in debate on how they feel about artists working in public space in this way, and trying to measure how successful projects like this are in bridging gaps (physical gaps in spaces created by the regeneration process, gaps in infrastructure and gaps in the public's mind).

We also have some really exciting invited specialist artists who have been invited onto the programme to work with the Agent Artists. Their role will be to aid the Agent Artists on their mission day - giving an insight into their own practice (via a short presentation at the beginning of the day) and then helping the Agent Artists to develop their ideas, and carry them out within the public space.

Each Mission day has a different Specialist Artist, and they will also be there on the conference day to give a presentation too.

Mission One is Action Research and we have artist Michael Pinsky working with us.

Mission Two is Participation and we have artist Ania Bas working with us.

Mission Three is Site Specific and this time we have artist Rich White with us.

Mission Four is Intervention and we have Juneau Projects working with us.

We are really excited about having these fantastic artists on board, and feel sure that their input, and also the quality of the Agent Artists that we have on board are going to make Interrogation: West Bromwich a roaring success.

Interrogation Conference: Artists Bridging Gaps.

If you would like to book a place at the conference then please email: chloebrown@multistory.org.uk

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