Future Art Symposia

An 'ary' post card advertising Future Art Symposia

Tour Dates

  • Art and the New
    23 October 2000

  • Art and Society
    30 October 2000

  • Art and Technology
    13 November 2000

  • Art and Time
    27 November 2000

A series of cross-art form discussions produced by Stan’s Cafe for Forward, Britain’s largest festival of new art.

Four mixed panels of artists, critics and academics come together in front of a live audience, to address provocative questions about the future of art. Each evening combines presentations with discussion and your chance to ask questions and proffer opinion. This is a rare chance to engage with some of contemporary art’s most distinctive voices.

Art and The New

What is our culture’s relationship to The New, and in particular new art?

This discussion was chaired by Jonathan Watkins, Director of the Ikon Gallery.

He was joined by:

Heather Maitland from the University of Warwick researching into audience attitudes to new work.

John Wyver chairman of The Illuminations Group, series editor BBC2’s The Net (1994-8) and TX (1995-9), author of The Moving Image: An international history of film television and video. Currently visiting professor Birkbeck College. www.illumin.co.uk

Ansuman Biswas performance artist.

Art and Society

What is the current, and what may be the future place of art in society?

This discussion was chaired by James Yarker, Artistic Director of Stan’s Cafe

She was joined by :

Michael Van Graan; who initiated the South African Arts for All Campaign in 1992 which included a broad range of progressive organisations such as the Film and Allied Workers Organisation (FAWO), Performing Arts Workers Equity (PAWE), South African Musicians Alliance (SAMA), Arts Educators Association (AEA), Dance Alliance, Association of Community Arts Centres (ACAC) and the South African Cultural Workers Unit (SAWCU). In 1993 he was Elected General Secretary of the National Arts Coalition, the most representative arts and culture lobby group in South Africa. He was ppointed as a Special Adviser on arts and culture to the new Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, Dr Ben Ngubane, after the country’s first democratic elections.
In 1996 Michael launched Article 27 Arts and Culture Consultants which takes its name from Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “…Everyone shall have the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community and to enjoy the arts…”. He as drafted aspects of cultural policy for the Gauteng and Kwa Zulu Natal governments, undertaken research for the International Arts Bureau, largely drafted the cultural content of Cape Town’s Olympic bid, coordinated the first Cape Town One City Festival and under taken projects for the Swiss Arts Council.

Claire Smith; director of Sound It Out community music. Prior to her work with Sound It Out Claire worked for the Drake Trust developing disability access to the means of making music. Sound It Out’s recent projects include Call And Response, a live link up concert between Birmingham and Johannesburg, the placement of sound sculptures in schools and projects with non-English speakers.

Alun Mountford; senior trainer Geese Theatre. Alan discussed his work using art in the prison and probation service.

Art and Technology

What is the link between historical and technological innovation, is it two way?

Writer Sadie Plant chaired this dicussion. She is the author of The Most Radical Gesture, Zeros and Ones,and Writing on Drugs. She graduated from the University of Manchesterwith a PhD in Philosophy in 1989, and has taught at the Universities ofBirmingham and Warwick. She now lives in Birmingham and writes full-time.

She was joined by:

Heidi Reitmaier; Director of Special Projects at eyestorm.com

Ann Whitehurst; an artist whose project The Chair drawing up designs, plans and theories for a powered wheelchair equipped to enable surveillance, assessment and comment on society runs at The Bonnington Gallery 11am – 4pm 30th October – 7 November and can be found at www.nowfestival.org.uk

Brian Duffy; musician and installation artist.

Art and Time

The Forward Festival has been made possible by money set aside to celebrate the millennium. How can art both be fixed in and endure through time?

This discussion was chaired by Professor Mike Pearson from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Mike moved from the Welsh performance company Brith Gof to lecture in performance, before all this he trained in archaeology.

He was joined by:

Christopher Egret from architects Alsop and Stormer
Alsop and Stormer Website

Claire Russ, Artistic Director of Claire Russ Ensemble, based in The Midlands and London since 1990, creates contemporary dance theatre whichtours nationally and in Europe. Choosing themes of the moment, the workcombines quality dance with abstracted images and theatrical delivery. Works since 1993 tourng nationally and in Europe include: ‘Grace NotGrace’, ‘Dangerous When Wet’ (1994/95), ‘Sweet Boys’ (1996), ‘Gourmet’ (1998), [B&B], (1999/2000), funded by the Arts Council of England.


Curated By: Paulette Brien, Alan James & James Yarker
Administration: Paulette Brien
Editors: Craig Stephens & James Yarker
Book Design: Simon Ford
Commissioned by: Alan James for Birmingham City Council

Book: Future Art Symposia
The book is fully sold out, but at the time of writing can be found second-hand, on-line for £5.