Waste of Space has been a daring exercise in making use of all available space. Not only in a physical sense, by using empty shops in new and creative ways, but also in a political and enterprising sense, trying to weave “meanwhile spaces” into the fabric of local council, estate agents, land owners and retailers.
The notion of the shop is slowly changing whilst online shopping is growing year by year and overall consumer spending on goods and services is down. Experts indicate that retail spaces are rapidly changing function, where once we would go to buy our food, clothes, and meet with other local shoppers, now there is a shift towards café culture, entertainment and services such as hairdressers. But this is not enough to fill the void. 15% of all retail space in England remains vacant, and in many cases, rent and rates remain unaffordable given current trading conditions.
What is the future of the shop? How can we utilise empty spaces in the right way so to satisfy the community, estate agents and landlords? Is there more potential than we can see at first sight? And what impact will these changes have on our social habits?
Join artist Lorenza Ippolito and The Economic Development Team at Brighton and Hove City Council to investigate the nooks and crannies of the empty retail space.
Fabrica’s regular forum for informal debate hosted by artist Lorenza Ippolito and followed by a Utopian Walk through the city.
Melanie Manchot’s film work Celebration (Cyprus Street) shows us a modern day street party in East London. As a portrayal of a multi-cultural community at ease with itself and re-enacting an old and important social ritual it depicts a kind of Utopia.
The idea of Utopia – a perfectly constructed place where the social infrastructure enables individuals to be at their best for the good of everybody – has had currency since the Enlightment. Since Thomas More’s first use of the word in 1516 to the present day, our desire to organise ourselves according to a religious, economic, political or ecological ideal is clear, and is generally accepted as a good, even noble endeavour.
But whose idea of a better society is it? Who gets to decide what we should aspire to as individuals and as communities? And what is the ideal community anyway? Isn’t the dream of one social group another’s nightmare?
Join Lorenza Ippolito and her guest Richard Parker to talk about Utopias, Dystopias and the reality of living together.
Drawing Space is an interesting initiative by Brighton artist Carolyn Bew during the Artist Open House. It is a collaborative event over three weekends. Visitors are invited to take part in a collective drawing incorporating sound and video, which will transform this empty space into an interactive environment. Each evening a video will be made of the artworks, before the walls are repainted for the following day.
Nicola Benge is involved in Fabrica’s Rendezvous Project, which is concentrating on an older audience with workshops and other activities.
Here is a link the blog.
Hello Everybody, so a new exciting season of Armchair Critics has begun.
Big news is that AC is doubling up. There will be two exhibitions instead of only one.
The first one is on the 21st of April and will be at the usual time around 7:00 p.m.
The second, on the 5th of May, will be held in the early afternoon for those who don’t like nocturnal outings.
The questions haven’t been set yet, but I am reading up and very eager to produce good stuff. I am currently drawn to the idea of polyphony in literature and the incredible way in which singular voice, once put together, can create a new sound, where the whole is different from each individual part… Or it many be about the empty space. Have you got any suggestions? Let me know!
As most of you know the show is The Forty Part Motet by Janet Cardiff and engages with Thomas Tallis’ Spem in Alium.