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Practicing Self-Organisation

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

We were joined by ESP members and members of the public for an evening of discussion around ideas and practices of self-learning and self-organising. The conversation was led by Sam Vardy, Senior Lecturer at the Sheffield Hallam University School of Architecture, artist Marie Toseland who has been one of the 2015 associates at Open School East and artist Joanne Masding who is currently involved in School of the Damned.

Through the lens of artists and researchers we reflected upon how we can implement procedures, techniques and strategies of self-ruling and autonomy in education, in creative and spatial practices and in daily lives.

Joanne Masding is an artist working in Birmingham and co-director of studio group The Lombard Method. Recent exhibitions include; ‘The Place of the Scene’ at Bloc Projects, Sheffield, ‘Birmingham Show’ at Eastside Projects, Birmingham and ‘Lacquer Moving Lightly’ at Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh (solo). She has been artist in residence at 501 Artspace, Chongqing, China; Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin, Ireland, Airspace Gallery, Stoke on Trent, and online residency, Digital Artist Residency. In 2015 she developed a residency with Berlin-based artist Katharina Ludwig, in collaboration with Grand Union, Birmingham.

Marie Toseland is based in London. She is currently studying at Royal Academy of Arts Schools (Class of 2018), and in 2015 was an Associate of Open School East. Marie works across various media, including sound, performance/event and image – often bringing these together as installation. In addition to her individual work, she has been collaborating with artist and radio broadcaster Sophie Mallett on sound and performance projects since 2015.

Sam Vardy’s research, teaching and practice explore different aspects of the politics of space in contemporary cities. His doctoral research on Self-organised Architectures explores the micro-politics of spatial self-organisation and its relations to political praxis to reinvigorate the potential of spatial praxis in the current context of neoliberal urban governance. Sam teaches architecture at Sheffield Hallam University School of Architecture where he leads the M.Arch in Architecture course. Along with his partner and children he is a co-founder of a place of their own, a self-organised critical research, art and activist practice based in Sheffield.