About Arch

... An exploration of participation, art and architecture in the city to inform a concept for engagement with the local community via artistic intervention... offering to our client a point of departure for the continuation of these ideas in their future work.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Minutes for Client Meeting 10.10.08

Hayley/Helen - dissertation

Tilly : Brief description of how we got here, synopsis of postcard idea, early brainstorming, how we imagined the project to be, our thoughts, our aspirations this week and how we settled on bus-stop idea. Description of the brain storming which occurred post group meeting on Monday (06.10.08 ), the residue of the brainstorming session after we had time to dwell on it was discussed. Initial concept evidence presented to Simon and Trish.
Julie: Describes the movement she witnessed within Sharrow, description of ‘street piano’ installation which captured the hearts of many on Sharrow and the loss they felt when it was dismantled and moved on. The sadness of the community at this loss was documented in on-line forums on the internet, the notion that maybe these forums could become a physical hub for interaction in the public realm. A place which forces and encourages interactions with strangers and neighbours alike. Theoretical correlation with the work of ‘Richard Sennet’ , whereby the public space is equated as ‘theatre’. Re-imagining the everyday, re-appreciating the ordinary.
Trish: Comments on the bus stop as a starting point. She likes the idea of linking personalities. Remembers an installation in a bus station where an artist nestles in a bus station and asks people for information and stories. – a fond way of connecting with people. A network!
Simon: enjoys the idea of connection, the Sharrow prototype could offer the model for identical works in other cities, other countries. Can be linked in the dioramic scale locally but can be linked panoramically across countries. Interested in the potential for framing views as explored in Sharrow workshop last week.
: the bus stop is a simple structure which could be embellished more. Familiar to all people. “an interesting thing the dancers could interact with”. On analysing our postcards comments that (it) “could be something without a figure in it”, “visitor becomes involved- every time a bus arrives, a new audience arrives. “users become performers”. “where are people going when they wait on a bus? To meet a lover? To the hospital? To a birth? To a relative? Their story becomes interesting”. Bus etiquette dissected... who gets on first, where people stand, which way to look, codes of contact, dynamics of conversation, polite chit-chat. People say ‘thank you’ to the bus driver in Sheffield – a unique colloquial friendliness.
Simon: comments on how their work makes the ordinary extraordinary, celebrating and reawakening the ordinary. The world set to music, rhythm of people ‘plugged-in’ to iPods etc. People in their own musical bubble. Not desirable invasion of our own personal space when people play music out loud. Actions are always comfortable as long as we can move away to another location, very uncomfortable when trapped with a strangers unconventional actions. What is acceptable movement in public spaces?
Trish: lay down in city chambers, people showed affectionate glances rather than strangeness. Trish’s interest in occupying space at the time.

Pól and Jen’s Video watched for 4/5 minutes : study of how people move around bus-stops

Carolyn: informs us of the good news that Trish and Simon had secured a grant from the arts council to perform this research and pay the dancers, rent the Sharrow hall space etc and have some left over for materials. Interested in recycling materials. Good news on funding front.

Idea of temporariness of bus stop, The Sharrow forum group are interested in animating Sharrow with things such as street furniture, green spaces . A desire to adorn the journey to football matches from the train/ bus stops. (talk to Colin at Forum)
What happens old bus stops? Is there a bus-stop graveyard? Idea of promoting public transport.... celebrating bus stops. Forum have a relationship with the highways dept. (Colin, Dave Whickfield – 2508384). Maybe an audience travel around on a bus, various installations along the route. Transportable audiences.
Trish: Collect bus-stop stories. Use them as a vehicle to listen to the Sheffield people. Don’t be scared of community spin-off ideas. Memories of a place. Homely feeling, a familiarity of some bus trips.
Tea Break
Julie: introduces h r attempt at a stakeholder map. She describes how our project is alot more complex and loose than other groups as there is a very fluid tangy concept and not a prescripted brief and client map. She introduces her Venn diagram illustrating the links between numerous groups who all would have a ‘stake’ in this project.
The public are the main stakeholders in our project. Enforce a pride and sense of community in Sharrow. City council people should be interested. (Colin from distinctive Sharrow should have names and numbers of people on highways dept. Andrew has liaisons with creatives).
How do you get people into galleries to view art whom are unaccustomed to going into galleries. Reach out and offer art to the people.eg. ‘Encounters’ took over shops. Verify what we need to know from these people. Join the dots. Sheffield is called the ‘creative city’. Artists reside in the town hall so obviously the city inspires art.” This is a great time to do things like this” (apparently). Its all research in this project – do not get disillusioned by rejection, rejection is research. This is very challenging community engagement.
Simon: arts council see this as very important information we’re gathering, hence the funding. How do we get more people involved? Invite people to a performance. Generate your own ways of engaging with the public. Simon tells of an analogy whereby an old women posted him a ceramic piece of art to mark her 70th birthday and in return asked for him to post her something artistically valuable. Interest in getting things through the post. Get peoples postal address’.
Trish and Simon: Very happy so far, Strong ideas. Maybe we create a witty questionnaire for city officials. We need to catch their attention and get a response. ‘what’s your favourite dance’?
Dry stuff:
The pragmatics of this, boring council stuff. How can we make it happen? Health and safety compliance? Boring. Find a bus shelter graveyard.
Simon and Trish:
Physical object / Concept / Dance / Idea –what is it?
Trish sees it constructed in an interior space like a theatre or room. Simon sees this as an outdoor masquerade. Maybe both?!
Dancers will throw a whole new element into this fire. The ritual of dance needs to be seen in conjunction with this concept. Record what happens when we meet the dancers. Subtle interventions need to be documented. Get people to interact, maybe give them a reward ... cocktail umbrella/ reel of old bus tickets/ gift / keepsake.
Explore how to animate form railway station to Bramall lane, excite the ‘distinctive Sharrow’ group. (Simon Argall –Sheffield United)
Maybe get (Sue Beeley) to introduce us to GCSE students who may like an input.
Careful what you broadcast. Keep a lid on creative ideas in case other groups with more funding steal our ideas. Copyright is an interesting area. Monitor what is public / private. Especially Blog.
Too early for a tagline but ‘Sharrow as a stage’ is a great start.
Keep fluidity and anonymity , good to be invisible this early on. Studworks where musicians work – maybe enhance soundtrack to this ( Alan-Sheffield live- radio show)
Investigate the stakeholder map more , create more accurate adjacencies between groups.


1. Have a first go at a funding strategy (Jen and Hoi Sun)
2. Create a dance / Spontaneous installation involving dance (Pól, Tori, Kris,)
3. Coherent collection of information so far (6th years - post dissertation)
4. Create Postcard and email stakeholders (Tilly and Julie)
5. Minutes of meeting (Pól)
6. Video Camera resource (Jen or/and Kris)
7. Discuss privacy issues with blog (group)
8. Video installation at bus stop (Pól)

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