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.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Mass engagement

Artist Luke Jerram's Sky Orchestra demonstrates the potential to force engagement with a large audience through sound - something to investigate. See also Jerram's website here for more work.

Brief v1

Exploring the boundaries of the brief is fundamental to the project's success. So thought it might be interesting to have it on record where it all began, in order to compare how our own brief develops and changes....

"... working with artist Trish O'Shea, choreographer Simon Birch and dancers to formulate ideas and create designs for a transformable, changing space for performance that could incorporate film, sound, projection and include the presence of the audience in a variety of ways. You will work closely with the artists; observing, sharing ideas and making architectural responses to the moving figure. The artists will, in turn, respond to the work of the students and each will influence and affect the development of the work".

• developing a brief with the artists
• experimenting with use and form in the shape of 1:1 prototypes in collaboration with the artists and dancers
• developing and implementing strategies of creative engagement with members of the public
• exploring funding options for the longer-term implementation of the installation
• developing a strategy for the siting, use and operation of the installation

“Birch O’Shea envisage a close working relationship with the students… (forming a) proposal that can be submitted for funding at the end of the process… experience in interdisciplinary practice, creative community engagement, strategic planning… the evolution of a truly original artwork".

- from the MArch Handbook 08/09

So we have the live project brief (above), which is in turn defined and developed by the Birch O'Shea's brief – following our initial client meeting, we know that this is extremely open.
Next week we hope to begin pulling together the ideas we need to consider just how prescriptive our brief is, or alternatively, if that would even be appropriate.

First client meeting 01.10.08

Taken us a while to catch up with the blog and how it is going to function; it's new to most of the group. So, a little late, here is some input from our initial client meeting on wednesday.

01.10.08 – Group Meeting Minutes

* 10:00-16:30 at Sharrow Community Forum, The Old School, South View Road, Sheffield S7
Present: Simon Birch/ Trish O’Shea/ Carolyn Butterworth
Tilly/ Jen/ Hoi Sun/ Tori/ Pól/ Avinash/ Kris/ Jonny/ Hayley/ Helen/ Julie

­Points discussed
· Introduction by clients and live project group members
· Presentation by TO’S and SB of previous work (excerpts from Territory 1, Human Rites, Residue, Braim Wood), with introduction to approaches to subject matter
· Themes discussed in relation to SB and TO’S’ work (among others): Proportion, movement, confinement, spatial relationships, perspective, the body, illusion, scale, viewpoints, place, structure, architecture, self, past, present, and the future, the power of memory.
· Introduction by SB and TO’S to role of public engagement in relation to both their work and the brief
· SB talked about collaboration between choreographers and artists (Cunningham/Cage/Rauschenberg), and the potential benefits/drawbacks
· Q&A following morning session – a first chance for group members to explore interpretation of the brief with the client
· Task set for group by SB and TO’S: individually experience and record a range of spaces within Sharrow, with particular attention to themes discussed in the morning session (see attached notes from client for further information) (2 hours)
· Task in pairs (run by SB): breathing exercise to engage with the movements and awareness of self and others
· Group task set by clients: responding to our individual experiences in Sharrow, the group were asked to alter the hall’s arrangement to consider the impulses and movements of the users, as well as reactions we had observed during the exercise. Furniture, craft materials and found objects were used; the group was encouraged to work in a free manner, in whatever way it was felt was appropriate (45 mins)
· Following the ‘making’ exercise, group members individually explained their contribution to the installation, including relation to earlier observations in Sharrow. Discussion and interpretation by both group members and the client expanded on these ideas and offered an insight into personal responses to the brief

Key Outcomes
* There is no fixed end idea as to what the client expects from the group – they have no preconceptions about what will be produced
* The work undertaken during the live project will serve as a starting point and inspiration for a future Birch O’Shea project
* The location and duration of the final idea is not fixed – these factors should evolve from the group’s work, with the client’s guidance. Therefore the scheme may or may not be site specific
* Intervention and alteration by users would be suitable
* TO’S and SB discussed themes in relation to one of their own pieces of work. Whether the Arch project suggests or evokes a particular theme is something which the group can decide
* It was agreed that questions concerning public engagement would be discussed in the next workshop, as well as exploring the idea of themes

* Reflect on the day and begin to interpret what the scope of the brief could lead towards – Everyone (ongoing)
* Investigate precedent material which could broadly be of interest - art, dance, performance, public engagement – Everyone for Monday
* Get a group email/point of contact organised – Jonny
* Begin to consider points of contact in related organisations – TO’S/SB to email contact list through – (TO’S/SB)

­Next Meeting - 10am Thursday 2nd October (group) 10-12pm
- Friday 10th October (w/client)

Thursday, October 2, 2008


U:\ManXP\Desktop\ballet_co - Dance Funding.htm

Drawing Restraint by Matthew Barney

Matthew Barney is an American contemporary artist. His works would seems to be very complicated to understand as he makes use of different elements and symbols which are alient to most outsiders of contemporary art. Yet I find his earlier works could be an inspiration to our project.

Drawing Restraint is a series of 'experiments' for his art creation. In most of these 'experiments' (especially the earlier one), he is testing the relationship of his body and the space. He claims himself as a sculptor and views his body as a sculpture. So I view these 'experiments' as a moving sculpture (his body) inside a space in which he leaves marks (drawing). I think this could be one of the approach of our project.

Check out the website
http://www.drawingrestraint.net/. Click 'PATH' aftering entering the site and select DR1 as a start.

DR7 - 9 is different 'experiments' but you can still take a look. As a remark, DR9 is the video he made with his partner, the singer Björk.

For his most best-known work The Cremaster Cycle, check out

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Welcome to the University of Sheffield "Arch" Live Project blog... More to come soon!