“Working with Constituents” symposium

“Working with Constituents” symposium

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

Cloth Club, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. Photo: Judy Hume.
August 3, 2016
“Working with Constituents” symposium

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
Centre Square
Middlesbrough TS1 2AZ
United Kingdom


“Working with Constituents” symposium about the possibility of museums and artists having reciprocal relationships with publics

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, part of Teesside University, is moving forward with a vision of itself as a “useful museum,” or “museum 3.0,” under the directorship of Alistair Hudson and with programming by Miguel Amado and Elinor Morgan. The “useful museum” is a civic institution that promotes art as a tool for social change and is created by the sum of the actions of its users. The “museum 3.0″ establishes the gallery as a public site, beyond representation and participation and based on use value, with its meaning defined by its constituents.


Working with Constituents
September 8, 5pm–September 10, 7pm, 2016
This symposium explores the possibility of an institution in which the visitor is not a passive receiver of predefined content, but a member of a constituent body who provokes, informs, and co-produces programming. It asks how connections based on friendship, antagonism, and solidarity inform the work of museums and artists, and what the ethical frameworks might be for working with constituents.

Constituencies are fluid, mutable, protean; as such, they are always in the process of both becoming and unbecoming. The sessions examine how they grow, change, adapt, hybridize, and reform according to circumstance and need. They begin with the provocation that museums should be one constituent group among others, and unfold with investigations into the types of relationships that they and art practitioners might have, and the attendant responsibilities.

The event consists of presentations, discussions of case studies, and workshops convened and facilitated by constituents, theorists, artists, and cultural workers. Contributors include, among others, artist and founder of Graph Commons Burak Arikan; artist and curator Barby Asante; artist Céline Condorelli; art historian Anthony Gardner; activist and researcher pantxo ramas (aka Francesco Salvini); curator Igor Španjol; collaborators in The Silent University; and members and constituents of L’Internationale and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art.

“Working with Constituents” is part of a project led by the European museum confederation L’Internationale and affiliated theorists and art practitioners. This project culminates in a publication in 2017.


Also at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

Teesside World Exposition of Art and Technology
Through October 9, 2016
This exhibition addresses the economic situation of Teesside—a region that in the 19th century was at the epicenter of the Industrial Revolution—in the context of today’s world economy. It captures the character of Teesside’s key manufactures, showing how they formed around the extraction of raw materials and the export of goods, and refers to the problems of the changing global economic landscape. It includes works, objects, documents, and new technologies sourced from and contributed by local collections and archives, regional companies, and British and international artists.

If All Relations Were to Reach Equilibrium, Then This Building Would Dissolve
Through September 18, 2016
This project—involving research, a display, and public programs—examines the migratory condition. It is predicated on the fact that Middlesbrough, in the northeast of England, is a key dispersal area for asylum seekers, and it references the feelings, memories, anxieties, and aspirationsof refugee-background groups there.The gallery features areas for learning, service provision, and discussion; documents; and works by artists, asylum seekers, refugees, activists, and scholars. Resources and activities include computers with access to the internet, communal lunches, awareness-raising sessions, and workshops.


Office of Useful Art
The Office of Useful Art, headquarters of the Asociación de Arte Útil, initiated by Tania Bruguera, presents the Arte Útil archive, a growing registry of case studies that exemplify this movement. A series of events examine Arte Útil and its aspirations for art to be recalibrated as a way of operating in everyday life.

New Linthorpe are currently in residence in The Office of Useful Art. Formed by James Beighton and Emily Hesse, New Linthorpe is a Teesside-based project for community building through collective making. Its activities respond to the culture and needs of groups, often from refugee backgrounds.

The Office of Useful Art is part of The Uses of ArtThe Legacy of 1848 and 1989, a project by the European museum confederation L’Internationale.


“Working with Constituents” symposium at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art at Teesside University

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Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
August 3, 2016

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