hi guys I have an idea for a monthly piece I would like to set up…
Friday Food Thought Exchange- lunch and good conversation!

fftexchange3 fftexchange2

On maybe the last Friday of each month in small space, most likely a white cube space in the Fine art studios we can invite fellow students on our course to sit down and share both food and talk about a particular topic…
the food will be our usual simple but tasty home made stuff like bread and sauces and pasta, rice, pizza ect… Each month there will be a different topic of conversation that I or one of you or someone else wants to discuss.


The first being about ‘audience’ and what as artist we want from our audience, what relationship we are trying to make, everyone talking specifically about there own practices, own ideas and then more widely about the role or experience of the audience in contemporary art. I’ll lead this one but everyone be involved like the ‘Shop’ talk and then next one maybe one you lead it more… we could talk about anything that we want other input for.

I think we could make friendly, relaxed, open and generous atmosphere, speak, listen and get to know people.

I already got some cushions and some bowls and big pans for cooking, plus gonna use cctv and mic to record it.

for those of use interested in relational art and discursive work this piece will really allow us to actively engage with what it means to make a such work and as a way of personally experiencing a piece like that of Rirkrit Tiravanija pictured bellow. To find out what it means, what happens and to try to ascertain the value of creating such things

an example of his work

anyone wanna help or even just come along?

ash, ill need help or advice on cctv stuff?

I was thinking pasta, bread, wine and few types of sauces… ellie sorry about all the wheat- just make cheap and filling lunch plus I already have a big bag of pasta… I will pay for it all this time if anyone like the idea next time they can chip in too.

what you think?

any ideas for topics for other months?


HERE IS The main to do list MAKING ‘SHOP’ there are  five other to list to come which are also very important they are MARKETING, WEBSITE, ‘SHOP’ ONLINE, DOCUMENTATION AND THE EVENT

I have put a name for who i think will ultimately be responsible for each section but everyone needs to work together and these can change… enjoy

Making ‘Shop’

1.Products- Patrick
-print 55 ultra upgrade
-cut last 300 products by Wednesay 21st
-glue together 1400aprox by Wednesday 28th

2. Shelves-Jack
design space and shelve units by Wednesday 21st
cig selves, chillier cabinet, island self unit, wall self unit, display stand
get lots of cardboard-ring Sita Monday
get more wood and nails and screws
build structures and clad them

3.signage- Ellie
outside ’shop’:
-Big ‘Shop’ sign with ‘its a shop’
-Smaller shop sign for wall behind till -done
- like A0 ‘Shop’ closing down sale sign- everything must go!
-’Shop’ opening hours sign
-open and close sign-done
-stupid health & safety warning
-3x sandwich boards WOS
-2x people sandwich boards
proper stuff:
-your being recorded notice
-your responsible own actions

Inside ’shop’:
Hanging sign
-Costumer services
-Pay here
-1item or less
-personality pic n mix
-fire exit sign?
other signs:
-by the cigarette stand- ‘it is illegal to sell cardboard representations of tobacco and alcohol products to person under 18 years of age’
-on the side or wall beside of costumer services desk- ‘At ‘Shop’ we believe the customer always is’
funny shop return policy sign

4.prepare space- paper clean and light bulbs-Fred
clear windows
put in new bulbs
-clad with brown paper
tidy and clean

5.money- Patrick
-print 4 packets
-photograph in briefcase

-PRINT 1150

7. Project ‘Shop’ T-shirts- Ellie
-Print 8
8. ’shop’ t-shirts and cardboard ties-Fred
-Print 20
-MAKE 25 tie and collars

9. Cash machine and bank cards- Ashley
make components work- test with money size paper
make unit
clad with cardboard
Design cards by Tuesday 20th
these names to go on the screen so need them in same font and size (need martin to check these)
any one else want to invite?

10.Pic ‘n’ mix- Fred
-decide on up to 20 personality traits
-make stand and bag holder
-cut up cardboard

11.Product posters and leaflets- Radiation game, Cellu-lite, Diet Fat- Martin
-print A2?
-Any more? the financial service? ‘Shop’ Online poster?
-financial service
-costumer survey (work with fred)
- shop online
-print at least 30 of each leaflet

12. Adverts and Tv display stand- Martin

13. Till area- Jack
-Table raise and clad

14. complaints desk- Jack
-Table raise and clad
15.props- Patrick
-scanner and card reader
3 mugs
cigerets & lighter
2 mobile phones
2 watches
wet floor sign and puddle
pen and clip board with brown paper stock list

16.Fire extinguishers by Wednesday 21st for 2 weeks- Martin
17.first aid pack- Fred



hello guys so todays meeting never really happened because some of you left and others weren’t here… there’s a lot to do and very little time so plans and decisions have to be made quickly and deadlines will be very very tight to give this thing the chance to be the success we want it to be.

so first of all on Tuesday 20th there will be a meeting and everyone must be there! It will be at 10:30 unless we have the van early then it will be after that… if it is at 1030 then Ellie kp you will just have to miss the start can’t help this with only 9 days to go don’t have the time to wait around and not sort this stuff out.

and secondly I will get the plans started by posting what I see as the to do list and when things need to be done by, if i have forgotten things then lets us know and we need to start taking responsibility for different parts of making the event, we can delegate theses on Tuesday at the latest and we will all have to do a lot of work and may feel the pressure of it but i think we are all able and with the support of the rest of the group can and will pull off an amazing event. Now is the time we need to really commit after all its just another 2 weeks of our life to make something we have been dreaming up for the last year… now is the time we prove to ourselves and the course and rest of the world that we are a group of people who make seriously good art works!

plan to follow shortly…


FUCK it! oh fred what have you done, you’ve ruined your veneer of professionalism and the wholesome family appeal of the project by saying fuck on a public site… twice!

so my friends I been thinking about how we are not gonna be those people who make that successful community art event in a shop, that becomes a local talking point, that is a solid and beautifully conceived response to the specific context… and we are not gonna be that art collective from Bournemouth that creates a closing down sale in the busiest retail street in Britain… but that is fine because we’re not gonna be those people who just stop and say oh we tried but didn’t happen.

the way I see it is… we have designed and printed all these products… we have got a shit load of glue sticks on the way… so lets cut them out, stick them together and get them out there, I think all of us are already thinking in this direction… and I think unless anyone can state otherwise… we are not getting a shop and we don’t have the time or probably money to build one especially with all the health and safety issues that would entail...so let make portable market stalls and for 4 or 5 days pitch up outside empty shops and even functioning ones… if we want we can give out fake money to get people involved and could have explainers like before or we just be weird street sellers giving away products because our shop have gone under… we can move around or have more than one around town, and see what we can get away with… put up lots of signs… yes we will as ever consider what we do and how we present the work, how the specific context will create certain interpretations of the piece but it doesn’t have satisfy anyone but ourselves… we’re doing it, we’re paying for it.

and we can talk in our presentation about what is lost through this realisation of our idea, what is gained and what is changed… all it but we will have achieve something.

I think we should just make this happen, afterwards we can consider its achievements and failures but while making happen lets keep key our minds what we want to make for this project… and what we individually wanted… to know these things and find ways to realise the ones that can be achieved.

to get us started on key goals:

The audience we wanted was the general shop going public of Bournemouth town centre… so that’s where we will do it.

We wanted to highlight the absurdity of selling, the empty promises and accepted and inherent bullshit of marketing and product packaging…

We wanted to question the inflated sense of desire and need created in this capitalist system… to provoke thoughts around value and worth

We wanted to use the products as talking points on different idea relating to consumer culture and role as consumer… the products still convey the ideas even outside a fake shop frame work… and the audience will still be able to take home and posses the product container… it is less clearly centre on their role, less obviously  self-reflective as they would not be entering a confined performance space… but still scope for this to be a key experience for the audience.

We wanted to draw attention to the empty shops and question their future use… we can by making our pieces happen in front of them… and before the event would have been more balanced and positive well maybe our experience of trying to make things happen in these spaces has given us a less positive view for the future of these spaces for community/ art uses …   sign saying closing down… another saying coming soon another shop providing you with the things they think you want but you probably don’t need( some thing more catchy i guess)

We wanted to make a fun, lively and engaging experience.. we will

We wanted to take outwork outside of a gallery context.. it will be

We wanted to make work to response to a space and to the context of that space… it’s still the high street

We wanted to promote inquisitive nature of people, to get people thinking and questioning their experience… we can do this

We wanted to art work that didn’t require an art education to relate to … you even need to know it was art to become involved

We wanted to utilise humour and the common understanding of buying and selling products to make work that was inclusive.. we are doing that

We wanted people to be able engage on many levels, that audiences of different ages could become part of and interact with the experience of art… it will be different but still this will be set to happen

For me it’s about turning our conversation around this context into a work that does something beyond us… not change the world type stuff but make it considerably different for a period of time, give an experience this about and create for that place.

Most importantly to finish Project’ Shop’

Option update: I have just spoke to martin and he is speaking to Burlington arcade people and meeting them of Tuesday and says we still have options in Poole, we need to be realistic though all of these aren’t definite and may take more work and time than we have now, so I believe the market stalls are our best option.

Either way I think we should have a market stall at the Town center event on saturday the 24th so we have 16days till that… lots to do.



With Selfridges not working out and us being two weeks beyond the deadline for plan A… things are getting  a lot harder, its hard to see what to do and why we have been doing all this work for so long and it’s getting a lot easier to think about giving up and accepting failure and also looking for reasons to blame for the slightly bleak situation the project is in. I am seeing my failure to achieve my goals and failing to turn this situation around again. today I received 6 big boxes full of paper bags. over a thousand bags costing over £200 and it depressed me to think of how motivated and happy I was when ordering them knowing that they were an important element to the experience we were creating and now… they just seem like £200 worth of brown bags.

we need to move on quickly and effectively

we need to find the quickest and easiest way to achieve an artistic experience with some value to us with in the next month.

tomorrow I will propose a plan!


hi all

So we have found ourselves in a very different place than we set out to be… and after the initial excitement of actually getting a space and it being London and WOO… my head started to hurt as my brain battled to find a way to make it happen and to make the core ideas and elements of the product work here… but for most this didn’t work to begin with and many just can’t work in this new context.  Probably more than rest of you I have felt like this has not been a wholly positive step, maybe this is because my role and intention and the many things I wanted to get from the project where intrinsically linked to it being in Bournemouth and in a closed down shop…

That is just my brain being stupid and not wanting to let go of something I really cared about… and it’s not even being realistic… we have work for nearly a year now developing this strong multifaceted art work and we tried to make it happen and through reasons mostly beyond our control it didn’t work… and I’m really pissed off about that and I have passionately listed the things the work won’t be now and they were important things but screw being a pessimist… and I will not let my brain turn what is an amazing opportunity and experience for all us into negative….

so now my only concern is what can and will be!

what have you guys been thinking about this change?

This is the final design I did for the shop banknotes. I completely re did parts, like the drawing of Martin and edited certain elements from the previous design. I’ve tried to give the design an etched look, creating line based pattern fills and generally using line for most of the design.

Based on the discussion we had I used exact change as the denomination of currency.

I was planning to print the money using silkscreen or lithograph but I would also test it out on inkjet which as it turned out, works pretty well but before I decided to commit to printing the money via inkjet, I printed out the design on a laser printer to see what the difference in detail was and whether it was worth bothering with lithographs considering the extra time and effort. So I talked to Jess about it and decided that the possibility of a slight increase in detail didn’t justify all the extra time and effort, especially when printing more than one colour would double the printing time.

I was quite proud of my work on the fake notes, a few people thought they were real when at first I handed them a note. I was concerned about the trouble I might get in for making something so similar to actual banknotes when we were looking to do shop in Bournemouth but the idea of doing it in London got me a lot more worried.
I’m sure it would make an amusing story for my fellow prisoners if they were to lock me up for it but that wouldn’t really justify going ahead with the plan as is and distributing them in Selfridges.

So I talked about what to do with the group. We discussed various options; making them less realistic or not using them at all. I’m still unsure what to do.

Today I met up with Ellie K and we went to see the money at the British Museum as research for her project and came across this interesting note.

Equitable Labour Exchange note worth 10 hours work

As it says on the British museum website, it’s a note issued as part of a scheme set up by Robert Owen (1771-1858), the Socialist reformer and philanthropist.

He’s best know for his mills at New Lanark. I’ve been to New Lanark in the past, it’s a interesting place to visit if you’re interested in cooperative socialism. I really liked it.

Robert Owen opened two ‘Equitable Labour Exchanges’ in London and Birmingham. Workers exchanged their goods for special notes, which were valued according to the time needed to produce items: these notes could then be used to buy other goods, which were valued in the same way. An hour’s work was worth sixpence. This note from the Birmingham branch is worth ten hours; Robert Owen’s name can be seen to the lower right. The experiment failed because the exchanges became overstocked with goods which did not sell.

Anyway, Ellie K and I were talking about producing a note like this instead of a fake banknote. We have already said on our note is redeemable for 10 minutes of our time. They can still be as highly detailed and contain many of the same elements that are on the existing note but they wouldn’t be a stand in for money.
Their worth would be measured in our time, in the same way as Owen’s ELE, they would use this token to purchase the time we used to make each product, in that sense they would only be used to get products if we can word it so on the note.

The other thing we were discussing was printing this note one sided. On the reverse we can put the exhibition title, date and location so that they would essentially double up was advertising for shop which we could give out as leaflets or invitations to the exhibition.


hi everyone

Doing this project has been and continues to be an all-consuming experience and if I have learnt anything from working on Project ‘Shop’ with this group then it is this…

to always listen to advice, to try at everything you can do and the things you think you can’t, to learn from every mistake and success, to push your ideas and yourself, to be bold and persistent, to never stop trying and to never stop learning, but most of all I have learnt…

to never give up and be open to CHANGE!

Martin will talk about struggle to secure an empty shop for the event ‘Shop’ and he will let you know the ins and outs and many avenues we have tried to make this community project happen…. but to cut it short, even working with Bournemouth Council and Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce we haven’t got a location available to us in Bournemouth to do it!

So the Bournemouth community art event known as ‘Shop’ dies!

but a new ‘Shop’ is conceived and growing, it has all the fun, excitement and interaction of the old one but it will be in LONDON!


Thanks to the wonderful female artist duo The Girls we have the chance to revive ‘Shop’ in Selfridges Ultralounge in Oxford Street, which The Girls are taking over for the whole month of April!

An experience like no other!

Things have changed but Project ‘Shop’ continues!


hi all… thought I would put this up to remind us of time when the idea of ‘Shop’ was just that and an initial idea… and it was the groups reaction to the retail context… from our old Facebook group…so things have moved on a lot and it is and we are so much better, we have all changed and i think have learnt loads doing this.

When the highly developed and considered event ‘Shop’ happens in may it will have been about a year since this convo… proof that good ideas aren’t always easy to make happen!



Altermodern at Tate Triennial 2009, is at Tate Britain from now until April 26

looks like quite an interesting exhibition, quite bold in its statements… and good visualisation of ideas on the website, http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibitions/altermodern/explore.shtm

‘The starting point of Post-Modernism, curators suggest, is the question “where am I from?” But now, thanks to such innovations as the internet, we need no longer define ourselves within traditional boundaries. The artist is a wanderer, drifting about in space and time, drawing from a vast, fluid fund of collective ideas. And his or her work is far less about a single finished object than about continuing processes of development and connection in which one thing always seems to be leading to the next.’

‘The most optimistic message is that artists, fed up with the idea of the brand, the one-liner, the shock factor, appear to be searching for a fresh way forward. The most pessimistic is that they haven’t found it yet.’

excerpts from a good article at  FEMKA a fashion art blog.

so any see it ?