Although I had truly written off getting a shop todays meeting has given me a little hope, Martin is very optimistic that we will be able to get this one because we no longer have to over come the issue of landlords not wanting to commit us using the space because they are holding out for a long-term tenant… but this short time means we have a lot of planing and work to do in a very short period of time…

However this time although we have started formulating the plan of action I’m gonna wait till we know for sure before I make more substantial proposal because the rest of the project where I have had to plan with many assumptions and guessed parameters just to keep all the whole thing moving in the right direction and then things completely change which has retrospectively made a large amount of my hard work a waste of time…. many budgets… many plans… many emails…

WE GET THIS SPACE AND I WILL BE SO HAPPY… I was to talking to the tutor Tom Chamberlin this evening and showing him some of the products and telling him about our plans and I remember how good it is what we are doing and thought about how amazing its gonna look when we have a shop full of these products… we talk about have some of the products weren’t printed perfectly all over so you could read it all but he said it won’t matter because you already get a sense of what they are about from each other and that they will become just part of a whole experience which is where most of the value or understanding of the piece will come. I also loved sharing with him these excellent design product all of your work, cos it is fucking good and funny and so engaging and tactile. He was asking how we were gonna price things and keep it in the capitalist system of exchange so I then handed him some money and his face light up with astonishment… he said immediately ‘this is good paper’ and told how Patrick had made drawn it and some of the ideas within… he was impressed. The best part was that after talking about the idea of the audience questioning what they could get with it and its value or the value of the products he said ‘that they might choose to keep the note instead’ and I loved that he said it cos he’s not one of us and he could see what i think that the great thing about Patrick’s notes they an seem to posses an intrinsic value because of the realness and because of the craft, skill beauty of the illustration.

I think Patrick we should print another 2 packs because its budgeted for and they are so good.

so let get this shop and make the ‘Shop’ we intend and enjoy all our hard work paying off finally!

hell yes!


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.


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!


Hey all!

I’m just starting research for my essay finally managed to get out of bed and read something!

I’m reading the essay A Genealogy of Participatory Art by Boris Groys, it’s pretty interesting stuff and its lead me back to thinking about what we are doing, or trying to do, us as a group and more specifically with Project ‘Shop’.

Maybe some of us know the answers already, maybe some of us are defining them through our essay writing but if not after this stress is over with

we need to find our group and/or individual positions on what we are doing, the different aspects of the project and the art we are making.

Whatever political and ideological statements we are making, we need to be aware, refine and define our understandings of it otherwise were not learning and we would just be having some fun… and I think we are definitely working too hard and definitely not having enough fun for this just to be frivolous play!

so after essay deadline I think each of us should read a piece of critical text relating to the content of this project… economy, consumerism, high-street culture, selling of ideas, buying the perfect life… and to continue reading context related texts about use of slack space, art and commodity and participation and collective and collaborative working.

Then through this blog we can consolidate all our research and thoughts and each one of us can become very well-informed individuals indeed.

what do you guys think?


For The Future.

Being students we can’t get funding for this project from the £500,000 lottery funded Arts Grant scheme its a shame because we are definitely doing the sort of thing they are promoting. In a year and half we can approach them with even better projects!

a few quotes from Art in Empty Spaces page on the Arts Council website:

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: ‘The arts offer escape and comfort in tough times and they have the power to play a key role in our recovery from recession.’

‘Art in empty spaces is a wonderful way for artists to connect with even more people in unexpected places and to turn the depressing sight of another empty shop into an encounter with something different.’



  1. http://newcurator.com/2009/02/slack-space-empty-shops-as-exhibition-space/here is a tiny start for our research