Posts by:John van Aitken
Architectures of Displacement – Guangzhou, China. Tate Liverpool.
In April IUD created a Temporary Research Space to showcase at the Tate Exchange, Tate Liverpool. The work examined the current transformation of Chinese housing, focusing on domestic sites in Guangzhou. Drawing on fieldwork, the research space created an interactive resource of videos, texts and photographs to handle. The work is part of IUD’s ongoing witnessing of the dispossession and displacement produced by contemporary strategies of capital accumulation centred on housing.
The showcase also featured the screening of two films: A Walk in Xian Village (2015) and Industrial Road (2015).
Working with the LOOK 17 Photography Festival, IUD also organised a number of public talks at the Tate Liverpool and the Museum of Liverpool to explore the consequential geographies produced by the unbuilding and reimagining of these domestic landscapes at home and in China.
Below are a selection of recordings from the talks given:
Demand Utopia! – Event Recordings
As part of the Promising Home exhibition at The People’s History Museum IUD have been walking with a range of people who have responded to the environment in Pendleton. Sound artist Rob Griffiths made a work based on the sonic textures of the estate.Rob Griffiths – “This is a composition made from a number of field recordings made on a single visit to Pendleton in Summer 2016. A number of the field recordings were made in the overgrown voids that were all that remained of the high rise residential buildings. The sound captured here was simultaneously natural (birds and insects) and urban with a constant, underlying droning from the nearby expressway. I then filtered and processed this underlying drone to separate it. Other field recordings were made in the nearby ‘Salford Shopping City’ shopping centre and adjacent market.”
“I’m a sound recordist who is constantly recording and occasionally mixing the everyday environmental sounds I encounter. I’m keenly interested in the Proustian ability of sound, unlike images, to relocate you physically and historically in the location it was captured.”
Conference Recordings – Art Practices & The Housing Crisis
On November 18th the Institute of Urban Dreaming (IUD) hosted a one-day symposium examining how contemporary art practices engage with the current housing crisis. The event consisted of a series of talks and round table discussions at the People’s History Museum. Below are audio recordings of the talks that took place. We hope you enjoy listening to them as much as we did taking part. IUD.
Promising Home – The Temporary Research Space
We have been working with designer maker Tim Denton to develop a new temporary research space structure for our exhibition at the People’s History Museum. The new research structure will accomodate materials from our extensive documentation of the changes occuring to the Pendleton housing estate where we have worked on since 2004.
The structure will home a small library relating to council housing and a photographic archive detailing the physical changes to the housing and the local residential environment. Relevant donations of books and research materials to the space are welcomed.
The research space draws on a wide range of influences from Owenite Halls of Science, Soviet workers reading rooms, Lenin Corners, to the architecture of Constant and Archigram .
Former Director of the People’s History Museum Dr Nick Mansfield will be talking about the history of such worker’s educational spaces at the People’s History Museum at our late event Radicals Assemble! Demand Utopia! on January 12th 2017.
Promising Home Conference – Art Practices & the Housing Crisis
The Institute of Urban Dreaming (IUD) is hosting a one-day conference examining how contemporary art practices engage with the current housing crisis. This is part of IUD’s public activities to explore and debate the issues central to the Promising Home exhibition at the People’s History Museum, Manchester.
The event will consist of a series of talks and round table discussions. It aims to consider the encounter between art and housing in a critical, trans-disciplinary way. It will consider housing and art practice before & beyond the current trend for socially engaged art. It will also debate the ethics and politics of practices that relate to gentrification and displacement.
To book a place go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/art-practices-the-housing-crisis-conference-tickets-28807349558
Promising Home – Creating a New Pendleton – the 1960’s
“Forward to the City Centre Beautiful”, Salford City Reporter, 11th March 1961.
At the start of the 19th century Pendleton was an independent township, largely an agrarian patchwork of farms, meadows and crofts. Housing in the area was comprised mainly of timber framed cottages. From the late eighteenth century onwards, the area witnessed the arrival of merchants and their families from Manchester and Salford. Escaping the urban centres, they built large houses along the main roads and “breezy heights” of Pendleton and so doing, gained cleaner air and less crowded conditions. By the 1840’s when Friedrich Engels was researching the conditions of the working class in the Salford area, the majority of Pendleton, along with surrounding townships however now formed “unmixed working people’s quarters, stretching like a girdle, averaging a mile and a half in breadth” around the centre of Manchester (1).
Promising Home – The People’s History Museum, Manchester
From October 29th to January 13th The People’s History Museum, Manchester will host an IUD ‘temporary research space’ in its Community Gallery. The research space will make available a range of photographs and materials we’ve produced while documenting the changing state of council housing in Pendleton, Salford.
Based in a tower block in Pendleton, we have been recording and researching the estate since 2004. The Community Gallery exhibit will highlight a wide range of images and research materials from this extended period of research that critically examines the estates recent transformation.
This collaborative project published by Polity Press attempts to challenge classic notions of gentrification. Using a transurban comparative analysis it asks us not to over generalise this process of urban transformation all too often linked to the ‘Global North’. It asks how can we make sense of the many specific cases of gentrification happening across the world within a context of on-going planetary urbanisation.