The Contemporary Art Research Centre aims to build and provide an intellectual and creative milieu for innovation in contemporary fine art. Drawing on a legacy of the radical imagination and conceptual practices, we seek to imagine and enact possibilities for art with respect to the social sphere, technology, models of knowledge and modes of experience.
Andre Breton argued for the transformative power of the imagination, that it might operate to change social circumstances, and yet that it remains in important ways excessive to instrumental application - absurd and radically profane. The Centre aims to house a rich range of imaginative material and symbolic invention; it is divided into four interconnected conceptual spaces for discussion and action towards these ends:
The Foyer - art and social context
Work in this area is concerned with cultural agency, institutional and political practices, education and the testing of hybrid modes of socially-sited production. The social function of art is explored and demonstrated through critical analysis and documentation, with models of the public sphere being generated in collaborative and curatorial projects, in forms such as photography, writing and broadcasting.
Researchers: Roman Vasseur, Dean Kenning, Cullinan & Richards, Katy McCleod, Julie Myers, Bridget Smith, Joy Gregory, Tom Morton
The Machine Room - art and technology
Work here is concerned with how technologies and technological processes might be understood, utilised and reinvented. There is attention to the intellectual and manual labour of fabrication, but also to how propositions of the imagination can lead to inventive or perverse uses of technology and material. Diverse reprographic, diagrammatic, kinetic and recording technologies are utilised and adapted towards new experiences.
Researchers: Mark Hosking, Ann Hulland, Frank Millard, Dean Kenning, Stephen Hughes, Jeff Dellow, Elaine Wilson, Louis Nixon, Emma Hart, Phillip Warnell, Vince Wade
The Hall of Records - art and epistemology
Work in this area considers how histories and bodies of knowledge might be generated, re-imagined and re-inscribed, through work with archives and physical collections, found objects, philosophical concepts, theoretical schemas, constitutions, laws and manifestos. Acting on official, unofficial, propositional and fictional undertakings, opportunities are propagated for historical contextualisation, expanded meanings, and narrative complication.
Researchers: Mark Hosking, Volker Eichelmann, Andrea Stokes, Sarah Jones, Henry Bond, Louis Nixon, Mark Harris, Mike Nelson, Robert Garnett
The Lumber Room - art and materiality
This place is for experience, matter, noise and the body. It is for knowledge developed through embodied temporal encounters. Attention is given to the possibilities of materiality and process, unfolding in the making of images and objects, through accident and event. Abstraction and performance meet over scatological play, profanity, philosophy, eroticism and waste.
Researchers: Sarah Jones, Andrew Bick, Ana Genoves, Brian McCann, Derrick Haughton, Roger Partridge, Dagmar Glasnitzer, Brian McCann, Volker Eichelmann, Stephen Hughes, Jeff Dellow, Richard Squires, Mike Nelson, Phillip Warnell, Alexis Teplin, Charlie Murphy
Directors: Sarah Jones and Louis Nixon