Marc Garrett

Building Place and Space: Art Platforms, Venues, and Digital Networks


This site is a practical space for me to store and collect information relating to my PhD at Department of History of Art & Screen Media, Birkbeck University. It consists mainly of academic material and ideas linking to my ongoing art practice, and creative exploration under the main theme of Art, Technology and Social change.

Short Summary about the PhD Imaginative Dissent: Art, Technology and Social Change.

‘An Imaginative Dissent: Art, Technology and Social Change’, asks how can independent thinking artists and artist led groups and arts organisations, sustain their practice in a time of global, economic crisis, in a climate of social upheaval and powerful cultural changes; whilst remaining connected to their own beliefs, values and intentions? If we are submersed within frameworks and protocols, designed for a neoliberal elite, and the generic consumer class;  how can art practice offer any ‘authentic’ depth, meaning or social integrity?

Where are these art communities and the resources for an imaginative and genuinely cultural autonomy? Who are these individuals and groups forging alternate routes? Can we learn from them, collaborate with them to bring about new territories of exploration beyond the limiting reductionism of de-regulated global, corporatism? In what ways can art be critically minded and progressive, in which to share, contribute and reclaim, and (potentially) build productive actions and routes, out of this ever narrowing cul-de-sac as it continues to dominate the very fabric of our daily lives?

This enquiry comes from one’s own grounded experience in working across the fields of art, technology, and various social contexts. The main field of study is ‘New Media Art’, or what many also call ‘Media Art’, although much of the PhD will also be investigating contemporary ideas around what some have called Post-media.

5 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi, It is possible that a guy called Nick (who might be one of your tutors if I have listened carefully and got my facts right) who is a friend of a friend, may approach you about this, but..
    I’m Aggie. I am a Member of Braziers Park, I convene their education programme and due to dredging up some old history about a meeting ( of the Lang/Trocchi anti-university/anti-psychiatry movement that happened at Braziers 50 years ago, We are looking for tutors to make something happen on the first weekend of July this year that could both suffice as a fitting anniversary and hopefully be a springboard towards becoming a venue for a spontaneous university; if that is not an oxymoron. Anyway, see below…

    Tutors wanted for spontaneous university event – ‘Sigma’ – July 4/5/6th 2014 Braziers Park, Oxfordshire

    “How to begin? At a chosen moment in a vacant country house (mill, abbey, church or castle) not too far from the City of London, we shall foment a kind of cultural “jam session”: out of this will evolve the prototype of our spontaneous university.” Alexander Trocchi,1964

    The country house was Braziers, the date 3-5 July 1964. It happened. It appeared to have been a nicotine fuelled, fractious, male dominated gathering that achieved very little. John Latham defaced our drawing room wall with an artwork we now wish had been left in situ and life moved slowly on within Braziers’ estate, and slightly faster outside.

    Some four or so years ago, through the efforts of one of our Members, a few minutes of film of the event was bought to our attention. In October of last year, the Million Minds weekend at Braziers attracted people who had been at or had interest in, the Sigma event and the Dialectics of Liberation International Congress July 1967.

    On the weekend of July 4/5/6th 2014 we will try to move from the ‘jam session’ to the spontaneous university. We plan to free ourselves from the modern ills of higher education, criticised as no longer the ivory towers of learning, but business driven factories of unthinking worker bees, constrained by target, not learner, led pathways, and move into the unknown. An arts and literature based series of master classes with artists and writers.

    To this end we are soliciting would-be tutors to offer workshops, from 1 1/2hr to all weekend on a subject of their expertise within the broad thesis of arts and literature. We offer no payment, but reasonable expenses will be met and complimentary board and lodgings for the weekend. Offers can be as far outside the establishment box as you would like to take it! A brief synopsis to me by the first of June please; surprise and delight us!

    Aggie Forster, Education Convenor, Braziers Park

    1. Hi Aggie,

      Thanks for contacting – I’m off to Denmark this week doing this below.

      Occupying art the DIWO way
      Workshops by Furtherfield @ Click festival

      Furtherfield’s workshop focuses on how to disrupt power systems and challenge their hierarchies, the Do It With Others (DIWO) way.

      Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett will explain how to unblock art, and unleash it from a psychic disposition that has been imposed by social breeding, laws and power systems. By seeing what the connections are between Hacktivism, Situationism, Media Art, Networked Art, alongside punk and DIY culture. We can see how others have found ways around these dominating power systems and managed to express their artistic contexts on their own and collective terms.

      Hall 14/Room 2
      Friday 16th of May

      Other workshops at the Click festival.

      At Clicks workshops you get to participate in experiments that explore the intersection between technology, science, art and music. The workshop programme is playful and experimental and has a natural connection to the overall theme D.I.W.O. – Do It With Others, being collaborative and collective. All workshops are free.

      More about the Click festival – 15-17 May 2014

      Will contact 🙂

  2. Thanks Marc; I look forward to hearing from you on your return. Enjoy your weekend. At Braziers we have Wood festival this weekend and an exhibition ‘deprave and corrupt’ – work that is or has been considered shocking – and a debate on censorship in art. Then we serve cream teas, how genteel! Aggie

  3. Hi Aggie,

    I wrote an article called ‘shock & bore’, a little while back (early 2000) in an offline punky-mag – which was about how Brit-Art alongside neoliberalism turned the pleasure of being shocked and its grass roots politics into a banal romp, dictated by marketing companies as a spectacle to divert us from other less commodified activist art.

    Anyway, good luck & see you soon 🙂


  4. Hi Marc, I lost this thread so this invitation is a bit belated, but we are holding a weekend to explore ideas around independent university; details below:


    Dear All, at Braziers we are not alone in seeing cracks in the Neo-liberal agenda; some of our Members are formatively involved in the Green Party, direct action against environmental atrocities, deep green concerns (that is, total environmental focus without the Greens’ socialist/humanist viewpoint), research into the money supply, organic food gardening and permaculture and more.
    Our recent excursion into the work of Trocchi et al, ‘sigma’ and 1967 Dialectics of Liberation explored in the ‘Million Minds’ weekend, our discussion on anti-university feeling within art education (HE) at Supernormal 2013, and our own development work on the receptiveness of new ideas and self-expression in our Sigma July 2014 weekend has bought us to an investigation of the symbiosis of independent university (understood as a ‘oneness’ without strings attached) and integrative social research and thus to consider if Braziers might be uniquely placed to push a knife into those cracks and become co-architects of a design for higher education and self-development that could be of wider influence..

    To this end, I would invite you to join us in April (details below) for a weekend to discuss the potential. Of course sceptics may say that it will just be a lot of ‘hot air’, but its purpose is to engage creatively with issues and offer concrete outcomes. Please come ready to sign up to and take part in a iu experiment, reaching forward into 2016 and beyond. Let’s do it for us rather than for some unknown audience, because others will join us if we can create something good.

    Friday 10 – Sunday 12 April
    Exploring the potential for an Independent University
    An open invitation to a weekend of exploratory and planning workshops. This weekend will aim to focus on the development of ideas of what radically independent education could and can be all about, as well as on the practicalities of creating and delivering an approach to education, based on enquiry, discovery and focusing on the scope for untrammelled thought.
    Costs, a contribution towards board and lodging is requested @ £30 – £70 per day. However, if even that is too much, perhaps you could ‘work’ your passage.

    What iu might ‘look’ like:
    o An absence of stakeholder funding interference
    o Affordability for participants and contributors
    o A challenge to traditional neoliberal economics
    o A ‘university of becoming’; an ‘integrative university’; a ‘post-capitalist university’
    o Speakers offering not how it is, but how they see it,rejecting expertise in favour of enquiry
    o Integration with external and experiential learning which can be brought in and shared
    o High level of opportunities for co-operative working
    o Querying existing norms

    and other thoughts:
    ‘…becoming aware of the implications of self-consciousness.’ (Trocchi 1963)

    ‘…no aspect of life, individual or social, can be said to be outside its purview’
    (Glaister et al 1950)

    The rite of passage will be marked by peer-reviewed submission with a very broad range of acceptable material within the widest range of disciplines. As an organisation with a declared research brief, a steady stream of material feeding into the gestalt of Braziers’s knowledge would be most desirable. The ability to assess value of such submissions needs careful definition.

    ‘We need a coherent curriculum and assessment system that values what is valuable, and not just what is measurable.’ (Ellis 2015)

    Presently the weekend’s programme looks like this:

    Friday evening To set up the debate- presentation and discussion 20.00

    Saturday Open forum on what is education all about, its criteria and its goals

    People’s perceptions of the issues and changes on offer

    Presentation by Martin Levy – on anti-university projects since sigma.

    Other presentations (any offers)

    Pulling the strands together

    Evening sharing songs, poems and writing perhaps

    Sunday morning Our shared interests

    Tackling the nitty gritty –
    how to make it all into something that works

    Please feel free to share this with anyone you think might be interested.

    Please book via Braziers’s website

    Please join us, Aggie Forster, Education Convenor, Braziers Park.

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