Ten years ago, I made a website called, Regular Marvels, to support what became a series of five creative projects, but it has been hibernating since 2015, when the last of the books created under that title was published. The following year I began work on what became A Restless Art, a project about participatory and community art. That took all my attention and I did little creative work outside its frame until the book was published in 2019. Since then, making art with people has returned to the centre, with several small projects and, as from last month, a three year commitment to work on a European community opera project. Because this work is personal – by which I mean I’m involved in making it – it fits better on the Regular Marvels website, so I’ve come home to my original blog, started nearly. a decade ago.
But this phase is quite different to the first, with work that is more varied in character, scale and purpose. So I’ve called the original ‘Regular Marvels I’, and begun a new phase whose shape – if it has one – is still obscure to me. That feels fine. In the original work, I was trying to prove something – that it was possible to research and write about art seriously without accepting the academy’s concepts, practices or values. The results were imperfect – each book has its own strengths and weaknesses – but good enough to convince me that the idea is valid. In what comes next, I’m not setting out with any clear intention except to enjoy creating art with others and do something constructive in the world: use and ornament, perhaps.
So I will run three websites in future, each dealing with a different aspect of my work:
- This site will host my research and other writing about issues such as cultural policy and Europe.
- A Restless Art will continue to be a resource about participatory art in theory and practice, focusing on other people’s work
- Regular Marvels will record my work in community art, especially the European community opera project that will be a big part of my life over the next three years,
If you’re interested in any or all of this work, please do follow the sites for updates by email, or the Twitter account for more regular news. And, since you’ve got this far, thanks for reading: there’s a lot of stuff looking for attention these days, and I appreciate every reader.