Artists at Work in Regeneration
Workaround: In current version of Panels 3.8, it seems this body field needs to be populated in order for title above to appear. This note is hidden by custom CSS style. Jack Latimer.
Clusters, Voices and Urban Words: Artists at Work in Regeneration
What is the role of the artist in urban regeneration? This question was explored at a seminar event entitled Art, Work and Urban Regeneration organised by CRESC cultural industries researchers, held at SOAS on Wednesday November 16th. Three speakers – Kate Oakley from City University, Sarah Brouillette from Carleton University and Chris Gibbon from BOP Consulting – each offered contrasting answers. Chris Gibbon began with a close analysis of the spatial clustering of artists, in city and city periphery, marking out the distinctive geographical effects engendered by artistic activity and its productive economic linkages to (particular other) public and private institutions. But while workers may cluster, a question is raised - what kinds of worker and with what powers and effects? Exploring the limited participation, representation and voice for workers and workers organisations in creative urban renewal, Kate Oakley suggested that the determination to reinvent cities according to a post-industrial development model, one that involved embracing transgressive models of work and disavowing ‘old-fashioned’ labour concerns, had resulted in an exclusion of particular social constituencies (working-class artists in particular) and a wider silencing of debate regarding what constituted ‘good’ - in terms of fair, accessible or appropriately rewarding – cultural work. Turning attention to the role of specific artists and their insinuation into the fabric of regeneration, Sarah Brouillette detailed the emerging role of the literary consultant, the urban writer who increasingly acts as a ‘trusted’ cultural broker, mediating between developers and communities in processes and projects of urban transformation. Do writers’ words provide guarantee of the ‘good faith’ of the developer, and an affective community ‘voice’ or does disinterestedness and mediation only grease the regenerative machinery? In short, what are words really worth?