Thursday 18 December 2008

European Biennial Network Newsletter # 3

EUROPEAN BIENNIAL NETWORK - Biennial Exchange and Residency Programme


The European Biennial Network is inaugurating its Residency Programme.

In the following months, the member Biennials of the European Biennial Network will be issuing Open Calls for residency positions. Liverpool Biennial will be offering one of these residencies.

The European Biennial Network is a collaborative structure, active in the field of contemporary art, that aims to promote dialogue, interaction and collaboration between contemporary art Biennials in Europe. It intends to use the knowledge, experience and wealth of information accumulated by organisers of large-scale periodic art events, in order to support the communication and mobility of artists and art professionals.

The Residency Programme of the European Biennial Network aims to offer to successful applicants the opportunity to conduct original research on contemporary art in a major city, while supported by the organisers of a biennial exhibition. The knowledge and experience of the host and its relationship to the specific locality will provide the resident access to the local art scene, historical records, archives, academic collocutors, and any other support necessary for research.

Each member Biennial of the European Biennial Network is individually responsible for the resident it will host. The position for which this Open Call is made is the following:

One three-month residency for an artist/writer/urbanist hosted by the Liverpool Biennial, between 1st May 2009 to 30th August 2009.

Residency position requirements: Liverpool Biennial is inviting proposals for a 3-month residency period that focuses on the interaction of art in local neighbourhoods particularly on the relation between imagination and a sense of place. The candidate will be based alongside residents in north of the city and conduct his/her project in a manner that recognises residents as the first audience.

North Liverpool is subject to large-scale regeneration programmes with enormous impact on the build environment and social life. The candidate will be expected to fully engage with these issues in relation to the visual arts ecology of the city.

The outcome of the research/project will be presented as part of Urbanism 2009, a project initiated by Liverpool Biennial along the Leeds-Liverpool canal for September 2009.

Applications must be made for the specific residency position. The successful applicant will be selected by the Liverpool Biennial. (Please see Application Guidelines below.)

The successful applicant will be offered travel to and from their host city and accommodation, as well as a stipend of 1.000 euros per month. Additional funds for equipment and/or transport of work may be available, depending on the specifics of the residency.

Upon completion of the residency, the resident will be required to produce a text, outlining the basic parameters of his/her research, which will be used for publication by the European Biennial Network.

Application Guidelines:

  • Applications must be made by cv and a letter of interest (max. 500 words). There is no special application form.

  • In the letter of interest, the applicant must clearly outline how he/she intends to respond to the requirements of the position.

  • Applicants may be requested to provide further clarifications and/or additional material, during the selection process. This will not constitute any indication as to the success of the application.

  • Generic applications, or ones not clearly relating to the requirements of the position, will not be accepted.

  • Applications must be in English.

  • Although the Liverpool Biennial will be selecting the successful applicant, applications must not be sent directly to the Liverpool Biennial. Any such applications will not be accepted. Applications must be sent by e-mail only (attached as word or pdf documents) to the European Biennial Network:

  • Application deadline: 25th January 2009, inclusive.

  • The successful applicant will be notified by the Liverpool Biennial, after 15th February 2009.

  • Only the successful applicant will be notified. We regret that due to the volume of applications expected, we cannot individually reply to each applicant.

Biennial Exchange and Residency Programme
with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union

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Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC009201 

Wednesday 17 December 2008

URGENT - LETTER TO PARLIAMENT - Please sign and return by 20th December 2008 

Hope you agree to help with this cause:


Sign this letter to urge MSPs to withdraw their support for Creative Scotland

Following a public meeting in Glasgow on Wednesday 10th December 2008, the following letter has been complied from artists' concerns about the formation of Creative Scotland.

Creative Scotland has been deemed as a wholly negative proposal that will have a major impact on culture, and on artists based in Scotland

This matter has reached a crisis point and requires urgent attention. If you support the majority of concerns raised in this letter and the request for MSPs to stand against the formation of Creative Scotland, we ask you to electronically sign below. The letter will then be sent to those stated. 

Please sign and return by 20th December 2008

To be included as a signatory, send you confirmation to:

Please include your full name and email address.

The letter will then be compiled and sent to:
Cross-Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Culture and Media
Culture spokespersons of individual Parties in Scotland
Scottish Parliament Members of the Art Advisory Group
Heads of National Parties
Other concerned MSPs
The media [all email addresses will be kept confidential]

For further information, please contact:
Guyan Porter :
Leigh French:


Dear MSP

It is with great concern, that we, the undersigned are contacting you.

No doubt you will be aware that there has been growing apprehension regarding the formation of Creative Scotland, and the effects it will have on artists' welfare and practice.

The situation regarding Creative Scotland has now reached crisis point.

We believe the following measures to be particularly damaging to the cultural freedoms and 'entitlements' originally envisaged by the Culture Commission:

- The lack of meaningful consultation with the arts communities during the transition process, culminating in a refusal to refer to artists within the strategy at all, has exposed the abandonment of freedom of expression as a central issue.

- The expanded remit to support the creative industries, without additional funding being reallocated from Scottish Enterprise, will be at the expense of the public funding of artistic independence.

- The huge costs of setting up a new institution, coupled with over-stretched resources, will inevitably result in a damaging cut in grant aid funding for artists and arts organisations.

- The proposed exploitation of Intellectual Property Rights and the introduction of loans coupled with a cut in grant aid, will all act to reinforce artists' poverty. The case of Catalonia shows that increasing artists' debts has been disastrous for all concerned.

We feel strongly that this bureaucratic process has not concerned itself with representing artists' needs, nor does it address UNESCO declarations on culture and freedom.

We have no confidence in the process of the formation of Creative Scotland, or the confused and inappropriate proposals that have arisen.

We are simply not convinced that the proposals will promote the development of and entitlement to culture in Scotland.

Whilst many of us have been critical of the existing institutions, Creative Scotland does not offer improvement on the current provision managed by the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen, and will impact negatively on Scotland's international reputation.

For these reasons, we urge you to vote against the formation of Creative Scotland and instead refocus on supporting artists.


Additional information:

'The future of the arts in Scotland : Creative Scotland, an artists briefing paper'

'Artists warn of mass exodus if bill is passed : Union urges MSPs to vote down legislation'
By Edd McCracken, Arts Correspondent, Sunday Herald, December 14 2008









Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC009201 

Tuesday 16 December 2008

Creative Scotland thing I mentioned yesterday.... eca should draft a letter of support?

Artists warn of mass exodus if bill is passed

Posted by: "Variant"   leigh5271

Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:10 am (PST)

Artists warn of mass exodus if bill is passed
Union urges MSPs to vote down legislation
By Edd McCracken, Arts Correspondent
Sunday Herald, December 14 2008

THE SCOTTISH Artists Union has warned that the country faces a mass
migration of its artists if Scotland's proposed new cultural body,
Creative Scotland, continues on its current course.

Members of the union will be at Holyrood this week to urge opposition
MSPs to vote down next year's Public Reform Bill, which includes
legislation for Creative Scotland.

Meanwhile, criticism of the troubled body's use of consultants has been
renewed, centring on its invitations to pitch for a contract to advise
on how to fund the arts in Scotland. One leading arts figure said it
was the job of the current staff to make such decisions, and this
latest development has left the sector "incredulous".

The escalation follows a meeting in Glasgow last Wednesday attended by
individual artists and organisations that do not receive core funding
from the Scottish Arts Council. The SAC is planned to merge with
Scottish Screen to form Creative Scotland. At the meeting, a "surge of
disquiet" emerged amongst artists, according to Terry Anderson,
president of the SAU. Their litany of complaints with Creative Scotland
include a lack of consultation, a cut in public money available for the
arts and the threat of loans being introduced instead of grants. If
uncorrected, the SAU say, artists may take flight.

"If the situation gets sufficiently bad, in the year of Homecoming you
could get an exodus of artists," said Anderson. "Artists will just go.
They will look to fresher pastures. Their work will go to other
economies better placed to support them. Ultimately, then, it will be
the people of Scotland that will be culturally impoverished."

"There is a growing awareness that younger and emerging artists are
often far better supported in France, Germany and many of the
Scandinavian countries, a model which we seem to be moving further away
from as neo-Thatcherite tendencies still look at "professionalising"
the sector, aping the output-driven market economy, rather than
offering professional support that is flexible to the real needs of
practising artists," said Angus Farquhar, creative director of NVA, the
ground-breaking environmental arts charity, who also attended the

Wednesday's gathering was organised by Guyan Porter, a Glasgow-based
artist and former president of the SAU. He said most artists hoped the
situation would improve, but have now realised they have reached
"crisis point".

He confirmed the artists are currently drafting a letter stating their
intent. It will be signed by leading artists in Scotland and from
around the world.

Porter also urged opposition MSPs to either defeat the Public Services
Reform Bill when it comes before them early next year, or insist on
amending the section relating to Creative Scotland.

"I've not found anyone who has said anything positive about Creative
Scotland," he said. "I think it is a wholly negative proposal. It has
to be voted down. Creative Scotland is almost anti-culture."

David McLennan, the creator of the A Play, A Pie and A Pint series at
Glasgow's Oran Mor, said the £34,000 contract to advise on what funding
mechanisms Creative Scotland should use was a waste of money. "There is
a level of incredulity about this in the sector," he said. "It is about
time people stood up and blew the whistle. The Scottish Arts Council,
Scottish Screen, the joint board and the Creative Scotland transition
team have to call in a management consultant if they need to go to the

Anne Bonnar, the transition director, said: "We are not pensions
experts, we are not legal experts. And there were certain aspects of
organisational design that we wanted additional expertise on. It is
important to give us a robustness about this work which is going to go
on and shape an organisation."


Creative Scotland is the proposed merger of the public bodies the
Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen. Culture Minister, Linda
Fabiani, recently insisted of Creative Scotland: “We all want to get
this up and running.” In truth, this apparent urgency conceals a major
ideological fault line between public and private provision in

Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC009201