Cultural Communication

With Gesa Helms, Leigh French and the Variant Editorial Collective, Glasgow / August 2013 – May 2016.

The ways in which we communicate with one another and share cultural experiences cannot be considered a peripheral question. These are communicative channels that help produce the social world and reinforce social relations, a power that operates through communicative practices which has to be opened up to critical dispute and reconfiguration.

This study was part-funded by Creative Scotland’s Communication and Engagement budget and arose out of a series of discussions between the Editorial Group of Variant magazine and Creative Scotland between 2013 and early 2014. These discussions related to Variant seeking clarification from Creative Scotland over funding criteria that underpinned the decision to halt funding for the magazine, leading to a complaints process that centred on the transparency and accountability of the institution in the making of funding awards.

This study that followed explored forms and practices of communication, principally within the contemporary visual arts of Scotland’s cultural sector, to consider the institutional impact of communicative forms, strategies and competencies on the democratic practices and concerns of those whose work constitutes the sector. It was concerned with the the ways in which artists and practitioners perceive and conceive of their positions within the field, and how that shapes and limits their day to day and longer term experiences. In doing so it locates itself at the interrelation of politics and aesthetics, looking to the ways in which what is visible and invisible, sayable and unsayable, audible and inaudible connects with how artists’ can understand and connect their roles and their modes of participation, into ways of making the world . You can read the report below, or follow the link to download: