Creative Voucher Scheme
Electra Ltd & University of the Arts London
Irene Revell, Electra Ltd
Professor Cathy Lane, CRiSAP, University of the Arts London
Developing New Programming Models from the Her Noise Archive
Irene Revell from contemporary art organisation Electra worked with Professor Cathy Lane from the University of the Arts to help extend Electra’s programming models from one-off artists’ commissions and projects, to more ongoing programme models, such as education programming, workshops and evening courses. In collaboration with CRiSAP (Creative Research into Sound Arts Practise) Irene and Cathy worked with the Her Noise Archive as a starting point to develop a resource of collected materials investigating music and sound histories in relation to gender, creating a modular curriculum that can be adapted and tailored for specific opportunities or needs.
The ‘curriculum’ under development took shape through an initial series of working meetings between HEI and SME (Cathy Lane, Holly Ingleton from CRiSAP with Irene Revell from Electra). Through these, a working structure quite quickly and organically emerged of discussing one major art work per ‘working session’, rather than the initial strands originally conceived, where all three came to the meeting with their own knowledge (theoretical, artistic, curatorial) of that work, to together discuss the groundwork of potential academic thought on this work, and the associated materials that might be employed in its teaching.
The final format allowed in-depth analysis of a smaller number of practices. It was felt that the format of an in-depth multi-day workshop working across different registers would suit this better than a separate taught course and taught workshop – effectively combining both thinking and doing, evening course and practical workshop. The final weekend-long 16-hour course of study involved attendees performing, reading, listening, and discussing works together. Fitting its ‘prototype’ nature, the original nature of the terrain, and the experimental format of the workshop, the final workshop event was marketed to Electra and CRiSAP’s existing communities in the first instance, with a certain level of ‘viral’ promotion on social media via other organisations and groups who shared the event. This lead to very positive feedback from potential audiences, the ten places were fully booked in advance, with others forming a waiting list, and a larger cohort who were unable to attend but wished to remain informed of any future such courses. This overwhelmingly positive response for what is ultimately a pioneering area, was extremely gratifying and underlined the great interest in these lines of enquiry from what is a highly engaged audience, yet diverse in their own practices and interests.
The CWL funding presented the opportunity to work together to develop a new methodology that we believe can genuinely embrace and combine academic research methodologies and skills in curriculum building and delivery, with an extended curatorial and public engagement practice. It has allowed for the development and opening up of resources beyond the limitations of exhibition, catalogue and symposium, and to curate an intensive and dialogic conversation in response to materials. Activities and processes will be built on in future events. The project allowed the participants to formulate more clearly how they work together to develop the area of ‘feminist sound studies’ arising out of, but no longer tied to, the Her Noise Archive and they intend to apply for funding in order to realise this and continue to develop and extend this collaboration.
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