This Will Never Happen

DIY: 12 2015 – Joshua Sofaer and Karen Christopher
Devising impossible ideas for St Helens
Application deadline: Monday 20th July

Project Summary

As artists making work, perhaps especially in the public realm, we are constricted by practicalities: health and safety, planning consent, the laws of physics, budgets. What if there were no restrictions at all? What if you really could do absolutely anything? Would you be freed to let your imagination soar, or would you by paralysed by the metaphorical blank sheet of paper?

Over five weeks, a group of 6 artists working with strategies of live art, visual art, community art, and work in the public realm, are invited to think the impossible in the town of St Helens in Merseyside with Joshua Sofaer and Karen Christopher. If you could entirely transform the town and its people, what would you do? We will explore seemingly impossible works that have already been made: works in outer space, or with casts of thousands, or that last for 1,000 years. We will consider the idea of proposal making as a form of art making in itself. Participants will also spend time considering how to communicate their proposals in a public presentation.

– We particularly encourage artists from St Helens and the North West to apply to be part of this project.

– Participants will each receive £100 which they can allocate however they wish (travel expenses, refreshments, materials costs etc).

– Participants must commit to all 5 sessions (timetable below)

Dates, times and location

St Helens, Merseyside

October and November, including a public presentation on Saturday 21st November

Timetable (participants must commit to all 5 sessions)

Session 1 – Introduction
Wednesday 21st October 2015 2pm-6pm, location tbc
Facilitated by Joshua Sofaer

We will share something of our practice to date and our hopes for the workshop. We will explore ‘impossible ideas’ that have been made and others that have never passed the stage of proposal. Participants will be guided through some exercises that stretch beyond the possible.

Session 2 – Our impossible ideas
Wednesday 28th October 2015 2pm-6pm, location tbc
Facilitated by Joshua Sofaer

Thinking specifically about St Helens, we will begin to explore how we might formulate impossible ideas for the town and the people that live there.

Session 3 – First Ideas
Wednesday 4th November 2015 2pm-6pm, location tbc
Facilitated by Joshua Sofaer and Karen Christopher

Participants will present their first ideas for impossible artworks in St Helens. We will then discuss how ideas could be further developed and begin to think about presentation style.

Session 4 – Developing Innovative Presentations
Wednesday 11th November 2015 2pm-6pm, location tbc
Facilitated by Karen Christopher

How does the presentation of an idea alter the idea? We will explore ways to engage the audience through different dynamic possibilities, visual images, and staging.

Session 5 – Presentation
Saturday 21st November 2015 2pm-6pm, location tbc
Facilitated by Karen Christopher

Participants will make the final adjustments to their presentations and then launch them to the public as part of the Live Art Development Agency’s St Helens Live Art Weekend in collaboration with Heart of Glass.

The Facilitators

Joshua Sofaer is an artist concerned with modes of public participation and collaboration. His recent work Your Name Here in St Helens, invited people to nominate someone to become the name of a new park, and in the process build a portrait of the citizens of the town.

Karen Christopher is a collaborative performance maker, performer, and teacher. Her practice includes listening for the unnoticed, the almost invisible, and the very quiet. Currently her company, Haranczak/Navarre Performance Projects, is creating a series of duet performances devoted to re-defining the collaborative process with each duet pair.