On Thursday this week is the State of the Arts Conference. An opportunity for people from across the arts to come together to share ideas, strategies and possible futures.
We wanted to create an event that gave everyone a voice as part of that conference, regardless of where you are or what you do. An opportunity to approach the whole idea of a conference from a different perspective and in the process help answer a set of what we think are timely and important questions about the state of the arts today.
Out of this was born what we’ve called a ‘Flash Conference’ – an imaginative new project designed to create brief but electrifying bursts of thinking and conversation amidst the main State of the Arts programme. Harnessing the spontaneity and collective energy of a flash mob, we hope to bring people together to create a flood of brief but provocative responses to the following questions.
How can art of all kinds play a more meaningful role in mass protest and popular resistance?
What makes a good home for art (and for artists), and how can we ensure there are more of them?
In an environment in which success is too often only measured by perpetual growth, how do we ensure that small remains beautiful?
(How) Can art make more people’s lives better?
From now until the conference begins on Thursday morning we want to gather as many responses to these questions as possible, from people across the country and beyond. These responses can take the form of a blog, or a tweet, a video or an audio file, or even just a link to something appropriate. You can follow and contribute to this gathering of ideas, either on twitter by using the hashtag #SOTAflash or by going to our website (www.flashconference.co.uk) where you can easily upload your own material or look through what’s already been posted.
During the conference delegates will be able to look through all these responses, to see what people are saying beyond the conference walls. We’ll also have a series of moments during the day when we present these thoughts live in the room, alongside a number of brief, pre-prepared speeches by a range of interesting invited speakers. These bursts will be filmed and uploaded on the day so people can continue to follow the Flash Conference as it develops, from wherever they are.
The hope is that through encouraging this dynamic gathering of ideas, blogs, tweets, statements, dreams, manifestos, miniature speeches and provocations, collectively we can spark a diverse range of thoughts and conversations, both in within the conference and beyond it.
We’d love any and all of you to get involved in whatever way you can. I look forward to hearing what you have to say!
All the best,
The Flash Conference was conceived by Andy Field, Hannah Nicklin and Laura McDermott in association with Arts Council England and the RSA.