The Episodes So Far...

 

 

 

October 12, 2018

001: Cultural Democracy in Practice

Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly look at the recent report by 64 Million Artists, and the responses it has drawn; and wonder what they thought they were up to.

 

October 26, 2018

002: Reflections on The World Transformed & Social Tools

The World Transformed took place in Liverpool in September 2018, just three days before Social Tools took place in Helsinki. Sophie Hope managed to attend both of them.

 

November 9, 2018

003: Beyond the manifesto: a new deal for the arts

Kieran Curran has written an important essay in the online journal New Socialist, that suggests how the Labour Party manifesto of 2017 might be extended and improved in its commitment to culture. Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly look at different aspects of his article and discuss the possibilities inherent in his proposals.

 

November 23, 2018

004: A Prehistory of Cultural Democracy

Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly look back at some of the thinking that led to the development of the idea of cultural democracy, and the ways in which the community arts movement nurtured these ideas.

 

December 7, 2018

005: Project DEFY

Megha Sharma Bhagat and Abhijit Sinha from Project DEFY in Bangalore visited Helsinki to take part in the HundrED innovation summit. Owen Kelly met them in the cafe in Kiasma, Helsinki’s modern art museum, to talk to them about culture, democracy, and radical action in India.

 

December 21, 2018

006: Community Art & Cultural Democracy

Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly discuss the reasons that cultural democracy began to find favour among some people working in the British community arts movement in the 1980s. They used it to describe the goal and purpose of their work, when Roy Shaw at the Arts Council of Great Britain began to try to paint them as quaint missionaries.

 

January 4, 2019

007: Cultural Democracy in the USA

Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly talk with Arlene Goldbard, a writer, social activist and consultant from the USA, whose focus is the intersection of culture, politics, and spirituality. She is a long-time advocate for cultural democracy and a creator of cultural critique and new cultural policy proposals.

 

January 18, 2019

008: Cultural Democracy across the Ocean

This episode continues a conversation between Arlene Goldbard, in New Mexico; Sophie Hope, in London; and Owen Kelly, in Helsinki. The conversation begins by discussing the US Department of Arts and Culture, where Arlene Goldbard acts as Chief Policy Wonk.

 

February 1, 2019

009: Autobiography and culture politics

Sophie Hope and Jonathan Gross discuss the relationship between autobiography and cultural action, and the needs to explore memory and history as a means of making sense of one’s own cultural politics. During the conversation they each discuss how they came to view cultural democracy as a meaningful idea and a useful tool, and what inspired them to do so.

 

February 15, 2019

010: Culture & the Cultural Cities Enquiry

Last week the report of the Cultural Cities Enquiry appeared, published by a consortium of Core Cities, Key Cities, consultants and arts funding agencies in the UK. Sophie Hope, Owen Kelly & Stephen Pritchard sat down to discuss what the report says and doesn’t say; and the ways in which it does and doesn’t say these things.

 

March 1, 2019

011: The Resurgence of Cultural Democracy

This episode follows on from Episode 4 which looked at a kind of pre-history of cultural democracy, and Episode 6 which discussed the relationship between the community art movement in the 1980s and cultural democracy. In this episode Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly continue their discussion by focusing on the resurgence of interest in ideas of cultural democracy in the 1990s and 2000s, and the relationships between these and previous ideas.

 

March 15, 2019

012: From community to participatory arts

François Matarasso first worked as a community artist in 1981. Since then he has worked in community arts, participatory arts, and as a writer and researcher. He has just published a new book called A Restless Art, which looks at the growth of participatory arts and argues that it has succeeded in moving cultural discussions forward. In this episode he talks with Owen Kelly and Sophie Hope about the history of participatory art, and the kinds of things that have inspired him

 

March 29, 2019

013: From participatory arts to cultural democracy

François Matarasso has just published a new book called A Restless Art, which looks at the growth of participatory arts and how it relates to community art and the idea of cultural democracy. This episode continues his conversation with Owen Kelly and Sophie Hope. They look at how participatory art sometimes has cultural democracy as its aim, and ask what cultural democracy might mean in this context.

 

April 12, 2019

014: Guild Socialism Restated

In this episode Owen Kelly and Sophie Hope discuss G.D.H. Cole’s book Guild Socialism Restated, published in 1920, and ask what relevance guild socialism might have to debates about cultural democracy today.

 

April 26, 2019

015: Defy & cultural democracy in India

Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly talk to Abhijit Sinha about the nooks that Project Defy initiate. They discuss how nooks work, and what they mean for developing activism around maker spaces in Indian society. Finally Abhijit explains why ideas about cultural democracy do not feature much in political discussion in India yet, and how he thinks they might become useful.

 

May 10, 2019

016: The cultural democracy of amateur porn

Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly talk with Susanna Paasonen on her research into amateur and user-generated porn. They talk about the long and poorly documented history of user-generated erotic media and how this has both reflected and stimulated changes in technology. Does amateur porn stand outside the market place as an example of a self-selecting community engaged in a participatory culture of a more or less democratic nature? Or is it simply a shallow reflection of the dominant culture? The answer, you will be pleased to learn, proves not as simple as that.

 

May 24, 2019

017: Culture, democracy & the right to make art

Alison Jeffers talks with Sophie Hope about how she got drawn into the community arts movement, and her personal journey from then to now. They discuss how the ways in which community arts has changed direction and developed as the wider culture has changed; about the effects that the community arts movement has and hasn’t had; and what might happen next.

 

June 7, 2019

018: Community Cultural Development in Australia

In this episode, Cathy Hunt, founder and co-director of Positive Solutions, discusses the nature of community cultural development in Australia, and its relationship to ideas of cultural democracy. The conversation covers the Women of the World festival, Scott Rankin’s recent platform paper on the subject of cultural rights, First Nation cultural activism, Arts Front, and the different forms that cultural tourism can take.

 

June 21, 2019

019: Democracy in the Drawing Shed

In this episode Sophie Hope talks with Sally Labern, an artist and activist living and working in north London. They have a long and detailed discussion about the specificities of cultural organising. They both live in the London Borough of Walthamstow, and they have both worked locally – separately and together – and they reflect […]

 

July 5, 2019

020: The Story So Far…

Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly use the twentieth episode of Meanwhile In An Abandoned Warehouse to look back at what has and hasn’t happened in the discussions so far. They discuss a number of ideas that have stuck in their minds, or served to start further explorations; and debate where they might go next.

 

July 19, 2019

021: Temporary democracy in a cultural space

In 2016 John Fail and Agnieszka Pokrywka began the first in a series of cultural experiments in Helsinki. They called it Temporary and they envisaged it as a space that would be managed and owned by the people using it. Agnieszka talks with Owen Kelly about the ideas that fuelled the experiments and explains what they learned and how she would approach the ideas if she ever decided to do something similar in the future.

 

August 2, 2019

022: Live from the Raymond Williams Society Annual Conference

On April 26 and 27 the Raymond Williams Society held its annual conference which addressed the topic: Cultural Production and the Redundancy of Work: precarity, automation and critique. The Movement for Cultural Democracy organised a panel at the conference and Sophie Hope, Nick Mahony and Stephen Pritchard spoke at it. In this episode Sophie Hope describes some of the context to Owen Kelly, and we listen to live recordings of Nick and Stephen’s presentations.

 

August 16, 2019

023: Helsinki Open Data

Timo Cantell works as the director of the Urban Research and Statistics Unit of the City of Helsinki, a unit of 35 people within the city council charged with gathering data, and publishing it in ways that the citizens of Helsinki can use. In this episode Timo Cantell talks with Owen Kelly about the ways in which the city approaches the collection, distribution and publication of public data, and the tools it uses to make it open.

 

August 30, 2019

024: Cultural Democracy in Mauna Kea

Over the summer Owen Kelly has become increasingly interested in the protests at the attempts to build a Thirty Metre Telescope on the north face of Mauna Kea, on the Big Island in Hawaii, and increasingly angry at the way the project has been forced onto people, when a viable alternative exists. In this episode he argues that the protests relate directly to ideas of cultural democracy, and to other subjects that we have touched upon in previous podcasts.

 

September 13, 2019

025: David Rovics: strategies for production

This episode follows a slightly different format, in which Owen Kelly thinks aloud about the work of David Rovics: quoting from his writings and playing some of his music. He pays particular attention to Rovics’ community-supported arts club, his crowdfunding activities (including the funding of his new album which he will record in Ireland this autumn), and his fledgling A Penny A Play campaign. He argues that we should see all of these as Rovics’ contribution to an ongoing drive towards cultural democracy.

 

September 27, 2019

026: Climate strikes & consumer choices

In this episode Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly discuss the climate strikes and raise questions about how we might respond: as activists, as consumers, as producers. They discuss the question of how consumer choice and climate change might crash into each other. Should we change our behaviours or are we being guilt tripped? If the latter, are we actually being led down paths that will prevent us noticing the political and systemic nature of the problem?

 

October 11, 2019

027: Return To Cultural Democracy – the movie

George Fleming is a film maker and lecturer who has worked as a participatory artist. He made a short film on the history of cultural democracy for a conference. Sophie Hope attended the conference and persuaded George to join us to discuss what he learned while making the film.

 

October 25, 2019

028: Structures of Feeling

During the previous episode Sophie Hope raised the concept of structures of feeling that Raymond Williams developed in the context of a discussion about the possible meanings of cultural democracy. In this episode we examine the concept in more detail.

 

November 8, 2019

029: Contagious Tapes: an artifact

On October 28, Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly met in Newcastle, in the north east of England, to attend a symposium called Community Arts: Practice and Processes of Production. Everyone who attended had received a request to bring an artifact with them - something that stemmed from, or reminded them of, their practice as a community artist. Owen brought a copy of a manual for the Contagious Tapes collective: a project that Mediumwave established to enable musicians to record and distribute their own music outside the music business. In this episode he explains Sophie’s absence, discusses the symposium, and looks at the aims, objectives, and practical outcomes of the Contagious Tape experiment.

 

November 22, 2019

030: Field Community Art

Stephen Pritchard has practised as a community artist, a researcher, writer, art historian, academic, activist and film maker for many years. A few months ago we learned that he had begun the process of establishing Field Community Art, which he intended to operate as an international collective. Stephen talks about the challenges of working both locally and internationally. He promises that all will become clear by the end of the year.

 

December 6, 2019

031: Problematising in Zagreb

In November 2019, Sophie Hope attended The Age of Cultural Participation seminar at Kultura Nova in Zagreb. Sarah Feinstein and Lucy Wright also attended. After the event ended they sat in a hotel room and discussed what they had learned, including what they had learned about how to organise conferences in keeping with principles of cultural democracy.

 

December 20, 2019

032: Graceful Power: aikido & conflict resolution

Sofia Bustamante works as a trainer in conflict resolution. She has a black belt in Aikido and bases her many of her workshop exercises and techniques on insights she has gained from this. She grounds her practice in an approach based on living systems, peacework, martial arts, neuroscience and work in therapeutic fields. Her current work involves developing a systematic Conflict Resolution Pattern Language. In this episode we talk about the relationships between this, traditional fears of naming, and General Semantics.

 

January 3, 2020

033: Slush in late November

In late November Owen Kelly spent two days at Slush, the annual technology event in Helsinki, aimed primarily at startups and young entrepreneurs. He noticed that the atmosphere had changed noticeably this year, and that the culture which has developed around startups appears to have discovered social responsibility.

 

January 17, 2020

034: Distribution & Evolutionary Markets

On October 28, 2019, Owen Kelly and Sophie Hope attended a seminar in Newcastle in which every participant had to bring a memento from their community art practice. Sophie brought a copy of What a Way to Run a Railroad, a book published by Comedia in 1985. This sparked a lengthy discussion which resulted in us talking to Russell Southwood, one of the authors of the book. In this episode we look at how the book came to get written, and what effects it had.

 

January 31, 2020

035: Time as a Public Good

In this episode Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly continue talking to Russell Southwood about ideas arising from the 1985 book What a Way to Run a Railroad that he co-authored with Charles Landry, Dave Morley and Patrick Wright. Chapter 7 of the book looks towards the future, and the discussion looks at the cultural, economic and political issues that linger on from the nineteen eighties; sometimes in almost unchanged forms.

 

February 14, 2020

36: Coding tacit knowledge in southern India

Owen Kelly and Irma Sippola have begun two cultural projects in Kerala, south India, in partnership with an NGO called SISP. In this episode Sophie Hope talks to Owen about the purpose of the projects and the practicality of passing on coding skills to teenagers with no prior experience of using computers.

 

February 28, 2020

037: Sophie Hope is on strike!

In this episode Sophie Hope explains why the staff at UCL have gone on strike, what they hope to achieve, and the complications of withdrawing your labour when your labour concerns the production of knowledge rather than tangible goods.

 

March 13, 2020

038: Revolutionary teachers and post-capitalism

Sophie Hope recorded this episode in a café in a break from her ongoing picket. She talked with Mike Neary, Emeritus Professor of sociology at the School of Social Sciences at the University of Lincoln, about the current academic strikes across England, the idea behind teach-outs, and the role of education in establishing a post-capitalist society.

 

March 27, 2020

039: Guerrilla Translation, DisCos & the marketplace

Stacco Troncoso co-founded Guerrilla Translation with his partner, Ann Marie Utratel, as a living project to ground P2P and Commons theories in real practices. He talks with Owen Kelly about the work of the group, and the ways in which they see the structure of their group as a vital part of its practice.

 

April 9, 2020

040: Radio Miaaw – the sounds of the commons

In this episode Owen Kelly looks at the range of musics currently available under a creative commons licence. He looks at some artist-released music as well as songs available through the Free Music Archive, Jamendo and Tribe of Noise. We pass through a varied landscape that includes modern pop, country, Indian jazz, folk and North African music. There is more to this than meets the ear. You will hear David Rovics, Samie Power, Kat Penkin, Solsar, Jon Worthy & the Bends, Radha Thomas, Shoemansky, Starmob, ...mmm and Lessazo. Mmm, indeed!

 

April 24, 2020

041: Death House Rescue

In the previous episode Owen Kelly looked at songs available through the Free Music Archive, Jamendo and Tribe of Noise. We traversed the geography of the musical commons. In this episode we dive into the historical cultural commons. We listen to the very first episode of The Shadow, starring a young Orson Welles, and sponsored by Blue Coal. Our cultural history is under attack. The Shadow Knows!

 

May 8, 2020

042: A day on the commons

In the previous two episodes Owen Kelly looked at cultural commons from a geographical and then an historical perspective. He played music and introduced a vintage radio programme. In this episode he joins Sophie Hope for a detailed examination of the commons, and its possible relationship to ideas of cultural democracy. They base their discussion on a reading of Guy Standing’s book Plunder of the Commons. They also borrow ideas from David Bollier’s book Think Like a Commoner.

 

May 22, 2020

043: Access Space online

Owen Kelly talks with Jake Harries, the director of art and innovation at Access Space, in Sheffield, England. They discuss the ways in which the current lockdown has affected Access Space, as well as a range of issues including the commons, laser printing, open source, and possible futures.

 

June 5, 2020

044: David Harding, Glenrothes, Public Art

In this episode Sophie Hope and Andrew Demetrius talk about the history of the town artist movement in Scotland, the political and economic context in which the new towns were built and the different approaches the planners and artists took to the role of artists and art in these urban developments.

 

June 19, 2020

045: A Little Piece of Land

A Little Piece of Land operates as a cultural project and creative exploration on a small triangle of land near Sheffield, about half an acre in size and surrounded on all sides by miles of industrial scale agriculture. In this episode Monika Dutta and Jake Harries discuss with Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly. They explain “what it is actually like” to engage in this work, not just in theory but in day to day practice. How does rewilding work? How do they know what they can eat? How do they know how to cook it? How do they relate to their neighbours, and how do their neighbours relate to them?

 

July 3, 2020

046: Ireland: a history of collaborating, participating & making culture

David Teevan has worked for 25 years as a cultural producer in the professional arts sector in Ireland. He has recently completed a doctorate that examines the complex history of collaborative and participatory arts in Ireland.

 

July 17, 2020

047: Participatory art in Ireland: people, places, events

Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly continue their discussion with David Teevan, who has worked for 25 years as a cultural producer in the professional arts sector in Ireland. In this episode David discusses some of the people and places that shaped the development of participatory arts in Ireland.

 

July 31, 2020

048: Art : Process : Change

In this episode Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly talk with Loraine Leeson about her work, and begin by discussing her latest book: Art : Process : Change, which Routledge published in September 2019. Loraine discusses her work from the 1970s onwards, and talks in particular about the twelve year Active Energy project with The Geezers.

 

August 14, 2020

049: Noises from the Commons

In Episode 40 we looked at a variety of pop, rock and folk music licensed through a Creative Commons licence, or made freely available. In this episode we look at four other, quite different, musics made available in this way. Karine Gilanyan plays the first movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata number 15 in D Major. Jahzzar plays the self-composed Fibonacci from his album kontra-punkte. Bob Ostertag performs Arms and Legs. Julie Licata presents her work resound.

 

August 28, 2020

050: Now we are fifty

With this episode Meanwhile in an Abandoned Warehouse reaches its fiftieth episode, and its final episode in its current form. Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly look back at what started them on this journey, and their plans for the future. These involve splitting the twice-monthly podcast into three, and (before the end of this year) four separate but linked weekly podcasts, while expanding the website into a community forum.

 

January 8, 2021

051: A New Hope

Meanwhile in an Abandoned Warehouse returns from a four month siesta with renewed vigour, a review of the past twelve months, and a clearer set of long term objectives, which include creating a community and releasing a podcast every week during 2021.

 

January 15, 2021

001: Genuine Inquiry: Money & Democracy

In the first episode of Genuine Inquiry, our new monthly audio essay, Sophie Hope examines the relationship between money, culture and democracy.

 

January 22, 2021

001: A Culture of Possibility

Hosted by Arlene Goldbard and Francois Matarasso, this monthly podcast explores people, projects, and topics that expand possibility and choice through cultural work.

 

January 29, 2021

001: Ferment Radio

Agnieszka Pokrywka has a long-standing interest in fermentation and we talk to her about Ferment Lab in Helsinki, and its spin-off Ferment Radio.

 

February 5, 2021

052: The Gamestop Furore

Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly experience the post-truth society and talk about the ongoing Gamestop furore.

 

February 12, 2021

002: Big data and cultural democracy

In this audio essay Sophie Hope inquires into the digital while thinking about processes of evaluation.

 

February 19, 2021

002: Amber Hansen and Reyna Hernandez: Community Murals

In the second episode of "A Culture of Possibility," Francois Matarasso and Arlene Goldbard talk with Amber Hansen and Reyna Hernandez, community muralists in South Dakota, USA.

 

February 26, 2021

003: Global Staffroom

Sophie Hope and Jenny Richards started Manual Labours in 2013 as a research project exploring our physical and emotional relationships to work. The Global Staffroom grew out of this, and Owen Kelly talks to them about it.

 

March 5, 2021

053: The Clubhouse Caper

In this episode Owen Kelly and Sophie Hope wrap up last month’s discussion about Gamestop and move on to look at a newer internet phenomenon: Clubhouse.

 

March 12, 2021

003: Cultural labour and cultural democracy

This episode concludes Sophie Hope’s trilogy of audio essays, each looking at a different aspect of cultural democracy in contemporary professional practice.

 

March 19, 2021

003: Restoke

In the third episode of “A Culture of Possibility,” Francois Matarasso and Arlene Goldbard meet Clare Reynolds, one of the founders of Restoke, a group who make performances and events that tackle social issues affecting their communities.

 

March 26, 2021

003: Numbi Arts

For over three decades, Numbi Arts has been at the forefront of archiving British Somali heritage and has become a significant part of the East London cultural scene. Last year, the organization lost its residency and is currently crowd-funding in order to secure a permanent home for their work.

 

April 2, 2021

054: The Phial of Open Source Vaccines

The availability (or unavailability) of covid-19 vaccines has become an international issue. In this episode Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly discuss some of the issues surrounding the idea of open source vaccines, and the systemic issues they reveal when we start to think about them.

 

April 9, 2021

004: Understanding McLuhan

This episode begins a trilogy of audio essays concerned with the work of Marshall McLuhan and its continuing relevance in the digital age.

 

April 16, 2021

004: Funding for Community Arts

In the fourth episode of A Culture of Possibility, Arlene Goldbard and Francois Matarasso compare U.S. and European funding systems for community arts.

 

April 23, 2021

004: Reshape

In this episode Sophie Hope talks with Helga Baert, Martin Schick, and Sam Trotman about Reshape and the governance of cultural organisations.

 

April 30, 2021

001: Historical Soundscapes

Listen to the very first sound recordings ever made and ask how they turned into public radio. Then find out what all this has to do with cultural democracy.

 

May 7, 2021

055: Participation & Democracy

In this episode Owen Kelly sits back while Sophie Hope explains some of her thoughts on participation and democracy.

 

May 14, 2021

005: Electric McLuhan

This episode continues a trilogy of audio essays concerned with the work of Marshall McLuhan and its continuing relevance in the digital age. In this episode Owen Kelly looks at what McLuhan means by “the electric age”.

 

May 21, 2021

005: Cultural Organizing in West Baltimore

In the fifth episode of A Culture of Possibility, Arlene Goldbard and Francois Matarasso interview Denise Griffin Johnson, a cultural organizer in West Baltimore on the east coast of the U.S. She talks about racial justice, building on community strengths instead of deficits, the “highway to nowhere” and more.

 

May 28, 2021

005: Icelandic cultural practices

Owen Kelly talks with Hafdís Björg Hjálmarsdóttir and Vera K Vestmann Kristjánsdóttir from the School of Business and Science at the University of Akureyri, a city of 20,000 people in the north of Iceland, about the reasons for the Icelandic investment in culture, and the participatory nature of cultural activities there.

 

June 4, 2021

056: The Be Part Mystery

Owen Kelly talks to Sophie Hope and Henry Mulhall. He wants to know what the Be Part project aims to do, and how Sophie and Henry intend to carry out their evaluation of it.

 

June 11, 2021

006: What might we mean by soft skills?

For the last year Owen Kelly has worked on developing a rapid learning process to enable students to improve their soft skills. The has raised a number of interesting and difficult questions. In this episode Owen Kelly pursues a genuine inquiry into what we might mean by soft skills, and why we might find ourselves concerned with them.

 

June 18, 2021

006: Drama, Dialogue, and Practicing Social Justice in Torbay, England

In the sixth episode of A Culture of Possibility, Arlene Goldbard and Francois Matarasso interview Jade Campbell and Erin Walcon of Doorstep Arts in Torbay, England.

 

June 25, 2021

006: Audience Development & Cultural Democracy

Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly talk with Steven Hadley about his latest book, called Audience Development and Cultural Policy, published by Palgrave MacMillan.

 

July 2, 2021

057: A Pre-history of Cultural Democracy

As summer 2021 approaches we take stock of some of the core concerns fuelling the MIAAW podcasts: the ideas behind cultural democracy

 

July 9, 2021

007: Guild Socialism Revisited

Owen Kelly and Sophie Hope discuss G.D.H. Cole’s book Guild Socialism Restated and inquire into the relevance guild socialism might have for debates about cultural democracy today.

 

July 16, 2021

007: About Story: Ups and Downs of Story-Based Work

In the seventh episode of A Culture of Possibility, Arlene Goldbard and François Matarasso talk about the explosion of story-based work in community and participatory arts and what it all means.

 

July 23, 2021

007: A Little Piece of Land Revisited

A year or so ago we talked to Monika Dutta and Jake Harries about A Little Piece of Land. Today their project seems even more relevant than it did then, and so this week we revisit that discussion to look again at the ups and downs of rewilding.

 

July 30, 2021

002: Summer Sounds from the Commons

This episode we continue an irregular series of podcasts of music issued under Creative Commons licences: music to listen to during the summer heatwave.

 

August 6, 2021

058: Community Art & Cultural Democracy revisited

Sophie Hope and Owen Kelly discuss the reasons that cultural democracy began to find favour among some people working in the British community arts movement in the 1980s. They used it to describe the goal and purpose of their work, when Roy Shaw at the Arts Council of Great Britain began to try to paint them as quaint missionaries.

 

August 13, 2021

008: How do vegan meat and vegan cheese make sense?

Owen Kelly has held a number of workshops in Helsinki exploring ways of making industrialised products at home. In this episode he looks at the different approaches to replacing meat before returning to the vexing question of why most vegan cheese tastes disgusting.

 

August 20, 2021

008: Bill Ming: We are coming in the front door tonight, people!

Arlene Goldbard and François Matarasso talk with Bermudian artist Bill Ming in his studio in Nottinghamshire, England. Bill’s work in sculpture, assemblage, painting, and collage draws on the whole of personal and collective history, from the racism he faced growing up in segregated schools to his reponse to the death of George Floyd, from childhood toys to the blues to the Middle Passage.

 

August 27, 2021

008: {openradio} calling!

{openradio} describe themselves as “a platform to support independently produced open-content audio streams and provide listeners with a way to find this content”.

 

September 3, 2021

059: Autobiography as cultural politics

Sophie Hope and Jonathan Gross discuss the relationship between autobiography and cultural action, and the needs to explore memory and history as a means of making sense of one’s own cultural politics. They also ask whether we should see cultural democracy as a kind of practice or a demand for systemic change.

 

September 10, 2021

009: The Metaverse, Millionaires & Democracy

Owen Kelly explores the consequences of Facebook's declared intention to build the metaverse and the deeper problems of “virtual reality”.

 

September 17, 2021

009: Seed Syllables: Sowing Dialogue in the Quadruple Pandemic

Arlene Goldbard talks with Meena Natarajan, Artistic and Executive Director of Pangea World Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Chrissie Orr, community artist and cofounder of Seed Broadcast in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

 

September 24, 2021

009: Community radio & community development

Rob Watson runs projects using radio and podcasting to facilitate community development and empower people to tell their own stories.

 

October 1, 2021

060: Clive Sinclair, culture & democracy

Owen Kelly offers two surprises and a look back at Clive Sinclair and the impact of the ZX Spectrum, which ushered in a brief period of democratic bedroom coding.

 

October 8, 2021

010: What might we mean by socially engaged research?

Sophie Hope reflects on what the term “socially engaged research” might mean. She discusses issues of consent, power relations, and trust.

 

October 15, 2021

010: Gary Stewart: Community Arts Values Infiltrate The Art World

Arlene Goldbard talks with Gary Stewart, an artist and experimental sonic musician based in London.

 

October 22, 2021

010: Helsinki Open Data Revisited

Timo Cantell works as the director of the Urban Research and Statistics Unit of the City of Helsinki, a unit of 35 people within the city council charged with gathering data, and publishing it in ways that the citizens of Helsinki can use. In this episode Timo Cantell talks with Owen Kelly about the ways in which the city approaches the collection, distribution and publication of public data, and the tools it uses to make it open.

 

October 29, 2021

003: Baroque Copyright Laws

This month contains five Fridays and so on Friday Number Five we continue an irregular series of podcasts of music issued under Creative Commons licences: this time we have music to think about as autumn fades into winter.

 

November 5, 2021

001: Strange Rebels

Owen Kelly and David Morley discuss Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century written by Christian Caryl and published in 2014.

 

November 12, 2021

011: How might we think about ethics and Artificial Intelligence?

Owen Kelly outlines Mike Ananny’s concept of networked information algorithms, & reflects on both the ideas behind it and their utility.

 

November 19, 2021

011: Socially Engaged Performance, 1965–2020

Jan Cohen-Cruz and Rad Pereira have curated stories from over 75 interviews and informal exchanges that offer insight into the field of Socially Engaged Performance in the United States over the past 55 years.

 

November 26, 2021

011: Play that fungi music!

Owen Kelly introduces the first anniversary episode of Ferment Radio, featuring Tosca Terán, and discusses it with Agnieszka Pokrywka.

 

December 3, 2021

002: Digital innovations in community radio

Jo Coleman talks with Sophie Hope about her new book “Digital Innovations and the Production of Local Content in Community Radio: Changing Practices in the UK”.

 

December 10, 2021

012: What went wrong with copyright?

Copyright from the invention of printing in 1476 to the creation of the Berne Convention in 1886, and where it all went wrong.

 

December 17, 2021

012: Year One: A Reflection

Co-host François Matarasso returns to talk with Arlene Goldbard about the first year of A Culture of Possibility.

 

December 24, 2021

012: Ho Ho Ho

Owen Kelly looks at common practices that occur in Christmas celebrations while Vera Vestmann Kristjánsdóttir explains the very different practices in Iceland.

 

January 7, 2022

003: Solidarity Not Charity

Owen Kelly and Sophie Hope discuss Solidarity Not Charity, by Nati Linares and Caroline Woolard. As so often, this leads to a wider discussion.

 

January 14, 2022

013: Art, NFTs & Democracy

Ellis Brooks wrote an article on Medium claiming that “NFTs Are Critical for the Future of Art”. Owen Kelly inquires into the premises of her argument and the remedy she proposes.

 

January 21, 2022

013: Art, Trauma & Immigration

Arlene Goldbard talks with California-based visual artist Cynthia Tom, creator of A Place of One’s Own.

 

January 28, 2022

013: Defy the pandemic

Owen Kelly talks with Abhijit Sinha about how Project Defy has coped with the devastation that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused across India.

 

February 4, 2022

004: The Lure of the Social

Sophie Hope talks with Gretchen Coombs about her new book, The Lure of the Social.

 

February 11, 2022

014: The Social Mind Hypothesis

Owen Kelly asks what relevance the social mind hypothesis has for those interested in developing a coherent theory of cultural democracy.

 

February 18, 2022

014: Art with the experience of age

David Slater and Alan Lyddiard talk with Arlene Goldbard & François Matarasso about Art With The Experience of Age.

 

February 25, 2022

014: Flatness

Sophie Hope and Jack Keenan interview Shama Khanna about their project Flatness.eu

 

March 4, 2022

005: Old words: music, what is it good for?

Francois Matarasso analyses his initial reactions to hearing Eric Burdon singing House of the Rising Sun with the Animals as a child.

 

March 11, 2022

015: Cruel Optimism

Sophie Hope expands upon her contribution to a forthcoming book called The Failures of Public Art and Participation.

 

March 18, 2022

015: Porto Santo: Charters, Manifestos, and Cultural Democracy

Arlene Goldbard, Owen Kelly Francois Matarasso talk policy for cultural democracy, taking off from the Porto Santo Charter

 

April 1, 2022

006: Old Words: Making Nothing Happen

Francois Matarasso reads Making Nothing Happen, a talk he first gave in September 2016. He has revised it in the light of current events.

 

April 8, 2022

016: What might we mean by cultural democracy?

Owen Kelly asks what might we mean when we talk about cultural democracy? Why might people need the term, and what can they do with it?

 

April 14, 2022

016: Folk is a Feminist Issue

Arlene Goldbard and Francois Matarasso talk with Lucy Wright, a visual artist, artistic researcher, writer, and contemporary folk artist.

 

April 22, 2022

015: Acts of Transfer

Sophie Hope, Lizzie Lloyd and Katy Beinart recorded a live conversation at a public event to launch Acts of Transfer.

 

April 29, 2022

004: Trick or Treat

On October 31, 1938 Orson Welles broadcast an version of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds”: one of the great media hoaxes of the 20th century.

 

May 6, 2022

007: Old Words: Prisoners of Love

Francois Matarasso reads Prisoners of Love, an extract from a book called Where We Dream, published in 2012 by Multistorey.

 

May 13, 2022

017: Cultural democracy & community

Owen Kelly asks how culture and community relate to each other, and what we might actually do to foster community and cultural democracy.

 

May 20, 2022

017: Murals, Rematriation, Kudzu, and Kansas

Arlene Goldbard and Francois Matarasso talk with Dave Loewenstein about the strength of the US mural movement, the centrality of place, the challenge of supporting the work, and much more.

 

May 27, 2022

016: Life on Mars

In January 2022 Agnieszka Pokrywka spent two weeks in the Utah desert in a simulator designed to provide an analog of a Martian settlement as part of a multi-disciplinary crew.

 

June 3, 2022

08: Old Words: The Art of Uncertainty

François Matarasso reads The Art of Uncertainty, an from 2010 that considers how the arts might respond to an era characterised by a sense of uncertainty.

 

June 10, 2022

018: Cultural democracy & economics

Owen Kelly asks how culture and economics relate to each other, and what we might actually do to foster economic equity and cultural democracy.

 

June 17, 2022

018: Evaluation: the good, the bad and the ugly

Arlene Goldbard and Francois Matarasso ask what has gone wrong with “best practices?” What role does risk aversion play in funding? What about the underlying class biases that shape funding?

 

June 24, 2022

017: A Topos at wpZimmer

Owen Kelly talks to Helga Baert and Dušica Dražić, 2 members of the wpZimmer collective in Antwerp, about wpZimmer & the project Topoi 2022.

 

July 1, 2022

009: Old Words: Playful Adventures

François Matarasso contrasts the childhoods of today’s children with his own. He looks at what children gain from the arts and the ways in which politicians have contrived to limit this access and the amount of stimulation it can provide. He ends with a plea for increased involvement, but on children’s own terms.

 

July 8, 2022

019: Cultural democracy & politics

Owen Kelly looks at some aspects of the relationships between cultural democracy and politics and the importance of the idea of a “democracy of species” that moves culture away from the Western idea of “Man vs Nature” and towards a cultural democracy that grows from the earth.

 

July 15, 2022

019: Co-creating Original Opera with Incarcerated Youth

Arlene Goldbard and François Matarasso talk with David Ramy and Bruno Homem of SAMP in Portugal about co-creating original opera with incarcerated youth.

 

July 22, 2022

018: Democracy in the Drawing Shed (again)

Delving into the Miaaw archives we catch Sophie Hope talking with Sally Labern, an artist and activist living and working in north London.

 

July 29, 2022

005: The Brooklyn Brain

We go back to June 21, 1950 to listen to episode 15 of 2000 Plus & learn about the future that people in the 1950s looked forward to.

 

August 5, 2022

010: Old Words: Cultural policy in a post-political age

François Matarasso argues that “The values and practices of contemporary European culture are still defined by ideas that emerged during the Enlightenment, and the period of industrialisation and imperialism with which it is associated.”

 

August 12, 2022

020: Trapped in the Metaverse

In this episode Owen Kelly expands on a lecture he first presented at the Max Planck Society in Hamburg to inquire into the nature of the metaverse and ask what Meta actually has in mind for us.

 

August 19, 2022

020: Digital Storytelling: The Power of First Voice in a Digital Age

Joe Lambert talks with Arlene Goldbard and François Matarasso about Storycenter.

 

August 26, 2022

019: Home and Away

Arlene Tucker explains her practice and her decision to turn her house into a project where people can stay, play and work.

 

September 2, 2022

011: Old Words: the Shoreline and the Sea

François Matarasso discusses the differences between folk culture and heritage and how we might safeguard our intangible heritage.

 

September 9, 2022

021: Is terrain theory a conspiracy?

Owen Kelly inquires into the heated arguments between proponents of the germ theory and the terrain theory of disease transmission.

 

September 16, 2022

021: Power is Real

François Matarasso and Arlene Goldbard discuss power in the context of cultural institutions.

 

September 23, 2022

020: The Archives at Jubilee

Beverley Harvey & Brendan Jackson, co-founders of the Jubilee Archive project, discuss the archive, its purposes, and its future. Laundry Line Brendan Jackson on the web Made in Oldbury, a related project