Category Archives: Social

Cultivation Field – Call for Papers and Proposals

Cultivation FieldPostgraduate Symposium – 28th September 2011

Exhibition – 28th September to 6th October 2011

University of Reading

The premise for this Symposium and accompanying Exhibition is that cultivation is leading to new art practices deserving of critical inquiry and articulation. Whether in the garden or allotment, the soup kitchen or the road, on wasteland or the tower block, or wherever there are cracks in the system, cultivation provokes questions about human being’s relation to and encounter with the earth and its growth systems and operations. The purpose of this Symposium and Exhibition is to encourage discursive exchange and productive encounter between art practitioners and researchers within the cultivation field.

Artists and research students are invited to submit 250 word abstracts for the Symposium and/or the Exhibition, accompanied by a short biography or CV. We are interested in proposals for paper presentations, performance (including culinary), film, intervention, sound, installation, or text works, that explore plant-based material, land use, growth, ecosystems, economy, taxonomy, environment, power and chaos in the field of cultivation.

Performances can be arranged in open-air locations on the campus. Individual presentations will be restricted to 20 minutes duration.

Deadline for submission is: 29 July 2011 at 17.00.

Submissions should be addressed to:

Cultivation Field
Department of Art,
University of Reading,
1 Earley Gate,
RG6 6AT.

Please include a S.A.E with correct postage if you wish material to be returned to you.

Or by email:

Email submissions should be no more than 5MB, jpg, doc, docx, or pdf format, or with a link to the web address where work is hosted. Please include all technical requirements in your proposal.

The deadline for registration is: 23 September 2011.

To register for the Symposium please fill in the online form here.

Artist-made plant-based lunch and refreshments will be available.


Thorpe and the Shed

Ella Montt and Thorpe were discussing the Shed at Allotment Plot 326. Ella Montt was heard to say, “but my Shed is not in an advanced stage of dereliction*, it is recycled and according to your description of what a Shed’s visual needs should be, it conforms in all aspects, because it is not made up of randomly collected material.” Thorpe nodded, consenting acknowledgement to his own Report*. Ella Montt went on to say,”However, I think I will paint it, perhaps this action will make it more effective against rain penetration, because it appears to be not very watertight?” Thorpe’s face brightened, then he offered to help paint the Shed.

Whilst they were painting, Ella Montt and Thorpe continued to discuss his report. Ella Montt was curious as to why Thorpe, who had been a member of the Labour Party, had so wished to beautify Allotments and classify them as Leisure Gardens. Allotment Plots were granted originally for the proletariat or unemployed, and used by individuals and families to grow food for themselves. War in the twentieth century had broken down the barriers of Allotment Plot holding, because of the necessity for All to grow food thus changing the demographic. So far in the Allotment Plot Ella Montt had not experienced leisure in the process of working her Plot.

*The Thorpe Report (p 199)

* Departmental Committee of Inquiry of Allotments Report (1969)

Nowhere in Particular

22/12/2010 – At this time, (which is now long, long ago), snow had fallen snow on snow and it was in the bleak midwinter, (although paradoxically in calendar terms it was only the second day of winter). At Allotment Plot at MERL non-human footprints were visible in the remainders of the melting snow. Because of the snow, human transportation systems had ceased to function in typical modes of which the human has become accustomed to. Chaos gripped the social groupings that the humans were trying to arrange themselves in to for the last few weeks of that year. Time would then pass in to another calendar year, where retrospective failings in commodification would be blamed on the amount of snow that had fallen in the last month of that previous year. William Morris lent forward as if he was going to say something, but then hesitated and returned his gaze out across the garden to nowhere in particular.

Ella Montt harvested Brussels Sprouts Darkmar 21 = 6oz = 160g, Leeks Almera = 70z = 200g.