Street arts activities of all types are a vibrant part of the UK arts ecology and have in the past thirty years engaged, questioned and entertained many millions of people, notes Bill Gee
In this period the different rationales for making work for the streets has been very different from artist to artist, particularly in the ways they have responded to the political and social concerns of the day. Relatively little critique or theory-based research has been published, but the Independent Street Arts Network (ISAN) has made a start at turning this situation around. To this end, we have taken a lead in developing a one-day symposium to bring together artists, promoters and academics. The day will explore the key themes of restoration (leaving building-based and the metropolitan arts context behind and working with theatre/ performance in other public arenas), revolution (the role of street arts in altering engagement with existing social norms) and relationships (the different relationship between the artist and audience when out on the streets).
The Theatre Museum will be building a collection of material from street arts promoters and artists, and there will be a ?Documentation drop? of videos, photos, flyers and other material about work past and present. Discussions will also explore how street performers can be supported in the documenting of their work, including what role could the Theatre Museum play in this. As part of their series of publications on contemporary performance practice, the Central School of Speech and Drama will be producing ?Street Arts: A User?s Guide?, drawn from the symposium?s discussions.
Bill Gee is ISAN Co-ordinator. t: 020 7633 9330; e: firstname.lastname@example.org The symposium is to be held on March 25 at the Theatre Museum in London. It has been organised with the Total Theatre Network, Central School of Speech and Drama and the Theatre Museum.