The RaRa project was initiated in 2009 by Jane Tormey and Gillian Whiteley. The RaRa book series (Bloomsbury/IB Tauris) explores the meeting of contemporary art practice and interpretations of radicality to promote debate, confront convention and formulate alternative ways of thinking about art practice. Titles in the book series include Jill Bennett’s Practical Aesthetics: events, affects and art after 9/11 (I.B.Tauris 2012); Malcolm Miles’s Eco-Aesthetics: art, literature and architecture in a period of climate change.
Further titles in process are: Indigenous Aesthetics: art, activism and autonomy, Dylan A.T. Miner; Durational Aesthetics, Paul O’Neil/Mick Wilson, Socio-political Aesthetics, Kim Charnley.
The RaRa series of symposia has examined the intersection of philosophical ideas and practices and between art and aesthetics – in particular, their relationship to sensation, discourse, ethics, politics, activism, community, participation and collaboration.
For and Against: Art, Politics and the Pamphlet
For and Against: Art, Politics and the Pamphlet is a two-day research and public ‘festival’ event in Loughborough town centre in May 2017. It brings together a range of public activities and events alongside research into the radical political traditions of the pamphlet and its exploration in contemporary art.
Friday 26 May 2017 : Research symposium
One-day research event with speakers, performances and rants at Fearon Hall, Loughborough, includes artist-taxi-driver, Mark McGowan. The event runs 11.00am – 5.00pm and will be followed by the public opening of an exhibition from collections of historical and contemporary pamphlets For & Against! The Art of the Pamphlet at the Charnwood Museum, Loughborough.
Book here for the research event - £5 includes lunch
Saturday 27 May 2017 : FREE Public events all day
This day-long event across sites including Charnwood Museum, Loughborough Library and Loughborough’s beautiful Queens Park, and will include a range of public interactivity; live performative elements by artists commissioned by Radar, including Patrick Goddard, Ferenc Gróf, Ciara Phillips and Rory Pilgrim, and the ‘market’, where a range of interactive stalls will encourage public participation in the making of new pamphlets.
Invitation to participate in a public symposium
Friday 26 May 2017 | Loughborough University
Keynote: Mark McGowan, aka Artist Taxi Driver and Chunkymark
We invite you to respond to the idea, concept, format, aesthetic, function, relevance, purpose or history of the political pamphlet. Presentations will take two forms:
- Academic papers (20 mins) – responses to histories of the political pamphlet and its relevance and/or development in art practice
- Performative presentations (10 mins) in the form of ‘rants’ or manifestos – you are invited to interpret the format as imaginatively and provocatively as possible.
Proposals (A4 max) should include an outline of the topic / approach for academic paper or performative presentation together with short bio should be sent to Gill Whiteley (G.Whiteley@lboro.ac.uk) and Jane Tormey (email@example.com).
Deadline: Friday 16 December 2016
Invitation to host a martket stall and participate in a public event
Saturday 27 May 2017 | Loughborough town centre
We invite you to respond to the idea, concept, format, aesthetic, function, relevance, purpose or history of the political pamphlet and engage in a public event. We are looking to host a series of market stalls in Loughborough town centre’s Queens Park as part of a public event taking place on Saturday 27 May, 2017. We very much like the idea that the artists, designers, writers, printers, crafts people and other kinds of creatives would form a kind of ‘market’, and as well as selling products that connect someway with the themes above this space would also encourage active participation with members of the public who attend the event.
For & Against: Art, Politics and the Pamphlet is a two-day research and public ‘festival’ event to be held in Loughborough May 2017. The project is a response to research into the political pamphlet and will explore the relevance of the pamphlet for contemporary art practice.
Please outline your response to this invitation including examples of the products that you make and /or sell, any promotional information about you and your work as well as explaining how you would respond to this invitation.
Deadline for expressions of interest is Friday 16 December 2016.
Please send FAO Kate Self, Radar Producer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Background to Art, Politics and the Pamphlet
- This project develops from an exhibition and one-day symposium Art, Politics and the Pamphleteer at the People’s History Museum, Manchester (June 2013).
- An edited book Art, Politics and the Pamphleteer is to be published as part of our RadicalAesthetics-RadicalArt (RaRa) book series with Bloomsbury.
The radical roots of the pamphlet and art
"It is written because there is something that one wants to say now, and one believes there is no other way of getting a hearing. Pamphlets may turn on points of ethics or theology but they always have a clear political implication. A pamphlet may be written either for or against somebody or something, but in essence it is always a protest." George Orwell in British Pamphleteers Volume 1, From the 16th century to the French Revolution, London, 1948
For Orwell, the pamphlet is a polemical provocation. Protest and dissent, as demonstrated in performative and/or visual polemical forms are typified by the tradition of the pamphlet. The pamphlet thereby provides a means to examine possibilities for advocacy, protest and prefiguration shared by different disciplinary fields. The Art, Politics and the Pamphleteer Project proposes that the format and traditions of the ‘radical pamphlet’ may provide an alternative platform for artistic intervention and provocation.
The RadicalAesthetics-RadicalArt (RaRa) project explores the meeting of contemporary art practice and interpretations of radicality to promote debate, confront convention and formulate alternative ways of thinking about art practice. The project has examined the intersection of philosophical ideas, art practices and aesthetics – in particular, their relationship to sensation, discourse, ethics, politics, activism, community, participation and collaboration.
Radar is a programme of commissions and critical debate that invites artists to engage with academic research and develop new work within the context of the town. The work produced is performative, participatory, process based and public. Some projects are longer-term engagements with the town whereas others materialize themselves in the form of intense weekends of activity.
Past RaRa events
Read more about past RaRa events and seminars