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The Art & Mobilities Network Inaugural Symposium Instant Journal

Tan, Kai Syng and Southern, Jen (2018) The Art & Mobilities Network Inaugural Symposium Instant Journal. Centre for Mobilities Studies, Lancaster University.

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Abstract

Tan initiated, edited, designed and produced this ‘instant journal’. The publication includes an Art & Mobilities Manifesto, as well as provocations and reflections by 30 participants of the Art & Mobilities Network Inaugural Symposium at the Peter Scott Gallery, which Tan co-curated. The journal was an experimental platform which documents some of our activities and thoughts, and which we will continue to edit and develop. Tan was a 2017-2018 Centre for Mobilities Research CEMORE Visiting Fellow, Lancaster University. CEMORE initiated the new mobilities paradigm in the social sciences, arts, humanities and sciences. It was the first such centre (founded in 2003 by John Urry and Mimi Sheller) and continues to be at the heart of this burgeoning global field. Mobilities research develops a deeper and broader understanding of contemporary challenges through social science as a transdisciplinary endeavour. It encompasses the analysis of the global, national and local movements of people, objects, capital, information and material things combining together to engender the economic and social patterning of life. Previous Fellows include Dr Dr Bradley L. Garrett, well-known for his urban explorations During her Fellowship, Tan worked closely with the Director of Mobilities Lab Dr Jen Southern, as well as Professor Emma Rose and Dr Linda O Keefe of the Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts, and successfully co-curated the Art & Mobilities Network Inaugural Symposium. The study and practice of Art & Mobilities has been gaining momentum in the past decade. This includes pioneering solo and collaborative work led by Jen, a key player in the field. The Art & Mobilities network consolidates, celebrates and develops this work. On 3rd July, nearly thirty artists, writers, curators and researchers gathered at the Peter Scott Gallery. Apart from UK-based colleagues like Nikki Pugh, Elia Ntaousani, Bruce Bennett and Bron Szerszynski, we were joined via Skype by Mimi Sheller (USA), Owen Chapman (Canada), Kaya Barry (Australia) and Sven Kesselring (Germany). UK participants brought with them objects, images or texts for a pop-up exhibition. We wrote our big ideas on a ‘manifesto wall’ and considered the histories of mobilities in art practice through a timeline running across the Gallery. Tan also gave a performance-lecture as a keynote lecture. It tells the story of how art and mobilities collides for Tan as an artist, curator and woman. She re-presents a version of it in the form of an online story through 100 slides which she published on ISSUU. Jen also gave a keynote packed full of information and provocations covering creative research methods, the aesthetics of mobility and so on. We closed the colloquium with a role and ‘next step’ that each of us intends to perform to get the group going. In the longer term, we will seek funding to build this network internationally and to facilitate collaborations and activities such as conferences, exhibitions and publications.

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