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Creative Unions: Archive

Creativity knows no boundaries.

Creative Unions is an initiative of Central Saint Martins and the other Colleges of University of the Arts London. It brings together events, actions, and voices to demonstrate that creativity must operate across borders – geographical, social and disciplinary. This archive documents some of the past events, performances, installations and projects which have been supported by the Creative Unions programme.

Roamin’ Romans: The foundations of communication
January–March 2018 

The Roamin’ Romans event series consisted of a lecture, two workshops, an exhibition and a walk, and was presented in collaboration with Graphic Communication Design’s Wednesday Neue sessions.

Over the course of three months, these events explored the most widely used writing system in the world today. They enabled participants to get “hands on” with lettering and type. Providing the opportunity to discover the invaluable and unique resources in the Central Lettering Record and Museums Collection, Roamin’ Romans drew attention to how these elegant letterforms feature in our daily lives. 

Roamin’ Romans was curated by Helen Ingham, Central Saint Martins Specialist Letterpress Technician and involved the UAL hand lettering/sign painting community.

59 minutes and 59 seconds – performed by the Defiant Dilettantes
1 February 2018

Silke Lange and Rainer Usselmann with David Bracegirdle and Graham Barton

Taking inspiration from Cabaret Voltaire – the raucous Dada nightclub founded by Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings in Zürich in 1916 – 59 minutes and 59 seconds was an unruly performative piece which overlaid readings of various texts with musical loops. Excerpts were read from Robert Winder’s Bloody Foreigners, Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism, the 85-page application form for EU citizens seeking permanent residence in the UK and Yanis Varoufakis’ Adults in the Room, accompanied by musical fragments of Elgar’s “Land of Hope and Glory” and Beethoven’s “Freude Schöner Götterfunken”.

During the live performance, audience members were invited to participate, extending the nature of the collaboration. Watch the performance here.

Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival

15 February 2018 

In February 2018, Artur Matamoro Vidal presented Fabrizio Terranova’s portrait of Donna Haraway, one of our most important living thinkers. American philosopher and biologist Haraway has been working around science, technology, gender and trans-species relationships for the last four decades. Refusing to distinguish between humans, animals and machines, she has proposed new ways of understanding our world that challenge normative structures and boundaries. Her approach to writing is equally transformative, unafraid of combining narrative and theory. 

Fabrizio Terranova spent a summer filming Haraway and her dog Cayenne (a key collaborator in her work) in Haraway’s Southern California home. The resulting film playfully combines green screen projections and archival materials with more traditional documentary-making, reflecting Haraway’s own practice – an appropriately eccentric response to a truly original thinker.

202 Gallery

202 Gallery is a student-run exhibition platform which encourages collaboration and cross-pollination among different courses at UAL.

21 February

Curated by BA Culture, Criticism and Curation students Saranya Kundasamy, Eleanor Sutherland, Hugo Bou-Assef and Cem Hamlacıbaşı.
SEEN explored themes around digital culture, info-activism, digital security and privacy, specifically our evolving relationship with technology. Artists included: (yoke collective) Georgina Rowlands and Emily Roderick, Rosie Back, Sophie Hu, Sandy Bhamra, Bob Bicknell-Knight and Helen Ji Hyoung Gong.

4  May

Curated by BA Culture, Criticism and Curation students Elvira Garcia, Maria Jané and Elizabeth Aisher.

As traditional concepts of sociology are constantly debated and under reconfiguration, artist have embraced new digital platforms as means for creation, as well as a response to the gap between traditional forms of art and the ever-changing post digital-norms. This exhibition explored the digital landscape today and questioned how we interact with our technological environment. With works by: Wei Prior; Studio Above and Below ( Daria Jelonek and Perry-James Sturgen ); Holly Meek; Wednesday Kim; Jesse-Cahn Thompson and performances by Erik Lintunen and Lucie Štěpánková;.

Creative Unions Pub Quiz
6 March

BA Ceramic Design hosted a pub quiz covering all aspects of creativity at Central Saint Martins. Combining collaboration with competition, the quiz teams were themselves each a creative union, crossing the borders of their usual course and social groups.

People’s Bureau
January - March 2018

Camberwell College of Art, Bootle Library, Tate Exchange. Curated by Eva Sajovic.

People’s Bureau is a long-term skills exchange project in Elephant & Castle, which began in response to the regeneration of the area. Its objective is making visible the diversity of cultures, skills, networks and resourcefulness present in the area and beyond. 2018 marked the beginning of the next chapter by adapting the People’s Bureau shopping cart as it starts a new journey, connecting with other communities across the UK. The cart was adapted in partnership with Camberwell College of Art 3D Design students and staff.

Creative Unions Exhibition 
16 September - 21 October 2017, Lethaby Gallery

At the heart of the London Design Festival's King’s Cross design district, Creative Unions showed how the next generation of designers are responding to current contexts with urgency and ingenuity.