This is an archive of our activities in 2012.
Go here for the current year.
Slow Boat is Ikon’s innovative three year project (2011-2013) aimed at engaging young people with contemporary artists and the local heritage and history of the Inland Waterways.
The Ikon Youth Programme (IYP) is a group of young people aged 15-19 from Birmingham who meet regularly to make artwork, meet other young people, host events and develop their own projects.
Slow Boat is a converted canal boat and a catalyst for exhibitions, events and discussion. Each year IYP members start by working closely with a lead contemporary artist who shares their practice with the group. IYP will work on board to organise a programme of activity and explore the canal network.
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In 2012, Irish artist Sarah Browne worked with IYP on Scarcity Radio. This ran parallel with her exhibition at Ikon, How To Use Fools Gold, which ran from February 14 to April 29, 2012.
Sarah Browne’s practice involves working with small constituencies of people to create and document diverse forms of non-market exchange such as gift economies, subsistence, subsidies and poaching. Using processes such as sculpture, filmmaking and publishing, she seeks out the potential for radical kind of resourcefulness as a creative form of opposition.
The Scarcity Radio project involved the artist working with IYP to address our understandings of scarcity in relation to material resources and social communication. Sarah shared her research for Scarcity Radio and her work with the IYP on our blog (Notebook).
“My project with IYP proposed the idea that artmaking itself is a process of learning and knowledge production. In this way, the artist learns with the young people rather than 'teaches' them as such. My conception of the project was directly effected by the austerity measures that have resulted in drastic cuts to education and the arts in the UK and across Europe, and there was both a poignancy and a sense of urgency to addressing ideas of scarcity within a contemporary art gallery’s learning programme. The work we made together, The Cognitive Radio, is concerned with unpicking our existing conceptions of scarcity through the metaphor of radio. The work is distributed freely online as an implicit challenge to the idea that scarce or limited supply is a valid determination of quality or value.”
Sarah Browne, November 2012