Over the last few months I've been working with Stroud International Textiles (SIT). Lizzi Walton SIT's Director very kindly invited me to think up some ideas for bringing sampler-cultureclash to the annual Festival, which takes place each May. Check the festival website or their facebook page for updates for the 2011 Festival which runs from 30 April to 21 May, and their year-round programme of activities.
We were successful in getting support from the Arts Council England through its Grants for the Arts scheme to help me carry out a week of research in Stroud. I wanted to meet and talk with a wide range of people, to find out what was happening there already, to learn more about the area and its textile heritage, its contemporary textile scene, and to see what textile industry remained, and explore how the concept of sampler-cultureclash might work in Stroud.
I wanted to explore a range of options for bringing some of the ideas we've been exploring through the project: sampling, experimenting, trialing, improvisation, collective making, sharing, "commons", mixing things up, word, sound, stitch, and performance, and to make new work, but to make this relevant to the place and to involve artists and different communities living and working in Stroud. I'm particularly interested in how audiences move from passive recipients of cultural activities to being active participants - making and contributing to the work. I think this is a particular strength of sampling culture.
“Sampling culture allows us to engage with, respond to, and re-use information. We become processors and creators of culture, rather than passive consumers.”
Of course, first off I had to see if people were interested collaborating.
Over the next few posts I'll give a brief overview of the research and the people I've met, and how plans for sampler-cultureclash's involvement in the Festival are developing.