Manifesto has been a project brief for students and staff on Foundation and for Criw Celf, part of my practice when embedded in my Making Protest piece, and a method of consultation when working with Peak (https://peak.cymru/about-us/ ).
In all these situations the brief has been simple – write a six point manifesto, based as much as is useful on Claes Oldenburgh’s format of ‘I am for…’ from his famous statement (https://walkerart.org/magazine/claes-oldenburg-i-am-for-an-art-1961 ), counterpointing this with ‘I am against…’ when wished; then writing the result on a large scale and reading it to the group.
The manifesto may be entirely personal, or deal with the individual’s or the group’s ideas about art and design, or wider political issues. It can be to the point, discursive, poetic, funny, angry ‘or whatever is necessary’ (Oldeburg 1961).
This is not an ‘original’ process or project, but one that I found useful in many situations – giving voice to young students as they define their future possibilities, defining the culture of an organization, or permitting teaching and administrative staff to speak of the things that are important to them.
The project looks at the relationship between words, meaning and their visual presence, and art that addresses political issues. It asks all who participate to consider the role of art and design and their responsibilities as artists and/or citizens.
I was invited to deliver the Manifesto project by PEAK Arts (Crickhowell) as a form of consultation with staff, board, their advisory panel and young people, as a to think about PEAK’s activities, location and impact.