BE PART: Devising Governance

From Spring 2021, Scottish Sculpture Workshop has been working with artist Jack Ky Tan on Devising Governance, a BE PART Fieldwork to develop new ideas and approaches to how arts organisations can be governed and run, through sculpture and performance making.

Jack is facilitating a series of workshops at SSW, in which an invited group of co-creators practice blacksmithing, ceramics and bronze casting, in tandem with exploring SSW’s policy, legal and constitutional documents.

The co-creators are: Roisin Daly, Vicky Lorimer, Sekai Machache, Angela Main, Claricia Parinussa, Gavin Smith and Zoë Tumika.

This group forms a broad representation of SSW’s community stakeholders. Together with Jack they are creating what Jack calls “policy performance scores”, which will be tested and performed in the day-to-day running of SSW.

‘Performance scores’, like music or dance scores, are a set of instructions that detail gestures, sound, speech and/or movements, that are interpreted by a performer to produce performance art. ‘Policy performance scores’ are performance scores that prescribe the gestures, verbal articulations or movements of corporate bodies, such as companies, associations or charities.

Working with Jack and the skilled technicians at SSW, the co-creators will learn to mould metal, while for example, discussing what conditions are necessary to mould and train employees. The group may attempt to understand risk management through making and repairing large hand-built or Raku-fired ceramics. The process of shaping hollow moulds in bronze casting could inform how an organisation can define and fill organisational voids through recruitment of human (or more-than-human) resources.

By working together to form a workshop-boardroom counterpoint, Devising Governance seeks to bring together organisational knowledge, material knowledge and collective decision making.

The project will culminate in the integration of the groups’ policy performance scores with SSW’s Staff Handbook, alongside a public presentation.

About Jack Ky Tan

Jack Ky Tan makes work that explores the connection between the social, the legal and art. Using social relations and cultural norms as material, he creates works of visual, performance and participatory art that highlight the rules — customs, rituals, habits and theories — that guide human behaviour. Jack’s social practice also blurs the boundaries between art, governance and consultancy in order to help organisations reform and revision themselves using artistic thinking.

Prior to becoming an artist, Jack graduated from Hull University Law School, completed and MA in Social Justice and Education at UCL, worked in commercial litigation, trained as a lawyer, and undertook human rights casework and anti-racist campaigning. He then studied ceramics, obtaining a BA from the University of Westminster and an MA from the Royal College of Art. Jack also holds a PhD in legal aesthetics and performance at the University of Roehampton, Dept of Drama, Theatre and Performance.

As an artist-curator, Jack has curated exhibitions for the ICA London, Wiltshire Creative, the Salisbury International Arts Festival, Royal College of Art, arebyte gallery (London) and Lewisham Arthouse. He has also taught sculpture at the Royal College of Art and University of Brighton, and politics at Goldsmiths.

Read more about Jack’s practice on his website: jackkytan.github.io/

BE PART is made possible with the support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

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