DIY 9: 2012
Professional development projects BY artists FOR artists across the UK
DIY 9:2012 built on the success of previous DIY initiatives and offered artists working in Live Art the chance to conceive and run professional development projects for other artists.
The DIY 9 projects took many forms, from coastal explorations in Cornwall to pub lockins in Morecambe, psychological experiments in Birmingham and Body Art investigations in Manchester. And between them covered diverse subjects of investigation including Art and oil sponsorship, autobiography, therapy, bouldering, spirituality, immigration, anarchy and much more.
*The DIY 9 report (avaliable in PDF for download)
For the sixth time, DIY took place across the UK, with the support of eleven national DIY partners — the largest ever number of partners. Fourteen projects were held between August and October 2012 — the largest number of DIY projects yet. DIY 9 benefited the artistic and professional development of the participating artists and contributed to the skills and experiences of the artists who lead the projects.
240 artists took part in the 14 unique projects. The responses from the project leaders and the participants was that DIY 9's emphasis on peer training:
- Empowered artists by allowing them to manage their own professional development.
- Enabled artists to develop creative approaches directly relevant to the needs of their practice.
- Encouraged artists to perceive their artistic output and professional development as inter-related and mutually beneficial components of a 'complete' practice.
- Facilitated networking between like minded artists.
- Inspired artists to take risks and think differently.
DIY 9 again demonstrated that artists are extremely well equipped to conceive and manage complex and often demanding professional development initiatives. The role of the host organisations in DIY 9 was therefore to facilitate and advise rather than to control.
Each DIY 9 lead artist conceived their project, submitted an application detailing their idea, prepared publicity copy, managed recruitment of participants, handled all relevant participation fees, booked all necessary venues, facilitated their training day(s), and wrote an appraisal report.
Each lead artist received £1,000, which covered their fee and all direct project costs including venue hire, travel, materials and hospitality. Some artists chose to seek a small fee from participants which further contributed to their project costs.
The Live Art Development Agency and its partners financed and secured additional funding for the initiative, distributed a Call for Proposals via email, selected the lead artists through an open submission process, advised lead artists about the logistical and conceptual focus of their project, publicised the fourteen projects under the DIY 9 umbrella through a Call for Participants, organised a final networking event — the ‘DIY picnic’ — for all participants, and collated this summary report.
Like previous DIY programmes, DIY 9 proved to be a very successful and cost effective initiative that demands to be continued.
This year, a survey of 60 artists was carried out to look at ways we might improve or develop the DIY model. Future development and refinement could include:
- Access to more tailored advice and guidance for the lead artists (if and when assistance is required).
- The inclusion of travel budgets to enable greater networking between project leaders and participating artists.
- A higher-profile evaluation of the projects, possibly through an event and/or publication that facilitates the sharing of outcomes and discussion of best practice.
- A more generous financial base that provides artists' fees commensurate with the amount of time required to initiate, manage and evaluate a project, and remuneration for the host organisations.
DIY 9 focused on professional development within the Live Art sector. It is clear that the principles and form would successfully translate to other artform practices.
DIY 9 was a Live Art Development Agency initiative developed in collaboration with Abandon Normal Devices (North West), Artsadmin (national), Fierce (West Midlands), Live at LICA (North West), The Performance Centre at University College Falmouth (South West), PLATFORM (national), Sound and Music (National), Whitstable Biennale (South East) Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Yorkshire), Colchester Arts Centre (East) and The Works, Dance and Theatre Cornwall (South West).