15th July 2016


Dwelling and its Discontents – Art, Home and Economy was a day long event organised by arts producers Hannah Marsden, Alison Merritt Smith, architecture lecturer Ed Wainwright and artist Julia Heslop.

We invited four speakers to present a short provocation which will draw from their experience in arts/architecture practice in relation to home, economy and the changing context of urban regeneration.



We asked the speakers to consider some of the following questions:

  • How does your work relate to the changing economies of the home (as centre of consumption/production/(re)construction)?
  • What are the expectations, ethics and challenges of artist/architects engaging with communities as an outsider or insider?
  • What is the role of art and architecture in regeneration/gentrification?
  • How do you manage personal boundaries of live/work?
  • What role does group cooperation, as well as personal autonomy, play in your work?
  • How do you think about aesthetic value in your work?


Gary Anderson

The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home

The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, based in a family home in Liverpool, UK, founded in 2007, is an intervention into family life and the normative upbringing of children. We identify as anarchist, anti-capitalist and feminist. Our interventions happen across various levels: through activities in our own home by way of performances, artists’ residencies, meetings, reading groups and through our participation as a family of performers at different art events, protests, festivals and academic conferences. The Institute’s activities involve taking the children to political demonstrations and learning together how to be critical citizens rather than passive consumers. The Institute is funded by 10% of the family’s net income (two senior lecturer salaries, child benefit and any other freelance work), and currently stands at around £450 per month.

The Institute publications include art activist books 4 Boys [for Beuys] (2016), The Mums and Babies Ensemble (2015), Five (2008-2012)(2014). The Institute have presented their work in various arts centre (Tate Modern, Arnolfini, Artsadmin, Live Art Development Agency, the Bluecoat, FACT, Tobacco Factory, New Art Gallery Walsall, Chelsea Theatre, Stanley Picker Gallery, East Street Arts, Wysing Arts Centre, 25SG), academic and arts journals (Contemporary Theatre Review, Performance Research, RiDE, Feminist Review, Meta Mute, The Concept Store Journal, Liverpool Art Journal) as well as numerous national and international conferences.

The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home are currently collaborating with Live Art Development Agency on Study Room in Exile.


Gary Anderson co-runs The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, co-coordinates the Family Activist Network, chairs the local University College Union branch at Liverpool Hope University where he also teaches performance and live art. His latest books are Five 2008 – 2012 (2014) and 4 Boys [for Beuys] 2016 (IADPH, Liverpool). He has presented his arts practice and research in a variety of academic journals (Performance Research, Contemporary Theatre Review, RiDE, ephemera) and in various arts venues and festivals in the UK and abroad. He is currently researching how union work in HE can flourish under the rubric of performance studies.


Alan Dunn

Senior Lecturer, School of Art, Architecture & Design, Leeds Beckett University

Alan Dunn studied public and community art at Glasgow School of Art and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was curator of Bellgrove Station Billboard Project (Glasgow 1990-91), lead artist on the community webcasting project tenantspin (FACT, Liverpool 2001-7) and recently completed a PhD on sound art entitled The sounds of ideas forming (2008-14). Through these projects he has developed collaborative content with Bill Drummond, Douglas Gordon, Yoko Ono, Philip Jeck, Lydia Lunch and Brian Eno. He lives and works in Liverpool and is Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University on the MA Art & Design courses.


Martin Heslop


Martin Heslop is a composer and writer.  His work has spanned publications and recordings; intimate, site-specific installations and performances; and large-scale critically acclaimed theatre shows.  He has written music for film, full scores for plays at Liverpool Everyman (Bright Phoenix by Jeff Young), Liverpool Playhouse (Narvik by Lizzie Nunnery) and York Theatre Royal, and music for cross art form collaborations with poets and visual artists at The Bluecoat and Metal (Tiergarten).  He has also written text and music for site-specific work in the woods by Derwent Water in Keswick, the old Blind School in Liverpool, a cobbler’s shop in Birkenhead and Morden Tower. See https://martinheslop.wordpress.com/ for more info.


Michael Simon

Community Development Coordinator, Granby 4 Streets CLT

Michael was born and raised in the Granby Street area and has worked in community roles across the area for most of his working life. After leading successful anti demolition campaigns, most notably the halting of the HMRI pathfinder programme in the Lodge Lane area of Liverpool; he moved across to working with international students at the University of Liverpool. The accredited programme included delivering workshops, walking lectures and interdepartmental collaborations around housing policy, community and class. Michael currently works on the Turner Prize winning Granby 4 Streets Project for Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust, as a community development coordinator as he also completes his PhD thesis at the School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool.


Ribbon Road

Ribbon Road are a 3-piece band from the North East of England  who, over the last 25 years, have released 8 albums of original songs written by Brenda Heslop. They are currently working as Artists in Residence in Durham University, looking at social housing issues in the Numbered Streets, ex-colliery houses in Horden, Co.Durham. This follows up their last project – ‘No Redemption Songs’ about the Miner’s Strike in nearby Easington Colliery. In this ex-mining area it is easy to see the results of lack of investment coupled with the government housing policies over the years. There will be a resulting mixed media song/film piece later in the year, provisionally titled ‘Our Streets Are Numbered’ opening at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.


Tatjana Schneider, School of Architecture, University of Sheffield

Tatjana Schneider is a researcher, writer and educator based at the School of Architecture in Sheffield, UK. She is co-founder of research centre ‘Agency’ and was founder member of the workers cooperative G.L.A.S. (Glasgow Letters on Architecture and Space), which aimed to construct both a theoretical and practical critique of the capitalist production and use of the built environment. Her current work focuses on the changing role of architects and architecture in contemporary society, (architectural) pedagogy and spatial agency. She is interested in employing and implementing theoretical, methodological and practical approaches that expand the scope of contemporary architectural debates and discourses by integrating political and economic frameworks that question normative ways of thinking, producing and consuming space. She is (co)author of a number Spatial Agency. Other Ways of Doing Architecture (2011), Flexible Housing (2007), A Right to Build (2011), (co)editor of Agency, Working with Uncertain Architectures (2009) and glaspaper (2001-2007).


Jeff Young

Playwright; Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, Liverpool John Moores University

Jeff Young is a writer and artist based in Liverpool. Over the last 30 years he has written 35 radio dramas, essays and drama documentaries and more than 40 plays for the stage. Jeff also works on site specific and installation collaborations and his work has been performed in spaces such as a submarine dock, an abandoned power station, Swan Hunter shipyard, beaches, ruins and derelict houses. Artists Jeff has collaborated with include Pete Townshend, Philip Jeck and Bill Drummond and he has been shortlisted for numerous awards. His sound art and spoken word work in collaboration with the artist Alan Dunn has been broadcast internationally and Jeff and Alan have also worked extensively in high rise blocks, subterranean spaces and on billboards. With composer Martin Heslop Jeff makes spoken word and sound performances. Jeff is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University.


Martin Zebracki

Lecturer in Critical Human Geography, University of Leeds

Martin Zebracki is Lecturer in Critical Human Geography at the University of Leeds. He obtained his BScHons, MSc and PhD degrees in Human Geography and Urban and Regional Planning from Utrecht University, the Netherlands, and pursued graduate research in Geography and Methods of Art History at the University of Florida, USA. Zebracki has widely published on issues at the crossroads of public art, social engagement and sexual citizenship in contemporary urban contexts with a recent focus on digital co-production. He is actively involved in international collaborative projects and conferencing on these topics. Zebracki is the author of Public Artopia: Art in Public Space in Question (Amsterdam University Press, 2012), The Everyday Practice of Public Art: Art, Space, and Social Inclusion (Routledge, 2015; co-edited with Dr Cameron Cartiere) and is currently preparing Public Art Encounters: Art, Space and Identity (Routledge; co-edited with Dr Joni Palmer). Zebracki serves on the Editorial Boards of Art & the Public Sphere and Geo: Geography and Environment. He is Secretary of the Space, Sexualities & Queer Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) and is the Equality and Inclusion Coordinator in the School of Geography, University of Leeds.

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