Driven by an interest to locate and discern various forms of research involved and generated through creative practices, Critical Symposium aims to tangentially situate discourse with and through practice and to explore how they inform and expand understanding of each other. The need for this comes from a realisation that the current market-driven creative and cultural economy might not necessarily facilitate or kinder critical engagement in synchronocity with various form of artistic presentation.
Critical Symposium runs once a month virtually on zoom for 120 minutes and are open for anyone to attend. Free tickets needs to be booked using the eventbrite link and recorded sessions will be available to re-watch on the YouTube channel. The forum comprises of 4-6 panelists and the first hour of the forum starts with each panelist sharing an aspect of their practice/work/research in response to the theme of the month for 10-15 minutes. In the second half the panelists and participants engage in critical discourse so as to expand understanding of artistic research and to located research with practice. Currently all the panelists hold an MA from the Royal College of Art, London.
Critical Symposium was founded in July 2023 and is organised by Tony Jacob. It was conceived as a passing thought while in conversation with other artists and supporters during the RCA2023 degree show at Truman Brewery, London (13-16 July 2023) when it was evident that research-based practices were facing challenges with relation to reaching the audience in the setting of a large public show. Due to the nature of many research-based practice where the practice by itself might not necessarily articulate the discourse of the work, it was realised that an active verbal discussion needed to be exhanged so as to situate discourse with the practice and for such practices to be widely accessible. The forums of Critical Symposium aim to address this deficit and problem, with the hope of providing a platform for artists to make their work and research more accessible and an opportuntiy to share, celebrate and learn from each other.