Artists Wesam Al Asali, FRAUD and Nastassja Simensky come together to bring a critical framing to the concept of preservation. Embracing different methodologies and spanning diverse contexts – from the Syrian conflict, to pre and postindustrial England – their practices shed light on issues of accountability, agency, power and ownership.
Open Assembly No. 1, Loughborough: Insects, Worms, Mushrooms, Birds and Students
Nils Norman developed a prototype for an outdoor public discussion space: a social structure to bring together birds, insects, worms and students under one roof. This was one of a series of temporary public sculpture prototypes reflecting his interests and research into education, play, public space, work, and the environment. For this work, he drew on the trend for "work/play spaces" for the so-called "creative classes", creating a meeting and discussion space in which new associations between a variety of local actors could be explored. These actors included birds, insects, mushrooms, worms and students. The sculpture incorporated design elements from defensive street furniture, the ecology movement, protest camps and middle-class British gardens.
Nils Norman works across the disciplines of public art, architecture and urban planning. His projects challenge notions of the function of public art and the efficacy of mainstream urban planning and large-scale regeneration. Informed by local politics and ideas on alternative economic, ecological systems and play, his work merges utopian alternatives with current urban design to create a humorous critique of the discrete histories and functions of public art and urban planning.