methodologies for practices of site and place

Approaching Estate is a four-day encounter with the specificities of site, place and  landscape as contexts for artistic and other creative enquiry. 

The event will consist of interlinking presentations, field performances, films and discussions gathering together a range of artistic, interdisciplinary and collaborative practices. These include experimental cartographies, situated practices, interfaith cultural exchange and creative critiques of land ownership and management.

0930 - 1900
Wednesday 10 - Friday 12 April 2019
Furtherfield Commons
Finsbury Gate, Finsbury Park, London N4 2DE

Approaching Estate - call for proposals

the politics and ethics of fieldwork in art today


Approaching Estate is a series of presentations and workshops organised by sensingsite at Central Saint Martins in collaboration with Furtherfield, Finsbury Park, taking place from April 9 – 11, 2019. 

We use the term 'estate' to encompass a diverse community of interests and rights pertaining to the conceptualization, configuration, and management of place.

We welcome proposals from artists, activists, researchers, specialists and non-specialists
who wish to share methodologies of contemporary art practices and the politics and ethics of material enquiries into site, which are socially, politically, ecologically, historically and geographically entwined. We are broadly concerned with work that is interventional (such as 'site-specific', situated performative practices, etc) and representational (such as landscape, mapping, etc).

The event will be curated as a flexible and open-ended platform for hands-on workshops, presentations, performances, screenings, installations and discussion. It aims to cultivate a research community which can examine existing methodologies and generate new ideas, problems, and questions to set new agendas for experimental art practice.

The main activities of Approaching Estate will take place in Furtherfield Commons, based in Finsbury Park, London, which will also provide an opportunity to engage with the park as an interface, and with its diverse communities.

If you are interested please send an initial 300 word outline of a proposed activity, brief biography and support material (if appropriate) that can be developed to form part of the workshop sessions by Friday December 14, 2018 to

Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss your proposal further.

sensingsite is a practice-based research group based at Central Saint Martins, engaging with questions around the political, material, and sensory natures of site, place, and space. 

Furtherfield connects people to new ideas, critical thinking and imaginative possibilities for art, technology and the world around us. Through artworks, labs and debate people from all walks of life explore today’s important questions.


More information

Approaching Estate is a series of presentations and workshops which will examine the politics and ethics of fieldwork in contemporary art practices concerned with place, in order to develop critical, innovative and experimental engagements.

‘Estate’ suggests the parcelling, ownership and governance of physical space, founded upon historical, agrilogistic and colonial practices whose legacy has determined the status and identity of both human and nonhuman entities. Approaching Estate will also consider ‘estate’ as a broad community of interests and rights, pertaining to the materiality of space, how it is configured, managed, and conceptualised as place. As such it will acknowledge the current conditions of communities, material processes, and sites in the context of the continuing debasement of democracy, and the contemporary precarity of individual and community rights to movement and occupation of space. These relate to, and can be traced through, historical and contemporary forms of enclosure, land ownership, the commons, public space, colonialism, incarceration, expulsion, transportation, clearances, dispossession, extractions, depositions, and so on. 

‘Fieldwork’ is used to broadly describe the artistic methodologies which engage in material enquiries into site and situatedness which are socially, politically, ecologically, historically and geographically entwined. As such they are often interdisciplinary practices and might be concerned with landscape construction, site-specificity, and social engagement; engaging with disciplines and activities such as archaeology, geography (human and physical), eco-studies, activism, mapping, and so on. Our aim is to set new agendas for fieldwork in art practice through development of a research network for experimental ways of working in art practice.

During the event we are interested in pursuing questions such as:

  • What forms of methodological enquiry emerge from art practices concerned with specificity of site and place?
  • What is the efficacy of such methodologies, and how do we evaluate them?
  • What are the protocols and terms of engagement in site specific fieldwork? 
  • Who are the beneficiaries of the work produced?
  • What is artistic or social agency (the role of the art) and what other intra-active engagements (human and non- human) are possible?
  • How can the differing interests of collaborators working in an interdisciplinary context be shared meaningfully and productively?
We invite individual and group proposals for presentations, performances, artworks and any other experimental forms of practice-based research.

BEYOND PROPRIETORIAL new narrative practices in digital humanities

new narrative practices in digital humanities
Christy Hyman and Marc Garrett 

Christy Hyman
Mapping the Great Dismal Swamp:
The Co-Articulation of Sound, Moving Images and Archival Materials

Christy Hyman uses proprietorial mapping and analytics software to construct new spatial narratives around the neglected histories of enslaved fugitives, who in the nineteenth century sought refuge in The Great Dismal Swamp of eastern North Carolina.  

Christy is currently studying for her PhD at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA.

Marc Garrett
Unlocking Proprietorial Systems and Reclaiming Narrative Strategies for Artistic Practice 

Marc Garrett asks if we can build fresh, independent places, spaces and identities, in relation to our own artistic and cultural practices individually and collectively, when the dominant narratives handed down to us via neoliberal elites, are typically in favour of their markets and technologies?

Marc is co-director and co-founder with artist Ruth Catlow of the arts collective Furtherfield, and is currently studying for his PhD at Birkbeck University of London. 

Unlocking Proprietorial Systems

6.00pm Tuesday 20 March
Room C303
Central Saint Martins Kings Cross 
University of the Arts London
Granary Building
1 Granary Square
London N1C 4AA

“I don’t like to talk about it…” a performance presentation by Professor Paul Haywood

I don’t like to talk about it…

Dean of School of Art, Central Saint Martins
Thursday 9 November Central Saint Martins Room C303 at 6.15pm (bridge)

A presentation that will cover a series of very short talks about aspects of being an artist, or fulfilling the role of the artist, in the context of social change processes that don’t actually require the presence of an artist.

This is a contemplation about the undertakings of focused and specifically motivated communities and the relevance of their artist friend. The session will include an experimental demonstration of paint making and mixing, using materials that would normally service our social and political identity, subtitled: "How to make oil paints at home, or close to where you live".

In entirety, the presentation is a compilation of short semi-fictional and actual accounts of failure in the production of an individualised arts practice. 

followed by drinks 

Outside of education I remain committed to long term collaborative initiatives that are typically characterised by a role for artists and art producers in processes of social innovation and local change. I am a Director of Guns to Goods CIC, a collaboration with the artist Karen Lyons, dedicated to the reduction and recycling of gun metal through creative design and sculptural practices. I am the co-founder of Colourground, working with the designer Maxine Kennedy on a long-term mass observation project that is making use of technologies and social interactions to build a global map of colour in the environment. I collaborate with Ruth Potts in the School of Midwifery at University of Salford and we have established and joined the European Co-operative Learning Action Network concerned, committed to the development and design of open learning recognition in support of non-traditional informal learning. I continue to work in a company director role with Islington Mill Arts Club as part of their development with local regeneration in the new cultural quarter in Salford.

I paint at weekends. 

welcome to sensingsite

sensingsite is a practice based research group engaging with questions around the political, material, and sensory natures of site, place, and space. It takes a critical, experimental, and improvisational approach to research methodologies embedded within interdisciplinary art practices across a range of media. 

Membership of the group includes academic researchers and artists, and current postgraduate students from Central Saint Martins, UAL and beyond. The group meets regularly and has organised symposia, lectures, exhibitions and workshops.

sensingsite is organised by Susan Trangmar and Steven Ball for Fine Art Research, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. Please contact us for further information