Place Beyond Place will take place tomorrow between 10am (registration at 9.30am) and 4.30pm in unit 14 of the Guild Hall Shopping Arcade (see the second map on the travel info page of this blog), opposite the Food Weigh House shop.
Peter Dunn and Loraine Leeson: ‘What’s Going On Behind Our Backs?’, Docklands Community Poster Project, 1982-5 The first image from the first sequence of photo-murals exploring issues surrounding the re-development of the London Docklands from the viewpoint of local communities. 18¹ x 12¹ (5.49m x 3.66m) photo-mural Place Beyond Place is a one-day symposium developed by In Certain Places for urban planners, artists, public art commissioners, architects, urban designers and people with an interest in the future of cities.

Inspired by the geographer Doreen Massey’s “politics of place beyond place”, in which, rather than a bounded locality, the city is understood as the product and producer of global relations, the symposium will examine the relationship between the local and the global in the context of cities such as Preston (which has a population of 130,000), with an emphasis on participation and conversation.   

Hosted in an empty shop in Preston city centre, a physical reminder of the city’s relationship to the networks of global capital, the event will provide a starting point for discussions about the influence of new technology, migration and the changing face of industry on the city.  Furthermore, it will ask how public art, urban design and regeneration might support global relations, whilst acknowledging the responsibilities that these incur.   

William Titley: Road Block   

The morning will feature presentations by the artist Loraine Leeson, visiting research fellow at the University of East London and founding director of cSPACE, an arts organisation supporting local communities in the expression of collective vision and aspiration, and Tim Cresswell, Professor of Human Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London and author of several books including Place: A Short Introduction and On the Move: Mobility in the Modern Western World. Leeson will describe her seminal work with the Docklands Community Poster Project during the 1980s and her current web projects connecting hundreds of young people from East London with those in other global places. Cresswell will explore the concepts of local and global through the depiction of liminal and transit spaces in the video art of the Bulgarian-born Turkish artist Ergin Cavusoglu.   

Rebecca Chesney: DandilionIn the afternoon, artists and urban professionals will lead ‘alternative’ tours of Preston city centre, exploring the city through its social, cultural and natural connections to other, global places. These will include a tour of weeds by artist Rebecca Chesney, in which the notion of ‘invasive exotic’ will be turned on its head, and an experience of Lahore through the streets of Preston led by artist William Titley.   

The symposium will offer a chance to experience new temporary public artworks created by artists Magda Stawarska-Beavan and Susan Walsh, which will connect Preston city centre to the main square in Kraków, Poland, and commemorate the experience of Irish migrants in the city. The event will also provide an opportunity for members of different professions to come together, discuss ideas and form new networks.   

* Doreen Massey, World City, 2007   

In Certain PlacesIn Certain Places is funded by Harris Museum & Art Gallery, UCLan, Esmee Fairbarin Foundation, Arts Council England North West and Lancashire County Council