We are based in the heart of Finsbury Park, which is used by roughly 55,000 people weekly in a neighbourhood described as ‘superdiverse’ for the nearly 200 languages spoken locally. Working with park users and stakeholders, artists, techies, researchers, policy-makers, and other local arts organisations we have developed a new approach to cultural co-creation in this much loved shared public space: ‘Platforming Finsbury Park’.
Our aims are to:
An important part of this work is our 2019-21 programme, Citizen Sci-Fi, designed to engage our local community in creative imaginings of the future of Finsbury Park. We are producing a range of participatory networked art practices that respond to today’s important questions, in this unique urban park context, that empower local participants, and draw on international areas of practice.
By transforming Finsbury Park into a canvas for participatory digital arts we want to explore how insights drawn from the locality, and meaningful co-created cultural experiences can improve wellbeing for people, establishing new arts practices for Finsbury Park and other public spaces and localities.
This 3-year programme combines citizen science and citizen journalism by crowdsourcing the imagination of local park users and community groups to create new visions and models of stewardship for public, urban green space. By connecting these with international communities of artists, techies and thinkers we are co-curating labs, workshops, exhibitions and Summer Fairs as a way to grow a new breed of shared culture.
#CitSciFi – crowdsourcing creative and technological visions of our communities and public spaces, together.
The Time Portals exhibition, held at Furtherfield Gallery (and across our online spaces), celebrates the 150th anniversary of the creation of Finsbury Park. As one of London’s first ‘People’s Parks’, designed to give everyone and anyone a space for free movement and thought, we regard it as the perfect location from which to create a mass investigation of radical pasts and futures, circling back to the start as we move forwards.
Each artwork in the exhibition therefore invites audience participation – either in its creation or in the development of a parallel ‘people’s’ work – turning every idea into a portal to countless more imaginings of the past and future of urban green spaces and beyond.
For this Olympic year we will consider the health and wellbeing of humans and machines.
For this year of predicted peak heat rises we will consider how machines can work with nature.