Kristian Gath is a first year AHRC/Midlands3Cities Ph.D. researcher at Birmingham City University, working in collaboration with Tate Liverpool. His interdisciplinary Ph.D., ‘The visual arts in urban regeneration: A tale of two cities – A comparative analysis of Birmingham and Liverpool’, investigates how collaborative arts as social enterprise can open up pathways to participation within urban regeneration projects either through enhanced consultation mechanisms or direct engagement. His research has a specific interest in arts organizations and artist collectives that use models of collaborative arts as social enterprise to resist; adapt to; appropriate or allow themselves to become appropriated by urban regeneration projects as a means of increasing engagement. During his research he has presented at a number of PhD-led and international conferences, including Museums (Em)Power; The Inclusive Museum and Urban Regeneration and Sustainability. He is also a contributing member of the Creative Industries Research Cluster which operates within the Midlands and has recently published with Intellect Books.
Visioning the Double: Tracing the Emergent – Navigating Conflicting Narratives of the Field
Reflecting on the first year of research towards my PhD, this paper will interrogate the context of double-vision of my CDP and how to navigate the relationship between the autonomous or institutionalised researcher. Highlighting ethical and methodological considerations to my research so far in relation to this, I discuss how it simultaneously offers strengths and weaknesses in being able to trace ‘the emergent’ within our object of study. This paper will stress the importance of playing the role of devil’s advocate to simultaneously challenge the practice of the research setting I am operating in, its wider cultural ecology and how this promotes dialogue within my own research via the principle of collaborative dialectics. This paper will indicate how this principle has informed my research so far in tracing the emergent practice of collaborative arts as social enterprise as part of my CDP with Tate Liverpool working on the thesis: The Visual Arts in Urban Regeneration: A Tale of Two Cities, which poses the following significant questions to my field: : How have the socio-economic and socio-political conditions within Birmingham and Liverpool shaped the practice of urban regeneration and its relation to arts policy, practice and provision? How has the practice of community and participatory arts transitioned towards collaborative and socially-engaged arts as social enterprise in respect to this? And how can an ecological critique of collaborative and socially engaged art as social enterprise develop a model of participatory institutionalism within urban regeneration via processes of consultation and direct engagement?