Foundation & Trust


    The Science of Cooperation, Collaboration and Collectivity:
    Agency, Politics and Art

    Introduction: We will give a short introduction to our collective practice and what it means to work collectively, citing various examples of such practice.  We will also introduce a working manifesto for The Foundation & Trust, which takes the form of a treatise, which gives a general overview of why people working in the creative arts should work together. The title of this thesis is Immanence, Potentiality, Complimentarity. The central point of the presentation will be to emphasize that no art is made in isolation and to place art in a social ontology.

    Seminar: The students will then be invited to consider why people work together and the various forms these collaborations take; from discussions over coffee to structured politicized art collectives.  We will pay particular attention to artistic labour, value, and modes of production. We will then discuss the mechanisms and possibilities of working collectively as well as the reasons for working in this way and the various pitfalls and failings of bad collaboration. We will then decide on the initial groups/collectives, which will create a meaningful platform to begin work on their manifestos. This is a platform for arguing, debating, fighting.

    Manifestos/Sloganeering: The final stage of Part One will be used to develop each collective’s manifesto. It is important to think of this not as a writing exercise but as a means by which each new collective can collectively author a work which they can all sign up to. This could be a performance, a slogan, poster, prose… My teaching time will be split between one-to-one crits with each collective/group.  Each group will then present their manifesto to the other groups and we will have a group crit to discuss each new collective’s approach to their collectivity and their manifesto/presentations. This manifesto will serve as a working framework for each collective as the weeks progress. It will be reworked, changed and will evolve during the project. This will be key to investigating that there is no hard and fast rule to working collectively, and indeed failure is to be accepted and understood: try again, fail again, fail better.

    Foundation & Trust

    The Foundation & Trust is a fluid, rolling collective in which artists and many other professionals work together to produce events, performances, sound and text based works, interventions and objects that examine and critique existing structures, institutions, economics and art at play in the world. Recent investigations have focused on unconcealing the different economic models working within established cultural institutions. During all research projects, F&T continually critique the social, political, economic and artistsic dynamics of collective or collaborative practice. As a collective it is the contention of F&T that no art ‘moment’ happens in isolation – all art is social and therefore must be placed in a social ontology.
    F&T have recently produced their first publiction Agency: Some Texts on an Exhibition and are working with Birkbeck, UAL, Chelsea College of Arts and Manchester School of Art on a series of performative workshops. In 2013 they will launch a Foundation & Trust residential school – a series of classes that combine collective practice, education and performance, which will look specifically at the commercial impact of art through a conceptual lens. F&T’s first solo show (un)coverings is currently on show at The Fleming Collection, London.

    Paul Macgee

    Paul Macgee graduated with a first class honours from Chelsea College of Art in 2009. Macgee has an exclusively collaborative practice that is both research and production based. Macgee has exhibited internationally and has published several books. Recent collaborations include Emma Smith, Freee Art Collective, AndersonMacgee and Other Collective. He is a currently researcher at The Contemporary Marxism Research Group/Contemporary Marxism Collective, University of the Arts London. He is a founding member of The Foundation & Trust Art Collective. He is currently undertaking a PhD at Chelsea College of Art, London “Towards a Social Ontology for Art”. He is a Special Lecturer at Chelsea College of Art and Design, London and Royal College of Art, London