topologies | report
is an initiative that has been researched and developed since 1998 by
Proboscis. It aims to rethink existing
manifestations of public art and the sites in which they are received
by audiences. It aims to engage 'users' rather than 'viewers' and to
commission and distribute works that are a catalyst for discovery, discussion
By intervening within such public sites, TOPOLOGIES aims to introduce conceptual art practices (as distinct from public monuments and sculptures) to diverse and new audiences, attempting to widen the audience for contemporary art beyond the gallery experience. Public libraries are seen by Proboscis to be one of the UK's most important cultural jewels, long-underfunded and lacking in support from central government. As sites for learning and culture they are unparalleled, offering a unique user-centred experience that is different from the viewer experience of a museum or a gallery.
TOPOLOGIES' long term aim is to increase access to innovative cultural forms and to widen the understanding of artistic activity as a crucial part of the process of social and cultural regeneration.
TOPOLOGIES is a key element of Proboscis' aim to explore and create dynamic new environments for cultural production and speculation. Its development forms part of the ongoing research programme, SoMa: social matrices think tank, recently founded by Proboscis. SoMa is a partnership between Proboscis, the School of Communications at the Royal College of Art, Media@lse (London School of Economics).
detailed outline is available in PDF
report of the research and feasibility study findings (supported by
the Arts Council of England) is now available in PDF format:
current climate of arts funding and institutional restructuring, major
public funding to realise a non-building-based national initiative like
TOPOLOGIES is unlikely to materialise in the short term.
However, this does not invalidate the public benefit that the initiative could bring as a whole or by realising individual components as discreet projects. Proboscis is now consulting with key agencies and stakeholders to develop structures and funding to realise the initiative by other means. Proboscis is very keen to hear from organisations, institutions and businesses wishing to take part in this process. We are also interested in working with international agencies and organisations to develop the initiative outside of the UK. Please contact Alice Angus, project director.
welcomes feedback from interested parties. For
further information on the project or to inquire about participating,