Over the past week we've been transforming a store room at the Royal Academy into Urbania's Red room. We've built tables, a toilet and brought in many of the objects created during our residency at Parkamoor in the Lake District this july.

The red room will be the focal point for our activity for the next 3 months leading to Urbania's Soup Night on 8th January 2009.

I personally like to thank Grizedale Arts, Martino Gamper and Michael Smythe for there support in the development of the project thus far.

Please feel free to pop in to the Red Room.

Harold

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http://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/ulverston/1.231240

Gotta love the red room - viewed from the outside as arresting and intriguing, it draws you away from the singular contemplation that precedes its discovery. Immediately being confronted with people is intimidating yet exciting and ultimately rewarding as interaction provides a key-hole insight into the workings of a collective. Once within and beyond the key-hole you shift from voyeur to viewed, becoming part of the art as an impression of another. Immediately active yet obviously static - a slog of a show - the individuals give depth and meaning to compliment the warm welcome - who can refuse soup and mulled wine?!

Boys and girls, really enjoyed being a momentary inclusion, able to perpetuate the experience. And what soup! hearty grub with brick bread is as much as any man can ask for whilst wondering round a gallery. Loved it and very sad not to have made the 8th, hope it was all fun and games.x

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Patrick & Oko constructing the raft
Patrick & Oko constructing the raft
Carrying the raft down the Hill.
Carrying the raft down the Hill.
Carrying the raft down the Hill.
Carrying the raft down the Hill.
The raft at the lakeside.
The raft at the lakeside.
floating raft
floating raft
Oko and Patrick on the raft
Oko and Patrick on the raft
Jessica flying the flag
Jessica flying the flag
Looking down on Peel island
Looking down on Peel island

During our residency week in the lake district we constructed a raft and attempted to lauch and sail it to Peel Island on Lake Coniston. Peel Island is attributed to be the original home of the fictional Wild Cat Island in the Swallows and Amazons books by Arthur Ransome.
These sample photos document the rafts journey from Parkamoor to Peel island.
Harold
For more images go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/urbaniacollective/

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look another artist collective dressing up a making dens

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Raising the Flag.
Raising the Flag.
Urbania Group Photo
Urbania Group Photo
At Grizedale Arts for Radio Show
At Grizedale Arts for Radio Show
Urbania/Parkamoor
Urbania/Parkamoor

Following the cancellation of the live studio event at the Rochelle school, Urbania decided to transfer their activity to Grizedale Arts, Parkamoor cottage in the lake distict. For a week in July 2008 the group took over Parkamoor, embarking on a number of projects, these photos document some of the daily activities that took place at Parkamoor, place with no running water or electricity but beauitfully located above lake Coniston.
For more photos go to  http://www.flickr.com/photos/urbaniacollective/
Harold

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John the farmer down the hill has been asking where all 'that red lot' went and if they're coming back. Unlike some they seem to have made an effort with the locals and , despite being overtly red and of the world of art, have made an impression and connection with the good people of Coniston, which is always appreciated and leads to better relationships and better work on the whole. Having said that it's always healthy to have the odd career seeking missile blasting through not giving a flying toss about public perception and ploughing ahead.

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Dinner at Oko's
Dinner at Oko's
Brick Bread
Brick Bread
At Tate Modern
At Tate Modern
Dinner at Iris's
Dinner at Iris's
At Tate Modern
At Tate Modern
Tony Conrad performance at Tate Modern
Tony Conrad performance at Tate Modern

During the summer 2008 Urbania members hosted a number of gatherings in the run to our residency at Parkamoor in the Lake district. These meetings often involved food, discussion and specific activities. The attached photos document some of those activities by Oko and Iris.
Harold

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Back in March 2008 Urbania was reduced from 8 to 6 members. On the 13 March 2008 we declared Urbania with the words "The place is coming with us". The attached photos record that meeting and the first use our uniform, slogan and brick symbol.
Harold

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Hello Everyone

I wanted to update those who'd missed yesterdays meeting very exciting and productive meeting, rather go over the discussion in detail i'm just briefly going to outline the agreement we reach amongst the collective.

The framework and reference for the Urbania broadcast will be the former Prime time BBC show Tomorrow's World, the programme ran for 38 years and through a variety of reports, demonstrations and wacky items looked at developments in science and technology.


We thought it would be good to use the structure and framework this TV format provides. Our aim as a crew is to explore, research, develop, produce and eventually present the content for our very own Tomorrow's world, a 45 minute Futurist magazine show, mixing live and pre-recorded elements, actual or imagined future sounds and visions with a live studio audience, presenters, TV set or who knows

The Collective's aim or mission is to explore future trends in Living, working, behaviour, social dynamics, inter-personal relationships etc, etc. Each member of the collective will be allocated a 5 min slot on the show to develop an item of their own interest that can be manifested by a pre recorded film, an interview or live demonstration etc.

The live/work residency at Rochelle will be provide the opportunity for the group to research and develop their projects for the show on site, like TV production company. There is the opportunity to invite guests, enact items for the show, for example Maki's school idea could be brought to life.

At the end of the meeting those present felt this Framework allows us to live, work and interact as collective while developing a dynamic and interesting online broadcast that reflects both individual and collective, interests and skills while hopefully engaging various audiences.

Links:
TW clips
More TW clips

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Hi Urbanians

Thanks to everyone who showed up for last nights Marathon meeting at Rochelle, while i don't think we came up with a definitive idea, i felt we did move things forward. Feeling slightly exhausted, I made some very brief notes, as ever feel free to amend, correct etc

I felt there were some overriding issues that we need to tackle and address

1) The purpose/aim/mission of the collective. What do we stand for if anything?

2) The residency and co-habitation of the collective, How is this structured? Rules, continuous presence etc

3) Collective and individual activity, what do we do as a group and individuals?

4) Broadcasting, How do we use the online, TV format of the Agri-Project.

5) Relationship with audiences/viewers, either local Rochelle and Global via web

There have been several strategies that we've looked at over time

A) Using collecting and archiving/recycling as a means of creating dialogue with other groups/individuals. "the Borrowers" or "Wombles"

B) Community service providers, with a mission, providing a platform for others. ie 'The A Team"


C) Parasites:using, responding, subverting and making interventions within and outside the structure of the Agri Project

D)LAST NIGHTS PROPOSAL.

 A collective task to build a structure, a tower or bridge, together during the broadcast week. We would seek materials via our broadcasts and with the aid of a guest builder construct the structure from donations.

2 items on last night agenda were:

* Feedback from my meeting Adam Sutherland, (Director of Grizedale Arts/Project Curators)
There's a strong sense that no one knows what we're doing, what our output might be and what materials/ facilities we need. Adam is quite keen for us the adopt strategy C) Parasites in relation to rest of the Agri project.
I got an overview of most of the other Agri projects, many of which are completed or in full production.

* Jessica's future role in the project.
Jess and me had a conversation about her difficulties in participating in the process so far and likely problems in the future. We talked about how she might be involved through a proposal to stage a specific "Soup" event as part of a possible schedule of invited/guest events in the broadcast week. At the meeting there was a strong debate and a mixed response, with several people questioning Jess's ability to commit to the project as a whole. Jess has sent an outline of the soup project for the group and a final decision will perhaps depend on the nature of the final project.

Group activity
Last night we explored the idea of creating rules for the group to follow, it was decided that two sets of rules would be created to by followed by the group over 2 saturdays

Rules for the 19th January were written by the individual members responding to previous written rules:
Don't write "I"
Pretend it's Sunday
Only eat purple coloured food
Skip at least 5 times
Learn to play 1 tune on any instrument
Dance in public space

Rules for 26th January were written in secret
Eat 5 new things combined
Eat Lunch alone. Reflect on the notion of a group.
Laugh at people driving red cars.
Pretend its Monday
Ask a stranger if you can stroke their shoulder
Compliment 25 people.


The next meeting has been set for Monday 21st at 5pm to 7pm at Rochelle.

I would like to suggest that for the next meeting we all bring to the table our own project outlines, perhaps with drawings/photos that address points 1 to 5 listed above. Time to lay out cards on the table, what do we really want!

We can then in turn present them to the group. I think it might be easier to make a definitive decision in relation to specific ideas and projects. I feel we have to come out of mondays meeting with clear sense of how the project will develop over the next 9 weeks. It would be nice to move on to the next stage of seeing things realized. This is my view, perhaps a bit dictatorial, but please, please let us know your views.

Love and Best wishes
Harold



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The movie omits chapter 21 from Anthony Burgess' novel.

We deliberately avoided watching the movie before our visit to Thamesmead. On our return to the more familiar Hackney, we watched Kubrick's movie and recognized places as memories of the afternoon. The horse which saluted us when we arrived and was still there at dusk could have been a possible extra.

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On saturday 12th January 2008. Members of the Urbania collective took a day trip to Thamesmead, East London. This 60's housing development was used as a location in Stanley Kubrick's  'A Clockwork Orange'.

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