Tag: socially-engaged art
XXXX My practice is wide-ranging. I use my body, mind, the bodies and minds of other people, images, moving images, words, concepts, other people’s concepts and more. I I have also been inspired by the radical yet witty work of my colleague the wonderful artist Cesar Cornejo, such as his Puno Museum of Contemporary Art.
I was juror for the prestigious Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF)’s New Asian Currents in Japan. There will also be a showcase for my films, during which I will show How to Thrive in 2050 (2021, commissioned for BBC Culture in Quarantine) and Chlorine Addiction (2000, which was at the NAC in 2001 too, as well as multiple international showcases including Transmediale 2001).
What could our future look like? Even — or especially — when the absurdity and extra-ordinariness of how things are makes this a preposterous question to raise, let alone respond to, it is imperative that we insist, persist, and resist, by making, re-making, re-imagining and re-inventing our truths, to re-write our own stories, histories and futures, to work through our pain, trauma and joys. Come ‘Have a Speed-Date With Kai – Let’s Re-Imagine our (Collective) Future Together’, at a group show Ordinary Things (02-25 November 2023), The Winchester Gallery, curated by Professor of Visual Politics Louise Siddons.
I enjoy playing with words and the written language as creative material. However, certain ‘standard’ approaches can present difficulty. Being dyslexic, academic writing and reading aren’t my mother tongue. I am thus delighted to have signed not one but three book contracts recently. The books are distinct in their tone, case studies and reach, but also, interrelated. They will reach the world from 2024.
I am delighted to have signed a contract in February 2023 with World Scientific (a leading academic publisher of scientific, technical, and medical books and journals with partnerships with Nobel Foundation and Imperial College Press) to publish a full-length monograph (70,000 words, 12 chapters, 14 colour plates) of the same title as this website, for circulation circa Q1 2025.
As Trustee Board Member of Hear Me Out (HMO), mobilities researcher, and failed former music child prodigy-wannabe (with audition aged 15 for a place at Royal College of Music), I am delighted to participate in a workshop as part of Music, Migration and Mobility at Royal College of Music with HMO Artistic Director on 27 January 2023.
My first monograph is under contract with Springer Nature/Palgrave Macmillan, and should be ready circa early 2024. My book will introduce ‘Neurofuturism’ as a heuristic praxis for individuals, collectives and institutions to re-imagine a better future, by re-configuring neurodiversity as a mobile, creative leadership strategy.
Since 2018, I have been a Visiting Lecturer at King’s College London for its Education in Arts and Cultural Settings MA, School of Education, Communication and Society. I lead on 2 sessions: Practice, Movement and Play in Learning, and What will a Neurodiversity-led 2050 look like?, both for the module ‘The Arts, Culture & Education and Learning, Participation’.
The new Creative Arts Leadership MA course, for which I am Programme Lead, is an innovative, radical trans-disciplinary programme that creatively interrogates and explores new, diversified models of ‘leadership’. Curated by UK’s oldest comprehensive art school, and co-delivered with the triple-accredited Business School, the MA scopes, maps, and enacts the possibilities of a more equitable creative leadership praxis.
In this course, we will look at clips from my commissioned film about a ‘neuro-futuristic’ 2050, How to Thrive in 2050, then break into groups and share thoughts and action for our immediate and longer term future. We will cover tactics to push back the pushback, such as forms of censorship and control. Premiere: 3 May 2022, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester UK.
As my essay (08.2022) observes, had Running Artfully Network artist Véronique Chance performed her Thames Run in Summer 2022 instead of Summer 2021, she would’ve only needed to run 232km instead of 240km, as the River Thames has since dried up 8km. Well done humans.
Pro-Perspirant Provocations premiered in July 2022 at Newcastle Contemporary Art, and was created at the invitation of architect and University of Newcastle Architecture PhD candidate Sarah Ackland to celebrate her new show Taking Space, an effort part of the Matrix Feminist Design Collective.
I am a founding member of socially-engaged international art research network, Social Art Inclusion Lab (SAIL, since 04/2022). SAIL is a legacy of Social Art for EDI (SAFEDI, 02/2021-04/2022), an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project as part of its pilot EDI Fellowship, which is led by my mentor Visual Anthropologist Professor Amanda Ravetz, and for which I was a Co-Researcher and Mentor for commissioned artists.
Of my involvement in this £1,397,685 NIHR project: ‘Kai visited HMP YOI Isis during the trial to understand the prison environment and what might motivate participants to engage in the trial. Following this, Kai generated images that emphasised choice, control, autonomy, self-care, self-respect, and, at the same time, was mindful of the stigma attached to ADHD.’
I was Co-Researcher and Mentor in the Social Art For Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (SAFEDI, 02/2021-04/2022), an AHRC EDI Fellowship (PI: Professor Amanda Ravetz,£100,609) led by Manchester Metropolitan University, Social Art Network, & Axis, working with social artists, marginalised communities and policy makers around the UK to rethink what inclusion in the arts means. A legacy of SAFEDI is the research network Social Art Inclusion Lab (SAIL), which I am a founding member of.
UPDATE: As of 08 March 2022, I have resigned from the board, although my support for the Director and Fermynwoods remain. Another role I have previously resigned from was as Research Fellow from Leeds Arts University. Watch this space for a future post on walking out (why, when, where to draw the line, and what some of the lines are).
BBC Radio 4 programme on the 5th Pan African Congress in Manchester and how it relates to BLM today, covering the PAC@75 celebrations that I co-curated with the Prof Ola Uduku who is interviewed in the programme.
You can buy everything you can see on this website, and more. This includes: drawings, art objects like the tapestry above myself, and my thinking time. As I over-think, this will not come cheap. You have been warned.
What should art schools change, so that we can lead change and thrive in, with and for the next generation? Since you asked me, I’ll recommend growing tentacles. This is my new keynote for Network for higher arts education with >300,000 members in 282 institutions in Europe, N and S Americas, and AustralAsia.
CREDIT: Manchester Centre for Public History and Heritage MCPHH. October 2021 ‘The Legendary 1945 Manchester Pan African Congress: Professor Ola Uduku, Dr Kai Syng Tan, and Dr Marie…
What would a neurodiversity-led reality look like? My installation and performance at the Attenborough Arts Centre in the exhibition The World is A Work In Progress (curated by Rachel Graves, 25 September 2021 – 16 January 2022) in Leicester, UK proposes that art and neuro-inclusion are key in creating bold visions of how things can be better, and that each of us can play an active part in that process.
Summary some of my ongoing efforts in anti-racism and Black Lives Matter in collaboration with the outstanding Professor Ola Uduku (University of Liverpool Head of Architecture) in Manchester and the Northwest region and beyond.
Summary of some of my ongoing EDI efforts through art and performance at and beyond MMU as a Senior Lecturer there.
Stimulating article by the marvellously-named artist-researcher Gudrun Filipska on the Running Artfully Network launch.
I welcome new PhD and post-doctoral researchers, and/or PhD external examination opportunities, across diverse subject areas within and beyond the creative arts and humanities
RAN reframes running as an artistic intervention to unpick our time of multiple global crises. At the 26 February Friday launch 10:00-17:00GMT, we presented 22 new insights into climate change, mental health, tech, inequality through running + art, poetry, theatre, sound and more by artists, poets, academics and more from UK and Europe.
Leadership: What is it? What could it be? Power posing: How is power performed? Why pose questions for those in power? Neurodiversity or neurodivergence? Being/becoming ill-disciplined: How to…
03/2020: The COVID-19 pandemic will fundamentally change what/how/who we are forever. Or will it? What is the role of art, creativity and neurodiversity?
04/2020: Watch this interview (40 minutes) on ‘artful leadership’. With Dr Michael Pinchbeck.
04/2020: An early outline of ARTFUL LEADERSHIP artful, sly ways forward, led by artists, in productively antagonistic dialogues with members of other species, through artistic processes and outcomes, exploiting art’s power to provoke, confuse/amuse/bemuse.
The Running Artfully Network (RAN) will be an artist-led initiative using running-inspired art and art-inspired running as a vehicle for social action and building the agenda of running as an artistic research paradigm.
Tweet/Email to collaborate on new ‘Artful Leadership’ project from 2021. I promise to be nice. It will be fun.
05/2020: On Making As Guest Lecturer
I. Step Up the Game II. Step into the Unknown III. Step Away from Comfort Zones IV. Embrace Errors V. Take Risks VI. Play VII. Change Culture VIII. Break Locks and Challenge Gatekeepers IX. Be Athletic X. Be a Running Post(hu)man XI. Be Promiscuous XII. Not All Dead White Men XIII. Be Ill-Disciplined XIV. Embrace Athletes of Creativity XV. Be Happy With The Unfinished
Royal Society of the Arts blog post contextualising RUN! RUN! RUN! Biennale 2016, which responded to the (anti-)migrant crisis and referendum results.
What’s the riskiest thing you have ever done? What do you dream of doing but dare not? Do you dare share something that you’ve never told anyone else before? Go on – what’s the worst that can happen?
04/2020: Other efforts during the pandemic in local and professional contexts and beyond.
04/2020: As UKAAN Creative and Cultural Consultant, I put together a few creative resources for mental health professionals and service users.
04/2020: I responded to UK Parliament’s call for COVID-19 Outbreak Expert Database, as well as a separate call by the UK Government Cabinet Office’s Open Innovation Team for a similar database.
Run run run! Run into difference. Embrace flux. Don’t let things come to standstill. Don’t take things lying down. Mock/knock the toxic status quo. Let us surge forward, hand-in-hand.
03/2020: My show at the Craft and Design Centre was shut, but I redistributed some of my fee and have begun to think more about the importance of being ‘crafty’ and ‘artful’.