[ISEA97] Paper: Mike Stubbs – RUNNING OUT OF TIME: Organization as Critique


An illustrated talk on the work of Hull Time Based Arts in relation to artists intervention. Focusing on international collaboration, artists initiatives, membership organisation structures and future ways of working co-operatively. Artists projects and collaborations (exhibited during the annual ROOT Festival—this year ROOTIess 97—Nomad Domain) will be used to show commissioning procedures and look at placing of artists’ technology based work in site sensitive locations/public places. The presentation will concentrate on

  1. the relationship HTBA has to a developing sense of subversion of mainstream arts practice (a development that is happening on an international scale, made easier by new communication strategies).
  2. the relationship between practice, political and practical expediency that has developed at HTBA and the way in which HTBA uses national and local funding
  3. new tactical media and ways of operating: interventions, pranks, subversions of the mainstream

A definition of Time-Based Arts:
“Art that is experienced for a limited period of time. Any medium or process can be used, though painting and sculpture is normally considered time based art, however carving of rocks over thousands of years by natural forces is fast enough.”
—    Mike Stubbs, 1993

Time-based art is a hybrid, part of the chain of “third area”, “alternative media”, “other media” but usefully all embracing not framed in relation to the first and second media or dominant media—something in itself and increasingly intertwined with electronic art. Video, slide, and web documentation of artists commissions illustrating the talk will include:

  •  Anne Whitehurs, Ida Agency/Denial
  •  Simon Poulter, Counter Marketing/Propoganda
  •  Heath Bunting/Rachel Baker, Routless/Tesco Clubcard
  •  Granular Synthesis, Modell 5
  •  Heather Ackroyd/Dan Harvey, Grass House
  •  Susan Collins, Pedestrian Gestures
  •  Roddy Hunter/Julie Bacon/Roland Miller, Dee-Commission

What these artists’ projects share is the ability to subvert and entertain through content or placement.They intervened in audience expectations, physical location, or the system they operated on.

  • Mike Stubbs is based in Hull, UK, Hull Time Based Arts is one of Europe’s leading commissioners of live and new technology arts, supporting the development of innovative new work through it’s exhibition and touring programme, Avidlab digital media production resources and technical and administrative assistance. HTBA promotes the practice of innovative contemporary work in the time-based arts. HTBA has recently commissioned a study into a major new development: Centre for Electronic & Photographic Imaging Arts. HTBA provides artists facilities, training in new technology and commissions new artworks from home and abroad, which includes the European Media Art Residency Exchange (EMARE) programme with Hungary, Finland and Germany. HTBA invites innovative proposals for new and challenging work.