Compass Symposium (2011)

Compass Symposium took place on the weekend of 25-27 Nov, in Leeds. It was built around a series of engaging and stimulating discursive Workshop-Discussions on the core themes of live art in the public realm and live art as socially engaged practice, and was directed and managed by Sarah Spanton.

The content was very valuable & as it has prompted me to begin asking questions + provoked more action + doing in my practice.

The content was very interesting, very social, very politically engaged.

The symposium may impact in a number of ways… It prompted me to reassess my assumptions about what working in the public realm means and also why we do it. It encouraged me to look at social space from a more activist rather than passive point of view.

Delegate responses

At its heart were a series of Workshop-Discussions linked to the core themes, accompanied by an additional complementary programme of activities. The Symposium ran alongside the Compass Festival of Live Art, where their schedules were interlinked. Symposium events were hosted by 2 partner venues; Carriageworks Theatre (in Millennium Square) and East Street Arts Patrick Studios (off Mabgate). It drew around 100 participants from across a range of disciplines together from across the country; from fine art, performance, architecture and geography backgrounds. The delegates were practitioners, programmers, curators, producers, academics, arts professionals and postgraduate students.

4 Workshop-Discussions was collaboratively developed by Spanton and a partnership of Guest Contributors who weren’t previously known to each other. They brought a deep knowledge of their own specialism to the collaborations – facilitating engaging unique one-off spaces for participatory dialogue around the themes. Each Workshop-Discussion was held twice over the weekend with different delegates taking part each time.

The Symposium took place within the context of the Compass Live Art Programme developed and managed by Compass Consortium; Karen Watson (East Street Arts), Annie Lloyd and Sarah Spanton/Waymarking.

Image credits: Jonathan Turner