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Connecting Principle is an art centred international multi-disciplinary research forum at Newcastle University instigating a dialogue between art and other disciplines. Lead by Prof Wolfgang Weileder, the aim of the forum is to increase opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration within academia and independently. Connecting Principle sees itself as an international network of artists, theorists and researchers.

Our current activities feature a series of presentations, round table discussions and an annual two-day event that showcases the recent projects and collaborations of our members.

Upcoming in 2014:

'A graffited city is not a safe city!' If the work becomes reassuring...
Elisa Del Prete

director of Nosadella.due, Bologna
Tuesday, 2 December 2014, 4pm
New Seminar Room, Old Fine Art Building
Newcastle University

What does it mean to realize an art project for a specific context? To communicate in a specific context, keeping the context alive, nurturing a cultural community, creating an adding value for the society development? In Italy each stone on which we plod is a piece of our art history. You can not think about public art projects without to start from this. Whether the 'piece of art' is original or not. People need it. People need to feel safe. Founded in Bologna in 2006 within a private family house as a curatorial project, as a space dedicated to knowledge, to sharing, to choosing, as one of the first places of art residencies in Italy, Nosadella.due, independent Residency for Public Art started inviting foreign artists to confront with the local and specific territory of the city, its own urban environments, social tissue, history and patrimony. What we found after eight years is that art can create a new form of community, of brave single individuals.

Elisa Del Prete (Bologna, 1978) graduated in History of Art at the University of Bologna defending a dissertation in Iconology about the Aby Warburg's method and Library and his influence on Italian cultural studies. In 2004 started to work as an independent curator and critic focusing her research on sculpture in public space, interaction between art and society, role of visual arts in building imaginaries and modelling identities. In 2006 she founded Nosadella.due, Independent Residency for Public Art as her own curatorial project, an independent residency program for artists and curators focused on art projects in public context with interdisciplinary approach, community based and relational art practices, shared knowledge of local historical and cultural patrimony. She has recently curated the publication Journal 2007-2011 where she collects the entire first five years of Nosadella.due's activity. As journalist she contributes to doppiozero.com, Arte&Critica, Il Giornale dell'arte / Fondazioni art magazines.

More information on www.nosadelladue.com

Connecting Principle Event 14: Sustainability in the City of Flux
Wednesday November 26th
Culture Lab, space 4/5

If our cities are in constant flux and we cannot predict how spaces will be re-appropriated in the future, then how can our urban spaces be sustainable and endure over time? This research forum/workshop will aim to open up a space for a discussion into the sustainable, yet flexible city through the fields of art and architecture by questioning:

What is the role of creative material experimentation - making, ‘testing’ ideas or ‘playing’ the city in an anticipatory, incremental manner – for observing how people co-construct, use, appropriate and change urban space, where the reactivation of space through informal use could act as a catalyst for subsequent use?

What role can public participation play in diluting the traditional power imbalances in the city, stimulating everyday active citizenship; and creating the sustainable city by giving people more of a stake in it?

As points of reference, we may look to Richard Sennett’s (2014) non-linear ‘open city’ or Yona Freidman’s concept of the city with no predefined form: only through the act of living within space can it be constructed. Here, space should be interpreted and determined by the user; generating social agency through sustained participation. Or we might look at the ‘planned obsolescence’ of Cedric Price’s adaptable designs - planning for an unknowable future, or Joseph Beuys’ conceptualisation of ‘social sculpture’, where society can shape their environment through participating in the creation of the artwork.

Approaching sustainability through the lens of the ever-changing society and the ever-changing city could offer a vision of how sustainability can be mobilised in the city of flux.


10:00  Arrival, coffee and tea

10:15  Introduction from Julia Heslop (Department of Human Geography and Fine Art, Durham and Newcastle Universities) and Wolfgang Weileder

10:30  Peter Kellett

11:15  Jonathan Baxter

12:00 – 12:45  Lunch buffet

12:45 – 13:15  Group discussions/ideas building

13:15 – 14:00  Ideas round-up with panel

14:00  End of event, tea and coffee

This new art lead research project will provide the opportunity for artists and researchers to be engaged in the multi-faceted debate around the term Sustainability through the Connecting Principle research forum.

At the heart of the Jetty Project is the creation of a temporary large-scale architectural artwork integrated within the impressive wooden structure of Dunston Staithes, a landmark scheduled Monument and Grade II structure on the south bank of the River Tyne in Newcastle/Gateshead.

The artwork will be the catalyst for further events, opportunities and new research interest groups as part of the Connecting Principle research forum.

The Jetty Project funded by the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) is lead by artist Wolfgang Weileder, Professor of Contemporary Sculpture at Newcastle University, and has been developed in collaboration with urbanist Professor Simon Guy, Director of the Architecture Research Centre at the University of Manchester, with additional project partners from the arts, heritage, education and business community.

Further information about Jetty can be found at

For further information and updates on Jetty and the involvement of Connecting Principles please contact marianne.wilde@ncl.ac.uk

If you are interested in a new research group that will discuss the emerging themes of Jetty related to the Urban Environment then please contact Thomas.Wainwright@newcastle.ac.uk

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Wolfgang Weileder
Fine Art, School of Arts and Cultures
Tel: 0191 261 2962

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, NE1 7RU
Culture Lab forms part of an evolving network of artists, researchers and scientists 
  at Newcastle University looking at new ways of working across traditional academic