Dark Days, Ellie Harrison, 13 February 2015 #guestpost

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I was particularly interested in Ellie Harrison’s Dark Days project when applying for the placement position* at GoMA because of the intersecting of art, society and science within Harrison’s work. Dark Days shows the potential of art as a cultural vehicle and platform to create awareness about climate change and the role of public space.

It’s now only a week to go until Dark Days event at GoMA and all planning seems well underway! Over 100 participants have been contacted now with how to commit to the project and have been issued with the camp manuals, so now it is just the fine details. Once the final 100 are signed up, the remainder of the 800 applicants will be contacted by Tuesday 10 February. Dark Days will (hopefully!) explore the potential re-use of public buildings and public spaces in the future. It will examine how 100 people form a pop-up community and the politics that arise with communal living within the great hall.

Workshops such as consensus decision-making are organised by trained facilitators, Tripod, for the evening. Consensus decision-making aims to be non-hierarchical, where rather than voting for decisions, which leads to a majority’s support; consensus decision-making aims to provide everyone with an equal voice, resulting in a decision that everyone can agree with or at least cooperate with. This in itself highlights the utopian vision of consensus decision making, but the effectiveness of such a technique will be explored on the night. This is the first public overnight stay at the GoMA, so the possibilities of what could transpire are very exciting!

Dark Days is an outcome of Harrison’s year as one of the associate artists at the GoMA, as well as her Early Warning Signs project, which is running for a second year at the GoMA. The Early Warning Signs project is comprised of four signs all stating ‘Climate Change’. Each year they go to separate venues to promote consciousness of climate change and form discussions about methods for a more environmentally friendly environment. 2015 is also Glasgow’s Green Year focusing on sustainability, where the city ultimately strives to become a European leader in environmental, social and economic sustainability, resulting in the perfect time for Harrison’s work.

Rhona MacGuire

* This is part of my  Modern & Contemporary Art: History, Curating & Criticism MSc at the University of Edinburgh

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