Just as we felt a sense of recovery from the shock of loss at the closure of Deckspace, we now hear from outgoing Greenwich Dance director that ‘news just in’ from their board of trustees (or was it RBG) setting a very short timetable for closure of the building and evacuation of all activities, not least our place of recent retreat, Bitspace.
We have until May 2018 (now just two weeks) to distill all the materials, machines and mayhem of SPC into shape for, well am not sure quite what just yet!
Over the last 17 years of our Greenwich operation, so much has changed for us all, it would take more than the pages of this blog to represent. Before any such indulgence, the practical process to gather ourselves and identify suitable next steps must get going.
When asked about the meaning of SPC the preferred response is that it’s ‘abbreviated space’. We have successfully held space open for creative use and experimentation but when circumstances change, we must respond with an expectation that each turn exposes fresh opportunities.
Coopepys faces similar issues as it’s ‘life long’ community lease at Daubeny Tower in Pepys estate is being contested by Lewisham Homes. Six spaces for painters, photographers, fabricators and community organisers are well loved but under threat. We have a long term relationship with the space and will certainly take up their kind offer to migrate some of the many SPC projects and subscriber activities.
Pepys Community Library is open 5 days a week thanks to the initiative of community activists from the estate who have taken on the responsibility and made a strong commitment to residents there. As part of its ongoing development SPC now host the weekly wireless workshop and will open the Library there each Wednesday from 10am till 6pm.
Investigations are already underway for new project HOLD at the other end of the Deptford foreshore building on the edge of Pepys Estate, though this is still less than certain. The old storehouse was built in 1780 and is between the desolated plot of Convoys Wharf and the Southwalk border. It’s currently a very serene corner of Deptford with small park and presents a sweeping Thames panorama overlooking the financial stew on the Isle of Dogs. The river along this stretch was home to the Tudor Docks and used to build British Navy ships for 350 years.
On another tack, the Glasshouse Trust are offering visual artist groups 12 months share of offices and exhibition space at Ravens Row in Artillery Street, Spitalfields. This invitation closes today so I hope they will look kindly on our appeal.
During the recent Exploding Cinema show at the spectacular Cinema Museum we were reminded how precariously their future swings in the balance in the dash for cash and release of responsibility that all local authorities lust for.
Central st Martins 3d students will be spending the first few weeks of their summer term out on the street as they explore the making of space opportunities offered by Mazi toolkit. They will be shaping up how best to configure options and set out public access to four separate offline initiatives that should accommodate examples of their working practices, initiatives to engage with each other, trade, test and contest concepts of public and private, direct action and consent.
Let’s hope they have time to pause and consider why we find ourselves in these situations and how to understand and tackle difficulties presented. I find Dmytri explanations inspiring and instructive and perhaps you will get something of value from this blast of oxygen!