Critical Pulse: The Cultural Sector After Covid

Launching at The Culture Sector After Covid event, we are proud to present this festival commission.

UnderExposed Commission

Sussex Festival of Ideas and Photoworks are working collaboratively on a three-stage participatory art project exploring the public’s hopes for the cultural sector as UK arts organisations come out of lockdown.

Five prominent Sussex University alumni working in the arts were approached to contribute a single question about people’s hopes for the UK’s cultural organisations in the months and years ahead.

The questions are being put to the public as a catalyst for short image or text-based responses, with the goal of creating a far-reaching participatory portrait of people’s hopes for individual and collective cultural futures.

The responses will provide the material for a newly commissioned artwork, produced by Brighton-based collective UnderExposed, which will be exhibited at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts in the autumn.

Critical Pulse was conceived as a companion project for the Sussex Festival of Ideas’ panel discussion about The Cultural Sector After Covid, with the goal of opening up the debate to a diversity of voices and experiences.

1. The Questions

‘How can cultural institutions ensure that artists/creators are recognised and valued as their core assets without which they could not exist?’

Gilane Tawadros, Chief Executive, DACS

‘How can arts organisations make the world a better place?’

Sarah Philp, Director of Programmes and Policy, The Art Fund

‘How can we be of service to you?’

Cara Courage, Head of Tate Exchange

‘How should artists be rewarded?’

Bertie Carvell, actor

‘How can our cultural sector unite to respond collectively to the widespread and systematic ideological, political, and financial attacks? How will we take a stand together?’ 

Helen Cammock, artist

2. The Callout

You can submit your responses to the questions in three ways:

  • Instagram
    Post an image dump* on your instagram page and tag it @SussexuniMAH @undr_xposed, @photoworks_uk and #criticalpulse. Your contribution can include figurative/literal or abstract visual responses to the questions, and can include text. Repurpose and recontextualise past images or create new ones.

    *Image dump – grouping several disparate photos together for one casually captioned post
  • Twitter
    We will share one question a week for the next five weeks on the Sussex School of Media, Arts and Humanities and Photoworks twitter accounts, inviting you to respond with a max of 280 characters.

    Respond @SussexuniMAH, @undr_xposed, @photoworks_uk and #criticalpulse.
  • Dropbox
    If you want to contribute anonymously and privately then you can deposit materials in Dropbox. We welcome longer text responses (such as diary entries, previously authored related essays), visual responses that may come in a variety of formats (such as collages, image dump, single images – new or recontextualized), as well as audio responses (such as ambient sounds, spoken responses).

    You can share via DropBox by clicking on the button below or by following this link:

The Commission

Your contributions will provide the basis for a creative output produced by UnderExposed and exhibited at the ACCA in the autumn. UnderExposed have also played a crucial role is shaping the overall vision for the project:

Critical Pulse invites you to reflect on your position in the current art landscape. Explore your existence in our immediate creative ecosystem by generating text and image-based responses to the selected questions by Sussex alumni as part of The Festival of Ideas. What are the possibilities for the art sector? How can culture serve the public? We are encouraging photographic, written, or audio-visual responses to be sent to us to project what artistic idealism and a creative utopia might be like. Your personal and universal contributions will result in artistic vibrations that will pulsate within the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts this summer, resulting in a collective embodiment of responses, where we become the answers to these questions. Are you interested in taking the pulse of the art sector with us?

Event Details