Testing Situations was awarded a Wellcome Public Engagement Grant to tour around the UK throughout 2019. Through a range of events - from exhibitions and one off screenings to interactive workshops, live experiments and public discussions - the tour drew upon the knowledge of experts and communities to learn how testing can affect people’s lives and society at large. If you would be interested in hosting an event, collaborating with us, contributing to the Testing Situations archive or would like to find out more, please contact us.
You can keep up to date with the project by following us on Twitter.
Please see below for details of past events
Jupiter Woods Jan/Feb 2019
The first presentation of Testing Situations took place at experimental art space, Jupiter Woods in London. This month-long exhibition included a multichannel film installation of the 'Neva', a sound installation of a typical testing environment and an interactive, evolving archive. Contributions and informal conversations with visitors and a series of group discussions uncovered a range of new perspectives and questions such as: what is the role of artists in the representation of neurological illness? Who has a stake in these representations? Are joy and sadness mutually exclusive emotions? How could modifications to testing environments and furniture design help improve the experience of assessment?
UCL Institute of Education
We gave a talk about the ethics of artists working with people with dementia, as part of a workshop and discussion event about the ethics of public engagement.
A blog post by the UCL Public Engagement network, which reflects on the session can be found here
RDS Regional Facilitator Meeting
As part of the tour, we'll be visiting regional rare dementia support groups and trialing new testing ideas and activities.
We'll be developing a series of screenings, as well as talks, conversations and creative workshops using story-telling, object handling, mark-making, drawing or sound.
We've been busy booking in venues and this is how the map is looking at the moment. More details coming soon.
In the meantime please get in touch if you would like us to come and visit you or you want to know more about these dates and events.
Activity Trialing - May 2019
The team has been trialing some activities for the the tour including object handling, drawing a story telling.
We're also excited to present some new work from the Single Yellow Lines project over the next few months
First touring dates (05/19-06/19)
For the first dates on the tour we've been visiting regional support groups for people affected by young onset dementias, and inviting people to take part in the project through screenings, conversations, object handling and drawing exercises. Minutes from these meetings can be found here.
16th June 2019
We spent an afternoon at Alexandra Palace including getting to know each-other through music and object handling, followed by a film screening of the 'Neva'. In the second part of the session we made blue-tack sculptures and marked drawing boards, which were brought together at the end. This tabletop will be constructed and exhibited at the end of the tour.
Unique Cottage Studios - 9th & 10th August 2019
We ran a two-day drop-in event at beautiful arts facility, Unique Cottage Studios in Spalding, Lincolnshire. This included screenings of the 'Neva', alongside an exhibition of artworks, archival documents and objects and participatory drawing activities. Through this we had many valuable, in depth conversations about people's experiences of testing; increasing awareness about rare dementias and learning more about support services in rural locations.
SYL Preparations and Inspirations
August / September 2019
The Single Yellow Lines project has been in constant development. We were blown away by the simplicity of marks in this painting titled Kufic, 1965 by Lee Krasner on display at Barbican Centre. It seems to relate strongly to some of the themes we're exploring and in preparation for our activities and experiments at Barbican at the end of October, we've also been developing some VR experiments and playing with lab equipment.
Catalyst Tour, Newcastle
Dementia Innovation Hub Co-ordinator Catherine Butcher and TS project lead Charlie Harrison getting ready for a tour of the Catalyst: National Innovation Centre for Ageing in Newcastle. Testing Situations will be one of the first collaborators in this space and we're looking forward to showing all the artwork and learning outputs from the public engagement tour in early 2020.
CCA Glasgow Workshop
16th September 2019
We had a brilliant time at CCA Glasgow for the first of two in-depth workshops. Through talks, participatory activities, screenings and making workshops we reflected on the methods used in Testing Situations and considered whether we might ever be able to measure creativity.
Living Well with Dementia
25th September 2019
Testing Situations project lead Charlie Harrison spoke at the Living Well with Dementia event at the Met Hotel in Leeds. This was an amazing day of talks and workshops, curated by the Every Third Minute curators and West Yorkshire Playhouse. It was a great opportunity to discuss what we've been learning through the tour and the importance of working together. More information from this event can be found here.
CCA Glasgow Workshop
30th September 2019
For the second day of workshops at CCA Glasgow we explored the Single Yellow Lines project. As a group we considered the history of simple artistic gestures, the value of expression for people with dementia and the tensions existing when scientific and human data is aestheticised.
19th October 2019
A wonderful day at Lumen URC for Bloomsbury Festival. Collaborator Prof Elizabeth Warrington dropped in to see how the project has been progressing, and it was great to introduce the work to lots of interesting festival goers.
Single Yellow Lines at Barbican Centre
23rd-27th October 2019
We had lots of fun over 5 days at Barbican Centre; inviting visitors to paint single yellow lines in both real-world and virtual painting environments. How do we interpret these lines? Do we need to? The takeover was also an opportunity to discuss innovative research investigating the perception of verticality from UCL sensorimotor lab and for one day only we presented an audio-visual installation in the Level G Studio, converting bodily data into sound.
Fabrica Gallery, Brighton
4th November 2019
In conjunction with the ESRC Festival of Social Science and an exhibition about Care at Fabrica Gallery Brighton, Testing Sitiuations held an event focussing on drawing, research and evaluation including discussions about movement, expression, perception, hope and memory alongside social scientists Prof Paul Camic and Emma Harding.
Grainger Market, Newcastle
14th November 2019
The final stop on the tour was in Grainger Market, a beautiful traditional market in the heart of Newcastle. This pop-up space provides information and a drop-in service for the local and wider community and it was brilliant to understand better the services available and how people are affected by dementia and cognitive testing in this part of the UK.