‘That which changes our way of seeing the streets is more important than that which changes our way of seeing a painting’
- Guy Debord, Situationist Internationale
Upper Space is a non-profit public realm art organisation that is comprised of artists; academics; activists and community organisers. We provide a platform for social artists and projects that challenge how we perceive our shared reality and utilise the arts as a form of social agency. We directly support artist’s practices whilst representing a selection of non-commercial public realm artists that engage with social and environmental justice issues within the UK and abroad. We also provide award winning creative outreach projects that work with young people on social and environmental justice issues, with a particular focus on materialism, social unrest, cultural values and the public realm. If you would like to apply for a residency at our studio located in an old cotton mill, or are interested in our creative services please get in touch.
We are passionate for exploring how the arts can be used as a social agent and we are passionate about social justice. We believe that via situated practices and public realm interventions, art retains the energy of agency within lived experience and, in that space, can reconnect art’s ethical responsibilities to its aesthetic responsibilities. We hope to create discursive spaces within the public sphere, to aid self-constitution as a public whose opinions bear on the organisation of society.
It is important to understand how the boundaries which shape our society are constructed and how these boundaries are applied, interpreted and discussed in institutional and political spheres but importantly within social and public realms.
The first rule of guerilla warfare is to know the terrain and use it to your advantage. The political topography of today includes the ephemeral ground of signs and symbols, images and expression, narratives and dreams. This is the terrain of artistic activism.
As insurgent arts activists, we aim to change certain things in society – to work towards an end, therefore the boundaries that construct our society may need to be transgressed in order to foster new dialogues to understand their shortcomings.
Consequently, our team focuses on a variety of social problems, and our practice encompasses different approaches through partnerships with non-arts organisations. The most important part of our process is to work with others to facilitate shared learning and self education using Upper Space as a platform.
Upper Space is focussed on promoting alternative ideas and perceptions of public space at a time when its democracy is highly contested.
We are loud, we are unconventional. We are political animals.
Love to disobey. Disobey to love.