Tomorrow Is Our Permanent Address
Convention House, Leeds, UK 2019

Devised and curated by Marion Harrison
Commissioned by East Street Arts
Words – Derek Horton
Photo Credits – Jules Lister
Website Design – Erik Winterburn/Studio Volk
Audio – Baile Beyai and Stuart Mellor

This project aimed to critically, practically and technically test the potential scope of this new space through innovative, idiosyncratic, exploratory and inventive uses and implementation of technology, digital material, image, construction, words, systems, encounter and group learning.

--tomorrow is our permanent address and there they'll scarcely find us (if they do, we'll move away still further): into now
— E.E. Cummings – all ignorance toboggans into know. (1944)

Words – How will anyone know what is happening?

Convention House

Convention House is situated in Mabgate, Leeds. Formerly a convent and then used as an accountants for the last 37 years, this Victorian large-scale terraced building has recently been redeveloped into a unique creative space by East Street Arts.

Words – What makes a creative space?

︎ Laura Grace Ford

︎ Alex De Little

︎ Sophie & Kerri

︎ Marion Harrison & Stuart Mellor

︎ Jake Krushell & Alfie Kungu

︎ Marnie Simpson

︎ John Orlek

︎ Ben Dalton

︎ Sable Radio

︎ Village Pop up @ Convention House

Marsh Lane Billboard Project

Programmed by Marion Harrison and Alan Dunn.

Words – Public art; art in public spaces, art in the public realm…

︎ Dominic from Luton

︎ Laura Grace Ford

︎ Sophie & Kerri

︎ Jessie Brennan

︎ Tara Colette

︎ Andy Edwards


Ben Dalton

Crossovers and Connections : Seeing our hidden networks

What does it mean to live in a networked public? What role can publics play in collective empowerment and creative possibilities? During my residency in Convention House I have been explored my recent research questions by finding ways of putting them into practice.

The Connections and Crossovers Workshop that I ran as part of the Episode 1 weekend is an example of, and an intersecting part of, this practice. In it we used artist Burak Arikan's Graph Commons techniques to trace out our hidden networks, and in doing so, grasped their potential power.

Living in public means an ongoing process of making and remaking ourselves, our communities of belonging and the spaces around us. Digital networks are entangling new connections and relations across time, space and matter – often through hidden infrastructures. Over the last 8 years I have been exploring questions of agency in networked publics through art and design practices. I have come to understand networked publics in terms of critical infrastructures and the (intra)action of developing network literacy.

Critical infrastructure is infrastructure as a common good, of vital importance to public empowerment and enabling critical accountability by a public community themselves. I understand the role that artists and designers can play in making space for critical infrastructures in terms of 'taking on the network'.

For example, in the Connections and Crossovers Workshop we draw out maps of connection. Mapping our collaborators, funders and resources can strengthen these productive networks, making them more tangible through naming, sorting and sharing. At the same time, tracing out a hidden network of power and influence can also get to grips with structures of injustice. Therefore this network mapping process can be both a form of accountability and of empowerment, sometimes simultaneously. Doing both resistance and responsibility at the same time is what 'taking on the network' describes, since 'taking on' means both an action of resisting and an action of shouldering responsibility.

During my residency, I also explored ways of taking on the network through the possibilities of self-publishing using cheap DIY 'web servers' on the 'onion router' network infrastructure project, and developing digital literacies that actively take responsibility for this infrastructure. But I have also followed patterns of fostering everyday common good in the building and communities of Convention House too, as it came into being around me. Arranging a vase of wild street flowers in the building each week, setting up a, and planning child- and baby-friendly facilities for my visitors were all activities of taking some responsibility for our collective spaces.

Yet also explorations of building collective processes. Collecting wild flowers from the busy commuter roads around the building, for example, simultaneously allowed me to trace out local internet infrastructure for my project. Again a form of grass-roots network accountability.

Through this residency and my workshop, I am seeking active ways of developing dual practical literacies of resistance and responsibility – to develop the public digital literacies of taking on the network.