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SACRIFICE ZONE is a series of online commissions examing the links between artists and regeneration agendas. Free to download, the essays and artists' projects will offer a critical framework within which it is hoped a new, engaged dialogue will emerge.

With the shock-waves of economic crisis reverberating around the world, construction industries faltering and major development projects put on hold, a gap has opened in which debates about the complicity of art and artists in regeneration have taken on a new immediacy. To this end, the commissions you are invited to download over the coming year will sift through the ruins of regeneration agendas, pick over the bleached bones of mammoth, earth-shifting machinery, and gather the flotsam and jetsam abandoned by fleeing 'place makers'...


July 2009

Doreen Bernath,
The Radical Reality-Effect

By stealth, the propagation of architectural renderings asserts a radical ‘reality-effect’ upon our perception, expectation and experience of buildings and cities. The reality-effect of architectural renderings has the power to embrace the realm of dreams within the architectural, so that it is possible to have dream architecture and architecture as dreams. This essay, composed of 3 episodes, probes aspects of the nature of realities opened up by architectural renderings, which can be: as real as reality; more real than reality; and of recycled realities. Examples from the author's Chinese-speaking context are central because here architecture-making is closely linked to a particular tradition of picture-making and the radical reality-effect of design-render is conspicuously widespread.

The Radical Reality-Effect (PDF mb) Download coming soon.


Andrew Dodds,
Arcadia Amongst the Ruins

Andrew Dodds commissioned an ecologist to conduct biodiversity surveys of the flora at two brownfield sites in an Irish border town. These interstitial spaces – such as gaps between buildings and post-industrial zones – have escaped land management strategies often associated with gentrification. Now derelict and left to nature they have, over time, become rich in flora and fauna. The project offers us a space to understand these sites, not as 'wasteland', but as potentially valuable natural habitats. By uncovering analogies between the area’s natural and cultural histories, Arcadia... reveals connections between the broader homogenisation of our cultural and natural landscapes. Project material consists of a fieldguide, video document and field samples.

Arcadia Amongst the Ruins (QuickTime/PDF)

March 2009

Anthony Iles,
Legislating for Enthusiasm: from Fun Palace to Creative Prison

Adapted from the self-published pamphlet 'The Lower Lea Valley as Fun Palace and Creative Prison', this essay explores the legacy of experiments in flexibility and interdeterminacy in Sixties architecture by mapping them onto the futuristic projections for the London 2012 Olympics. By stressing the continuity between the post-war development of London and contemporary regeneration projects, the text attempts to excavate the common interests re-shaping both work and free time across apparently discontinuous phases of capitalist development.

Legislating for Enthusiasm (PDF 1mb)


Daniel Simpkins and Penny Whitehead,
Future Visions of History

Simpkins and Whitehead have collaborated on a number of projects responding to Liverpool’s year as 'Capital of Culture'. Here they revisit the 'Liverpool International Garden Festival' 25 years after Margaret Thatcher’s government first implemented this major strategy for situating internationalism, tourism and culture at the forefront of urban regeneration. In 1984, on the back of major civil unrest, Liverpool became the first British city to host such an event. Attracting more than 3 million visitors over its year-long duration, the Festival was cited as a benchmark by councils in some of the most deprived parts of the UK in bids for repeat events – including Ebbw Vale, Stoke-on-Trent, Gateshead and Glasgow. However, despite its short-term successes, Liverpool’s garden festival arguably failed to yield any sustained impact on the area's deprivation and its site, sold off to private developers, now lies derelict.

Future Visions of History (FLASH 2mb)

December 2008

Craig Martin,
Moments not Monuments

This essay takes as its central focus the importance of the 'temporary' in understanding the dynamic quality of city space. In particular the problem of regeneration and permanency is addressed through looking at the critcal methods adopted by ARCADE, its curatorial approach and artworks; these articulations of the temporary are a valuable means to reconfigure the place of the art object within the discourse on regeneration, in part through producing a rather more 'spectral' appreciation of the fleeting experiences of the city.

Moments not Monuments (PDF 500kb)


Kennedy Browne,
Episode 306: Dallas, Belfast

Sarah Browne and Gareth Kennedy have produced an iteration of their Episode 306: Dallas, Belfast project. Initially realised as a video work this was a re-enactment of a fragment of a script from 1980s TV series Dallas, staged in Belfast’s soon to be redeveloped 'Titanic Quarter'. Implicitly addressing issues of prosperity, regeneration and choice, this publication transforms a selection of the video work and research produced on site into a graphic novel of sorts. Completely black and white, it is designed to be easily reproduced on a domestic printer.

Episode 306: Dallas, Belfast (PDF 9mb)