Community Out of Bounds was a programme of activity that took place in Aberdeen between Sept 2015 and June 2016 which explored different approaches to artists working collaboratively across community contexts. This site serves as an online archive for the project. The project took its title from Giorgio Agamben’s text ‘The Coming Community’ in which he asks,

How can we conceive a human community that lays no claim to identity?

In a city with a diversity of languages, nationalities, ethnicities and one of the most acute disparities in wealth distribution in the UK, the programme started by asking how one could think about this idea within the context of Aberdeen. What role do the arts have to play in the formation of identity and sustainability of community? What might that look like?

This project was conceived as a collaboration between artist Jonathan Baxter and Aberdeen City Council’s Creative Learning Team. This collaborative approach explored how the work of an artist and a local authority can play a part in defining and reproducing the structure of society, from what issues are common to the community and what spaces are public to how areas of our lives are organised. The productive tension between local authority and artist laid a foundation for new ways of working together.

The Community Out of Bounds programme consisted of two distinct and overlapping areas of activity. They were focused on two approaches to time & space as generative frameworks for activity; the Arts & Communities programme was durational, expansive and socialised in its approach, and the Collaborate Residencies were temporary, brief and intimate.

Community Out of Bounds was generously funded and supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation & Aberdeen City Council.

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