The art of regeneration: the establishment and development of the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, 1985–2010

Clayton, Jane
The art of regeneration: the establishment and development of the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, 1985–2010. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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This thesis is about change. It is about the way that art organisations have increasingly been used in the regeneration of the physical environment and the rejuvenation of local communities, and the impact that this has had on contemporary society. This historical analysis of the development of a young art organisation, the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT), which has previously not been studied in depth, provides an original contribution to knowledge with regard to art and culture, and more specifically the development of media and community art practices, in Britain. The nature of FACT’s development is assessed in the context of the political, socio-economic and cultural environment of its host city, Liverpool, and the organisation is placed within broader discourses on art practice, cultural policy, and regeneration. The questions that are addressed – of local responsibility, government funding and institutionalisation – are essential to an understanding of the role that publicly funded organisations play within the institutional framework of society, without which the analysis of the influence of the state on our cultural identity cannot be achieved. The research was conducted through the triangulation of qualitative research methods including participant observation, in-depth interviews and original archival research, and the findings have been used to build upon the foundations of the historical analysis and critical examination of existing literature in the fields of regeneration and culture, art and media, and museum theory and practice. This research concludes that FACT, in its establishment and development, has been heavily influenced by the unique local conditions of Liverpool, and by wider national policy, and it asserts that the organisation’s growth was aided by its location in a city that was in receipt of increasing levels of financial support after the social unrest of the early-1980s, throughout New Labour’s policies of ‘social inclusion,’ and following the award of European Capital of Culture status in 2003. Intrinsically linked to these funding opportunities was the process of institutionalisation that FACT has undergone, and the rebranding of the organisation in 1997 and opening of the FACT Centre in 2003 are cited as the main reasons for the redefinition of the organisation’s aims and objectives. These claims are supported by the interrogation of the Video Positive festivals, the Collaboration Programme and the Moving Image Touring and Exhibitions Service, sub-brands which comprised FACT’s core offer prior to the opening of the FACT Centre. The changes that have taken place within each of these projects is identified as symptomatic of the power of national funding and government policy, the changing technological environment and the production and consumption of art.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy)
Additional Information: Date: 2012-08 (completed)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Art, Culture, Society, Regeneration, History, Museums, Liverpool
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of the Arts
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2013 11:17
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 04:37
DOI: 10.17638/00008413