Community without Propinquity

Community without Propinquity* is a project exploring the roles of contemporary art and communities in New Towns across the globe. The project includes an exhibition, a video programme, six new artist’s commissions, a research laboratory, publication and symposium.

The exhibition, in the Project Space, includes work related to Shenzhen (China), Chandigarh (India), Brasilia (Brazil) and UK New Towns, such as Harlow, Thamesmead, Runcorn and Stevenage, providing a context for cities built on land with no previous significant population.

The video programme, in the Video Space, explores the utopian social and architectural plans of New Towns, from Chinese replicas of a British seaside town to a German modernist estate, via a new city that exists entirely online.

The Project Space will serve as a research laboratory and forum for public events and artists commissioned to make new work, investigating the unique development and shape of "community" in the New Town of Milton Keynes. Artists and writers will be exploring the social and cultural policies of early Milton Keynes with organisations such as The Open University, MK’s Channel 40 TV station from the 1970s and the communal housing communities. This evolving project will culminate on Saturday 26 November 2011 with artists performances, a public symposium where research is presented and a publication.

*The title Community without Propinquity is taken from a 1963 speech made by Melvin Webber, an urbanist and consultant with the Milton Keynes Development Corporation. He predicted that future communities (specifically Milton Keynes) would be formed through selfdirected, rational economic and social networks rather than engineered through physical proximity. This prediction will serve as the project’s broad theme, investigating the existence and formation of community for public activities.

Artists in the exhibition include:
Paulo Catrica, Nathan Coley, Cao Fei, Jesal Kapadia, Wayne Lloyd, Vincent Meessen, Ishmael Randall Weeks, Pia Rönicke and Stuart Whipps, Bai Xiaoci.

Artists in the video programme include:
Amanda Beech, Cyprien Gaillard, Dominique Gonzalez Foerster, Pierre Huyghe, Minouk Lim, Corey McCorkle, Vincent Meessen, Pia Rönicke, Alain Tanner and Huang Xiaopeng.

The commissioned artists include:
Caroline Devine, Emma Hedditch, Kelly Large, Emma Smith, Patrick Staff, and Mark Aerial Waller.

Contributions to the publication Community without Propinquity (release date 26 November):
Dr Melissa Butcher (OU), Celine Condorelli, Emma Hedditch Dr Don Slater (LSE), Stephen Willats and all the commissioned artists. Designed by An Endless Supply and produced by ANDPublishing

Project Research Contact
Any members of the public wishing to contribute to the project research please contact Claire Louise Staunton

Image caption: Nathan Coley, Square of the Three Powers (East), 2011. Gold leaf on gelatin silver print
Community without Propinquity

Event Title: Community without Propinquity
Postcode: MK Gallery, 900 Midsummer Blvd, Milton Keynes MK9 3Q
Further Details:
- Visit the MK Gallery website" target="_blank"> - Visit the MK Gallery website
Contact Email: info[at]