For City Club, a city wide programme of new art, performances, family activities, commissions, happenings, events and talks, Freee art collective and Modern Architect have produced a new mobile artwork called Citizen Ship. This portable pavilion resembles Milton Keynes’ bus shelters and is part laboratory, part kiosk and part meeting place. Citizen Ship will engage visitors in the production of collective artworks that will be displayed in and on the structure.
Freee will work with passers-by at five locations in Milton Keynes to generate conversations through which the artists will support the production of new slogans for badges, ribbons, vinyl and posters.
Speaking about Citizen Ship, Freee said “Our recent works have seen us looking at the potential of kiosks as a place in which we can exchange opinions. We have been considering how kiosks can operate as temporary meeting points in the public realm in which the passer-by can develop their political ideas. Citizen Ship is the biggest and most ambitious structure we have built to date and it has been designed to accommodate a number of people.”
Freee are interested in consensus and dissensus, so the participatory methods they employ are directed at political exchange and opinion formation; ‘we are engaged with how collectively we decide what we believe, considering different cultures and the social political moment we find ourselves in’.
Citizen Ship is a temporary structure. It will be located in a series of sites around Milton Keynes starting at MK CityFest in Middleton Hall, centre:mk (26-29 June), followed by Art in the Park (1 & 2 July), Milton Keynes Arts Centre, Great Linford (3-8 July), and Margaret Powell Square, Milton Keynes (10-14 July). Citizen Ship will return to Milton Keynes for dates in September and October.
Inspired by the original cultural plans for Milton Keynes, City Club celebrates the city’s 50th anniversary, through enabling thousands of people throughout Milton Keynes to explore, enjoy and be inspired by their surroundings. Led by MK Gallery and delivered in partnership with the city's arts and heritage organisations, the project takes its name from the unrealised national leisure complex proposed for the city by Milton Keynes Development Corporation in the 1970s.