Artichoke is a creative company that works with artists to invade our public spaces and put on extraordinary and ambitious events that live in the memory forever…

Artichoke teamed up with Sky Arts and Tate to deliver a series of debates, or 'salons' which all centre around the nature and use of public space.

The first Salon in this series was called The Politics of Cultural Disruption, and focused on the politics of the public domain: who controls our public space, and who decides what is appropriate (or not).

Artichoke’s work is central to this ongoing debate. From The Sultan’s Elephant to Antony Gormley’s One & Other in Trafalgar Square, our projects positively aim to disrupt daily life, and challenge the generally-held consensus that our cities are primarily for commerce and traffic, rather than for communal activities and fun.

How we use our public space is fiercely contested, while the space itself is being increasingly privatised via the back door. Be it public art, sporting events, political demonstrations, the right to take a photograph, or simply sitting on the grass, these collective interventions are controlled and regulated. While some events are given carte blanche to close the streets, others are put under pressure to relocate into parks and gardens, or simply not permitted to take place at all.

Our inspiring and opinionated panel of speakers responded to questions from the audience and thrashed out key arguments of this significant debate. The panelists were: artist Marc Quinn; Janet Street-Porter, Vice President of the Ramblers' Association; Ruth Mackenzie, director of the Cultural Olympiad; Sir Ian Blair, former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police; CABE Director of Public Space Sarah Gaventa; and cultural historian Gus Casely-Hayford. Curator and broadcaster Tim Marlow chaired the discussion.

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