Michael Burkitt collaborated
consistently with Leeds based art collective BLACK DOGS between 2007 and 2012
Black Dogs is an art collective formed in 2003 in Leeds. Their output has included formal exhibitions, relational and participatory installations, public events, interventions, publications, video, audio works, records and collaborative learning projects. The membership of the group is notionally fluid and can vary on a project-to-project basis, although in practice they had a fairly consistent core of fourteen members currently living and working between Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, London and Milton Keynes.
Black Dogs artistic and critical interests are broad and varied, underpinned by an interest in arts potential as a social practice. They approach art as a space in which to experiment with new ways of understanding the world - and of being and acting together - that have social, economic and political resonances. They aim to unpick and problematise values such as self-advancement, competition, professionalism and the separation of art from life that we understand as being ingrained in capitalism and, by extension, the institutional art world.
Black Dogs see their practice as having two main dimensions. Firstly, the projects and artwork they create. Secondly, the process of working as a collective. Attentive to the way in which Black Dogs organises and goes about its (non) business, the alternative sphere in which they play (and help shape), and the ethics and social relations that arise from this. Through the structure and operation of the group dogs digest and analyse collectivity: collaboration, not-for-profit motives, hierarchies, waged-labour and DIY or self-organised approaches.
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