Tate Exchange

Muster Station; The School of Beginnings.
Muster Station is a rethinking and regrouping; an evolving group of artists that emerged as a direct consequence of the closure of their art school and the need to produce a new imagination for their agency. Through a programme of workshops, talks, interactions and interventions Muster Station will explore the means by which artists produce in response to constantly shifting conditions of space, time, audience and the ebb and flow of economic and political support. Embracing and inventing new forms of play, 'production' at Tate Exchange will evolve methods that artists can use in order to develop their capacity to catalyse and enhance visions for alternative solutions and other ways of being. 

"We’re some way into the future. Art education has been erased as part of a strategy by a conglomerate of mega-businesses to narrow the imagination of the people and suppress the production of difficult and ambiguous questions.

As a result of this process art no longer exists. There are no artists. Tate Modern has become a data storage centre. What once was designated as art has now been found to be the most reliable way to store harvested information.  Data seems to stick well, for an indefinite period, in the multiplicity of shapes, images, and materials that art used to produce.  (Data now takes the place of where meaning used to reside.)

Most people visit Tate Modern not to look at art but to admire the quantity of data collected. Some however visit for a different reason; an attempt to retrieve lost bits of data; everything from archives of family emails and photos, to missing corporate histories and cultural memories, somehow hoping to find them in a tiny part of what used to be known as art.

We work at Tate Modern as conservators of this data. In a box in a corner of a remote corridor in the building’s basement a group of us (known as Muster Station) accidentally stumbled upon a series of images that suggested how artists might think. Based on this we set up the School of Beginnings as a way to start thinking about how to bring art into life again."

The School of Beginnings has been commissioned by Whitstable Biennale as part of the Tate Exchange Associates Programme, with Spike Island Associates.


Funded by the University of Kent's School of Music and Fine Art.


Saturday & Sunday
Throughout the day:

– Nimisha Dhingra, Tally Counter 

Beyond Art Lectures (film) with the collaboration of: Betzabe Garcia, Emilio Bianchic, Chantal Peñalosa, Cecilia Barreto, Ulrik Lopez, Andrew Roberts, Pablo Tut, José Fernández Levy

One day's work/wear worn through (modified used protective work clothing to be worn for The School of Beginnings)

Intermittent performances running throughout the day:

– Olu Taiwo, VCR reconstruction
– Andrew Gallacher, Data for Data’s Sake Gov.UK art-collection (performance)
– Megan Boyle, 
01110011 01100101 01100001 01110010 01100011 01101000 00111111 01110100 01111001 01110000 01100101 00111101 01100001 01110010 01110100 01110111 01101111 01110010 01101011 00100000 (performance)

Timed activities:
13:00 – 14:00 – Alex Aldham, Factory Line (box construction)

13.30 – 13.40 – Andrew Gallacher, Ten Minute Talk, by Duchamp's Fountain
14:00 – 17:00 – Moyra Derby, collaborative drawing möbius strip
16:00 – 17:00 – Fiona Townend, Muster Drill (yoga & semaphore)
16:00 – 17:00 – Alex Aldham, Factory Line (box construction)

Scheduled performances:
13:00, 15:00 & 17:00  – Lacuna Rasa, Adam James & Claire Orme (larp & symbol scores) meeting at Level 5 (Tate Exchange) and exploring the building.

Saturday only:
18:00-20:00 – Shears For Tears (performance), José Macabra

Muster Station artists participating in The School of Beginnings:

Andrew GallacherAlex Aldham, Nimisha Dhingra, José Fernandez LevyJosé MacabraAdam JamesFiona TownendClaire OrmeMoyra DerbyMegan Boyle, Olu Taiwo, and Adam Chodzko. All participating artists are current students, staff or alumni of the University of Kent's School of Music and Fine Art.