Filming Cultural Practice


As part of the Researching the New project, the Institute for Cultural Practices worked with Belle Vue Productions on a programme of film-making as research method – and output. During the summer of 2013, we filmed a series of study visits to cultural organisations and venues in London and the north of England. A number of colleagues working in the cultural sector in Manchester also joined in these trips; taking part in the conversations with our hosts and offering their reflections.


The result is a rich resource that reframes our research questions within the spatial and conversational flows of the field trips, as well as via more structured interviews with the directors of the organisations that we visited.


Five of these films focus on individual organisations as they negotiate complex processes of change and renewal, in relation to programme, audience and space. A further three films each explore recurring themes of: inspirational histories as a resource for setting a course for the future; different registers of spatial practice and possibilities for audience engagement; and the linkages between site, practice and participation in the production of cultural ecologies – local, national and international.


We would like to thank the organisations that hosted our visits and shared their practice, reflections and strategic thinking, and also the people who joined us on the research visits and made the conversations.

Case-study Films

Grizedale Arts: The Use Value of Art
Toddlertastic at Whitworth Art Gallery: Changing Spaces
Southbank Centre: Building on Idealism
Battersea Arts Centre: Inventing the Future of Theatre
Kensington Palace: Performing Change

Thematic Films

Uses of History
Cultural Ecologies