City Strapline Industries
City Strapline Industries, Baltic Art Centre (2004) constitutes an ongoing body of research/artwork that attempts to unpick the language of city marketing in relation to the experience of living in the city.
It included an array of community generated objects and stories, challenging stereotypes of strategies of cultural re-generation; a diverse collection of new media installations made during a residency on the Scotswood Estate and charted the bid for the Year of Culture, 2008.
The work highlights the tensions between branding, social inclusion, economic growth regeneration and the decline in population. Tyneside has been the focus for this research but the issues raised are shared across other cities in the UK and Europe.
Mike Stubbs has experienced a number of culture-led regeneration schemes, having lived in Hull, ‘a pioneering city’ and Dundee ‘city of discovery’.
In 2003, he was Artist in Residence at Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, the agency responsible for the NewcastleGateshead bid for the European Capital of Culture 2008.
The artist uses a variety of methods to make work in City Strapline Industries including conversations with those involved in ‘improving’ the city as well as with residents, which are shown as videos.
The artist documents unofficial cultural icons, such as Tex’s football car, and the Shoe Tree in Heaton, having located them through a local media campaign.
Through research on the web the artist has uncovered a public discussion about social issues in the West End of Newcastle, extracts of which are printed on the wall - as shown above.