The Argument Room was a monthly interactive debating forum streamed live on the internet between 2011 and 2013. Its primary concerns were the arts and social justice. It took a number of focus points such as:
‘Does the artist have any responsibility to the public? If so, what is it?’
‘Does contemporary art practice make any contribution to social justice or is that just a pleasing illusion?’
‘If it does, what are those positive effects and are they scaleable?’
‘To what extent can we identify causative factors that lead artists into their chosen career?’
‘Who or what should be funded: the artist, the building, the process or the outcome?’
Discussions prompted by these questions took place on a monthly basis with different guests and a different focus each month. The series of sessions was organised by Rideout (www.rideout.org.uk) and the host presenter in most cases was Chris Johnston, Co-Director of the company. In each case the discussion was streamed live with viewers able to call or text in questions, comments and observations which then fed into the debate.
The Argument Room has concluded its work for the time being. Hence we are making videos of the debates available for viewing without charge. If you would like to contact us, our details are on the Contact page. Our thanks go to all those who contributed and hosted the Argument Room, especially Marcus Markou and Dynamis who contributed a venue without charge over several months. Thanks too to People’s Palace Projects and the Drama Department at Queen Mary’s University London who were instrumental in the early development of the programme.