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Bow Skills Talk: how to advocate for your right to understand contracts as an artist with Jack Ky Tan

Tuesday 17th October 2023 , 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Join interdisciplinary artist Jack Ky Tan as he breaks down what contracts are, their purpose, how to challenge contractual terms that are weighted against the artist, and how to advocate for your right to understand the formal agreements you are entering into as an artist. Jack will also offer two creative examples of contracts that are dyslexia-inclusive and that incorporate more-than-colonial approaches. 
Jack Tan, Performing Boardness, 2022. FACT, Liverpool. Photo Rob Battersby

We will begin the talk with the DNA of what a contract is, who it is for, and a discussion about the power dynamics between artist and commissioner or institution. 

Jack will then speak about the contract he created for FACT Liverpool who commissioned him to design his own contract when he joined their board of trustees as Artist in Residence. He will describe the process of designing a contract as an accessible document that not only challenges contract terms that are weighted against the artist, but one that avoids framing the artist-institutional relationship as adversarial, punitive and competitive.  

He will then trace his research on creating anti-racist partnership agreements with Sheffield University, exploring how we can take inspiration from indigenous and multicultural approaches to reform the legal relationship between artist and commissioner by creating visual contracts that capture alternate value systems or cosmologies. 

We will end with a Q&A where you can put all your burning questions to Jack! 

What you will gain: 

  • An understanding of the flaws and failings of current contracting processes 
  • How to challenge contract terms that are weighted against artists 
  • Learn how to create functional, evolving contracts that consider your own access requirements and are tailored to your specific needs as an artist working with/within institutions or organisations in particular  
  • A new network of artists and creative professionals 

This talk will be held online via Zoom. The joining link will be sent out to all attendees after booking onto the session.

£5 £3 concessions

Concession rate applies to students, over 65s, under 18s, Bow Arts artists, National Art Pass members, and key workers

More about Jack Ky Tan 

Jack Ky Tan (b.1971, Singapore) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Galloway, Southwest Scotland. Working across, performance, sculpture, law and policy-making, his practice is an ongoing exploration of social justice that blurs the boundaries between, art, law, governance, and consultancy. Interrogating the legacies of colonialism with a particular interest in the Maritime South East Asian diaspora, Tan looks toward alternative cosmologies and knowledge systems that predate the Judaeo-Christian and colonial narratives. Questioning these embedded structures in our society and economies which form our laws and guide our behaviour, his work attempts to rethink our entanglement with the human and non-human world and look towards alternative ways of living and working. 

About Bow Skills  

Bow Arts seeks to support creative professionals at all stages of their careers. In 2015 Bow Arts launched Bow Skills in response to an artist survey which showed over 90% of practicing artists find it useful to receive further support outside formal education.   

Bow Skills is a dynamic and relevant programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) which is informed by an artist steering group and open to all creative practitioners across London. The programme of talks, panel discussions, new skills labs and peer crits is open to all, with concession rates available to students, over 65s, under 18s, Bow Arts artists and key workers.   

Access information 

If you have any questions regarding accessibility at this event or would like to make us aware of any access requirements that you have in advance, or would like this information in an alternate format including Easy Read, please email nunnery@bowarts.com or call 020 8980 7774 (Ext. 3)   

Access requirements could include things like providing equipment, services or support (e.g. information in Easy Read, speech to text software, additional 1:1 support), adjusting workshop timings (e.g. more break times), adjustments to the event space or anything else you can think of!