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Changing States

Branded: Art and the Economy

27 Feb 2002

The second debate in the Changing States series took place at Conway Hall, London, on 27 February 2002, with four presentations around the theme 'Branded: Art and the Economy'.

Sune Nordgren, founding director of the Baltic, described how the museum is acutely concerned not only with the branding of the Baltic, but also with the museum’s impact in terms of branding the local area.

The editor of The Face, Johnny Davis, explained why The Face is sponsoring the Becks Futures Award this year – the magazine’s first ever sponsorship venture. Both Nordgren and Davis attested to the importance of working with branding, as opposed to holding out for some non-branded utopia.

The artist Neil Cummings discussed a number of his art projects around branding, claiming that brands now anchor values and that department stores – such as Selfridges – are arguably the new equivalent of museum spaces.

Finally, Clive Sall – an ex-member of FAT, a partner of Alphaville and a lecturer at the Royal College of Art – took his students’ projects as a starting point from which to examine issues around branding and the built environment.

There were a number of provocative interventions from the audience, which raised questions around mechanisms for re-branding and the possibilities of undermining branding.