##One End of the Maker Belt

DoESLiverpool is the place where I’m based and I suppose the closest thing to my studio practice. But it’s much more than that; it’s a place of great inspiration, networking, business and research opportunities and this is not even written on the door.

It’s a place where you feel you are somehow contributing to something bigger than yourself and a way to engage your creativity with others without having to propose it or think too much about it.

I think I would not get the opportunity to do many of the projects I do without being there, plus it means you have a support network and a more diverse group of non-artist peers which I find challenging and healthy.

Often I try to engineer projects that make people from diverse backgrounds work together in the context of art or public engagement; in DoES this happens almost by default and without any concerns about whether it’s art or not.

It means all kinds of possibilities for collaboration and research are fluttering into existence around you; most won’t come to anything but some become business opportunities, workshops, startups, interest groups or clubs.

It can mean that you can easily get distracted; helping students laser cut, prepare files or get lost in discussions over the merits of a particular service or programming language or the best way to brew coffee.

It’s made me really start to see the value of working alongside people informally in a co-working space over a constructed situation of a artist collecitve, group show or residency. On the surface there should be no collaboration as nobody has really decided to work together: they are just sharing space and wifi politely.

A consequence is that potential collaborations percolate up out of the day to day; Any potential clashes of working practice or personality are kind of naturally edited out or negotiated and even if someone is only there for a very specific task the community sensibility seeps into them and they get involved where they can