The recorded conversation is a sculptural process; the human voice, an organic sculpture.
– William Furlong
Bill Furlong has been making recordings at the Venice Biennial since 1984. Audio Arts Magazine, which was first published in 1973 was set up up by Barry Barker and Bill Furlong. Organised initially by audio arts with Wimbledon School of Art the Agendas has become one of the recognised forums for controversial debate, argument and propositions.
Venice Agendas was developed by Bill Furlong and Mel Gooding. The Agendas series has been featured at every Venice Biennial since 1999. The new team under the guidance of Bill and Mel continues the innovation and determination to construct a series of topical and intelligent discussions, talks, debates and recordings.
Since 2011 workinprogress, Clare Fitzpatrick and Terry Smith have continued the project working closely with Vittorio Urbani, director of Nuova Icona who has supported Venice Agendas since 1999.
William Furlong belongs to the generation of British artists (which includes Gilbert & George, Bruce McLean and Richard Long) that developed a new concept of sculpture in the 1970s and 1980s. Furlong’s special contribution has been in the area of sound and, with the founding of Audio Arts (with Barry Barker) in 1973, he began mapping the territory of contemporary art in a series of cassette editions.
Mel Gooding is an art critic, writer and exhibition organiser. He graduated with an MA (English) from the University of Sussex in 1966. He has written many catalogue texts and has contributed extensively to the art press, and to magazines and newspapers.
The theme of Venice Agendas 2017 is The Contract, particularly relevant both politically and socially. Contracts, whether written or spoken, are promises and agreements that we make with each other, within our communities and across society in general.