The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home

The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home was a home-based initiative, run out of a family home on the border of Everton and Anfield, Liverpool, UK. The Institute was run by a family of two adults and four kids (Gary Anderson, Lena Simic, Neal, Gabriel, Sid and James). The Institute was founded in 2007 and closed in 2019.


The Institute was a self-sufficient and sustainable initiative drawing from 10% of all income from its members (Gary and Lena’s work as university lecturers as well as freelance artists, the children received child benefit). The Institute was concerned with dissent, homemade aesthetics, financial transparency, as well as critiquing the capitalism of culture. The Institute was interested in social transformation and  refigured a part of the family living space into a meeting place for artists, activists and cultural dissenters. This activity was undertaken in order to develop and extend dialogues about a ‘culture’ not necessarily driven by market forces.


The Institute  hosted a number of artist residencies and events, ranging from individual encounters through group conversations to theatrical performances in their family home, including Miss Julie in Utopia (2008), Macbethmachine (2010), Reverend Billy & family (2011), Townley & Bradby (2011), Cinderella Residency (2012), Politics and Aesthetics Reading Group meetings (2010-2012), Unrehearsed Reading of Chekhov’s Three Sisters (2014) and has initiated the Anarchist Communist Sunday School (2014), War and Peace reading group (2014-2018), FAN – Family Activist Network (2015 – 2017) and Study Room in Exile (2015 – 2018, in collaboration with Live Art Development Agency).


The Institute presented at various arts venues, events and conferences, such as Tate Modern (2016),  Green Park, Athens (2016 and 2015), Kunstraum Lakeside, Klagenfurt (2013), HAZARD 08, Manchester (2008), 2 Degrees at Artsadmin (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015), C Words: Carbon, Climate, Capital,  Culture exhibition (2009) at Arnolfini, Black Market by Mobile Academy live art event at the Bluecoat (2008), PSi conferences in Copenhagen (2008) and Zagreb (2009) amongst many others.

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For more information about the Institute and all its past activities see The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home. Their three major publications are available for download Publications – The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home.